COLLEGE STATION, Texas — From what started out as a passion for golf, to millions of viewers on TikTok,
One Texas A&M Sports Engineering student has spent the summer in the Golden State of California to showcase her passion for the dynamics behind the game of golf: meet Katie Calderon.
“I feel like the way I got to where I am is by asking questions and reaching out to people like: “Hey, you have this job that I really want - what do you do?” Odds are someone is going to respond to you if you send enough [emails] out and then figuring out how I can do it myself.” Said Texas A&M Junior Katie Calderon.
What started just for fun, has now garnered millions of views on TikTok page. Calderon says it was a bit surprising.
“It kind of all started as a joke.” Said Calderon. “I had a friend, and she was making TikTok’s and she got a couple hundred views and it was so cool. I said, “maybe let me see if I can do that,” then the first post I posted got over 100,000 views.” Said Calderon.
As she noticed her popularity on the social media platform, Calderon knew she needed to keep growing her golfing audience.
“When I really started posting the stuff with building putters, people were all over it and asking tons of questions and I would post many videos answering, not realizing I had grown an audience over all this.” Explained Calderon.
With the support of professors like Bjorn Bangstein at Texas A&M, he says students like Calderon and other Aggie Engineers can turn their passions into careers.
“Texas A&M is looking for not only graduating engineers to be doers you also want them to be innovators and I think that Katie has had a huge impact on other students around her.” Said Professor Bangstein.
While Calderon is only a junior in college, she is getting one step closer to accomplishing her dream with an even bigger opportunity.
This summer she was accepted into an internship with The Callaway Golf Company in California.
The Senior Manager of Putters and Wedges at Callaway Golf, Patrick Dawson says Katie brings a lot of talent from The Lone Star State, especially with her Presence on TikTok.
“I told her from the start, you aren’t coming here as an intern just to post to videos, we want you for your engineering mind but if you post on the side that’s great.” Explained Dawson. “We have kind of engaged with [Calderon’s TikTok], worked with it and it has worked out really well. There Is definitely an appetite out there for people who want to see what it takes to design golf clubs.” Said the Callaway Senior Manager of Putters and Wedges.
Calderon says while she plans to continue to build a following on social media, she truly believes the future of sports engineering starts with 3D printing.
“A 3D printed putter would not cost the same as a normal metal putter, it definitely allows one, to open up the sport to a lot more people and two, to cut down costs on supply chain issues.”