Earlier this year, Titleist Brand Ambassador Geoff Ogilvy stopped by Titleist's Oceanside Test Facility to test the new Titleist 910 driver.

"It took me one hit to start looking for my version to put in the bag," said Ogilvy.

Last weekend, Geoff ran away with his first Australian Open victory, becoming the 16th player across the worldwide professional tours to win using the new Titleist 910 driver. The 910 prototypes first appeared at the PGA Tour's AT&T National in late June.

Ogilvy, who first put his 910 driver into play at the Open Championship at St. Andrews, plays a Titleist 910D3 8.5 model with an Aldila RIP 80 shaft and his SureFit Tour (SFT) hosel in the A•3 setting (+1.5 more loft, +1.5 upright).

Geoff sat down with Team Titleist recently to talk about his new 910 driver, the fitting process at Oceanside and getting dialed in to his A•3 setting. Check out the videos below to hear what he had to say.

Ogilvy on first impressions, SureFit Tour hosel technology:

2010 Ogilvy 910 Part1.flv


Ogilvy on 910 driver fitting process, getting dialed in to A•3 setting:

2010 Ogilvy 910 Part2.flv

 

Another semester of PGA Tour Q-School school is in the books, the final six-day, 108-hole examination having concluded Monday at Orange County National in Orlando, Fla., in usual nail-biting fashion.

Twenty-one of the 28 players that earned 2011 PGA Tour cards trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, including 16 Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists. Pro V1x loyalist Billy Mayfair earned medalist honors, with Titleist Brand Ambassadors Ben Martin (T-2), Cameron Tringale (4th) and Jarrod Lyle (5th) not far behind.

Of the 162 players at the final stage, 113 played a Titleist golf ball, more than six times the nearest competitor with 17. Titleist was also No. 1 in Iron Sets (59), Putters (64) and Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (164).

Of course, some players earned their diplomas more dramatically than others.

“I’m proud of the way I competed on the last 10 holes today,” Stanley, who finished tied for ninth, told The News Tribune. “It’s nice when you know what you have to do, and go out under extreme pressure and do it.”

Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings missed out on his PGA Tour card last year by one stroke, barely missing an 8-footer for birdie on the final hole. This time around, Stallings birdied his final two holes to finish three shots clear of the cutline (T-11), dropping in an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for good measure.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Jim Renner made par on the 18th to secure his card, but it probably felt more like an eagle.

After hitting his drive into the rough left of the fairway, with trees blocking his direct line to the flagstick, Renner hit a sweeping hook to 15 feet and two-putted for par to finish tied for 22nd.


Here's a closer look at the Titleist equipment used by the Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists in earning their 2011 PGA Tour card (listed by finish at Q-School):

 

 

 

1. Billy Mayfair

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

   
T-2. Ben Martin

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 909D2 7.5
Fairway: Titleist 910Fd 13.5
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 17.0
Irons (4-PW): Titleist CB
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 50, 56, 60

   
4. Cameron Tringale

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5
Fairway: Titleist 910Fd 13.5
Irons (3-9): Titleist MB
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 48, TVD56, 60
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS

   
5. Jarrod Lyle

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5
Fairway: Titleist 910F 13.5
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 18.0
Irons: AP2 3-5; Titleist MB (6-9)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 48, 56, 60
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2

   
T-6. Brandt Jobe

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

   
T-6. Zack Miller

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

 

 

T-11. Chris Baryla

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

     
T-11. Scott Stallings

Ball: New Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5
Fairway: Titleist 910F 13.5
Hybrids: Titleist 910H 18.0; Titleist 909H 21.0
Irons (4-9): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 48, 54, 60
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Select

   
T-11. Nate Smith

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

   

   
T-16. Matt McQuillan

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

   
T-22. Jim Renner

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5
Fairway: Titleist 910F 13.5
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 17.0
Irons (3-PW): Titleist CB
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled TVD54, TVD60

   
T-22. Justin Hicks

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

   
T-27. Scott Gordon

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

   
T-27. Billy Horschel

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x


Acushnet Company Press Release (.pdf)
Fortune Brands Press Release (.pdf)

Fairhaven, MA, December 8, 2010 – Acushnet Company today announced that the Board of Directors of its parent company, Fortune Brands, has approved in principle a separation of Fortune Brand’s three businesses in order to maximize long-term value for shareholders. This plan would result in: the continuation of Fortune Brands as an independent, publicly-traded spirits company; the tax-free spin-off to shareholders of the home and security business into an independent, publicly-traded company; and the sale or tax-free spinoff of the Acushnet Company.

The Acushnet Company is the longest running and strongest golf industry success story, and has been very successful as part of the Fortune Brands family. Acushnet is currently the largest and most profitable golf equipment company in the world. With annual sales of $1.2 billion, Acushnet Company includes Titleist, the #1 ball in golf, and FootJoy, the #1 shoe and glove in golf. Titleist is also a leader in high-performance golf clubs, and FootJoy is growing strongly in the performance outerwear category, where it has become the industry leader. New product innovations, including successive generations of the Pro V1 golf ball, and investments in high-growth international markets, have enabled Acushnet to consistently outperform the market on growth and returns.

“The strength of the Acushnet Company as the undisputed global leader in the golf category, and confidence in our growth prospects, were factors contributing to the Board’s decision,” commented Acushnet CEO, Wally Uihlein. “Whether the Acushnet Company is sold to a new owner or becomes an independent publicly-traded company, our focus will be to keep on doing what’s made us the leader in our industry – the delivery of best-in-class products and service to our customers and golf consumers. We look forward to building on our track record of delivering performance and quality superior golf products to serious golfers worldwide.”

The Acushnet Company has a history of successful growth and evolution, even in times of change. Acushnet was founded in 1910 and in 1935 the first Titleist golf ball was brought to market. Fortune Brands acquired the Acushnet Company in 1976, and Acushnet acquired FootJoy in 1985. Acushnet Company’s net sales in 1975 were $51 million and in 2009 had grown to more than twenty-fold that number. Over the past 75 years, the Titleist golf ball has become golf’s standard of excellence, while FootJoy has developed number one positions in the shoe, glove, sock and now outerwear categories.

“Throughout the history of both brands – and the products and people that are the essence of the brands – there have been any number of challenges and new opportunities, and there have always been shareholders that the business has been accountable to. We have a strong history of rising to those challenges and taking advantage of those opportunities, while fulfilling our commitment to our shareholders,” continued Uihlein.

“With our industry leadership, our strong and unique culture, and our talented team, we look forward to a successful transition to new ownership and building the bridge to the next chapter in Acushnet Company’s accomplished history.”

The Fortune Brand’s Board has directed management to develop detailed separation plans for consideration and final approval by the Board. Fortune Brands expects to complete development of these plans – including the structure, timing, and other related matters for each business – within the next several months.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year over the weekend, capping a tremendous season for the 21-year-old that included a lot of time spent on leaderboards, airplanes, television screens and Twitter.

He also happened to sign a few autographs and provide one of the more dramatic Ryder Cup moments in recent memory.

Fowler, who celebrates his 22nd birthday Dec. 13, currently sits at No. 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking, after beginning the season at the Sony Open in Hawaii at No. 249.

"We're off to a good start," said Fowler, "and hopefully we can keep that going."


In 28 official starts this season, Fowler totaled seven top-10s, including runner-up finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Memorial Tournament, and had the highest rookie finishes on both the PGA Tour money list (22nd) and the FedEx Cup standings (32nd).

To end the season, Fowler shot 69 or better in 15 of his last 20 rounds, which included a globetrotting three-week stretch at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia (T-5), WGC-HSBC Champions (T-25) in Shanghai and season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic (T-3) in Orlando, Fla.

"It's been a lot of fun," Fowler said.

The most fun may have come in late September at the Ryder Cup, where Fowler suited up as a captain's pick for U.S. skipper Corey Pavin and delivered when it mattered most.

On a pressure-packed Monday morning in waterlogged Wales, Fowler birdied four of his last six holes to come back from 4 down and halve his singles match with Eduardo Molinari – sinking a tricky, downhill 15-footer for birdie on the 18th hole when it seemed the entire world was watching.

"Shot of the year would have been the putt on 18 at the Ryder Cup," Rickie told Team Titleist via text message Monday.

"Putt on 17 (12-footer for birdie) is in there also."

Similarly impressive was Fowler's turnaround at his first Open Championship this summer on the Old Course at St. Andrews, where he followed an opening-round 79 with rounds of 67-71-67 to finish tied for 14th at 4-under 284. Fowler's bogey-free final round included a 43-yard birdie putt from off the green at the famous par-4 17th Road Hole that drew enormous cheers from the St. Andrews gallery, and a string of replays on golf broadcasts around the world.

"Yeah, that (shot) too," Rickie said.

To be sure, there were many great ones – though that amount does not approach the number of autographs Fowler signed throughout his rookie season, spending hours and hours among his fans with a Sharpie (usually orange, like his Oklahoma State-inspired Sunday wardrobe) in hand, another lasting image from Fowler's 2010.

"I have no clue (how many I signed)," said Fowler, who also keeps up with his fans with a very active Twitter account. "At least a few thousand."

And certainly more than last year.


Here's a closer look at Fowler's Titleist equipment:


Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: 909D2 7.5 (Mitsubishi Diamana White 73)
Fairway: 910F 13.5 C•1 SFT setting (Mitsubishi Diamana 'ahina 80)
Irons (4-9): MB (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges (47, 53, 59): Vokey Design Spin Milled (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 No.3 GSS

In an effort to eliminate the selling of counterfeit golf products, Titleist continues to work as part of the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group in pursuing the crackdown of counterfeiters across the globe.

On Nov. 29, federal law enforcement officials shut down five more websites accused of selling counterfeit golf equipment and violating U.S. copyright law as part of "Operation In Our Sites."

Further details can be found in the press release below.

• • •

The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (the "Anti-Counterfeiting Group") reports that the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) have obtained court orders seizing the domain names of five websites that are accused of selling counterfeit golf equipment and violating U.S. copyright law.

The seizure of these sites was part of a wide crackdown by government officials against illegal trafficking in many different types of counterfeit goods. The enforcement action was referred to as "Operation In Our Sites" and announced by federal officials on "Cyber Monday," November 29.

The websites that the federal authorities seized for selling counterfeit golf products are:

• www.sunogolf.com
• www.skyergolf.com
• www.golfstaring.com
• www.golfwholesale18.com
• www.mygolfwholesale.com

Following the issuance of the court orders, each website now displays a notice on its home page stating that "[w]illful copyright infringement is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution. Intentionally and knowingly trafficking in counterfeit goods is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to ten years in federal prison, a $2,000,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution."

According to the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, "the enforcement action taken against these websites sends a strong message that counterfeiting is a serious crime with real consequences. It also protects consumers who are defrauded by counterfeiters, as well as U.S. companies who invest substantial resources in developing high quality products." The Anti-Counterfeiting Group commends the federal authorities for taking strong action against these sites and intends to continue to pursue legal action against these and others involved in manufacturing or selling counterfeit golf products.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Group warns consumers who are shopping on-line during the holiday season that there are many other websites that sell counterfeit golf products. These sites frequently ship directly from China at prices that may look "too good to be true." According to the Group, even though counterfeit golf products may look similar in appearance, they are typically made from substandard materials and will perform poorly.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of the world's leading golf equipment manufacturers. Its members and brands include Acushnet Company - Titleist and FootJoy; Callaway Golf - Odyssey, Top-Flite and Ben Hogan; Cleveland Golf /Srixon and Never Compromise; PING; and TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth. The Anti-Counterfeiting Group was formed in 2004 to petition governments to enforce their country's laws against counterfeiters of golf equipment products. As a result of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group's petitioning efforts, dozens of successful raids of manufacturing, warehouse, assembly and retail facilities have been executed by law enforcement and civil enforcement authorities over the past six years.

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