Every 1-2 years we try to visit all of the major manufacturers in the golf industry. As part of our continued commitment to be one of the top clubfitters, we want to learn how clubs are being designed and manufactured.
Recently, Pete’s Golf co-owners Woody Lashen and Pete Makowski were invited to visit the Titleist club manufacturing and test facility in California. Pete’s Golf has a valued partnership with Titleist, and the goal of the trip was to help give feedback to their engineering team and learn more about their manufacturing process.
Needless to say, we came away impressed and we are happy to report back to you some of our key findings.
The Plant Tour
One thing we have learned over the years is that all OEMs have varying levels of quality control. Whenever we fit a customer into a set of clubs, we always make sure to test everything to make sure the specs match exactly what we ordered. Some companies are better than others, and it all has to do with the process at their plants.
This is where we believe Titleist sets itself apart. Their motto is to make everything “on target,” which to them means having a very tight tolerance for specs. For example, when a customer orders a set of clubs, the lie angle or loft could be off as much as 1/4 – 1 degrees depending on the manufacturer. Titleist refuses to accept even minor mistakes, and it is one of the reasons we generally do not have to worry about imperfections when we order clubs from them.
Every component that goes into their clubs is rigorously tested. For example, we saw an ultraviolet test being conducted on a grip to make sure colors did not change. Whenever a new shaft comes in, Titleist will make sure it passes their own durability tests.
Overall, we got the impression that every product that goes out the door was tested to a much higher standard compared to the rest of the golf industry.
We had a very productive talk with the Titleist engineers. They wanted to hear our feedback on their products, and what changes we thought could be made to improve their performance. Sometimes when we meet with manufacturers they will give us pushback and won’t make any adjustments. With Titleist, this is not the case. It was a very open exchange and easily one of the best meetings we have ever had with an engineering group.
While we can’t divulge what was discussed about their future product designs, we believe that they are suited to continue their position as one of the industry leaders.
Tour of the Fitting Facility
Titleist does all of their club fitting and testing in their California location. Every imaginable detail seemed to be taken care of down to the conditions of the grass. They use a mixture of robots, pro golfers, and consumers to gauge the effectiveness of their products. The facility is very impressive, and it is open to golfers so if you’re in the area you should definitely stop by.
We got a chance to tour their performance institute as well as the Scotty Cameron gallery. Putter enthusiasts will definitely want to stop by the Scott Cameron shop. They change the showcase of hand-made putters almost daily with a very impressive storefront that you would expect to see in The Hamptons.
One nice tip we picked up from the Titleist staff was a wedge-stamping machine. We purchased a new machine that they use, and it will allow us to do more wedge stamping than we have done in the past.
Wrapping It Up: First Class All the Way
At Pete’s Golf, we never try to push one manufacturer over another since we are a brand agnostic fitter. However, it is refreshing to see the attention to detail that Titleist has. Compared to other OEMs in the industry, they are certainly steeped in tradition. The overall vibe we get from them is that they are trying to make the best possible products without marketing frills.
We have been doing business with them for years and admire their dedication to quality control, service, and professionalism. Additionally, we like where the company is headed and are glad we were able to