CHICOPEE, Mass. (Feb. 16)—Spalding Sports Worldwide is laying claim to the title of No. 1 golf ball company in the U.S. Based on data from Golf Datatech, an independent golf research company, U.S. golfers bought an estimated 11.7 million dozen Strata and Top-Flite golf balls last year at four major retail channels. Spalding said it met the challenge of new competitors entering the marketplace—most notably Callaway and Nike—by improving its balls technologically, and promoting them with a $33 million marketing campaign. For 2001, Spalding plans an $18 million multimedia marketing campaign for the Strata brand alone. Spalding´s sales of golf equipment is estimated to have exceeded $260 million last year.