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Titleist responds to Costco’s suit with 284-page countersuit

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Wondering how Acushnet/Titleist’s legal team would respond to Costco’s pursuit of a judgment that the Kirkland Signature ball didn’t infringe on any Acushnet patents? With creativity and overwhelming force, it seems.

Almost five months removed from Costco’s suit, Acushnet is predictably denying all claims, as well as filing a 284-page countersuit of its own. The substance of the suit: Alleging the Costco ball infringes on 10 Acushnet patents.

But this isn’t all: Titleist is also taking issue with the Kirkland Signature Guarantee. You know, the company’s proclamation that, “Every Kirkland Signature product is guaranteed to meet or exceed the quality standards of the leading national brands.”

Acushnet suggests there’s no way a Costco private label product of the same quality as the Titleist Pro V1. Thus, in this case, the Guarantee amounts to false advertising.

In this case, the Kirkland Signature Guarantee, Acushnet alleges, is intended to deceive consumers into believing the Kirkland Signature ball “meets or exceed the quality standards” of Titleist’s Pro V1 line. Further, Acushnet doesn’t believe Costco has conducted the comparison testing required to make the such claims and guarantees.

Kirkland_Signature_Box

Acushnet, in the countersuit, indicates it has done the requisite comparison testing between the Kirkland Signature ball and the Pro V1/Pro V1x. The company found Costco’s ball didn’t go as far across a range of swing speeds, had less back spin, and was less durable.

Not only should the court declare Costco is infringing on the 10 patents in question, the countersuit says, but Costco should pay three times “adequate damages” for the infringement. Even further, Acushnet wants Costco to hand over three times Costco’s profits on the K Sigs.

As of now, Acushnet is not asking for a specific amount in damages. Rather, the company is seeking a jury trial to determine infringement and damages.

This all began with a letter from Acushnet in December. The Pro V1 manufacturer told Costco it believed the company was engaging in false advertising and infringing on company patents. Costco filed its aforementioned suit in mid-March. Acushnet 284-page countersuit represents a response to that motion.

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WRX Insider: Rafa Cabrera Bello swapped out his whole bag in less than 24 hours during U.S. Open Week

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I have been covering the PGA Tour heavily for almost two years and obsessed with it for 25. I have never heard of anything like this, and at 2 under going into the weekend with rounds of 68 and 70, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello may have the craziest equipment story of the year.

It’s not uncommon for a player to make a wedge change, metal wood tweak amongst a couple of other things on any tournament week—but a full bag fitting and immediately putting it all in play—on the week of a major? Unheard of in my travels.

Let’s just start with what Cabrera Bello showed up to Winged Foot with.

Driver: Titleist TS3 (8.5 degrees, A1 SureFit setting) *9.5 pictured from earlier in the year
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.5

3-wood: Titleist 915F (15 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Project X 10A2 100 7.0

5-wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Project X 10A2 100 7.0

Irons: Titleist 718MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project XLZ 7.0 130

Wedges: Vokey SM7 Tour Chrome (48-10F, 54-08M, 60-04L)
Shaft: Project XLZ 7.0 130

Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Rat GSS Newport 2

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

I had to get the inside scoop, so I chatted with Titleist Tour Rep J.J Van Wezenbeeck to find out how this crazy scenario came to be. This is nuts—especially before a major.

Here’s what he had to say

“Rafa has always liked a lower ‘European’ ball flight and very stable shafts and through the years we have used statistics to move his ball flight up slightly but he likes all his club heads to match and with stable feeling shafts – see 7.0 LZ and 10A2 fairway wood shafts. 

“During TS launch Rafa realized his driver needed to come up and moved from 8.5 to 9.5 which increased lauch conditions substantially. 

“During the 620/T100 iron launch we discovered his long irons could be better and moved to U500.

“The last few weeks Rafa has struggled and with his swing coach on site this week he realized he needed to go farther. The first look was testing LZ 6.5 in his irons. He had better directional control and increased spin slightly which was needed. 

“He was so excited about the feel and results that he said “Let’s go! Show me woods!”

“He loved the look of the new driver and after some shaft testing saw Project X Hzurdus RDX Blue 60 increase ball speed, launch and carry. The RDX Black 80 in both fairways gave him the same feel through the set. 

“This was all done Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning.” 

The new setup is as follows

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9.5 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue 60 TX

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS RDX Black 80 TX

5-wood: Titleist TS3 (18 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS RDX Black 80 TX

Irons: Titleist U500 (3,4) Titleist 620MB (5-9)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5

Wedges: Vokey SM8 (48-10F, 54-08M, 60-04L)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5

Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Rat Newport 2

Ball: Titleist ProV1X

He’s in contention and will perhaps be in the final group with Bryson come tomorrow afternoon. As a total gearhead, this story warms my heart and soul like very few do. I’m quietly praying he gets it done this weekend. That would be one hell of a story.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (09/18/20): Raw Callaways, Miura + BB&F, Mizuno tours

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Momber Oknows – Mizuno JPX 900 Tour

The JPX Tour series irons have become a bit of a modern classic, and the ones that started it all were the JPX900’s. This is your chance to own a great set for basically the same price as two custom ordered new ones – now that’s a deal.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Mizuno 900 Tour irons

Member nfliflet – Miura TC-201 with BB&F Ferrules

If you like forged irons, you’re probably a fan of Miuras. The TC-201s are a small cavity back that offers just enough forgiveness in a compact package. This set is in great shape too.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Miura TC-201

Member tgoodspe1991 – Callaway Raw MB irons

Crispy, clean and ready to roll. These Raw Callaway APEX MB’s are in fantastic shape and would look perfect in your golf bag as they slowly patina to perfection.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Raw MB Irons

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

 

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How far do you really hit your driving iron? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing driving irons. WRXer ‘ Dufner’s Waggle’ kicks off the thread, saying:

“I have been through SIM UDI, U510, HMB, U85, CB ProH…I just don’t hit driving irons very straight or very far. I’ll have a day where I stripe it, but on the whole it’s not really giving me accuracy or a ton of distance. Maybe 225-230 at MOST.”

And our members have been revealing the driving iron they use and what distance they get out of it consistently.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Gsea: “My driving iron is a Mizuno True 2 iron. Hit it 200-210. Strictly for tight short par 4s. Love the trajectory.”
  • MtlJeff: “I have a G400 crossover at 20 degrees, I hit it about 225 or so.”
  • COL_B: “I’ve been playing a Srixon U65 18* that I hit 220-235. I can hit it further, but high spin kills it. The Miyazaki Stiff shaft has too much flex, and when I try to really turn on one, it is a hook machine. I recently got a TM TP UDI 2 iron with a C-Taper Lite 110 S that matches my irons. It is 2 in shorter than the Srixon and goes about the same distance, but with a lower spin, and lower trajectory. Carry is 220-225, but it will roll out further than the Srixon if the fairways are dry. The thing is that I really don’t want it to go any further, as I use it on dogleg Par 4s and par 5s where a 250-yard shot gets you in trouble. Straight is the priority with the DI, which is my the Srixon is out of the bag until I get around to reshafting it.”
  • SUPERG: “19 P790 3 iron bent strong 1 degree. C taper 130X same as my irons. It’s going 250 after roll, my fave club. I hit my driver maybe 3 times a round; I hit my 3 iron everywhere else. Just way more reliable!”

Entire Thread: “How far do you really hit your driving iron?”

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