As many Titleist Brand Ambassadors start their journey to the 2012 AT&T National, they’ll have a nice surprise waiting of for them on the range of Congressional Country Club – new prototype Titleist 913 drivers.

And we’re excited to be bringing Team Titleist a sneak peek of what’s in store for this week.

Starting Monday morning, our Titleist Tour Reps will be in full force working closely with Titleist players in the field to check all of the build specs and SureFit Tour hosel settings to help players get dialed-in with the new prototype 913 drivers for testing. 

This marks the official introduction of the new drivers on the PGA Tour and kicks off the tour seeding and performance validation process that all Titleist clubs go through prior to being released in the market. 

The Titleist Golf Club R&D team will also be on-site to walk through some of the new technology and advancements that players will see in the prototype 913 drivers. They’ll also be taking note of the feedback from the player testing as this will influence the design and specifications of the final product that is made available to golf shops around the world. 

In case you were wondering, “913” is the series designation for the new family of drivers. Titleist continues to release metals under the 900 number designation with the “9” standing for metals and the “13” indicating the new model year, 2013.

As the tour seeding and performance validation process continues in the coming weeks across the worldwide professional tours, we’ll continue to share more behind-the-scenes information and product details here on the Team Titleist.

In the meantime, check out the slideshow below for a first look at the new prototype Titleist 913 drivers as they were being built and packed for their trip to Washington D.C. (and a few player’s homes).

As many Titleist Brand Ambassadors start their journey to the 2012 AT&T National, they’ll have a nice surprise waiting of for them on the range of Congressional Country Club – new prototype Titleist 913 drivers.

And we’re excited to be bringing Team Titleist a sneak peek of what’s in store for this week.

Starting Monday morning, our Titleist Tour Reps will be in full force working closely with Titleist players in the field to check all of the build specs and SureFit Tour hosel settings to help players get dialed-in with the new prototype 913 drivers for testing. 

This marks the official introduction of the new drivers on the PGA Tour and kicks off the tour seeding and performance validation process that all Titleist clubs go through prior to being released in the market. 

The Titleist Golf Club R&D team will also be on-site to walk through some of the new technology and advancements that players will see in the prototype 913 drivers. They’ll also be taking note of the feedback from the player testing as this will influence the design and specifications of the final product that is made available to golf shops around the world. 

In case you were wondering, “913” is the series designation for the new family of drivers. Titleist continues to release metals under the 900 number designation with the “9” standing for metals and the “13” indicating the new model year, 2013.

As the tour seeding and performance validation process continues in the coming weeks across the worldwide professional tours, we’ll continue to share more behind-the-scenes information and product details here on the Team Titleist.

In the meantime, check out the slideshow below for a first look at the new prototype Titleist 913 drivers as they were being built and packed for their trip to Washington D.C. (and a few player’s homes).

"I still can't really believe it but it's been exciting," said Webb Simpson to a packed room of reporters earlier this week at TPC River Highlands, host of the Travelers Championship and this week's stop on the PGA Tour, while reflecting on his recent triumph at Olympic. 

It has certainly been a busy 96-hours (give or take a few hours) for the new U.S. Open Champion but Webb was kind enough to spend some time with Team Titleist on the range to share some thoughts on winning his first major.

Webb also gave us a little more insight on what was going through his mind as he stood over his Pro V1x with his trusty 58º Vokey Design Spin Milled wedge in hand, and sized up what would turn out to be a clutch up-and-down on the par-4 18th at Olympic.

Check out the video above for the exclusive Team Titleist recap.

Going into the final round of the U.S. Open, Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson knew Olympic was going to continue to challenge the field.

“This place is so demanding, and so all I was really concerned about was keeping the ball in front of me and making pars.”

Trusting his Pro V1x and bag full of Titleist equipment, that is just what Webb did en route to a final round score of 2-under, 68 - capping off a stellar weekend of back-to-back 68’s and a winning score of 1-over, 281 (72 – 73 – 68 – 68).

 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now won 79 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, nearly eight times the nearest competitor with 10 and more than all competitors combined.

Simpson's U.S. Open Championship victory makes it 2-of-2 for Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalists at the 2012 majors, as he follows Bubba Watson's winning performance at the Masters in April.  Simpson's win also marks the 17th for Titleist golf ball loyalists on the 2012 PGA Tour, more than five times the nearest competitor with 3. 

Winning a major championship is never easy and Simpson started the final day four shots off the lead. After two early bogeys on holes two and five, he found himself six shots back.

“I was 2?over through 5, but I didn't think anything of it because I knew I had 7 coming up and a few other birdie holes in the back,” he said.  “I definitely thought about winning and wanted to win, but I was just trying to keep my mind focused on the hole that I was playing and just somehow make pars.”

After his second (and final) bogey of the day on the fifth hole, Simpson kicked it into high gear and rattled off four birdies through a five-hole stretch including three birdies in a row starting at the difficult 489 yard sixth hole.

 “We weren't trying to hit it close.  We were trying to hit it left of the hole,” said Simpson. “But it ended up about five feet and made birdie.  That hole all I wanted to do was make par.  The birdie was an added bonus...”

Carrying that momentum, Simpson started the trip back to clubhouse with a birdie at 10 and then went on to par the final eight holes. Highlighting the clutch performance down the stretch was a key up-and-down on the closing hole that proved to be the difference in the tournament.  From a dicey lie, Webb trusted his 58º Vokey Design wedge and rolled his Pro V1x to just outside four feet.

One putt later, he was in the clubhouse as the leader of the 2012 U.S. Open. Roughly 45-minutes later, as the last putt fell, Simpson’s clubhouse lead was still standing and he was crowned the 2012 U.S. Open champion.

This marks Simpson’s first major title and his third PGA Tour career victory. He finished one shot clear of two players, including Pro V1 loyalist Michael Thompson, who shot a Sunday-best three-under par 67.  Thompson also shot the lowest round of the tournament with a four-under 66 on Thursday. 

Five players tied for 4th place another shot back, including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jason Dufner and John Peterson, and golf ball loyalists Padraig Harrington (Pro V1x) and David Toms (Pro V1).  Six of the eight players who finished among the top four and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Titleist was the top choice of more players in U.S. Open field of 156 where 103 players trusted a Titleist golf ball, more than six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (44); sand, lob and approach wedges (146); and putters (54).

What’s in Webb Simpson’s bag?

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: 909D3 10.5º (Proforce AXIVCore Tour Black 69)
3-wood: 910F 13.5º (Proforce VTS)
5-wood: 910F 17º (Proforce VTS)
Hybrid: 910H 21º (Tour AD DI-105 Hybrid)
Irons: Titleist 680 Forged 4 – P (Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C TVD 53.5º and 58º (Dynamic Gold)

• • •

• EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Darren Fichardt withstood windy conditions at the Saint-Omer Open to claim his third career European Tour title. 

Fichardt started the final round with a five-shot lead and his 5-under 279 victory total was three shots clear of runner-up Gary Lockerbie (Pro V1x), and four better than Simon Wakefield (Pro V1x).  The three Pro V1x golf ball loyalists were the only players to finish under par for the tournament.

Fichardt's previous two victories came at the 2001 Sao Paulo Brazil Open and the 2003 Qatar Masters.

A total of 125 players in the field played Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, more than 10 times the nearest competitor with 12.  Titleist also led the field in iron sets (45) and wedges (206). 

Fichardt's win is the 14th for Titleist golf ball loyalists on the 2012 European Tour, more than three times the nearest competitor with 4.

• • •

• SUNSHINE TOUR:  Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Harding carded a final round 5-under 68 to capture the Indo Zambia Bank Zambia Open.  Harding's victory total of 12-under, 280 was two shots clear of Titleist golf ball loyalist Divan van der Heever (Pro V1x). 

Two players tied for 3rd place a further shot back, including Des Terblanche (Pro V1x), as three of the top four finishers relied on the #1 ball in golf for their success.

What’s in Justin Harding’s Bag?:

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: 910D3
3-wood: 910F
Irons: CB (3 - P)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 50º, 54º and 60º
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo

A total of 100 players in the field of 144 teed up a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, nearly three times the nearest competitor with 34.

• • •

• ASIAN TOUR:  Pro V1x loyalist Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand captured the Queen's Cup in his home country to secure his record tying 13th career crown on the Asian Tour. 

The 45-year-old Wiratchant won the event in style with an eagle on the par 5 final hole to close with a final round 3-under par 68.  His 7-under par 277 victory total was three shots better than 2011 Order of Merit winner Juvic Pagunsan (Pro V1x) and Rahman Siddikur (Pro V1x).

A total of 90 players in the field of 144 trusted Titleist golf balls, more than three times the nearest competitor with 26.  Each of the top five finishers relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.  Titleist was also first in iron sets (36) and wedges (109).

People are not graded by their performance in practice, but rather their performance in games. We are told in our growing years that if we put in the hours, we will reap the rewards. When applied to golf, many people take it to represent the amount of golf balls they strike on the range. The more balls you hit, the lower your scores. Hmm... If only it was a true guarantee.

I am going to introduce two styles of practice in this article; Blocked Practice and Random Practice.

Blocked Practice involves consistent repetition in a controlled environment with limited variation between reps. In golf terms, this style of practice would be like hitting forty 7-irons at the same flag on the range. This is what you would see most commonly if you were to observe a local driving range. It is a more comforting, less pressured way to hit balls. There is not a lot of attachment or emotion tied to each shot, so generally more balls are hit in a shorter period of time and people “generally” walk away satisfied.

Random Practice involves a constant change to the environment with complete variation between repetitions. This would involve changing club, target, shot pattern and lie for each shot. This is a style of practice rarely seen at your local driving range. Random practice requires the golfer to enter a completely new shot process for every golf ball. They could pick a flag or side of the green to hit at, decide on which club they need for that respective distance, choose the trajectory in which they want to fly the ball, and then execute the task. After impact, they would consider their quality of contact and determine whether they committed to their plan.

Research shows strong evidence that individuals practicing in a blocked setting will appear to have better results while in the practice environment while those in the random setting will have less successful results. However, in the game environment, results are overwhelmingly in favor of the random practice style. Though the blocked practice process looks great on the range, when it comes to choosing shots and adapting to what the golf course gives the golfer, they may struggle to handle the pressure or comfort with adapting to the shot. As random practice requires an ever-changing scenario, there is a greater reliance on adaptation and a much larger emphasis on pressure and adaptation. Yes, it does take more time to hit the same amount of balls, however more work is being accomplished with a random style practice routine.

The next time you hit the range to “put in the time”, try treating those golf balls the same way you would if you had to go fetch every last one of them. Change up your target after every shot. Choose a different club and a different trajectory. Take the time to go through your routine and analyze the result. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself mentally exhausted after completing your session. Practicing with a purpose is much more taxing than practicing because you want to chip away at your 10,000 hours. Stay strong and commit to getting better.  No one said it was going to be easy!

Happy practicing,

Alex Riggs
PGA of Canada Professional
TPI Golf Instructor Level III & Junior Coach Level III

Twitter - @RiggsGolf 

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