Titleist_prov1_prov1x_review_2015

Pros: Golf’s golden standard for distance, consistency and short-game spin. Both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x are softer than previous generations, offering more check around the greens and better durability.

Cons: At $47.99 per dozen, the 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1X are two of the most expensive golf balls on the market.

Who they’re for: Golfers who want the best blend of distance, trajectory control, short-game spin and feel. The Pro V1 and Pro V1X are Titleist’s best-performing golf balls, regardless of a golfer’s swing speed.

Overview

There is no denying the quality and performance of the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x throughout the years. Sure, there are other golf balls on the market that perform extremely well, sometimes at lower price points, but the Pro V1 line is an icon in golf. Instantly recognizable and known for its consistent performance, each new release builds on the previous.

Titleist hasn’t made any radical changes to the performance of the balls from one release to the next, but they are always improving the Pro V1 and Pro V1x in some way. When they asked tour pros, as well as thousands of amateur testers, what they wanted in the new balls, all they asked for was a bit more spin and softer feel.

And Titleist delivered.

Both golf balls feature a new, thermoset urethane elastomer cover designed to feel softer, increase short-game spin, and at the same time, be even more durable than models of the past.

I don’t want to spend too much time on the technical side of the cover, but I was intrigued to learn it has only ever been designed for use on a golf ball. Most tour balls have a different type of urethane cover, which typically is developed by an outside vendor and not made specifically for a golf ball. Titleist engineers have complete control over the material, and that gives them the ability to make subtle tweaks until they have the exact performance characteristics they are looking for. Hundreds of formulations went into the final 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x until they found the perfect mix.

Related: Go behind the scenes at the Titleist golf ball factory

Pro V1

Pro_V1-1021x580

The three-piece Pro V1, just like previous generations, has a softer feel and slightly more long game spin than the Pro V1x. The single ZG process core helps generate low spin off the driver, a more penetrating trajectory and flatter landing angle, which can generate more roll than the Pro V1x.

The brand new cover not only feels softer, but is noticeably more durable than previous generations. Titleist tour pros have already claimed they can play the same ball for an entire round, even with their fresh grooves and higher swing speeds.

Pro V1x

Pro_V1x

The four-piece, dual-core Pro V1x has a slightly firmer feel, generates even less spin off the driver, and launches higher than the Pro V1. Just like previous generations, the outer core and inner mantle work to deliver the specific trajectories golfers want from fairway woods, hybrids, irons and wedges. The same improved Thermoset Urethane Elastomer cover found in the Pro V1 also is found on the Pro V1x.

The Pro V1 and Pro V1x carry a minimum advertised price of $47.99. Both are available in standard and custom play numbers. Standard numbers come in low (1-4) and high (5-8). Double-digit play numbers, 00 and 11-99, are available for custom order with a minimum order of one dozen.

Performance

If I had a whole closet full of either golf ball, I’d be really happy. Both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x are just that good. But there are subtle differences.

  • The Pro V1 should feel softer on every club and generate more spin off the driver.
  • The Pro V1x should spin less off the driver, but more with shorter irons.

Like all reviews, I put these to the test on the range and on a launch monitor with a 60-degree wedge, 6 iron and a driver. This time around, I headed to BridgeMill Golf Academy and worked with head pro Tom Losinger to get the data using a Trackman in his indoor studio.

60-degree full wedge shots

TitleistProV2015

Main differences we expect to see: The Pro V1X should generate more spin on full wedge shots than the Pro V1.

What the data actually shows: Exactly what we expected. The spin rate for both golf balls is right around 9,000 rpm, with the Pro V1x generating almost 200 rpm more spin. The difference isn’t huge and you can control spin with both balls, but the edge goes to the Pro V1x.

The flight of both balls was similar, however, and the real difference was in carry and total distance. The Pro V1x actually flew 4 yards farther on average than the Pro V1 for me.

What I saw on the course: Both balls had tremendous drop, stop and back-up power on full and even partial wedge shots. Maybe the pros can tell the difference in a couple hundred rpm of spin, but me and most golfers probably need a launch monitor to be certain. I also did not notice much, if any, difference in distance between the balls, and the ball flight was very similar. I did like the feel of the Pro V1 over the Pro V1x, but now we’re just splitting hairs.

6 iron shots

TitleistProV20152

Main differences we expect to see: As we get down to the mid and longer irons, the Pro V1 should start to spin more than the Pro V1x and also launch a little lower.

What the data actually shows: Every data point was higher with the Pro V1 except carry and total distance, which was only a yard longer with the Pro V1x. I generated quite a bit more spin with the Pro V1, which I expected. But I also had a higher launch and peak height with the Pro V1, which I didn’t expect. Based on that data, I would put the Pro V1 into play and maximize those conditions to help me get the ball up quicker and come down steeper into the greens with mid or long irons. The trajectory wasn’t ballooning; it was just a nice, solid ball flight.

What I saw on the course: The Pro V1 continued to make my job easier with the mid irons. Maybe I just happened to pure every shot when the Pro V1 was in play (not likely) or maybe the launch and peak height numbers truly translated to the course. Even with the more effortless launch, my distance was spot on. I don’t want to take anything away from the Pro V1x, because I love the way it performed. Fitting and testing is important for every golfer, and no further proof is necessary for me than the fact that I played my best mid iron approach shots with the Pro V1.

Driver Shots

TitleistProV20153

Main differences we expect to see: The differences are more clear with the driver. The Pro V1x should launch higher with less spin and more distance than the Pro V1.

What the data actually shows: Well, my data didn’t completely align with the expectations, but it was close. The Pro V1x was longer in carry and total distance by 2 yards and it generated less spin off the driver. It wasn’t a huge difference, but it was lower. That said, the launch angle was very similar and the balls hit the same peak height and had a similar descent angle. The slightly lower spin and higher ball speed is what gave the Pro V1x the edge in distance.

What I saw on the course: Both balls were champions off the tee. I didn’t notice much, if any, distance loss between the Pro V1 and the Pro V1x. If the Pro V1x was longer, it was only by a yard or two. Neither golf ball ballooned up into the wind, and both had the same amount of control side-to-side.

Around the Green

titlestaroundgreen

I could list off all the shots you can hit around the green, but I would start to sound like a broken record. Both balls can perform them all, and can certainly handle more shots than I have in my arsenal. The Pro V1, with its softer feel, gave me the illusion of a more sticky feel, but the differences are truly subtle.

So much of what we feel is determined by the sound we hear. It is why club makers spend so much time fine-tuning the sound profile of their clubs. It seems that Titleist consciously tweaked how both balls sound off the club face, which I believe positively contributes to both golf balls feeling noticeably softer than previous generations.

Putting

When it comes to putting, I would choose the Pro V1 every day. It is one of the best, if not the best-feeling golf ball off the putter that I have tested and put in play. It was softer off the face than the Pro V1x, but that is not to say the Pro V1x isn’t soft. In a blind test, where I marked over the product name, I was able to pick out the Pro V1 fairly accurately. I say “fairly” because I wasn’t perfect, which goes to show how good they both feel.

Interestingly, the new, softer cover on the Pro V1x actually made it feel about as soft as the previous generation Pro V1. I’ll give the edge to the Pro V1 here.

Durability

prov1upclose

I completed all my testing with just three of each model. The improved cover appears to be working as expected. I could wash these balls off and put them back in play. Even with fresh grooves on my wedges and numerous wedge swings off a tight, clean, indoor hitting mat, these golf balls were highly durable. Yes, there were minor scratches, but nothing that would impact playability and I didn’t notice any difference in durability from one ball to the other.

Given the price, I’m happy to see that if I can keep the ball out of the woods or water, I can go an entire round or more with the same ball.

The Takeaway

I tested the previous generation balls last year, and while the testing was done on a different launch monitor and with different clubs, the comparisons were shockingly similar. Titleist engineers set out to keep everything the same, except figure out how to make each ball softer, more durable and spin a little more. They succeded.

On course, the Pro V1 had a better feel and I shot better scores with it. The data, especially the slightly lower spin off the driver and higher spin off the wedges, suggests I should play Pro V1x. But with the margin between the balls razor thin, I’m going with feel and confidence this time, which means the Pro V1 is going in the bag.

I encourage all golfers to put these balls to the same test, and see what’s best for them. It’s hard to go wrong with either of them, whether you’re comparing them to the rest of Titleist’s line or any other golf ball on the market.

Related

Your Reaction?
  • 154
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW2
  • LOL3
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB3
  • SHANK14

Previous articleMonday Tour Mash: Spieth cashes in on putting prowess
Next articleHow to feel your swing fix
When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range.

On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at kanecochran.com and contributes golf technology-focused articles on GolfWRX.com.

22 COMMENTS

Not seeing your comment? Read our rules and regulations. Click "Report comment" to alert GolfWRX moderators to offensive or inappropriate comments.
  1. I play the prov1x as my ss is 122mph and it’s the best ball on the market, no question. I’ve hit some of the furthest drives with this ball throughout the years. 330 yard carry plus 20 yards of roll on flat hole with barely any wind and close to sea level. Spins just the right amount with wedges and feels great off the putter. My only negative comment about this ball is that it seems to launch just a tad too low for me on my mid-low iron shots. Aside from that, it’s the total package.

  2. This article rolls nicely into a previous a piece titled something like “Can A Budget Golf Ball Give You A Premium Short Game?” (Can’t recall the exact title; apologies to the author.)
    There’s no disputing the performance aspects of both the Pro V’s. This ball has the potential to make everybody a better golfer, no matter what your handicap or swing speed is. Someone earlier tried to convince me that their “budget ball” was just as good as a “premium ball” (read Pro V1) because all one had to do is play for “the extra roll” on every shot, and they would be fine. Just think about that one for a minute. How many approaches are flat, wide open and without any obstacles? How many times do you see the pin in the middle of the green, with no slope, rough or trap to contend? This person also didn’t seem to think spending more money on a piece of equipment one uses on every shot in the game was worth it. I guess if you lose a dozen balls a round, you might get frustrated every time you hand over $50 for twelve sparkling new White Globes. Personally, I found the results of Kane’s testing to be very similar to mine, with a notable exception. I have not tested the 2015 balls yet, but I did some short game tests in the spring of 2013 with both the V1’s and the V1X’s. With both chipping (10-20 yds) and pitching (25-50 yds), but especially very short chips (10 yds & in), the V1X came off the face noticeably higher, and with more “pop,” than the V1. It also had a little less spin than the V1. These two different variables changed my whole approach to hitting those shots. When you’re trying to tuck a shot neatly next to the pin, or even hole it, being off by even a yard or two in distance or in either direction matters a lot. Not so much when you’re on the tee on a long par 4 or 5 when the fairway is 40 yards wide. Having played the Pro V1 for many years now, the audible soft click you are rewarded with after a solid strike of any speed is somewhat comforting, and that is at least different for the Pro V1X. It’s a higher pitched, tinnier click/whack. But after so long of playing the V1, it was difficult to judge the higher trajectory, less spin and more roll of the V1X on the short shots. Now, it’s not like the V1X performed like a piece of smooth granite. Far from it. It’s just that the two balls are made and play differently. I think you would get as many different test results as there are users of this golf ball. But that’s not a bad thing. It just proves that we’re not machines…yet.

  3. I compared a 2001 Pro V1x to the more recent 2014 Pro v1x and the newer ball flew 15 yards further with a 6-iron shot (10 shots each, recorded on trackman), the driver increase was approximately 25 yards. The modern golf ball is traveling further

  4. I have tried all the brand balls over the years and have found that the Provs best suit my game. When you hit the ball in the sweet spot consistently nothing performs better. A lot of R&D goes into the Titleist balls and they are not the number golfs balls with out justification. I like the spin around the green when I need it and the distance off the tee when I need that. At the age of 69 I need all the advantages I can get and after years of play other brands of balls, I know what works for me, and it is Titleist. I think the numbers of players purchasing and playing these balls speak for themselves. The pros do have a choice and they choose the best.

  5. Pro V1 and V1x are head and shoulders above any other tour ball. You just have to pick one up to know this. Then you stick one 12 inches from the hole from 120 yds with buttery smoothness and you never look back.

  6. I think the obvious takeaway is that the launch, ballspeed, and spin rates are well within the margin of error for 99% of golfers.

    I mean 0.3* higher launch… Statistically insignificant!

  7. Dont mind pro vees at all but i find for me personally the x works better but my go to ball has been callaways sr3 for the last 2 seasons it offers great distance and spin and i seem to control it better when i miss. Those v1x like to bend a little more off line when im not striking it great. But that sr3 has the capability to hit all the shots i need . Im a 9 handicap. Thanks for the breakdown of the didferent clubs

  8. Just tidied by bag today and just left Titleist balls in there. Preferably play the V1 but have also good experience with NXT Tour, Velocity and even DT Solo balls – play all of those dependent on weather and if what kind of day I have. Titleist all the way I admit.

    • Thanks for the feedback, JW, we’re always looking to improve based on reader feedback. The LM differences between this generation and the last are pretty slim so we decided a comparison between the two options might help clarify the differences between the two types of Pro V1 golf balls. But to your point, we’re actually working on a Chrome Soft review now and doing a direct comparison to the Speed Regime.

LEAVE A REPLY