By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images courtesy of Titleist
FAIRHAVEN, MA – It’s not often these days that you begin talking about a golf product by discussing its fifteen-year history, but then again, not many golf balls have the kind of stellar record that Titleist’s Pro V1 and Pro V1x offer.
Golf ball manufacturers typically introduce new models every year or two – complete with incremental improvements in cover and/or core technology. A lot of talented folks are charged with the responsibility of making an already excellent product even better at these companies -- and they usually produce.
In Titleist’s particular case, they introduce a “new” Pro V1/V1x duo every couple years, but keep the name the same. That’s probably because “Pro V1/V1x” has become virtually synonymous with top-tier performance and consistency in the golf world.
There are many quality golf balls on the market today and there are solid arguments for wanting to try each one. But there’s no disputing that the Titleist Pro V1/ V1x has cornered the industry in terms of brand recognition. Any golfer who’s been in the game for a while knows what a Pro V1/V1x is – and that’s a good thing for the company.
Titleist says the 2015 version of the golf balls “deliver exceptional distance with consistent flight, more short game control and even softer feel from a new, patented urethane elastomer cover formulation, and long lasting durability.”
Naturally, the company says the balls “are the result of a continuous process rooted in rigorous research and development, technological advancements, comprehensive player testing and validation, and precision manufacturing.”
Those aren’t just words, either. Titleist’s bread and butter lies in golf balls, and since the Pro V1/V1x are its flagship franchise, they receive a lot of attention from development staff. The company says over 1,100 associates (with an average tenure of 20 years) comprise its Operations team, which is responsible for developing and testing the balls.
That’s right – 1,100 people. Think about that the next time you put a tee in the ground. It ain’t like the old gutta percha balls, that’s for sure.
What’s the difference? Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball R&D, explains: “Golfers often ask us what sets Pro V1 and Pro V1x apart from other golf balls. You can’t just point to one or two things.”
Morgan continues, “The difference is everything. We have more people with more experience designing and making golf balls, the largest intellectual property portfolio and the most sophisticated precision manufacturing processes. The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the culmination of all that knowledge and all of that technology. The original Pro V1 was revolutionary, no question, but we’ve learned a lot in the last 15 years and these new Pro V1 models are the best we’ve ever made.”
We’ve tried every reiteration of both balls and have come to prefer the V1x over the years. Simply put, it just seems to go farther and perform better around the greens for us – in our very unscientific trials, of course.
We’re long-hitting mid-handicappers who wouldn’t necessarily be the type of players targeted for the top golf balls of every brand – but Titleist says the Pro V1/V1x are designed to make all players’ games better, not just pros or low handicappers.
Titleist says both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x deliver extraordinary distance, the best scoring performance for all golfers, and long lasting durability, yet differ in feel, long game spin and flight.
Pro V1 has a softer feel, slightly more long game spin and a more penetrating trajectory for a shallower angle of descent for more roll than Pro V1x.
• Pro V1 is a three-piece, multiple component technology with a very soft compression ZG process core, ionomeric casing layer, softer thermoset urethane elastomer cover, and spherically-tiled 352 tetrahedral dimple design.
Pro V1x has a slightly firmer feel and lower long game spin and launches higher with a steeper angle of descent than Pro V1.
• Pro V1x is a four-piece, multi-component technology with a ZG process dual core, ionomeric casing layer, softer thermoset urethane elastomer cover and spherically-tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design.
The new cover on both balls is said to make them even more durable. Seeing as the previous Pro V1/V1x’s have been excellent in that category, the latest version must be a superior product.
Value is found in many ways – and if the balls last longer, you spend less money in the long run.
But are they really better than the previous models introduced in 2013?
Again, Morgan expounds: “We’re giving golfers everything they’ve previously had in Pro V1 and Pro V1x with some enhancements. They’ll get the extraordinary distance and ball flight they’re accustomed to. But they’ll also get a softer cover, which will add more spin control and feel around the greens. The feedback we’ve received on tour and with club professionals and amateurs clearly tells us that players are benefiting from this improved performance.”
We tried both balls in a variety of playing conditions and found them to offer typically excellent Pro V1/V1x execution. As described above, the V1x does feel a little firmer – and for us, seemed slightly more controllable around the greens.
We didn’t look at a launch monitor for additional feedback. As we have for years, we like the V1x a little better – but that may be because of our preconceived bias towards that particular ball.
The only way to tell how a ball works for you is to use it consistently. We recommend trying all of the balls (Titleist and otherwise) to see which ones you prefer. For those of us who don’t play golf for money, it’s all about personal preference and which ball you believe will help you get the ball in the hole the most often.
Confidence is everything.
The folks at Titleist clearly believe their Pro V1/V1x ball will be the one you’ll choose – and they’ve put a lot of resources behind that belief. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Titleist 2015 Pro V1/Pro V1x Golf Balls
Available at a golf or sporting goods store near you.
Customized options are available.
For more information on the latest Titleist products, check out the company’s website: http://www.titleist.com/
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