Titleist Golf Ball History

By Darin McGilvra

Titleist golf balls are a product of the Acushnet Co., which originally started as a rubber-making company in Acushnet, Mass. It was started by Phillip W. "Skipper" Young and two college friends from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

First Titleist Golf Balls

Acushnet first began making Titleist golf balls in 1932 after inventing a machine that could wind rubber string around a rubber core, which made for a golf ball that was more consistent and accurate.

Put On Hold

Acushnet made the decision to stop making golf balls during World War II to help with the war effort by making gas masks among other items made with rubber. Acushnet began making golf balls again in 1945.

Dynamite Thread

Acushnet introduced new refinements into the Titleist golf balls, which included what it called "Dynamite Thread." The refinements resulted in greater distances being achieved with the balls. This led to Titleist being the most popular golf ball used at the U.S. Open in 1949.

Titleist vs. Spalding

Acushnet and Spalding have battled in court over patent issues many times. The two battled in court over various patents beginning in 1981 until reaching a deal to share patents in 1990. But Callaway again sued in 2007 for patent infringement and forced Acushnet to recall its V1 line of golf balls. Titleist came out with a new V1, and Callaway again sued for patent infringement in March 2009. Titleist responded with a countersuit for the same thing.

International Expansion

In 1983, Acushnet reached an agreement with Tokyo rubber company to distribute Titleist golf balls in Japan. It expanded to Germany in 1992; Canada, Sweden, France, Denmark and Austria in 1993; Netherlands in 1994; South Africa in 1996; and Singapore and Malaysia in 2002.

About The Author

Darin McGilvra is a writer in Southern California. He has been a writer since 1997. He worked as a sports writer and copy editor for newspapers for more than 12 years before becoming a freelance writer. His articles have appeared recently in "The Californian" newspaper in Temecula, Calif. McGilvra holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics education from Northwest Nazarene College.

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