Acushnet Company Press Release (.pdf)
Fortune Brands Press Release (.pdf)

Fairhaven, MA (July 29, 2011) – Acushnet Company announced that the transaction for its sale from Fortune Brands, Inc. to a consortium led by Fila Korea, Ltd. and Mirae Asset
Private Equity, was completed today. The sale was announced on May 20.

Acushnet Company is one of the largest golf equipment companies in the world with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion in 2010. Its premium brands include Titleist, the #1 ball in golf and a leader in high performance golf clubs, and FootJoy, the #1 shoe, glove and performance outerwear brand in golf.

“The Fila Korea and Mirae Asset Private Equity group understands and appreciates our golf industry leadership, passionate associates, and enduring culture,” said Wally Uihlein, Chairman and CEO, Acushnet Company. “Together, with our new owners, our team is looking forward to strengthening and building upon the global success of the Titleist and FootJoy brands.”

Acushnet will remain as a standalone company through separate operation from Fila Korea, with its worldwide headquarters remaining in Fairhaven, Mass. The transfer in ownership will be seamless to consumers and customers, enabling Titleist and FootJoy to continue their momentum in the marketplace.

The new ownership group includes: Fila Korea, Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally; Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea; and the National Pension Service of Korea, the fourth largest pension fund in the world. The Korea Development Bank, Korea’s largest government-owned bank, is also providing financing for the acquisition.

“We are excited and proud to be part of the storied history of successful growth and evolution of Titleist and FootJoy - two revered and world-class brands," said Gene Yoon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fila Korea, Ltd. “We are impressed by the decades of accomplishments achieved by the management team at Acushnet, and fully support its continued focus on the core golf expertise at which they excel. We look forward to  growing the brands around the globe, especially with the emerging opportunities in the Asian-markets.”

Russ Cochran trusted a Pro V1 golf ball and a precise short-game to his first major title at the Senior Open Championship, one of four wins for Titleist golf ball players last weekend around the world.

 Cochran, making just his second start since recovering from a wrist injury he suffered in late April, shot consecutive 5-under 67s on the weekend at Walton Heath to finish at 12-under 276, two shots ahead of Pro V1x loyalist Mark Calcavecchia.

"The more I'm finding out about winning, you know, it has more to do with getting that ball up-and-down," said Cochran, 52. "It has to do with putting the ball in the fairway, and then you know, just rolling the heck out of it."

He pulled away in the final round with six birdies over his first 10 holes, keeping the early momentum going with up-and-downs at Nos. 3 and 5.

"The key to the round is I had a great sand save on No. 3, I just barely missed (the green) left and it rolled down in the bunker," said Cochran. He pitched his Pro V1 golf ball out the deep trap to 2 feet and tapped in for par.

 On No. 5, Cochran found another greenside bunker, this time pitching to 7 feet and rolling in his Pro V1 golf ball for par.

"So that allowed me to kind of jump right back in, ended up birdieing No. 6, and got on a stretch again from there," said Cochran.

He topped a leaderboard that featured seven Titleist golf ball players in the top 10, including Pro V1 loyalists Tom Watson and Corey Pavin, who tied for third.

A total of 105 players trusted Titleist golf balls for their success at Walton Heath, more than five times the nearest competitor with 20. Titleist also was first in iron sets (33); and sand, lob and approach wedges (90).

So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have recorded 96 total victories across the worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined:

JAPAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Kyung-Tae Kim continued his climb in the world rankings with a four-shot victory in the Shigeo Invitational SEGA Sammy Cup.

The 24-year-old, trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and bag full of Titleist equipment, closed with a bogey-free 4-under 68 at The North Country Golf Club to finish at 15-under 273 and earn his fourth-career Japan Tour victory.

 With the win, Kim moved to No. 23 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Kim was one of 69 players in the event that relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than twice the nearest competitor with 31.

Seven of the 12 players who finished among the top 10 played Titleist golf balls, including four of the top five: Pro V1x loyalists Steven Conran (3rd) and Kodai Ichihara (T-4) and Titleist Brand Ambassador Dong-Hwan Lee (T-4, Pro V1).

Titleist also was first in hybrids (42); and sand, lob and approach wedges (119).

Here's a closer look at Kyung-Tae Kim's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5º, A•1 SureFit Tour Setting (Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 17º (Fujikura Speeder 904HB)
Irons: CB 3-5 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Irons: MB 6-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedge
: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 248•10º, 252•08º, 258•08º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

ASIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Joonas Granberg became the first Finnish player to win on the Asian Tour, capturing the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Asian Tour rookie fired a final round 6-under 66 to finish with a 15-under 273 total, one shot ahead of Pro V1 loyalist Panuphol Pittayarat.

"I didn’t think my first win would come so soon," said Granberg, 24. "There are so many good players on the Asian Tour and I didn’t play very well in my first four events in Asia. I thought I had a chance for a top-10 or top-5 but now, I’m a winner."

Nine of the 11 players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 104 players, more than four times the nearest competitor with 24 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist irons and Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges were also the choice of more players than any other brand.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: The amateur winner of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational trusted a Pro V1x golf ball in his one-shot victory Sunday at The Ohio State University's Scarlet Course.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 103 players, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined.

Of the Nationwide Tour's 13 events played so far in 2011, 10 of them have been won by Titleist golf ball players.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (44), including 12 sets of new 712 prototype irons (4 AP2, 2 MB, and 6 CB sets in play);  sand, lob and approach wedges (145); and putters (62). 

PGA TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Kris Blanks was one of 100 players at the RBC Canadian Open that teed up Titleist golf balls, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all competitors combined.

Blanks, who finished runner-up, played a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, including new Prototype Titleist CB (712 Series) irons.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (45), including 16 sets of new 712 prototype irons;  sand, lob and approach wedges (143); and putters (58).

The winner of the event relied upon a new Scotty Cameron by Titleist California Fastback prototype putter that he picked up after working with the Titleist Tour Leadership team at the Open Championship last week.

LPGA: Pro V1x loyalist Stacy Lewis was one of 68 players that played a Titleist golf ball at the Evian Masters, more than five times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined. Lewis finished at 13-under 275, two shots back of the winner.

Pro V1 loyalists Angela Stanford and I.K. Kim were among three players who tied for third place, a shot behind Lewis.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Niklas Lemke was one of 101 players that teed up Titleist golf balls at the Nordea Masters, more than five times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all competitors combined.

 Lemkr finished third at 5-under 283 in just the the fourth start of his pro career.

When Team Titleist first arrived at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club for this week's RBC Canadian Open, two key stats immediately came to mind: Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation.

Shaugnessy G&CC's narrow fairways, small greens and thick, penalizing rough have players putting in a little extra practice time this week in Vancouver.

Hey, what else would you expect at a national championship?

Check out the sideshow below for pictures from Tuesday's practice round, and stay tuned for more pictures and updates from the RBC Canadian Open later in the week.

 

Team Titleist caught up with the Vokey Wedges Team at a recent PGA Tour stop to get a behind-the-scenes look at the type of work that goes on each week inside the Titleist Tour Van.

In the above video, Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill takes us through a step-by-step demonstration of how he applies a custom "M" grind to a Vokey Design Spin Milled 60º lob wedge (with some assistance from Dave Neville, Marketing Manager for Vokey Wedges).

To read more on the "M" grind, click here to go to Vokey.com.

Tied for the lead in the 17th fairway Sunday at the Viking Classic, Titleist Brand Ambassador Chris Kirk stood over his Titleist Pro V1x golf ball with a new Prototype Titleist CB (712 Series) 9-iron waggling in his hands.

 Kirk knew the distance was perfect (140 yards), no matter the dangerous pin position, tucked just over a pond in the front right corner of the green.

"It was 140 yards and it was a 9-iron, so I was aiming right at the pin and nowhere else," he told PGATour.com. "That was my only thought."

His Pro V1x never left the flagstick, landing 4 feet from the cup. Kirk grabbed his Scotty Cameron Del Mar putter and tapped in for the birdie that propelled him to his first PGA Tour victory, one of three wins on the weekend for Titleist golf ball players around the globe.

So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have combined for 92 victories across the worldwide professional tours, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all other golf balls combined.

Trusting his Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, Kirk shot four rounds in the 60s (67-67-64-68) at Annandale Golf Club to finish with a tournament-record 22-under total, one shot ahead of two players including Titleist Brand Ambassdor Tom Pernice Jr.

Titleist Brand Ambassadors Hunter Haas and Bud Cauley both closed with 5-under 67s to tie for fourth.

 A PGA Tour rookie, Kirk became the second player in three weeks to find the winner's circle on the PGA Tour gaming a set of prototype Titleist irons (CB), following Titleist Brand Ambassador Nick Watney's victory using new Prototype Titleist AP2 irons at the AT&T National, where the seeding and tour validation process for the 712 Series irons began. Pernice Jr. also had new Prototype AP2 irons in his bag this week at Annandale.

Like many players, Kirk got his first look at the new prototype irons that Tuesday at AT&T National. A day later, Kirk was on the Titleist Tour Van asking the team if they could ship his previous set of irons home.

Kirk, who went on to finish tied for eighth that week at Aronimink Golf Club, called the irons "awesome" after his initial testing session. He liked the look and feel of the new Prototype CBs and said they felt "faster through the turf."

This week at the Viking Classic, Kirk led the field in birdies with 23, eight of those coming in his bogey-free 8-under 64 in Round 3. Kirk, who finished tied for second earlier this season at the Shell Houston Open, totaled just four bogeys for the entire week.

Kirk was one of 88 players at the Viking Classic 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 (36), including 18 sets of the new Prototype Titleist (712 Series) irons;  sand, lob and approach wedges (109); and putters (51).

Here's a closer look at Chris Kirk's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 9.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 63)

3-wood: Titleist 906F4 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 83)

5-wood: Titleist 909H 19º (Project X XHB6)
Irons: Titleist Prototype CB 3-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 48•10º, 54•14º, TVD60º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Del Mar

 


ONEASIA TOUR:  Pro V1x loyalist Thaworn Wiratchant won the Indonesia Open for his first title on the OneAsia Tour and his 15th title in the Asia region.

 Wiratchant closed with a 1-over par 73, chipping his Pro V1x to within inches on the 18th hole to secure a one-shot victory at 13-under 275 and avoid a sudden-death playoff with three players: Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jin-ho Choi, Michael Hendry and Pro V1x loyalist Rory Hie.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 123 players, more than fifteen times the nearest competitor with eight and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in fairway metals (56); hybrids (60); and iron sets (65).  Titleist was second in drivers (43), including 35 910D2 or 910D3 drivers; and putters (36).

• CANADIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Tom Hoge made history at the Canadian Tour Players Cup as a Monday qualifier, shooting four rounds in the 60s for a two-shot victory.

Hoge, who played his college golf at TCU, became the first player in Canadian Tour history to advance through a Monday qualifier and then win the event since the tour began in 1986.

And to think, Hoge almost missed his Monday qualifier tee time because someone had given him wrong directions to the course.

"It's kinda crazy that I was 10 minutes away from almost missing the qualifier and now here I am," said Hoge, who closed with a 6-under 66 for a 16-under 268 total and his first professional victory.

"I played great along the way and it has been a lot of fun with all of the support from the fans and volunteers, it has been a great week," he said.

With the victory, Hoge earns a two-year exemption on the Canadian Tour as well as an invitation into the field at this week's RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour.



THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at The Open Championship with 99 players, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined.

The winner of the event played a Scotty Cameron R&D Prototype Concept 1 putter, also known as the "Tour Rat."

Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler earned his first top-5 finish in a major championship, playing the new Prototype Titleist MB irons for the first time in competition.

Titleist was also first in hybrids (23); iron sets (45); and sand, lob and approach wedges (141).

NATIONWIDE TOUR: At the Chiquita Classic, 110 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (50); sand, lob and approach wedges (156); and putters (64).

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