Publinks Trophy
The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship Trophy (photo courtesy of USGA)
Titleist was well represented in the 36-hole championship match of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the 7,289-yard, par-71 Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, OK.  The 22-year-old winner relied upon the Pro V1x golf ball, 909D3 (9.5-degree) driver, 909F (15.0-degree) 3-wood, 909H (19.0-degree) hybrid, 695CB (4-P) irons, Vokey Design approach (52-degree) wedge, Spin Milled sand (56-degree) and lob (60-degree) wedges and a Scotty Cameron Newport Studio Select putter, while the runner-up also trusted the Pro V1x golf ball, as well as a Titleist 907D2 driver, 906F2 3-wood and a Scotty Cameron Newport Studio Select putter.   The winner, who hails from Rockford, Illinois, led 4-up after 18 holes in the scheduled 36-hole final. He closed out the match 7 and 6 by hitting his tee shot at the 164-yard par-3 12th hole to within 8 inches of the hole. The story was very similar for Titliest at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, which was contested in Devens, MA at the 6,267-yard, par-72 Red Tail Golf Club. Both the winner and the runner-up relied on the Pro V1 golf ball for their success. The winner also trusted a Titliest 906F4 fairway metal and a Scotty Cameron Newport Slant Neck Teryllium-10 putter in her 7 and 6 victory. As the country's top public-course amateur men competed for the national championship, 126 players, or 81 percent of the field of 156, made Titleist their overwhelming #1 golf ball choice, compared to just 13 players for the nearest competitor.  On the women's side, 130 players, or 83 percent of the field of 156, made Titleist their #1 golf ball choice, compared to just 10 players for the nearest competitor. The U.S. Amateur Pulic Links Championship and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship continue the golf ball momentum Titleist has enjoyed on the 2009 PGA Tour and across all of the worldwide professional tours, the PGA Professional National Championship, and at every level of competitive amateur golf. At the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, Titleist was the tee-to-green favorite among more players across every major golf club category, including drivers, fairway metals, utility metals, iron sets, wedges and putters. Below are the Titleist equipment counts and percentage of players versus the nearest competitor at the 2009 U.S. Amateur Publinks:
EQUIPMENT CATEGORY
TITLEIST
NEAREST COMPETITOR
GOLF BALLS:
126 (81%)
13
DRIVERS:
60 (39%)
30
FAIRWAY METALS:
62(37%)
25
HYBRIDS:
49 (39%)
20
IRON SETS:
60 (39%)
25
WEDGES:
219 (54%)
54
PUTTERS:
67 (43%)
27


In addition to being the top choice in golf balls at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, Titleist was also the top choice in the wedge (125) and putter (56) categories.

Major championships aren’t usually the time or place for Tour players to make significant changes in their equipment. However, in an attempt to fine tune their instruments to attack a particular course they will make some adjustments in hopes of saving a shot or two. Replacing fairway metals with hybrids or hybrids with long irons was one way to answer the firm, windswept turf. Also, wedges were among the most scrutinized clubs in the bag as the Ailsa Course is home to nearly 100 bunkers. Former Open Champion Ben Curtis addressed both. He replaced his 17 and 21 degree hybrids with a 3 and 4 irons; and worked with Bob Vokey on a fresh set of wedges. Curtis’ normal custom grind includes some heel and toe relief, but Voke also added some relief on the leading edge to match the wedges Ben used to nip his Pro V1x off the firm turf on his way to winning the 2003 Open Championship. Among the players adding long irons, Davis Love III (above right) pulled his 17 degree hybrid in favor of his 2 iron. Ross Fisher did the same, and it came in handy for both of them on the 13th tee in Friday's second round. Titleist loyalist Branden Grace (left) used a fresh set of wedges en route to a first round 67. Among Bob Vokey's other projects, he worked with Peter Hanson to get the right configuration on a 58 degree lob wedge. Voke had him compare a standard TVD 58M to a 60 degree version bent to 58. Peter opted for the tweaked 60 because in adjusting the loft, Vokey took off a degree or two of bounce as well. Hunter Mahan came to visit Bob for a new 54 degree spin milled Vokey sand wedge when his golf clubs didn’t arrive with the rest of his luggage at the start of the week.
Steve Marino
Steve Marino drains a birdie putt in Round 2 .
At last week's John Deere Classic, Pro V1x loyalist Steve Marino did his best to focus on his play on the TPC Deer Run golf course without becoming overly distracted. No easy feat, given the steady trickle of news that his name was creeping up the alternate list for The Open Championship. After Phil Mickelson formally withdrew from The Open, Marino became 1st alternate. Since there was no guarantee that the last couple of Open spots would be filled (granted to those players who were about to finish in the top 5 at either John Deere or The Barclays Scottish Open, and who would not otherwise have qualified), he decided to take his chances, signing up for the charter flight leaving from John Deere and heading to Turnberry. As it turns out, no one qualified from Loch Lomond. The one qualifier from John Deere, Titleist Brand Ambassador Brett Quigley, encountered travel complications and had to decline his invitation. Marino had his own travel troubles. He didn't have his passport so he had to fly his father to his home in Florida to retrieve it. His father then FedEx'd it back to Steve at John Deere. On Sunday, Japan's Shingo Katayama withdrew from the Open, opening up a spot for Marino. He joined the rest of the players heading to Scotland without ever having set foot in Great Britain, without ever having played a single round of links golf. And yet, after two rounds, Steve Marino finds himself at the top of the leaderboard. Bob Harig of ESPN spoke with Steve about his amazing first two days.
Click here to hear Steve Marino's post-round interview from Friday.
 
Titleist Master Wedge Craftsman Bob Vokey has been over in Scotland for the past couple of weeks helping the players prepare for this week's Open Championship at Turnberry. To help better understand what the players will be facing in the year's third major championship, he took a tour of the course earlier this week to check out the conditions. Be sure to check out the image gallery that Voke sent us showing what he encountered on the course.

Acushnet Company Chairman and CEO Wally Uihlein with Master Wedge Craftsman Bob Vokey on the 18th fairway at the Turnberry Ailsa Course.

Adam Scott
Adam during a practice round at Turnberry.
Hello All, I'm at Turnberry preparing for the Open Championship. It's the one major of the year where the weather conditions are unpredictable even if you follow the weather channel! The conditions can change drastically and it's just very hard to prepare but we are all faced with challenges and usually they are different with each draw. The one variable that we know is true is that it's going to be unpredictable! I'm feeling very good about this week. I had a great four rounds at the Barclays Scottish Open last week and it gave me a boost of confidence. I haven't had a solid 4 rounds of golf for several weeks so it really felt nice to be back in contention. I played a practice round here at Turnberry last week and it's going to be a tough four days but a challenge I'm ready to take. Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday to support my Foundation. I appreciate the support and it sounds like everyone had a good time. Awesome win by the Lions! I especially want to say thank you to the manager of my foundation, Geoff Hall, all the volunteers from Twin Waters Golf Club, YoungCare and Clayton Utz. As you know I can't be there in person for these special events and I truly appreciate everyone that makes these events possible. I'll be in touch after the The Open! Until then take care, -Adam
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