|Subsidiary of Fila|
|Founder||Philip E. Young|
|Headquarters||Fairhaven, Massachusetts, USA|
Titleist (pronounced // "title-ist") is an American brand name golf equipment and apparel products produced by the Acushnet subsidiary, which is headquartered in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, United States. It was founded in 1932 by Philip E. Young, and is a subsidiary of the South Korean company Fila.
The name Titleist is derived from the word "titlist", which means "title holder". Several marketing mottos have been promoted for the Titleist brand, including "The #1 ball in golf", "Serious clubs for serious golfers", "It's not how you mark your golf ball, it's how you mark your Titleist".
Acushnet is best known for its Titleist golf balls. It also produces clubs such as irons, drivers, putters (under the Scotty Cameron brand), other equipment, and apparel and accessories under the brands FootJoy and Pinnacle.
Phillip E. "Skipper" Young, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded the Acushnet Company as a rubber-processing business.
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.
1910: Phillip E. Young and two partners formed Acushnet Processing Company. It was the world's largest supplier of recycled uncured rubber by the end of World War I. the Acushnet Process Company focused on deresinating latex and supplying rubber to industry, and over time began to make their own rubber-based products including water bottles and bathing caps.
1920s: the company began focusing on making molded rubber products.Over the years, the company shifted its focus, eventually getting into golf due to Young’s fondness for the sport and his frustration with the performance of golf balls.
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.
1935: the Golf division in of the Acushnet Process Company produced the Titleist golf ball, which had consistently been the company's most successful product.
1948: Introduced "Dynamite Thread" to increase the yardage of their balls.
1949: Titleist becomes the most used ball at the U.S. Open Tournament.
1976: Titleist was purchased by American Brands (now known as Fortune Brands).
1985: Fortune Brands sold off the Acushnet Company's Acushnet Rubber division, which was Acushnet's original business (circa early 1900s).
2002: Titleist reaches the $1 billion mark in annual revenues for the first time.
On December 8, 2010, Fortune Brands announced that it would soon sell or spin off Titleist and some other brands. 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.
Titleist, a member of the Acushnet family currently produces the following golf balls:
- Titleist Pro V1
- Titleist Pro V1x
- Titleist NXT Tour
- Titleist NXT Tour S / Tour S Yellow
- Titleist DT SoLo / DT SoLo Yellow
- Titleist Velocity
The Pro V1 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. The Pro V1 was available to the public by December. The Pro V1 was a dramatic departure 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 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.
In December 2007, Acushnet lost a patent infringement suit brought by Callaway. 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. 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.
Titleist is a respected and popular golf brand, with such players as Adam Scott, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Geoff Ogilvy, and Jordan Spieth under contract. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero and Nick Watney were also contracted to use Titleist before moving to Nike. When the Nike contract began Woods refused to use the Nike drivers for a long time and continued to use his Titleist one. Up until the 2010 British Open, Woods carried a Titleist putter, but has since switched to a Nike Method putter. However, after the third round, Tiger switched back to his Titleist putter (Scotty Cameron). Phil Mickelson was also a contracted Titleist player, shortly after his 2004 Masters Tournament.
A number of tour professionals have endorsement deals for Titleist and are contracted to use their equipment, including the following:
Titleist also has a number of players who endorse their golf ball only, including the following:
- Ryan Nolan
- David Toms
- Pádraig Harrington
- Bubba Watson
- Sergio Flores Lopez
- Bo Van Pelt
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Robert Karlsson
- Jeff Overton
- Hunter Mahan
- Ángel Cabrera
- Aaron Baddeley
- Mike Weir
- D. A. Points
- Lee Westwood
- Luke Donald
- Rickie Fowler
- Yani Tseng
- Solomon Bramble
- Aaron Smith, Jim Beam, neat, is company's new strategy, CNN Money, December 8, 2010.
- Fortune Brands Announces Intent to Separate Company's Three Businesses, The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2010.
- Fortune Brands to split into three companies, Lake Country News-Sun, December 9, 2010.
- Fortune Brands to Sell Titleist Golf Unit to Fila Korea for $1.23 Billion, Cotten Timberlake and Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Bloomberg, May 20, 2011.
- Acushnet to be sold to Korean group led by Fila, Gene Yasuda, Golf Week, May 20, 2011.
- Fila set to buy Fortune Brands' golf unit for $1.2B, Dow Jones Newswire, May 20, 2011.
- Fila takes swing at golf biz with Titleist buy, CBS News, May 20, 2011.
- "Callaway wins patent infringement suit over Acushnet". International Herald Tribune. December 15, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- "Callaway wins court order to halt sales of Titleist's Pro V1 golf balls". USA Today. November 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- "Acushnet wins golf ball suit after 4 years". pbn dot com. March 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-19.