After a birdie on the 72nd hole Ian Poulter was able to take the Houston Open trophy in a one-hole playoff defeating Beau Hossler. In addition to the first-place check for $1,260,000 and a two-year exemption Poulter received the final invitation to the Masters next week at Augusta National.

The 42-year old Englishman plays all Titleist clubs with the exception of his putter which is an Odyssey White Hot XG #7, a model first introduced in 2007. His 5 iron through pitching wedge are the Titleist 718 AP2, this year’s version of the well-respected line of AP2s favored by better players.

An addition to the usual 718 AP1 (game improvement) and 718 AP2 models, for 2018 Titleist added the 718 AP3s, slotting them between the AP1s and AP2s and identifying them as “Player’s Distance Irons.” The look at address is traditional with a moderate offset and the sole is medium width. The 3 through and 5 have a hollow blade construction while the 6 iron through pitching wedge have an undercut foam-filled cavity. The faces are Titleist’s thin L-Face design and heads have an average of 84.9 grams of tungsten placed low and in the toe of long and mid irons giving a higher resistance to twisting on off center hits. AP3s with steel shafts are $185 each and with graphite $210.

Poulter’s bag used for his win:

Driver: Titleist 917D2 9.5 degrees Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 60 TX shaft
Fairway wood: Titleist 917F2 16.5 degrees Matrix Ozik TPHDe 7X shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 816H2 21 degrees Aldila Tour Green ATX85H TX shaft
Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB 4 iron, 718 AP2 5-PW) Project X LZ 7.0 shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 52, 56 & 60 degrees True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG #7
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

In Case Anyone Should Ask

Houston Open Counts: Golf balls from Titleist were used by 105 in the 144-player field at the Houston Open compared with 14 for Callaway.

Hogan’s Edge: Fans with long memories may look back with fondness to the Ben Hogan Edge irons of the 1980s and now we all will have the chance to buy the newest version which was introduced last week. The new forged face Edge is welded to the hosel and frame with perimeter weighting, hollow body construction and a V-sole. Price for 4-PW is $735.

Tiger Tour B XS: Bridgestone Golf has come up with something previous suppliers of golf balls to Tiger Woods never did…his picture on the ball packaging. Woods has played their Tour B XS since last fall and part of the deal obviously was using his likeness on store displays and packing plus as to be expected, promotions and advertising. The Tiger ball is identical to the un-Tiger Tour B XS but sells for $49.99, a premium of $5.00 over the regular price with a portion of the proceeds going to Woods’ charitable foundation.

A Bentley in Your Bag: Two years ago, Bentley Golf (yes, that Bentley) and Professional Golf Europe began development of a line of ultra-premium clubs and they have now made arrangements for distribution in North America, so we can expect to be hearing more about them. Pricing for a set of BB1 irons is $3,000 and for the BD1 driver $1,000 with sales at present being made only online at usa.bentleygolf.com.

UDI Available: We have been watching Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day making effective use of the TaylorMade P790 UDI (Ultimate Driving Iron) with their SpeedFoam Technology inside the head. Now this forged iron, an extension of the P790 line favored by some of the best players, is available in 17-degrees loft with a Project X HXRDUS 85-gram graphite shaft for $220.