The PGA Tour season kicks off this week, and the first stop of the 2014-2015 season is the North Course at the Silverado Resort and Spa for the Frys.com Open. Hosting the event for the first time, the North Course has recently been renovated and lengthened to 7,203 yards to provide a stern test for the best players in the world.

While most of the field is seeing the course for the first time, many players agree that driving the golf ball well will be the key to success.

"I think it's important to hit it in the fairway because of the type of grasses and the rough. It's going to be difficult to control your ball out of the rough." Said Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood. "It's a very nice golf course to play and will be very challenging"

Titleist Brand Ambassador Tim Clark agrees with Lee's sentiments.

"It's a great golf course... it's going to reward good play, and if you struggle you're going to see that in the scores, too. It's a tough driving course and for me I feel like there's some really narrow holes out there"

To play well this week and get off to a fast start to the season, players will have to trust their their games, and their equipment.

Fast Fact: The last three Frys.com Open Champions have been Titleist golf ball loyalists. Bryce Molder (2011), Jonas Blixt (2012) and Jimmy Walker (2013) 

BY THE NUMBERS: 2014 Frys.com Open

 Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 92 players in the field trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That’s more than five times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist was also the top choice among players in the irons (39) and sand, lob and approach wedge (148) and putter (57) categories.


SHOTS AND SCENES

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker splits the 4th fairway with his 915F fairway metal.  Jimmy kicked off a remarkable 3-win campaign last season with his victory at the 2013 Frys.com Open.

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Bryce Molder,  the 2011 Frys.com Open champion, has his sights set on another fast start to kick off his 2014/2015 PGA TOUR season.

 Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood lofts a delicate chip onto the 5th green at Silverado CC.

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Tim Clark went flag hunting with this CB iron approach at the 6th hole during second round action.

 Jonas Blixt, the 2012 Frys.com Open champion puts a pure roll on his Pro V1x golf ball at the 16th hole at Silverado.

The “low checker,” the “skipper” or the “one hop and stop shot” – it has many names and it’s one shot that just about every golfer would love to add to their short game arsenal.

Seeing a ball stop on a dime next to the pin is a thrill every golfer wants to experience, and with the help of Titleist Staff Professional James Sieckmann, we can all learn how to hit this shot. 

James' keys to keeping the ball low, with a lot of spin in order to maximize control. 

>> Keep the hands close to the body with a lot of hinge on the take-away.

>> Stay on top of the ball during the backswing.

>> Shift your weight towards the target on the down swing. 

Take these tips to the practice range and check out the entire collection of 18 Shots videos by clicking on the image below. 

#TeamTitleist

We continue our exploration of the new technology and benefits featured in the 915 family of metals with a closer look at the Radial Speed Face design. We went behind the scenes to ask the experts and here is what they had to say… 

Working in combination with the Active Recoil Channel, the Radial Speed Face increases ball speed on off-center hits for more distance and more consistent speeds across the clubface.

The high-speed, variable thickness face insert has a central thick portion, but is thinner and organically tapered as you move out from center. During the development of 915, Titleist R&D identified specific areas on the face insert, particularly in the heel and toe, which could be thinned further to increase performance on off-center hits.

“Active Recoil Channel and the Radial Speed Face are two technologies that really work well together,” said Dan Stone, Vice President of Research and Development, Titleist Golf Clubs. “ARC does an excellent job increasing ball speeds overall, however, its biggest effect happens low on the club face where the channel is positioned. As you move off center and mishit heel or toe, that’s where the Radial Speed Face insert kicks in –you’re getting more flex in those areas which helps generate more speed.

“The speed consistency on heel and toe hits is one of the first things Tour players are noticing. They don’t hit it off-center too often, but when they do it’s often a pressure situation when they need forgiveness the most.”

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS

Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Mirim Lee won the second title of her rookie LPGA Tour season, firing a final round 5-under 69 to capture the Reignwood Classic by two shots with a 15-under-par 277 victory total.

Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Steve Lewton captured the Mercuries Taiwan Masters for his first Asian Tour title. Lewton closed with a 1-under-par 71 en route to a 5-under-par 283 victory total, two shots clear of his two nearest competitors.  

At the Arturo Calle Colombian Classic, Titleist Pro V1x Loyalist Nicholas Lindheim shot a final round 67, his third consecutive bogey-free round of the tournament, leading to a 19-under-par 269 victory total.  

TEAM TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS

With another three wins this week, Titleist’s year-to-date victory count advances to 140. That's more than four times the nearest competitor with 32 and more than all competitors combined.

In total, 19,783 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2014 worldwide professional tours, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 3,285 and more than all competitors combined.

THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD  |  WEEK ENDING September 21, 2014

TourEventTitleist Golf Ball PlayersNearest Competitor
LPGA Tour Reignwood LPGA Classic 60 7
Asian Tour Mercuries Taiwan Masters 74 18
PGA Tour Latino America Arturo Calle Colombian Classic 112 17

Being able to work the ball both ways allows golfers to find more fairways and reach more tucked pins, both helping to create scoring opportunities. In the most recent episode of 18 Shots, Titleist Staff Professional Mark Blackburn helps us understand how to consistently hit the power fade. Mark details three keys to hitting this shot.

>> Setup with the ball forward in the stance.

>> Rotate the upper body through impact.

>> Limit the motion of the hands on the down swing.

Try this tip out to help improve your game and be sure to check out the entire collection of 18 Shots videos below.

#TeamTitleist

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