Titleist

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Titleist
Titleist golf logo.png
Product typeGolf equipment
(balls, clubs, etc.)
OwnerAcushnet Company
Produced byAcushnet
CountryUnited States
Introduced1932; 88 years ago (1932)
MarketsWorldwide

Titleist (pronounced /ˈttəlɪst/ "title-ist") is an American brand name of golf equipment produced by the Acushnet Company, headquartered in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, United States. The Titleist brand, established in 1932 by Philip E. Young, focuses on golf balls and clubs.

The name Titleist is derived from the word "titlist", which means "title holder".[1] Several marketing mottos have been promoted for the Titleist brand, including "The #1 ball in golf", "Serious clubs for serious golfers", and "It's not how you mark your golf ball, it's how you mark your Titleist".

History[edit]

Phillip E. "Skippy da Do" Young, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded Titleist in 1932.[2] When playing a round of golf with his dentist, Young missed a sure putt that seemed to be caused by the weight of the ball. He then asked his dentist friend to X-ray the ball and the film showed that the rubber core was off-center. After this initial discovery, Young took X-rays of more golf balls and found that most were poorly constructed with off-center cores and prone to erratic shots. This inspired Young to produce his own line of golf balls, which would become known as Titleist.[3]

1930: Young developed a machine that could uniformly wind rubber string around a rubber core, making a "dead center" golf ball. He named the ball "Titleist," noting it was the "winner" of the quest to create the best for the game.[citation needed]

1935: The golf division of the Acushnet Process Company produced the Titleist golf ball, which had consistently been the company's most successful product.[citation needed]

1948: Introduced "Dynamite Thread" to increase the yardage of their balls.

1949: Titleist became the most used ball at the U.S. Open Tournament.[4]

1976: Titleist was purchased by American Brands (now known as Fortune Brands).[citation needed]

1985: Fortune Brands sold off the Acushnet Company's Acushnet Rubber division, which was Acushnet's original business (circa early 1900s).

2002: Titleist reached the $1 billion mark in annual revenues.[citation needed]

On December 8, 2010, Fortune Brands announced that it would soon sell or spin off Titleist and some other brands.[5][6][7] It was then announced on May 20, 2011 that a Korean group associated with Fila Korea, Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity would purchase Acushnet for $1.23 billion in cash.[8][9][10][11]

Golf equipment[edit]

Pro v1 balls designed by Dean Snell
975D Driver by Terry McCabe

The Pro V1 ball made its debut on the PGA Tour at Las Vegas on October 11, 2000, the first week it was available to the pros. A longtime Titleist user, Billy Andrade, won that first tournament with the new ball.[12] The Pro V1 was available to the public by December. The Pro V1 was a dramatic change in innovation for the golf ball market as a whole and for the brand, which had traditionally used a wound-ball construction (with a liquid-filled core center) for its top-of-the-line golf balls.

Shortly after its introduction the Titleist Pro V1 became the most played ball on the PGA Tour and has been for the past 20 odd years, picking up the most worldwide wins from both direct brand ambassadors (meaning they play Titleist equipment) and players who are not directly under contract and considered brand ambassadors from Titleist.,[13][14][15] and three years after Titleist's initial breakthrough with the Pro V1 came the Pro V1x, a ball with 60 fewer dimples. The combination of a larger firmer core, a thinner cover, and 60 fewer dimples resulted in a ball that retained the same soft feel of the Pro V1 while reducing spin and increasing distance.[16]

In December 2007, Acushnet lost a patent infringement suit brought by Callaway.[17] The following November, Callaway won an injunction in a Delaware court, ruling that sales of the Pro V1 golf balls must be stopped from January 1, 2009, with professionals being able to continue with their use until the end of the year. Acushnet immediately announced that they would be appealing the decision.[18] Acushnet somewhat redesigned the Pro-V1 during the dispute. On August 14, 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment against Acushnet and ordered a new trial. On March 29, 2010, a federal jury ruled in favor of Acushnet (Titleist), and found that the Callaway patents were invalid.[19]

Endorsements[edit]

Titleist store at the Mitsui Outlet Park of Osaka, Japan, April 2015

Titleist has maintained endorsement deals with many leading professional players, including Adam Scott, Steve Stricker, Geoff Ogilvy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Players previously contracted with Titleist include Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, before both moved to Nike,[20][21] and Phil Mickelson, who switched to Callaway shortly after his 2004 Masters Tournament win.[22]

Many players who have equipment contracts with other brands use Titleist balls and/or Scotty Cameron putters. For example Tiger Woods continues to regularly play with the same Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS that he used for 14 of his 15 major championship wins. Early in his Nike contract, Woods also continued to use his Titleist driver.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Definition of TITLIST". www.merriam-webster.com.
  2. ^ Echikson, William (2009). Shooting for Tiger: How Golf's Obsessed New Generation is Transforming a Country Club Sport. Public Affairs. p. 69. ISBN 9781586485788. Retrieved 22 May 2018. titleist + 1932.
  3. ^ Fry, Erika (28 October 2016). "The Maker of Titleist Golf Balls Failed to Impress Wall Street". Fortune. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ Monthly, Golf (2016-06-17). "Titleist mark 68 years as the most played ball at the US Open". Golf Monthly. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  5. ^ Aaron Smith, Jim Beam, neat, is company's new strategy, CNN Money, December 8, 2010.
  6. ^ Fortune Brands Announces Intent to Separate Company's Three Businesses, The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Fortune Brands to split into three companies Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, Lake Country News-Sun, December 9, 2010.
  8. ^ Fortune Brands to Sell Titleist Golf Unit to Fila Korea for $1.23 Billion, Cotten Timberlake and Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Bloomberg, May 20, 2011.
  9. ^ Acushnet to be sold to Korean group led by Fila, Gene Yasuda, Golf Week, May 20, 2011.
  10. ^ Fila set to buy Fortune Brands' golf unit for $1.2B, Dow Jones Newswire, May 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Fila takes swing at golf biz with Titleist buy, CBS News, May 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "2000 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas results". ESPN.com. 2001-09-27. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  13. ^ "Titleist overwhelmingly trumps ball count at PGA Championship". WorldGolf.com.
  14. ^ http://www.thetourvan.com
  15. ^ H, Rich (11 June 2011). "3Jack Golf Blog: 6.10.11 Golf Ball Data - PGA Tour".
  16. ^ "Golf Equipment - Golf Clubs - Putters - Golf Drivers". WorldGolf.com.
  17. ^ "Callaway wins patent infringement suit over Acushnet". International Herald Tribune. December 15, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  18. ^ "Callaway wins court order to halt sales of Titleist's Pro V1 golf balls". USA Today. November 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  19. ^ "Acushnet wins golf ball suit after 4 years". pbn dot com. March 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  20. ^ Heath, Elliott (May 22, 2020). "Tiger Woods' Golf Gear Through The Years". Golf Monthly.
  21. ^ Heath, Elliott (March 18, 2019). "Rory McIlroy's Golf Gear Through The Years". Golf Monthly.
  22. ^ Heath, Elliott (May 22, 2020). "Phil Mickelson's Golf Equipment Through The Years". Golf Monthly.

External links[edit]