The life of a European Tour player is somewhat nomadic these days due to the Tour's all-year-round, globetrotting schedule; in fact, during the course of the 2010 season the Tour visited no fewer than 24 countries including a number of exotic destinations. Last week in Dubai was a prime example of this as the top-60 players in the Race to Dubai assembled at Jumeirah Golf Estates in simply perfect golfing weather for the Dubai World Championship.

One player who was in the field last week was Titleist Ambassador Gregory Bourdy. Gregory has had another solid European Tour season finishing in 55th position in the Race to Dubai and, having completed his season in the desert oasis that is Dubai, Gregory emphasised the globetrotting nature of a tour professional by heading straight to the UK for a visit to the Titleist National Fitting Centre. It must have been some shock for Gregory when he was met by sub-zero temperatures and snow upon his arrival in the UK and was certainly a far cry from the glorious sunshine he was enjoying in Dubai just 24 hours earlier.

 Click here to view the slideshow

But, ever the professional, Gregory was more than happy to pose for a few snaps during his time at the National Fitting Centre whilst putting the facility through its paces. Based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire in England, the Titleist National Fitting Centre is a brand new facility that opened back in May of this year. Golfers can follow in the footsteps of Gregory Bourdy and book a fitting appointment at the National Fitting Centre through their local Titleist retailer. Click here for more details.

Thanks to Gregory for taking the time to come in and see us, we only hope he was able to fly home without disruption in the face of our UK snowstorms!!!
This week we are at the home of golf, playing the Dunhill Links 2010. St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie are the three courses hosting this event. And as usual they looked to be in perfect condition. Weather was good to us, with only a short spell of rain during Wednesday morning.

This is also the week of the launch of the new 910 fairway metals and hybrids. The Leadership team was really busy building and fitting all staffers in the field this week, and they all loved the look and feel of the new metals. With 16 different settings, same as the 910 driver, we are hoping to be able to make a lot of our Titleist ambassadors happy.

These are the options we offered to them:
















910H Tour






 Click here to view the slideshow

We noticed this week that the new fairway metals produce a stronger more boring flight than we have ever had before. So we will see players using higher lofted metals when it comes to the 910's The launch will continue next week in Portugal.

Staffers in the field this week ... and in bold are the ones who put new 910 fw/hybrids in play.

Martin Erlandsson

Paul Waring

Jose-Filipe Lima

Andrew Dodt 910F 15°

Kenneth Ferrie 910F 13.5° 910H Tour 18°

Rick Kulacz 910F 13.5°

Matteo Manassero

Tano Goya 910F 15°, 910H 19°

Scott Strange 910F 15°+17°,' 910H 21°

S?ren Hansen 910F 13.5°'

Peter O'Malley 910F 15°, 910H 19°

Brett Rumford 910Fd 15°, 910H Tour 20°

Rory McIlroy 910F 13.5°+17°

Robert Karlsson

Ross Fisher

Michael Hoey

Gregory Bourdy 910F 13.5°, 910H Tour 18°

Victor Dubuisson 910Fd 15°, 910H Tour 18°

Mikko Ilonen 910Fd 15°, 910H 19°

Simon Thornton

Pablo Larrazabal 910F 15°'+19°

George Coetzee

24pcs of 910 fw/hybrids was put in play the first week of the launch

We had 31 (18.5%) drivers in play

We had 103 players (61.3%) using the Titleist ball

We had 111 players (66.1%) using the FootJoy shoe

We had 100 players (59.6%) using the either FootJoy or a Titleist glove

45 players (26.8%) carried our bag (well their caddies do most of the carrying)

We had 45 players (26.8%) using a Titleist set of irons

We had 185 Vokey wedges (34.5%) in play

We had 33 (19.6%) Cameron putters in play

That's it for now...

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The Ryder Cup

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls; welcome to the greatest show on planet golf ? the Ryder Cup!!!

This weeks Blog comes from where else but The Celtic Manor Resort as the best 24 players from either of the Atlantic assemble for golf's ultimate team event. The history of the Ryder Cup is littered with true?greats of the game?with names likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sir Henry Cotton, Sir Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros having all stamped their mark on this illustrious event in years gone by. And talking of ?greats', both team captains for this year's event would rightly take their place amongst the pantheon of top Ryder Cup performers. Who can forget the heroics performed by European Team captain Colin Montgomerie during his eight Ryder Cup appearances which included claiming the winning points at both the 1997 and 2004 event. Similarly, U.S. skipper Corey Pavin also has a stellar Ryder Cup record. In his three appearances for Team U.S.A the diminutive Pavin has amassed eight points in his thirteen matches and his chip-in to help close out his Saturday match at Oak Hill in 1995 is one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history and the definition of a ?clutch' shot.

The class of 2010 will no doubt be inspired by the Ryder Cup pedigree of their respective captains as they take to purpose-built?Twenty-Ten course for this years event and, whether they be experienced Ryder Cup performers like Titleist ball loyalist Lee Westwood, or Ryder Cup rookies such as Titleist Ambassadors Ross Fisher and Rory McIlroy, the atmosphere and pressure of this most prestigious event is sure to challenge the players skills and mental fortitude to the absolute limit. With so much riding on three intense days of competition the players need to have complete trust in themselves and their equipment so?it's no surprise?to see?that six players on either side of the red-blue divide go into arguably the biggest week of their golfing lives with a Titleist ball in play. This?demonstrates once again that the world's best have total confidence in the #1 ball in golf and with?a 50% ball count at the Ryder Cup also establishes Titleist as the #1 ball at the event.

Here is a summary of the Titleist golf ball loyalists that are teeing it up at Celtic Manor:

Team Europe:

Padraig Harrington
Ross Fisher
Rory McIlroy
Luke Donald
Lee Westwood
Ian Poulter

Team U.S.A

Steve Stricker
Hunter Mahan
Rickie Fowler
Jeff Overton
Bubba Watson
Zach Johnson

With the minds of the players focused firmly on the job of delivering Ryder Cup glory for their respective teams, their equipment is somewhat on the back burner meaning a quiet week for the Titleist Tour Team. However, with five Titleist Ambassadors taking part in the event (Fisher, McIlroy, Z.Johnson, Fowler & Stricker) Titleist Tour Representative Phil Dimmock was on still on-site during practice in the event of emergency. Fortunately the event has been free of incident on the equipment front and Phil's was therefore very much a watching brief.

But we know that our loyal Blog readers need their weekly?fix of Titleist equipment and, not wanting to disappoint, we have something really special for you?from the workshop of Bob Vokey. ?Voke' has produced two stunning TVD wedges to commemorate those Vokey users that are participating at Celtic Manor. Images of the Steve Stricker's U.S.A Vokey and Rory McIlroy's Europe Vokey are in this week's slideshow and we're sure you'll agree that they are nothing short?of?a?masterpiece!!!

Titleist would like to wish both teams the very best of luck at Celtic Manor and we, like everybody else, have our fingers crossed for a significant improvement in the weather. The Twenty-Ten course at Celtic Manor is a fantastic matchplay layout and promises to offer up a feast of competitive golf once the rain relents. They say good things come to those who wait and there's no doubt that, in spite of the inclement conditions, this Ryder Cup will be every bit as gripping and dramatic as those that have gone before.

Oh, and as a European Blog, we can't leave without saying one thing?..GO EUROPE!!!

Vivendi Cup

The European Tour makes a welcome return to Paris, France this week for the third and final event on French soil in the 2010 calendar ? the Vivendi Cup. The event is being held at Golf de Joyenval on the outskirts of Paris and will be held over two par-72 courses, the Marly Course and the Retz Course. The opening two rounds of the event are played in Pro-Am format with each professional having an amateur partner. Pro-Am formats always tend to lighten the mood and add a sense of fun to the event, but there are certain occasions where the amateur players can be more serious than the Pros; there's nothing like the presence of a gallery to intimidate an amateur player.

 Click here to view the slideshow

With the event being played across the two courses the majority of players chose to play a practice round on each, which meant that most didn't spend much time on the range. As a result it was a quieter week than normal for the Team aboard the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle (TTSV).

One player who did find time to work on his equipment was Titleist Ambassador and local favourite Gregory Bourdy. Gregory took time out on Tuesday morning in Paris to work on his driver set-up as he was looking to gain some yardage off the tee. The formidable combination of the Trackman launch monitor and Titleist Fitting Technician Mattias Jelver went off in the search for extra yards and, as expected, didn't disappoint. A change in specification to the 910D3, 8.5° fitted with the new Fujikura Motore F3 60 shaft in X-Flex delivered an extra 11 yards to Gregory's drives. At this level 11 yards is a huge leap and Gregory was?anxious to let his new 'big dog' see the golf course. He tried the driver during his Tuesday practice round and immediately asked if the Team could match the Motore shaft into a 909F2 fairway. He took away a 15.5° fitted with the Motore F3 70 shaft, also in X-Flex. In addition to Gregory's new driver set-up we couldn't fail to make mention of the Scotty Cameron putter that he currently?has in the bag. This week's slideshow has images of his super-cool Circle-T Napa; there's no denying that it's an absolute classic!!!

And whilst we're on the subject of putters, another player sporting a sweet Cameron creation was Titleist Ambassador Simon Thornton. The Team has placed an order directly from the Scotty Cameron Putter Studio in California for Simon's new flatstick and he was understandably excited when it was delivered to him on the range in Paris. The putter in question is a Studio Select Kombi-S with a Tour only, brushed black finish. Again, there are images of the putter in this week's slideshow; we're sure you'll like it every bit as much as Simon did.

Next week, action on both sides of the Atlantic stops for one week only as the eyes of the golfing world are focused firmly on The Celtic Manor Resort for golf's greatest spectacle ? the Ryder Cup. No other golf event generates the same levels of passion, drama and excitement as golf's premier team event and, with players on both the European and U.S. team in good form, the 38th playing of the Ryder Cup should more than live up to its billing. Titleist is well represented on both sides with Ambassadors likes of Rory McIlroy and Ross Fisher spearheading the European team and the likes of Steve Stricker and Rickie Fowler gunning for American glory. Titleist will be watching along with the rest of the golfing world to see which team prevails in golf's proverbial pressure cooker. Good luck to all 24 players and may the best team win (so long as that team is European!!).

Austrian GolfOpen

The wonderfully named Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria is this week's destination for the European Tour. Before talking about the Titleist activity at the tournament we must start with a word for the green staff at the venue who did the most incredible job in making sure the tournament could go ahead. Austria has been subject to some very wet weather over the past few weeks which left 14 of the fairways at Diamond Country Club needing serious attention. Amazingly, the green staff re-turfed each of these fairways just two weeks ago and still had the course up to standard for a European Tour event. The course looked in great shape during practice and the players, who are ultimately the ones that matter, were very complimentary about the course conditions ? good work guys!!!

Back in the world of Titleist the 910 drivers are still very much the talk of the Tour. Since their introduction back at Loch Lomond the 910 drivers have received instant acclaim from Titleist Ambassadors and the conversion rate from previous generation product into the new 910 has been nothing short of phenomenal. By way of example, last week at the KLM Open in Holland Titleist had 31 drivers in play for the event, with 17 being the new 910. When it comes to equipment the Tour pros won't change if it doesn't perform; after all it is their livelihood on the line. So the sheer number of players to switch, and the rate at which the players are converting to 910 product speaks volumes for the performance offerred by this new range of drivers.

 Click here to view the slideshow

In Austria this week the Titleist Tour Team were kept busy with?yes, you've guessed it?910 driver fittings. Two players who have already made the switch into the new 910 product were both keen to check-in with the team and see if they could achieve yet more performance from their new 910. Titleist Ambassadors Mark F. Haastrup & Mikko Ilonen both booked themselves in for some Trackman time and set to work with different shaft options in the quest for improved performance.

Denmark's Mark Haastrup was the first through the doors of the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle (TTSV). Mark is currently lying 120th on the Race to Dubai and will be looking for a strong finish to his season in order to secure his playing privileges for 2011. As a relatively modest hitter Mark was looking for the 910 to find him some extra yardage, so Titleist Tour Technician Mattias Jelver set about assessing some different head and shaft options. Below is a statistical comparison of Mark's current 910 ?gamer' versus the new option prescribed by Mattias as taken directly from the Trackman Launch Monitor. As you can see the additional distance was certainly achieved and, whilst the new specification is unlikely to go straight into play as Mark would like to test it further, it would seem that the mission was very much accomplished!!!

Mark F. Haastrup

Current Specifications

Model: 910D2 RH 7.5°
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Blueboard 73 X-Flex

Ball Speed: 159.2mph
Spin Rate: 2314rpm

Carry Yardage: 267.4 yards
Total Yardage: 291.3 yards

New Specifications

Model: 910D2 RH 8.5°
Shaft: Oban Kiyoshi 65 X-Flex

Ball Speed: 160.6mph
Spin Rate: 2408rpm

Carry Yardage: 274.6 yards
Total Yardage: 299.2 yards

Another Titleist Ambassador keen to work on his 910 set-up was ?The Flying Finn? Mikko Ilonen. Mikko has had a solid 2010 season but is looking to improve on his current position of 72nd on the Race to Dubai?enough to qualify for the season ending Dubai World Championship. Mikko has been a long-time user of the Aldila Voodoo XVS7 shaft and, whilst happy with the performance, came to the team looking for something that offered a different feel. Following his Trackman session the Oban Kiyoshi shaft again came out as favourite and, in addition to offering Mikko the sort of feel he was looking for, also provided an additional six yards of total distance which can only be?a bonus. The Kiyoshi shaft is new from Oban and has only recently been available to the Tour players. The?high launch, low spin characteristics of the shaft is yielding some very impressive results with the new 910 driver heads and looks like becoming a?popular combination on the Tour. Below is the Trackman data from Mikko's fitting session.

Mikko Ilonen

Current Specification

Model: 910D2 RH 8.5°
Shaft: Aldila Voodoo XVS7 X-Flex

Ball Speed: 162.2mph
Spin Rate: 2404rpm

Carry Yardage: 270.6 yards
Total Yardage: 298.6 yards

New Specification

Model: 910D2 RH 8.5°
Shaft: Oban Kiyoshi 65 X-Flex

Ball Speed: 164mph
Spin Rate: 2381rpm

Carry Yardage: 276.4
Total Yardage: 304.7

As the European Tour rolls on, so will the 910 Tour seeding and we fully expect more players to make the switch in the weeks to come. The Team are currently focusing their efforts on fine tuning the 910 product for our Titleist Ambassadors but there is also considerable interest from outside of the Titleist Tour Staff and definitely plenty more 910 work to come. In addition to the 910 drivers the European Tour will soon begin seeding the 910 fairway and hybrid products which promise to be every bit as good as the drivers and will complete the best range of metals that Titleist has ever produced. These are exciting times on the European Tour and we'll be keeping you up to speed with everything Titleist and everything 910 in the coming weeks and months. Watch this space!!!
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