Two of the early arrivals to The Barclays this week were Titleist Brand Ambassadors Bo Van Pelt and Robert Karlsson, both of whom opened their lockers to find new Prototype Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled Wedges, built to their specifications.

Bo and Robert both spent a lot of time on the range Monday afternoon, testing the new Prototype SM4 wedges and getting dialed-in with the help of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey and Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill.

Check out the video above to hear Bo and Robert talk about their first impressions of the new Prototype SM4 wedges and having the opportunity to take part in the tour validation process.

 Early Monday morning at The Barclays, long before any players had arrived for the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the only sounds heard in the locker room at at Plainfield (N.J.) Country Club were from the opening and closing of lockers.

It was delivery time for the new Prototype Titleist Vokey Design SM4 wedges, signaling the official start of the seeding and tour validation process critical to the development of all Titleist golf equipment.

"It was a great surprise today when I opened the locker and I saw three new wedges in there," said Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Karlsson.

Later in the day, Karlsson spent about 45 minutes on the range with Master Craftsman Bob Vokey, testing the new Prototype SM4 wedges and giving Bob feedback on the new SM4 groove technology with three additional scoring lines.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings hadn't planned on going to the course Monday until he found out what was waiting for him in his locker.

"I wanted to try out the new wedges," Scott said. "I couldn't wait."

Check out the slideshow below for pictures from Day 1 of the seeding and tour validation process. And stay tuned to the Tour Blog for more updates, video and pictures from The Barclays.

 Confirming perhaps the most consistent season of any player on the 2011 PGA Tour, Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson pulled away late Sunday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to win the Wyndham Championship for his first PGA Tour victory.

Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, Simpson closed with a bogey-free 3-under 67 for an 18-under 262 total and three-shot victory, one of three wins by Titleist golf ball players last weekend across the worldwide professional tours.

It marked the 26th win for Titleist golf ball players on the 2011 PGA Tour, nearly nine times the nearest competitor with three and more than two times all other golf balls combined.

 Simpson, 26, also became the 12th different Titleist Brand Ambassador to find the winner's circle this season on the PGA Tour: Steve Stricker (2), Nick Watney (2), Adam Scott, Scott Piercy, Johnson Wagner, Gary Woodland, Brendan Steele, Harrison Frazar, Rory McIlroy, Chris Kirk and Scott Stallings.

"I never thought that winning on the PGA Tour would be this hard, all the pressure and everything that goes on to win a golf tournament," said Simpson, a native of Raleigh, N.C., who made 17 birdies and three eagles over the 72 holes, posting rounds of 66-65-64-67.

"But I'm extremely pleased and I really love the way I finished today."

Simpson, who rolled his Pro V1x in for consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to close out the victory, has finished well all year. He's recorded 15 top-25 finishes, including a pair of runner-ups at the Transitions Championship and Zurich Classic of New Orleans, and seven top-10s.

The win moved Simpson to No. 3 in the FedEx Cup Playoffs standings, just behind fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Nick Watney (1) and Steve Stricker (2), with the playoffs beginning this week at The Barclays.

He's also currently No. 1 in the PGA Tour's All-Around Ranking statistic, fourth in Scoring Average (69.39) and second in birdie average (4.20).

Two weeks ago at the PGA Championship, Simpson spoke to Team Titleist about his success this season.

"To see the results of hard work is really satisfying. It's fun to look at the stats and see where I'm at, but we've got five or six more tournaments here to end the year and I want to get a 'W,' " he said. "So I'm looking forward to that."

Simpson was one 105 players at the Wyndham that trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, seven times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (43), including 27 sets of new Prototype TItleist 712 series irons;  sand, lob and approach wedges(131); and putters (58).

Here's a closer look at Webb Simpson's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 909D3 10.5° (UST AxivCore 69)
Fairway wood: Titleist 909F2 13.5° (UST AxivCore 79)
Fairway wood: Titleist 910F 17° (UST AxivCore 89)
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 21° (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 105)
Irons: Titleist 680 MB 4-P (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design TVD 54°, 58° (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

 • NATIONWIDE TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist James Nitties cruised to a five-shot victory at the Midwest Classic to earn his first Nationwide Tour victory.

Nitties shot rounds of 65-63-65-65 at the Nicklaus Golf Club in Overland Park, Kan., to finish at 26-under 258, breaking the tournament scoring record by six shots.

He rolled his Pro V1x golf ball in for 30 birdies over the 72 holes, including a 20-footer on No. 18.

"When that putt goes in, you feel like it's your week," Nitties told PGA Tour.com. "You have lead and the putt goes in. You feel like you're destined to win."

With the win, Nitties jumped from No. 63 to No. 12 on the Nationwide Tour money list. The top 25 players at the end of the season earn 2012 PGA Tour cards.

Nitties was one 106 players in the field that played a Titleist golf ball, more than six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (45); sand, lob and approach wedges (142); and putters (64).

• CANADIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Brian Unk earned his second Seaforth (Ontario) Country Classic title in three years, closing with a 5-under 65 for a one-shot victory.

Unk shot rounds of 66-64-65-65 to finish at 20-under-par 260, making just one bogey the entire tournament.

"This win ranks right up there and really validates the hard work I have been putting into my game," said Unk. "All the hours on the range and being away from the family seems to have paid off this week."

EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Czech Open with 89 players, more than four times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all competitors combined.

LPGA: At the Safeway Classic 107 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all other golf balls combined.

• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Titleist was the top golf ball of choice at the event with 52 players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 10 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was first in iron sets (20).

• JAPAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 60 players. Titleist also was first in hybrids (30); and sand, lob and approach wedges(101).

Team Titleist is hitting the road Sunday afternoon, leaving our headquarters in Fairhaven, Mass., and heading down Interstate 95 toward New Jersey for the start of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs at The Barclays.

It's sure to be an action-packed week at Plainfield Country Club (Edison, N.J.), particularly with the debut of the new Prototype Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 4 (SM4) wedges – which we'll be covering in-depth all week on the Titleist Tour Blog.

It'll also be a great time to catch up with our Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists, reflect on the 2011 season and talk about their goals for the rest of the year.

But before we hit the road, we'd like to get some input from Team Titleist:

Who would you like to hear from?

What do you want to know?

What do you want to see?


Please let us know in the comments section below the types of content you'd like us to gather from The Barclays, on the range and golf course or inside the Titleist Tour Van.

 Also be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout the week.

We'll be posting behind-the-scenes updates, including pictures and video from on the range and inside the TItleist Tour Van. (And if you're attending The Barclays, we'll also be relaying some clues for the opportunity to win some cool Team Titleist prizes.)

Talk to you soon!

With all of the innovation and technology that goes into the production of Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, here's something to keep in mind:

"The Pro V1 is an amazing piece of equipment but it doesn’t know who’s hitting it," says Titleist Golf Ball Fitter Michael Collins. "A golf ball can't tell if the golfer is a high-handicap player or a scratch golfer."

That's not breaking news, but it's important to remember when determining the golf ball that will perform best for your game and help you shoot lower scores.

 Every day across the country, our Titleist Golf Ball Fitting experts meet golfers under the false impression that their handicaps are too high to play Pro V1x or Pro V1x golf balls.

"I'm not good enough to play the Pro V1," is the common refrain.

"It's also a myth," says Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D.

"Switching to a certain golf ball because you think you're not good enough will actually prevent you from getting better."

Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are designed for golfers of all skill levels, swing speeds and handicaps.

Why? Because all golfers need the same thing.

"They need a golf ball that performs consistently and a golf ball that will help them score better," says Morgan. "Our focus on making our golf balls perform in the shots to the green will help golfers of all skill levels shoot lower scores.

"If you change to a different golf ball simply because you think you’re not good enough, you’re actually making it more difficult to hit shots into the green and you’re not allowing yourself to be rewarded for your best swings," says Morgan.

Titleist's green-to-tee ball fitting methodology is based on the fact that most scoring opportunities are created by shots into the green, and improving your game in those areas will have the most game-changing affects.

As Morgan points out, one of the biggest differences between highly-skilled and lesser-skilled golfers is the number of shots they hit into the green. Research shows that as a player's handicap increases, so does the number of shots hit into the target.

“The spin and flight characteristics and performance control of Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls make it easier for you to execute those types of shots in and around the putting surface, and help you hit it closer to the target,” adds Morgan.

“It’s a straightforward equation. The closer you hit it to the hole, the better your chances to make the putt and shoot a better score.”

Where all the pieces of Pro V1 and Pro V1x technology intersect is in their ability to deliver the best short-game performance without having to sacrifice on other attributes such as distance.

All Titleist golf balls are long, as distance differences between models off the driver from lower- to higher-handicap players are less than four yards.

Hitting your golf ball three yards longer off the tee won't have a significant impact on your score. Hitting your golf ball three yards closer to the pin will.

"Because that’s the part of the game that matters the most and that’s where all the golfers are really the same," says Morgan.

"Tour pros have the same requirements in that part of the game. Hit it close. Not hit it far."

To learn more about Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting and try the online Titleist Golf Ball Selection Tool, click here.

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