First off, I want to say thanks to Eric, Doug, Jason, Brice, Josh, and Austin for allowing me to come out and do a tour.
Let me start at the beginning - I was lucky enough last summer to do a ball plant tour and was amazed by the level of detail and rigor that stands behind the making of the golf ball. I was invited to go do a tour of the club assembly plant and I found out that the industry-leading standards of attention to detail are a company-wide thing and not specific to the golf balls.
The first stop I visited during the tour showed how all the clubs are checked and tested to ensure what gets shipped in from China meets Titleist’s strict QA standards. From the mountain of golf shafts and heads I saw, be assured that when you order a club through Titleist, you’re in good hands. One thing that really amazed me was how the iron heads are labelled to ensure all heads have the same weight. I know in the past when I have purchased something from another OEM, some clubs felt different, but when you purchase from Titleist, you won’t ever have that problem. Also I was taken back by the amount of testing they do to ensure the integrity of the paint of the heads. This is to ensure us when us hackers sky one, that hopefully our paint doesn’t come off or crack and spread to the other parts of the club.
The second part of my tour was to see how all the Titleist clubs are assembled here in the USA. Just like how everyone has a role to play with the golf ball quality that I’ve written about in the past, the club assembly mimics that strict attention to detail. From custom clubs to stock clubs, each person has a job to do and each little piece doesn’t go unnoticed. How quickly they can turn around clubs with little or no error is unreal and should give you confidence that what you ordered will be correct.
The last part of my tour of the Titleist Performance Institute. This hidden gem tucked behind houses and corporate buildings left me star-struck. From the putting green to the TPI exercise room where I remember watching Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips on the Golf Channel, it almost felt like a dream. All parts of this facility were built with “performance and excellence in mind,” which means training Titleist staffers to fit their exact specs. What was really eye-opening was the short game area which had different types of grasses and different bunker depths to ensure what every Vokey wedge you got was fit for the grass type where you live. Another cool item was the surf boards that were signed buy all the pros that have visited TPI: Adam Scott, Billy Horschel, and Justin Thomas to name a few. I am surely going to get fit for my new clubs at TPI when I move to San Diego as I want those same specifications for in my game!
My whole journey from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, to Carlsbad, California, has shown me the rigorous QA and attention to detail from Titleist that shows they care about what you play, both balls and clubs, no matter if shoot 60 or 90. Whether you purchase a dozen Pro Vs or 718 Ap2s, rest assured every little detail is carefully considered and what you purchase will be up to the same standards as those for the guys who play on the PGA Tour.
One last thing—while I didn’t get to see any of the 919 line, the amount of enthusiasm and energy behind it really peaked my interest. For someone who thinks the 917 fairway woods are hands-down the #1 performing fairway wood in golf, I am excited for the possibility of that new performance in a driver. Can it be fall 2018 yet so I can get my hands on them?