What’s up, Reddit! My name is Anthony Taranto, a.k.a. the Wedge Art Wizard for Callaway. From lasers and sand blasting to good old fashioned stamps and paint fill, I’ve been customizing wedges for 19 years now. Excited to answer your questions. Fire away!

Proof: https://i.redd.it/kz7p9gf9x0511.jpg

Here’s where you can bid on one of my custom sets of Mack Daddy 4 wedges. We do one of these each month, and all proceeds from the winning bid are donated to a charitable cause. This month’s proceeds will be donated to Birdies For The Brave: http://cmp.callawaygolf.com/2018/06/callaway-customs-tour-limited-usa-wedges/

What do you think about this one? https://www.instagram.com/p/BiLHuZRhveb/

Check out my Instagram for more work: https://www.instagram.com/anthony.taranto/

EDIT: That's all for today - thanks to everyone who chimed in and asked questions! And shout out to u/Sullydotcom who will be receiving this fancy Reddit wedge! https://www.instagram.com/p/BkDn3v7Bm4f/

Comments: 153 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

jigglelow28 karma

Ever stamped a picture of a dick on someone's wedge?

callawaygolf177 karma

Sullydotcom18 karma

Is Roger Cleveland still designing wedges for Callaway? What have you learned the most from him in your time? Also we met at the Travis Mathew store in UTC a few years ago, you were super cool and I’ve been a fan ever since. Thanks AT!

callawaygolf44 karma

Hey u/Sullydotcom, thanks for remembering me and thanks for following along. DM us your contact info and I'll send you the reddit wedge I made! https://www.instagram.com/p/BkDn3v7Bm4f/

callawaygolf18 karma

Yup, Roger is still here creating amazing wedges for Callaway.

He’s taught me a ton about grinding wedges and how bounce plays a significant role in wedge performance. Anytime I see Roger grinding a wedge I always pick his brain to see what he’s trying to achieve and how he’s rounding out the sole of the club. The guy is a legend and there’s literally no one with more wedge knowledge than him! https://www.instagram.com/p/6LoXUBrHQq/

loudshorts15 karma

whats the most odd art request youve put on a wedge and whats the most common?

callawaygolf34 karma

Most odd: Probably Michelle Wie's Harry Potter-themed wedges: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRoderSDzpC/

I didn't know anything about Harry Potter at the time so I had to do some research. Accio birdies!

Most common would just be old fashioned stamping of players initials.

-Bunny-15 karma

Billy Idol, never pictured him as a golfer. What kind of design did he want on his clubs?

callawaygolf10 karma

He asked for his logo, which is this cool crown with a lightening bolt: https://www.instagram.com/p/BB0IpPzLHUA/

-Bunny-2 karma

Thats very cool, the lettering for his name looks looks a little hackney just as he has it on his records. What other music notables have you worked with? Do you do Alice Coopers clubs?

callawaygolf14 karma

Jimmy Buffet, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Yellow Card, Dirty Heads, Iration, Stephen Tyler, Irving Azoff, Adam Levine and Mark Wahlburg, to name a few https://gph.is/2d90Cld

Funny enough, I haven't customized any wedges for Alice Cooper yet, but he's a huge Callaway guy and has visited me at HQ several times. He always asks me, "When are you gonna make me some cool wedges?!" I guess I should get on that...

SecondRyan13 karma

Do you plan to make a wedge that can double as a non-invasive prostate massage device like this one?

callawaygolf127 karma

Tried it once but it came out kinda shitty.

philthebrewer10 karma

A question I’ve always been too shy to ask-

Why is it that wedge initials and other lettering are usually stamped “crooked?”

callawaygolf31 karma

When you're stamping by hand, most of the time if you try to stamp straight it’s going to look a little crooked. So it’s better to just go intentionally crooked because then if it looks crooked...that's because it's supposed to be crooked! (Got that?)

bearshitwoods9 karma

Do you get requested by the golfers? Is it similar to, say, tattoo work? Do they bring a design in to you and you tweek it a bit or do they just say they want a club and they take whatever you give them?

callawaygolf11 karma

Good question. Some players are now basically using my Instagram as a menu, if you will. They will be like "Hey, can you make me that one, but in green?" etc. But a majority of the time, they just say "make me something cool."

iamrobert_paulson7 karma

What wedges are in your bag? Can we see pics?

callawaygolf13 karma

I'm gaming MD4's: 45° (46 bent to 45), 50°, 55° (54 bent to 55), and 60°. Design wise: Skull & Crossbones and lots of stars. https://www.instagram.com/p/BfUnm4WBWWd/

TheRealExBattousai6 karma

Hi! Didn't know your work, big fan now! Question: I want to become an amateur golf club builder, mostly as a hobby. What are your suggestions? What do you think about single-lenght irons?

Thanks for being here!

callawaygolf25 karma

Not a big fan of the single length irons.

As far as club building and wedge personalization in particular, here's what I would recommend to get started at home:

Stamps: https://www.grainger.com/product/49VX10?cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!50916692157 (you can find cheaper ones, but try to go no larger than 1/8")

Paint: Callaway supplies me with an acryllic, but these Sharpie oil-based pens will also do the trick: https://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Oil-Based-Markers-Assorted-Metallic/dp/B003YDYO1Q

And then some sort of hard, flat surface to put your wedge on when you stamp it. Maybe put a little double-sided tape on the face so the wedge doesn't bounce around when you're stamping it.

Have fun!

chellavillage5 karma

Is there a way for me to order a customized wedge from you?

callawaygolf8 karma

I build a set of three wedges every month that are auctioned off for charity (here's this month's set: http://cmp.callawaygolf.com/2018/06/callaway-customs-tour-limited-usa-wedges/)

Other than that, not really unfortuntaely. You could customize wedges through Callaway Customs (http://www.callawaygolf.com/callawaycustoms) which is really cool, but I don’t personally build those.

BradleyPutters5 karma

Have you turned down a custom job because it was going to just be atrocious? If so, what was it?

callawaygolf10 karma

That doesn't happen too often, thankfully. Usually people have a very specific vision in mind, or they just say "make me something cool!"

If it's something terrible, I can usually talk them out of it...

Odie19415 karma

Do you think golfers with +20 handicaps and above are using too many wedges, as opposed to mastering a PW/SW combo?

callawaygolf29 karma

No. They're probably just not practicing.

Big_Booper4 karma

How'd you end up doing this? Do you enjoy golf?

callawaygolf12 karma

When I was first building clubs in the tour department at Callaway (about 12 years ago), they would ask a bunch of us to stamp wedges. They would ask us to stamp a few initials and paint the initials white…real basic stuff. But I always wanted to take it a step further so I started filling in the entire wedge, which wasn’t really accepted at the time just because no one had ever seen it. I was told to *only* do what’s on the orders. So I told the tour rep that if they wanted more color/creativity to write down “make it cool” on the order form this way it would give me more freedom.

And then, say about five years ago, I taped the back of a wedge and sandblasted a Swedish Cross on it. I took off the tape and there it was. It was definitely my aha moment, because I’ve never seen anything like that on a golf club. It opened up a whole new level of design. Logos, patterns, all that.

Oh and yes, I love golf and have been playing since I was 10! Currently a 4.9 index.

JustMrJones4 karma

Matte black, satin, chrome, copper. So many wedge finishes. What's your favorite to see down by the ball?

callawaygolf6 karma

I prefer matte black, mainly because the artwork pops on those the most. I don’t like raw wedges cuz they rust and there’s too much of a glare on chrome for me.

PraetorianAnser3 karma

What's the best/easiest way to remove paint fill on a wedge?

callawaygolf14 karma

Any paint stripper you can get at the big box stores. It’s highly toxic so do it outside and don’t win any Darwin awards.

BuckeyeSmithie3 karma

Why is it specifically only wedges? Maybe this is just my ignorance as a non-golfer, but couldn't the same customizations be done on all irons? And maybe even some woods and putters?

edit: spelling

Dr_Troutman2 karma

What is your favorite custom set you’ve ever done?

callawaygolf12 karma

Putting me on the spot! It might be these that I just recently made. Figured out how to evolve the sand blasting technique and start doing layers. Really happy with how these came out: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjIXm3Ghgjp/

DeadheadFlier2 karma

Hey Anthony, I’ve been following your Instagram for a long time now and it seems like your son is a pretty cool little grom. Is he interested in your work? It seems like a skill that would be passed down in the family, do you think he has any interest in taking over the reins one day?

callawaygolf14 karma

He pretends like he doesn't care but secretly I know it bugs the crap out of him that his dad has more Instagram followers than him :)

He's more into girls and skateboarding and Fortnite than he is stamping wedges. This one made him happy, though... https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi2V958B3Ll/

AlohaPig2 karma

Hey Anthony, your work is awesome. On average, how long do you spend completing a customization? What's the most rewarding part of the process for you?

callawaygolf5 karma

Thanks! For like a fully designed wedge that requires sand blasting, probably about a half hour depending on the artwork. Most rewarding part is seeing them happy with my designs, and seeing them do well or win tournaments with them.

laligaThrowIn2 karma

What do you use to prevent things from getting into the paint lines when drying? Is it just a covered surface or tape?

callawaygolf3 karma

I just keep it on my desk and out of the way. Typically nothing really gets into the paint when it's drying.

billionthtimesacharm2 karma

Anthony- Your work is unparalleled! Question: How many iterations do you typically create before you are completely satisfied with one of your custom wedges? What do you do with the versions that don’t make the final cut?

callawaygolf3 karma

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while something small will come out not looking right and I will have to scrap it and start over because it bugs me. Surprisingly I don’t mess up on stamping very often anymore, but if something is off on the artwork that I don’t like I will start over.

BradL_132 karma

Who has been the coolest non-pro golfer you have done personal work for? Who has been the biggest a-hole?

callawaygolf4 karma

It's always fun making wedges Mark Wahlberg. And Tommy Thayer...I've played golf with him before. He's an awesome guy. He even sent me this pic after he got his wedges: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYgqD5WjE4I/

taylored4you2 karma

Hey Anthony! When you're not making kickass wedges, do you ever find time to play golf? Curious what your favorite course in the SoCal area is.

callawaygolf6 karma

My kids are teenagers, one is always with his girlfriend and the other is always playing Fortnite. My wife just opened a pilates studio and is busy on Saturday mornings, so I love to get out and play Torrey Pines North course early on the weekends.

ProdigialFirestarter2 karma

Who are some of your favorite people you’ve worked with? I’ve always been fascinated by JT’s love of golf and how insanely good he is. Any good stories?

callawaygolf17 karma

Callaway Staffers like Michelle Wie and Sandra Gal are probably my favorite players to design for because I’ve been able to build up a relationship with them and they’re both so creative. Nothing is off the table. I prefer getting to know the golfers who I build for rather than just do a ton of one offs.

Best story is when I received a “double secret order” from St Andrews in Scotland. They said they had a very special guest coming to town soon and wanted to surprise him with three wedges. They wouldn’t tell me who it was but requested that I laser the Presidential Seal and stamp “POTUS” on them.

Turns out they were for President Obama, who actually signed one that now sits in the St Andrews clubhouse. https://www.instagram.com/p/BdgHuLGBbj5/

solarserpent1 karma

Forged or Cast? which is better to work with

callawaygolf3 karma

Forged for sure. The metal is softer so it’s easier to stamp.

m2323131 karma

How many daily requests do you get to stamp wedges?

callawaygolf6 karma

Through work, probably at least 5 different players per day. And then like another 15 a day from people on Instagram.

OliviaAndElliot1 karma

What kind of music do you listen to while working?

callawaygolf10 karma

I listen to a little bit of everything. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Pink Floyd. “Another Brick in the Wall” has been on repeat and inspired one of my latest wedge designs. Depeche Mode and the Cure have also been mixed into the rotation. https://www.instagram.com/p/BkHUEE7hwut/?taken-by=anthony.taranto

We also have a TV on the wall that's on Golf Channel 24/7.

Niall10111 karma

What type of paint do you use for paint fills and do you put anything over the paint?

callawaygolf3 karma

It’s an acrylic paint that Callaway supplies us with. They come in tiny bottles with needle tips to make it easy to get in those hard to reach places.

morty_mothballs1 karma

Being new to the sport, what sets Callaway apart from the competition?

callawaygolf7 karma

Hmmm, well let me put my marketing hat on for a second…two things immediately come to mind. Culture and technology. The culture we’ve created is really positive. Seems like most people enjoy coming to work and are all buying in the goals set by our CEO and senior leadership.

And our technology is second to none. I say this with utmost respect because I have a lot of friends in the industry but no other company is touching what our R&D team is engineering. Between Chrome Soft ball, Rogue metalwoods, Apex irons and MD4 wedges (obviously)…golfers are just going crazy for it all. I can’t remember a time since I’ve been at Callaway (I started in ’99) that there’s been more excitement with our products and company.

PixelGorilla1 karma

What’s the best lunch spot in Carlsbad?

callawaygolf4 karma

The Fairway Cafe, located conveniently inside Callaway Golf HQ at 2180 Rutherford Rd. In Carlsbad, CA.

HunterSChronson1 karma

Do you also work on any of the custom grinds for the tour guys? My lob is the most integral club in my bag so I'm always interested in what those guys are looking for and playing around with.

callawaygolf3 karma

Sure -- I do lots of grinding. A lot of players want a softer leading edge (so the blade doesn't dig into the ground) and extra heel relief so that when they open it up, it sits a little flatter.

ihatecats181 karma

Do you think keeping a piece of bread in a cookie jar helps retain freshness?

Also why cant I get the Mack Daddy high toe in a 54?

callawaygolf11 karma

Does a one-legged duck swim in a circle?

Stay tuned on the 54 degree PM-Grind. "Hi Toe" is a rip off :)