We have again tapped the expertise of Titleist Staff Professional Martin Hall for the latest edition of 18 Shots Presented by Titleist. In this episode, Martin explains the fundamentals needed to hit it close to a front pin.

To do this, Martin tells us to move the ball forward in the stance, use extra wrist hinge on the takeaway and finish the swing with a high follow through. This will help create a high, soft ball flight that will land softly.

Try this tip next time you face a front pin, and be sure to check out other 18 Shots episodes in the link below. 

It doesn’t get much bigger than this week on the Web.com Tour as the season comes to a close at Web.com Tour Championship. And with 25 promotions to the PGA Tour on the line, players  will have to manage their emotions and their games on the difficult, newly renovated Dye's Valley Course in Ponta Vedra Beach, Florida. 

Having experienced this pressure first-hand last year, Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Steve Wheatcroft knows the challenge and the opportunity that faces the field.

"It’s a tough course to play on with pressure... It’s getting a TOUR card versus not getting one, so there’s going to be a lot of pressure for those guys this week; it’s a life-changer if you can get to the PGA Tour.”

One significant change to the golf course was the reversal of the 9's. The course now ends with a demanding four-hole stretch featuring three of the most difficult holes on the course. 

When you mix in all of the ingredients – one of the strongest fields of the Web.com Tour, a demanding four-hole final stretch featuring three of the most difficult holes on the course and dreams of joining the PGA Tour next season – it’s safe to say we are in for some exciting golf this weekend.

Web.com Tour Championship By the Numbers

 This week at the Web.com TOUR Championship, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball choice with 85 players in the field trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That's more than five times the nearest competitor with 13. 

Titleist was also the top choice in the iron (36) and approach, sand and lob wedge (143) categories.

SHOTS AND SCENES

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Hunter Haas splits the fairway at Dye's Valley Course.

 Titleist golf ball loyalist James Nitties shaped his Pro V1x left to right on this tee shot, a perfect shot for the gentle dogleg right.

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Zac Blair shot a 63 in the opening round to set the early pace in Ponte Vedra.

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Roger Sloan is one of four Canadians in the field hoping to make a big splash this week.

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas is hoping to keep the momentum rolling after his impressive victory at last week's Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational.

 Titleist Brand Ambassador Harrison Frazar puts a smooth stroke on his Pro V1x golf ball.

 Good luck to all the players this week from Team Titleist!  Hope to see you next year on the 2014-2015 PGA TOUR!

A Dream Comes True for Billy Horschel

He admits that it sounds a little crazy, but Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Billy Horschel revealed that he had foreseen his FedExCup victory in a dream he experienced at the start of his 2014 PGA Tour campaign.

"There's certain things throughout my life that have come true, and I've sort of seen it beforehand in my‑‑ when I sleep at night," explained Horschel in an interview after his victory at East Lake. "I just sort of, you know, have a premonition or whatever you want to call it."

Horschel described an incident in his boyhood when he was struck in the eye with a bat during an All-Star baseball team practice. The 10-year-old Billy shed no tears at the time, as he instantly recalled a dream he had had sometime earlier that had foreshadowed the accident and prepared him somewhat for the blow.

He had a similar experience this past winter.

"I just remember something like that in December or January, I just had this‑‑ you know, I woke up and I wasn't sure if it was real or not because it was very faint, but I remember holding up the FedExCup trophy, and as the season went along, I never thought about it."

 However, as his play began to take a brilliant turn in the FedExCup series, Horschel began to reconsider the dream.

"Obviously being in the position where I was, I thought about it last week after I won. I've thought about it this week a little bit that maybe this is actually something that is supposed to happen. And maybe that's why when I woke up this morning I was calm knowing that this is my chance to win the FedExCup trophy."

Whether his calm state of mind was because of the dream or simply because his three-week hot streak was now feeling like the norm, Horschel got off to a solid start in the final round of the TOUR Championship. Teeing off in the final group, Horschel had birdie chances on the first three holes and made the turn in 2-under 33. His focus was unwavering while playing each shot, but between shots he displayed the laid back attitude that Horschel admits has been a huge key during his great run.

"I play the best when I'm relaxed. I play the best when I'm having fun out on the golf course, but at the same time I am focused on what I need to take care of on the golf course. So in between shots, I'm going to be focused but I can joke around and have a conversation, and then when it's my turn to play my shot I get back into my little zone, especially the last three weeks, that's what I've realized I need to do better, and it's turned out really well."

Horschel bogeyed the 10th, one of just 5 bogeys he made for the week, but bounced back with a birdie on 15 to regain a 1-shot lead. On the 16th, after an errant drive, Horschel showed even greater mental toughness, chipping back to the fairway rather than risk a big number coming down the stretch. He struck what he thought was a perfect wedge approach, but it came up a yard short and spun back off a ridge in the green. On the long putt that remained, Horschel made his best stroke of the day, sending his Pro V1x golf ball in the center of the cup and converting a world-class par save that all but sealed the victory.

Horschel finished the TOUR Championship with a winning total of 11-under 269. He led the field in Greens-In-Regulation, hitting an astounding 79.17% and was 6th in the Stroked Gained - Putting category with a mark of .815.

Horschel's  amazing playoff run began, oddly enough, with a missed cut at the first playoff series event, The Barclays.

"Coming home from Barclays and talking to my wife, I sort of said there's a couple of things I need to do mentally different on the golf course and be a little bit less hard on myself, get out of my own way, commit to some shots better."

Following this discussion with his wife, Brittany, and his conscious decision to adjust his outlook, Horschel's dream was set on course. And the rest, as they say, is history. Despite a misssed opportunity to win the Deutsche Bank Championship, he took away only positives from his runner-up finish. He followed up with a convincing victory the following week at the BMW Championship and validated the win with his historic TOUR Championship and FedExCup-clinching performance.

Congratulations, Billy, from everyone at Team Titleist!

 

Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas earned his first career Web.com Tour title with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden death playoff at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. With the win, Justin jumped from 5th to 3rd place on the Web.com Tour finals priority list with one event left, next week's Web.com Tour Championship.

Thomas became the first player to win on the Web.com Tour with Titleist's new 915 prototype driver

He also made a crucial putting change.  After struggling on the greens after the first round of last week's Chiquita Classic, Justin decided to call on an old friend, going back to the Scotty Cameron Newport prototype putter that he had used throughout his college career at the University of Alabama.

Playing in demanding conditions at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course, Justin regained his form and gave credit to his gamer after the breakthrough win.

“She earned her keep,” Thomas said. “I made a lot of those knee-knockers. These greens are so tough. There were a lot of times where you couldn’t get it close. That 3-to-6-foot range where they’re pretty tough, I felt like I made a pretty good amount of those.”

Let's take a look inside Justin's bag to get a closer look at all the Titleist equipment he used to claim victory.

Golf Ball: Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 915D3 Prototype Driver (8.5º) with Diamana White Board 72 (S) shaft and SureFit Tour Hosel Setting B•2
Fairway Wood: Titleist 915 F.d Prototype Fairway Wood (15º) with Aldila Tour Green 85 (X) shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 913 HD (18º) with Dynamic Gold X100 shaft
Irons: Titleist MB irons (4-PW) with Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled SM5 52.08, 56.08 and 60.08 with Dynamic Gold S200 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport Beach Prototype

Congratulations, Justin!

#TeamTitleist

Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Billy Horschel claimed golf’s largest prize following a three-shot win at the season-ending TOUR Championship, leaving no doubt as to who is currently the hottest golfer in the game.

With his second playoff win in as many weeks, Horschel claimed the FedExCup trophy and the $10 million bonus that goes to the winner of the PGA Tour's season-long race.

It was an historic stretch of golf for Horschel, who closed the playoffs shooting 12 straight rounds in the 60's. At 27, he becomes the youngest player ever to the win the FedExCup.

"I'm on cloud nine," Horschel said following the victory. "It's unbelievable. I kept believing, everyone on my team kept believing in me and just kept my head up high. I'm a positive guy, I always see things glass half full, and it turned out for the best, and I can't be more thrilled. To cap it off like this has been pretty unbelievable."

Horschel shot 2-under 68 in the final round, displaying commanding control over his golf ball tee-to-green and a deft touch on East Lake's putting surfaces. Also evident was a renewed confidence and focused mental approach that paid huge dividends when he needed it the most.

"I knew my game was in the right shape," Horschel said. "I just needed to get out of my own way, needed to allow my golf game to show, and did it show the last three weeks.

"The Playoffs are the biggest, besides the majors, are the four biggest events we have on the PGA Tour and that's when the light shines the brightest. And it just gives me so much confidence, so much thrill to accomplish something like this, especially with the guys I was going up against."

Including Billy Horschel, 19 players in the elite 29-man field at the TOUR Championship relied on a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success in the FedExCup playoffs, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 4 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist golf ball loyalists won 26 PGA Tour events this season (compared to 7 for the nearest competitor), including all four FedExCup Playoff events.

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS

Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas earned his first-career Web.com Tour title on Sunday, capturing the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Thomas, who relied on a Pro V1x golf ball and a full complement of Titleist golf clubs – including a new prototype Titleist 915D3 driver and prototype 915Fd fairway metal – hit a Vokey Design SM5 lob wedge from 79 yards to 2 feet, setting up a birdie on the par-4 18th that sent the action to extra holes.

On the Australasian Tour, Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Stephens trusted his Pro V1 golf ball and a full complement of Titleist clubs to record a five-stroke victory in the South Pacific Open Championship. Stephens, who finished with a 15-under par 269 victory total, vaulted to the lead following a second round 7-under-par 64 and never relinquished the top position.

In Taipei, Pro V1x loyalist Prom Meesawat rallied to capture the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship with a par on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Nicknamed "The Big Dolphin," Meeswat birdied the last hole of regulation for a final round 3-under-par 69 en route to his second career Asian Tour crown.

And to round out the week's success, in China, Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist David McKenzie closed with a 3-under par 69, posting a 16-under 272 total that was good for a 2-stroke margin of victory at the Cadillac Championship in Beijing. The win marks the second title of McKenzie's PGA Tour China Series career.

TEAM TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS

With another four wins this week, Titleist’s year-to-date victory count advances to 132. That's more than four times the nearest competitor with 30 and more than all competitors combined.

In total, 18,559 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2014 worldwide professional tours, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 3,101 and more than all competitors combined.

 THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD  |  WEEK ENDING September 14, 2014

TourEventTitleist Golf Ball PlayersNearest Competitor
PGA Tour The TOUR Championship 19 4
European Tour KLM Open 105 20
LPGA Tour Evian Masters 86 8
Web.com Tour Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational 83 14
PGA Tour Canada Tour Championship of Canada 35 9
Asian Tour Yeangder TPC 94 25
PGA Tour China Cadillac Championship 81 26
Australasian Tour South Pacific Ocean Championship 88 10
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