The counts are in and Titleist is the top choice across every major equipment category at the PGA Tour's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. 

From golf balls to drivers, fairways metals and hybrids, to irons, wedges and putters, Titleist equipment is the overwhelming favorite of the 30-player field that concluded its first two official rounds of the 2013 campaign yesterday.

The Titleist player counts are below, as are those of the nearest competitor in each category.

Titleist: 20
Nearest Competitor: 3
     Titleist: 9
     Nearest Competitor:4
Titleist: 9  
Nearest Competitor: 6
     Titleist: 30
     Nearest Competitor: 9
Titleist: 13
Nearest Competitor: 10
     Titleist: 11
     Nearest Competitor: 7
Titleist: 10
Nearest Competitor: 5

WEBB WEAVES IN NEW TITLEIST EQUIPMENT:  Current U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson is playing a new Pro V1x prototype golf ball and 13 new Titleist golf clubs to start the new season. Simpson is playing his first competitive rounds with the new gear after Titleist Tour Representatives Chris Tuten (clubs) and Fordie Pitts (golf balls) traveled to Charlotte in early December and worked with him for a day to dial in the proper specifications. Simpson’s new equipment specs are below:

GOLF BALL:  New Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball

DRIVER:  Titleist 913D3 (10.5º)

FAIRWAY METALS:  Titleist 913F.d Low Spin (15.0º/18.0º) 

HYBRID:  Titleist 913H.d (20.0º)

IRONS:  Titleist AP2 (4-P)

WEDGES:  Titleist Vokey Design SM4 sand (54º) and lob (58º)

ON THE BALL:  Of the 20 players teeing up a Titleist golf ball at the Tournament of Champions, 11 are relying upon a new Pro V1 or Pro V1x prototype golf ball. New Pro V1 prototype golf ball players include 2012 Rookie of the Year John Huh. New Pro V1x prototype golf ball players include: Ben Curtis, Rickie Fowler, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson, Marc Leishman, Webb Simpson, Scott Stallings, Bubba Watson and Mark Wilson.

OTHER NOTABLES:  Simpson’s fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson visited the state-of-the art Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif. the week after Thanksgiving to work on his new equipment. The result: he left with a new Titleist 913D2 driver with 9.5 degrees of loft which he put into play this week. Johnson was also fit for a new 913F.d Low Spin (15.0º) fairway metal and the new Pro V1x prototype golf ball that he is putting to the test under difficult conditions on Maui.

Marc Leishman, who qualified for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions after winning the Travelers Championship, has a new Titleist 712U prototype utility iron in the bag. The club, which he put in play for the first time at the Australian Masters in December, is being used in place of his 2-iron.

RBC Canadian Open champion Scott Piercy transitioned into a new Titleist 913F.d Low Spin fairway metal (13.5º) and returned to his Scotty Cameron Newport 2.7 putter from the GoLo he used at the end of 2012. Meanwhile two other players in the field put new Scotty Cameron GoLo putters into play.

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Aloha, Team Titleist! We're coming to you straight from the range at the Plantation Course at Kapalua as the 2013 PGA Tour Season kicks into gear with the season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

The field is stacked and the players are ready to get back to work. Here are some early notes as we look forward to the start of the season...

Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker is seeking to defend his 2012 Tournament of Champions title after firing four consecutive rounds in the 60's en route to a three shot win and 23-under par 269 victory total. Stricker leads a group 20 Titleist golf ball loyalists, including nine Brand Ambassadors who will be competing in the winners-only event. He was one of 23 players to win a combined 29 times on the 2012 PGA Tour with a Titleist golf ball, more than seven times the nearest competitor with four.  

The Plantation Course at Kapalua is a par 73, measuring 7,452 yards.  At 68.963, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions featured the lowest final round scoring average of 2012.

Jason Dufner and Titleist golf ball loyalist Rickie Fowler will be the first on the tee to start the 2013 PGA Tour season Friday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The duo is set to tee off in the season opener at 10:35 a.m. local time.  

Dufner, who secured his first two career wins in 2012 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the HP Byron Nelson Championship, is in a virtual tie for 8th place in the Official World Golf Rankings with Masters champion Bubba Watson. They are the highest world ranked players participating this week.

Dufner also enters the tournament owning the longest active consecutive cut streak at 21. That will be extended to 22 as the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is a no-cut event.

Fowler earned his first career PGA TOUR title and a trip to Kapalua after winning the Wells Fargo Championship in a three-way playoff.

Joining Dufner, Fowler, Watson and Stricker on the Titleist tee sheet this week are Brand Ambassadors Ben Curtis (Valero Texas Open), Bill Haas (Northern Trust Open), Zach Johnson (Crowne Plaza Invitational, John Deere Classic), Marc Leishman (Travelers Championship), Scott Piercy (RBC Canadian Open), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Scott Stallings (True South Classic), as well as golf ball loyalists Jonas Blixt( Open), J.J. Henry (Reno-Tahoe Open), John Huh (Mayakoba Golf Classic), Hunter Mahan (WGC-Accenture Match Play, Shell Houston Open), Ian Poulter (HSBC Tournament of Champions), Johnson Wagner (SONY Open in Hawaii) and Mark Wilson (Humana Challenge).

A total of 3,773 players teed up a Titleist on the 2012 PGA Tour, more than six times the nearest competitor with 602.

In addition to its winning golf ball (29) success, Titleist players also combined to lead the 2012 PGA TOUR in victories across every major equipment category for the second consecutive year, including drivers (17), fairway metals (17), hybrids (8), irons (18), wedges (23) and putters (17).

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (Dec. 10, 2012) – Delivering more performance from both turf and tee, the new Titleist 913 fairway metals and hybrids are built for more distance and control with the most precise fit available to all serious golfers.

Developed from extensive player testing and advanced engineering, the 913F and 913F.d Low Spin fairway metals and 913H and 913H.d hybrids are Titleist’s highest performing, most comprehensive designs, featuring optimized launch with reduced spin for longer distance and precision fitting provided by Titleist’s patented SureFit Tour adjustable hosel technology.

The 913 fairways and hybrids utilize a new SureFit Tour weight location on the sole of each club to help create distinct performance targets, all-around performance or lower spin with a penetrating flight. Golfers can select their models – 913F or 913F.d Low Spin, 913H or 913H.d – based on forgiveness or ball flight.

“The 913 line of fairway metals and hybrids represent another breakthrough in long game performance,” said Dan Stone, Vice President of Research and Development, Titleist Golf Clubs.

“We’ve applied some of the same advanced design strategies used in building the new 913 drivers to create more distance potential and greater forgiveness with the fairways and hybrids, while making further advances in ball flight, looks, sound and feel. Add in the fitting power of the SureFit Tour hosel, and you have the highest performing adjustable fairways and hybrids in the game.”

“Golfers are always looking for more distance and control in their long game, but they also need versatility,” said Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs. “The 913 fairways and hybrids not only deliver better performance, they provide serious golfers with more options to dial-in their set composition to fit their long game strategy and the way they play the game.”

MORE DISTANCE THROUGH IMPROVED LAUNCH CONDITIONS: The 913 fairway metals and hybrids feature center of gravity (CG) positions lower than the prior generation 910 models to further maximize distance potential through reduced spin while providing stability and forgiveness.

To accomplish this more optimal CG, the Titleist Golf Club R&D team made improvements to the head designs and SureFit Tour hosel structure, allowing for more discretionary mass to be redistributed low and deep in each head.

“In combination with a new flat SureFit Tour weight, this allowed us to really move our CGs to new performance thresholds and obtain improved distance potential,” Stone said.

With the 913 fairways, engineers utilized a new casting and polishing process to produce an ultra-thin crown, with a lower, flatter sole profile similar to the new 913 drivers. The 913 hybrids were refined with a sleeker, tour-inspired design. For both the 913 fairways and hybrids, Titleist R&D created a leaner SureFit Tour hosel with a lower hosel height and tapered sleeve, which benefits CG position as well as the appearance at address.

“All of the players we’ve tested with have commented on how much better the hosel looks in the address position. As a result, they have even more confidence standing over their shot,” said Pelisek.

The new SureFit Tour weight on the sole further optimizes the CG for speed and forgiveness. The weight has a new, flat geometry with a screw that holds the weight in place but does not extend up into the driver head, contributing to a lower overall CG.

913F vs. 913F.d LOW SPIN FAIRWAY METALS: While both the 913F and 913F.d Low Spin feature lower, more optimal CG locations for more distance potential, the new 913 fairway metals provide two distinct performance choices evident by the different locations of their SureFit Tour weights.

The 913F is a high performance, classic pear shaped fairway that delivers distance with stability through low and deep weighting for all-around performance from the turf and tee.

The 913F.d Low Spin is a high performance, larger full pear shaped fairway that delivers distance with lower spin (about 200 rpm less than 913F) from low and forward weighting for a more penetrating flight.

“Our player testing shows overall preference is split with the 913F and 913F.d Low Spin models, with many players incorporating both models into their long game setup,” Stone said.

“The 913F is our traditional fairway metal with all-around performance for players that want long distance with more forgiveness. The 913F.d Low Spin meets the needs of players wanting or needing spin reduction in their fairways due to the way they deliver the head.”

913H vs. 913H.d HYBRIDS: Like their fairway metal counterparts, the 913H and 913H.d models deliver more distance through optimized CG locations while offering two performance options to satisfy players’ needs.

The 913H is a high performance hybrid that delivers distance and stability through low and deep weighting for all-around performance.

The club has a new tour-inspired shape with a softer toe and a sleeker heel that promotes proper ground contact, with increased offset in the high-lofted models to improve appearance, playability and forgiveness.

The 913H, with the SureFit Tour weight located deep on the sole, has also been designed with progressive CG locations through the range of lofts for optimized launch and spin control to deliver proper distance and ball flight

“We look at hybrids as individual golf clubs. They’re being used to fill specific voids in a player’s set, they’re replacing irons or they’re filling a gap. That means they require that each one be designed with their own CG position such that you get the correct launch, spin and shot control for each club. As we move up in loft with the 913H models, the CG moves more forward to help maintain spin for proper shot control,” Stone said.

“We’ve also added offset to the high-lofted models for improved appearance, playability and forgiveness. That’s a preferred look as you’re moving from an iron into a hybrid. You don’t want your hybrid to look like a fairway wood as you’re making that transition.”

The 913H.d is a high performance hybrid that delivers distance with lower spin from low and forward weighting for a more penetrating flight.

The 913H.d has a more compact head than 913H with slightly more offset. The forward-positioned SureFit Tour weight and compact head combine to produce a forward-positioned CG location that provides spin and trajectory control for higher speed players or players that want or need to control spin based on how they deliver the head at impact.

“The 913H.d is a product our tour players wanted,” Pelisek said. “The forward CG really helps higher speed players control the flight and trajectory. And many players like the compact, more iron-like shape.  We decided to make the 913H.d available by custom-order-only in the market to allow our loyal Titleist golfers that need spin control access to a product that will be very popular on the PGA Tour.”

PRECISION FIT VIA “TOUR VAN-IN-A-HOSEL”: The best way to fully experience the technology and total performance of 913 fairways and hybrids is to be precision fit using Titleist’s patented, dual angle, industry-leading SureFit Tour adjustable hosel.

The SureFit Tour hosel allows golfers to set loft and lie independently to optimize ball flight – higher or lower, and for more draw or fade for improved shot control and maximum distance.

“We call it ‘Tour Van-in a hosel’ because that was our inspiration for designing SureFit Tour in that it provides all the power of a tour van – the ability to bend for loft and lie, and interchange shafts – right on the tee at the point of fitting,” Stone said.

The dual angle SureFit Tour hosel features a sleeve and ring, each with four settings. The sleeve settings are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and the ring settings are lettered A, B, C, D. In total there are 16 settings, each creating a unique loft and lie combination.

A Titleist authorized fitter will utilize the SureFit Tour hosel, coupled with interchangeable shafts and SureFit Tour weights, to determine a player’s optimal setup so they are playing 913 fairway metals and hybrids fit precisely to their game.

“We’ve already seen the fitting effectiveness of the SureFit Tour hosel with the success of 910 metals,” Pelisek said. “Tour players on down to average golfers with more moderate swing speeds benefit greatly from a more precise fit.”

TOUR VALIDATION: The 913 fairways metals and hybrids have found instant acceptance and success since the seeding and validation process began on the worldwide professional tours.

The new models made their debut on the PGA Tour in late August at The Barclays, where 15 new 913 fairway metals and hybrids were immediately put in play. The following week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, 21 new 913 fairways and hybrids were in players’ bags. The winner of the event used 913F.d Low Spin 13.5º and 18º models. The same player won again the following week at the BMW Championship and added a third win with the new clubs at the European Tour’s season finale, the DP World Tour Championship.

Player counts have continued to climb, as a total of five players have combined for eight wins gaming new 913 fairway metals or hybrids. Most recently, Arnond “Bank” Vongvanij played a 913F.d Low Spin 13.5º in winning the King’s Cup for his first Asian Tour title.

Among the players with 913 fairways and hybrids in their bags are: Jason Dufner (913F.d 13.5º, 913H 19º), Bill Haas (913F 13.5º, 913H.d 18º), Geoff Ogilvy (913F.d 15º & 18º), Kyung-Tae Kim (913F.d 13.5º), Greg Chalmers (913F.d 13.5º, 913F 17º, 913H.d 20º), Scott Piercy (913F.d 15º), Ben Curtis (913F.d 13.5º, 913H.d 18º & 23º), Daisuke Maruyama (913F.d 13.5º & 18º, 913H.d 20º & 23º), Ben Crane (913F.d 15º), Bud Cauley (913F.d 13.5º) and Ben Kohles (913F 13.5º, 913H 17º).

BOLD LOOKS: The 913 fairways and hybrids have bold new cosmetics to match the new 913 drivers, with a striking, black PVD finish and a new black body paint that provides a sense of confidence and power at address.

IMPRESSIVE STOCK SHAFT MATRIX: The 913’s high performance stock shaft matrix features four tour-proven options, including three high performance aftermarket shafts (one from Aldila and two from Mitsubishi) to fit a wide range of players and swing speeds.

The stock fairway lineup includes the Aldila RIP Phenom 80 shaft, the Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 82 and Mitsubishi S+ Blue 72, along with the Titleist Bassara W 55 (S,R,A) and 45 (L) by Mitsubishi.

The stock hybrid lineup includes the Aldila RIP Phenom 80 HYB, the Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 92 HY, the Diamana S+ Blue 82 HY (S) and 72 HY (R), as well as the Titleist Bassara W 60 HYB (S,R,A) and 50 HYB (L) by Mitsubishi.

In addition, Titleist offers an industry-leading number of custom shaft choices.

Note: The new SureFit Tour hosel design in 913F, 913F.d Low Spin, 913H and 913H.d cannot accept shafts from Titleist 910 fairways or hybrids. Titleist is offering a re-tipping service to convert shafts from 910 to 913 compatible. Details are available through Titleist Custom Service.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: The new 913F, 913F.d Low Spin, and 913H start shipping to golf shops Feb. 1, 2013. The new 913H.d is available custom order starting March 15, 2013. 913F and 913F.d Low Spin have a suggested retail price of $279 ($249 MAP). 913H and 913H.d have a suggested retail price of $259 ($229 MAP).


New Titleist 913 Fairway Metals and Hybrids: Product specifications

 913F Specs
Composition: 17-4 Stainless Steel body with a 455 Steel face insert
• Lofts: 13.5º, 15º, 17º, 19º, 21º (RH & LH)
• Stock grip: Titleist Tour Velvet 360 degree rubber
• Head volumes: 160cc (13.5º, 15º) and 140cc (17º, 19º, 21º)

 913F.d Low Spin Specs
Composition: 17-4 Stainless Steel body with a 455 Steel face insert
• Lofts: 13.5º, 15º, 18º (RH & LH)
• Stock grip: Titleist Tour Velvet 360 degree rubber
• Head volume: 180cc

 913F, 913F.d Stock Shafts
• Aldila RIP Phenom 80
• Diamana D+ White 82
• Diamana S+ Blue 72
• Titleist Bassara W 55 (913F only)
• Titleist Bassara W 45 (913F only)

 913H Specs
Composition: 17-4 Stainless Steel body with a 455 Steel face insert
• Lofts: 17º, 19º, 21º, 24º, 27º (RH & LH)
• Stock grip: Titleist Tour Velvet 360 degree rubber
• Head volumes: 117cc (17º, 19º, 21º, 24º) and 112cc (27º)

 913H.d Low Spin Specs
Composition: 17-4 Stainless Steel body with a 455 Steel face insert
• Lofts: 18º, 20º, 23º (RH & LH)
• Stock grip: Titleist Tour Velvet 360 degree rubber
• Head volume: 100cc

 913H, 913H.d Stock Shafts
• Diamana D+ White 92 HY
• Diamana S+ Blue 82 HY
• Diamana S+ Blue 72 HY
• Titleist Bassara W 60 HYB (913H only)
• Titleist Bassara W 50 HYB (913H only)

Each 913F, 913F.d, 913H and 913H.d includes:
• 913 Headcover

 SureFit Tour Weights Available for Purchase:
Ergonomic Torque Wrench
• Foldout instruction booklet with Performance Guide

 SureFit Tour Weights Available for Purchase:
• Adjust for swingweight and feel preference
• SureFit Tour Weight Kit contains 4,7,9,11 and 14g flat weights
• Single Weights may also be purchased

From Magnolia Lane and Amen Corner to Butler Cabin and the Green Jacket, the Masters is rich in tradition around every corner. And when it comes to winning the Masters, it usually comes down to some serious Sunday drama.

This year, Pro V1x loyalist Bubba Watson added his own brand of excitement on Sunday with an epic shot out of the pine straw that was vintage “Bubba-Golf.”

Now you might think this 160-yard hook shot was his most memorable shot of 2012, but Watson surprised Team Titleist when he shared his actual shot of the year.

"Everyone thinks the hook-shot was the shot of the year, but it was the six-incher going in," said Watson.

"I had a lot of relief, I started crying a lot.”

Even so, Watson admitted the hook-shot was pretty cool.

With his Pro V1x sitting right of the fairway, on a bed of trampled pine straw, Watson did not have a great angle or lie for the biggest approach shot of his life.

"We were looking to just get it on the front of the green," added Watson. "The first thing I looked at was to make sure the lie was clean, so I could do the shot I wanted to pull. Knowing that the ball was clean gave me the confidence that the ball was going to react the way I wanted it to."

You’ll have to watch the video above to hear the rest of Bubba's story of the now legendary hook-shot.

And don’t forget to check out the earlier installments below, like the Masters Sunday albatross from Watson's playoff contender Pro V1x loyalist Louis Oosthuizen.

Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Zach Johnson Edition

Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Rickie Fowler Edition

Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Jason Dufner Edition

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