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Miracle on the Hudson

Six survivors of USAir Flight 1549 visit Acushnet test facility in preparation for "Mulligan" trip.

Fairhaven, MA (April 20, 2009) –On January 15, six golfing buddies from Chicopee, Massachusetts took part in what had become a yearly ritual to briefly escape the harsh New England winter and enjoy a few days of golf in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On the drive to LaGuardia Airport in New York, they received word that their flight had been cancelled due to bad weather. Not looking forward to the prospect of an 11-hour drive, they scrambled to make alternative arrangements. They thought they caught a lucky break when a USAir ticket agent found them six seats on an Airbus A320 that was departing shortly for Charlotte. As USAir Flight 1549 left the runway, none of them could know that they were about to endure a near-tragic ordeal that would find them standing on the wings of an abandoned aircraft, slowing sinking into the icy water of the Hudson River.

Massachusetts Survivors of USAir Flight 1549
Rob Kolodjay, Rick Delisle, Dave Carlos, Jorge Morgado, Jeff Kolodjay and Jim Stefanik
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Jim Stefanik, Assistant Golf Professional at Edgewood Golf Course in Southwick, Massachusetts tests some drivers

The heroic actions of Captain Chesley Sullenburger and his crew captivated the nation and will forever be known as "The Miracle on the Hudson". What could have been disastrous instead became a source of inspiration. Every one of the 155 passengers on board that day survived. For the six friends from Chicopee - Jim Stefanik, Jeff Kolodjay, Rob Kolodjay, Jorge Morgado, Dave Carlos and Rick Delisle - it was a life-changing experience.

Rob Kolodjay dials in his wedges with Titleist Tour Consultant Fordie Pitts

Shortly after the emergency landing, and once the media blitz had subsided, the Chamber of Commerce in Myrtle Beach and Legends Resort teamed up to offer the guys a rain-check on the trip they had missed. Stefanik is an assistant club professional at Edgewood GC in Southwick, MA and a loyal Titleist and FootJoy account. We reached out to Jim and invited him and his group to visit our facility for a complete fitting session.


Titleist Player Research Rep Alex Stimpson discusses launch conditions with Jorge Morgado

We split the guys into groups of two and rotated them through three custom fitting areas. Tour Consultant Jeff Beyers and Player Research Representative Alex Stimpson custom-fit each player for Titleist and Cobra drivers and fairway metals.   Tour Consultant Fordie Pitts and Player Research Supervisor Karen Gray conducted Titleist and Cobra iron and hybrid fittings for each player. And Player Research Representative Jim 'Bubba' Kroeger precision-fit each player to Vokey Design wedges. The custom clubs for each player will find homes in new Titleist stand bags.

After their fittings, spirits were high and the six friends were gracious enough to share their stories with us. We hope you find it as inspiring as we did. Please click on the video players above to launch each of the four short videos.

For more information, please also click here to read an account of the day from Jim McCabe of Golf Week, and click here for an article by Don Cuddy of The Standard Times.


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