Andalucia Masters

Hola from beautiful Valderrama, site of the 1997 Ryder Cup, which this week plays host to the European Tour's Andalucia Masters. But before going on to talk about this week's activity it's only right that we rewind to this past weekend at the Castello Masters Costa Azahor where Matteo Manassero re-wrote the European Tour history books. At just 17 years and 188 days the Italian Titleist Ambassador not only became the youngest player in history to win on the European Tour but also the youngest to become a full member of the Tour, surpassing the record of his idol Seve Ballesteros in the process. Matteo's performance at the Castello Masters was one of superb consistency as he showed maturity beyond his years to card four consecutive rounds in the sixties. The Titleist Team would like to congratulate Matteo on his maiden victory; success couldn't come to a nicer guy and we're sure this will be the first of many tournament victories in what promises to be a long career. Bravissimo!!!

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This week the Titleist Tour Team, and European Tour as a whole, has the privilege of being at one of Europe's top golf courses; Valderrama in southern Spain. With Halloween nearly upon us Valderrama is a very appropriate venue as the course is the very definition of trick or treat. With the course in truly spectacular condition this week it will undoubtedly be a real treat for the players but, with the narrow fairways winding their way through the cork trees and trouble aplenty, the course will be playing its fair share of tricks. Nowhere is this more evident than at the famous par-5 17th which, whilst beautiful in appearance, is devilish in design and always lurking at the end of the round with the intention of ruining a good score. With this in mind the Titleist Ambassadors in the field may need a magic wand to fight the demons of Valderrama; fortunately we have just the thing in form of the spell-binding 910 metals!!!

The Titleist Team have continued their work with 910 this week in Spain with yet more players working on their 910 set-ups on the range at Valderrama. The first player to check in with the team was Ulsterman Michael Hoey who, up until now, had not had the opportunity to work with 910. Michael had chosen to wait due to some changes he was making with his technique and ball flight, so when he checked in with Titleist Tour Technician Mattias Jelver it was like fitting a new player. Gone is Michael's right-to-left shape in favour of a more neutral, straight flight and it looked great on the range. And when Michael got to work with the 910 metals on the Trackman Launch Monitor the metals certainly delivered the desired results; higher launch, lower spin, higher ball speed and consistently longer than his existing 909 metals. Michael's fitting data is listed below and, as you can imagine, he was very happy with his new 910 product.

Michael Hoey - Driver

Specification: 910D3 RH, 8.5°, Diamana?Kai'Li 70 X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: A1

Ballspeed: 166 mph
Launch: 11.3°
Spin: 2582 rpm
Carry: 277 yards
Total: 299 yards

Specification: 909D3 RH, 8.5°, Diamana Kai'Li 70 X-Flex

Ballspeed: 164 mph
Launch: 13.5°
Spin: 2706 rpm
Carry: 273 yards
Total: 295 yards

Michael Hoey - Fairways

Specification: 910F RH, 13.5°, Oban Revenge 7 X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: A1

Ballspeed: 159 mph
Launch: 9.2°
Spin: 3506?rpm
Carry: 254 yards
Total: 273 yards

Specification: 909F2 RH, 13.5°, Oban Revenge 7 X-Flex

Ballspeed: 157 mph
Launch: 9.0°
Spin: 4172rpm
Carry: 241 yards
Total: 255 yards

Another man working hard on his 910 set-up this week was Titleist Ambassador Martin Erlandsson. Martin was one of those players to put the 910 straight in play back in July but, as is the case with a lot of guys on Tour, he is always interested to try new options in an effort to make something good even better. As you can see from the information below a change of shaft to the Oban Kiyoshi 65 X-Flex and an adjustment to the C1 position on the SureFit Tour Hosel (SFT) of the 910 driver gave Martin a yardage gain of over 10 yards on average. Martin also had the chance to work with the new 910 fairways and hybrids in Valderrama and now has a whole variety of 910 options at his disposal.

Martin Erlandsson - Driver

Specification: 910D3 RH, 8.5 °, Oban Kiyoshi 65 X-Flex (New specification)
SFT Hosel Setting: C1

Ballspeed: 166.5 mph
Launch: 9.9°
Carry: 269 yards
Total: 289 yards

Specification: 910D3 RH, 8.5 °, Mitsubishi Fubuki 63 X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: B2

Ballspeed: 163.3 mph
Launch: 9.9°
Carry: 260 yards
Total: 277 yards

Martin Erlandsson - Fairways & Hybrids

Specification: 910F RH 15°, Grafalloy Prolaunch Red Fairway X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: A1

Specification: 910F RH 17°, Grafalloy Prolaunch Red Fairway X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: A1

Specification: 910H RH 17°, Fujikura Rombax Prototype X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: A1

Specification: 910H RH 19°, Fujikura Rombax Prototype X-Flex
SFT Hosel Setting: A1

Ross Fisher also took some time out at Valderrama for a Trackman session with the 910 driver. Ross gave 910 its first European Tour victory back at the 3 Irish Open but has since chopped and changed between his 910 and previous 909. No matter how good a product is it's not always possible to make an instant change with a player and the team therefore spent some more time with Ross to see if the set-up could be improved. Ross' average Trackman numbers are shown below and show another considerable yardage gain versus his 909. Whilst the numbers given are averages we thought you'd appreciate the numbers generated when Ross unleashed a monster with the 910; just shy of 300 yards through the air is seriously powerful hitting!!!

Ross Fisher - Driver

Specification: 909D3 RH, 8.5°, True Temper Project X 7 X-Flex

Ballspeed: 167 mph
Launch: 12.4°
Spin: 2362 rpm
Carry: 285.2 yards
Total: 308.9 yards

Specification: 910D3 RH 8.5°, True Temper Project X 7 X-Flex
Ballspeed: 169.5 mph (max: 170.7 mph)
Launch: 13.7° (max: 13.7°)
Spin: 2306 rpm (max: 2077 rpm)
Carry: 292 yards (max: 298.1 yards)
Total: 314 yards (max: 321 yards)

The momentum of the 910 metals family really is building each week on the European Tour and, as you will see from the weekly blogs, there isn't a week goes by where a player isn't testing and / or putting one of these exciting new products in play. It's a great product for the Team to work with and even more exciting for the players to see the results of the 910 metals heads and its SFT hosel.

Next week the Tour moves to Shanghai, China for the World Golf Championships, HSBC Champions event. The event assembles an elite field of winners from across the worldwide professional Tours in a shootout for a $7 million purse. Titleist will be well represented by Ambassadors such as Ross Fisher, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and, assuming all goes well with obtaining his Visa, Matteo Manassero. We wish our boys well out in China and will bring you all the news from the event next week.

Castello Masters

Valencia, Spain is this week's destination for the European Tour as the Club de Campo El Mediterraneo plays host to the Castello Masters. With the European Tour season just five events away from the season ending Dubai World Championship there is plenty on the line. Whilst the majority of players that currently head up the Race to Dubai are not in this week's field, the event provides an excellent opportunity for others to cement their position within the top-60 places and secure their passage to the Jumeirah Golf Estates for the European Tour's season ending finale. In addition, the Castello Masters also represents one of the few remaining chances for players to secure their European Tour card for the 2011 season and many will be looking for a strong finish, or even a victory, to cement their player privileges for next season. The stakes are indeed high!!

 Click here to view the slideshow.

 

With events taking on added significance at this late stage of the season players are searching every avenue for a performance advantage. Fortunately, aboard the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle (TTSV) we have just the ticket in the form of the new 910 metals. The 910 driver has built a strong following ever since its debut on Tour back at the Scottish Open and in recent weeks the 910 fairways hybrids have also come to the fore. The Titleist Team are continuing their work with the 910 metals family week-on-week and the response from the players has been hugely positive. This week in Valencia the Team were once again out on the range working with the players and there was no shortage of interest in 910.

The technology that is built into the 910 metals is hugely advantageous when working with the best players in the world. Not only are the 910s innovative and high performing metal heads but they also incorporate the new Titleist SureFit Tour (SFT) hosel which allows the Team to more precisely fit the player. The SFT hosel means they no longer need to go back to the TTSV to adjust to the specification of a club as it can be done on the range in front of the player. We call SFT "tour-van-in-a-hosel" because the technology was inspired by the bending, shafting and weighting of metals that used to occur only within our tour vans. With SFT we now have the power of a tour van right at the point of fitting. It's faster and more effective and the players ultimately walk away with golf club that is better fit to their requirements. Of course, you can take our word for it but the good news is that you soon won't have to as the total performance and precision fit of the Titleist 910 drivers will soon be available at retail. Click here for more information.

One player to jump aboard the 910 bandwagon is Titleist Ambassador George Coetzee. This week saw George put a 910 fairway in play for the first time to compliment his 910 driver which has been in play for a few weeks. George is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour and is currently ranked fifth for the 2010 season with an average driving distance of 302.7 yards. Such huge distances are produced with ball speeds surpassing 182mph and fuelled by his 910D2 driver. George's current driver specifications are as follows:

George Coetzee

 

Model: 910D2
Loft: 9.5°
Shaft: Grafalloy Prolite 35 X-Stiff
Length: 45.5
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Midsize (Std)
Swingweight: D4
SFT Hosel Setting: C1


From Valencia the European Tour moves to the southern tip of Spain to Sotogrande for the Andalucia Valderrama Masters. Valderrama is always a hugely popular destination for the players as it represents one of the finest courses in all of Europe. The venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup is sure to produce its fair share of thrills and spills, particularly on the famous par-5 17th where just about anything can (and often does) happen.

The Titleist Tour Team will again be on site at Valderrama with a plethora of 910 product aboard the TTSV ready to provide total performance and a precision fit to yet more European Tour players.

From the Portugal Masters



This week we are in Faro, about 300 km south of Lisbon playing the Portugal Masters on the popular Arnold Palmer Oceanico Victoria Golf course in Vilamoura. The course opened in 2000 and hosted the World Cup in 2005

Last year's winner and Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood is unfortunately back home resting his calf this week. So he won't be defending the title this year. Fyi... Lee will become the new World No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings on 30 Oct 2010.

There aren't many tournaments remaining on the 2010 European Tour schedule, and there are only two more events at which the TTSV will be on site. Therefore, we are trying to make sure that all our Titleist ambassadors are happy with their equipment and that they all have back up irons and wedges.

 Click here to view the slideshow


The following staffers are in the field this week:

Martin Erlandsson

Robert Karlsson

Soren Hansen

Mikko Ilonen

Matteo Manassero

Paul Waring

Ross Fisher

Michael Hoey

Simon Thornton

Pablo Larrazabal

Jose-Filipe Lima

Gregory Bourdy

Tano Goya

Scott Strange

Brett Rumford


Andrew Dodt


Peter O'Malley


This week we did some trackman work with Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Strange. He has been using the new 910H 21° hybrid but wanted to try the 910H Tour 18° as well. We made him one to the following specs:




Model

Loft

Shaft

Flex

Length

Grip

Grip Size

Swing Weight

Tipping

SFT Setting



910H Tour

18°

Rombax 8D07

Standard STIFF

41"

GRIP MASTER

0 + 1

D2

None

D4






This club will be perfect for him when he returns to Australia to play some events. The 18° produces a really boring flight and is very useful on the firmer fairways '' down under''.

We also did some work with Titlesit Brand Ambassador Ross Fisher. Ross ended up playing the Pro-Am on Wednesday, using the 910F 13.5° and 910H 17°. Ross really liked them and will consider putting them in play this week. Ross also compared his current gamer (909D3) to the 910D3 he used when he won the Irish Open. Again, the 910 outperformed the 909 so he put it in play and shot a 68. Here are Ross' specs:




Model

Loft

Shaft

Flex

Length

Grip

Grip Size

Swing Weight

Tipping

SFT Setting



910H

17°

Speeder 904HB

Standard X - Stiff

41"

Lamkin Black Cord

0 + 1 UPS

D3

None

A1



910H Tour

18°

Speeder 904HB

Standard X - Stiff

41"

Lamkin Black Cord

0 + 1 UPS

D3

None

A1



910F

13.5°

Project X 8A4

Standard X - Stiff

43"

Lamkin Black Cord

0 + 1 UPS

D3

2"

A1



910D3

8.5°

Project X 7A3

Standard X - Stiff

45"

Lamkin Black Cord

0 + 1

D3

2"

C1






Titleist staffer Robert Karlsson received his 910's last week at the Dunhill. He didn't use them that week because the flight on his 910F 13.5° was too strong and the ball went too far. He did mention that the 910F 19°' was perfect and could go in the bag, but he didn't want to change just one of his fairway metals. He would rather change both at the same time. So, we went down to the range and started up the trackman. He was right, the 910 didn't create enough spin or launch, so we took out the wrench and changed the setting from A1 to D4. Which means that we changed the loft on his 13.5° to 14.25°' instead. Straight away we could see an increase in spin and Robert was happy. Less dispersion, higher ball speed and better look and feel are the reasons why Robert has now moved in to the new 910's. I think he was happy during first day of play, because he ended up shooting a 64 and is currently tied for the lead...

Pro V1x loyalist Danny Willet was forced to withdraw from the tournament on Thursday morning due to a back injury. The European Tour heard that Titleist Staffer Simon Thornton was on holiday in Portugal and called him to see if he could play. Simon jumped in a taxi and headed straight to the course. The only problem for Simon was thst his clubs and all his golf equipment were at home in Ireland. He has therefore borrowed a set of clubs from the Club Professional, and chosen shoes, caps and gloves from the Pro Shop. Good luck to Simon this week as he tries to secure his card for next season.

Moral to the story ..... Never go on holiday without your clubs!

Next week we travel to Sergio Garcia's hometown, Castellon, Spain, for the Castello Masters.

That's it for now...

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