Titleist ambassador Kiradech Aphibarnrat - the 2013 Maybank Malaysian Open Champion

Weather caused disruption on both the European and PGA Tours this weekend, with the Maybank Malaysian Open being reduced to 54 holes and the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to be completed later today.

Despite these interruptions, Titleist ball players still managed to secure four wins around the world's professional tours, headlined by Titleist ambassador Kiradech Aphibarnrat's maiden European Tour win and New 2013 Pro V1 loyalist Beatriz Recari's playoff win at the Kia Classic.

Let's take a closer look at the weekend's results.......

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EUROPEAN TOUR: It was a breakthrough win for Titleist ambassador Kiradech Aphibarnrat (New 2013 Pro V1x golf ball, 913D3 driver, CB irons, Vokey Design SM4 wedges) at the rain-shortened Maybank Malaysian Open, as the 23-year old posted a 2-under final round 70 for a 54 hole total of 13-under 203 and victory by one shot.

Titleist ambassador Victor Dubuisson on his way to a tie for fourth place in Malaysia

Fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Anders Hansen (Pro V1, 910D3 driver, 913Fd fairway metal, 913Hd hybrid, CB irons, Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges) and Victor Dubuisson (Pro V1x, 910D2 driver, 913F fairway metal, 913H hybrid, AP2 irons, Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges, Scotty Cameron Select putter) finished solo third and tied for fourth with one other respectively. Anders tied for the best round of the day with a closing 6-under 66.

Talking to Europeantour.com, Kiradech said after the win, “This means a lot to me - I have to thank my family, my Mum and my Dad, for all their support.”

Aphibarnrat's victory is the seventh for Titleist golf ball loyalists on the 2013 PGA European Tour, more than three times the nearest competitor, and more than all other golf balls combined through the first 12 events of the season.

Titleist was the overwhelming ball of choice at the Maybank Malaysian Open with 94 (60%) players, more than four times the nearest competitor with 22.


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LPGA: While the winner may have been in doubt when Beatriz Recari and I.K. Kim advanced to a sudden death playoff at the Kia Classic, the winning golf ball was not, it would be a New 2013 Pro V1, the golf ball choice of both participants. Recari topped Kim for the victory when she putted from off the green for birdie on the second extra hole. Both players ended regulation at 9-under-par 279. The win was the second of Recari's LPGA Tour career.

Titleist golf ball loyalist Beatriz Recari holds aloft her Pro V1 after securing a playoff victory at the Kia Classic

Fellow New 2013 Pro V1 golf ball loyalists Cristie Kerr and Mo Martin were among three players who tied for third place, one shot out of the playoff. In fact, 10 of the the 12 players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Titleist accounted for a tournament-leading 94 golf ball players (65%) in the field of 144, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 11.

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CHAMPIONS: Pro V1x loyalist Michael Allen rallied to win the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic for his fourth career Champions Tour title. Allen fired a final round 5-under 67 to vault over a leaderboard loaded with fellow Titleist golf ball loyalists. In fact, all 11 of the players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Titleist was the top choice in golf balls in the field of 81 with 60 (74%) players, 12 times the nearest competitor with 5. 

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WEB.COM: Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Edward Loar captured the Louisiana Open for his second career Web.com Tour title, closing with a 2-under par 69 en route to a 17-under 267 victory total. Loar, who won the Panama Claro Championship last year, finished two shots clear of Titleist Brand Ambassador Morgan Hoffmann (New 2013 Pro V1x, 913D3 driver, 913Fd fairway metal, 712U 2-iron, MB irons, Vokey Design SM4 wedges, Scotty Cameron Newport Tour putter). Hoffman fired a tournament-best 9-under par 62 on Saturday and closed with a 69 on Sunday. Pro V1x loyalist Brett Wetterich finished solo third another shot back following a closing 6-under 65, as the top three finishers relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Pro V1x loyalist Edward Loar holds aloft the Louisiana Open trophy

Titleist was the top choice in golf balls in the field of 144 with 105 (73%) players, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 13.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Titleist golf ball loyalist Hennie Otto (New 2013 Pro V1x) finished runner-up at the Investec Cup after a sudden death playoff. Fellow Titleist golf ball loyalist Justin Walters (New 2013 Pro V1x) finished alone in third position, two shots out of the playoff. The field was limited to the top 30 players on season-ending Investec Bonus Pool ranking, with 21 (70%) of them relying upon Titleist golf balls, three times more than the nearest competitor with seven.

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LATINOAMERICA: Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Jose De Jesus Rodriguez also captured the runner's up spot at the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open in Mexico, firing 67-66 on the weekend to finish one shot back from the winner. Titleist was the top choice in golf balls in the field of 144 with 111 (77%) players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 20. 

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PGA TOUR: While we can't report on the result of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, due to the final round being held over until today because of rain on Sunday, we can report that Titleist was the most relied upon golf ball in the select field of 132 with 79 (60%) players, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 16.

As weather forecasters suggest that the weather could deteriorate even further over the next few weeks in the UK and Ireland, the Titleist Tech Reps showed they're fit for anything when it comes to putting the best clubs in the hands of golfers.

Whether it's wind, rain, hail or snow, the team of Titleist tech reps on the road or at the Titleist National Fitting Centres have seen some extremes this week - here's just a couple of examples!

When he arrived at Edenmore Golf & Country Club, near Belfast in Northern Ireland, earlier this week, Titleist tech rep Pete McClelland was greeted by torrential rain and high winds - hardly weather conducive to standing on the range with a laptop, launch monitor and a vast array of shafts and club heads in his SureFit system.

Not to be deterred, or to disappoint the full schedule of golfers due to be fit, Pete worked with Edenmore owner Kenny Logan and head pro Andrew Manson to clear space in the greenkeeper's shed and rig up an impromptu fitting bay.

The fitting bay was formed by using a tractor with a telescopic arm to hold up the net, with floodlights fixed to the walls and a couple of heaters to stave off hypothermia!!

"The guys also brought out regular supplies of tea and coffee to keep the customers and me warm during the fits," explains Pete. "We were all determined to make sure that the 10 fittings we had booked in went ahead - it really was a case of where there's a will, there's a way!"

And whilst the Heath Robinson approach wasn't needed at the Titleist National Fitting Centre at Kings Acre near Edinburgh earlier in the week, there was a requirement for some thick socks!

Titleist tech rep Graeme Noblett and his customers had to endure freezing temperatures and several inches of snow during fittings.

"Unlike Pete, we did have the benefit of already being undercover, but it was cold," explains Graeme. "And if Titleist loyalists are determined enough to come for their fittings in this weather, we're determined to provide them with a better fit for a better game!"

That really is a commitment to Team Titleist!


Hot and humid weather greeted us as we arrived in Kuala Lumpur for the Maybank Malaysian Open this week - with temperatures in excess of 35 deg C and humidity upwards of 85%, it's definitely a bit different!

Playing to 6,967 yards and a par of 72, the Kuala Lumpur G&CC features water on 13 of its holes and since last year's event, run-offs have been added to several of the green complexes.

Staying hydrated is critical to being able to endure these conditions and stay focused on the golf - the range bins were being emptied of drained bottles every few minutes as players took on as much water as possible. During the first round we've noted that several players have had to withdraw because of the conditions.

At the time of writing, rain has suspended play with about half of the field still to complete their first round. One of the players to have completed their first round, however, was Titleist ambassador Kiradech Aphibarnrat who posted a 7-under round of 65 to be clubhouse leader. Two other Titleist ambassadors, Anders Hansen and Gregory Bourdy, share second place with two others just one shot back at -6.

If the thunderstorms aren't too disruptive, we should be in for some low scoring come Sunday.

For more inside the ropes insight and news from the Tours, stay tuned to Team Titleist!

To view this week's slideshow, just click on the image above.

When it comes to wedge design and the short game, you won't find a more passionate expert than Master Craftsman Bob Vokey.

So we decided to go to the source and catch up with the Voke on a few of his favorite topics: bounce, grinds and wedge fitting: 

Team Titleist (TT):  Bob, you’re always talking about bounce and saying "bounce is your friend."  What exactly do you mean by that? 

Bob Vokey (BV):  I say bounce is your friend because it provides forgiveness on all types of wedge shots. Let me explain first what bounce is:  it’s the angle between the leading edge and lowest point on the sole. If you look at a wedge, the trailing edge is lower than the leading edge. This is the bounce angle. 

TT:  What about "effective bounce?"  How is that different from bounce angle?
BV:  The effective bounce is a little more art than science. It’s how the wedge will play around the greens.  It takes into consideration not just the bounce angle, but the sole width, the camber, and the sole grind. 

TT:  You’re famous for your Tour Grinds.  What exactly is a grind and what does it do for the wedge? 
BV:  The grind is the relief and contour that is ground into the sole of the wedge. A grind can provide shotmaking opportunities around the greens. For example, our M grind soles allow you to open the face of the wedge without the leading edge coming off the ground. We have all kinds of sole grinds, which we designate with a letter. 

TT:  Which sole grind is the most popular and which is your personal favorite?
BV:  Well, the S grind which came from my work with Steve Stricker, that’s been extremely popular on the 60.07 and 58.09 models. It just fits a lot of players. My favorite is probably the M grind, because that was the one that started it all. 

TT:  Which bounce and grind do you recommend for the weekend golfer?
BV:  Well, you should definitely be fit by an authorised Titleist fitter. It’s the only way to truly know which wedge works for you. 

TT:  Why is wedge fitting so important?
BV:  Think of most amateur golfers. They only hit 6 - 8 greens in a round, if they are having a good day. So on the majority of holes, you are going to be using a wedge. And wedges are required to hit so many different shots - bunker shots, fairway shots, lob shots, little pitches. Wedges need to be versatile and every player is different. It’s never one size fits all for wedges. That’s why we have so many options. 

TT:  What is involved with a wedge fitting? 
BV:  Our wedge fittings have two main aspects: bounce fitting and yardage gapping. In the bounce fitting portion, we figure out your swing type. Most players fit into one of three types:  slider/sweeper, neutral, or driver/digger. That will help us recommend some bounce options to try. I always make sure when I am fitting someone that they also take the recommended sand wedge to the bunker. You need enough bounce to get out the bunker every time. 

TT:  What about yardage gapping? 
BV:  It’s becoming even more critical because pitching wedges are getting stronger in loft. Many pitching wedges are 45º or even 44º. So if your next wedge is a 56º sand wedge, there is a huge gap in there. It could be 30 yards. Ideally, wedge gaps would be 10-15 yards. 

TT:  So is the 52º, 56º, 60º combo becoming obsolete? 
BV:  Well, not obsolete but we are fitting more players into 50º, 54º, 58º set compositions. It just makes sense if you have 44º or 45º pitching wedge. That way you will have a nice yardage gap between the pitching and sand wedge. 

TT:  How many wedges should I carry? 
BV:  It really depends on your overall set make up, but almost every Tour player carries at least 3 wedges. Wedges are your scoring clubs. We’ve found that most amateurs can’t dial back a wedge. It’s very hard for them to hit a half wedge or ¾ wedge. So having an extra wedge that you can swing full is going to help lower your scores. 

TT:  Any final fitting advice Voke? 
BV:  Go see your local PGA pro!  It will really help your wedge game.  

We were fortunate enough to spend some time with Titleist staff advisory instructor Jason Floyd of the Jason Floyd Academy to capture some drills and instruction to help Team Titleist members get the most from their game.

In this latest short tip, Jason looks at how the golf swing sequences and provides a drill to help you "feel" that sequence a little better.

To view the video, simply click on the image above.

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