At this year's PGA Championship, Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner relied heavily on exceptional iron play to capture the Wanamaker trophy. Throughout the week, Jason amazed golf fans and experts alike, repeatedly flagging his iron shots and taming an extremely difficult Oak Hill layout.

And to help us add another shot to our bag, Jason breaks down his fundamentals for the knockdown shot.

If you get a chance to watch Jason hit golf balls, a few things will stand out. His routine and rhythm are both consistent and he just about always makes contact with the center of the club face. Layer in his ability to shape and flight his shots on command, and it's easy to see his exceptional ball-striking skill. This shotmaking has been on full display throughout the season with a spotlight performance at the PGA Championship.

As Jason shows us in the video above, the knockdown is key for those windy days but it is also a great option for attacking those back-of-the-green pin locations. 

The FedExCup Playoffs took the weekend off but there was still plenty of exciting golf being played over the weekend including a pair of  all-Pro V1x sudden death playoffs at the Web.com and Champions Tour events.

At the Chiquita Classic, the second event in the Web.com Tour Finals series, Pro V1x golf ball loyalists Andrew Svoboda and Will MacKenzie finished at 12-under 276 to force a playoff. The final round action featured Svoboda closing with a 2-under par 70 and MacKenzie rallying with a 5-under par 67 to force the playoff. Svoboda prevailed with a par on the first extra hole to enter the winner's circle for the second time in 2013.

Meanwhile on the Champions Tour, Pro V1x loyalist Esteban Toledo earned his second Champions Tour victory of the season, topping fellow Pro V1x loyalist Kenny Perry with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden death playoff.

And on PGA Tour Canada, Mackenzie Hughes trusted his Pro V1x golf ball to birdie four of the last five holes to win the Cape Breton Celtic Classic, which secures his 2014 Web.com Tour status.

Titleist golf ball players have now earned 108 victories across the Worldwide Professional Tours in 2013, more than three times the nearest competitor with 32 and more than all golf balls combined.

In total, 16,867 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2013 worldwide professional tours, more than six times the nearest competitor with 2,515 and more than all competitors combined.

It's time to take a trip around the golfing world with the Team Titleist Tour Recap.

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WEB.COM TOUR: Chiquita Classic

The victory marks the second win of the year for Svoboda who captured the Price Cutter Charity Championship in August for his first Web.com Tour title. He began the final round tied for first with Titleist Brand Ambassador John Peterson.

Of the 129-player Chiquita Classic field, 91 relied upon Titleist golf balls, seven times the nearest competitor with 13.

The Chiquita Classic was the second tournament in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals series. The top-25 players on the Web.com Tour money list - including Svoboda - are assured PGA Tour cards for 2014, while there are also another 25 cards available through earnings in the four-tournament series.??

• • •

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Montreal Championship

Toledo shot a final round 3-under 69 to match Perry in regulation at 5-under 211. They each parred the par-4 18th twice in the playoff, and Toledo won on the par-3 10th. The Champions Tour rookie captured the Insperity Championship in May, also winning that event on the third hole of a playoff. ??

Of the 80-player Montreal Championship field, 65 relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than 16 times the nearest competitor with 4. ??A total of 16 players finished among the top 10 and ties at the Montreal Championship with all 16 of them relying upon a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success.

• • •

PGA TOUR CANADA: Cape Breton Celtic Classic

Hughes began the day six shots behind the 54-hole leader, but fired a 6-under 66, the best round of the day, to chase down the victory. The win ensures Hughes' playing status on the 2014 Web.com Tour.?

Of the 154-player Cape Breton Celtic Classic field, 108 relied upon Titleist golf balls, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 22.

We recently visited the historic Toronto Golf Club, hosting several local Titleist Brand Ambassadors for a day with Master Craftsman, Bob Vokey. 

Voke shared all of his knowledge and experience from working with the best players in the world.  We took to the range with a full arsenal of Vokey SM4 wedges and had a wonderful day.


Click on the image below to view the slideshow


CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO LAUNCH GALLERY

The road to the PGA Tour and the journey to secure a card for the 2013 - 2014 season continues this week at the Chiquita Classic as the Web.com Tour Finals roll on at River Run Country Club in Davidson, NC.

With 50 cards on the line at the end of the four event series, the players know that every shot is an opportunity to get one step closer to earning a spot on the PGA Tour.

This week, with the pressure of the finals building, 91 players in the field of 129 will put their trust in a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball. That’s seven times the nearest competitor with 13, and more than all other competitors combined.

Titleist is also the top choice in the irons (37), sand, lob and approach wedge (123) and putter (50) categories.

Check out the slideshow above for a quick tour of the range and around the course from earlier in the week as players readied their games and dialed in their gear.

#TeamTitleist

Titleist Introduces New AP1 and AP2 Irons

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (Sept. 3, 2013) – Precision engineered for advanced performance, the new Titleist AP1 and AP2 irons deliver longer flight with increased forgiveness and a more solid feel.

Precise iron play requires both distance and control, hitting shots that fly the desired distance with the proper trajectory to softly land the ball near the pin. The new AP1 and AP2 (714 Series) irons, available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 8, feature progressive designs developed by the Titleist Golf Club R&D team to produce optimum launch, trajectory and distance for each loft.  

Advanced CG height progression, precisely designed into both models, creates higher launching long irons and flatter launching short irons for more carry distance with outstanding control to help players stop the ball on the green, closer to the hole.

Titleist R&D also utilized innovative tungsten weighting and manufacturing technologies to make AP1 and AP2 the most forgiving irons in the game at the head sizes and blade lengths preferred by serious golfers. Performance-engineered profiles with precisely placed high density tungsten weighting in the long and mid irons help produce higher MOI, increasing the speed on miss-hits to provide consistent distance without sacrificing workability or shot control. 

New Titleist AP2The new AP1 irons are the longest, most forgiving irons Titleist has ever made, with a multi-material, dual cavity design for players that want maximum distance, forgiveness and solid feel in a great looking progressive game improvement chassis. The new AP2 models are multi-material forged irons that offer distance with trajectory control and forgiveness with workability in a solid feeling, great looking tour-proven chassis.

“When it comes to iron play, distance without the ability to stop your shot is meaningless. You have to hit the ball far enough to reach the green, but also have the proper ball flight to stop it near the hole,” said Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs. “What our R&D team has accomplished with the new AP1 and AP2 models is impressive, effectively taking each individual iron as its own design and optimizing its performance to provide longer distance, more consistent distance and stopping control, even when you don’t hit a shot perfectly.”

The new irons debuted on the PGA Tour this summer to immediate validation and success, with two instant converters to the new AP2 models quickly earning breakthrough victories. Jordan Spieth won his first-career PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic with new AP2 irons in the bag, just two weeks after the clubs launched on tour. Soon after, Jason Dufner played new AP2’s in winning the PGA Championship for his first major title.

LONGER, PRECISE FLIGHT: Titleist Golf Club R&D designed the new AP1 and AP2 irons to provide the best combination of trajectory and distance control. The long and mid irons feature improved dual-cavity constructions (AP1 has a new, deep undercut; AP2 has a 25-percent thinner upper cavity face) with high density tungsten efficiently placed low in the head for lower CG, making it easier for players to launch the ball higher for more carry distance. The short irons have a thicker upper face and narrower sole that help raise the CG for a lower, flatter trajectory with outstanding control into the green.

The short iron lofts in both AP1 (#7-W) and AP2 (#6-W) have been strengthened 1 degree to help lower launch and increase ball speed for more distance. A second AP1 gap wedge (52º) has also been added to help with set gapping.

“We’ve really taken progressive design to another level to get that flight and forgiveness where we want it,” Pelisek said.

To ensure proper CG height throughout the set, high density tungsten is placed low in the bottom of the hosel of the AP2 P and W irons. This also helps make for a better transition to utility wedges, which typically have the CG slightly closer to the heel.

MAXIMUM FORGIVENESS: AP1 and AP2 irons provide the most forgiveness in the game at their tour-proven blade sizes. High density tungsten is precisely placed low in the toe (and co-forged into the heel of AP2) of the long and mid irons to create high MOI that drives higher ball speeds across the face for more consistent distance on off-center hits.

“Every player can benefit from added forgiveness. You always want to maintain distance so that you carry that bunker, or water hazard, even if you don’t catch it on the center of the face,” said Dan Stone, Vice President of Titleist Golf Club R&D. “There’s a progression in how we design irons.  Since long irons require more speed and are more difficult to hit for most players, we try to maximize the forgiveness. You can design more forgiveness into an iron by simply make the head bigger, but in doing so, we would give up control. And Titleist wants to use a profile and shape that players prefer. So we push the envelope with high density tungsten in order to maximize forgiveness while retaining the look that serious golfers want to play.”

CO-FORGING PROCESS: Pioneered by Titleist R&D, the co-forging process allows for the extreme placement of high density tungsten low and out on the heel of the AP2 long irons. The result is higher launch with maximum forgiveness, without the loss of workability or shot control, at the AP2’s constant, tour-preferred blade length.

The tungsten co-forging process takes place in the middle of the AP2’s standard forging process. The partially forged head is removed from the forging die, after which a pilot hole is drilled into the heel. The hole is seeded with the tungsten weight and a steel cap. The head is then returned to the forging die where the tungsten is precisely hammered into place.

“The co-forging process really illustrates the critical thinking and the tremendous design and engineering expertise we have in Titleist R&D to keep finding way to improve our irons,” said Marni Ines, Director of Titleist Irons Development. “We have more discretionary weight to play with on the AP2 because of its smaller chassis, which provided us the opportunity to place tungsten in the extreme perimeters of the club head. On average there are over 40 grams of tungsten in the long and mid irons (#3-7), which is around 20 percent of the total head weight. This efficient weighting produces high MOI in a tour-proven profile.”

MORE SOLID FEEL: Progressive CG not only helps flight the AP1 and AP2 irons properly, it also helps provide solid feel. The optimized CG heights are positioned closer to the point of impact, resulting in a larger sweet spot for a more solid feel on every shot.

A new face support bar in the AP1 long irons further tunes face vibrations for improved feel at impact. With both models, increased face thickness in the short irons adds mass behind the ball for a more blade-like short iron feel.

IMPROVED SOLE PROFILE: AP1 and AP2 irons feature a new pre-worn leading edge that reduces digging at the point of turf entry, and increased camber (more in the short irons) that helps control divot depth to allow a smooth entry and release from the turf for a more playable sole.

An improved hosel-to-leading edge blend reduces the appearance of offset through both sets, while the AP2 8, 9 and P irons feature a reduced heel height for a more proportioned, compact profile.

AP1 long irons feature a wider topline that adds confidence, while AP1 short irons have a slightly thinner topline and sole for a more playable, solid visual.

Both AP1 and AP2 feature a satin polish playing position with bright polish cavity highlights for superior appearance at address.  

AVAILABILITY: The new Titleist AP1 and AP2 (714 Series) irons will be available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 8.

ON TOUR: Nearly 40 players on the worldwide professional tours have already switched to the new AP1 or AP2 models since the seeding and tour validation process began in late June at the PGA Tour’s AT&T National. At the John Deere Classic, just two weeks after the new models made their debut on tour, Jordan Spieth trusted the new AP2’s to three-consecutive 65s and a maiden PGA Tour title.

Less than a month later, Jason Dufner earned his first major title at the PGA Championship playing a new set of AP2 irons and, as one national golf magazine cover boasted, “lots of precise iron shots.” Dufner hit 54 of 72 greens in regulation at Oak Hill, which ranked third overall for the week.

“The new AP2’s are really nice. The soles are better, the bounce is configured a little bit differently, and the feel is better,” Dufner said. “They just feel real solid through the strike, there’s no turf grab with the leading edge and they’re just going right through the turf really nice. They feel really solid all around, even if you catch one a little thin or a little heavy they still seem to hold their flight well.”

On the Web.com Tour, Peter Malnati also gamed a new set of AP2’s in winning the News Sentinel Open, birdieing five of his last seven holes.

Other players who have already put AP2 irons in their bags include: Ben Crane, Kevin Na, Brendon de Jonge, Jbe Kruger, Jason Bohn, Mark O’Meara, Brad Faxon and Jay Haas. Ben Curtis switched to the new Titleist AP1 irons the first week they were available.

DOWNLOAD IMAGES: https://titleist.imagerelay.com/sb/22f5c920-3cbc-42e1-a68c-48bee1a6ba67


NEW AP1 (714 SERIES) IRONS: FEATURES AND BENEFITS

PRECISE FLIGHT with optimum launch, trajectory and distance. More carry distance from higher launching, low CG long irons. More control from compact, flatter launching short irons.

INCREASED FORGIVENESS from the deep, undercut, dual cavity design with high density tungsten weighting.  More distance on miss-hits with maximum ball speeds across the face from the high MOI design.

SOLID FEEL through the set from the progressive CG (lower in the long irons).  Smooth turf release from the camber sole with pre-worn leading edge.

IMPROVED PROFILE with progressive blade length, topline, and sole widths.  Superior appearance with a satin polish playing position with bright polish cavity highlights.

STOCK SHAFTS: AP1 stock shafts feature two high performance, flighted designs to match the flight goals of the new irons. The True Temper XP 95 features a flighted launch with great feel and is 15g lighter than the stock steel shaft in the 712 Series. The Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 65 is a lightweight graphite shaft with higher, flighted launch and great feel.

AP1 Specs 3-iron 4 5 6 7 8 9 P W1 W2
Loft 20° 23° 26° 29° 32° 36° 40° 44° 48° 52°
Lie 60° 61° 62° 62.5° 63° 63.5° 64° 64° 64° 64°
Offset 0.245” 0.220” 0.195” 0.170” 0.145” 0.125” 0.110” 0.105” 0.100” 0.100”
Bounce
Length 39.0” 38.5” 38.0” 37.5” 37.0” 36.5” 36.0” 35.75” 35.5” 35.5”

 

 

 

 


NEW AP2 (714 SERIES) IRONS: FEATURES AND BENEFITS

PRECISE FLIGHT with optimum launch, trajectory and distance by loft. More carry distance from the higher launching, low CG long irons. More control from the thicker face, flatter launching short irons.

INCREASED PLAYABILITY from the dual cavity design with high density tungsten weighting.  Consistent speed on miss-hits from the high MOI design for better distance control.

SOLID FEEL through the set from the progressive CG (lower in the long irons).  Crisp turf release from the camber sole with pre-worn leading edge and beveled trailing edge.

TOUR PROVEN PROFILE with progressive weighting, face thickness and sole widths. Superior appearance with a satin polish playing position with bright polish cavity highlights.

AP2 Specs 3-iron 4 5 6 7 8 9 P W
Loft 21° 24° 27° 30° 34° 38° 42° 46° 50°
Lie 60° 61° 62° 62.5° 63° 63.5° 64° 64° 64°
Offset 0.160” 0.145” 0.130” 0.120” 0.110” 0.100” 0.090” 0.085” 0.080”
Bounce
Length 39.0” 38.5” 38.0” 37.5” 37.0” 36.5” 36.0” 35.75” 35.5”

 

 

 

 

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