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Posted: January 26, 2015
Titleist Brand Ambassador Bill Haas charged back to the winner's circle on Sunday, claiming his second career Humana Challenge title. Haas relied on solid driving, accurate iron play and a deft putting touch to post a 22-under 266 total, good for a one-shot victory in the California desert.
Let's take a closer look at Haas's winning setup from this past week.
WHAT'S IN BILL HAAS'S BAG
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x golf ball Driver: Titleist 915D2 driver (8.5º) w/Aldila Rogue X shaft Fairway: Titleist 915F fairway metal (13.5º) w/Mitsubishi Dimana Blue S+ 80 TX shaft Fairway: Titleist 915F fairway metal (18.0º) w/Mitsubishi Dimana Blue S+ 80 TX shaft Irons: Titleist AP 714 irons (3-PW) w/Nippon NS Pro Proto X shafts Wedges: Vokey Design SM5 sand (54º) and lob (60º) wedges w/True Temper Dynamic Golf X100 shafts Putter: Scotty Cameron 303 GSS
The front page of the Humana Challenge leaderboard was flush with Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists, and it was Bill Haas who sat alone at the top after the final putt fell on Sunday.
Haas closed with a 5-under par 67 en route to a 22-under par 266 victory total, one shot clear of five players, including fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Charley Hoffman (New Pro V1x, 915D2 driver, 915F fairway metal, 913Hd hybrid, MB 714 irons, Vokey Design SM5 pitching, approach, sand and lob wedges, Scotty Cameron GoLo 5 putter), as well as Titleist golf ball loyalists Sung-Joon Park (New Pro V1x), Brendan Steele (Pro V1x) and Steve Wheatcroft (Pro V1x).
Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas (Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 915 Fd fairway metal, 913 Hd hybrid, MB irons, Vokey SM5 pitching, approach, sand and lob wedges, Scotty Cameron Super Rat putter), who fired a 9-under par 63 on Friday, finished in a three-way tie for seventh. The PGA TOUR rookie finished T-6 at last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Erik Compton (Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 915Fd fairway metal, 915 Hd hybrids, MB irons, Vokey SM5 approach, sand and lob wedges, Scotty Cameron prototype putter) rounded out the top-10 with his T-10 finish.
“It's definitely a relief,” Haas said after the tournament, his first event since the WGC-HSBC Champions in China back in November. “Any kind of a win is unbelievable.”
With the win, Haas has now tallied six PGA Tour career wins including another Humana Challenge title back in 2010.
A few keys that helped Haas to victory this week would be his success in hitting the green and then converting the putts when he got there. Haas finished T-3 in Greens in Regulation (77.8%) and 4th in Strokes Gained Putting.
Runner-up Charley Hoffman was firing on all cylinders off the tee with a 301.8 yard average drive, but more importantly, he was finding the fairway 77.8% of the time, finishing T-5 in Driving Accuracy. Justin Thomas was T-1 in Birdies with 26 in 72 holes. He also finished 2nd in Driving Distance with a 310.6 average (including a 337 yard blast) and T-4 in Putts Per Greens in Regulation (1.566).
TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS:
In total, 1,144 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2015 worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 229 and more than all competitors combined.
With two wins this week, Titleist’s victory count in the young 2015 season advances to 9, compared to 5 for the nearest competitor and more than all competitors combined.
THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD | WEEK ENDING January 25, 2015
Posted: January 23, 2015
The PGA Tour is in California this week for the Humana Challenge, an exciting event where the scores are low and the action is non-stop. Contested on three different courses, players will have to adapt each day to tackle the variety of challenges presented at the third event of the 2015 season.
Despite having to adjust to a new course each of the first three days, the field will have to stay aggressive if they hope to keep pace with the leaders.
"These courses certainly aren't easy, but they give you a lot of opportunities. With the perfect greens, if someone's playing well, they're going to shoot and make a lot of birdies out there. You're going to have to get up there with that mentality with going low and not being afraid to make some birdies and get on some runs," said Titleist Pro V1x Loyalist Luke Donald.
Some players in the field are starting their 2015 season this week, using it as an opportunity to get their games in shape.
"This event is great. Playing in the Palm Springs area is awesome. The weather is always fantastic for the most part and the golf courses are pretty reasonable. I think they give you a good gauge of where you're at, what you need to work on," said Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner.
With perfect weather, great course conditions and a field with some of the best players in the world, the Humana Challenge is sure to provide golf fans excitement throughout the week.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2015 HUMANA CHALLENGE
This week at the Humana Challenge, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 102 players in the field trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That's more than six times the nearest competitor with 15.
Titleist was also the top choice in the approach, sand and lob wedge (124) and putters (59) categories.
Posted: January 21, 2015
2015 Models Deliver Exceptional Distance and Consistent Flight with More Short-Game Control, Even Softer Feel and Long-Lasting Durability
FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (Jan. 21, 2015) – For nearly 15 years, the exceptional distance, superior scoring performance and unmatched consistency of Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls have been making a difference in the games of golfers around the world, from tour professionals to amateurs of all skill levels and swing speeds.
It was in October 2000 that the original Pro V1 prototype first appeared on the PGA Tour at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas. Forty-seven players put the ball in play that week, marking one of the largest pluralistic shifts of equipment at one event in golf history. In March 2001, just four months after launching to golf shops, Titleist Pro V1 became the best-selling golf ball in the marketplace.
“The launch of Pro V1 was especially significant in that for the very first time the best performing golf ball for tour players was also the best performing golf ball for all golfers,” said Mary Lou Bohn, Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball Marketing and Communications. “You no longer had to choose between distance over short-game control, or durability over soft feel. There were no trade-offs. Pro V1 delivered total performance.”
Pro V1 and Pro V1x (which launched in 2003) have been the most played golf balls at every level of competitive golf and the best-selling models around the world ever since. That’s because the Titleist Golf Ball R&D and Operations teams, representing more than 20,000 years of golf ball-making expertise, have worked every day to make the #1 ball in golf even better with each new generation.
The new 2015 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x models, available in golf shops beginning Jan. 30, are the result of a continuous process rooted in rigorous research and development, technological advancements, comprehensive player testing and validation, and precision manufacturing.
Designed for all golfers seeking to shoot lower scores, 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x deliver exceptional distance with consistent flight, more short game control and even softer feel from a new, patented urethane elastomer cover formulation, and long lasting durability.
Comparatively, Pro V1 has a softer feel, slightly more long game spin and a penetrating trajectory for a shallower angle of descent for more roll. Pro V1x offers a slightly firmer feel, lower long game spin and launches higher with a steeper angle of descent.
The total performance of Pro V1 and Pro V1x tee-through-green – providing the best combination of distance, flight, short-game scoring control and feel – makes them the best fit for any golfer.
“Golfers often ask us what sets Pro V1 and Pro V1x apart from other golf balls. You can’t just point to one or two things,” said Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball R&D.
“The difference is everything. We have more people with more experience designing and making golf balls, the largest intellectual property portfolio and the most sophisticated precision manufacturing processes. The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the culmination of all that knowledge and all of that technology. The original Pro V1 was revolutionary, no question, but we’ve learned a lot in the last 15 years and these new Pro V1 models are the best we’ve ever made.
The Titleist Golf Ball R&D team, driven by a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation, is made up of chemists, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as PGA Professionals and turf management specialists. Due to their work, Titleist owns the industry’s largest portfolio of golf ball intellectual property with more than 1,000 patents. Since 2010, Titleist has been awarded nearly 50 percent of all golf ball patents issued in the United States. There are more than 100 patents that cover the technologies and manufacturing processes for 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x combined.
Eighty years after the first Titleist golf ball was produced, the Titleist Operations team is comprised of over 1,100 associates with an average tenure of 20 years. These associates manufacture every Titleist golf ball to exacting standards in Titleist owned and operated facilities – there are about 90 process and product quality checks for Pro V1; about 120 for the dual-core Pro V1x – assuring that every golf ball performs consistently for every golfer, every round and on every type of shot.
Before being introduced to the market, new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are tested and validated by golfers at every level of the game, from the world’s best tour players to amateurs of all skill levels and swing speeds. Since 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x were first introduced on the PGA Tour in October, more than 100 players have put the new models in play around the world – including Jordan Spieth, who played new Pro V1x in back-to-back runaway victories at the Australian Open and Hero World Challenge, winning those events by a combined 16 strokes. Jimmy Walker first put new Pro V1x in play two weeks ago at the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he finished runner-up. The following week, he won the Sony Open in Hawaii by nine shots. Bubba Watson, Padraig Harrington and Charley Hoffman also trusted 2015 Pro V1x to victories soon after the new models were introduced on the worldwide tours.
SOFTER COVER ENHANCES SHORT GAME CONTROL AND FEEL: The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls feature a new, patented thermoset urethane elastomer cover that delivers more short game spin and control, and softer feel – while maintaining their exceptional distance and flight characteristics, and best-in-class durability. The softer, reformulated cover system improves feel, sound and short game scoring control, providing golfers the confidence and performance to hit it closer to the hole.
“When we set out to improve Pro V1 and Pro V1x, the product development process always starts with asking golfers how we can help them shoot lower scores,” Bohn said. “Since golfers have had such resounding success with Pro V1 and Pro V1x, this time around, they told us, ‘Don’t change much. I love the distance. I love the scoring performance. I love the durability. If you can give me slightly more spin in the short game as well as even softer feel, I’ll take it. I just don’t want to give anything up.’ So that became our design goal.”
The thermoset urethane cover formulation on both Pro V1 and Pro V1x is created by a chemical reaction that takes place during the sophisticated casting process. Liquid materials
specifically formulated by Titleist R&D are combined and react to form the solid cover. This urethane is termed “thermoset,” meaning that the cover, once formed, will not re-melt. Most competitive urethane-covered golf balls use a thermoplastic urethane (TPU), supplied by an outside vendor and usually formulated for another non-golf product, which is melted and then reformed to create the cover.
“Thermoset urethane is very difficult to work with, but it gives us complete control of the chemical composition. It’s essentially a little chemical plant right in the mold, compared with using an off-shelf material like TPU. This allows us to dial in our desired properties of spin control, softness and durability,” said Michael Sullivan, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Product Development. “We do a lot of testing. We test the urethane on the ball and test it off the ball. In fact, we do so much material testing before it even gets onto a golf ball that by the time it does, we have a solid understanding of how it’s going to react. With the new 2015 models, we tested hundreds of formulations. You simply can’t do that with TPU. In the end, our iterative prototyping process ultimately improves performance for golfers.”
“We’re giving golfers everything they’ve previously had in Pro V1 and Pro V1x with some enhancements,” Morgan said. “They’ll get the extraordinary distance and ball flight they’re accustomed to. But they’ll also get a softer cover, which will add more spin control and feel around the greens. The feedback we’ve received on tour and with club professionals and amateurs clearly tells us that players are benefiting from this improved performance.”
New Pro V1 and Pro V1x also maintain their long-lasting durability. The new urethane cover, combined with the improved paint system that debuted on the 2013 models, keeps Pro V1 and Pro V1x whiter and brighter longer throughout the course of play. The cover and paint system also contributes to an aerodynamically more consistent golf ball.
“The breakthrough we made in durability with 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x really opened up the doors for us in terms of experimentation with our cover formulation. Our urethane is so resilient that as we softened it, we were able to increase short game spin and enhance the feel while maintaining its abrasion resistance,” Morgan said
CHOOSING BETWEEN PRO V1 AND PRO V1x: Titleist provides two distinct performance options within the 2015 Pro V1 family. Both Pro V1 and Pro V1x deliver extraordinary distance, the best scoring performance for all golfers, and long lasting durability, yet differ in feel, long game spin and flight.
Pro V1 has a softer feel, slightly more long game spin and a more penetrating trajectory for a shallower angle of descent for more roll than Pro V1x.
Pro V1x has a slightly firmer feel and lower long game spin and launches higher with a steeper angle of descent than Pro V1.
PLAYER VALIDATION: Player testing drives the development of new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. Titleist R&D’s iterative process of listening to players’ needs, testing prototypes and making further refinements ensures that each new version delivers meaningful performance improvements to golfers. Once a final prototype is selected, its performance is validated by players on the PGA Tour and across the worldwide professional tours, as well as PGA professionals, competitive amateurs and golfers of all skill levels.
At last weekend’s Sony Open in Hawaii, Jimmy Walker trusted 2015 Pro V1x to rounds of 66-66-62-63 for a nine-stoke victory. A week earlier, Walker teed up new Pro V1x for the first time at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he finished runner-up. Over those eight rounds, Walker made 52 birdies and hit 84 percent of greens in regulation. At Hyundai, Walker played a total of four golf balls – one per round. He also played only one new Pro V1x over his final 18 holes at Sony.
“I love the performance of the new Pro V1x. It has the perfect ball flight that I am seeking – nice and tight off the driver, fairways and long irons, and very controllable off the wedges,” Walker said. “I have confidence that it will perform on every shot. In fact, I put some new Vokey SM5 wedges in the bag at Hyundai, and I kept looking at my ball to see if it needed to be switched out, but it never did. The ball has great feel and is extremely durable. It’s the best I’ve ever played.”
At the Australian Open last November, Jordan Spieth trusted the new Pro V1x golf ball to what he called “the best round I have ever played” – a final-round 8-under 63 to win by six shots. Spieth’s round set the course record on a gusty day at Australian Golf Club, leading several media members to suggest it may have been the best round in the event’s 110-year history.
“It obviously performed well,” Spieth said after the round. “I used the same ball the entire day today and it still flew perfectly. The changes to the new golf ball have been big for me and I’ve been playing well since changing.”
Seven days and over 10,000 miles later, Spieth was on the 18th green at Isleworth Country Club in Florida, tapping his new Pro V1x in for par and a 10-shot victory at the Hero World Challenge after rounds of 66-67-63-66.
The tour seeding and validation process for the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x models began in October at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas – the same city where the original Pro V1 prototype debuted in 2000.
A few weeks later, Bubba Watson put new Pro V1x in play for the first time at the WGC-HSBC Championship in China. In the final round, Watson holed a 60-yard bunker shot for eagle on 18 to force a playoff. On the first playoff hole, he rolled his 2015 Pro V1x in from 20 feet for birdie to win.
The following Sunday, Charley Hoffman, playing 2015 Pro V1x, shot a final-round 5-under 66 to win the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, closing out the calendar year on the PGA Tour.
To date, more than 100 players across the worldwide professional tours have put the new models in play, including Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Hunter Mahan, Marc Leishman, Bill Haas, Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden, Brendon Todd, Jamie Donaldson, Thongchai Jaidee and Padraig Harrington, who teed up 2015 Pro V1x for the first time in his victory at the Indonesia Open. The last two weeks, Gary Stal (Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship) and Andy Sullivan (South African Open) also trusted new Pro V1x to their first European Tour victories.
In addition to tour professionals, more than 4,000 PGA professionals participated in the R&D testing process for 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x. More than 45,000 golfers of all skill levels around the world also received prototypes and reported their feedback through Team Titleist. One test conducted with more than 6,000 Team Titleist members in March 2014 was instrumental to Titleist Golf Ball R&D in defining the final specifications of new Pro V1x.
WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING:
Jordan Spieth: “The 2015 Pro V1x is very much an improvement for me just as each version has really improved. This one’s better for me because that softer cover around the greens allows me to have more spin control and softer feel, without jeopardizing any distance or spin with the long clubs. It’s still long off the tee with more control around the greens. … [New Pro V1x] feels really nice, like it’s sticking to the club face more, which I like. It allows my short irons and wedges to spin a little more which is always nice around the greens, to be able to fly it closer to the hole and have it drop and stop.”
Bubba Watson: “I first tried the new ball two weeks prior to going to China. I loved it and put it in play right away. It has all the great qualities of the previous generation Pro V1x with improved feel around the greens, which is exceptional. It even goes a little further for me off the tee.”
Hunter Mahan: “The new ball feels great. It has the performance and flight characteristics I’m looking for with all my full shots, and I’ve picked up more spin on my 30-40 yard pitch shots. Overall, I’m getting better performance into and around the greens, and still have the flight, trajectory and control I need on full shots.”
Bill Haas: “The first time I tried the new Pro V1x I immediately noticed a softer feel with my irons and wedges. The softer feel provides me slightly more spin around the greens and gives me the added confidence that I can get the ball to stop the way I need it to. For me, more confidence leads to better scoring. I still get the long game performance I need as well with the proper amount of spin and control.”
Charley Hoffman: “I put the new Pro V1x in play immediately after my first day of testing. It has all the great characteristics of the 2013 model off the driver and irons with a slightly softer feel around the greens. It’s extremely hot off the driver with the feel of the Pro V1 around the greens. When I won at Mayakoba, the new ball stood up to all the tests. It performed great in the rain on Saturday and unbelievable in the wind on Sunday.”
Marc Leishman: “The new ball still has the firm, solid feel and penetrating flight off the tee, but is noticeably softer and spins more with half shots and chip shots. I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds – long off the tee and workable around the greens.”
Padraig Harrington: “I used the new Pro V1x for the first time during my victory in the Bank BRI Indonesia Open. After some testing on the practice days, I put the ball straight into play and found it to be a seamless switch. I loved the feel and felt that the ball was spinning a little more around the greens, whilst being just as long off the tee. In fact the last time I switched to a new version of the Pro V1x ball (during the 2011 tour seeding process) I also won in Asia the first week out.”
Ian Poulter: “The new Pro V1x gives me a softer feel and better performance around the greens. I’m able to execute all the shots and the ball feels great. I also picked up some ball speed with the driver during testing, so I’m getting a little more out of it off the tee.”
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: New 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls will be available in golf shops beginning Jan. 30, 2015, with a MAP of $47.99 ($62 MSRP).
PLAY NUMBERS: 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are available in both standard and custom play numbers. Standard dozens include play numbers 1-4 (low) and 5-8 (high). Double-digit play numbers (00 and 11-99), or the same single-digit number (1-9), are available through custom order with a minimum order of one dozen. Golfers interested in custom play numbers should contact their local Titleist golf shop for pricing and availability.
Posted: January 20, 2015
Titleist Brand Ambassador Gary Stal staged a Sunday charge at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and climbed to the top of the leaderboard to secure his first career European Tour title. Stal, who started the final round eight shots off the lead, fired a bogey-free, 7-under par 65 to complete a 19-under par 269 victory total.
As for how Stal felt about the dramatic win, he summed it up nicely in just four words...
"It's unbelievable to win."
Let's take a closer look at Stal's winning setup from this past week.
WHAT'S IN GARY STAL'S BAG
Golf Ball: New Titleist Pro V1x golf ballDriver: Titleist 915D2 (8.5º) driverFairway: Titleist 915F (13.5º) fairway metalHybrid: Titleist 915Hd (17.5º) hybridUtility Iron: Titleist 712U 3-ironIrons: Titleist MB 714 (4-P) ironsWedges: Vokey Design SM5 sand (52.08) and lob (58.08) wedges