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Posted: December 2, 2011
In winning The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, Steve Stricker used a Titleist golf ball designed for players of all swing speeds.Same for Adam Scott in his victory at the WGC Invitational at Firestone Country Club in August.The list goes on and on.For the record, Stricker won playing a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, Scott a Titleist Pro V1, the same models available at your local golf shop.It's a common misconception among golfers that Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are effective only for tour players and tour-level swing speeds."My swing speed isn't high enough to play a golf ball that tour players use," is a refrain heard repeatedly at Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting Events.Truth is, in order for a golf ball to work for any golfer it has to work for all swing speeds, as every golfer uses a variety of swing speeds during the course of a round."The notion that a player has a single swing speed probably creates the confusion, because in reality every player has a wide range of swing speeds," says Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D. "We don't have a single swing speed that we use for every shot during the course of the round, that's just not the nature of the game."Take, for example, three-time PGA Tour winner Bubba Watson, one of the game's longest-hitting players.Bubba's driver swing speed is in excess of 120 mph, which results in a ball speed over 180 mph. As Bubba gets closer to the green, his swing speed decreases because the clubs get shorter. The shorter the club, the less force Bubba imparts to the golf ball. His swing speed is 100 mph with his 7-iron (136 mph ball speed) and 92 mph (113 ball speed) with his pitching wedge."That’s a wide range of ball speed," says Matt Hogge, Director of Product Implementation in Titleist Golf Ball R&D. "Rule 5-1 of the USGA rulebook says that one golf ball model must be played for the entire round. If that one ball that Bubba puts into play works only for his tee shots, then why play it? He plays a Titleist Pro V1x because the ball works at all the forces he puts upon it."Over the years, the Titleist R&D team has measured the range of swing speeds of countless golfers, from tour pros to high-handicap players."We've seen that while a tour player has a very wide range of swing speeds – and certainly the highest ones are very high – the range of swing speeds through the set that all golfers use fits within the range that the tour players has," added Morgan.Translation: The slower swing speeds you use while hitting your shots are also used by tour players for different types of shots."If Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls didn't work for lower swing speeds, there would be some shots a tour player has to execute that simply wouldn't work," Morgan says. "And that's simply not true."When it comes to any golfer choosing the best Titleist golf ball for their game, it's not just about swing speed or ball speed, it's about all-around performance.An important fact to keep in mind is that all Titleist golf balls are long.Differences in distance between models off the driver for swing speeds ranging from tour players (near 110 mph) down to lower speed players (in the 80s mph) are less than four yards, a factor that is neither game-changing nor score-changing.On the other hand, hitting a green in regulation can save you almost two strokes. Selecting a golf ball that helps you hit more greens more often and more consistently provides the best opportunity to lower you score.
The key to lowering your scores is improving your scoring shots into and the around the green, the shots that will allow you to make more putts, and Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls offer all players the most performance control on these types of shots.
"The golf ball doesn’t know who has hit it," Morgan says. "I can’t make a golf ball that makes a low swing-speed player as long as a tour player. However, I can make a golf ball that will help a lower swing-speed player hit a shot into the green that will help them score better. Same as it does for a tour player. Because that’s the part of the game that matters the most and that’s where all the golfers are really the same.
"They have the same requirements in that part of the game. Hit it as close to the pin as possible."
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Players arrived at the UBS Hong Kong Open for the final European Tour event ahead of the Dubai World Championship and the conclusion of the 2011 Race To Dubai.
As well as vying for spots at the Race To Dubai, many players are seeking to secure their tour cards for the 2012 season - so plenty to play for.
The Hong Kong Golf Club has two courses - the New and the Eden - and the tournament is played over a composite of the two loops. Measuring 6,730 yards and a par of 70, it isn't one of the longer tracks that players will have faced this year. But tight tree-lined fairways will make this a tough test!
At the time of writing, Titleist Ambassador Rory McIlroy has a share of the clubhouse lead at -7 having shot -1 in his second round. A win for Rory could make for a very interesting Dubai World Championship!
To view this week's slideshow, just click on the image below!
The view down the 1st