Spring is finally here. As we shake off the rust and get our games back into shape, it's also a great time to take a look at the equipment we'll be counting on this season. We wanted to share some of our favorite tips for getting back into the swing:
- Make sure you have a good supply of Pro V1/ Pro V1x golf balls (easy with our Loyalty Rewarded promotion).
- Clean and inspect all your clubs and consider new grips.
- Restock your golf bag with a rotation of new golf gloves.
- Make sure your headcovers, golf shoes and rain gear are all in good shape.
- Change the batteries in your range finder.
- Keep a few backup Titleist hats in the trunk of your car.
- Clean out, restock and reorganize your golf bag's pockets with tees, divot tool, ball markers, Sharpies, etc.
This last suggestion about re-organizing your golf bag came from Phil Colacchio, our Director of Golf Gear Marketing. Phil added that once we empty out our bags, it's a good idea to inspect it thoroughly:
"Make sure you don't have any ripped material, especially around the top cuff and check all the zippers to make sure they're in good working order. If you have a stand bag, make sure to check the carry strap as well as the stand system. If you need a new bag, it's better to find out now rather than out on the course."
We're always looking for the latest and greatest in Titleist Gear, so while on the subject of stand bags, we asked Phil what's new from Titleist for 2017.
His answer: "Let me tell you all about the new Players Collection." Here's the full story from Phil in the Q&A below.
Q: What is the story behind The Players Collection?
PC: We've named this line the "Players Collection" because our mission was to create a line of stand bags with the dedicated golfer in mind. We challenged ourselves to look at stand bags with a fresh set of eyes, with a goal of creating a collection of golf bags that will help golfers play their best.
So, how do you do that? The first step is understanding what golfers want. Two design objectives came back to us loud and clear - lightweight performance and 4/ 5 /14 Top-cuff preferences.
Weight is critical to golfers because the lighter the bag is, the less fatigue you will experience as you cover the 5-6 miles that you walk in a typical round of golf. The bag has to be ergonomic. It has be comfortable and well balanced and it has to disperse the weight evenly when the carry straps sit on your shoulders.
We also spent a great deal of time thinking about storage and functionality. We reconsidered the number and placement of pockets with a thoughtful design approach. How many pockets do you really need in a carry bag and where should they be? Pockets are like closets. The more you have, the more stuff you want to keep in them. A good bag has a logical place for everything, but it will also prevent you from carrying unnecessary weight.
Lastly, this line had to be premium. Like any products that bear the Titleist Script, they had to be best in class and meet the highest standards of quality, durability and performance. We wanted golfers to look at these bags and feel a sense of confidence, like having a fifteenth club.
Q: How did you go about designing these bags?
PC: It all started with player validation. We sat down with golfers and we asked what they liked about their current stand bags, and what they didn't like. We had them evaluate new product feature concepts and asked them to describe their ideal stand bag. We used this feedback to inform initial designs and, as we progressed, we had these golfers test and validate a variety of prototype models.
Our designs evolved even further after those rounds of testing and we finally arrived at the three bags that make up the Players Collection.
Q: The collection consists of the Players 4, the Players 5 and the Players 14 Stand Bags. How did player insights inspire the 4-way, 5-way and 14-way top collar configurations?
PC: As a matter of fact, Team Titleist was a great help to us by posting a Quick Poll on the subject on the TT Forums. We were pleasantly surprised to see how passionate TT members were about the number of dividers they have in their golf bags. Those results as well as similar feedback we received from online survey research showed that this was definitely an area that we had to address.
And according to golfers, the most functional options for separating clubs are top-cuff configurations featuring a 4-way or 5-way divider system, or a full 14-way system with a separate divider for each individual club.
Q: What other innovations were inspired by players?
PC: There are many player-inspired features in each bag, but one highlight that comes to mind is the new internal stand system. Golfers repeatedly told us that it's easy for the hardware on external stand systems to get caught on obstructions, from sticks and brush on the course to the carpeting and trim features in the trunks of cars. Also, external stand systems don't fit well on golf carts or pull carts.
By moving to an internal design, the stand system is no longer exposed. So it won't become entangled and there's less risk for the stand hardware to get damaged. Another unexpected bonus is that the bags have a much sleeker look.
Another insight that we found interesting is that many players asked us for a single carry strap. Golfers are not always using two straps. There are times when you have a short walk and want to quickly throw the bag over one shoulder. Or in the course of play you may want to select a club or clean a club as you walk, which is difficult to do if you're carrying the bag with both straps. You may also want to take a caddy for a round of golf and single straps often make it much easier for caddies to perform their duties comfortably and efficiently.
We found a simple solution for this request - we created a convertible carry strap with quick-release buckles so that you can easily go from a double strap harness to a single strap option in seconds.
One other important piece of player feedback for us was that players are very conscious of a stand bag's stability. Your golf clubs are a significant investment. Not only is it unnerving and embarrassing to hear your clubs crash to the ground in the middle of your pre-shot routine, but if your clubs are scraped or dinged in the process, it can be truly infuriating. To protect against this unfortunate occurrence, we introduced two new innovations that enhance the bag's stability on all terrains.
First, the leg hinges of the stand mechanism are now curved. This small change allows the legs to extend further, creating a wider, more stable base.
We also redesigned the bags' base. Instead of a single flat plane (that can slip easily if the bag tilts) the new designs feature a full-contact, hinged base. This new contour puts more surface area in contact with the ground, greatly reducing the chance of the base slipping out from under the bag.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about each model?
PC: Of course. The Players 4 is designed with lightweight engineering. This bag weighs only 4.2 pounds which makes it ideal if you prefer to walk. Our research indicated that golfers in search of lightweight bags prefer a 4-Way top-cuff and full-length dividers. The Players 4 is also equipped with five pockets, just the right amount to carry all the gear you'll need if you also like to play in inclement weather conditions.
The Players 4 is exceptionally lightweight and does not sacrifice storage. You will find this bag to be ideal for the purist who who enjoys to carry for 18 holes. It's available in 12 stylish colors.
Q: You mentioned the Players 5. Assuming that's a 5-way design?
PC: Correct. The new Players 5 is our most versatile bag. It is equipped with a 5-way top-cuff with full length dividers for the player who seeks a little extra organization. This bag comes equipped with seven pockets, including a new small apparel pocket for added organization. The Players 5 also sports the new protective StaDry™ waterproof valuables pocket. This feature is designed to provide added protection for your electronic devices that you may be storing while on the course.
The Players 5 features lightweight engineering, weighing only 4.8 pounds. It provides golfers with the additional organization they seek, in a sleek and slender design. It’s available in 10 colors.
Q: And the Players 14?
PC: The new Players 14 was designed for the golfer who is seeking the ultimate in organization and storage. This bag features a 14-way top-cuff that allows golfers to store each club in its own individual sleeve. Clubs go in and out effortlessly with help from the multiple full-length dividers. What’s more, we have been able to deliver this bag without sacrificing our lightweight design. The Players 14 weighs only 5.1 pounds.
The Players 14 has a generous nine pockets for storing and organizing all your gear. You will notice the double apparel pocket for maximum storage and ease of access. Additional auxiliary pockets, including a protective StaDry™ waterproof valuables pocket, flank the bag’s main ball pocket. The Players 14 comes in 7 color options.
One final thing I should mention is that the Players 4, Players 5 and Players 14 stand bags are all available for custom embroidery.
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Titleist Players Collection Stand Bags are available in golf shops now. Find an authorized Titleist Retailer near you.
Check out the entire Titleist Gear line up here and don't forget to check back soon for more Titleist Gear Spotlights.