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A frustrated businessman and an x-ray machine. Strange bedfellows, for sure, but it was that odd combination that led directly to the creation of Titleist, the world’s most famous and successful golf ball manufacturer.
Phillip “Skipper” Young was one of the founders of Acushnet, a rubber company based in Massachusetts. A keen golfer who was dismayed at his lack of consistency on the course Young decided to see if the blame lay with his equipment. When he x-rayed his golf balls he discovered that the rubber cores were not properly centred: Young had found the reason for his erratic play and quickly set about finding the solution.
In 1930 Young unveiled the first Titleist golf ball – proving its effectiveness by using the world’s first mechanical golfer to show how consistent his ball was – and a revolution in golf ball production began. World War Two interrupted Titleist’s advance but the resumption of proper professional golf after 1945 allowed the company’s growth to continue.
By 1949 Titleist was the most popular golf ball at the US Open and Titleist has continued to dominate as the number one choice of tour professionals ever since. At Torrey Pines in 2008 Titleist celebrated its sixtieth straight year as top ball at the US Open.
As the Titleist brand grew the company began to branch out and, in 1962, acquired the company that made the Bulls Eye putter. By the end of the 1960’s it was possible for the budding amateur and the hardened professional to use Titleist drivers, Titleist irons and Titleist putters, hit Titleist balls and carry the whole lot in a Titleist bag.
More than seventy years after “Skipper” Young brought the forensic properties of an x-ray machine to bear on his golfing frustrations, the brand he created continues to represent the best in excellence and consistency.
From the Pro V1 golf ball, through the Scotty Cameron putter range and Vokey wedges, Titleist remains the brand that golfers across the world want to be seen with.