Skip To Main Content
Katie Calderon grips a golf club that she has raised around her and behind her back.
Katie Calderon prepares for a powerful swing with her club. | Image: Courtesy of Katie Calderon.
Katie Calderon, a sophomore in the manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology (MMET) program in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University, is passionate about golf, engineering and empowering women. As a professional golfer and the founder of Club Girl Golf, Calderon's entrepreneurial spirit earned her the recognition of winning the Aggie PITCH 2023 Current Student Full Pitch award and a $7,500 prize. Her journey is a testament to her determination and resilience.
Calderon grew up in Los Angeles, where she discovered her love for golf.
At a young age, Calderon worked at a golf shop, starting as a cashier before moving into club repair and fitting, where she learned how to fix and optimize golf clubs. During this time, she realized she was the only woman working in fitting and that women's clubs were not designed to fit women's needs. Calderon and many of the women she fitted for were experiencing similar issues, resulting in them needing to buy men's clubs and get them customized, significantly increasing the price.
"I didn't want to upcharge for the clubs, but for the women to play their best, they had to pay more by customizing a club that wasn't designed for them, which was a big issue," Calderon explained. "And that's when I knew I wanted to build golf clubs. I reached out to different people in the industry who informed me that getting a degree in engineering is how to do that. So, I found a mentor — Preston Howard from Callaway Golf — and he's been coaching and encouraging me to get an engineering degree."
Katie Calderon presents at the Aggie PITCH event in front of a crowd. In the background, a screen reads: Women’s issues, 1. Weight, 2. Size/style, 3. Limited options.
Calderon, a confident entrepreneur, pitches her business idea with passion and conviction at the Aggie PITCH event, hoping to win the judges' approval and take her business to the next level. | Image: Courtesy of Katie Calderon.
Motivated by her own experiences and those of women golfers she met while working at the golf shop, Calderon launched a company that creates golf clubs designed specifically for women. She is committed to building a company that empowers women through golf and encourages them to pursue their passion for the sport. To achieve this goal, Calderon enrolled in the MMET program, where she can learn the skills she needs to make her vision a reality.
"I chose MMET because I wanted to learn what I needed to make my clubs and build my company," she said. "There are days when I'm working on things for my company, and I get stuck, and I go to class and learn exactly what I need to know to fix the issue."
Coming from an immigrant family that moved to the United States from El Salvador, Calderon deeply appreciates hard work and determination. Her father's entrepreneurial spirit and success inspire her, and she is determined to make her family proud by achieving her dreams. Through her passion for golf and engineering, she is paving the way for a brighter future for herself and her loved ones.
Katie Calderon holds a trophy in front of a backdrop with the Texas A&M University logo that reads: McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship.
Katie Calderon holds her trophy cup after winning the Aggie PITCH 2023 Current Student Full Pitch award. | Image: Courtesy of Katie Calderon.
"I want to go further than my dad did by pushing myself for my family because I want to take my company to a point where it can provide for and support them,” Calderon said.
Calderon intends to utilize the funds from the Aggie PITCH award to develop a functional prototype of her custom golf club, conduct thorough testing to ensure its effectiveness and elevate her business to the next level.
"The sport has given me so much in life; I wouldn't be where I am today without it. And I want to give back to the sport, which is why I started my company. Being able to pitch at Aggie PITCH and launching my business is my way of helping 'the next me,' or any other girl playing golf, to feel comfortable and play with equipment that works for them and to do more than I have with what I've been given."