The crowning glory for Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald's recent run of consistency and success came Sunday at the BMW PGA Championship, where the Englishman raised his second trophy of the season to rise to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Donald prevailed in an all-Titleist playoff with fellow Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, contributing to a four-win week for Titleist golf ball players around the globe.

So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have combined for 58 victories across the worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 11.

A total of 7,425 players have trusted Titleist golf balls in competition this season, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,187 and more than all competitors combined.

Through the first five months of this season, Donald has been nothing but dead-on, finishing in the top 10 in nine consecutive events, including last week's runner-up finish at the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

It's certainly a list worth noting: WGC-Accenture Match Play (1); Honda Classic (T-10); WGC-Cadillac Championship (T-6); Masters (T-4); The Heritage (2); Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T-8), The Players Championship (T-4); Volvo World Match Play (2); and BMW PGA Championship (1).

 In his past 15 starts dating back to last season, Donald has only finished outside the top 10 once.

"If the world No. 1 ranking is based on consistency, yes, I have been the most consistent this year. I have been giving myself opportunities every week… I've had a great run, and you know, it pays to be consistent," Donald said.

"I've always said, winning is always at the top of the list. It's always the top of the goals. I'm not going to lie, being No. 1 feels fantastic. It's a great honor, a great achievement. But you know, winning is what got me there."

To win on Sunday, Donald hit his approach on the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, to 4 feet and rolled in his Pro V1x golf ball for birdie.

Donald (64-72-72-72-70) and Westwood (72-69-69-68) both finished regulation at 6-under 278, two shots clear of the field.

Donald and Westwood were two of 85 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, more than three times the nearest competitor with 24 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was first in iron sets (41); and sand, lob and approach wedges (154).

For the week, Donald ranked third in Greens in Regulation (70.8 percent) and fourth in Putts Per G.I.R. (1.69), once again showcasing the short-game and shot-making control for which he is renowned.

Donald currently leads the PGA Tour in Scoring Average (69.16).

"A big win back at the Match Play, and a big win here. It's obviously been a great year so far, and just because I'm at No. 1 doesn't mean that I'm done now," said Donald. "I've still got a lot of work to do, hopefully a lot of titles to pick up, and hopefully I can keep going from strength-to-strength."

Team Titleist recently caught up with Luke to talk about his short game and the importance of having confidence in his Pro V1x golf ball.

"My golf ball does what I tell it to do most of the time and I'm very fortunate about that," he said.

Check out the video below to hear what else Luke had to say…

 


• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Pro V1 loyalist Tom Watson birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla and lead a 1-2-3 finish for Titleist golf ball players.

Watson rolled his Pro V1 golf ball in from 3 feet on the playoff hole, the par-5 18th, to hold off fellow Pro V1 loyalist David Eger and earn his sixth-career major on the Champions Tour.

 Watson (70-70-68-70) and Eger (74-68-69-67) both finished regulation at 10-under 278, one shot ahead of Pro V1 loyalist Kiyoshi Murota (66-67-74-72).

"Obviously it never ceases to be enjoyable, winning a golf tournament," said Watson, 61, who became the oldest player to win a major since the senior tour was created in 1980.

"And I'll go back and think about this golf tournament as, it is a Major Championship for us out here, but I'll be thinking of this tournament as a, as I said out there, if this is the last tournament I ever win, it's not a bad one to win."

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 106 players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 18.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (44) and sand, lob and approach wedges (114).

• SUNSHINE TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Jean Hugo began his final round with a front-nine 30 at the the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament in Pretoria and cruised to a three-shot victory.

Hugo also made a pair of eagles during that opening stretch, eventually closing in 5-under 67 for an 11-under 205 total.

"“It was a battle on the back nine, having such a good cushion...," said Hugo. "I had to work hard to keep it all together.”

It marked Hugo’s fifth career win in the Vodacom series on the Sunshine Tour.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 56 players, nearly four times the nearest competitor with 15.
 
 • KOREAN TOUR: Pro V1 loyalist Ho-Sung Choi earned his second-career Korean Tour title with a four-shot victory at the Lake Hills Open.

Choi closed in even-par 72 for an 8-under 280 total, finishing as one of only three players under par.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 104 players, more than six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.

• LPGA: Pro V1x loyalist Mariajo Uribe posted a final-round bogey-free 6-under 66 to come back from two shots and capture the HSBC Brazil Cup at Itanhanga Golf Club in Rio de Janeiro.

Uribe's 9-under (69-66) 135 total earned her a one-shot victory over Pro V1 loyalist Lindsey Wright (68-68) in the unofficial two-day event.

Pro V1 loyalist Maria Hjorth (70-67) finished third, another shot back.

"I knew I had to go out there today and take advantage of the par-5s," said Uribe, who lost in a sudden-death playoff at the event in 2010. "I just went out and had a good start birding five of the first seven holes. I was really excited, I just tried to keep my mind in the present and tried to keep playing how I was playing."

• PGA TOUR:  At the HP Byron Nelson Championship, 107 players trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (44);  sand, lob and approach wedges (142); and putters (65).

• JAPAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Diamond Cup with 65 players. Titleist also was first in hybrids (49); and sand, lob and approach wedges (113).

Meet PGA Professional Mike Harmon

For the past 25 years, Mike Harmon has served as the Director of Golf at the acclaimed Secession Golf Club in Beaufort, SC. Recently inducted into the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame, Mike joins the ranks of legends in the game like Donald Ross, Harvey Ward and Terry Florence. Yet with all he has achieved, Mike continues his constant pursuit to get better, working each day to strengthen the game and ensure its future vitality.

You may have read about Mike recently in the May edition of PGA Magazine or the May 6 issue of Golfweek, in which he was the focus of a Titleist print ad celebrating his dedication to his members and the entire golf community.

To learn more about Mike and his career, please watch the video at the top of the page.

For a closer look at Mike's TItleist print ad, click here.

Master Craftsman Bob Vokey is going to take a quick break from designing his legendary, precision scoring tools – better known as Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges – to spend some time next week with Team Titleist via live webcast.

This is your chance to ask “The Voke” a question and get some insight about wedge design, technology and craftsmanship straight from the source.

Steve Pelisek, Titleist General Manager of Golf Clubs
, will join Bob for the 30-minute broadcast.

Please submit your questions in the comments section below, and don’t forget to bookmark this page to watch the live webcast on Wednesday, June 1, at 4:30 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. PDT).

You can enter the webcast by clicking the following link:



Webcast Details:
Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Time: 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PDT)
www.titleist.com/webcast

While much of your summer will be spent reading greens, here's a great book to keep handy in the event of such things as weather delays or the lights being turned off at the driving range: "From Sticks and Stones: The Evolution of Golf Equipment Rules."

It's the game's newest history book, authored by Frank Thomas, one of the men most involved in writing the rules that set the boundaries for today's golf equipment.

Thomas served as Technical Director of the United States Golf Association for more than 25 years before resigning in 2000. He conducted or oversaw the testing of every technological advancement in golf balls, clubheads, shafts, grips and accessories during the most active and innovative periods in the history of golf.

"Frank Thomas has written the definitive book on the evolution of equipment as it pertains to the Rules of Golf...," says Wally Uihlein, Chairman and CEO, Acushnet Company. "This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the game and how golf equipment has evolved over the past century."

In "From Sticks and Stones," Thomas and co-author Valerie Melvin offer a comprehensive history of golf’s equipment regulations before, during and after Thomas' tenure with the USGA, as well as a detailed analysis of those regulations' effects on the game.

Readers will get an inside look at how golf’s governing bodies – the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the USGA – have dealt with equipment innovation and the Rules of Golf from the first mention of “Form and Make of Golf Clubs” in 1908 to the ultra-sophisticated calibrations of today.

“The object of this book,” Thomas writes, “is to provide a written document of how, why and when equipment had been regulated and to consider the effect of these regulations.”

"From Sticks and Stones" is available now and can be purchased for $24.95 USD directly through Thomas’ website at the following link: http://www.franklygolf.com/fromsticksandstones.aspx.



Tommy Byrd doesn't mark his Titleist the same way every time. Sometimes with one dot, sometimes two. Sometimes with his initials "TB." Sometimes with one line, sometimes two.

"It just depends on the day," says Tommy, 60, a Class A PGA Professional since 1977 who currently works as a club fitter at Golf Galaxy on Providence Road in Charlotte, N.C.

"I grab my Sharpie – and who knows?"

Hey, the guy likes variety.

Need more proof?

Since 1970, Tommy has made 11 holes-in-one using eight different Titleist golf ball models, a timeline that begins with a Titleist K2 and (currently) ends with a Titleist Pro V1x.

"And I remember every one of them," Tommy says.

He just didn't see all of them.

Tommy made his first ace May 7, 1970, on the uphill par-3 6th hole at Foxfire Golf & Country Club (Pinehurst, N.C.) during a practice round for the ACC Championship. Byrd, then a freshman on the University of North Carolina golf team, said the hole was playing about 215-220 yards into the wind that day. He hit 3-wood and "it looked good all the way" until it disappeared over the hill.

He didn't realize it had also disappeared into the hole until he saw his Titleist K2 #1 resting comfortably in the bottom of the cup.

"Of all the ones I made that was the only one I didn't see," Tommy says.

He's seen 10 of his Titleist golf balls drop into the hole for "1" since, the last one coming during a pro-am Aug. 11, 2003 on the 178-yard par-3 12th hole at The Highlands at Prestonwood Country Club (Cary, N.C.) with a Titleist Pro V1x #1.

The entire collection spans four decades and currently sits in a wooden display case in his Charlotte, N.C., home, a scrapbook and history lesson all rolled into one.

Let us count the Titleists: Titleist K2 (2); Titleist K; Titleist Pro Trajectory 100 (2); Titleist 384 DT 100; Titleist 384 DT Tour 100; Titleist Tour 100 (3); and Titleist Pro V1x.

"I never played anything but Titleist golf balls in competition," says Tommy, who after college played the Florida mini-tours and competed in a couple PGA Tour Q-Schools. He's also played in the PGA National Club Professional Championship three times and more recently has two wins on the Sunbelt Senior Tour.

"Eleven is a pretty high number for most people," says Tommy, who figures he averaged over 100 rounds per year during the streak. "It's just one of those freaky things I think."

His favorite? Too difficult a question.

The most exciting? Probably the Titleist 384 Tour 100 #1 that hit the green at the 167-yard par-3 4th at The Pearl's West Course (Calabash, N.C.) and rolled into the hole during the final round of the 1989 North Carolina Open, helping him to a third-place finish.

"All of the ones I made in competition were exciting," he says.

Also notable are aces No. 9 and No. 10, which came on consecutive holes – the 317-yard dogleg left par-4 2nd and 144-yard par-3 3rd at Lexington (N.C.) Golf Club – over a span of eight months using Titleist Tour 100 golf balls.

Nowadays, when he isn't busy fitting golfers or spending time with his family, Tommy plays a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball. He says he's "always been straight" and likes the added distance and increased trajectory of the Pro V1x.

"I can hit my irons a little higher but still get a little more distance with that ball, and I can spin my wedges great with it," he says.

So don't be surprised when he spins ace No. 12 right back into the hole.

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