“How do you test a golf ball?”

It’s a fairly straightforward question but as you can imagine, when your focus is designing and developing the #1 ball in golf there are countless paths and roads that the journey to finding the answer will take. However, the one constant is that this journey always starts with the golfer.

And our player research team is on the front lines of this mission each and every day. From traveling around the globe to test prototypes with golfers of every skill level to hitting thousands of golf balls to record launch conditions, this team plays a critical role in the golf ball R&D process.

Collecting the launch condition data and working with golfers to understand how they are approaching impact is essential to developing the tests that will help guide product development.

“Whatever launch condition we achieved with the players we want to try and replicate that with a robot,” said Product Testing Manager Rich Daprato.

“Because of the repeatability of the robot we can test large amounts of samples and get real tight data groups.”

Armed with the data, the robots get to work on specific tests but then the journey comes back full circle as product validation is only achieved after extensive player testing.

“We want to know who you are and why you love the game and how we can make products that perform best for you,” said Player Research Supervisor Karen Gray.

So how do you a test a golf ball?

It’s a long process that involves a lot of people and best-in-class technology but most importantly, it begins and ends with the golfer.

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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. 

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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.

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