LPGA TOUR | Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions
Longtime Titleist golf ball player Lydia Ko opened the 2024 season with a decisive victory against the LPGA’s best, posting a final-round 70 to close out a two-shot victory.
- In full control of her Pro V1x+ prototype golf ball, Ko took control of the tournament with bogey-free rounds on Friday and Saturday, playing those 36 holes in 9 under while hitting 32 greens in regulation (89%).
- It marked the 20th LPGA title for Ko, who is now 1 point away from the LPGA's Hall of Fame qualification.
KO’S RUN CONTINUES WITH PRO V1x+
- Last August, Lydia Ko made the move to the prototype Pro V1x+ golf ball, putting the model in play for the first time at the Portland Classic following some work with Titleist Golf Ball R&D rep Jeff Beyers.
- According to Beyers, Ko liked the added spin with her short irons and wedges she saw while testing Pro V1x+.
- While the vast majority of Titleist golf balls in play across the worldwide professional tours are either a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, some players choose to play custom performance options (CPO’s) – such as Pro V1x Left Dash, Pro V1 Left Dot and Pro V1x+.
- These CPO’s are designed to fit players with very unique launch conditions as well as evaluate forward looking technologies.
- Ko has played the ball ever since, and is a cumulative 60 under in those last eight events, including this week’s victory.
- In addition, her team won the Grant Thorton Invitational in December.
- “I’ve used the Titleist ball for a really long time and I can speak from my experience that every time I’ve tried something new I’ve been able to see a difference, and I just love how it is the #1 golf ball,” Ko said. “It’s not just an advertisement. It is something that I believe and something that I really trust. The golf ball is such a crucial part of the equipment standpoint and in the game.”
PANO FINISHES RUNNER-UP IN FIRST WEEK WITH NEW T100 IRONS, SM10 WEDGES
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Alexa Pano began her sophomore season on the LPGA Tour with a solo second-place finish, birdieing three of her final five holes to post 12 under and finish two back of Lydia Ko.
- Pano plays a Pro V1 golf ball and 14 Titleist clubs, nine of which she gamed for the first time this week in Orlando.
- Pano, who finished the week 1st in Birdies (19), added a set of NEW T100 5-9 irons along with four NEW Vokey Design SM10 wedges (46.10F, 50.12F, 54.14F, 58.12D) over the offseason.
- She also led the field in Putts Per GIR (1.69) with her Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 tour prototype putter.
What’s in the Bag? | Alexa Pano
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1 golf ball
Driver: TSR3 8.0° | Mitsubishi Diamana PD 50 S
Fairway Metals: TSR3 13.5° | Mitsubishi Diamana PD 60 S, TSR3 18.0° | Mitsubishi Diamana PD 70 S, and TSR3 21.0°| Mitsubishi Tensei CK 70
Irons: NEW T100 5-9 | Nippon NS Pro 950GH R
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM10 46.10, 50.12F, 54.14F, 58.12D | Nippon NS Pro 950GH R
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 tour prototype putter
PANO ON HER PRO V1
- “The spin on this ball gives me a lot of confidence around the greens and hitting shots in, I can really predict what I want to do and [it’s] just a very reliable golf ball. If I want to stick something, I can do that. If I want to get the rollout, I can still do that, and [Pro V1] just kind of gives me the freedom to play golf. I know my golf ball is going to do what I need it to.”
- “I think before I turned pro, I definitely tested a few different balls and just nothing has the consistency that a Pro V does for me. Trying to get those different ball flights, whether it’s lower with my wedges or going high, but you still, when you’re hitting it high, you still want to see a bit of a drive to it. You don't just want to see it floating. And that's really the main reason I've always stuck with the Pro V1.”
- “I'm a massive feel player. Almost everything I do is feel. I’m not super big on the technological side, and [Pro V1] has always just had a great feel for me. I love the way that it comes off the club. I love the way that I see it react on the greens and yeah, I have a really good feel with this.”
PANO ON HER TSR3 DRIVER
- “This is one of my favorite clubs in my bag. The TSR has been pretty game changing for me... Getting my driver to be a massive asset for me versus something that I was trying to control. It’s given me some strokes gained and yeah, I love it. I really love the look of this driver... the face angles on all my clubs for me are one of the biggest thing, being a big feel player, a visual is big for me. And just looking down at this, I love the way it sits on the ground and makes me feel before every drive that I hit.”
PANO ON HER NEW T100 IRONS
- “I’ve just recently, this offseason, switched into the new T100. I went out to visit Chloe [Robinson, Titleist Technical Player Relations Representative] in California and she helped me get fit for these.”
- “Feel is probably the biggest part of my golf game. I think feeling the club through the turf is massive for me.... I really like these irons specifically because they pierce the ground really well.”
- “A good feeling [at impact] is important, but also the visual aspect of seeing kind of the thinner [topline] goes hand-in-hand with my feel. If I feel good over a club, looking down at the face angle, it really shows when I swing. Face angle is massive for me in every club in the bag.
PANO ON TESTING HER SM10 WEDGES
- “Love the look of them, which is no surprise. I always love the look of a Vokey, but they feel super good so far. ... I think my favorite part about hitting [SM10] was hitting some of those full pitching wedges on the range. I do like to play kind of a right-to-left ball flight and when you start trying to get it up to its furthest distance is when you can see the turn kind of get to its maximum. And seeing a little bit more control [with SM10] was somethingthat’sreally big for me.”
PANO ON HER PHANTOM X 5.5 PUTTER
- “I got this putter last offseason when I went up for a visit at the Scotty Cameron studio and Paul [Vizanko] wanted to fit me for a mallet, even though I’ve always been kind of a blade putter most of my life. And I was set on using one of the two blades that we got fit for that day, but he made me take this. He’s like, ‘you never know what’s going to happen.’ And I was really struggling with my putting the first half of this year. It was just not solid, not consistent at all. I was losing a lot of shots. So finally,just kind of got to a point where I was like, alright, we need to switch something up. So I switched over to this mallet and it’s the reason I’m a winner on the LPGA tour now. It’s been such a massive help. I jumped up so high in the putting ranks. I was really low at some point this year and it’s given me a lot of confidence around the greens. And now it’sprobably my favorite club in the bag.”
PGA TOUR | The American Express
Making PGA TOUR history, the 20-year-old amateur champion of The American Express trusted his Pro V1 golf ball to shoot 29 under par in the desert and win by one shot.
- The champion made two birdies over his final four holes Sunday at PGA West’s Stadium Course to post a closing 2-under 70, getting his Pro V1 up and down for par from just over 78 feet on the par-4 18th to etch his name in the history books.
- The college sophomore has played the 2023 Pro V1 model since the start of his freshman season, winning his first collegiate tournament last March before making a summer run that included victories at the Northeast Amateur, North & South Amateur and the U.S. Amateur Championship.
- On Saturday at La Quinta Country Club, he tied the lowest round by an amateur in PGA Tour history, shooting a 12-under 60 to take a three-shot lead into the final round.
PRO V1 & PRO V1x: THREE IN A ROW TO START 2024
- With Sunday’s victory at The American Express, Titleist golf ball players have now won each of the first three events to start the 2024 PGA TOUR season.
- Grayson Murray won last week’s Sony Open in a playoff with his Pro V1, while the winner of The Sentry played Pro V1x.
- Over the last three weeks on the PGA TOUR, a total of 252 players have teed up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, more than five times the nearest competitor (44).
JUSTIN THOMAS MOVES TO 2023 PRO V1x
- Following extensive off-season testing, longtime Pro V1x player Justin Thomas made the move to the 2023 Pro V1x from the prior generation model, teeing it up in competition for the first time at the 2023 Hero World Challenge.
- Said Thomas: “All of us want consistency. Whether the wind be down, left-to-right, right-to-left, into. If I'm hitting my numbers, I want [the golf ball] to time and time again be able to have that consistent spin, trajectory, to where I’m not missing numbers by four and five [yards] with what I felt like was a good swing. And I felt like Bahamas was a great time to test it. And yeah, it was awesome.”
- “I had a couple of irons into the wind that I could tell [the difference between models]. Some 7 irons that I felt were ‘you know, I’m not sure I can quite get this there, but I just got to put a good solid swing on it.’ And just how [the shots] maintained the trajectory and they weren’t ballooning – but with the land angle, now they’re still going to be coming down soft enough when the greens are firm. There was a couple of times there in that first round where the wind would pick up, and I felt like I was able to either hold it against winds or keep it flighted into the wind that I had felt good about the change.”
- Thomas posted 16 under for the week in the Bahamas, good for a solo 3rd finish.
- When he arrived to PGA West this week to make his first PGA TOUR start of the 2024 season, ‘23 Pro V1x remained in the bag.
- “I texted Fordie [Pitts, Director of Tour Research and Validation for Titleist Golf Ball R&D], I said, ‘Well, I think we have a winner 23X,’ ” Thomas said. "Yeah, it checked all the boxes, and I was very pleased.”
- In his 2024 season debut at the Amex, Thomas posted four rounds of 68 or better to finish T3 at 27 under.
- On Saturday, he posted a course record-tying 11-under 61, in which he gained over three shots (+3.153) with his approach play and was a perfect 5-for-5 in scrambling around PGA West’s Stadium Course.
VOKEY SM10 IS MOST PLAYED WEDGE AT AMERICAN EXPRESS
- The tour launch of the NEW Vokey Design SM10 wedges continued this week at the American Express, with Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill on site and back behind his grinding wheel on the Titleist Tour Truck.
- When players teed off on Thursday, there were 251 Vokey Design gap, sand and lob wedges in play, more than all other brands combined (55%):
- SM10 was the most played wedge model, with 135 gap, sand and lob wedges in play (29%), more than double the nearest competitor.
- Thirty-nine players put at least one new Vokey SM10 wedge in the bag for the first time, and four of the players finishing inside the top-10 gamed at least one SM10 wedge, including Justin Thomas (46.10F, 52.12F, 56.14F, 60.04T), the 2020 Men’s Olympic Gold Medalist (56.10S, WedgeWorks 60.06K) and the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play champ (56.14F, 60.04T).
- More than 100 players on the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour that have already played new SM10’s in competition since the new models first appeared at The Sentry.
KORN FERRY TOUR | The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic
Titleist Brand Ambassador Jeremy Paul claimed the first event on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour schedule, posting a bogey-free weekend to win by one in the Bahamas.
- Paul, playing a Pro V1x golf ball, TSR3 driver, T-Series irons and SM9 wedges among his Titleist setup, carded three straight rounds of 67 in rounds 2-4 to finish at 17 under and earn his first career KFT victory.
- Kevin Roy (Pro V1) finished one shot back of Paul’s winning number, and Ross Steelman (Pro V1x Left Dash) finished solo third at 15 under.
- Cristobal Del Solar (Pro V1x) and Kyle Westmoreland (Pro V1) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to round out a 1-through-5 sweep for Titleist golf ball players.
- One hundred players (76% of the field) trusted a Titleist golf ball in the Korn Ferry’s season-opening event.
What’s in the Bag? | Jeremy Paul
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSR3 9.0°
Hybrid: TSR3 19.0°
Irons: T200 4 iron and T100 5-9 irons
Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 50.12F, 56.08M, WedgeWorks 60.06K
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS | Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
Steven Alker (Pro V1) began the 2024 PGA Tour Champions season with a win, posting rounds of 65-63-63 to post 25 under and win by four.
- Alker, who now has eight victories dating back to the start of the 2022 PGA Tour Champions season, surrendered just one bogey to his 22 birdies and two eagles over 54 holes at Hualalai GC.
- In complete control of his Pro V1, he hit 49 of 54 greens in regulation (1st) and got up-and-down for par in four of his five attempts.
- Last season, 25 out of 28 PGA Tour Champions events were won with a Titleist golf ball.
PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA | Webex Players Series Murray River
Titleist Brand Ambassador Kazuma Kobori, playing a Pro V1x golf ball and full bag of Titleist equipment, earned his first victory as a professional, posting 21 under to win by two.
- The New Zealand native, who won the Western Amateur as well as the Elite Amateur Series title this past summer, turned in four rounds of 68 or better (65-66-64-68) to reach his winning number.
What’s in the Bag? | Kazuma Kobori
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSR2 9.0°
Fairway Metal: TSR2+ 14.5°
Hybrid: TSR3 19.0°
Irons: NEW T150 4-5 and T100 6-9 irons
Wedges: Vokey Wedges 46.10F, 50.12F, 54.12D, WedgeWorks 60.06K
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport
AMATEUR | Latin America Amateur Championship
Playing a Pro V1 golf ball, the champion of the Latin America Amateur Championship posted the low round of the day on Sunday – a final round 64 – to win by two shots.
- He played the weekend in 10 under and finished seven shots clear of third place.
- With the victory, the winner will receive an invitation to the 2024 Masters as well as exemptions to the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst #2 and the 2024 Open Championship at Royal Troon.
- Twenty-three of the top 24 finishers played a Pro V1, Pro V1x or Pro V1x Left Dash golf ball, and 82% of the field trusted a Titleist golf ball this week.