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

Fairhaven, MA (July 29, 2011) – Acushnet Company announced that the transaction for its sale from Fortune Brands, Inc. to a consortium led by Fila Korea, Ltd. and Mirae Asset
Private Equity, was completed today. The sale was announced on May 20.

Acushnet Company is one of the largest golf equipment companies in the world with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion in 2010. Its premium brands include Titleist, the #1 ball in golf and a leader in high performance golf clubs, and FootJoy, the #1 shoe, glove and performance outerwear brand in golf.

“The Fila Korea and Mirae Asset Private Equity group understands and appreciates our golf industry leadership, passionate associates, and enduring culture,” said Wally Uihlein, Chairman and CEO, Acushnet Company. “Together, with our new owners, our team is looking forward to strengthening and building upon the global success of the Titleist and FootJoy brands.”

Acushnet will remain as a standalone company through separate operation from Fila Korea, with its worldwide headquarters remaining in Fairhaven, Mass. The transfer in ownership will be seamless to consumers and customers, enabling Titleist and FootJoy to continue their momentum in the marketplace.

The new ownership group includes: Fila Korea, Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally; Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea; and the National Pension Service of Korea, the fourth largest pension fund in the world. The Korea Development Bank, Korea’s largest government-owned bank, is also providing financing for the acquisition.

“We are excited and proud to be part of the storied history of successful growth and evolution of Titleist and FootJoy - two revered and world-class brands," said Gene Yoon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fila Korea, Ltd. “We are impressed by the decades of accomplishments achieved by the management team at Acushnet, and fully support its continued focus on the core golf expertise at which they excel. We look forward to  growing the brands around the globe, especially with the emerging opportunities in the Asian-markets.”

At last week's U.S. Junior Championships, two of the biggest stages in junior golf, an overwhelming number of players relied on Titleist golf balls and equipment for their success – including the two champions, both of whom used Pro V1x golf balls, Titleist 910 drivers and bags full of Titleist equipment.

At the U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., 131 players in the 156-player field (84 percent) trusted Titleist golf balls, more than 13 times the nearest competitor with 10.

 Titleist was also the top choice in every equipment category tee-to-green, including drivers (67); iron sets (71); metal woods (201); hybrids (48); sand, lob and approach wedges (263) and putters (87).

The champion, who won the event for the second time in three years, played a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, including a Titleist 910 driver and fairway metals, AP2 irons, Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges and Scotty Cameron putter.

The momentum continued at the U.S. Girls' Junior at Olympia Field Country Club in Chicago, where Titleist golf balls were played by 129 of 155 players (83 percent), more than 14 times the nearest competitor with nine.

Titleist was also first in iron sets (T-1, 33); and sand, lob and approach wedges (197).

The winner played a Pro V1x golf ball, Titleist 910 driver and fairway metals, CB irons and Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges.

The success across all equipment categories is continued proof that when endorsement money is taken out of the game, Titleist is an even greater favorite of the future of competitive golf and serious golfers everywhere.

Below are the golf ball counts from the major amateur events in the U.S. and around the world to date:

CONSISTENCY IN THE CLUTCH
Russ Cochran, Kyung-Tae Kim Lead 4-Win Week for Titleist.

Fairhaven, MA (July 25, 2011) – Demonstrating grace under pressure and consistency when it mattered most, Russ Cochran trusted his Pro V1 golf ball to capture the first major title of his career, topping a world-class field at the Senior Open Championship.  And in Japan, Titleist Brand Ambassador Kyung-Tae Kim trusted the Pro V1x golf ball and Titleist equipment to claim his first win of the season on the Japan Golf Tour, capping a steady year in which he has finished no worse than tied for 12th in six starts.  Cochran and Kim’s victories headlined a week in which four champions on the Worldwide Professional Golf Tours put their trust in a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball.
Titleist golf ball players have now earned 96 victories across the Worldwide Professional Tours in 2011, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all golf balls combined.  In total, 11,707 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2011 Worldwide Professional Tours, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,775 and more than all competitors combined.

...

Russ Cochran trusted a Pro V1 golf ball and a precise short-game to his first major title at the Senior Open Championship, one of four wins for Titleist golf ball players last weekend around the world.

 Cochran, making just his second start since recovering from a wrist injury he suffered in late April, shot consecutive 5-under 67s on the weekend at Walton Heath to finish at 12-under 276, two shots ahead of Pro V1x loyalist Mark Calcavecchia.

"The more I'm finding out about winning, you know, it has more to do with getting that ball up-and-down," said Cochran, 52. "It has to do with putting the ball in the fairway, and then you know, just rolling the heck out of it."

He pulled away in the final round with six birdies over his first 10 holes, keeping the early momentum going with up-and-downs at Nos. 3 and 5.

"The key to the round is I had a great sand save on No. 3, I just barely missed (the green) left and it rolled down in the bunker," said Cochran. He pitched his Pro V1 golf ball out the deep trap to 2 feet and tapped in for par.

 On No. 5, Cochran found another greenside bunker, this time pitching to 7 feet and rolling in his Pro V1 golf ball for par.

"So that allowed me to kind of jump right back in, ended up birdieing No. 6, and got on a stretch again from there," said Cochran.

He topped a leaderboard that featured seven Titleist golf ball players in the top 10, including Pro V1 loyalists Tom Watson and Corey Pavin, who tied for third.

A total of 105 players trusted Titleist golf balls for their success at Walton Heath, more than five times the nearest competitor with 20. Titleist also was first in iron sets (33); and sand, lob and approach wedges (90).

So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have recorded 96 total victories across the worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined:

JAPAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Kyung-Tae Kim continued his climb in the world rankings with a four-shot victory in the Shigeo Invitational SEGA Sammy Cup.

The 24-year-old, trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and bag full of Titleist equipment, closed with a bogey-free 4-under 68 at The North Country Golf Club to finish at 15-under 273 and earn his fourth-career Japan Tour victory.

 With the win, Kim moved to No. 23 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Kim was one of 69 players in the event that relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than twice the nearest competitor with 31.

Seven of the 12 players who finished among the top 10 played Titleist golf balls, including four of the top five: Pro V1x loyalists Steven Conran (3rd) and Kodai Ichihara (T-4) and Titleist Brand Ambassador Dong-Hwan Lee (T-4, Pro V1).

Titleist also was first in hybrids (42); and sand, lob and approach wedges (119).

Here's a closer look at Kyung-Tae Kim's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5º, A•1 SureFit Tour Setting (Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 17º (Fujikura Speeder 904HB)
Irons: CB 3-5 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Irons: MB 6-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedge
: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 248•10º, 252•08º, 258•08º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

ASIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Joonas Granberg became the first Finnish player to win on the Asian Tour, capturing the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Asian Tour rookie fired a final round 6-under 66 to finish with a 15-under 273 total, one shot ahead of Pro V1 loyalist Panuphol Pittayarat.

"I didn’t think my first win would come so soon," said Granberg, 24. "There are so many good players on the Asian Tour and I didn’t play very well in my first four events in Asia. I thought I had a chance for a top-10 or top-5 but now, I’m a winner."

Nine of the 11 players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 104 players, more than four times the nearest competitor with 24 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist irons and Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges were also the choice of more players than any other brand.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: The amateur winner of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational trusted a Pro V1x golf ball in his one-shot victory Sunday at The Ohio State University's Scarlet Course.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 103 players, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined.

Of the Nationwide Tour's 13 events played so far in 2011, 10 of them have been won by Titleist golf ball players.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (44), including 12 sets of new 712 prototype irons (4 AP2, 2 MB, and 6 CB sets in play);  sand, lob and approach wedges (145); and putters (62). 

PGA TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Kris Blanks was one of 100 players at the RBC Canadian Open that teed up Titleist golf balls, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all competitors combined.

Blanks, who finished runner-up, played a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, including new Prototype Titleist CB (712 Series) irons.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (45), including 16 sets of new 712 prototype irons;  sand, lob and approach wedges (143); and putters (58).

The winner of the event relied upon a new Scotty Cameron by Titleist California Fastback prototype putter that he picked up after working with the Titleist Tour Leadership team at the Open Championship last week.

LPGA: Pro V1x loyalist Stacy Lewis was one of 68 players that played a Titleist golf ball at the Evian Masters, more than five times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined. Lewis finished at 13-under 275, two shots back of the winner.

Pro V1 loyalists Angela Stanford and I.K. Kim were among three players who tied for third place, a shot behind Lewis.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Niklas Lemke was one of 101 players that teed up Titleist golf balls at the Nordea Masters, more than five times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all competitors combined.

 Lemkr finished third at 5-under 283 in just the the fourth start of his pro career.

This week's RBC Canadian Open isn't looking much different than a U.S. Open, considering Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club's three main obstacles: Narrow fairways, small greens and – the week's biggest topic of conversation – thick, tough rough.

"It's very penal," said Titleist Brand Ambassador Kris Blanks, the first-round leader at 3-under 67. "If you get it in play, you're able to attack. But for the most part, just try to keep everything in front of you. Hit a lot of greens and keep putting the ball."

Not a bad time to work with the Titleist Tour Team on dialing in your equipment. Here are are a few updates from the practice rounds:

 • Putting in some work on the range with his Titleist 910D3 9.5º driver (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana 'ahina 72 shaft) on Tuesday, Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker (pictured above) felt like he was hooking the ball a bit too easily. Titleist Tour Rep Jim Curran suggested Jimmy adjust the SureFit Tour hosel from A•2 (standard loft, +1.5º upright) to the flatter B•2 (standard loft, +.75º upright) setting. Jimmy preferred the resulting ball flight, and took that setup to the first tee Thursday.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Jarrod Lyle also made an adjustment to his Titleist 910D3 8.5º driver (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana White 83 shaft), after noticing that it was leaking a bit right. Jarrod quickly clicked his SureFit Tour hosel from C•1 (-.75º loft, -.75º flat) over to D•4 (+.75º more loft, standard lie). He immediately liked the control and ball flight of that setup.

• One hundred players competing in this week's RBC Canadian Open are trusting Titleist golf balls for their success this week, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all competitors combined.

• Titleist is also first in iron sets (45), including 16 sets of the new Prototype Titleist AP1, AP2, CB and MB (712 Series) irons; sand, lob and approach wedges (143); and putters (58).

Titleist Brand Ambassador Brendan Steele was looking for a higher bounce with his 60º Vokey Design Spin Milled wedge. Brendan worked with several grinds this week: V, M and TVD. On Thursday, a new TVD60º (bent to 62º) was in the bag. (For more on all the Vokey Tour Grinds, click here.)

• One of our newest Titleist Brand Ambassadors, Morgan Hoffmann, was concerned that his Scotty Cameron Newport 1.5 Studio Style putter had been bent in the hosel. While the team was re-shafting the putter and dialing it into his specs, Morgan experimented with a Scotty Cameron Newport SS Prototype with a deep-milled face and a Tour Black finish. In fact, he was rolling his Pro V1x golf ball so well with it that he put it in the bag in Round 1.

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