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A First Shot to Remember

Dean Kain holes out his Pro V1x for an albatross "2" the first time he uses his new 909F2 fairway metal on the golf course.

Dean Kain

At Titleist we've received an amazing amount of positive feedback on our new 909 series golf clubs. Developed with input from tour and club professionals, better players and aspiring serious golfers, and ultimately validated by the best players on the planet on all the worldwide professional golf tours, the new 909 drivers, fairway metals and hybrids are the finest long game tools we have ever produced. But even we were amazed by the story shared with us by Dean Kain of Seattle, WA. Dean, 47, is a Director at Microsoft. He carries a 3 handicap out of famed Sahalee Country Club (host of the 1998 PGA Championship and future host of the 2010 U.S. Senior Open) where he's been a member for ten years. Dean, who says he has "played nothing but Titleist balls since I was 10 years old," also trusts his game to Titleist golf clubs. At the start of the season he decided to trade up from his 15.5-degree Titleist 906F2 fairway metal. Seeking a flatter flight and more distance on tight driving holes, Dean purchased a 13.5-degree 909F2 fairway metal with a Aldila VooDoo S-flex shaft. He received his new 3-metal just before a best-ball tournament at Sahalee on April 25.

Dean hit a couple of warm-up shots with the new club on the range, but he didn't quite know what to expect from the club - that is, not until the he reached the 2nd hole on Sahalee's North Course (Sahalee has 27 holes). The tournament had gone off under a shotgun start, so Dean had played twelve holes before arriving at the 2nd, a narrow, 530-yard, Par-5 that is lined on both sides with majestic, 120-foot-tall pines. Getting off to a slow start on the 55-degree day, Dean found himself 6-over after three holes. "Not much was happening," Dean explained. "I just couldn't get out of neutral." However, after a good drive with his 907D2 driver, Dean was hopeful that this, his thirteenth hole might prove lucky for him. He found his Pro V1x golf ball in the middle of the fairway, about 260 yards from a green that is distinguished by its size (roughly 4,000 sq. ft.) and a wide ridge that separates front and back tiers. On this day, the hole was cut in the extreme back right of the green, so only the top half of the pin was visible from the fairway. Dean's playing partners all laid up near the 100-yard range, but Dean decided to give the green a go, figuring,"What better way to christen a new 3-wood than going for a par-5 in two?"

Dean felt solid feedback at impact. The ball took off on a boring trajectory and never left the pin. Seeing the line of Dean's shot, his playing partners abandoned their own pre-shot routines and ran up toward the green, hoping the team might have an eagle opportunity. Dean's friend Craig Bruya was the first to crest the ridge in the green. He reappeared a moment later, whooping excitedly. Dean had holed out the first on-course shot he had played with his new 909F2.

"I knew I had flushed it as soon as the ball took off," Dean described. "I mark my Pro V1x with three red dots and I remember looking at the face of the club shortly after the shot and seeing one red smudge right in the dead-center of the brand-new clubface. It was great visual evidence to go with the awesome feel of the shot."

The albatross (a score of net-1 for the team) helped turn around an otherwise ordinary round. Dean finished at a very-respectable 4-over-par for the day and the team tied for 7th net overall at 13-under. We asked Dean about the drink protocol for an albatross at Sahalee and learned that the members all contribute $1 a month to a hole-in-one kitty that also covers double-eagles. When a member scores an ace or double-eagle they win the kitty and get to host a celebratory party with ten friends. We can only assume that Dean's 909F2 will be on the guest list.

We also asked if Dean had any temptation to retire the 909F2. "No way," he replied. "I did retire the Pro V1x I used, but I think the 909F2 has too many good shots left in it to just put it on a shelf."

For our last question, we asked Dean where the albatross ranks among his golf memories. "At the top. No doubt. I had a couple of holes-in-one back when I was 19, but never an albatross. So, bottom line, thanks for making a club that will be part of a great story I can tell over and over again."

Thank you for sharing your great story, Dean. Continued good luck from all your friends at Titleist!

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