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Posted: June 28, 2011
Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings arrived in Philadelphia early Sunday afternoon, ready to get in some extra practice at Aronimink Golf Club, site of this week's AT&T National."As a PGA Tour rookie, anytime you can get an extra look at a course like this you take it," said Stallings.Waiting for Scott at Arnonimink when he got there: A box of new prototype Titleist AP2 irons (712 series) with Project X shafts, built to his custom specifications.Titleist's new prototype Titleist AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons (712 Series) are being introduced on the PGA Tour this week for testing and seeding as part of our performance validation process.Scott put the new prototype AP2 irons in his bag for his Sunday practice round, which he played with fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Bobby Gates. (They got in 36 holes, with a cart.) Bobby also received a box of new prototype Titleist MB irons (Project X shafts), and put them in the bag for his practice round.Monday morning on the Aronimink range, Scott's previous set of AP2 irons were resting on the ground next to his Titleist staff bag, bound for his locker in the Aronimink clubhouse. "The new ones are in the bag," he said, " no question about it."Team Titleist spoke briefly with Scott about the new prototype AP2 irons. See what Scott had to say in the video above.
Posted: June 27, 2011
At the LPGA's second major championship of the season, Pro
V1x loyalist Yani Tseng delivered yet another perfect 10, this one coming in
the form of a 10-shot victory at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Tseng's third
major title in just over 15 months.
Tseng's historic performance at Locust Hill Country Club
highlighted a six-win week for Titleist golf ball players across the worldwide
professional tours, including determined victories by Titleist Brand
Ambassadors Pablo Larrazabal (European Tour) and Erik Compton (Nationwide
Tour).So far in 2011, 83 players have trusted Titleist golf balls
to worldwide victories, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 11
and more than all competitors combined.A total of 10,038 players have played Titleist golf balls in
competition this season, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,533
and more than all other golf balls combined.• LPGA: Pro V1x loyalist Yani Tseng shot a 6-under par 66 that gave
her a 10-shot win at the Wegman's LPGA championship. Her 19-under par total of
269 made her the youngest golfer ever, male or female, to win four major titles
(she captured last year's Kraft Nabisco Championship and Ricoh Women's British
Open, as well as the 2008 LPGA Championship).Tseng, the No. 1 ranked woman in the world now leads the
LPGA tour in Rounds Under Par, Birdies (163), and Greens in Regulation (75%).The win marks the eighth-career victory and the third this
season for Tseng, who also triumphed at the Honda LPGA Thailand event as well
as the LPGA State Farm Classic.
She also had a runner-up finish at the first major of the year, the
Kraft Nabisco Championship.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the
Wegmans LPGA Championship with 109 players, more than eight times the nearest
competitor with 12.• EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Pablo Larrazabal birdied the fifth
playoff hole to win the BMW International Open. Larrazabal made his short put on the par-5 18th giving him
his first European Tour title since winning the Alstom Open de France in 2008.Larrazabal fired four rounds in the 60s to post a 16-under
266 total and with the win he will now be in the field next month for the Open
Championship at Royal St. George’s.Five players tied for 3rd at 14-under 274, including
Titleist Brand Ambassador George Coetzee and Pro V1 loaylists Mark Foster and Joost
Luiten.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the
event with 117 players, more than six times the nearest competitor with 18.Titleist also was first in iron sets (49); and sand, lob and
approach wedges (194).• NATIONWIDE TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Erik Compton made a fourth-round
charge to close with a 7-under par 65 for an inspirational come-from-behind
victory at the Mexico Open. It marked the first career Nationwide Tour title for
Compton, who started the final round tied for 6th place. He finished at 17-under par 271, two
shots clear of fellow Pro V1x loyalist Richard H. Lee.The win vaults Compton to second on the 2011 Nationwide Tour
money list. In nine Nationwide
Tour starts this year, Compton has made eight cuts, including seven top 25 finishes.
Compton has also made the cut in all four PGA TOUR events he has played this
season."This tournament has kind of summed up my life,"
said Compton to PGATour.com. "There was a lot of adversity to overcome in
this tournament, just like what I've dealt with personally. To win this is
everything to me. I never thought I'd play golf again, at least not at this
level, and I proved to myself I'm more than just a guy with two heart
transplants."Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Mexico
Open with 107 players, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 15.Titleist also was first in iron sets (51); sand, lob and approach wedges (155);
and putters (64). • PGA TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Travelers
Championship with 106 players, more than eight times the nearest competitor
with 15.Titleist also was first in iron sets (45); sand, lob and approach wedges (142);
and putters (61).• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the
event with 55 players, five times the nearest competitor with 11.Titleist also was first in iron sets (24); and putters (22).• JAPAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Jung-Gon Hwang captured the Gateway to the
Open Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour by one shot over Titleist Brand
Ambassador Kyung-Tae Kim. It was the first JGTO title the 19-year old Hwang,
who guaranteed himself a start at the Open Championship at Royal St Georges
with the top finish. Hwang came
from three shots off the 54-hole pace with a final round of 66 to claim the
title.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the
event with 67 players. Titleist
also was first in hybrids (42); and sand, lob and approach wedges (114). • KOREAN TOUR: Pro V1 loyalist Kang, KyungNam won the DongBu Insurance Open
by finishing the week at 8-under 276. This marked the sixth victory of his
career. Titleist Brand Ambassador Lee, DongMin finished solo in second place at
2-under 286.All 11 players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied
upon Titleist golf balls for their success, including six of whom trusted
Titleist equipment throughout the bag.Titleist was the most played golf ball at the event with 110
players, five times more than the nearest competitor with 23.• CANADIAN TOUR: Pro V1 loyalist Danny Sahl won his first Canadian Tour
event, capturing the inaugural Syncrude Boreal Open. Sahl shot a 2-under-par 70 en route to a 16-under 272 total,
good for a five shot margin of victory in his 80th start on tour.Sahl moves into fifth position on the Order of Merit, which
puts him closer to earning a spot into the 2011 RBC Canadian Open in July.It also moves him closer to earning one of the two
exemptions into the final stage of PGA TOUR Q-School, which is awarded to the
top two finishers on the Order of Merit at seasons end.
From the sun's rays and crashing waves to the singing birds and beautiful seascapes, it looks and sounds and feels like an island vacation.Better yet, it's an island fitting. And those happen to be Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls soaring alongside the seagulls."It's pretty nice when you walk out to your office and the ocean is right there," says Craig Allan, an authorized Titleist fitter and Manager of The Sea Island Golf Learning Center on St. Simons Island, Ga., one of five Titleist Regional Fitting Centers within the Titleist Fitting Network.Most days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Allan is on the Sea Island range fitting golfers for their optimal equipment setups, his brain working just as diligently as the Trackman launch monitor sitting on the turf below him.Just about 15 feet away, you'll find Curtis Leggett, an authorized Titleist fitter who has been at Sea Island for 25 years, doing the same thing."We're highly-skilled fitters, that's what we do full-time. We stand out there and we fit all day," says Allan, who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to Alabama in 1995 to play college golf. He has lived in America ever since, working as a fitter at Sea Island for the last eight years.For Allan and Leggett, the main goal is always the same: Determine the equipment setup that will help the golfer achieve total confidence on every shot."When you take an advanced fitter, the technology of the Trackman, and the extensive Titleist shaft matrix like we have, you can't have anything but a great experience and a thorough fitting," Allan says.It's a meticulous process that requires both a technological and human touch.For example: While Allan possesses a keen understanding of the characteristics of each shaft in the Titleist matrix, he says "certain shafts do certain things for certain golfers. Every single fitting is another lesson about what a shaft can or can't do."And so the education is nonstop, with Allan and Leggett each conducting up to seven fittings per day in the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and St. Simons Sound.
(At 5 p.m., Allan packs up the fitting equipment, then heads to his office to call in the orders from the day.)
"It is great to know all the specs of all the clubs and shafts, but real-life experiences will give me the best possible chance to help every player," he says.
"You can't take the fitting manual out there with you."
In the following Q&A, Allan talks more about the club fitting experience at Sea Island and reflects on his beginnings in the game:
TEAM TITLEIST: How did you get started in golf?CRAIG ALLAN: I started following my dad around the golf course when I was about 4 years old. In South Africa we did not have golf carts, so I used to walk a hole or two and then wait under the trees in shade until they circled back around to me. I would take one club and a ball and just hit it around in the rough. I did not get my own set until I was 7 or 8 years old.
TT: What was it that first interested you in teaching and fitting? Did you have a mentor?CA:
I used to hang around the golf shop at my home course (Modderfontein Golf Club in Johannesburg) and drive the head pro, Mike DeVilliers, crazy with all my questions. He and my dad taught me to play and he was always patient with me as I really did ask a lot of questions. (He received his initial Club Fitting Training in Johannesburg at the age of 17.)TT: How would you describe your philosophy as a club fitter?CA: I would say that I am a fairly conservative in my fitting philosophy, but at the same time I am not afraid to try something a little different if I feel like it can make the player better. At the end of the day, it should be the goal of the fitter to give the player the best possible opportunity to succeed with their clubs.
TT: I've booked a fitting with you for the first time. What's my day going to be like?CA:
After arriving at The Learning Center, you will be directed to the range to warm up. At your scheduled time, I will meet you in the fitting area and we will briefly discuss your game, including strengths, weaknesses and goals for the fitting.
The fitting will take approximately two hours, during which we will analyze your clubs on Trackman and fit you into new clubs or tweak your current equipment, making sure you walk away with the optimal setup for your game.
TT: Can you take us through a recent or memorable fitting that you've done, where the golfer may have had that "Aha!" moment?CA: I recently fitted a young man who had been struggling with his game for a while. Even though he was taking lessons, it did not seem to be helping like he thought it should. He was fairly tall and after watching him hit balls for a little while, it occurred to me that the reason he could not stay in his posture through impact was that his clubs were too upright and long. This may seem like a simple fix to me or any other experienced fitter, but to the player it was a huge deal as had been told that he needed much longer and more upright clubs than everyone else as he was taller than average. In doing so, he completely lost his game. Worse than that, he was blaming himself.
TT: How do you stay on top of your game?CA:
Unfortunately, I don't get to play much with a very busy work schedule and two small children. But I like to hit balls for a few minutes at the end of a busy day. We have the most beautiful range in the world.
A closer look at The Sea Island Learning Center:
• Two full-time authorized Titleist club fitters (Craig Allan, Curtis Leggett).• Two Trackman launch monitors; V1 swing analysis software.• Approximately 4,500 square feet with full-service workshop, fitness room, putting studio and three video analysis rooms.• Practice facilities include 300 yards of tee area on the primary tee
with multiple target greens framed by bunkers.• Extensive short game
area with three chipping greens and three putting greens.• Award-winning teaching staff, including 2010 PGA Teacher of the Year and Titleist Advisory Member Todd Anderson.• Expert training in five core competencies: Long Game, Short Game, Golf Fitness, Club Fitting and Mental Game.• Home to two championship courses: Seaside (host of PGA Tour's McGladrey Classic) and Plantation.
• Training ground for several current PGA Tour players, including Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson.• Phone: (912) 638-5119 • Website: http://www.seaislandglc.com
To learn more about the Titleist Fitting Network and to find an authorized Titleist fitter in your area, please click here.
Posted: June 24, 2011
As you read this, several dozens of long, cardboard boxes, imprinted with the Titleist Script, sit in the back of a delivery truck en route to Arnonimink Golf Club just outside Philadelphia, host of next week's AT&T National PGA Tour event. They were all shipped from the same place, the Titleist Tour Deparment in Carlsbad, Calif.On Monday morning, our Titleist Tour Reps at Aronimink will begin opening those boxes, each one marked with the name of a player in this week's AT&T field.
Inside the boxes: Prototype Titleist AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons (712 Series), which are being introduced on the PGA Tour this week for testing and seeding as part of our performance validation process.
(Please note: "712" is the series designation. Titleist has long used 700 numbers for irons, just as we use 900 numbers for metals. Accordingly, the "7" stands for irons, while the "12" stands for the new model year, 2012.)Over the last few weeks, the Titleist Tour Department has been focused on building these iron sets to the custom specifications of our Titleist Brand Ambassadors.This week at AT&T, members of the Titleist Leadership and R&D teams will begin working with our players to show, explain, fit and test the new irons, a process that will continue over the coming weeks across the worldwide professional tours. The feedback we receive during this validation process influences the design and specifications of the Titleist products available in golf shops around the world. We will continue to provide behind-the-scenes information and product details here on the Team Titleist blog throughout the seeding and performance validation process. Click the photo below to view images of the first builds and shipment of 712 prototype irons from the Titleist Tour Department and some recent testing out at the Oceanside Test Center.
Posted: June 23, 2011
Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley's first shot as a professional? Almost unfair.Bud made his pro debut last week at the U.S. Open at Congressional after shooting rounds of 67-65 in a sectional qualifier in Mississippi.A three-time All-American at Alabama and a member of the victorious 2009 U.S. Walker Cup team, Bud had experienced his fair share of pressure situations on the golf course. But nothing like this.Bud's group drew a Round 1 tee time starting off Congressional's infamous 10th hole, a downhill 218-yard par-3 surrounded by water, bunkers and thousands and thousands of spectators.He chose 5-iron, then took a deep breath.Bud sent his Titleist Pro V1x golf ball sailing over the drink to 25 feet, then two-putted for one of the more memorable pars of his career. He went on to shoot an opening-round even-par 71 and make the cut in his first major championship (T-63).Team Titleist caught up with Bud on Monday at Travelers Championship, where he is playing this week on a sponsor's exemption, to talk about his U.S. Open experience, his college and amateur golf days, the start of his pro career, and why he plays a Pro V1x golf ball.(Fun fact: At the 2009 Walker Cup – amateur golf's version of the Ryder Cup – Bud teamed with Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler to go 2-0 in their to foursomes matches.)
For more with Bud, check out the above video.