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Brian Gay on what we might expect from the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x

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“Tactician” is the first word that comes to mind when I hear Brian Gay’s name. He has never been a long hitter rather finding success plotting around the golf course and letting his putter and wedges do the talking.

If you want to put Brian Gay in a bucket, he would fall in the Kevin Na, Ryan Moore, Brendan Todd, Zach Johnson category…even Collin Morikawa could fit in there. These are precision-first players.

With the Bryson Effect, players like Gay, in theory, should be dying out little by little, but that hasn’t been the case. In fact, it’s gone the other way.

The “shorter” hitters are finding advantages in other places, and I believe that the golf ball provides more benefit to these players than the big hitters.

In an interview Brian Gay did with Titleist earlier this week, he discussed the different nuances of how he chooses a golf ball and gave us a little insight into what we may expect with the new Pro V1/X series.

Titleist: You put the new Pro V1 in play at Shriners. How do you come to the decision to change into a new golf ball – the one piece of equipment you use on every shot?

Brian Gay: Great question. The Titleist guys sent some of the new golf balls to my home in September, but I didn’t really get to even test them out before I went to Vegas. I didn’t play Puntacana and then the next week was Sanderson Farms. I was intending to play there but my lower back was kind of locked up and I couldn’t go. So, I just took the new golf balls with me to Vegas, practiced and played with them for a couple of days and told the guys I’m was in, “I’m going to play the new Pro V1 this week.”

I’d been using the Pro V1x Left Dash most of the last two years or so. I did play the 2019 Pro V1 when it first came out and even the 19X a little bit. But I found the New Pro V1 incredible. It’s super soft. I love the soft feel, especially with the putter. I thought it worked very well in the wind. The other thing, like I was saying, I’ve been working on my wedge game shots, say 50 to 100 yards, and it really flights nicely. I like that. The Left Dash is a higher flying ball and I was able to hit more low spinner shots with the New Pro V1 with my wedges.

Titleist: How do you prioritize what you are looking for in a golf ball?

Brian Gay: Being more of a short game player, not a power player, it’s important to me how the golf ball reacts on short shots. However, I am still concerned about distance, and that was what I loved about the Pro V1x Left Dash when it came out. When I tested it, I hit it higher and a little further from my mid-irons on up, yet I still was getting the spin with my wedges. It was just more of a feel thing versus spin and a little bit higher flight with the New Pro V1. Honestly, it’s a combination. Does it spin the right amount with my irons? The new Pro V1 was super soft. I love that feel. And I don’t feel like I lost any distance. It’s still going as far as the other ones, so I thought it was a good mix.

Titleist: So how much does distance come into play and how did this distance compare to the Left Dash?

Brian Gay: Distance does come into play. Like I said, I didn’t get a chance to really do extensive testing at home before I went to Vegas with it. I just took it out on the course. I did hit some drivers on the Trackman on the range. I did a little bit of comparison on the course, but I loved the feel of it. I know what the best numbers are on my driver and I was getting the same numbers with it. So I didn’t feel like I was giving anything up.

It’s easy to look at the long hitters and try to emulate what they do. However, if you really want to get better, paying attention to what Gay, Champions Tour players, and the LPGA is where you will find actual real-world nuggets to implement into your own game. All golf ball makers these days have great product,t and understanding what each ball really does and how it enhances your particular game is as important as anything. For me personally, it’s always ball first, clubs second.

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2 Comments

  1. Lame

    Nov 7, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    How much did titleist pay for y’all to run this?

    • John Wunder

      Nov 9, 2020 at 7:19 am

      3 Beyblades and a Wally Joyner rookie card.

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Whats in the Bag

Sami Valimaki WITB 2024 (February)

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  • Sami Valimaki’s WITB accurate as of the Mexico Open.

Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond S (9 degrees)
Shaft: Accra TZ RPG 462 M5+

3-wood: Callaway Paradym (16.5 degrees @15.5)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX 70 TX

Check out more photos of Sami Valimaki’s clubs in the forums.

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (19 degrees), Callaway Apex MB (4-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 X, True Temper AMT Tour White X100 (4-9)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (46-10S, 50-10S, 56-10S, 60-10J)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Check out more photos of Sami Valimaki’s clubs in the forums.

Putter: Odyssey Ai-One #1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

Check out more photos of Sami Valimaki’s clubs in the forums.

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Whats in the Bag

Denny McCarthy WITB 2024 (February)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 TX

Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

5-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 Tour (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

5-wood: Ping G430 Max (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 9 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (4), TaylorMade P770 (5), Callaway Apex TCB (6-9)
Shafts: True Temper AMT Tour White X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (48-10F), SM10 (52-12F, 56-08M), WedgeWorks Proto (60-L)
Shafts: True Temper AMT Tour White X100, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo N7
Grip: Scotty Cameron

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Check out more in-hand photos of Denny McCarthy’s WITB here.

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Equipment

TaylorMade Qi10 driver review. All 3 models! – Club Junkie Reviews

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TaylorMade’s new Qi10 drivers are packed with new technology for maximum performance. Whether you are looking for maximum forgiveness or low-spin workability, there is a Qi10 driver for your needs. The faces are still 60 layers of carbon fiber, but in contrast to the Stealth line, feature a much more subtle blue tone. TaylorMade’s new Infinity Carbon Crown not only gives a weight advantage but also gives each driver a much cleaner and better look, to my eye. Each driver is a little different but built for maximum performance.

For the full, more in-depth review, check out the Club Junkie Podcast on every podcast platform and on YouTube.

TaylorMade Qi10 Max

This is the driver that is getting the most buzz it seems from the 2024 TaylorMade lineup thanks to its 10K MOI measurement. This 10K MOI means that the Qi10 Max head is extremely stable on mishits and will prevent the head from swinging open or closed.

The Max definitely has the largest-looking profile from address and has a more rounded shape to it compared to the other Qi10 drivers. I like the more rounded shape, and even though it doesn’t have the classic TaylorMade shape, it is easy on the eyes. The new blue carbon face is also more subtle and you don’t notice it compared to the previous red faces on the Stealth and Stealth 2 drivers.

Out on the course, or range, is where you will notice where the 10K comes into play. The first bad swing will be met with a shot that is more than likely more playable than you would have thought. The head keeps the ball on a straighter trajectory with reduced curve once in flight. You will still miss the fairway right or left with those swings but the shot will typically be straight to either side.

While my numbers from my most recent range session don’t show it, the launch on the Qi10 Max was more mid-high for me on the course. Ball speed was consistent and the Max held onto a good amount of it, even when you didn’t catch the center of the face. I went through my shots and was pretty impressed with the limited variation in ball speed throughout my session.

The spin numbers were also lower than expected and to be fair I was hitting a 9-degree Qi10 Max head, and I typically hit a low draw shot shape. I am not considered a high-speed or spin player, but the Qi10 Max didn’t spin a ton, even when hit low on the face. Only a handful of shots touched the low 3,000 RPM mark while most stayed lower than that. I think moving to the 10.5-degree head would be a better fit for me, adding some launch and a little spin to my shots would increase the distance by a few yards.

TaylorMade Qi10 LS

The model that we first drooled over in Rory and Tiger’s bags early this year! TaylorMade’s 2024 low-spin driver sports a new name, dropping the “Plus” designation. The LS model clearly has the traditional TaylorMade pear shape to it and a noticeably more compact look. A deeper face and shorter length from heel-to-toe give the look of a driver that the more skilled player will be able to easily shape shots with. The head also looks a bit more open than the Max head, and I love that TaylorMade has been able to create toplines that look more open than they appear.

The Qi10 LS creates some very long drives out on the course and range. This driver offers a little more feel and slightly quieter sound than the other two models, you can really feel the ball compress on the face at impact. For players who routinely hit the center, you will be rewarded with consistent fast ball speed and great distance. I hit my two longest drives with this head when I was going through my range session the other day.

Ball flight was flat, but the head is still easy to elevate and hit towering, boring tee shots. I thought the LS was actually going to come out really low, but I had no problem hitting higher shots with almost no spin. If spin is your problem with driver, the LS could be the pill you need as it is a very low spin head. I was rarely getting into the mid-2000s and had most shots in the high 1900 RPM. I never saw a ball go over 2,600 RPM, no matter where I hit it on the face.

Now the LS will show you a little less love when you aren’t swinging well and hitting it close to the center. For me, the start line of my shots was the farthest right of the three heads, but I saw more movement in the air on poor swings. There was also a little more drop-off in ball speed when the ball traveled away from center compared to the Qi10 and Qi10 Max heads.

TaylorMade Qi10

This is TaylorMade’s “bread and butter” head should fit a wide range of golfers. We have seen Rory move into this head, and we should see it in a lot of amateur bags as well this year. The Qi10 head bridges the gap between ultra forgiveness and low-spin distance with a little larger profile than the LS.

The shape is closer to the LS with a slightly more tapered line from the back of the hosel to the round back of the driver. I can’t stress enough how much I like the sleek look of the new Infinity Carbon Crown as it just gives a great view to the golfer.

This driver is the underrated one of the bunch in my opinion. While it isn’t the most forgiving or the lowest spin, it does everything rather well. It is pretty darn forgiving and definitely isn’t in a high spin category so plenty of golfers will find this head working for them.

I found the standard Qi10 the most consistent for me as it was easy to launch, and I think if you took away a few of the shots I hit higher on the face on the LS, this would have been the highest launching head of the group. The launch was mid-high and with that, the spin still never got wildly high. The misses were very straight and like the Max had less curve to them, more straight right or left.

To me, the ball speed numbers seemed to stay more consistent on mishits compared to Stealth 2 and center strikes had a softer feel to them. High-toe misses stayed in play with a more gentle draw and more carry than I expected, most of those shots ended in a pretty tight area. Swinging the Qi10 also felt a little different than the Max as I think the CG placement gives each driver its own unique feel through your swing. The Qi10 felt like it was a touch easier to release and rotated back to square at impact just a little faster than the Max. I don’t know if you could tell if you didn’t hit them side-by-side but if you do you can probably feel the difference.

TaylorMade definitely brought some changes to the Qi10 line, and I think, overall, they’ve crafted some really good drivers. The Qi10 Max will be great for those players who need the most stability they can to find the fairways, and I think will play to lower handicaps than expected. The Qi10 LS will be a skilled player’s wand to create shots and work the ball to positions on the fairway that allow them to score better. The Qi10 will fit a wide range of golfers who are looking for a driver that helps them on bad shots but still has the ball speed and spin to hit their longest drives.

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