In the spring of 2013, JP received a phone call from Titleist. The following Monday, The Senior VP of Human Resources was sitting in JP’s garage with a stack of papers two inches thick. It was everything he could find on JP. They sat in the garage for about 3 hours just talking shop until JP asked if he wanted to see him grind. JP sculpted one of his raw oversize forging blanks like a guitarist shredding a solo. When he was done, JP wiped the sweat from his brow and handed the impressed VP the wedge.
A week later Titleist’s CEO himself along with the VP of R&D were sitting in the shop. JP felt the privilege and honor of that visit. By the end of the day, JP handed the CEO a wedge, sculpted exactly like the one he did the week before. After the visit, JP saw the two wedges sitting on his bench and decided to weigh them. They were the exact same weight. 306.2g. He did the same grind to both wedges, no scale, completely done by feel. The stars were aligning, and JP was confident that this was his next step.
JP visited Titleist in Carlsbad, CA in June and closed the door to the garage that he referred to as The Grind House. He joined Titleist in July of 2013. The Grind House was about to get an upgrade.
Titleist built JP a private studio down the street from headquarters, set up by Titleist’s incredible facilities and maintenance department. The Grind House was now the garage shop on steroids, and JP knew he had a lot of work to do. He made prototypes utilizing his garage shop mentality while also leaning heavily on his colleagues from Titleist’s R&D machine shop. These four men were talented and hard-working, and became good friends of JP. JP spent a lot of time in that machine shop. He learned to operate the equipment and used it to engrave the JP by Titleist wedges that are posted on Instagram and Facebook.
For 2 years he developed and designed the JP by Titleist line. He spent much time in Japan testing his prototypes, getting feedback, adjusting, and going back to Japan to do it all over again. After the design passed the stringent Titleist protocols, the JP by Titleist wedge was ready. JP by Titleist wedges were a super-premium, multi-material construction design, forged and CNC milled based on the hand grinds of JP. It was truly a marriage of art and science in a spectacular package unlike anything on the market. The JP by Titleist sales program was nearly a one man show once available to the public. JP would help schedule and fit golfers. Then engrave, paint, build and ship them their wedges.
The JP by Titleist line was a great technical success, his clients loved the product and it was JP’s highest performing wedge to date. With the situation at Titleist, and the strength of the Vokey market share, JP felt it necessary from a brand standpoint to leave Titleist so he could continue to build his brand.