New Pro V1, Pro V1X are longer and softer
Titleist’s new Pro V1 and Pro V1X for 2013 give golfers what they’ve been asking for from the most played ball in tournament golf — golf balls that are longer, softer and more durable than the previous generation.
The new Pro V1 feels softer thanks to a softer compression core, which has decreased from the low 90s to the high 80s. The core change means that it will spin less and have a shallower angle of descent than the 2011 Pro V1 off of long clubs. For most golfers, this means longer carry distance and more roll, meaning the new Pro V1 will be go farther with the long clubs than its predecessor.
“This is the longest and softest Pro V1 we’ve ever made,” said Michael Mahoney, director of golf ball marketing for Titleist.
While the Pro V1 features the same 352-dimple pattern as the 2011 model, it features a newly formulated cover and paint system that adhere better, which makes it more resistant to scuffs and paint chips and actually improves its aerodynamics.
“[For the new Pro V1 and Pro V1 X], we switched to a solvent-borne paint system that flows better,” Mahoney said. “It creates consistent coverage and better aerodynamics. That’s why the dimples on the new balls look sharper.”
Like previous version, the new Pro V1X is a four-piece golf ball with an inner and outer core. Having two cores allows designers to more precisely dial in spin on long clubs.
With the driver, PGA Tour players affect the extremely soft compression inner core, which results in low-spin shots. But on shots hit with shorter clubs, the firmer portions of the golf ball — the outer core and inner mantle — are the parts that are affected, so those shots are launched with more spin.
According to Mahoney, Tour players liked the amount of spin they were getting with the Pro V1X off the tee, but they wanted the ball to spin slightly more with their long irons, particularly the 4, 5 and 6 irons. That’s why the new Pro V1X has a slightly different ZG Process core configuration, which Mahoney said not only makes for tighter tolerances, but allows for increased spin with the shorter clubs.
The new core configuration also gives the Pro V1X a different sound profile, which many Tour players have identified as being softer than the 2011 Pro V1X. But the compression of the ball hasn’t changed — it’s still about 100.
It has the same 328-dimple pattern as the previous model. But the new cover formulation and better paint coverage give it a more penetrating flight, which Mahoney said will make it longer than the 2011 version for most golfers.
Comparing the new Pro V1 and Pro V1X
Because of the Pro V1X’s dual-core construction, it’s a lower-spinning golf ball off the tee, and thus the longer of the two balls. Its different dimple pattern and construction also make it is also a higher launching golf ball than Pro V1.
Even though the Pro V1X’s firmer compression makes the ball feel harder than the Pro V1, its performance is essentially identical to the softer feeling Pro V1 inside 40 yards. From that distance, the urethane cover — not the construction of the golf ball — drives performance.
According to Mahoney, the Pro V1X is a natural fit for high-speed players like Adam Scott, who can benefit from the low-spin performance with their driver to get more distance off the tee. But Scott has always been a Pro V1 player, choosing to give up a few yards off the tee with the Pro V1 in order to get more spin and better control with his long clubs.
“Players [like Scott] see improved numbers with Pro V1X, but they don’t think it’s going to make a difference in their game,” Mahoney said.
Despite all the changes inside the new golf balls, which debuted on the Tour at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in late October, much of the feedback on Tour has been about the durability of the cover of the new Pro V1 and Pro V1X golf balls.
“Players have told me, ‘I usually play nine or 10 balls a round, but [with the new ball] I just played this round with two or three balls,’” Mahoney said.