Callaway Wins Lawsuit against Titleist

On Friday Dec 14, the Associated Press came out with breaking news as Callaway Golf had won a patent infringement case against Acushnet, the maker of the popular Titleist Pro V1 ball. While lawsuits in golf balls are nothing new, it is the magnitude that makes this newsworthy.

Maybe the single most instrumental product in the past decade – the Titlist ProV1 golf ball was introduced in 2000 and has been the dominating ball not only on Tour, but in retail shops as well.  Since its introduction, the ProV1 family has accumulated a billion dollars in sales.

Callaway acquired the patents when they bought Top-Flite out of bankruptcy in 2003. In the mid-to-latter 1990’s, Top-Flite introduced the Strata, which was basically a soft polyurethane cover on what was practically a Top-Flite distance ball, with an added thin middle layer that encased the ball’s already large, solid rubber core. This type of construction produced a whole new category of ball; one that produced long distance / low spin off of the tee and a high spinning ball with the irons.

While the Strata may have paved the path, it was Titleist that made it popular.  In part, the ProV1 franchise influenced clubhead design because of the reduced spin over balls previously manufactured, thus the need for drivers with more loft.

What affect does that have on those who were loyal to the ProV1?  Will supplies be limited or will the cost increase even greater to offset the settlement that Titleist may have to pay to Callaway.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming future on whether Titleist settles out of court or fights it vehemently in court. This begs to ask will the consumer ultimately prevail.


  1. Frankie Crum says:

    Probably would have been cheaper on Titleist to have purchased Top Flite out of bankruptcy! No matter what the Pro V1 is still the best ball I have ever played, oh Jeff, my index is now a 2!!

  2. Bob Kibler says:

    Years ago Callaway attempted to claim
    they were first to produce a bore-thru
    clubhead. I challanged their claim by
    saying I had a Spalding persimmon
    2-wood made in the 1930’s or ’40’s in
    my garage. They dropped their claim.

  3. Trevor says:

    All I have to say is the Titleist pro V1 isnt that great of ball…the Callaway HX Tours are as good or not better than the Pro V1, and if you are arguing this Callaway wasnt the one to copy Titleist….Titleist was the one to copy the best ball in Golf Callaway..

  4. Big Daddy says:

    The Pro V1 is the best ball out there, hands down. Editor’s choice 7 years in a row on the hot list. If Callaway balls were “As good or better” than then Pro V1, there wouldn’t be such an unfair ratio of players using the Pro V1 over the HX. Pros know this. They use the best. That’ my friend, is Titleist.

  5. Harry Upson says:

    I have four different bore through woods in my colection from the thirties and forties……..R. Fogan Medalist, Forgan Medalist Ladies spoon, A.C. Spalding 3c AUTO-D 39C, and a R. Forgan medalist driver …so I guess Callaway was and is wrong about bore through clubs.

  6. Dave says:

    The tour players use what they get paid to use. I am a golf professional and know that for a fact. If you had a clue as to what you were talking about Big Daddy you would realize that the magazines accept money as well (i.e. the Hotlist). Titleist is losing more of their market share every year including Tiger, Ernie, and Phil.

  7. Ryan says:

    Great point Dave! Titliest cares about the number of players playing the Pro V1 not the quality. Why would the best players in the world play different balls??? Because the Pro V1 is just an average ball at an above average price. Try the new Callaway or Nike balls they are going to give the Pro V1 a run for its money if it is around after Callaway and Bridgestone get done with them>>>

  8. Joe Lawler says:

    Try the new Topflite D2 series. Especially the Feel ball and Distance Ball. If they had the Callaway name on them they would probably be at least $30 a dozen. They can be bought many places, 15 balls for $14.99. The Callaway name and patents applicable are printed inside the box. Made in USA by Callaway Golf.

  9. Gary Johnson says:

    So now the courts have enforced the injunction against Titleist to prohibit sales of “older” Pro V1 balls. Titleist is scrambling to get retailers to exchange their old balls for the new Pro V1 balls. This case makes me so happy that Callaway and Titleist are beating each others brains out. Thank goodness for in-house counsel!

    3 points:
    1. Callaway overpaid to buy Top Flite (thanks to Taylormade driving up the price).
    2. I wonder how long Fortune Brands is going to put up with Titleist?
    3. Sales in the USA are down for both companies…the only thing keeping them going is sales in the Far East.

  10. Don Bak says:

    Well i buy ProV1’s because they are made in the USA and not China.It sickens me that all the great Brands that were made here are gone.Simple Greed and nothing else.Made in USA use to mean Quality.All you players that buy those china made balls hurt nobody but yourselves.

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