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Press Release from Titleist
TITLEIST EQUIPMENT UPDATE: The Honda Classic
According to Darrell Survey, for the third time this season, Titleist achieved the feat of sweeping every major equipment category at a PGA TOUR event - this time it is The Honda Classic - and by looking at the counts, the choice is overwhelmingly clear.
From golf balls, to drivers, fairway and hybrids, and irons to wedges and putters, the Titleist brand is the overwhelming field favorite as the Tour moves from the west coast to the Florida swing.
> Titleist is the top choice in golf balls with 112 players in the field of 144 - that's 78 percent of the field and seven times the nearest competitor with 16.
> One out of every three drivers in the field is a Titleist with 48 (33%) in play this week - that's 16 more than the nearest competitor with 32.
> The Titleist TS3 continues to be the most played single driver model on the PGA TOUR with 29, nearly double the next closest driver model with 15.
> The Titleist TS3 is also the most played driver on the European Tour again this week with 29. That's 20 percent of the field playing that single model.
> Titleist irons also accounted for nearly one-third of the field with 46 (32%) sets in play - 21 more sets than the nearest competitor.
> The Titleist 718 MB (20) and the 718 AP2 (14) are the top two most played iron models this week.
> Titleist Brand Ambassador Peter Malnati is playing the 718 AP2 Black irons (5-9) that were recently released. Malnati was shipped the irons to his home in Tennessee during his off week but never got a chance to practice with them because of inclement weather. It was the only set he brought with him to the Honda Classic and worked them into his bag this bag this week. He joins Cam Smith as the two Titleist players putting the new AP2 Black models in play.
> More than half of all wedges in the field this week (220/55%) are of the Vokey Design variety. The nearest competitor has 60 wedges in play.
> Scotty Cameron putters are the overwhelming field favorite this week with 54 (38%) in play, 14 more than the nearest competitor.
> More players on the PGA TOUR rely upon Scotty Cameron putters than any other brand and tops the Tour in wins with 4 this season.
> Titleist equipment counts at The Honda Classic vs. the Nearest Competitor (NC):
TITLEIST - 112 (78%)
NC - 16 (11%)
TITLEIST - 48 (33%)
NC - 32 (22%)
TITLEIST - 56 (31%)
NC - 37 (20%)
TITLEIST - 25 (39%)
NC - 17 (27%)
TITLEIST - 46 (32%)
NC - 25 (17%)
TITLEIST - 220 (55%)
NC - 60 (15%)
TITLEIST - 54 (38%)
NC - 40 (28%)
This is pretty cool, and I'm sure we'll get some saying $260 plus for a wedge is ridiculously expensive, but again, it's not being force on anyone, it's an option that has in the past only been available to the most elite players in the world, that is now available to anyone wanting to buy the service.
Master Craftsman Bob Vokey is now offering the tour grinding experience to all golfers through the introduction of the new HandGround program on Vokey.com.
For golfers seeking tour-level customizations such as additional heel relief, a squared up leading edge, or Bob’s popular tour grind, the HandGround program is the answer.
For the last year, Bob has personally trained two grinders on all of the performance and profile adjustments that have resulted from his more than two decades of work with the world’s best players.
Bob’s passion for building relationships with individual players is the essence of the Vokey brand. Voke takes the time to listen to a player’s wants and, more importantly, their needs, when hitting wedge shots. He then takes this information back to the tour truck and starts grinding heads. The process can be lengthy, but when it is done right, it is worth the wait.
Bob will oversee the entire HandGround process – located in a new workspace adjacent to the Titleist Tour Department, inside the Titleist Golf Club headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. – and, from time to time, will also grind HandGround orders himself.
QUOTING BOB VOKEY: “This takes me back to my roots - one player at a time, one wedge at a time, crafting the sole to the player's exact specifications.”
HANDGROUND OPTIONS: In selecting the HandGround option – currently available on all Vokey SM7 Raw models, the preferred finish of tour players worldwide – golfers will be able to choose from a variety of performance and profile adjustments (two adjustments maximum).
• Performance adjustments: As course conditions change, tour players make adjustments to their wedges to improve turf interaction by grinding material off the sole of the wedge. These grinds allow the player to change the wedge’s playing characteristics based on their unique swingtype and course conditions resulting in finely tuned performance.
Performance adjustments include:
- Pre-Worn Leading Edge
- Smooth Grind Lines
- Heel Relief
- Trailing Edge Relief
• Profile adjustments: Having the right head shape inspires confidence. Voke works with tour players to dial-in the head shape that fits each player’s eye. Profile adjustments allow the golfer to design a confidence-inspiring head shape by grinding material off the profile.
Profile adjustments include:
- Semi-Square Leading Edge
- Thin Top Line
- Tour Grind (smooths all profile lines & slightly reduces profile size)
For detailed explanations of each performance and profile adjustment, click here: https://www.vokey.com/nav/handground.aspx
HANDGROUND SETS: With F, K and L Grind wedges, golfers also have the option to make specific grind selections:
- F Grind: Make it an S Grind. For example, golfers that prefer their 52.12 F gap wedge to have a touch more versatility greenside may enjoy this option.
- K Grind: Make it a J Grind (Heel & trailing edge relief)
- L Grind: Make it an A Grind (Smooth the grind lines)
ON THE WEB: https://www.vokey.com/nav/handground.aspx
AVAILABILITY: HandGround wedges are now available on all SM7 Raw models through Vokey.com. SM7 Raw wedges – including BV Wings grip and 10-character stamping – start at $195. There is an additional $75 charge for HandGround services.
Going through my phone to sort out some pics for finishing up my JPX900 HotMetal review, i ran across several variations of my WITB just in the last two years, there were more before that, but fortunately it's before camera phones were really the thing...ha
So here's a look back, if you have multiple years worth, lets see them as well.
In Short: I cannot imagine having a more enjoyable club fitting experience anywhere else and look forward to a putter fitting with True Spec in the near future.
I haven't seen too many threads providing fitting experiences/reviews, especially with True Spec Golf (https://www.truespecgolf.com/). For those of you not familiar with True Spec, here are highlights:
Founded in 2014 15 Locations in 6 Countries: North America: Bronx (NY), Chicago (IL), Columbus (OH), Jupiter (FL), Miami (FL), Naples (FL), New York City (NY), Orlando (FL), and Nassau (Bahamas) Europe: Geneva (Switzerland), Sotogrande (Spain), and Turnberry (Scotland) Asia: Hanoi (Vietnam) and Tokyo (Japan) Partner Brands Club Manufacturers: Bettinardi, Callaway, Cleveland, Cobra, Epon, ENVROLL, Fourteen, Gimar, Miura, Mizuno, Odyssey, Ping, PXG, SeeMore, Srixon, TaylorMade, and Titleist Shaft Manufacturers: Accra, Aerotech, Fujikura, Graphite Design, KBS, Matrix, Mitsubishi Rayon, Nippon, Oban, True Temper, UST Mamiya, and Veylix Now onto my experience. In December 2016, True Spec was running a holiday special discount: $100 off a full bag fitting (except for putter). Fortunately, my girlfriend is kind enough to support my addition and was kind enough to gift me my first custom fitting. But before I decided to get fit, I wanted to play a decent amount of the 2017 season to provide a quality â€œbaselineâ€ comparison between my current off-the-shelf clubs and properly fit clubs.
Old Clubs and â€œNormalâ€ Distance (based on data from 14 rounds with Arccos):
TaylorMade R11S 9* (Stiff Flex) â€“ 275 Yds TaylorMade Burner Fairway 3 Wood 15* (Regular Flex) â€“ 235 Yds TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0 3 Hybrid 18* (Regular Flex) â€“ 185 Yds Callaway X-22 Irons (4 to AW) â€“ 170 Yds (6 Iron) Bombtech 56* â€“ 90 Yds Cleveland 60* â€“ 70 Yds Scotty Futura X5 In mid-July, I called True Spec up and scheduled my full bag fitting over two mornings from 9 AM to 11 AM; Day 1 for Irons and Wedges, Day 2 for Woods. After taking the subway from downtown NYC to Penn Station, I walked over and quickly knew I was in the right place.
True Spec's NYC location is housed inside Golf & Body NYC. While an entire post can be made about Golf & Body, it's easier to just say that it's essentially an â€œindoor country clubâ€ equipped with Trackman simulators, a huge putting green, and a full-blown gym.
On Day 1, I worked with True Spec fitter Tyler. We started the fitting by having me warm up while Tyler took some fundamental data on my irons and wedges (e.g., loft, lie angle, shaft flex). Once I was warm, Tyler explained that True Spec collects data using the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor and the iron fitting will be based off 6 iron data. In addition, he wanted to see if I had any questions, club preferences, or goals in mind before we collected our first data point. I explained that I never been fit, currently am a 12 handicap, and would prefer a forged, players iron (presuming my ball striking and club speed would allow). Tyler reassured me he'd do everything he can to put the best club in my hands, and that we could now start taking some baseline data with my 6 iron. After a couple shots, we eliminated the mishits and averaged:
121 MPH Ball Speed ~19* Launch Angle ~6300 RPMs 170 Yds (Carry) 180 Yds (Total) 107 Ft. Peak Heigh To keep it short, Tyler and I spent the next 2 hours trying 10 different irons with nearly as many different shafts. Between the data and personal preference, we narrowed it down to the following top performers (with their average data):
Srixon Z 565s with KBS C-Taper Parallel Tip Shafts (Stiff); 125 MPH Ball Speed, ~18* Launch Angle, ~5600 RPMs, 180 Yds (Carry), 190 Yds (Total) TaylorMade P770 with Project X LZ 6.0; 123 MPH Ball Speed, ~20* Launch Angle, ~5700 RPMs, 176 Yds (Carry), 185 Yds (Total) Titleist AP2s with KBS C-Taper Parallel Tip Shafts (Stiff); 121 MPH Ball Speed, ~18* Launch Angle, ~6300 RPMs, 175 Yds (Carry), 185 Yds (Total) Fortunately, I didn't have to make any decisions on the spot, so we then started the wedge fitting. Unfortunately, I don't have any baseline data, but after about an hour we decided that the combination I got the best feel and performance from was Vokey SM6s in 56* (with 14* bounce) and 60* (with 10* bounce), paired with the KBS 610 Wedge Shaft (Stiff).
In addition to being really pleased with how the entire experience was going, Tyler was kind enough to email me with all the GC Quad data we collected throughout the fitting about an hour after we finished.
On Day 2, I was teamed up with Doug and, as many great things I could say about Tyler, he was incredible. After receiving my Day 1 results, I naturally I hopped on the forums and started to read reviews. As a result, I had lots of questions for Doug before we even started. Doug was very patient and answered every question I had and, after addressing my anxiety, asked if there were any clubs I wanted to hit that I might have missed out on. As eager as I was to try a few more irons, we agreed that it was best to start hitting some woods while I was fresh. Similar to Day 1, Doug asked me to start warming up with my driver so we could get some baseline data:
148 MPH Ball Speed 110 MPH Club Speed ~12* Launch Angle ~3300 RPMs 250 Yds (Carry) 270 Yds (Total) ~39* Descent Angle From there, we quickly jumped into hitting some top-notch heads (Taylormade M1 and M2, Callaway Epic and Epic Sub Zero, Ping G400, and Titleist 917 D3) and shafts (Fujikura Pro XLR8, Mitsubishi C6 Blue and TENSEI CK, Aldila Tour Blue and Rogue Black, etc.). It was immediately apparent that we needed to find a combination that would help get my spin down. After about an hour of mixing and matching, the Callaway Epic Sub Zero 9.0* with UST Mamiya Elements Platinum shaft stood head and shoulders above everything (152 MPH Ball Speed, ~10* Launch Angle, ~2600 RPMs, 265 Yds Carry, 288 Total).
We then turned to 3 Woods. Baseline data with my TM Burner:
143 MPH Ball Speed 106 MPH Club Speed ~11* Launch Angle ~3900 RPMs 220 Yds (Carry) 235 Yds (Total) ~26* Descent Angle Ironically, we ultimately ended up with the first combination Doug put in my hands, but only after we verified it with a similar sampling of head and shaft combinations. TaylorMade M2 3 Wood 16.5* (High Launch) with Graphite Design Tour AD (152 MPH Ball Speed, 107 MPH Club Speed, ~11* Launch Angle, ~3300 RPMs, 236 Yds Carry, 255 Total).
Finally, replacing my Hybrid. Full disclosure, I hate my Hybrid. 99% of the shots end with a cursing, thoughts of club throwing, and a frustrating pull hook. I came into my fitting with the hopes that if my club speed was high enough, that I could be fitted for a Driving Iron or carry a 3 Iron. Unfortunately, Doug informed me that True Spec currently does not fit for Dis, but Doug was able to convince me that I should some 5 Woods and properly fit Hybrids a chance before dismissing them altogether. After spending an hour trying a few Hybrid and 5 Wood combinations, I (ironically) found out that TaylorMade M2 5 Wood 18* also with Graphite Design Tour AD (144 MPH Ball Speed, 105 MPH Club Speed, ~12* Launch Angle, ~4100 RPMs, 219 Yds Carry, 234 Total) would outperform a 3 iron.
NOW after spending the past three and half hours dialing in my new woods, Doug reminded me that the offer to hit some extra irons stood as long as I had the energy. I was all for it and while taking a brief water break, Doug asked if I had any specific concerns about how yesterday went. I explained that as much as I loved how the Srixon Z 565s performed, I really wanted a forged iron that would demand me to play better golf while simultaneously not leading me to quit golfing. I then asked Doug if I could hit the Miura CB 1008s, the Titleist AP2s (again), Mizuno JPX Tours, and the Srixon Z 765s. Also, just to check my ego, I asked to hit the Miura Tournament Blades MB001s. As much as I wished I could play the MBs, I knew that I currently don't have the skill to enjoy them. Fortunately, the extra time was not wasted. In fact, Doug and I were able to determine that I could hit the Z 765, and that it was up to me to either: (1) go with a quality combination set (Srixon Z 565s for 4 through 6 irons and Srixon Z 765s for 7 through Gap Wedge); or (2) go with a full bag of Z 565s or 765s. Once again, there was no pressure to make a decision on the spot and after a couple of days, I decided to go with a full bag of the Z 765s.
But before ending Day 2, Doug took the time to walk me through all the custom accessories and options. After trying and talking about every possibility, I decided on customizing the Callaway Epic SZ with White Rails, Crown and Sole, along with White NO1 50 Series grips on all my woods. The Srixons would just get Black NO1 50 Pro Series grips. And as for my Vokey SM6 wedges, I opted for the Raw Black Finish also with Black NO1 50 Pro Series grips, finished off with some custom Wedge Stamping and White Paintfill.
To wrap things up, True Spec delivered on everything I expected and could've wanted from a custom fitting. I genuinely appreciate the time Tyler and Doug spent with me to ensure that I will be ordering a set of clubs that will perform and I look forward to playing with.
Furthermore, True Spec is available to golfers all across the world. As a result, I would highly recommend that anyone who is looking to be fit for clubs to, at a minimum, consider True Spec Golf. I know that before I decided to get fit, I decided to meet with two reputable NYC-private fitters and two competing national club fitters. Despite the time I spent speaking with and building a rapport with these other fitters, True Spec stood out and exceeded all expectations.
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