The new Titleist Tour Soft and Velocity golf balls may not grab all the headlines of the company’s world famous, tour-played Pro V1 family, but don’t be fooled. The audience for these products is just as demanding as any tour player and maybe more so. After all, these golfers speak loudly with their wallets.
“Golf balls that are outside of Pro V1 and Pro V1x are so strongly influenced by the feedback we hear from dedicated golfers,” said Titleist’s Michael Mahone, vice president of golf ball marketing. “That’s really driven what we’re doing with these new balls. It’s always that marriage of what can we do on the R&D side and what do golfers say what they want. Our goal is to make sure that we deliver and articulate to the golfer that we have a ball that they want but also are delivering on the need.”
The new Tour Soft, which was first introduced two years ago as the company’s response to soft, lower-compression balls in the marketplace. The thinking then was to bring distance to this category of softer feeling balls. The thinking now is to enhance that distance with improved short game spin. The answer to both of those requirements is a larger core for distance around a slightly firmer cover that works with the core to produce better short-game spin.
Tour Soft also features a recalibrated aerodynamic pattern – what’s called a “spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple design”—to optimise total distance through a more penetrating trajectory.
Tour Soft, which also is offered in optic yellow, also features a distinctive sidestamp that’s also the result of the input of dedicated golfers. The T-shaped marking allows a golfer to get a sense of direction while also squaring up the face angle at address. The pattern is one of the most popular custom options on Titleist’s website, Mahoney said.
The new Velocity, which was first introduced in 2012 as the Titleist brand’s fastest golf ball option, has not wavered from that initial mission statement. But the update for 2020 looks to expand based on the preferences of Velocity players.
“This is a distance-focused golfer,” Mahoney said. “But these players also are looking for better ‘stoppability’ with their irons.”
The 2020 Velocity will feature again a larger core to increase that distance potential but it aims to enhance flight through a 350 octrahedral dimple pattern for a higher trajectory.
Titleist also is responding to golfers’ increasing interest in colours through a new range of matte-colour options on Velocity. In addition to standard white, Velocity will be available in matte pink, matte green and matte orange. According to research from Golf Datatech, serious golfer interest in playing a coloured ball is around 6 in 10, more than a third higher than it was in 2015.
The new Tour Soft and Velocity golf balls will be available in Australian and New Zealand golf shops from February 22.