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Posted: October 17, 2011
With the birth of his third child expected in less than 24 hours, Titleist Brand Ambassador Ben Crane delivered one the best comeback victories of the season Sunday at the McGladrey Classic in an all-Titleist playoff.
After starting the final round five shots back, Crane birdied eight of his last 11 holes at Sea Island's Seaside Course to force extra time with fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson (Pro V1x).Crane's par on the second playoff hole earned him his fourth-career PGA Tour victory, the 31st win for Titleist golf ball players on the 2011 PGA Tour.It was also one of six victories on the week for Titleist players across the worldwide professional tours – increasing Titleist's 2011 win count to 146, more than six times the nearest competitor with 23 and more than all competitors combined.A total of 17,933 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in worldwide pro events this season, more than six times the nearest competitor with 2,774 and more than all other golf balls.Trusting a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball and bag of Titleist equipment, Crane closed with a 7-under 63 that included a back-nine 30 and 20-foot birdie putts at Nos. 16 and 17 to finish at 15-under 265.Simpson (pictured right) shot a 4-under 66 to get into the playoff, guaranteeing him his 20th top-25 finish of the season and the No. 1 spot on the PGA Tour money list with one event remaining in 2011.After the playoff, Crane quickly hopped a plane back home to Dallas, where his wife was scheduled to deliver the couple's third child by C-section Monday at 1 p.m. (EST)."I'm in a little bit of shock, a lot of shock, disbelief. …," said Crane of his fourth PGA Tour victory. "I know I played just about as good as I can play."Crane led the field in birdies with 22, four of them coming in his last five holes.On the par-4 14th, he hit his Titleist AP2 7-iron approach to a foot. He two-putted for birdie on the par-5 15th, then rolled his Pro V1x golf ball in for a pair of 20-foot birdies on the next two holes."I looked at the leader board on 16 green. I saw the guys were two ahead, and I had a 20- or 22-footer for birdie, and I just said, well, if I'm going to have a chance, I'm going to have to birdie two of the last three holes," said Crane, the 16th different full-product Titleist Brand Ambassador to win on the PGA Tour this season. "Newsflash: If you don't birdie the first one and you're dormie and you've got two holes to play and you've got to make two birdies, it gets harder."Titleist golf ball players claimed nine of the top-10 spots at the event, including third-place finisher and Pro V1 loyalist Michael Thompson, who wrapped up his PGA Tour playing privileges for next season.
Also earning his 2012 Tour card: Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley, who finished tied for 15th. Cauley made the cut in seven of his his eight PGA Tour starts this season, becoming only the sixth player to turn pro and earn his card without having to go to PGA Tour Q-School.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 87 players, nearly seven times the nearest competitor with 13. Titleist also was first in iron sets (36); sand, lob and approach wedges (114); and putters (50).Recently, Crane put a new Bassara W 50 for Titleist driver shaft in his 910D2, looking to regain ball speed he lost from recent back injuries. The change has increased his season average driving distance by nearly two yards.Here's a closer look at Ben Crane's Titleist equipment:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 910D2 7.5º (Mitusbishi Bassara W for Titleist)Hybrid: Titleist 910H 17º (Mitusbishi Diamana Blueboard 93)Hybrid: Titleist 910H 21º (UST Axiv Core 100)Irons: Titleist AP2 5-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold S400)Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 252.12º (bent to 51º), SM56•15º (bent to 55º), 60º•E (bent to 59•) (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Here's a closer look at Webb Simpson's Titleist equipment:Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 909D3 10.5° (UST AxivCore 69)Fairway wood: Titleist 910F 13.5° (UST VTS 8X)Fairway wood: Titleist 910F 17° (UST VTS 8X)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)
• EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Tom Lewis birdied five of his final seven holes Sunday at the Portugal Masters to claim victory in just his third professional start.Lewis, formerly one of the world's top amateur golfers, posted a final-round 7-under 65 that included a back-nine 31 at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course.Lewis shot rounds of 70-64-68-65 for a 21-under 267 total, two clear of Titleist Brand Ambassador Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Pro V1x).For the week, Lewis rolled his Pro V1x golf ball in for 25 birdies and just four bogeys. He played his final 35 holes bogey-free, going 10 under over that stretch.He hit 86.1 percent of his greens in regulation and averaged 309.5 yards off the tee.The victory earned Lewis a two-year exemption on the European Tour as well a spot in next month's World Golf Championships event in China. He also advanced into the top 60 in the season-ending The Race to Dubai. "To have two years on The European Tour, I would not have dreamt that at the beginning of the week, so I'm really pleased," he said. “I've got a long way to go. I'm nowhere near the player I want to be, so I'll put this win behind me at the end of the year and start fresh next year.”Lewis was one of 74 players in the field that relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than four times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all other golf ball combined.The 20-year old made headlines this summer when he shot a record-setting 65 for an amateur in the first round of the Open Championship, giving him a share of the lead. He also produced a top-10 finish in his first pro event in Austria. • LPGA TOUR: Na Yeon Choi watched her Pro V1x golf ball disappear into the cup for two birdies over her final four holes to claim a one-shot victory over fellow Pro V1x loyalist Yani Tseng at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.Choi fired a final round 3-under 68 to finish at 15-under 269 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. The deciding birdie came at the par-3 17th, where she hit her tee shot to 5 feet and rolled in her Pro V1x for a one-shot advantage.Tseng, who started the final round four shots behind Choi, closed with a 6-under 65.It was the second consecutive week the pair finished 1-2.The win was the first of the year for Choi and the fifth of her three-year career.
It was also the 100th win by a player of Korean descent on the LPGA.“I won my fifth tournament and a hundred times for all of the Korean players,” said Choi, who has posted 10 top-10 finishes this season, including two runner-up performances. “So it’s very nice. Icing on the cake.”Tseng, the No. 1 player in the Rolex World Rankings, leads the LPGA with six victories and 12 top-10 finishes this season. She has nine victories worldwide in 2011.Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia with 49 players, more than eight times the nearest competitor with six and more than all competitors combined.• SUNSHINE TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Doug McGuigan trusted a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, new Titleist CB (712 series) irons and a bag full of TItleist equipment to his fifth-career Sunshine Tour title at the KCM Zambia Open.McGuigan, who recently won the first stage of European Tour Qualifying, outlasted fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Jean Hugo (Pro V1x) in a five-hole playoff.All five playoff holes took place on Nchanga Golf Club's par-4 18th, where McGuigan made a couple clutch halves before clinching the victory.On the first playoff hole, McGuigan holed a 12-footer for birdie. On the third, he got up-and-down for par from behind the green.On the fifth, he hit his approach to 3 feet for birdie and the win."My new Titleist CB irons were really easy to adapt to and I'm hitting it well," said McGuigan, who tied Hugo in regulation at 16-under par 272.
"It’s really satisfying to come out on top," he said. "It feels sensational.”Titleist golf ball players occupied the top five positions on the final leader board. In total, 72 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than three times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all competitors combined.• ASIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist David Gleeson's record-breaking performance at the Hero Indian Open en New Delhia earned him his third-career Asian Tour title.Gleeson was the only player to shoot all four rounds in the 60s at New Dehli Golf Club, posting scores of 68-66-66-68 to finish at 20-under 268, the lowest winning score in tournament history.His final round 68 included a hole-out eagle from 140 yards on the par-4 third hole"Once I made that eagle I started playing more conservatively," said Gleeson, who made 13 straight pars to close out the tournament. "It is unbelievable to win again."Gleeson was one of 104 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, more than five times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was first in iron sets and sand, lob and approach wedges. • KOREAN TOUR: Pro V1 loyalist Kyung-Nam Kang closed with a 1-under 70 at the Meritz Solmoro Open to earn his second win of the season.Kang finished the four rounds at Solmoro Country Club in Yeoju-gun, South Korea, at 7-under 277, one shot ahead of Titleist Brand Ambassador MinKyu Han (Pro V1).Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 85 players, five times the nearest competitor with 17. Titleist also was first in fairway metals (45); hybrids (78); and sand, lob and approach wedges (108).• NATIONWIDE TOUR: At the Miccosukee Championship in Miami, 99 players teed up Titleist golf balls, more than five times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all other golf balls combined.Titleist Brand Ambassador Mark Anderson (Pro V1x) finished second, closing with a 3-under 68 for a 13-under 271 total at Miccosukee Golf & Country Club.Titleist also was first in iron sets (40); sand, lob and approach wedges (135); and putters (57). Titleist was second in drivers (43); and fairway metals (43). • CHAMPIONS TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Marc Calcavecchia was one of 55 players that played Titleist golf balls at the AT&T Championship, more than six times the nearest competitor with nine and more than all competitors combined.Calcavecchia finished runner-up after posting round of 68-66-66 for a 16-under 200 total at TPC San Antonio.Titleist also was first in iron sets (24); and sand, lob and approach wedges (50). • JAPAN TOUR: At the Japan Open, 48 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than any other golf ball.Pro V1x loyalist Kenichi Kuboya finished runner-up in a playoff after ending regulation at Takanodai Country Club at 2-under 282.Titleist also was first in hybrids (41); and sand, lob and approach wedges (76).
Posted: October 14, 2011
While just two events remain in the 2011 PGA Tour season, the excitement is still building this week at the McGladrey Classic at at Sea Island's Seaside Course.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson (pictured below), currently No. 2 on the PGA Tour money list and one of the game's most consistent players, has his sights set on the top spot.
But in order to get there, he'll have to pass Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald, who on Friday committed to playing in next week's Children's Miracle Network Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Who do you think will end up in the No. 1 position?In the meantime, check out our slideshow from the McGladrey Classic, featuring several pictures sent to us by photographer and loyal Team Titleist member Greg Moore. (Thanks, Greg!)
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.