Posted: October 14, 2011
A Titleist club fitting at the Jim McLean Golf Center in Fort Worth, Texas, featuring one of the country's most sophisticated fitting and practice facilities, can lead a golfer in several directions.The destination, however, is always the same."I make sure every player I spend time with goes home with the proper equipment, the proper fit and the confidence necessary to play their best," says Kyle Cronkright, Director of Club Fitting at the Jim McLean Golf Center-Texas, one of five Titleist Regional Fitting Centers within the Titleist Fitting Network. One of the keys to shooting lower scores is being able to trust your equipment on each and every shot. Cronkright, a PGA Professional and Titleist authorized club fitter, specializes in guiding you to that point, relying on years of fitting experience and mentorship from some of the game's best fitters and teachers."Every golfer has certain needs when it comes to their clubs and set make-up," says Cronkright, who has worked with elite players from the junior level to the PGA Tour. "There's no such thing as one-size fits all."And that goes for club fittings, as well."Some players want a very technical fitting, some players want it based more on feel and what their eyes see. Others want a mixture of both," says Cronkright. "I like to let the player determine where the fitting goes."The Jim McLean Golf Center, featuring what the facility calls "30 acres of endless shotmaking possibilities,” allows Cronkright a unique level of flexibility that is a perfect fit for his fitting style.At first arrival to the property, you are greeted by a member of the Jim McLean staff and given a tour of the facility. Some of the sights include: The 14,000 square-foot performance center featuring five hitting bays with swing analysis equipment and an HD full-swing simulator; 50,000 square-foot short game area; lighted driving range; and Legends Scoring Nine, a challenging 9-hole layout that can be played as both a par-3 course (some hole can be stretched to par-4s) and practice course.Following the tour, you will be escorted to the driving range and practice area to warm up for the fitting session.All Titleist fittings at the Jim McLean Golf Center are conducted with Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf balls and a TrackMan launch monitor, not to mention a running dialogue with Cronkright, who promises to give each golfer "the same experience a Tour player would have when being fit."From there, it's really up to you.For example, if you want test Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges on the the Scoring Nine, where you can take aim at pins and determine how your Titleist golf ball reacts on the greens, Cronkright will load up his entire bag of Vokey wedges, throw them in back of a cart and drive you over to the first tee.Want to get a better feel from tightly-mown areas? Check out the multi-purpose wedge-game area. Need to dial-in your distances? That's why the yardage poles can be moved easily in 5-yard increments."A proper fitting is really about being as adaptable as possible and we have everything here to do that," says Cronkright.
"If you want to get better, we're the place where you can come and get better."
At the end of the fitting, Cronkright provides you with a copy of the TrackMan data to compare equipment and performance and confirm proper distance gaps.From there, feel free to head over to the Legends Scoring Nine or any of the practice areas to continue working on your game."I've fit guys who've taken the clubs we've built for them out to the par-3 course and made a hole-in-one later in the day," Cronkright says.Now that's fitting.
In the following Q&A, Cronkright talks more about the club fitting experience at the Jim McLean Golf Center, his fitting philosophy and his own Titleist equipment:TEAM TITLEIST: What was it that first interested you in teaching and fitting?KYLE CRONKRIGHT: I have always loved to help people out whenever possible. Fitting players became a great way for me to have an immediate impact on a players score and joy of the game. I have had a few mentors, all of whom have impacted my fitting style and fitting knowledge in great ways. Jim McLean has been a big influence on me as well. His dedication and passion for the game inspire me to be the best I can when it comes to club fitting. TT: You help make golfers better every day. What do you work on to become a better teacher and/or fitter? KC: To become a better fitter I spend a lot of time keeping up with information on equipment. I feel that for me to do my best I need to know about every product out there and what it is designed to do. I also spend a lot of time learning from other fitters that I see as mentors. TT: What's the best piece of golf advice you have ever received?KC: Honesty is the best way to keep a player happy. I am very honest with all the players I fit and it helps build a trust between the player and I. The trust then carries over to a trust in any equipment I fit for the player. TT: What's a typical work day like for you?KC: A typical day begins with setting up all of my fitting equipment. This includes all of our great Titleist fitting components, the TrackMan launch monitor, and the Titleist tent to protect all of the equipment. Once the equipment is set up, I make sure we have plenty of ProV1 and ProV1x golf balls available for the fittings.
Between fittings I generate the TrackMan reports to send out at the end of the day for each player that is fit at our facility. I also take the time between fittings to be sure all of the equipment stays clean. At the end of the day I begin the clean up process of the equipment and e-mail the reports for the day. TT: Can you describe the level of satisfaction you get knowing you're helping players to achieve their goals? KC: It is difficult to put the satisfaction into words. It is a great feeling when you get a phone call from a player you fit that tells you that they are playing better because of equipment that is fit to their game. Whether it is a player that won a tournament, broke 80 for the first time, or a player that is just enjoying the game more, the feeling is always great to have. At the end of the day that is the goal of mine, to make sure every player I work with enjoys playing the game. TT: Can you take us through a recent or memorable fitting that you've done?KC: Recently I have fit a player that had been playing a driver that was fit for him about two years ago. He had made the comment that his shots lacked control and he had trouble controlling the trajectory of the ball. I made the conclusion that he had been playing the wrong flex. After getting him in the proper flex and the proper SureFit Tour setting, the player had the “Aha!” moment and seemed to find the joy of hitting his driver again. TT: How do you stay on top of your game? KC: I practice at the Jim McLean Golf Center and take the occasional lesson from one of our great instructors. TT: What's your favorite Titleist club in the bag? KC: It is difficult to pick out a favorite. I love all of my Titleist products, but if I have to pick just one it would probably be my Vokey TVD M-Grind Black Oxide 58* wedge. TT: How do you mark your Titleist golf ball?KC: I mark my ball with an orange line along the side of the golf ball and an orange “M” on the other side to represent my daughter's name.
A closer look at the Jim McLean Golf Center:• 14,000 square-foot performance center that includes indoor/outdoor bays, putting studio, club repair room, 3,500 square-foot fitness facility, HD full-swing simulator, biomechanics hitting bay and café.
• Lighted driving range with numerous greens and bunkers.• Short-game area that includes Bentgrass and Champions Bermudagrass greens, large practice bunker and 150x100-yard multi-purpose wedge-game area.
• Legends Scoring Nine course designed by Tom Fazio and Jim McLean. Can be played as par-3 course or practice course, with variety of sidehill, uphill and downhill lies. Numerous teeing areas to play some holes as par-4s.• Full-time Jim McLean Junior Golf Academy, an elite golf developmental program that teaches proficiency in golf. (For more info, click here.)• Award-winning teaching and fitting staff, including Titleist authorized club fitter Kyle Cronkright.• Phone: 817-303-4370
• Website URL: Jim McLean Golf Center • Facebok Page• E-mail: email@example.com• • •Titleist Regional Fitting Centers are located at Jim McLean Golf Center (Fort Worth, Texas); The Glen Club (Glenview, Ill.); Miles of Golf (Ypsilanti, Mich.); Sea Island Learning Center (St. Simons Island, Ga.) and Sleepy Hollow Country Club (Scarborough, N.Y.).
To learn more about the Titleist Fitting Network and to find an authorized Titleist fitter in your area, please click here.
Posted: October 13, 2011
While Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler has never been considered a tinkerer, the 22-year-old made a tweak to his equipment setup at last week's Kolon Korean Open that helped him capture his first professional victory.For the first time in his career, Fowler played the Kolon Korean Open with four Vokey Design Spin Milled Wedges: 48•10º (bent to 47º), 50•08º (bent to 51º), 55•12º and 60•L (bent to 59º)."I had always played 47-, 53- and 59-degree wedges," Rickie said earlier this week in an interview with Golfweek.com. "I had two weeks off prior to Korea. I worked with four wedges in the bag. It made me feel more comfortable within 130 yards or so. I had more comfortable swings with wedges."Rickie, who shot rounds of 67-70-63-68 at Woo Jeong Hills CC to finish at 16 under and win by six shots, said in the interview that he decided to make the change after taking a closer look at his statistics with caddie Joe Skovron.
Putting a fourth Vokey in the bag reduced the yardage gaps between Rickie's wedges, thereby improving his distance control and increasing the odds of hitting it closer to the hole."(We) noticed my rankings in that scoring zone, inside 150 yards, weren’t great and needed some attention," Rickie told Golfweek.com. "Outside of 200 yards, last time I looked, I was in the top three (in proximity to the hole).
"It’s great to be a top player from outside 200 yards, but I’d rather be that good from inside 100 yards. We felt like we should pay some attention to that. This was the start of that."Rickie is continuing a four-Vokey setup this week at the PGA Tour's McGladery Classic at Sea Island (Ga.) Golf Club, the second-to-last event of the 2011 PGA Tour season.
Posted: October 12, 2011
During interactive sessions with the Titleist Golf Club R&D team and TPI's expert fitting staff, the fitters were able to gain a meticulous understanding of the features and performance benefits of the new equipment and discuss advanced fitting techniques.
They will put this education and insight to work in the coming weeks and months as they fit golfers to the new Titleist equipment, helping them achieve total confidence on every shot.
In the above video, Brett Porath and TPI Level 3 Golf Instructor Ryan Crysler talk more about the two-day session and the new Titleist golf clubs, which begin shipping Nov. 18.Find the nearest authorized Titleist fitter in your area by clicking here.
Posted: October 10, 2011
Eight tournaments were contested last weekend across the worldwide professional tours.
And all of them ended the same way, with Titleist at the top of the leader board.From California to Madrid to Japan, Titleist golf ball players combined for an eight-victory sweep around the globe, bringing Titleist's 2011 win total to 140, more than six times the nearest competitor with 22 and more than all competitors combined.It was also a weekend for breakout wins, featuring Titleist Brand Ambassadors Rickie Fowler (OneAsia/Korean Tour), Bryce Molder (PGA Tour), Lee Slattery (European Tour) and Brad Faxon (Champions Tour).Fowler, Molder, Faxon and Slattery each trusted Titleist from tee-to-green, including sets of new Titleist 712 Series irons, which will be begin shipping to golf shops next month. (See below for a closer look at each player's Titleist equipment.)And then there was Pro V1x loyalist Yani Tseng, who won for the fifth time in her last 10 starts, further solidifying her position as the No. 1 player in women's golf.In total, 17,436 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in events on the 2011 worldwide pro tours, more than six times the nearest competitor with 2,690 and more than all competitors combined.• PGA TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Bryce Molder (Pro V1x) captured his first win on the PGA Tour, prevailing over fellow Pro V1x loyalist Briny Baird in a six-hole playoff at the Frys.com Open in Northern California.Molder, who closed in 7-under 64 to finish regulation tied with Baird at 17-under 267, claimed victory after rolling his Pro V1x golf ball in from 8 feet for birdie on the sixth playoff hole, CordeValle's par-4 18th.It was the 30th win for Titleist golf ball players on the 2011 PGA Tour, more than seven times the nearest competitor with four and more than all competitors combined."It's such a strange dynamic, a playoff, because it's just the two of you now, and you've had nerves all day long, and there's only so long that your body can be nervous," said Molder, one of 15 Titleist Brand Ambassadors that have won at least once this season on the PGA Tour."And you almost kind of get through it. You still have the adrenaline and that's why a lot of times you see some great golf in playoffs."Using his Scotty Cameron Newport 2.7 Putter, Molder led the field in Putts Per Round (26.8) and Putts Per Greens in Regulation (1.58)Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley (Pro V1) had his best performance of the season, finishing alone in third at 15-under 269. He's now made five of six cuts in PGA Tour events since turning professional this summer and is on the brink of joining a select list of players to get a Tour card without graduating from Q-school or the Nationwide Tour. Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Frys.com Open with 88 players, nearly seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined.Titleist also was first in hybrids (30); iron sets (34), including 19 sets of new 712 prototype irons; sand, lob and approach wedges(105); and putters (51). Here's a closer look at Bryce Molder's Titleist equipment:Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 909D3 9.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Prototype)3-wood: Titleist 909F2 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana White 83)Hybrid: Titleist 910H 20º (Fujikura Speeder 904)Irons: Titleist CB (712 Series) 3-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Miled 48º, TVD54º, TVD60º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2.7 SS• ONEASIA/KOREA: Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler went wire-to-wire at the OneAsia Tour's Korea Open to win his first professional title.Fowler, the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, closed with a 3-under par 68 en route to a six-stroke victory over fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy.Fowler finished at 16-under 268, which included an 8-under 63 on Saturday, while McIlroy fired a final-round 64 en route to his runner-up finish. "It was a lot of fun," said Fowler.
"I played well early on in the final round and then I was comfortable over the last few holes. Overall, I enjoyed the whole week. It feels great to have the first win. I played well all week ... I had good control of my ball, I drove well and I made some putts."Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Kolon Korea Open with 104 players, 13 times the nearest competitor with eight and more than all competitors combined.Of the 12 players who finished among the top 10 and ties, 10 relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.Titleist also was first in fairway metals (57); hybrids (83); iron sets (58); sand, lob and approach wedges (161); and putters (51).Here's a closer look at Rickie Fowler's Titleist equipment:Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 910D3 8.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Whiteboard 73)3-wood: Titleist 910F 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Ahina 80)Irons: Titleist MB 712 4-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 48•10º (bent to 47º), 50•08º (bent to 51º), 55•12º, 60L (bent to 59º) (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62(Deep Milled)• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Brad Faxon (Pro V1) captured his first Champions Tour victory at the Insperity Classic, trusting a Pro V1 golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment including new Titleist CB (712 Series) irons.Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, shot a 7-under 65 in windy Texas conditions on Saturday, rolling his Pro V1 golf ball in from 4 feet on No. 18 at The Woodlands Country Club to take the 36-hole lead by one.It would also end up being the winning birdie, as heavy rains washed out the final round of the event."I had passed all my goals this week, was hitting my irons a lot better and made a 4-footer on 18 on Saturday, which turned out to be the winning stroke," Faxon told PGATour.com.Pro V1x loyalist Tommy Armour III finished alone in second at 9-under 135.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Insperity Championship with 51 players, more than four times the nearest competitor with 12. Titleist also was first in iron sets (20).Here's a closer look at Brad Faxon's Titleist equipment:Ball: Titleist Pro V1Driver: Titleist 910D2 9.5º (Fujikura Motore F3 60)3-wood: Titleist 910F 15º (Fujikura Motore F3 70)Hybrid: Titleist 910H 17º (Aldila VS Proto Hybrid 95)Hybrid: Titleist 910H 21º (Aldila VS Proto Hybrid 95)Irons: Titleist MB 712 Series 4-9 (Project X Rifle)Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 54º, 60º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Putter: Scotty Cameron Prototype• EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Lee Slattery claimed his first European Tour title at the Bankia Madrid Masters.Slattery rolled his Pro V1x golf ball for three consecutive birdies on the back nine Sunday at El Encin Golf Hotel, posting a final-round 1-under 71 for a 15-under 273 total and one-shot victory.Slattery has now posted four top-10 finishes this season.“It means absolutely everything to me. I remember when I got my Tour card for the first time and my Dad said to me ‘You haven’t made it yet, you’ve got to win an event’ and he’s kind of right," said Slattery.“The belief I’ve got now after winning is tremendous and I want to win more.”Pro V1x loyalists Cesar Monasterio and Eduardo De La Riva tied for third at 12-under 276.Titleist was the most played golf ball at the Bankia Madrid Masters with 73 players, more than three times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all competitors combined.Here's a closer look at Lee Slattery's Titleist equipment:Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 910D2 8.5º (Project X 7A3)Irons: Titleist CB 712 Series 2-PW (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 252•08º, 258•08º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)Putter: Scotty Cameron R&D Concept 1 Prototype
• LPGA TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Yani Tseng won for the fifth time in her last 10 starts Sunday at the Hana Bank Championship while leading a 1-through-6 finish for Titleist golf ball players. Tseng, the No. 1 player in the Rolex World Rankings and five-time major champion, closed in 5-under 67 for a 14-under 202 total, one shot ahead of fellow Pro V1x loyalist Na Yeon Choi.It was Tseng's sixth victory of the season and 11th of her four-year career. "I learned a lot from my mistakes and this is my fourth year on the Tour," said Tseng. "I really get a lot of experience and some experience from when I'm leading and winning a tournament.
"I feel like my mental game is getting mature and my skills are getting better." Pro V1x loyalist Brittany Lincicome closed in 6-under 66 to finish at 11-under 205, tied for third with Pro V1x loyalist Jimin Kang and Pro V1 loyalist Soo-Jin Yang.Ten of the top 11 players on the final leader board were Titleist golf ball players.In total, 48 players in the field relied on Titleist golf ball for their success, six times the nearest competitor with eight and more than all competitors combined. • NATIONWIDE TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Miguel Carballo dropped his Pro V1x golf ball in for three eagles Sunday to capture his second-career Nationwide Tour title and guarantee his 2012 PGA Tour card.Carballo closed with a back-nine 32 that featured consecutive 30-foot eagle putts on the par-5 14th and par-4 15th holes at the Black Creek Club in Chattanooga, Tenn., to close in 8-under 64 and win by two shots."I can't describe this feeling," Carballo told PGATour.com via an interpreter. Two weeks ago, Carballa finished runner-up in a playoff at the Soboba Classic. "This is absolutely spectacular."Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 104 players, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 12.Titleist also was first in iron sets (48); sand, lob and approach wedges (150); and putters (58).• ASIAN TOUR: Lu Wei-chih rolled his Pro V1x golf ball in from 9 feet for birdie on the the 18th hole at Linkou International Golf Club Sunday to win the the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.Wei-chih posted a final-round 3-under 69 for a 5-under 283 total, one shot ahead of fellow Pro V1x loyalist Lu Wen-teh.It marked Wei-chih's second-career Asian Tour title.“The winning feeling is second to none and it’s even sweeter when you win at home,” said Wei-chih. “That birdie on the last hole was exceptionally crucial. I knew that it was not over as Wen-teh still had a chance to force a playoff with two more holes to play. But as he could only manage pars, I’m happy that I won."Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 95 players, more than four times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was first in iron sets (22); and sand, lob and approach wedges (90). • JAPAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Kenichi Kuboya earned his fifth Japan Golf Tour title with a two-shot victory at the Canon Open.Kuboya shot a final-round 3-under 69 for a 14-under 274 total at Totsuka Country Club. Fellow Pro V1x loyalists Brad Kennedy and Chawalit Plaphol tied for second at 16-under 276.Kennedy's closing 7-under 65 was Sunday's best round.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Canon Open with 46 players. Titleist also was first in hybrids (30); and sand, lob and approach wedges (84).
Posted: October 7, 2011