Originally created 12/10/97

Callaway to speak at banquet

Ely Callaway, the founder of Callaway Golf, and Bobby Jones, the co-founder of the Masters Tournament and the Augusta National Golf Club, will stand side by side in early January.

Callaway, a Georgia native, will be the guest speaker for the 10th Georgia Golf Hall of Fame induction banquet on Jan. 10 at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel. He is also sponsoring the Bobby Jones sculpture, which will be unveiled during the ceremony. Callaway and Jones, who died in 1971, were second cousins.

Star LPGA golfer Nancy Lopez, Senior PGA Tour member DeWitt Weaver and golf course developer Bill Roquemore will be inducted during the banquet.

"We do think that Ely will draw a big crowd," said Michelle Sizemore, the marketing and special events coordinator for the Golf Hall of Fame. "That's nice considering it's our 10th annual ceremony."

The Jones sculpture is being done by Zenos Frudakis of Philadelphia, the same sculptor who did the Arnold Palmer sculpture that stands in the circle in front of the Radisson. A spot for the Jones sculpture has not been determined since it must be placed indoors to prohibit weathering. It will be the only sculpture inside when the Hall opens within the next few years.

The Hall is scheduled to be built on Riverwalk between 10th and 13th streets. Clearing of the land for the attraction is ongoing.

A sculpture of Ben Hogan was unveiled at last year's banquet and stands on the upper level of Riverwalk behind the Radisson. A sculpture of 1976 Masters champion Raymond Floyd was unveiled during last April's Masters and is placed on the upper level of Riverwalk in front of the Jessye Norman Ampitheater.

Sculptures of Jack Nicklaus and Byron Nelson are scheduled to be unveiled sometime next spring, possibly during Masters Week, Sizemore said.

Callaway's interest in Georgia and Jones stems from growing up in LaGrange, Ga. Callaway, 77, graduated from Emory University in Atlanta in 1940 and has built Callaway Golf into one of the most successful golf club manufacturing companies in the world.

Callaway was previously expected to be even more prominent in the Hall of Fame. In January 1995, the Georgia Hall and Callaway announced that Callaway would sponsor a $1.25 million, 4,000-foot interactive high-tech theater, to be developed at Callaway's plant in Carlsbad, Calif., and used as a centerpiece for the Hall. However, Hall officials said Tuesday that the deal was never finalized, but still could come through since the two parties are still negotiating.

In other Hall news, Ted Sprague is no longer on board as executive director. Sizemore said that Sprague's contract was not renewed at the end of October, partially because he was spending time on other projects in the Atlanta area and could not devote his full efforts to the Hall. Sprague announced the theater deal with Callaway at the 1995 banquet. Sizemore said that an area group is now organizing fund-raising for the Hall. Two calls to Sprague on Tuesday were not immediately returned.


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