What's in Your Ball Pocket?

When Steve Stricker reaches into the ball pocket on his golf bag, he knows exactly what he's getting: A Titleist Pro V1x golf ball. Every time.

For Adam Scott, it's always a Titleist Pro V1. Same for K.J. Choi

Top amateur golfers subscribe to the same philosophy, choosing to play the same brand and model golf ball every time they play or practice, whether it's on the course, a practice green or in a short-game area.

The reason is simple: Changing the golf ball changes every shot.

And if you want to shoot lower scores and consistently play your best golf, one of the first steps is knowing what to expect out of your golf ball on each and every swing.

What does your golf ball pocket look like?

"Consistency starts with knowing how the golf ball is going to perform," says Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D.

"We play with the same driver, the same irons, the same putter during the course of the round, but a lot of golfers think nothing of pulling out a different golf ball than what they started with and playing their next shot with it. .... Unless you're prepared for that and skilled enough to change your swing, you're going to get a different result."

Through extensive player and robot testing, Morgan says, the R&D team has found "dramatic differences in golf ball performance on shots into the green from brand to brand to brand."

For example, say you're hitting a short iron into a green. What's the goal? Hitting it as close to the pin as possible, if not in the hole. The closer you hit it to the pin, the better your chances of making the putt and lowering your score.

Executing that shot consistently not only requires a good swing, but knowing how your golf ball is going to react when it hits the putting surface.

"Does it hit and stop? Does it bounce a couple times before checking up? That sort of reliance and that confidence in your golf ball can really start to alter the rest of your game," says Titleist Golf Ball Fitter Michael Collins.

Accordingly, here are a couple easy New Year's resolutions you can add to your list, courtesy of Mike Gibson, Manager of Titleist Golf Ball Fitting.

"First, make sure you have been properly fit for the best golf for your game," he says. "Second, stick to that golf ball for the season. For casual rounds and tournament rounds. On the practice green before a round. Even if you're just hitting pitches in your backyard."

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

"As you learn how your golf ball performs in various situations, you also gain the confidence necessary to hit more greens and get the ball closer to the pin," Gibson says. "Whether you're a tour pro or a 15-handicap, you're going to make shorter putts more often. Who doesn't want to make more putts?"

Step one: Taking a look in your golf ball pocket.

To begin the Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting process yourself, click here.

While it wasn't part of the prize, the unseasonably warm temperatures in Iowa last week were a welcome bonus for Team Titleist members Lucus Scott and Jim Peterson.

As the winner of the 2011 Team Titleist Tour Fitting and Dream Bag Giveaway, Lucus won a trip to the Titleist Performance Institute to go through a tour-level, precision fitting for a dream bag of new Titleist equipment. He also got to bring a friend along for the same experience.

 So on a sunny California morning last December, Lucus and Jim ("The Lucky Friend") pulled into the gates of the Oceanside Test Facility as if they were new Titleist Brand Ambassadors getting ready for the PGA Tour season.

Meanwhile, Titleist Senior Fitting Analysts Kurt Donahoo and Robert Bunn were on the range preparing for the Titleist Tour Fittings.

"From the moment we walked in it was as if we were a Tour player," Lucus said.

A couple weeks later, just after the calendar had turned to 2012, Lucus and Jim were walking down the first fairway at their Iowa club, their Titleist Dream Bags resting comfortable on their backs. (It was January, and Lucus was in shorts.)

For the new year: New 910 drivers and fairway metals, AP (712 irons), Vokey Design SM4 wedges and Scotty Cameron putters. Not to mention a season's supply of Pro V1 golf balls (for Lucus) and Pro V1x golf balls (for Jim).

"Everything has arrived," Jim wrote in an e-mail to Team Titleist this week. "And it is AWESOME!!!"

Check out the above video for a behind-the-scenes look at their Dream Bag Fittings. You can also view pictures from the day the slideshow below.

To learn more about the Titleist Fitting Network and Titleist Tour Fittings, or to find an authorized Titleist fitter in your area
, please click here.

 

The 2012 PGA Tour season opened in familiar fashion this weekend, with Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker leading a 1-through-8 finish for Titleist golf ball players at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and bag of Titleist equipment, Stricker closed in 4-under 69 for a 23-under 269 total and three-shot victory in Hawaii, the 12th of his PGA Tour career and eighth in last 50 starts.

Stricker's victory also capped a three-win weekend sweep by Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball players across the worldwide professional tours, including wins by Louis Oosthuizen (Pro V1x) and Scott Arnold (Pro V1). Last year, Titleist players combined for 175 wins around the world, nearly 150 more than the nearest competitor with 27 and more than all competitors combined.

Once again, Stricker's success was largely the result of staying nice and steady. Off the tee, he sent his Pro V1x sailing long and straight down the fairways at Kapalua's Plantation Course. Around the green, he chipped and pitched and putted his way to 26 total birdies, many of those coming during his bogey-free 10-under 63 (eight birdies, one eagle) in Round 2.

 "My caddie, says, 'Do what you do,' and I think that sums it up the best. We just go about and do our thing. It may not be the flashiest thing at times, but I do other things well,"  said Stricker, the only player to have won won multiple times the last three seasons (2009, 2010, 2011).

"I chip and putt well, I'm driving the ball well. … Everybody has got a little bit different game, and that's the way I just kind of look at mine and do the things that we know how to do the best."

Such results have led to 43 consecutive made cuts, currently the longest streak on the PGA Tour. (He hasn't missed a weekend since 2009.)

Stricker, who last season won The Memorial and John Deere Classic, topped a leader board that included a Titleist golf ball loyalist in each of the top eight positions and 10 of the top 11.

Pro V1x loyalist Martin Laird finished alone in second, while Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson and defending champion Jonathan Byrd (Pro V1x) tied for third. For Simpson, it was his seventh top-10 finish in his last eight PGA Tour events.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 23 of the 27 players trusting the #1 ball in golf in the winners-only field. The nearest competitor had two. In fact, Titleist was the top choice across every major equipment category, including drivers (13); fairway metals (12); hybrids (9); irons (14); sand, lob and approach wedges (38); and putters (14).

Here's a closer look at Steve Stricker's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 909D3 8.5º, (UST Mamiya Proforce V2 86)
3-wood: Titleist 906F2 13º, (UST Mamiya Proforce V2 96) 
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 19º (UST Mamiya Proforce V2 Hybrid 104)
Irons: AP2 3-P (KBS Prototype)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 253•09º, 259•11º (True Temper Dynamic Gold w/Sensicore)

 • EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Louis Oosthuizen opened 2012 with four rounds in the 60's to successfully defend his Africa Open title at East London Golf Club in South Africa.

The former British Open champion won on home soil for the second consecutive year, closing with a 6-under 67 for a 27-under 265 total and two-shot victory over countryman Tjaart Van der Walt (Pro V1). He won last year's event in a three-way playoff.

Oosthuizen has now placed inside the top eight in his last six European Tour starts, dating back to the 2011 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Titleist was the golf ball of choice at the event with 156 players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined.

• AUSTRALIAN: It was a 1-2-3 finish for Pro V1 players at the Victorian Open as Scott Arnold earned his first professional victory with some last-minute fireworks.

Faced with a plugged lie in a bunker on the final hole, Arnold slammed his wedge into the sand and watched as Pro V1 flew toward the flagstick, spun and stopped a couple feet from the hole.

Arnold tapped in for a 3-under 68 and 12-under 272 total, one stroke clear of Kurt Barnes (Pro V1), who closed in 5-under 66. Pro V1x loyalist Mike Hendry rounded out the Top 3.

Among the top-10 finishers at the Victorian Open, seven relied on a Titleist golf ball for their success. Titleist was the golf ball of choice at the event with 110 players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all other golf balls combined.

Sneak Preview: Scotty Cameron Select

Earlier today, Scotty Cameron sent along the following note to share with Team Titleist. We're pretty excited to see what's in store for 2012 – aren't you?

As we progress into a new year, my focus has narrowed and my attention to detail has become keener. I’ve been working on something new, putters that move me and excite me. Milled creations that encompass the design aesthetics developed from over two decades of putter making.

This spring, I’ll introduce Scotty Cameron Select. Dark, bold and mysterious. Sleeker and better in every way.

With this line, I wanted to create my most modern putters to date, but retain the classic style and timeless designs upon which my brand has been built. The putter is the golfer’s instrument to create measurable success on every hole.

With the Select line, I’m confident that you’ll be putting with the finest milled putters I can possibly make to inspire success in your game.

I've put together a special sneak preview for Team Titleist in the slideshow below.

– Scotty


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