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Fortune Brands Inc (FBI)


Wednesday 12 February, 2003

Fortune Brands Inc

Fortune Brands New Product Alert

Fortune Brands New Product Alert
 Titleist Launches Tour-Proven Titanium 983 Drivers 

    LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2003--

The golf business of consumer products company Fortune Brands, Inc.
(NYSE:FO) today announced the introduction of the new Titleist
Titanium 983 driver series. The following are excerpts from the
Titleist announcement, which is available in its entirety at

Titleist takes titanium driver performance to the next level with the
introduction of the new Titleist Titanium 983 driver series. Building
upon the high performance, player-based success of the legendary
Titleist Titanium 975 family, the new, tour-proven 983K and 983E
models are a successful blend of technology, engineering, and
craftsmanship. The result is two distinctly different drivers with
common attributes of superior launch performance and optimum ball

'True to its mission of providing superior high performance golf
clubs, the introduction of the new 983K and 983E drivers enables
Titleist to provide the serious golfer with a more optimal launch
condition and ball flight experience,' said Chris McGinley, Vice
President, Titleist Golf Club Marketing Worldwide. 'The new 983 driver
design optimizes current material and construction technology, while
retaining the highly preferred Titleist `true pear' profile. Great
looks and high performance sounds simple, but no one is doing it
better than Titleist.'

Titleist Titanium 983 Design and Development

Utilizing state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD), Titleist
engineers created an optimal weight distribution and Center of Gravity
(CG) location in the new Titleist Titanium 983 drivers by carefully
managing face and wall thickness gram by gram. A two-piece 'face pull'
construction allows for a thin beta titanium face insert plate to be
supported by an even thinner titanium face frame. A revolutionary
plasma face welding process provides for a cleaner, higher quality
weld that utilizes less weight and therefore improves overall weight
distribution. The face insert has been inset more from the crown, side
and sole walls, allowing the entire face structure to perform more
efficiently. These design and construction improvements optimize face
performance and provide for higher ball speed and maximum allowable
Coefficient of Restitution (COR) across a larger area of the face.
Titleist 983 drivers also retain a thru-bore shaft design and internal
thru-bore tube that creates a longer shaft insertion depth for feel
and stability. Both the 983K and 983E feature the highly accepted
Titleist true-pear profile, with traditional crown curvature,
traditional face roll and bulge, and right amount of face progression.
The result is a continuous, balanced and proportionate overall shape
that makes 983 drivers a modern classic.

'Titleist Titanium 983 drivers meet and exceed the performance and
aesthetic expectations of many of the world's best players, like Phil
Mickelson, Ernie Els and Davis Love III,' said McGinley. 'The new 983K
and 983E drivers allow all serious and aspirational golfers alike the
opportunity to maximize their driving distance and accuracy by
choosing a driver that optimizes their launch angle, spin rate and
ball speed. The 983 drivers continue the Titleist tradition of high
performance while maintaining classic styling and sweet, solid feel.'

Pricing and Availability

Titleist 983 drivers carry a suggested retail price of $500 and
commence shipping to golf shops on April 1, 2003.

What Tour Players Are Saying About the Titleist Titanium 983 Drivers

'My new 983K driver with 9.5 degrees of loft is the hottest club I've
ever hit. It's totally unbelievable. It has a slightly heavier shaft
than I've used in previous years, and the weight feels brilliant in my
hands. This just seems to suit my swing and man does it fly! The
Mercedes Championships was my first competitive event playing with the
new driver and I've never hit the ball as far through the air, or as
straight. I almost couldn't stop smiling every time I hit it! I get
the perfect trajectory with the combination of my 983K driver and the
new Titleist Pro V1x golf ball. The two seem to be a match made in
heaven.' - Ernie Els, Winner of 2003 Mercedes Championships, Sony Open
and Heineken Classic

'The new 983E is another great new driver from Titleist. I hit the
golf ball a lot farther with the 983E, but more importantly I hit it
flatter and straighter. I have more confidence and control off the tee
and am hitting the ball with less spin on it so I can get it running
down the fairway better. I am also hitting a lot more fairways which
allows me to shoot at the hole more often.' - Davis Love III, Winner
of 2003 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

'This is an exciting time because the new Titleist Titanium 983K has
given me a launch condition that I have never seen on a driver before,
allowing me to perform at a much higher level. The ball is launching
super high with very little spin, and the combination of the Titleist
Titanium 983K and new Pro V1x golf ball is giving me unbelievable
distance and accuracy. It has very little drag, gets up in the air and
just soars forever. I have picked up a bunch of yardage because of
it.' - Phil Mickelson

'I visited the Titleist Test Center in Oceanside a couple of days
before The Skins Game where I hit the 983K for the first time. I put
it in play that week, hit the ball great and ended up winning the
tournament. The golf ball absolutely screams off the face, without
sacrificing the workability that allows me to still draw and cut the
ball when I want. The combination of the 983K and new Titleist Pro V1x
golf ball provides for a nice, high, penetrating launch and ball
flight that just keeps the ball in the air.' - Mark O'Meara

Fortune Brands, Inc. is a consumer products company with annual sales
exceeding $5.6 billion. Its operating companies have premier brands
and leading market positions in home and hardware products, spirits
and wine, golf equipment and office products. Home and hardware brands
include Moen faucets, Aristokraft, Schrock and Omega cabinets, Master
Lock padlocks and Waterloo tool storage sold by units of MasterBrand
Industries, Inc. Major spirits and wine brands sold by units of Jim
Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc. include Jim Beam and Knob Creek bourbons,
DeKuyper cordials, The Dalmore single malt Scotch, Vox vodka and
Geyser Peak and Canyon Road wines. Acushnet Company's golf brands
include Titleist, Cobra and FootJoy. Office brands include Day-Timer,
Swingline, Kensington and Wilson Jones sold by units of ACCO World
Corporation. Fortune Brands, headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois,
is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FO
and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

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