Titleist is #1 at 2012 PGA Tour Opener

The 2012 PGA Tour season officially teed off this week in Hawaii with a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball soaring down the first hole of the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Bryce Molder (Pro V1x) and Pro V1x loyalist Michael Bradley, the first group out of the gates Friday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, are two of 23 Titleist golf ball players in the elite 27-player field made up of winners from the 2011 PGA Tour season.

Titleist is also the favorite across every major golf club category: Drivers (13); fairway woods (12); hybrids (9); iron sets (14); sand, lob and approach wedges (38); and putters (14).

 Other Titleist Brand Ambassadors teeing it up this week include: Reigning FedEx Cup champ Bill Haas (Pro V1x), Steve Stricker (Pro V1x), Webb Simpson (Pro V1x), Nick Watney (Pro V1x), Gary Woodland (Pro V1), Chris Kirk (Pro V1x), Brendan Steele (Pro V1x), Scott Stallings (Pro V1x), Kevin Na (Pro V1x) and Ben Crane (Pro V1x).

Pro V1 loyalists K.J. Choi, David Toms and Scott Piercy are also in the field, as well as Pro V1x loyalists Mark Wilson, Bubba Watson, Harrison Frazar, D.A. Points, Martin Laird, Aaron Baddeley, Johnson Wagner and Jonathan Byrd, who won last year's event in a playoff.

In total, 33 of the 44 PGA Tour events played last season were won by Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players, with 17 Titleist Brand Ambassadors combining to win 20 times.

Titleist golf balls were played by more players (21,533) and totaled more victories (175) around the world in 2011 than any other competing golf ball.

Sneak Preview: Scotty Cameron Select

Earlier today, Scotty Cameron sent along the following note to share with Team Titleist. We're pretty excited to see what's in store for 2012 – aren't you?

As we progress into a new year, my focus has narrowed and my attention to detail has become keener. I’ve been working on something new, putters that move me and excite me. Milled creations that encompass the design aesthetics developed from over two decades of putter making.

This spring, I’ll introduce Scotty Cameron Select. Dark, bold and mysterious. Sleeker and better in every way.

With this line, I wanted to create my most modern putters to date, but retain the classic style and timeless designs upon which my brand has been built. The putter is the golfer’s instrument to create measurable success on every hole.

With the Select line, I’m confident that you’ll be putting with the finest milled putters I can possibly make to inspire success in your game.

I've put together a special sneak preview for Team Titleist in the slideshow below.

– Scotty

While the highlight reels will focus most on the season's most incredible shots and dramatic victories, 2011 was a year dominated by consistency.

Exceptionally-steady and successful seasons from players such as Luke Donald, Yani Tseng, Webb Simpson and Rory McIlroy took center stage during a season in which Titleist further solidified its position as the #1 ball in golf.

Titleist golf balls were played by more players and totaled more victories around the world in 2011 than any other competing golf ball.

 A total of 21,533 players relied on Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls in competitions last season across the worldwide professional tours, more than six times the nearest competitor with 3,485 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist players also combined for 175 wins in those same events, nearly 150 more than the nearest competitor with 27 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist was also the overwhelming favorite at every one of golf's major amateur championships - including last summer's U.S. Amateur Championship, where 251 players put their trust in Titleist golf balls, more than 10 times the nearest competitor with 24. (Titleist was also the tee-to-green favorite across every major golf club category.)

With the first official swings of 2012 only a few days away, let's take a quick look back at the highlight reel from the last 12 months:

Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald became the first player in history to top both the PGA Tour money list and European Tour's Race to Dubai, a feat many members of the golf media have suggested will never happen again. The top-ranked player in the world, Luke won twice on both tours and finished in the top 10 in 20 of his 26 events played, including 10 top-3s and 13 top-5s.

He finished worse than 20th just three times the entire season, earning over $14 million and earning at least 150 more world ranking points than anyone else. On the PGA Tour, no one averaged less bogeys per round (2.01) than Luke.

 • Rarely a week went by in 2011 without Yani Tseng spending a week in the winner's circle. Yani totaled 11 victories across the worldwide pro tours (12 including her recent victory at the Swinging Skirts invitational event in Taiwan), including seven LPGA wins and two major championships (Wegmans LPGA Championship, Ricoh Women's British Open).

As one golf writer said, it was the "Year of Yani." Her goal for 2012? "Win 12 or 13  I guess," Yani said, smiling. "I just want to keep working hard and trying to get better."

• The season's biggest breakout star? Easy: Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson, who just never left the leader board.

Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag of Titleist equipment, Webb wracked up 21 top-25 finishes in 26 starts on the PGA Tour, including his first pair of victories. Webb also finished the season No. 1 in the PGA Tour's All-Around Ranking statistic, which totals a player's rank in eight statistical categories (Greens in Regulation, Sand Saves, Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, Scoring Leaders, Putting Leaders, Eagle Leaders and Birdie Leaders).

After starting 2011 at No. 208 in the World Rankings, Webb currently sits 10th and amongst the world's elite.

• Perhaps the most underrated performance of the year came from new Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley, who became just the sixth player in history to bypass Q-School and go straight from college to the PGA Tour.

Bud, a former All-American at Alabama, began his professional career by making the cut and finishing T-63 at the U.S. Open at Congressional. Trusting a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, Bud made six of his next seven cuts on the PGA Tour, including two top-four finishes and five top-24s. He earned $735,150 and finished the equivalent of 114th on the money list. Players who finished in the top 125 on the PGA Tour Money List as non-members become exempt Tour members for the following season.

 • There was no more dominant a performance than Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy's eight-shot victory at the U.S. Open at Congressional.

Playing a Pro V1x golf ball and bag full of Titleist equipment, Rory set or tied 12 tournament records while posting rounds of 65-66-68-69 to finish at 16 under (268), the lowest score in the U.S. Open's 110-year history.

At 22 years, 1 month and 5 days, Rory also became the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.

Rory closed out 2011 with a pair of victories at Shanghai Masters and UBS Hong Kong Open. Rory used new Titleist MB (712 Series) irons and Vokey Design SM4 wedges in both wins, having added the new Titleist equipment to his bag after a fitting session at the Dunhill Links Championship in October.

• The new Titleist AP1, AP2, MB and CB (712 Series) irons made their debut on Monday of the PGA Tour's AT&T Classic in late June.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Nick Watney picked up his set of new AP2 irons on Tuesday, hitting them for the first time in a light drizzle on the range at Aronimink Golf Club.

Five days later, Nick and his new AP2 irons were in the winner's circle. Over his final 27 holes, he made 10 birdies, one eagle and zero bogeys, posting a final-round 4-under 66 for a 13-under 267 total and two-shot victory. It was his second win of the year, following his win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

• In total, 33 of the 44 PGA Tour events played this season were won by Titleist golf ball players, with 17 Titleist Brand Ambassadors combining to win 20 times. And it was no different across the worldwide professional tours, with Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players winning the overwhelming majority events on the European (21), Nationwide (16), Champions (15), LPGA (15), Asian (12), Sunshine (16), OneAsia (7), Australasian (10), Korean (7), Canadian (9) and China (4) tours.

• The lasting image from the 2011 PGA Tour season has to be Titleist Brand Ambassador Bill Haas standing with one foot in the water to the left of East Lake's 17th green during a sudden-death playoff at the Tour Championship, his Vokey Design Spin Milled 60•E wedge waggling over a half-submerged Pro V1x golf ball.

 You all know what happened next: Bill's Vokey wedge splashed down and his Pro V1x golf ball floated out of the lake, landed 3 feet past the hole, spun and stopped. He tapped in for par to halve the hole and extend the playoff, eventually propelling him to victories in both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup Playoffs.

"I won't forget it," said Bill, who also made a remarkable up-and-down from the right side of the 18th green to have the first playoff hole, sinking a downhill, bending 12-footer for par. "That's for sure."

• Other fantastic finishes burned into our memory: Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker's 72nd hole at the John Deere Classic, as well as Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings' 72nd and 73rd holes at the Greenbrier Classic.

Tied for the lead on the par-4 18th at at TPC Deere Run, Steve stood over his approach shot on a downslope in the left fairway bunker, one foot in the sand and one foot in the grass. He pulled his Titleist AP2 6-iron and picked his Pro V1x golf ball clean, launching it over the left water hazard to the back fringe, 25 feet and 3 inches from the hole. He rolled in the putt to avoid a playoff and earn a one-shot victory.

Scott's comeback victory featured eight birdies over his final 11 holes Sunday at The Old White TPC Course, as well as four storybook shots to close out the tournament.

On the tee at the 169-yard par-3 18th hole at the end of final round, Scott stood over his Pro V1x golf ball with his new Prototype Titleist AP2 (712 Series) 9-iron in his hands, knowing he needed a birdie to get into a three-way playoff. He sent his Pro V1x sailing just left of the flag, the ball landing 5 feet from the hole. Scott made the putt, signed his card and then headed back to the 18th tee for the playoff.

Again, Stallings struck his AP2 9-iron perfectly, his Pro V1x slamming down on the green 7 feet left of the flag. He dropped the putt, and then his putter, raising his arms in the air to celebrate his first PGA Tour victory.

• There was a broken record of breakthrough victories for Titleist players, actually. See: Gary Woodland (Transitions Championship), Brendan Steele (Valero Texas Open), Rickie Fowler (Korea Open) and Kevin Na (Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open).

• Not to mention Pro V1x loyalist Stacy Lewis and Pro V1 loyalist So Yeun Ryu, each of whom who made their first LPGA victory a major championship.

Stacy won the Kraft Nabisco Championship
, closing with a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory at the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club; Ryu won the U.S. Women's Open in a three-hole playoff, rolling in her Pro V1 for birdies on the final two holes. Combined with Yani Tseng's pair of majors, Titleist golf ball players swept the LPGA's four major championships in 2011.

• Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players also won three senior majors this year.

Pro V1 loyalist Tom Lehman won his first senior major at The Tradition for one of three victories in 2011. He also won the Charles Schwab Cup and was named the Champions Tour's Player of the Year.

Tom Watson (Pro V1) won the Senior Players Championship and Russ Cochran (Pro V1x) took home the Senior Open Championship.

 • Multiple winners?

There were multiple: Luke Donald (Pro V1x), Lee Westwood (Pro V1x), Rory McIlroy (Pro V1x), Nick Watney (Pro V1x), Webb Simpson (Pro V1x), Steve Stricker (Pro V1x), Mark Wilson (Pro V1x), K.J. Choi (Pro V1), Bubba Watson (Pro V1x), Kyung-Tae Kim (Pro V1x), Greg Chalmers (Pro V1x), SoonSang Hong (Pro V1x), Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (Pro V1x), KyunNam Kang (Pro V1x), Kurt Barnes (Pro V1x), Jean Hugo (Pro V1x), Tom Lehman (Pro V1), Yani Tseng (Pro V1x), and Brittany Lincicome (Pro V1x).

• At PGA Tour Q-School, 20 of the 27 players that earned 2012 PGA Tour cards trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Seung-yul Noh (Pro V1x), Bobby Gates (Pro V1x), Jarrod Lyle (Pro V1x), Will Claxton (Pro V1x) and Mark Anderson (Pro V1x). And it was the same story at the LPGA and European Tour Q-Schools, with the majority of graduates relying upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Fifteen Nationwide Tour players also trusted Titleist to 2012 PGA Tour promotions, including Titleist Brand Ambassador Erik Compton. Erik, a two-time heart transplant recipient, wrapped up his card early in the summer with a victory at the Mexico Open that included a final-round 65.

He'll start his PGA Tour career next week in Hawaii. Aloha!

Vale Ramsay McMaster

 Acushnet Australia extends its deepest sympathy to the McMaster family for the sudden loss of Ramsay.  He was a pioneer in his field, a great friend to Titleist and the Titleist Perfomance Institute, and a contributor to the development of golf in Australia and around the world.  He will be sorely missed.

Video: Webb Simpson's Practice Routine

How best to describe Webb Simpson's 2011 PGA Tour season?

Let's just call it an all-around great year. Literally.

While most people will remember Webb's season for his pair of victories (Wyndham Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship) and his first Presidents Cup appearance, Team Titleist was even more impressed by his consistency.

Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag of Titleist equipment, Webb finished the season No. 1 in the PGA Tour's All-Around Ranking statistic, which totals a player's rank in eight statistical categories (Greens in Regulation, Sand Saves, Driving Distance, Driving Accuracy, Scoring Leaders, Putting Leaders, Eagle Leaders and Birdie Leaders).

All of that also added up to 21 top-25 finishes in 26 starts, including a pair of wins and three runner-up finishes, as well as a monumental jump to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Recently, Webb spoke with Team Titleist about his practice routines and how amateur golfers should best use their practice time, which you can watch in the above video.

And remember, you can keep track of your scores and key golf stats in Team Titleist's 'My Game' section, accessible via the left hand navigation bar on this page.

1 2