In golf terms, Callaway (NYSE:ELY) didn't land on the green, but still wound up a few strokes better than par. Putting up a wider fourth-quarter loss on a 19% uptick in sales, the company's bottom-line shortcoming was still $0.03 a share ahead of earlier projections.

While a Big Bertha under the tree may convey images of either festive gift-giving over the holidays or a blue fetish film, the fourth quarter is actually not Callaway's strongest quarter. The company's seasonality comes into play when the weather is warmer and the golf courses are more inviting. The $147 million in sales that it registered in the December period is actually just 19% of the $814 million it generated in revenue over the course of the year.

It's easy to see why Callaway may not be on your investing radar. The stock is trading essentially for what it was fetching nine years ago. That came at a time when Callaway was revolutionizing the golfing industry with its oversized golf clubs. However, despite its trials and tribulations as it fought through operating slumps and battled cheaper knockoffs, it's still a quality brand that can't be ignored.

Golf can be good business. Anyone who caught this week's episode of The Apprentice on General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC learned about Big Bertha's generous retailer markups as contestants tried to haggle down the price of Callaway clubs.

The company is looking to earn between $1.15 and $1.30 a share this year, before accounting for a $0.33 per-share charge from its acquisition of Top Flite, the world's largest golf ball manufacturer. Revenue should top the billion-dollar mark, growing by 27%.

As a storied brand with a line of sporting goods product folks are willing to pay a premium for -- like Nike (NYSE:NKE) -- an improving economy will also work wonders for Callaway's swing. Things should get better now. That rough patch of grass? It's in the past.

Got game? What's your favorite brand of golf clubs? What's the secret to the perfect swing? What are green fees exactly and do they anger environmental groups? All this and more -- in the Foolish Golf Tips discussion board. Only on