Forty-seven events were played during the 2021-22 PGA TOUR Season, from last September’s Fortinet Championship to last week’s TOUR Championship, with a total of 733 different players teeing it up in at least one event on the TOUR calendar.
Of that group, made up primarily of the best players on the planet: An overwhelming 72 percent of them played a Titleist golf ball while a total of 82 percent played at least one piece of Titleist equipment, including all four of the year’s major champions:
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Wedges: Vokey Design SM8 50.12F, 56.14F, WedgeWorks 60.06K
Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS tour prototype
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSi3 10.0°
Fairway Metals: TS3 15.0°; 915 Fd 18.0°
Irons: T100 4 iron; 621.JT (5-9) tour prototype
Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 46.10F (@ 47.5°), 52.12F (@ 52.5°), 56.14F (@ 57.0°), WedgeWorks 60.06K
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5 Knuckle Neck tour prototype
U.S. Open Champion
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSi3 9.0°
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 52.12F, 56.08M, 60.08M
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: NEW TSR3 10.0°
Fairway Metal: TSi2 15.0 fairway
irons: T100 5-9
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M, WedgeWorks 60T
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M tour prototype
TITLEIST IS MOST PLAYED, MOST WINNING BRAND ON 2021-22 PGA TOUR
At the season-ending TOUR Championship, Titleist was the #1 golf ball and most played driver, fairway, hybrid, utility iron, iron, wedge and putter – topping all equipment counts at the TOUR’s season finale for the first time – with 24 (83%) of the 29-player field gaming at least one piece of Titleist equipment.
It marked the fourth time (CJ Cup, Sony Open, 3M Open, TOUR Championship) of the 2021-22 season – and 27th time since the start of the 2019 calendar year – that Titleist swept the major equipment counts at a PGA TOUR event. Titleist is the only brand to have ever accomplished this feat.
And when the season officially came to a close Sunday evening in Atlanta, Titleist was once again the PGA TOUR’s most played and most winning equipment brand.
Over the course of the 2021-22 season, the majority of players chose Titleist golf balls, drivers, hybrids, utility irons, irons and wedges, while more champions had Titleist golf balls, drivers, irons, wedges and putters in the bag than any competitor.
PGA TOUR players teed up the #1 ball in golf a combined 4,461 times (72%) this season, more than seven times the nearest competitor (598), with Titleist golf ball players accounting for 31 victories (65%) and all four major championships:
- Longtime Pro V1 golf ball player Scottie Scheffler claimed major No. 1 in his first-career start as World No. 1. Scheffler – who plays a 2021 Pro V1 model with high play numbers (5-6-7-8) – ended the week as the only player to shoot all four rounds under par and post double-digits under par (10 under).
- Key to Scheffler’s round was his chip-in for birdie on the par-4 third hole. From 29 yards left of the green, Scheffler chipped his Pro V1 into the top of the steep slope. It hopped two or three times, before hitting the brakes and dropping into the hole.
- “It’s really important to trust your golf ball and know exactly what it’s going to do,” Scheffler said early last year after making his switch to the 2021 Pro V1 model. “Because if I change the shot a little bit, it’s going to skip... maybe three times or I’m going to try and hit it to where it skips six or seven times. And so it’s really important for me to have that trust in the Pro V1 to where I know it’s going to do exactly what I want it to do.”
- “I would say what is most pivotal was getting that ball up-and-down,” Scheffler said of the shot. “To have it go in was obviously off the charts, but my main goal was just to get up-and-down, and see it go in was definitely special.”
- In one of the game’s historic ball-striking performances, Matthew Fitzpatrick also won his first major championship at the U.S. Open at The Country Club, playing the same golf ball model he used to win the 2013 U.S. Amateur on the same course: Titleist Pro V1x.
- Fitzpatrick hit 17 greens in regulation on Sunday, becoming only the third player in the last 30 years to accomplish that feat in the final round of a major victory. For the week, he led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (+16.14) and SG: Around-the-Green (+5.65) while making a tournament-best 19 birdies. He tied for first in GIR at 72.2 percent.
- With his final full swing of the tournament, from an uncomfortable lie in the left fairway bunker 161 yards from the pin, he landed his Pro V1x on the green, 18 feet from the cup, to secure the victory.
- Said Fitzpatrick: “The spin’s consistent, the flight’s consistent, and that’s what you need in a golf ball. You don’t need it kind of in different windows. It’s nice to have that consistency to have the confidence in the golf ball to know how far it’s going to go every time, and to be within a really tight deviation is obviously so important. This is a game of inches after all, the margins are so fine you want it to be as tight as possible. So that’s why I play Pro V1x because it’s exactly that, you know what you’re going to get every shot and you don’t get any strange effects from shots.”
- “You just know, hitting other golf balls, that as soon as you’ve hit it, it doesn’t have the same effect. I’ve messed around with balls on the range when they’ve been mixed into the Pro V1x bag that I always go to grab, and they just get funky flights. I don’t know how you can play golf with that, to be honest, and not knowing what you’re going to get from shot to shot.”
- Eleven of the top 15 players in Strokes Gained: Total play a Titleist ball, while nine of the top ten players in SG: Tee-to-Green play a Titleist ball. Matt Fitzpatrick ranked 2nd while Will Zalatoris (Pro V1) ranked 3rd.
- Zalatoris ranked 1st in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and PGA Champion Justin Thomas (Pro V1x) ranked 3rd.
- Scheffler ranked 1st in Greens in Regulation for the year (72%), while Corey Conners (Pro V1) ranked 2nd (71.9%, Pro V1).
- Six of the 7 players who earned nine or more top 10’s were Titleist ball players: Scheffler, Fitzpatrick, Thomas, Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay (Pro V1x), and Sungjae Im (Pro V1x).
- Ryan Armour (Pro V1x) ranked 1st in Driving Accuracy, hitting 73.95% of his fairways for the year. Eighteen of the top 20 players in that category play a Titleist golf ball.
Titleist was the most played driver on the PGA TOUR for the fourth consecutive season (1,901/31%) with Titleist driver players combining for a Tour-leading 16 victories – including three majors (PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and Open Championship) and four wins by players using NEW TSR models, which were launched with only 10 weeks remaining in the season. The TOUR’s most popular driver model over the 47 events was TSi3 (19%).
- Justin Thomas was one of more than 80 players on the PGA TOUR to make the quick switch to a NEW TSR driver, putting his TSR3 10.0° model in play for the first time to start the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
- “It’s obviously an interesting time of year to make a driver change, heading into the playoffs, but after some really great testing early on with TSR3, JT was able to spend some more time with it after the Open Championship,” said J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions.
- “The top priority for JT with driver is performance on all of the variety of shots he likes to hit, from the low, piercing cut to the high draw and everything in between. He’s also looking for that classic shaping, a very clean look, and a driver that sounds great. TSR checked all of those boxes for him.
- “He clearly had great results with TSi, he won a major with it this year, but with TSR he’s seen an uptick in ball speed with just incredible consistency off the face. He keeps mentioning how consistent his speed, launch and spin numbers are on off-center hits. For a tour player who’s trying to hit a variety of shots on these very difficult golf courses, it’s that consistency that really allows him to perform at his best.”
- Said Thomas, to PGATOUR.com: “The biggest difference is the spin. When I heel it, it doesn’t spin crazy high and when I toe it, it’s somehow spinning a little more. It’s unbelievable in terms of misses.”
- Will Zalatoris' victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship playing his TSR3 8.0° driver marked victory No. 4 for the new Titleist driver models after making their PGA TOUR debut at the Travelers Championship with just 10 weeks left in the season. Zalatoris gained nearly two strokes on the field (+1.815) with his NEW TSR3 8.0 driver in Memphis while averaging 321.2 yards off the tee.
- Said Zalatoris: “I literally took my old shaft and plugged it into the new TSR and I immediately saw results. The mishits for me were exponentially better. I mean, I was already seeing mishits go about seven, eight yards farther. I have a lot of distance but bringing it in left-to-right was something that was huge for me. The head shape looks amazing. And even just on the ones I was hitting solid, I was already picking up six yards.
- “I mean, it was a no brainer. It was pretty similar to my TSi and it was better, which I didn't think we could do… With being one of the longer guys on tour, the better I can do in terms of bringing it in from side-to-side and make my dispersion be that much tighter is exactly what I’m looking for. And so being able to hit shots that before might have maybe been in the left rough or the right rough, now all of a sudden I’m seeing a few more go on the fairway, which is just a couple more birdie chances a round.”
- Open Championship winner Cameron Smith and runner-up Cameron Young, the second-ranked driver on the PGA TOUR (SG: Off-the-Tee/+.914 per round), each played Titleist TSR3 drivers at St. Andrews.
- Said Young, who finished the season 3rd in Driving Distance (319.3 yard average): “I’ve loved it. It’s faster … and I feel like especially the toe miss for me, I haven’t gotten as much curve out of it, which is obviously a good thing. It seems to be a little bit more consistent on my misses. I’ve put it right in play and it’s been great.”
- Playing a TSR3 9.0° driver, Joohyung "Tom" Kim captured the Wyndham Championship for his first career PGA TOUR title at the final event of the regular season. He earned both his PGA TOUR card and a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs with the victory. Kim made the new TSR3 his gamer following a visit to the Titleist Performance Institute, where he worked with Titleist Tour Rep Dino Antenucci.
- “I had been playing the TSi3 for the longest time and I thought I wasn’t going to change it, but after trying it at TPI, it was just so good that I had to put it in the bag, and it’s been working out really well. My percentage in the fairway has gone up and, yeah, it’s a keeper. Missed hits, solid hits, it just stays in the wind so well for me, that’s what I’ve had trouble with before and I thought I was going to use the ‘i’ for the rest of the season, but I put it right in the bag because I gained ball speed, gained swing speed, smash factor went up and holds it really well into the wind. So it was great.”
- J.T. Poston put his new TSR3 9.0° driver in play the first week it was available at the Travelers Championship, finishing T2 in Hartford. The following week, he won the John Deere Classic.
- Said Poston: “Can't say enough about it. It looks, feels, sounds awesome, and I picked up a little ball speed right away … My accuracy has been up. Even the mishits are going straight, which is nice, but they’re also getting out there just about as far as the ones that are hit out of the center.”
- Prior to the Travelers, Poston was 112th in the FedEx Cup Rankings. He finished the year tied for 15th.
- At the first three PGA TOUR events TSR driver was available, the leader in SG: Off-the-Tee played a TSR3 (Davis Riley | Travelers Championship; Cameron Davis | John Deere Classic; Max Homa | Scottish Open).
- Said Riley: “The overall look, the feel is awesome. It’s really good. The mishits are really good. I’m finding really consistent spin across the face no matter where I’m hitting it, so that you’re maxing out your carry numbers every time. It’s what you really want to look for. It’s not how good your good hits are. It’s, ‘How good are your bad hits?’ And just seeing that consistency across the face is really cool.”
Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young, Joohyung "Tom" Kim and Max Homa are among more than 60 players who put new TSR Fairways in play on the PGA TOUR this season.
- Zalatoris earned his first career PGA TOUR win at the FedEx St. Jude Championship gaming a TSR2+ fairway, as well as his TSR3 driver.
- “This is an absolute rocket,” Zalatoris said. “I love this thing. It’s the best 3-wood I’ve ever had. It’s pretty cool to be able to have something besides driver that I can hit off the tee and basically hit it as far as I want. And then if I need to hit high and soft into greens, I can do that as well.”
- Joohyung “Tom” Kim also claimed his first PGA TOUR title - a week before Zalatoris - at the Wyndham Championship, after making the switch to a TSR3 driver and fairway.
- Said Kim of his new fairway metal: “In the wind, downwind, when you want to hit it up, it goes up. In the wind when you want to keep it low, it goes low. So, it's really the perfect club for a 3-wood. The 3-wood’s the hardest club to fit and they did it perfectly.”
- The Barbasol Championship winner also had a TSR3 fairway in the bag in capturing his first win on the PGA TOUR.
HYBRIDS & UTILITIES
Titleist was also the TOUR’s most played hybrid (746/34%), with the majority of Titleist players using a TSi2 (2,213/9%) model.
Forty-seven percent (1,305) of the utility irons in play this season on the PGA TOUR were Titleist models, with 29 percent of all utilities being current generation T200 (Utility Build), the TOUR’s top model.
For the ninth-consecutive season, and 18th of the last 19 seasons, more TOUR players used Titleist irons (1,919/29%) than any other brand – with 15 players (31%) taking Titleist iron sets to the winner’s circle. The most played iron model was the current generation Titleist T100 (695/11%).
- Justin Thomas (T100 4 iron; 621.JT (5-9) tour prototype irons) and Cameron Smith (T100 5-9 irons w/ prototype black finish) both won majors in 2022 with Titleist irons, taming Southern Hills and The Old Course with stellar approach play.
- One of the most pivotal shots hit with a Titleist iron this year was Smith’s final round tee shot at The PLAYERS on the famed 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. With 135 yards to the hole, a two-shot lead, and the hole location cut three paces from the right edge of the island-green (and water), Smith’s 9-iron finished inside of five feet to make a not-so stress-free birdie.
- Smith on his T100 irons: “I put these in as soon as we got them. They’ve been really good. I love the consistency. I think they did a lot of really good work, especially on the shorter irons with grinding this heel a little bit. So when you get a bit of an uneven lie, you don’t feel like the heel's digging in and you’re missing shots left.”
More than half of all the wedges (9,020/51%) played on TOUR this season were Vokey Design models – the most played wedge on the PGA TOUR since 2004 – while players gaming at least one Vokey wedge won 32 (67%) of the season’s 47 events. Vokey SM9 (5,050/29%) was the most popular wedge model, with SM9 players winning 10 of the final 11 weeks on TOUR.
All four men’s major champions had at least three Vokey Design wedges in the bag in 2022.
- The U.S. Open champion (Vokey Design SM9 52.12F, 56.08M, 60.08M) ranked 1st in Scrambling for the 2021-2022 PGA TOUR season (69.62%) and improved from 97th to 7th in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green from the prior season.
- Justin Thomas played four Vokey Design SM9 wedges in winning the PGA Championship – 10F (@ 47.5), 52.12F (@ 52.5), 56.14F (@ 57.0), and a WedgeWorks 60.06K grind that helped him go 5-for-5 in sand saves Sunday at Southern Hills. For the week, he averaged 14’0” on approaches from 125-150 yards – second best in the field and 11’9” better than the field average.
- “When I was testing SM9, it was nice to see the low controlled flight,” said Thomas, who put the new SM9 models in play to start 2022 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. “For me, for someone who likes to flight my wedges and control my spin a lot, I need to be able to see that ball hit the windows. And I’m looking both low and high, but especially low. Because for me, it’s nice to be able to feel like I hit it and I don't look up and it’s coming high and floaty. It’s hitting the flight that I want, the spin that I want and reacting how I want.”
- When it comes to his lob wedge, Thomas goes back-and-forth between his WedgeWorks 60.06K and WedgeWorks 60T models, depending on course conditions.
- The Masters champion played three Vokey Design wedges, including the WedgeWorks 60.06K model he used to make a pivotal birdie on the par-4 3rd, chipping in from 29 yards left of the green. For the week, he finished T-2 in Scrambling (69.6%).
- When asked after the round what he saw as his biggest strength this week, he said: “I had a lot of nice up-and-downs… If I was to pick one part of my game that excelled the most, I would say it was probably my lob wedge. Even today, I had some really good up-and-downs in the beginning of the round and then just kept myself in position.”
- Cameron Smith used four SM9 models to navigate the Old Course’s firm, undulating turf.
- Said Smith: “You know, I think you have to be comfortable with almost being uncomfortable, in these conditions. … I think these new Vokey wedges, as well, are a lot better, especially into the wind. The 46, and the 52, for me, have been a big, big help in the wind. The ball just flights the way I want it to, and the golf balls are best in the world, so it just does what it does.”
- Making sizable short game improvements for the year was J.T. Poston (Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 50.12F, 56.10S, 60.04L wedges) who went from T134 to 44th in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green from last year to this year, as well as the Memorial champion (Vokey Design SM9 52.12F, 56.08M, WedgeWorks 60.08V @ 62 wedges) who improved from 141st to T8.
Scotty Cameron putters were the choice of more winners on the PGA TOUR than any other brand, with players combining for 21 wins (44%), seven more than the nearest competitor (14), including three major championships (Masters, PGA Championship, Open Championship).
- The winner of the Masters used a Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless TourType GSS tour prototype, marking his fourth win in six starts since switching to the Scotty Cameron Newport 2-style putter. He first put the new Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS tour prototype model in play at the WM Phoenix Open, where he claimed his maiden PGA TOUR victory while leading the field in Putts per Green in Regulation (1.66) and ranking second for the week in Strokes Gained: Putting (+6.49). At the Masters, he finished fifth in putting, averaging 1.53 putts per green in regulation.
- The World No. 1 added the new putter to his bag following a December trip to the Scotty Cameron Putter Studio, where he worked with Scotty Cameron Tour Rep Brad Cloke. He had previously been using a Newport-style Super Rat 1 tour prototype. (Newport is the softer, rounder counterpart to the Newport 2.)
- “He just wanted to switch things up a little bit and give himself a slightly different look heading into 2022,” Cloke said. “Prior to visiting us in the Studio, he’d been messing around with an older Newport 2 Timeless he had at home. He’d added a bunch of lead tape to the sole to try and get it to a similar swingweight as his Super Rat. He really liked the profile but the feel wasn’t exactly where he wanted it, so we went to work on building him a new setup with adjustable weighting.”
- Justin Thomas' second PGA Championship victory featured a great putting performance, finishing 2nd in Strokes Gained for the week.
- Using his Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5 tour prototype putter, Thomas made key birdie putts on Nos. 5, 9, 11, 12, and 17 as well as playoff holes 1 and 2 (Nos. 13 and 17).
- Will Zalatoris, playing a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11 (Long) tour prototype putter, finished runner-up to Thomas at the PGA Championship but broke through for this first TOUR victory in Memphis at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
- Zalatoris made a clutch 10-footer for par on 18 to force a playoff, extended the playoff with another 10-footer for par on the second playoff hole, and drained a 7-footer for the win on the third playoff hole. For the week, Zalatoris led the field in approach putt performance (also known as lag putting).
- “Immediately when I was hitting putts [with it for the first time], I knew exactly where the putt was going to go. Right off the face, I can feel the putt distance-wise and that’s super important,” Zalatoris said.
- “When it comes to testing for me, it’s all feel. It was a putter that the second I put it down, I felt like I could see the line super well. I put a line on my ball and seeing that ball roll end over end, it’s a pretty good feeling when you strike a putt and it goes in dead center.”
- “Players just love the way the 11 sits on the ground,” said Scotty Cameron Rep Drew Page. “When you put it down, it doesn’t open, it doesn’t close, it just sets up so easily.”
- Cameron Smith and his Newport-style Scotty Cameron 009M tour prototype putter led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting at the Open Championship, while making a record 255 feet of putts during his second round at the Old Course – the highest total ever registered in one round on the PGA TOUR.
- On Sunday, Smith used his 009M to get up-and-down for par from behind the Road Hole bunker and then up-and-down for birdie on the 18th hole, just right of the Valley of Sin.
- At The PLAYERS, Smith gained the most strokes putting versus the field in tournament history (+2.88 per round). He also finished with the most one-putts ever by a PLAYERS champ (42).
- Max Homa (Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 tour prototype putter) improved from 118th in SG: Putting last season to 27th this year, while earning his fourth-career PGA TOUR victory at the Wells Fargo Championship – his third victory in 15 months after switching to a Scotty Cameron Phantom X model.
- “When you putt it like I did this week, you know, you almost have to mess up to at least not contend, so that was a humongous part of the week, for sure,” he said.
- The run began at last year’s Genesis Invitational, where Homa, gaming a Phantom X 11.5 model, became the first player to win with a Phantom X on the PGA TOUR. Four months later, he switched to the Phantom X 5.5, which he used to win the Fortinet Championship in September. That same putter was in his hands at Wells Fargo, where he finished fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting (+7.596).
- Said Homa, on his switch to Phantom X last season: “I was just struggling with face control with my putter. So I tried a few mallets, ended up going with one of the Phantoms and it just felt like it swung a bit better. It didn’t feel like I needed to work so much with my hands to release the putter. And at that time that’s really what I needed and then I got hooked on them. …
- “I think you almost don't have to do as much with your hands, so you can just focus on the big muscles. And I feel like, especially with putting, especially when you're nervous, that’s a huge part of being consistent and having a lot of repetition. I felt like that was something that I was missing. And when I switched to that, I felt like it just became a lot more predictable just because I could take out a variable. …
- “Speed control became much easier with the Phantom style. I felt like because of the weight of the head or just the way it swung, I just felt like it was a lot easier to control my putts from 15 to 25 feet. That’s where I’ve typically struggled. That’s definitely the most obvious impact I saw…”
- “I think we work a lot on alignment with my putting, with getting the face square to the target line and something about the way they set up, I feel like they’re very square. I feel like that’s helped, but I really do think that the speed control has been the main benefactor (to my wins), holing a couple extra 10 to 20 footers. And that typically is mostly speed based, less start line than the closer putts.”