BMW International Open - Munich

This week's European Tour stop is Munich for the BMW International Open. With the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle (TTSV) located right on the range a busy week was always on the cards and that's exactly how it panned out.

After over 30 consecutive days of rain the heavens finally relented on Monday at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried, so once again the course will play very soft and scoring will be extremely low. Don't be surprised to see something approaching 20 under par winning this week. At just over 7000 yards and par 72, it's a relatively short course for the modern day bombers.

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After a few weeks in the U.S.A, including last weeks U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, a number of the European Tour's top stars returned to Europe for this week's event. One such star was Titleist Ambassador Robert Karlsson. Robert jumped on a plane from the west coast of the U.S.A late on Sunday night and was at work early Tuesday in Munich to fulfil a sponsor's clinic on the range. Robert also took some time out during his practice schedule to work on a new 909 fairway. He felt that over the past few weeks he has been turning the ball over a little too much and that this had cost him a few dollars last week when his 2nd shot to the 18th at Pebble Beach found the Pacific. Following some work on Trackman the Team put together a couple of new options to try in Wednesdays Pro Am and Robert finally settled on a slightly stronger tipped version of his current shaft. Tipping his existing shaft maintained the feel that he is used to whilst giving Robert the additional stability he needed. Robert could really attack the ball with the stronger shaft without the fear of it going left. Robert was clearly happy with the new fairway metal and was kind enough to express his thanks to the Team on the TitleistEurope Twitter page.

Robert Karlsson


Model: 909 F3
Loft: 13°
Shaft: Grafalloy Prolaunch Red Fairway X-Flex (Tipped 1")
Length: 43"
Grip: Golf Pride Multi-Compound Red/Black .580 Round (+1/32")
Swingweight: D4


Also in Munich after a long distance commute from Pebble was Titleist Ambassador Ross Fisher. Ross has not?had a vintage first half of the season but looked to been in fine form on the range in Munich. Ross was also keen to spend some time working with his 909 fairways. The reigning Accenture World Matchplay Champion has been switching between two different 909 fairways depending on the course conditions. He has a strong 909F2 13.5° adjusted to 12° which is perfect from the tee but a little more difficult to flight into a green if required. The second option has a little more loft and a different shaft and this looked favourite for this week's course set up. It is slightly shorter off the tee due to the higher loft but offers a much better flight for those long second shots into par 5's. With either option Ross delivers a mighty hit with and consistently carries the ball over 265 yards with either.

Ross Fisher


Strong Option
Model: 909 F2
Loft: 13.5° @ 12°
Shaft: Oban Devotion 8 X-Flex (Tipped 2")
Length: 43"
Grip: Lamkin Tour Black Full Cord (+1/64" & Reversed)


Weaker Option
Model: 909 F2
Loft: 13.5°
Shaft: Project X 8A4 X-Flex (Tipped 2")
Length: 43"
Grip: Lamkin Tour Black Fullcord (+1/64" & Reversed)


With access to the Trackman launch monitor Ross also wanted to take a look at his short iron composition. Titleist master craftsman Bob Vokey had put together a new 248.06 Spin Milled C-C wedge (adjusted to 47°) at the U.S Open last week as Ross wanted another 5 yards from his lowest lofted wedge to prevent him having to hit so many ?soft' 9 iron shots. Ross' standard 48° wedge goes 130 yards and the new 47° fitted the bill perfectly, 135 yards on the button!! Great work as always Bob!!

With the World Cup in full flow, talk on the range was all about football but, when French Titleist Ambassador Gregory Bourdy checked in for a Trackman session the Team understandably steered well clear of the subject and stuck to the golf. Gregory wanted to use Trackman to analyse his irons and see how they were performing. His feeling was that he could get more from his current irons and felt that he was struggling a little with control into the wind. Gregory is a good solid ball striker and is quite aggressive down through the ball. This angle of attack was producing a lot of spin with Gregory's 8 Iron, for example, producing some 800rpm more than we would ideally like to see. The team set about tweaking the lofts on his set of Titleist MB irons 1.5° strong which brought the spin down to a much more controllable level. Flight and dispersion were improved and Gregory gained 6-7 yards with all clubs. A great advert for custom fitting if ever there was one!!! Gregory also saw some very good figures with the True Temper Dynamic Gold SL shaft that he tried on the range and decided that he would like another set of the MB irons to his specifiction with these shafts fitted. The Team obliged and Gregory will take these away for further testing.

Irish Titleist Ambassador Simon Thornton also touched base with the Team to work on his 909 driver set-up. Having been brought up on blustery Irish links courses Simon is happy flighting the ball low but this is not ideal for gaining some yardage with the driver. Working with Trackman the team encouraged Simon to try and hit the ball higher and, by launching the ball a few degrees more, he managed to find 10-12 yards through the air. A change in technique coupled with a switch to the Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Kai Li shaft also helped tighten the dispersion on Simon's drives and provide a much more controllable ball flight. An all around winner!!!

Simon Thornton


Model: 909 DComp
Loft: 9.5°
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Kai Li 70 X-Flex (Tipped 1.5")
Length: 45"
Grip: Golf Pride Multi-Compound Blue/Black .600 Round (+1/32")
Swingweight: D3


The final note on this week's Blog is to congratulate Titleist golf ball loyalist Martin Wiegele on his second win of the year at last week's St Omer Open. The win promotes Martin to the European Tour from the Challenge Tour until the end of 2011. It's the second win in a matter of weeks for Martin who also claimed Challenge Tour victory in his native Austria earlier this month.

The next few weeks will have a huge impact on the Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup rankings with the winner's cheques getting bigger and bigger, so good luck to all our Titleist Ambassadors in the coming weeks. It promises to be a great few weeks on the European Tour both on the course and in the TTSV. Keep your eye on the TitleistEurope Twitter page over the next couple of weeks for some really, really exciting stuff!!! Titleist 910 is coming to the European Tour!!

Next week the European Tour moves to Paris for the Open de France. Paris is a wonderful venue to visit but the big question is whether the French cuisine can top that experienced by the Titleist Tour Team in Munich this week. As you will see from this week's slideshow the boys certainly enjoyed the gastronomic delights on offer.

From the U.S Open - Tuesday

Pebble Beach Golf Links was much busier on Tuesday than it was on Monday as preparations began in earnest for the 2010 U.S. Open. Team Titleist was on-hand to capture some images of a number of Titleist Ambassadors and golf ball players as they played their first practice rounds and got their first taste of a layout that will demand as much strategic prowess as ball striking ability.


 


Click the photo below to view some images from Tuesday's action at Pebble Beach:


U.S. Open


 Titleist commemorative custom golf balls are on full display in the Pebble Beach Golf Shop.


 


 


From the U.S. Open - Monday

The 2010 U.S. Open Championship gets underway this Thursday at storied Pebble Beach Golf Links on California's Monterey Peninsula. Pebble has hosted some of the most historic contests in U.S. Open history, and the early consensus is that this is the fairest, most judicious layout that the USGA has overseen in more than twenty years. One of the best places to watch the action is on the shared tee box for #4 and #17. If you get a prime spot, you can see players take a whack at the potentially drivable Par 4 fourth (331 yards), and watch other groups challenge the well-protected 17th green straight out toward the Pacific Ocean. If you catch a rare lull there, turn your attention to the third green, where there should be some birdie putts.

Team Titleist is on-site at this year's second major and we'll keep you posted with daily information from inside the ropes.

Click the photo below to view some images from Monday morning at Pebble Beach:

The Celtic Manor Wales Open

The European Tour makes a journey?of some significance this week as The Celtic Manor Resort plays host to the Wales Open. The resort has hosted the event since 2000 but this year's visit to Celtic Manor's Twenty Ten course carries extra significance as it is also the host venue for golf's greatest spectacle; the 2010 Ryder Cup. The event offers some of the Ryder Cup hopefuls in the field a chance to get to know the venue and, for those not automatically selected for Monty's team, a good performance here could see them enter Monty's thinking for a Captain's pick. The likes of Fisher, Hansen, Larrazabal and Bourdy will all be looking to trust their Titleist equipment and record an impressive finish.


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The venue itself is looking in excellent condition ahead of this week's event and looks a superb layout for the Ryder Cup in early October. The Twenty Ten course is the first of its kind as it is the only course to ever be designed specifically for golf's premier event. A number of holes from the original Wentwood Hills course have been re-designed but nine of the eighteen holes on the Twenty Ten are all new. The par 71, 7400 yard layout has been designed to offer pure golfing theatre and numerous holes offer the players a very distinct risk-reward challenge, usually involving water which is in play on ten holes. Although designed for match play, the risk-reward nature of the golf course also makes it an exciting stroke play venue. Those players on form can really take advantage and reap the rewards on offer but?it only takes a few loose shots to rack up a big number. Both low scores and high scores should be expected which should make for exciting viewing.


The Titleist Tour Support Vehicle (TTSV) was back on site following a week off at last week's Madrid Masters and a number of players were keen to get to work on their equipment set-up. Titleist Ambassador Kenneth Ferrie was a surprise visitor to the TTSV. Kenneth doesn't tend to mess with his equipment too much but this week he was keen to look at his current driver, fairway and hybrid set-ups to ensure that all was working well. Titleist Tour Technician Phil Dimmock spent time with Kenneth using the Trackman Launch Monitor and analysis revealed that there was room for improvement in his set-up. The team?assembled some new options for him to test and indications were that they might go straight in the bag for the event.

Kenneth Ferrie


Model: 909DComp
Loft: 8.5°
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki 63 Stiff
Length: 45?
Grip: Golf Pride Multi-Compound Black/Blue .600 Round (+1/64?)
Swingweight: D3


Model: 909H
Lofts: 17° & 21°
Shafts: Fujikura Speeder 904HB Stiff (17°) & True Temper Project X HD2 (21°)
Length: 41? (17°) & 40? (19°)
Grips: Golf Pride Multi-Compound Black/Blue .600 Round (+1/64?)
Swingweights: D4


Another player to book themselves in with the team for some Trackman work was Titleist Ambassador Jose-Filipe Lima. The Portugese finished second on last year's Challenge Tour Order of Merit and is working hard at his game to establish himself on the European Tour. Jose has been working with his coach in recent weeks to create more speed with the driver and he is noticeably faster than the last time he checked in with the team. With the additional speed Jose has noticed his current 909D2, 9.5°, Aldila Voodoo XVS6 X-Flex was generating more spin than before meaning that a new driver shaft was in order. Titleist Tour Technician Mattias Jelver spent time with Jose and narrowed the choice down to two options; the True Temper Project X and the Oban Revenge. After rigorous testing on the range the Oban Revenge came out on top and the statistics with this specification were certainly pretty impressive. Jose's ball speed when hitting what he calls a ?soft driver? were up around 164mph but when he gave it full throttle his speed was elevated to around 173mph. Trackman measurements showed that that the new driver gave Jose 289 yards of carry on average with a total distance of 313 yards. Not too shabby I'm sure you'd agree!!!

Lima wasn't the only player to switch to an Oban shaft this week as Titleist Ambassador Ross Fisher changed his 909F2 fairway to the Oban Devotion 8. Ross' fairway was launching too high for his liking and the switch to the Devotion 8 has helped to get this back under control. The new fairway is in play this week at Celtic Manor.

Ross Fisher


Model: 909F2
Loft: 13.5°
Shaft: Oban Devotion 8 Stiff
Length: 43?
Grip: Lamkin Crossline Cord (+1/32?)
Swingweight: D3


Don't forget that you can follow the Titleist Tour Team on a daily basis through the Titleist Europe Twitter page. The Team will be ?Tweeting' from next week's Estoril Open de Portugal where Titleist Ambassador Michael Hoey will be back to defend his title. Please click?here?to follow the Team.

Coaching the coaches

One of the world's top coaches and Titleist Ambassador Pete Cowen took time out of his hectic schedule to pass on some of his wisdom to PGA pros at a Titleist Teachers' Clinic held at the Celtic Manor 2010 Course - ahead of the Wales Open next week.

Hosted by Titleist, twenty pros listened intently as Pete ran through his approach and told them some "inside the ropes" stories about his work with some of the world's top players. More comfortable on the range than the classroom, Pete was eager to get outside and demonstrate practical is often better than theory in golf!


 Click here to view the slideshow


The gathered pros, including LET star and Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas, all took the opportunity to pick Pete's brain and quiz him about approaches that would benefit their own coaching skills! A great day - fantastic venue, fabulous weather and happy golfers! Can't be bad!
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