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Saturday, January 16, 2016

How Calloway Helped Boeing... and Vice Versa

There's an old saying in research circles that real progress only gets made when someone changes fields. What that means is that people get used to thinking in certain ways and, as a result, have trouble really seeing what the problem is. They just can't stop thinking about things in the same old way they've always done it. But when someone comes from another discipline and applies their way of thinking to the problem, it lets everybody see the problem in a new light.

Callaway XR16 driver

I'm forever looking for connections between golf and other seemingly unrelated activities. (And writing and other seemingly unrelated activities, and music and other seemingly unrelated activities, and ...) You never know when you might stumble onto a new way of seeing things that will give you new ideas.

Golf Digest posted this article about how Callaway and Boeing worked together developing the new XR16 drivers. What interested me most wasn't how Boeing helped Callaway with the design.

Rather, I was fascinated by how Boeing says the collaboration helped their engineers. Here's a short clip from the article:
The partnership with Callaway (or for that matter, any company outside the airline industry) on the design of a product is rare for Boeing, but was an interesting endeavor because it wasn’t a one-way proposition for Boeing. Used to multi-year time periods for researching a problem, the team at Boeing only had a few months to help the Callaway team.
Crouch [that's Jeffrey Crouch, senior technical fellow for flight sciences at Boeing] pointed to the way Callaway uses "prototyping and how it allows them to make pretty rapid decisions” as a valuable educational tool for his team, which included engineers Harrison Chau and Adam Clark.
You can read the article for yourselves; it's really quite interesting. But what I hope you get from it -- at the very least -- is the importance of being open to new approaches to your golf game. When you get stuck with something in your game, it's often because you get stuck in a mental rut. Sometimes all you need is a fresh look at the problem.

That's part of the reason why, when you get stuck trying to solve a problem, you're often advised to get away from the problem and do something else for a while. Then, when you come back to the problem, you see it with 'new eyes.'

It's all about fresh perspective. And since it's the start of a new year, when many of us are looking for fresh beginnings, that's something worth thinking about.

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