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Posted: January 8, 2013
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.
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 and Ryan Moore. 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.
Posted: January 4, 2013
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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(Frys.com Open), J.J. Henry (Reno-Tahoe Open), John Huh (Mayakoba Golf Classic), Hunter Mahan (WGC-Accenture Match Play, Shell Houston Open), Ryan Moore (Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), Ian Poulter (HSBC Tournament of Champions), Ted Potter, Jr. (The Greenbrier Classic), 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).
Posted: January 1, 2013
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
Posted: December 31, 2012
U.S. Open? Check.
Most important shot of your life? Check.
One of the worst lies you’ve ever seen? Unfortunately, double-check.
This sets the stage for Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson and his most memorable shot of 2012. As most Tour Players know, there is nothing like the pressure that comes along with playing in a major championship and when it’s the U.S. Open – they know the conditions are going to be extremely difficult on a good day.
In the penultimate group, Webb put on a show of skill, nerves and determination during the final 18 holes at the Olympic Club. After making birdies on holes 6, 7, 8 and 10, he moved into contention and came to the 72nd hole needing Par or better to finish with the clubhouse lead.
After a solid drive, his approach shot landed just off the green but when he made it greenside, he found his Pro V1x in a rather tricky lie that would set up a difficult up and down.
“I get up there and the lie is so unique. It’s an old drain but there is no drain cover under it. It’s just dead grass,” said Simpson. “The most important shot of my life I’m facing and it’s one of the worst lies I’ve ever seen.”
So what was Webb thinking? He just wanted to keep it simple.
“If I execute the technique right on my chip and I land it in this area, about a three foot area it’s going to be good.”
It was really good. One chip and a putt later, Webb was in the clubhouse with the lead and, with his wife by his side, watching the final group come in. After the last putt dropped, nobody was able to match Webb’s score and he was now able to add U.S. Open Champion to his resume.
Hear what Webb had to say in the video above and check out some more of our Team Titleist Shots of the Year below.
Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Louis Oosthuizen Edition
You can’t win a tournament on Thursday but getting off to a great start can give a player all the momentum and confidence they need to never look back.
For Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings, getting to three-under after the first two holes this year at the True South Classic set the tone for his play and his eagle on the 11th hole (his second of the day) proved to be his most memorable shot of 2012.
“I had 267 yards to a back right flag and the wind was a little bit into it so it was perfect,” said Stallings.
“I hit three wood as hard as I could. I had a little cut on it and I hit it to about a foot.”
Scott tapped in his Pro V1x for eagle, posted four rounds in the 60’s (68 – 64- 64 -68) and went on to secure his second career PGA Tour victory.
Watch the video above for Scott’s take on the shot and be sure to check out some of the other Team Titleist Shots of the Year below.