The latest incarnations of the No.1 selling ball in golf are the result of two years’ worth of intensive research and development by Titleist’s team of engineers, as well as an exhaustive testing and data-gathering process that involved more than 90,000 dedicated golfers and over 50 hours’ worth of focus groups.
The results? Balls that travel further than ever off the tee and perform better around the green – a combination that has underpinned the success and popularity of the Pro V1 franchise since its launch in October 2000.
The improved performance of the balls can, in part, be explained by a new dimple pattern, which has improved their ‘aerodynamic package’. Whilst the total number of dimples hasn’t actually changed from the 2015 editions of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, Titleist has reduced the number of different dimple sizes on the balls. Whereas the Pro V1 previously had dimples of seven different sizes, it now has five, whilst the Pro V1x has reduced from five to four.
This has improved the overall dimple coverage on the balls, which in turn makes them fly more consistently.
An investment in new tooling has also allowed Titleist to improve the dimple-to-dimple consistency in the manufacture of the balls. This investment in quality control ensures the most consistent performance from ball to ball, and dozen to dozen, which is critical to allowing golfers to consistently execute the same types of shots, round after round.
Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, is a long-time Titleist staff player and a particular advocate of the Pro V1. He says he has been impressed by the distance gains he has been able to make with the new ball.
“I think the remarkable thing with the new Pro V1 is how far it goes now,” said the Aussie. “I’m hitting it longer than I ever have but I also have that soft feel like when I grew up playing a balata golf ball – it’s incredibly soft.
Two-time major champ Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, tasted immediate success with the new Pro V1x.
“I put new Pro V1x in play in Australia [in November] and in the first week we won,” he said. “What I noticed immediately was the improved flight. It held its line in the crosswinds better.”
Scott and Spieth are two of more than 100 players worldwide who have put the new balls in play. Others include Jimmy Walker, Ian Poulter, Thongchai Jaidee and Webb Simpson. This, according to Michael Mahoney, Titleist’s vice-president of Golf Ball Marketing, is firm validation of their performance.
“Every time we set out to develop new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, our challenge is to set an even higher benchmark for golf ball performance,” explained Mahoney.
“We are constantly in the field talking to golfers of all skill levels about what we can do to help them shoot lower scores. At the same time, the Titleist Golf Ball R&D and Operations teams are working together to develop new golf ball technologies that deliver performance golfers may not yet realise they need.
“It’s because of this ownership and commitment at every step of the process that we’re able to deliver meaningful performance improvements and make the best golf balls in the game even better."
Bill Morgan, the Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D, added: “No matter their playing ability, golfers have a simple choice when it comes to selecting the best golf ball for their game.
“Either Pro V1 or Pro V1x will give you the best opportunity to shoot your lowest score. The decision purely comes down to flight, feel and spin. As we’ve told the pros, while you may consider yourself a ‘V’ or an ‘X’ player, we think this is a great time for you to re-evaluate both Pro V1 and Pro V1x to see which 2017 model is the best fit for your game.”
Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x: On-sale now
The 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are on-sale now, with a suggested retail price of £52 per dozen.