When the Acushnet Company, parent company of Titleist, was founded in 1910, Skipper Young had no idea that getting into the rubber reclamation business would change the face of the sport he loved. A pioneering chap, Young developed a way to turn rubber scraps and waste into useable materials. By the end of World War I, Acushnet was the world’s largest supplier of reclaimed, uncured rubber. But with the war over, the price of rubber plummeted, forcing Acushnet to find other ways to use their reclaimed rubber.
They began manufacturing popular molded rubber products, including bathing caps, toy boats and hot water bottles, but they were always looking to expand their offerings. By this time, Skipper had become a serious and frustrated golfer. He was getting tired of the erratic shots that the golf balls of his time were prone to and one day examined some very closely under x-ray to see where the problems lie. It was scientific curiosity that caused him to look inside that first ball, but it was the entrepreneur in him that saw an opportunity.
Titleist Revolutionizes Golf
At the time, the most common golf ball in play was made by wrapping a solid rubber core with a rubber thread and then enclosing the sphere in a covering made of an older type of rubber derived from gutta percha gum. Although these balls were much better than the balls that came before them, the manufacturing techniques were not very precise, as Skipper discovered in the late 1920s.
He set out to fix that by designing a machine that could precisely wind rubber string around the rubber core, so that the balls were always evenly balanced. He named his “dead center” ball Titleist. In designing this new ball, Skipper knew he’d have to test it, too, so he also developed the first mechanical golf swing machine. Acushnet believed the ball would be an immediate hit and divided the company into two parts to help balance the load. One side was to continue producing reclaimed rubber material and products and the other would be devoted entirely to golf.
World War II put the golf side of the business on hold, as Skipper and Acushnet focused on manufacturing products like gas masks for the war effort, but as soon as it was over, Titleist Golf exploded. During the 1960s, Acushnet began offering Titleist golf clubs and Titleist golf bags in addition to their famous Titleist balls.
The world of golf would be an entirely different place if not for Skipper Young and one special ball. Lucky for us, Titleist continues to lead the way in golf with their professional grade club lines as well as their balls, like the Titleist Pro V1 and V1x. We’ve got these balls and all sorts of new and used golf clubs from Titleist in our store at 3balls.com — take a look around, you’re bound to find the right stick for your game.
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