Golf: Best of the Best Equipment: Titleist
You may not be able to golf a lick. Your drives might curve like a Chiquita into the hinterlands, your irons may displace more earth than a steam shovel, and you might putt with the touch of King Kong. If, however, your golf bag is filled with equipment made by Titleist, at least people will think you know what you’re doing.
The Acushnet Co., the division of Fortune Brands Inc. that makes Titleist balls and clubs as well as FootJoy shoes and gloves, has been at the top of the golfing heap for decades.
Despite rapid advancements in technology and much-hyped marketing claims from competitors, the fact remains that most of the better players in the world still tee up a Titleist ball.
The current pellet of popularity is Titleist’s Pro V1, the best-selling ball in the country and the choice of the pros. This two-piece ball combines the superior distance and durability characteristics of the so-called “hard” balls with the spin and controllability that the pros demand.
Titleist has made great strides on the equipment side of the business without making a lot of noise about it. Unlike the flashy marketers from Carlsbad and Scottsdale, Titleist relies on its reputation for quality clubs designed for better players to carve out a small but significant market share.
In irons, the Titleist DCI line offers weight-adjusted cavity-back clubs designed for both high-handicappers and serious amateurs. Many Tour pros use the DCI 990 line or the pure forgings of the 690 line. The company’s 975 line of metal drivers and fairway woods is also popular on the Tour, especially the recently introduced titanium-weight 975J.
Of course, Tour players have their equipment customized right down to the size of their fingernails. But Titleist offers amateur players a custom-fitting program that can help match any player with the right equipment and ball.
When it comes to the scoring clubs, Titleist has wisely affiliated with boutique designers, specialists who know how to construct well-balanced and effective weapons. Bob Vokey has been making fine wedges for decades, and the Vokey series of scoring clubs are extremely adept at helping golfers get out of the bunker, extract a ball from deep rough around the green, or stop a ball on a dime from 80 yards and in.
In putters, Scotty Cameron is the Michelangelo of the flat blade. From his California-based Putter Studio, Cameron welds and positions hosels, refines draft angles, changes toe flows, creates different looks, and changes the sound and feel of putters until he finds the perfect blade. The best players in the world stop by his shop for custom fittings.
So put a Pro Platinum Scotty Cameron in your Titleist staff bag, add a couple of Vokey wedges, a set of DCI irons fitted to taste, the 975 driver and matching fairway metal, unwrap a sleeve of Pro V1s, and you will strike fear in the heart of any opponent. At least until you make your first swing from the tee.
Titleist (Acushnet Co.), 800.225.8500, www.titleist.com