Pros: The DT Solo provides a soft feel, good greenside control and is a higher launching ball that will fit a lot of different players. The Velocity generated the lowest spin of any ball off the tee and great distance with middle irons.
Cons: The Velocity was not as long as the other 2014 Titleist balls with the driver. Ball speeds with the DT SoLo were slower than others, and the high launch and flight had might be too high for some.
Bottom Line: Both the Velocity and the DT SoLo are designed to launch and fly higher, straighter and longer, which fits the needs of many weekend golfers. The Velocity flies very straight off the tee, generates longer distance off the irons and for a distance ball, has decent feel around the green. The DT SoLo is a more well-rounded, relatively inexpensive ball, that creates a higher ball flight and longer distance than previous models, while also providing impressive control and feel around the greens.
Note: Our scoring of the Titleist DT Solo and Velocity golf balls represents an average score of both balls. Each ball is also scored within its category of golf balls. For detailed scores of each ball, see the end of the review.*
Next to the Pro V1 and Pro V1X, the 2014 Velocity golf balls seem to get the most airtime these days and most GolfWRX readers probably have “powered for distance” running through their heads after watching PGA Tour coverage. The DT SoLo on the other hand, hardly gets any attention. Both balls have been redesigned for more distance off the tee and a softer feel around the green. The Velocity is a straight up distance ball. However, even though the DT SoLo doesn’t get a ton of love, it has a significant following of golfers, especially golfers with slower swing speeds and those who appreciate playing a reasonably priced, well-rounded golf ball that delivers a softer feel and higher launch.
Just like the NXT Tour and NXT Tour S, the new Velocity and DT SoLo were white-box tested by over 40,000 golfers during Titleist’s testing and validation program. Their feedback helped shape the enhancements to this year’s models.
The 2014 Titleist Velocity has a reformulated LSX core which was specifically designed to generate high initial ball speeds for more firepower off the tee and with the long irons. A spherically-tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design is highly symmetrical, which produces a higher more stable ball flight and a shallower angle of descent for more rollout. The core of the golf ball was softened as well, which creates better feel than previous models.
The redesigned 2014 DT SoLo focuses on providing longer distances on full shots, while maintaing the soft feel and greenside control that golfers have come to expect from the DT SoLo. The core remains the same with a fast, super soft compression core. A spherically-tiled, 376 tetrahedral dimple design on the soft ionomer cover, create a nice combination of longer distance off the tee, but great feel and spin around the greens.
The Velocity is available now in the traditional white color and comes in single (1-4) and double-digit (00, 11, 22, 33) play numbers. The minimum advertised price is $26.99/dozen.
The DT SoLo, just like the NXT Tour S, is available in both white and high -ptic yellow, which some golfers will find appealing, even those who have not traditionally played a yellow ball. Only available in standard numbering, the DT Solo is available now for a minimum advertised price of $19.99/dozen.
The Velocity is a distance ball, while the DT SoLo is a more well rounded ball. Going into performance testing. I assumed each ball would excel in different areas. The Velocity would provide higher ball speeds and more distance, while the DT SoLo would launch higher, fly a bit shorter, but also generate more spin.
My testing methodology was the same as other reviews in this series. I tested both balls on a launch monitor and on the course. To get the data, I hit both balls on a launch monitor with a 60-degree wedge, 6 iron and a driver. My playing swing speed with a driver is around 105 mph and I try to maintain a stock playing swing throughout testing. Since the preferred ball for my game is the Pro V1X, the charts below show the data relative to the performance of the Pro V1X. Following Titleist’s fitting process, we’ll start near the green and work back.
60-degree Wedge Full Shots
Going into the wedge testing, I assumed that the Velocity would generate significantly less spin than any of the other balls in the 2014 lineup. According to Titleist, the difference in rpm between its lowest-spinning and highest-spinning balls for shots around the green will be at least greater than 1,500 rpms. From the tee, it’s less than 500 rpm. In my testing, the Velocity generated substantially less spin, 4,705 rpm less, on average than the Pro V1X. Comparing the spin to the DT SoLo, The Velocity still managed to spin 2,120 rpms less. While there were some higher spinning shots than the average, most of the shots fell right around the average spin generated. The Velocity did however, launch over 5-degrees higher and hit a peak height of 4 yards higher than the Pro V1X. This allowed the balls to come in a bit steeper for me and have a better chance of holding the green.
I have a lot of respect for the DT SoLo, not just with the wedge but through the bag. Focusing on the wedge data for the moment, the DT SoLo created a great deal of spin for a ball in its category. In fact, the average spin was regularly greater than 8,000 rpm and many shots spun their way up into the mid 9,000s. Launch angle was 2.4-degrees higher than the Pro V1x and the peak height, just like the Velocity, was 4 yards higher on average.
I was eager to see how the Velocity would shine with a 6 iron now that we are moving more into the ball’s wheelhouse. Right off the bat, I could tell the Velocity was going to produce more distance with the irons than the other balls, and while it wasn’t a huge difference, the Velocity ended up 3 yards longer on average. The peak height was only 1 yard higher than the Pro V1X with the same descent angle but more rollout, which backed up Titleist’s claims. Interestingly, the Velocity also generated the least amount of side spin, only -20 rpm on average, which proves that this is a very straight ball. Additionally, I was able to launch the ball 2-degrees higher with the Velocity, which will help many golfers who might struggle to get height from their middle irons.
The DT SoLo continued to perform well with the 6 iron. Overall ball speed continued to be slightly less than the others in the lineup, but distance remained very similar. Spin numbers were only slightly less than the NXT Tour, but the launch angle and peak height were the highest of any of the 2014 Titleist balls. Even more so than the Velocity, the high-launching, high-flying DT SoLo will be a great option for golfers who struggle to get height from their shots throughout the bag.
Now is the time for the Velocity to shine. Titleist’s big claim with the Velocity is more distance off the tee leading to shorter approach shots. But for me, I didn’t see a significant gain in distance compared to the other balls. Overall, the Velocity was not the longest ball in the lineup, that honor went to the NXT Tour. That said, just like the 6 iron, the Velocity produced the least amount of side spin at only 57 rpm on average. This is very important for players who generate too much side spin off the tee. The Velocity also launched 1.6-degrees higher — second highest behind the DT SoLo — which will aide golfers in getting the ball up in the air. The combination of the low side spin, plus the higher launch, should help produce straighter, longer drives for many players.
Once again, the DT SoLo continued to perform exactly as I expected it would, launching and flying higher and with a little more spin than the other balls. It was the highest launching ball, almost 2.5-degrees higher than the Pro V1X, reached a peak height of 4 yards higher and had a steeper descent angle. As a result, the DT SoLo produced the least amount of distance for me off the tee, but still fell within the 4-to-6 yard range Titleist claims. While it wasn’t the best ball for my game, I do think the higher-launching, higher-flying DT SoLo is perfect for many golfers seeking to get the ball in the air, without sacrificing feel and control around the greens.
Launch monitor data confirmed and backed up most of Titleist’s claims about the expected performance of both golf balls. Just as I did with the other golf balls in this review series, I completed the on-course testing during the same week at River Strand Golf & Country Club.
I played both balls during somewhat calm but gusty conditions over the course of two days. Starting with the DT SoLo, the launch monitor data was confirmed after the first hole of the day. I caught a good drive, but the distance wasn’t quite as far as I would’ve expected. The higher flight, which was very apparent, came back to hurt me in the windy conditions. Shots with the driver and irons got up in the wind a bit higher than I would’ve liked. I was able to adjust and control the height to a certain extent by hitting more knock down shots, but these balls want to get in the air. That said, the combination of the higher launch, flight and spin created a ball that dropped on the green and stayed very close to my pitch mark. I was also able to put a little spin on a bunker shot and hit a couple low checking pitch shots.
The Velocity performed like a distance ball for me. The launch appeared a bit higher than the Pro V1X, but nothing substantial. I hit a couple very nice, straight and long shots with the hybrid. Around the greens, however, the performance wasn’t as good. Approach shots rolled out more than with the other balls, and I had to consciously play for rollout instead of throwing pitches all the way to the hole. These are specific modifications I would have to make for my game. I had a couple friends in my foursome play the Velocity as well and they were very impressed with the distance they were seeing. In the limited time they had with the ball, it seemed to perform how they would expect a distance ball to perform.
Half Wedge Shots
Just as I did with the other 2014 balls, I wanted to give the Velocity and DT SoLo a more thorough test. The Velocity continued to behave like a distance ball, although they did show a little more stopping power than I expected. I was able to hit low spinning shots with the Velocity that flew a bit higher than the Pro V1X or NXT Tour, but when they hit the green would bounce, check up slightly and then roll out a few feet. They didn’t hit and stop, but they also didn’t skip over the green either.
With the DT SoLo, I felt like I had more options than with the Velocity. I could hit the low, spinning half wedge shots I like to hit, which also flew a bit higher but hit the green, bounced, checked a bit and stopped. I found I could also use the higher flight of the DT SoLo to throw some shots up in the air and land them very softly. This option will come in handy when the pin is tucked in tight and there isn’t much room to land the ball and keep it close.
Around the Green
I knew I would, but I had to stomp on wedge shots to get some spin out of the Velocity around the greens. I usually like to be aggressive with my chip shots, but I needed to back off and play more runners with these balls. I don’t think that is a bad thing at all, as most players gaming a distance ball are already playing shots around the green that run out. They expect to hit those shots and for that type of golfer, the Velocity will continue to perform as expected around the greens.
With the DT SoLo, I was able to get a nice check on the ball. Just as I saw on the course, I could play low spinning shots from one side of the green to the other that hit, grabbed a little and stopped pretty close. I could also play running chip shots across the green. Higher-lofted flop shots felt nice off the face, and the higher flight profile seemed to help those shots float down toward the green to a nice slow stop.
There is no getting around the fact that the Velocity is a distance ball and will feel like a distance ball. However, in contrast to other distance balls I’ve played in the past, I found the feel of the Velocity on the green to be softer than I expected. Putts rolled off the center of the blade had a nice, smooth quality to them and they rolled straight and true. The tone of the sound was higher than the other balls in the lineup and I felt a little more pop off the face and seemed to get a bit longer roll. The feel deteriorated a bit more rapidly than other Titleist balls when putts were struck more off the toe or heel.
Compared with the softer balls that do a better job masking the clangy thud of an off-center putt, the Velocity let you know it was off. All in all, for a distance ball, the feel was pretty nice.
The DT SoLo felt really good on the greens. I really enjoyed rolling putts with this ball, as it was noticeably softer than the Velocity and similarly as soft as the NXT Tour. The super soft core and soft ionomer cover of the 2014 DT SoLo definitely produce a nice, soft feel.
Look & Feel
When I picked up the DT SoLo for the first time, I was generally happy with my initial impression. The ball obviously wasn’t going to be as soft as the Pro V1 or NXT Tour S, but it was softer than I expected. The dimples appeared smaller and deeper than some of the other 2014 balls, but the alignment mark and Titleist script were similar to the NXT Tour. Just like the NXT Tour S, the DT SoLo also comes in high optic yellow, and once again, I’m a fan.
Holding the NXT Tour S and DT SoLo side-by-side, the deeper dimples cast more shadows and make the yellow actually appear slightly darker. The pearlized nature of the NXT Tour S doesn’t come through as well in the DT SoLo, but overall the look is very similar.
The Velocity looks like a distance ball, but the orange, high number balls give the Velocity a sportier look than we normally see out of Titleist. The cover feels firm, as expected, and the same alignment marking on the side is available just like the other balls in the lineup.
Feel is very subjective with golf balls, but when comparing these two balls together, it was very clear that the DT SoLo was the softer ball throughout the bag. Flush shots with the Velocity felt nice, they didn’t feel as hard to me as other distance balls. But the DT SoLo had a smoother, soft feel on everything from irons to the putter. I would suggest hitting a variety of shots with both balls so you can be the judge.
The reformulated NAZ2 cover of the Velocity and the soft Surlyn blend cover of the DT SoLo create two very durable golf balls. All my testing, both on the launch monitor and on the course, was completed using only three of each type of ball and both of these balls held up extremely well.
The cover on each of the three Velocity test balls show only minor scuff marks, and I went after these balls with the wedge. All three would go back in the bag and with a little more thorough cleaning, would look almost new.
As expected, the softer cover on the DT SoLo test balls show a little more wear than the Velocity. The scuff marks are slightly deeper and in more places. But like the Velocity, these have been hit aggressively over and over and are still ready to be cleaned up and put back in play.
For the golfer looking for an entry-level priced golf ball that produces a nice high launch and flight, with good spin on approach shots and great feel on the greens, the DT SoLo might be the ball for you. As the commercial says, if distance, especially straight distance, is your primary motivation when selecting a golf ball, the Velocity should be on the list. It won’t generate the green-grabbing spin around the greens, but it will help you hit straighter, longer shots.
- Driver Performance: 4 stars
- 6 Iron Performance: 4 stars
- Wedge Performance: 4 stars
- Looks and Feel: 4.3 stars
- Durability: 4.5 stars
- Driver Performance: 4.3 stars
- 6 Iron Performance: 4 stars
- Wedge Performance: 3.5 stars
- Looks and Feel: 3.8 stars
- Durability: 4.5 stars