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Posted: January 31, 2014
It's a party atmosphere in Phoenix this week and it's a tradition at The Stadium Course TPC Scottsdale for fans to let their hair down and become more...vocal.
And as players prepare for the unique challenge of the boisterous crowd and the need to go low, Titleist is the overwhelming top choice in golf balls at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with 84 players in the field of 132 relying upon a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 17.
Titleist was also the favorite in the sand, lob and approach wedge (114) and putter (45) categories.
Embracing the lively setting will be a key to success this week, as Pro V1x loyalist Bubba Watson revealed in an interviewing following his stellar 7-under-par 64 in the opening round.
“You know, the fans really get into it. When you come here, you have to know and you expect that, expect the jitters, expect the boos, expect the cheers. So I love it. It's our one time to get inside a football stadium basically and have fun.”
Nowhere will the roaring, applauding and heckling be louder than on the 16th hole, a 162-yard par-3 that features one of several man-made amphitheaters from which The Stadium Course derives its name. The hole offers a great chance for birdie and the crowd is always ready to send a cheer that echoes across the course when a solid tee shot is delivered.
It will be birdie or bust this week in the desert, as the winning score at the WM Phoenix Open is typically more than 20 strokes under par.
Check out the video above to get an inside-the-ropes view as Team Titleist caught up with a number of Pro V1 and Pro V1x players earlier in the week, including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Scott Stallings, Matt Jones, Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman, Ben Curtis and Morgan Hoffmann, to name just a few.
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist!
Posted: January 29, 2014
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO VIEW GALLERY.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings won the Farmers Insurance Open on a difficult Torrey Pines course that featured major-like conditions with narrow fairways, thick rough and firm greens.
And as he came down the stretch, Stallings relied on his Pro V1x golf ball and new Vokey Spin Milled 5 (SM5) wedges for two key up and downs over the final four holes to secure the victory – marking the first PGA Tour win for SM5.
The story behind Stallings' SM5 wedges, one that began less than 30 miles from where he raised the trophy last Sunday, highlights the Vokey team's commitment to proper wedge fitting and providing golfers with the most options in the industry to precisely dial-in their wedge game.
So to bring Team Titleist the inside story, we went straight to the source and caught up with the Vokey Team to get the scoop...
The journey started at the end of 2013 when Scott visited the Titleist Performance Center in Oceanside, Calif., to work with Master Craftsman Bob Vokey and Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill. Vokey first studied Stallings' swing type, which tends to be very steep into impact.
"He's definitely a digger," Vokey said. "He tends to use the front of the wedge most of the time. So we looked to give him more bounce to keep the impact lower on the face."
Stallings agreed he needed more bounce but also requested a sole grind with versatility around the greens.
"The first thing we tried was the TVD M grind in the 50º model, but it was digging on him a bit," Dill said. "He needed more bounce so we tried the SM5 50.12 with a full sole."
Stallings liked the slightly wider sole of the F Grind – "It's wider in the gap wedge than my old Vokey 200 Series and it moved through the turf really well," he said. "But I do like to open the face on certain shots with my gap wedge."
So Dill proposed a compromise: bend the 50.12 two degrees weak to 52.14 and then hand grind in an M sole. By bending the club two degrees weak, this added two degrees of bounce and also reduced the offset of the club. Vokey took the wedge back to the Tour Department and worked his magic.
The team tweaked Stallings' sand wedge in a similar manner, taking a 54.14 F Grind and making it a 56.16 with an M Grind.
"Now both his gapper and his bunker club have high bounce with versatility. Perfect for Scott," Vokey explained.
For the lob wedge, Stallings tried a number of grinds, including the wide sole K, the straight ribbon S and the crescent M. Stallings felt most comfortable with the S Grind 60º but was looking for a little more bounce, so Dill took an SM5 58.07 and bent it to 60.09. This added two degrees of bounce and reduced the offset. "More bounce and less offset, that's exactly what I wanted," Scott said.
Stallings put the new SM5's in play for the 2014 season and relied on them heavily during a tough final round at Torrey Pines.
"It was definitely as tough as any major I've played in," he said. "The up and downs on 15 and 17 were absolutely key. I appreciate all of the work of Bob and Aaron. They are truly the best in the business."
Check out Vokey.com for more details and keep an eye out for the new SM5 wedges as they will be available in golf shops beginning March 14.
The SM5 line, featuring new TX3 grooves for more spin and control, offers 21 different loft/bound/grind combinations to satisfy all swing types, shot-making styles and short-game conditions.
Get even more details on the new SM5 line here: http://www.titleist.com/teamtitleist/b/tourblog/archive/2014/01/22/titleist-introduces-new-vokey-spin-milled-5-wedges.aspx
Posted: January 27, 2014
The remarkable start for Titleist players on the PGA Tour continued this weekend as Scott Stallings became the 8th player through the first 10 PGA Tour tournaments on the new 2013-14 wrap-around season to win with a Titleist golf ball.
Stallings trusted his Pro V1x golf ball and Titleist clubs to emerge from the field and capture the Farmers Insurance Open for his third career PGA Tour title. With the win, Stallings also becomes the fourth Titleist full product line brand ambassador to win in the young season, joining Jimmy Walker (Frys.com Open, SONY Open in Hawaii), Webb Simpson (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) and Zach Johnson (Hyundai Tournament of Champions).
In addition, Stallings was among 99 players in the 156-man field at Torrey Pines who put their trust in Titleist golf balls, more than five times the nearest competitor with 17. The same story was repeated on the PGA European and LPGA tours this week, where the overwhelming choice among players was the #1 ball in golf.
All told, a combined 257 players relied on Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls across the worldwide professional tours this week, more than five times the nearest competitor with 48.
To date, 1,569 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2014 worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 272 and more than all competitors combined.
• • •
PGA TOUR: At the Farmers Insurance Open, Titleist topped the field in the golf ball (99), iron sets (42), sand, approach and lob wedges (166) and putter (61) categories.
Stallings fired a final round 4-under par 68 on Sunday that included a dramatic birdie on the final hole. On a day when finding fairways was a challenge for the entire field, Stallings split the 527-yard 18th with his drive, leaving 222 yards to the front of the green. As he explained in a post-round interview, laying up never entered his mind.
"You don't get very many opportunities to win golf tournaments on this tour," Stallings said. "I didn't necessarily understand the situation I was in as far as the score, but I did know I had an opportunity. ... I was playing to win."
Stallings blasted a new AP2 4-iron that cleared Devlin's Billabong, the water hazard fronting the 18th green on the South Course at Torrey Pines, leaving him two putts from 40 feet, which he converted for his closing birdie. His 9-under par 279 total would stand up as the remaining players finished, giving him a one-shot margin of victory over five players, including fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Marc Leishman and Graham DeLaet.
What's in Scott Stalling's Bag?
Golf Ball: Pro V1x Driver: 913D2 (8.5º) driver w/Aldila Rogue X Fairways: 913F (15º) fairway metal w/Aldila Rogue X Irons: AP2 714 (4-P) irons w/KBS Tour shafts Wedges: Vokey Design SM5 gap (50º), sand (54º) and lob (58º) wedges w/KBS Tour shafts Putter:Scotty Cameron Newport 2.6 putter
Statistically, Stallings led the Farmers Insurance Open field in Strokes Gained – Putting at 2.794. He was followed by rookie and fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas at 2.509. Thomas finished T10 on the leaderboard, his highest finish on the PGA TOUR.
In addition to finishing T2 on the leaderboard, Titleist Brand Ambassador Graham DeLaet relied upon his Pro V1x golf ball and 913D3 (7.5º loft) driver to finish 2nd in Driving Distance (302 ypd).
Marc Leishman, another player who trusted Titleist equipment from tee-through-green, tied for the lead among all players in Greens in Regulation at 77.78% (56 of 72). DeLaet tied for 5th in the same category (72.2%/52 of 72).
PGA EUROPEAN TOUR: At the Commercialbank Qatar Masters 80 players in the 125-man field relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than three times the nearest competitor with 22.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Mikko Ilonen posted a runner-up finish at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters. The Finn birdied both the 16th and 18th hole to complete a 6-under 66 that forced extra holes.
LPGA TOUR: Of the 108-player field, 78 players relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 9.
Posted: January 26, 2014
As the final round action is set to get underway at Torrey Pines, we wanted to give Team Titleist a closer look at what's inside the bags for a number of Titleist Brand Ambassadors who made the trip to La Jolla for the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.
We've loaded up the slideshow above so you can see the Titleist gear players like Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Bill Haas, Michael Kim, Jimmy Walker, Max Homa, Justin Thomas and Graham DeLaet (among others) put in play this week.
Enjoy the slideshow and here's to a great finish at Torrey Pines.
Posted: January 24, 2014
This week the PGA Tour moves southwest from the oasis resorts of Palm Springs to the beautiful cliffs of La Jolla on California's San Diego coast. The style of golf will contrast as dramatically as the change of scenery, as Torrey Pines will again present a stiff challenge for the 156-man field.
This is especially true of the 7,569-yard South Course, which ranked 8th toughest on Tour last season with a scoring average of 72.792, 0.792 strokes over par.
And as players gear up for a week where their skills will be put to the test, Titleist is the overwhelming top choice in golf balls at the Farmers Insurance Open with 99 players in the field of 156 relying upon a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, more than five times the nearest competitor with 17.
Titleist was also the favorite in the iron sets (42), sand, lob and approach wedge (166) and putter (61) categories.
As Team Titleist learned earlier this week, course conditions this year are anything but typical, reminding many players of the conditions they faced when Torrey hosted the 2008 U.S. Open.
"It's a different golf course," said Titleist Brand Ambassador Charley Hoffman in a post-round interview. "The rough's up and the greens are firm and fast. Usually the rough's decent and the greens are soft."
Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth agreed, saying that this week there will be, "Just so much emphasis on that tee ball, because if you're in the rough with how firm the greens are, you've got to bounce it up, because the greens really aren't soft enough to hold the ball."
Add to this Torrey's ever-present defense in the form of its demanding poa annua greens and the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open could have the feel of an early major.
Check out the video above to get an inside-the-ropes view as we tagged along earlier in the week with players including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jimmy Walker, Jordan Spieth, Bill Haas, Geoff Ogilvy, Billy Horschel, and John Merrick, among others, as they prepared to tackle Torrey Pines.