Behind the Bag: Ben Callaway

Monday, January 9, 2023

By Jacob Arvidson

The popularized video segment known as an “In the Bag” has given fans a look into what their favorite pros are carrying around on the course. 

You might catch a glimpse of their putter and the two backups they carry, or get a few extra seconds to stare at their favorite driver as they relive an important shot with you, but the insight usually ends there. You never get to hear about the specific runs, plastic types of certain discs, or what makes the stamps so sentimental to certain players. 

Some players have one-of-a-kind runs, others have interesting acquisitions stories and a few carry discs with extreme financial value. We’ve taken the time to speak with several top pros in our “Behind the Bag” series to reveal the stories that fans care about.

Next up: Ben Callaway (Also check out our Get to Know Ben Callaway blog)

Putt and Approaches

Callaway Jawbreaker Glo Zone - Of the numerous discs in his bag with the “Callaway” name on it, this one is by far the most thrown. Callaway went as far as to call it his “favorite”. Despite the high praise, he didn’t carry a baseline plastic Zone until the summer of 2022 when his Jawbreaker Glo run was released before the Great Lakes Open. “I always questioned the point of throwing a Zone that had a base plastic that would beat in immediately,” Callaway said. “Little did I realize that when it starts to beat in, it has a beautiful flight. Not only does it have a beautiful flight, but it also still has the dependable Zone fade.” Now Callaway has become a believer and he bags two of his signature Jawbreaker Glo Zones.

Putter Line Roach - Flag stamp
Ledgestone Edition Callaway Z Metallic Roach
Ledgestone Edition Z Sparkle Zone

Midranges

Paul McBeth First Run ESP 4-claw BuzzzPaul McBeth First Run ESP 4-claw Buzzz - This run of Buzzzes is widely considered to be one of the most valuable and collectable group of discs on the market. Callaway needed some Buzzzes in 2019 which just so happened to be the same time Paul McBeth made his historic move from Innova to Discraft. He grabbed a handful of the 4-claws because they were readily available. Collectability and value had no impact on Callaway. It’s either throwable or it’s not. “I had no idea what the value would be,” he said. “Personally, I don’t care about buying discs or markup value at all. I don’t really resell frisbees. As soon as I got those discs I started throwing them. As long as it’s flying well for me, and I can trust it, that’s all I care about.” His trusty, yellow 4-claw Buzzz has been a stalwart in his bag ever since he pulled it off the shelf in 2019.

Ledgestone Edition Big Z Nebula - Despite being an out-of-production mold, Callaway fell in love with the 2022 Ledgestone release of this overstable midrange. His Buzzzes were seasoned to the point that they were flying almost too straight, and he couldn’t find that extra stability anywhere. “There aren’t too many midranges with a tick more stability than the Buzzz,” he said. “You have the Malta and the Wasp and the Drone, but all of those are way too overstable. I wanted a more overstable Buzzz with more glide and the Nebula fit that exact slot.”

Fairway Drivers

Ben Callaway's CryZtal RaptorCryZtal Raptor - The Raptor was first run in CryZtal plastic in late 2019. Callaway bags one of those early Raptors. It sports the first half of the old-school Discraft logo, with a disc curving backwards into a basket as the “D”, and the second half of Discraft’s modern logo. It might be the most valuable disc in his whole bag. “When people see the stamp, and they see the plastic, and they see how small of a rim it is, they know it’s a Raptor and they know that it’s a very limited run and a highly sought after disc,” Callaway said. Paul McBeth even took the time to sign this particular Raptor for Callaway which you can see just above the “R” and the “A” in the stamp.

Callaway CryZtal Glo Raptor
First Run Athena
2022 Callaway ESP Tour Series Undertaker|
Big Z Anax
Paul McBeth ESP Anax
Paul McBeth Avenger SS

Distance Drivers

Ben Callaway's Z NukeZ Nuke - At the 2021 Dynamic Disc Open, Callaway often reached for his Z Nukes to battle the Kansas wind. One of those Nukes (a stock blue one) had been acquired from a friend only two months prior and had done nothing but cost Callaway strokes when he threw it. After hitting the flagpole early on Hole 18 at Jones Gold during Round 2, Callaway needed to do something special from over 550 feet away in order to have a chance at the lead moving into Round 3. He decided to give the blue Z Nuke one more chance and it resulted in one of the shots of the year (watch the video from Jomez here). “After that shot, it made the bag,” he said. “I’ve been throwing that disc for two years now and it’s a highly reliable disc.”

First Run Z Punisher
Z Force

2022 Champions

Missy Gannon
Ricky Wysocki


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Highlights
Previous Champions
  • 2021: C Heimburg/R Wysocki, Paige Pierce
  • 2020: Catrina Allen, Ricky Wysocki
  • 2019: Paul McBeth, Paige Pierce
  • 2018: Nate Sexton, Jessica Weese
  • 2017: Josh Anthon, Valarie Jenkins
  • 2016: Catrina Allen, Paul McBeth
  • 2015: Catrina Allen, Simon Lizotte
  • 2014: Catrina Allen, Nikko Locastro
  • 2013: Catrina Allen, Devan Owens
  • 2012: Sarah Hokom, Nikko Locastro
  • 2011: Al Hermosillo
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