This week the Open Championship returns to Royal Lytham and St. Annes in Lancashire, England. The oldest championship in golf is being contested for the 141st time and this week marks the 11th time that Royal Lytham has served as host.

The course features more than 200 bunkers and is unique among rota courses in that its first hole is a par-3 (measuring 205 yards). The home stretch of nine holes plays predominantly into the seaside wind and is sure to separate those players who are up for the challenge of links golf in a major setting and those who are not.

At last week's John Deere Classic, Team Titleist caught up with two Titleist Brand Ambassadors, who both have the short games and shot-making skills to contend for the claret jug in Lancashire. Steve Stricker, a 3-time Deere Champion and Zach Johnson, who is riding the momentum from his victory at this year's Deere, took some time to share their thoughts on preparing for the British Open.

Hear what they have to say in the above video.


Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson won the John Deere Classic with one of the best shots of his career Sunday, trusting a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, AP2 (712 Series) irons and a bag of Titleist equipment to victory in an event so often referred to as Johnson's "fifth major."

Johnson, an Iowa native who also serves on the John Deere Classic's board of directors, triumphed in an all-Titleist golf ball playoff with Pro V1 loyalist Troy Matteson to earn his second PGA Tour victory of the season.

It was  one of four wins by Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players last weekend around the world, including Pro V1 loyalist Roger Chapman's history-making win at the U.S. Senior Open. Doug LaBelle II (Pro V1x) also found the winner's circle on the Web.com Tour and Chris Killmer (Pro V1x) broke through with his first Canadian Tour victory.

Titleist golf ball players have won 96 times across the worldwide professional tours so far this season, eight times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all other golf balls combined. A total of 11,858 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in those same events, as compared to 1,885 for the nearest competitor.

Sunday at the John Deere Classic, Johnson birdied three of his final six holes at TPC Deere Run to post a bogey-free 6-under 65 and finish regulation tied with Matteson at 20-under 264.

On the second and deciding playoff hole, Johnson used a Titleist AP2 (712 Series) 6-iron to hit the game-winning shot from a fairway bunker on the left side of the fairway, 193 yards from the hole. Johnson's Titleist Pro V1x launched toward the right side of the green with a slight draw, disappearing from his view. He heard the crowd crescendo as it hit the green and ran toward the pin, stopping less than a foot from the cup.

"Well, it's one of the best results of my career. When it comes to execution, it's up there," said Johnson, who tapped in for the birdie, and the win. "It's probably way up there."

Johnson, also a winner at the Crowne Plaza Colonial in May, topped a leader board that featured 106 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 18 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also led the field in iron sets (38); sand, lob and approach wedges (136); and putters (64).

Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Piercy (Pro V1x) finished alone in third at 18-under 266, with John Senden (Pro V1) another shot back in fourth place. Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker (Pro V1x) tied for fifth place, as each of the top six finishers all trusted Titleist golf balls for their success.

Here's a closer look at Zach Johnson's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D2 9.5º (Diamana Blue 73)
3-wood: Titleist 910F 15º (Motore Speeder VC 7.0)
5-wood: Titleist 909F2 18.5º (ZCOM Pro 95)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 21º (Speeder 904HB)
Irons: Titleist AP1 (4) and AP2 (5-9) 712 Series (Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 48º, 54º, 60º (Dynamic Gold)

• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Roger Chapman (Pro V1) completed a historic double with his victory at the U.S. Senior Open in Michigan. Chapman, also a winner of the Senior PGA Championship in May, is only the fourth player to win both events in the same year.

He etched his name into the history books Sunday with a final-round 4-under 66 at Indianwood Golf & Country Club that included what he called the best shot of his career.

Leading by one shot on the tee at the 195-yard par-3 17th, Chapman hit his Pro V1 golf ball to tap-in range.

"I hit my career shot," he said.

Chapman finished the event at 10-under 270, two clear of four players, including Bernhard Langer (Pro V1), Tom Lehman (Pro V1,) and Corey Pavin (Pro V1), as four of the top five finishers relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

Titleist golf ball loyalists accounted for 113 of the 156-player field, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 14 and more than all other golf balls combined.

Titleist was also the choice of more players in the iron sets (41) and sand, lob and approach wedge (128) categories.

• WEB.COM TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Doug LaBelle II rallied to win his second Web.com Tour title at the Utah Championship, rolling his Pro V1x in for par from 5 feet on the 18th hole to win by one shot.

LaBelle, who trailed by five shots at the beginning of the day, closed with a 3-under 68 for a 15-under 269 total, one shot clear of four players, including James Hahn (Pro V1x).

Labelle was one of 108 players in the field that trusted a Titleist golf ball, more than than five times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all other golf ball combined. Titleist was also the choice of more players in the iron (47), wedge (165) and putter (64) categories.

The Utah Championship also marked the first week of seeding for new prototype Titleist 913 drivers on the Web.com Tour.  Of the 39 Titleist drivers in play, 24 were new 913 prototypes, with 17 913D3 models and seven 913D2 models.

• CANADIAN TOUR: Chris Killmer (Pro V1x) won The Players Cup in a playoff to earn his first Canadian Tour title.

Killmer, who closed in 2-under 69 for a 15-under 269 total, made par on the fourth playoff hole to earn the victory.

"I'm on top of the world right now," Killmer said. "A lot of guys played really good golf, and to call yourself the best of that field is a great feeling."

• EUROPEAN TOUR: A total of 94 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success at The Scottish Open, more than four times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined.

It also marked the second week of the new prototype Titleist 913 driver seeding process on the European Tour, with 20 players putting the club in play.

• U.S. PUBLIC LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP: Titleist was the top equipment choice among the 156 players at the 87th U.S. Public Links Championship field, and the only choice of the winner.  Titleist players accounted for 121 golf balls, more than six times the nearest competitor with 19.  Titleist was also tops in the iron (55), wedge (202) and putter (54) categories.

The champion posted a 12-and-10 win in the scheduled 36-hole final, which included 10 birdies through 26 holes en route to the largest winning margin in the final match since 1985.

In addition to relying upon the Pro V1x, the winner trusted Titleist from tee-to-green, including a 910D2 9.5 driver, 910F fairway metals (15, 19), MB irons (4-P), Vokey Design Spin Milled TVD gap (52) and sand (56) wedges and SM4 lob (60) wedge, and Scotty Cameron prototype putter.

What better way to start Open Championship week than by celebrating another great event – the birthday of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey. 

Ask anyone who has met "The Voke" and they will tell you he is one of the best guys out there. Quick with a story or sage advice, The Voke is always in pursuit of perfecting his craft and dedicated to the players who trust his wedges.

Bob's success has been fueled by a tireless commitment to working closely with his R&D team and tour professionals to better understand exactly what they need in terms of design and, most important, feel. As a result, Vokey Design wedges have been the favorite among PGA TOUR players since 2004, with close to 40 percent of all sand, lob and approach wedges in play each week.

Team Titleist put together a special birthday video for Bob with the help of some of our Titleist Brand Ambassadors, which you can check out in the above video.

And to continue the celebration, we're excited to bring you another exclusive sweepstakes.

This is your chance to win a Bob Vokey autographed Titleist Vokey Design Wedges staff bag that until recently made its home on the Titleist Tour Support Van – the same van that traverses the U.S. going from one PGA Tour stop to another. 

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: To enter the contestlog in to your Team Titleist account and then send The Voke a birthday greeting (i.e. Happy Birthday!) by adding a comment (see below) to this blog post by Sunday, July 22, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.*

Note: You must be a Team Titleist member to enter. Only one entry per person. We will randomly draw the winner from all approved entries.

(Sorry U.S. only. Here's some more info: Why are Titleist sweepstakes U.S. only?)

Happy Birthday Voke!



Na Yeon Choi trusted a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball to a dreamlike week at the U.S. Women's Open in Wisconsin, where in the end she raised her first major championship trophy.

"My dreams come true. It's an amazing day today," said Choi, 24, of South Korea.

She finished with a 7-under 281 for a four-shot victory to highlight a four-win week for Titleist players around the world, including a breakthrough victory by Pro V1x loyalist Ted Potter Jr. at the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic.

Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have combined for 92 victories to so far this season across the worldwide professional tours, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all other golf balls combined.

A total of 11,210 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in those same events, as compared to 1,814 for the nearest competitor.

Choi's historic week included a course-record 65 in Round 3 that was nearly 12 strokes better than the field average and helped her take control of the tournament.

The winning formula was a mix of consistency and precision, with Choi hitting over 82 percent (46/56) of fairways and 79 percent (59/72) of greens in regulation. The result was 19 birdies over the four rounds, including two over her final four holes Sunday to put things out of reach.

"I haven't talked with my parents yet, but I don't know, maybe my mom was crying or my dad was crying. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure they really happy right now," Choi said. "And I'm going to Korea tomorrow... But I'm pretty sure they were watching on TV and they couldn't sleep last night, and they supported me a lot."

Fellow Pro V1x loyalist Amy Yang, also from South Korea, closed with a 1-under 71 to finish runner-up.  Choi and Yang were the only players to finish the tournament under par.

In total, 108 players in the field relied on Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for their success, nine times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also the top choice in wedges with 89.

• PGA TOUR: Rookie Ted Potter Jr. made a 4-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to top Troy Kelly in an all-Titleist Pro V1x playoff at the Greenbrier Classic.

Potter, who posted a pair of weekend 6-under 64s, overcame a four-shot deficit with four holes to play Sunday at Greenbrier's Old White TPC to match Kelly at 16-under 264.

Potter rolled his Pro V1x in from 49 feet for birdie on the par-3 15th. Two holes later, he dropped in a 27-footer for eagle on the par-5 17th. He closed out his final round with a 5-footer for birdie on the par-3 18th.

"I knew I had to make some birdies coming in, but at the same time I didn't want to play too aggressive where I'm making bogeys and dropping down spots because, I mean, a third-place finish or fourth-place finish (would) mean a lot to my year," Potter said.

Potter turned it into a first-place finish with a birdie on the third playoff hole. Playing the par-3 18th for the third time Sunday, he sent his Pro V1x to about 15 feet in from the hole. It bounced twice, checked up and rolled to 4 feet in front the hole.

With the win, Potter earned a two-year PGA Tour exemption along with an invitation to the Masters next April. He'll also now be on his way to the Open Championship in a couple weeks.

"It was just a big relief… Knowing that now I've got a couple years to try to improve on my game and win some more tournaments," he said.

Potter topped a leader board that featured five Titleist golf ball players in the top six positions and nine in the top 11, including third-place finisher Charlie Wi (Pro V1).

Titleist was the top choice of more players in the Greenbrier Classic field of 156 in the golf ball category with 101, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also tied for the lead in iron sets (38), and topped the wedge (132) and putter (64) categories.

• EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Marcel Siem claimed his second-career European Tour title Sunday at the Alstom Open de France.

Siem closed with a 4-under 67 at Le Golf National for an 8-under 276 total and one-shot victory. His final round featured five birdies, including consecutive birdies at Nos. 14 and 15. Siem's only bogey came on the par-4 18th with a two-shot lead.

"I'm so happy. This means a lot to me," said Siem, who earned a spot in next week's Open Championship with the win. “I love this golf course. I always loved it and I love it even more or even better now. I'm super happy.”

Siem was one of 95 players in the field that relied on Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for their success, more than four times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all other golf balls combined.

Pro V1x loyalists Ian Poulter and David Howell were among three players who tied for fourth place, three shots behind the champion.

• JAPAN TOUR: Rookie Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Pro V1x) closed in 7-under 65 to earn his first tour victory at the Nagashima Shigeo Invitational Sega Sammy Cup 2012.

Lee rolled his Pro V1x in for birdies on the final two holes to win by two strokes at 19-under 269. He led the field in birdies with 24.

Titleist golf ball loyalists accounted for 61 players in the field. Titleist was also the top choice in wedges with 121.

• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Titleist golf ball loyalists accounted for 54 of the 81 player field at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 11 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also the choice of more players in the iron (20) and wedge (52) categories.

Last week's start to the seeding and tour validation process for the the new prototype Titleist 913 drivers on the PGA Tour was quickly followed this week on the European Tour at the Open de France at Le Golf National.

After a busy three days of fitting and testing, 14 players stepped to the first tee at Le Golf National Thursday with a prototype Titleist 913 driver in the bag, including: Matteo Manassero, Bernd Wiesberger, George Coetzee, Jbe Kruger, Ricardo Santos, Tano Goya, Michael Jonzon, Thomas Levet, Brett Rumford, Ken Ferrie, Guillaume Cambis, Andrew Dodt, Edouard Dubois and Adrian Otaegui. (It was the same at last week's AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, where 14 players put the new prototype 913 driver in play for the first time.)

Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy is also gaming a new prototype Titleist 913 driver, following a comprehensive fitting session last week in Ireland.

Rory was visited at home, ahead of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, by Titleist Tour Technician Mattias Jelver. Amongst the goodies that Mattias bore were a number of prototype Titleist 913D2 and 913D3 driver heads, rolls of driver shafts and his trusty Trackman launch monitor.

After an initial chat about the specific characteristics of the two heads, Rory and Mattias headed out to the range and got down to some serious work, analyzing the results of the different head and shaft combinations.

"We started with Rory's 910D2 as a benchmark and moved on from there," explained Mattias. "As we subsequently tried different combinations of the prototype 913 heads and shafts, each brought something else to the table, but eventually there was one clear choice.

"The 913D3 8.5 degrees with a VC 7.2 X Tour Spec felt great from the outset and with JP (Rory's caddie) calling out different shots – high draw, low into the wind, cut and so on – Rory was able to execute them all comfortably and producing great numbers on Trackman."

The numbers were so good, in fact, that Rory immediately put the new prototype 913 driver into play during the Irish Open.

“I have been testing the new 913 and all the Trackman numbers suggested I was hitting the ball longer and further. I’m getting less spin which is great in the wind and it carries 15 yards further in calm conditions," Rory told the Associated Foreign Press last week last week.

“The Titleist guys had it ready for me when I got here on Monday and I put it straight in the bag. I had my previous driver for almost two years but this one just performs so much better. I feel like I am hitting the ball a lot better than I am with this new driver and I feel that’s going to make a huge difference, especially around Lytham."

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