What might happen to the ProV???
Patent Infringement and observations....Everyone should know by now that Callaway AND Bridgestone have been to court with Titleist (Acushnet) regarding supposed patent infringements regarding the ProV1. Callaway recently won their lawsuit and was said to have valid grounds against Acushnet in 8 of 9 points. Acushnet has been ordered to pay millions of dollars to Bridgestone, and probably will also have to forfeit a similar sum to Callaway. But the real problem for Acushnet and the future of the ProV1 is that Callaway has now brought that suit to have ProV1's stopped from being produced at the end of 2008 and that the Acushnet staff players not be allowed to play with that ball. Does anyone else see a problem with this?
According to Titleist the ProV1 was used to win 169 tournaments on the major worldwide tours last year, with its nearest competitor being at a mere 28 wins. And since its inception in 2000 the ProV family is purported to have won more than 1,000 professional tournaments worldwide. That is an extremely large disparity between the ProV1 and every other ball on the market. If Titleist balls win 6 times more tournaments a year than any other ball, is it any wonder why the other manufacturers are bringing suits against them?
If Callaway and Bridgestone produced such solid products and in fact created the technology used in the current ProV lineup, then why are they such a distant competitor? Why is it that Titleist wins the ball count at every major tournament around the world regardless of the age or status of the player? U.S. Junior, U.S. Amateur, NCAA Championships, British Amateur, and probably every other worldwide major amateur tournament you could think of Titleist dominates the ball count. These are the tournaments that really count in my mind because they show what the best players in the country and world are playing. The ones that aren't getting payed to play anything, but play the best balls and equipment that they can find. At these tournaments you're unlikely to find someone playing something other than a ProV1. I've been playing at a highly competitive level for the last 8 or 9 years, and for the vast majority of that time I can remember only a couple of other players, out of the thousands I've played with, that were playing a ball that didn't have Titleist stamped on it. Every college player I've played with in the past 5 years uses a Titleist. The better players at my country club play only Titleist balls. My dad said he hasn't found a non ProV at a tournament in years, and can't remember the last time he did. I personally have tried nearly every ball on the market, but I use a ProV1X and you would have to pay me a pretty decent amount of money to play something else.
So, if Titleist is simply taking the technology that someone else (Callaway and/or Bridgestone) invented, than why can't anyone compete with them? Callaway and Bridgestone should be able to release balls that are comparable to ProV's and that give them a run for their money, especially if they are the originators of the technology used to create what is viewed as the best golf ball made. Why hasn't Callaway came out with a ball that wears better, plays better, spins better, flies farther, than a ProV?
At the 2005 United States Grand Prix (Formula 1), the teams that had Michelin tires withdrew from the race after the formation lap because Michelin told them their tires were inferior and there could be a safety risk if they ran the race. Because of this only 6 of the 20 cars ran the race. If players are told they would not be allowed to use a ProV for the 2009 season, and Titleist was no longer allowed to produce them, could this sort of thing happen in golf? At this point it has to be a confidence issue. Players use the ProV because they are confident in it and have won or played well with it. I have absolutely no desire to play any other ball out there. I believe that the ProV1X is the best ball out there for me and I don't want to change (if in fact I would have to).
*****This is all hypothetical of course, if in fact these rulings came down and Titleist had to shut down production of the ProV.
The underlying question is: Why are there no other balls that compete with the ProV? Why can't Callaway make a better, more competitive ball? If they created it, why aren't they on top?
Just some questions that I think are interesting and I want to hear other peoples opinions.