Titleist History

Titleist History

How a missed putt inspired one of, if not the, single most important pieces of equipment in the history of the game.

History

History

The Titleist brand started with a vision - and an x-ray. The Titleist success story began one Sunday in 1932, when Phil Young, a dedicated amateur golfer and owner of a precision molded rubber company, missed a well-stroked putt in a match with his friend, who was head of the x-ray department at a local hospital. 

Convinced that the ball itself was at fault, Young and his opponent went to the hospital, x-rayed the golf ball in question and found that its core was, in fact, off-centre.  

With his discovery, Phil Young persuaded Fred Bommer, a fellow MIT graduate, rubber specialist and avid golfer, to head up the Acushnet Golf Division.  They set out to develop the highest quality and best performing golf ball in the world; one that would be uniform and consistent in quality, ball after ball. 

It took Young and Bommer three painstaking years to perfect the first Titleist golf ball, but when it was ready in 1935, it could truthfully be introduced to club professionals and golfers as the best ball ever made. Applying a lesson well learned, Young implemented a process check that is still in practice today: every Titleist golf ball is X-rayed.

When it was ready in 1935, the first Titleist golf ball could truthfully be introduced to club professionals and golfers as the best ball ever made.

When it was ready in 1935, the first Titleist golf ball could truthfully be introduced to club professionals and golfers as the best ball ever made.

The story of the script

The Titleist name and script originated when the first Titleist-branded golf balls were being produced in 1935. Executives were looking for a word that was synonymous with excellence; a name that identified a champion.  The name 'Titleist' was unanimously chosen as the name of the golf ball and brand. With the name decided, the company needed to develop a logo. 

An executive suggested the handwriting of office secretary Helen Robinson who was considered to have beautiful penmanship.  Helen was given a sheet of paper and asked to write the word ‘Titleist.’  The way she wrote the word on the page that day is exactly how one of the world’s most recognised marks continues to appear today, gracing every piece of Titleist equipment throughout the world.

The way she wrote the word on the page that day is exactly how one of the world’s most recognised marks continues to appear today.

Building trust in a brand

Building trust in a brand

In a game where consistency and preciseness of shot are rewarded, Young and Bommer focused their efforts on product quality starting with the "process". This was a game changer at the time. A second game changer was their distribution policy. 

Golf professionals only

While most golf equipment was sold through department stores, Young and Bommer made the decision to distribute Titleist product through the individual most capable of discerning a performance and quality superior golf ball. They adopted a distribution policy of "sold through golf professionals only" and took the first step towards becoming the leading brand of the golf professional and the golf pro shop. 

Going to the golfer

Needing a way to validate performance and quality excellence, Titleist debuted the Acushnet Golf Ball Demonstration Machine in 1936. The Demonstration Machine toured to the most prestigious golf courses of the day, validating Titleist golf ball superiority. These events were both incredible and indelible as golfers across the country were awed by Titleist golf ball performance. 

Most played

By 1945, the company turned its attention to the collection of professional golf tournaments, known today as the PGA TOUR. They focused on getting the Titleist golf ball into the hands of as many players as possible. This novel "most played" strategy was based on the premise that if most of the best players trust your golf ball for their livelihood, then it must be the best golf ball. 

Breakthrough

Breakthrough

Titleist continued to affirm its "most played" strategy with each new year, as sales grew and an increasing number of golfers from professionals to amatuers put their trust in the company's product. Titleist solidified its position as the #1 ball in golf by winning the ball count for the first time at the 1949 U.S. Open at Medinah CC. 

For the past 30+ years, Titleist has been played by the majority of professional players on the U.S. PGA Tour and more than all other golf balls combined.  This strong preference for Titleist golf balls also extends to Professional Tours around the world, as well as to PGA Golf Professionals, US Amateurs, NCAA players and US Juniors.

For the past 30+ years, Titleist has been played by the majority of professional players on the U.S. PGA Tour and more than all other golf balls combined.

The Pro V1 story

The Titleist Pro V1 golf ball is, quite simply, the most successful piece of golf equipment in the history of the game. Since its introduction, the Pro V1 has been the overwhelming ball of choice on the worldwide professional tours and has been equally successful in the marketplace, offering unmatched distance and short game performance. Little did anybody know when the product was launched in October 2000 that the Pro V1 golf ball would become one of, if not, the most revolutionary products in golf equipment history.

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