Written By: Tony Covey

For the better part of this week, Callaway has been using its social media channels to trumpet the fact that it has turned Petco Park in San Diego into a 9-hole golf course.

Yeah…you read that right.

This weekend, San Diegens will play golf inside their baseball stadium.

HDR-Petco-Park

Quite honestly, I held off on digging deeper because, as is the case for many of you, if somebody builds a temporary whatever some 2,839 miles from where I live (I google-mapped it), unless that whatever happens to be a missile launcher, and it’s aimed squarely at my front door, I don’t much care.

Buy hey, we cover golf equipment, so if a golf equipment company is doing something – and golf equipment companies do some pretty odd things in the name of fun, or fun things in the name of golf, or maybe just bizarre things in the name of shameless self-promotion – we’ve got to at least look at it. All of it (even if we ignore most of it).

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So yeah…whatever the motivation, kudos to Callaway, I guess, for turning a baseball stadium into a golf course.

It’s not like the home team was using it.

Here’s your official blurb:

Callaway and the San Diego Padres have partnered to create the Links at Petco Park, a unique nine-hole golf experience that will take over Petco Park November 4-9. As part of the experience, golfers will hit shots with Callaway clubs and balls onto the playing field from various tees along a course designed within the ballpark.

The Links At Petco Park

iron man

For those interested in playing 9 at The Links at Petco Park, pricing starts at $100 for twosomes and $200 for foursomes. In addition to golf, that gets you parking, snacks, beverages, and a limited edition hat.

My personal opinion…we should never refer to any hat as limited edition, but otherwise that all sounds solid enough.

Golfers who upgrade to the Platinum package will receive a Padres-branded MD3 wedge, which is also limited edition. Golfers who further upgrade to the Double Platinum (maybe it’s double black Platinum) package can choose to have literally anything but a San Diego Padres logo put on their wedge.

SD-wedge

I made that second part up. There is no Double Platinum package. You’re stuck with the Padres wedge. Sorry, no refunds.

Depending on your perspective golfers will either – (A) Have the opportunity to, or (B) Be forced to play – the latest Callaway gear including Apex Irons, MD3 wedges, and The Ball that Changed the Ball (Chrome Soft).

hashtag-chad

Along the way golfers will have the chance to win additional prizes, like a Great Big Bertha driver or a night on the town in Escondido with Hashtag Chad (and his magnificent hair). That 2nd prize might not be real either, but it should be.

Sold Out

For those of you in the greater San Diego area who are thinking “hell yes, let’s play 9 at Petco“, bad news. There aren’t any tee times left. The event, which was originally scheduled to run for three days, sold out in just a few hours. Callaway added an extra two days, which also promptly sold out.

At least somebody is selling out Petco.

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It would be easy for me to frame this as nothing more than a shameless Callaway publicity stunt, but the early returns are a little hard to argue with. There’s genuine interest, at least within the semi-local community, so perhaps we should look at this as a positive test case.

If outside-the-box thinking inspires more people to find creative and fun ways to play golf, or turn the game into an experience, I’m all for it.

Yeah…for it’s part Callaway gets plenty of promotion (I’m told Sports Center is all over this), and it will certainly help to further build Callaway’s brand – and more specifically its identity as the most fun and accessible guys in golf, but I’m struggling to find anything sinister about something that’s just so damn cool.

Playing golf in a baseball stadium…who does that?

I can’t promise that this whole golf in unusual venues thing is going to take off, but  if you read between the lines of what Padres Vice President of Corporate and Event Revenue, Jeremy Horowitz, has to say, the suggestion is that this is just the beginning of what Callaway and the Padres are working on.

“San Diego is a premier golf destination and Callaway is a premier golf brand, so partnering on this event makes perfect sense. The opportunity to play golf inside a Major League ballpark does not come along every day. We are looking forward to working with Callaway to make this an unforgettable experience, and to seeing our partnership grow over the coming years.”

You know what else doesn’t come along every day? The opportunity to watch a post-season baseball game inside a Major League ballpark (at least not in San Diego), but I digress.

MGL4511

The point is that golf is fun, and with some fresh thinking, golf can be cool. There’s no need to resort to soccer balls, flying discs, and over-sized cups.

Forget about the Callaway piece for just a moment, as far as the game of golf itself is concerned, this is one of the coolest events of 2015.

Some of you might feel differently.

MGL4489

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