Titleist promises its new Pro V1 and Pro V1x models will set the bar even higher in golf ball design. Here’s how they intend to do it.
There have been some groundbreaking products to hit our fairways over the years – equipment that changed the way golf was to be played. Metal-headed drivers, plastic cleats in shoes, GPS devices, hybrid clubs and counter-balanced putters just some of the concepts to leave everlasting footprints on the game.
But it was in October 2000 that perhaps the most influential change occurred when the original Pro V1 prototype golf ball debuted on the US PGA Tour at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas. Forty-seven players put the ball in play that week, marking one of the largest pluralistic shifts of equipment at one event in golf history.
In March 2001, just four months after launching to golf shops, Titleist Pro V1 became the best-selling golf ball in the marketplace.
“The launch of Pro V1 was especially significant in that for the very first time, the best performing golf ball for tour players was also the best performing golf ball for all golfers,” says Mary Lou Bohn, Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball Marketing and Communications. “You no longer had to choose between distance over short-game control, or durability over soft feel. There were no trade-offs. Pro V1 delivered total performance.”
Pro V1 and Pro V1x – which launched in 2003 – have been the most played golf balls at every level of competitive golf and the best-selling models around the world ever since.
Titleist puts its success down to the company’s Golf Ball R&D and Operations teams, which boasts more than 20,000 years of golf ball-making expertise that have worked every day to make “the #1 ball in golf” even better with each new generation.
The company’s wave of success is set to continue this year following the launch of the new 2015 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x models. Titleist says these balls are the result of a continuous process rooted in rigorous research and development, technological advancements, comprehensive player testing and validation, and precision manufacturing.
CONTINUING A LEGACY
Designed for all golfers seeking to shoot lower scores, 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x deliver exceptional distance with consistent flight, more short game control and even softer feel from a new, patented urethane elastomer cover formulation, and long lasting durability. Comparatively, Pro V1 has a softer feel, slightly more long game spin and a penetrating trajectory for a shallower angle of descent for more roll.
Pro V1x offers a slightly firmer feel, lower long game spin and launches higher with a steeper angle of descent.
The total performance of Pro V1 and Pro V1x, tee-through-green – providing the best combination of distance, flight, short-game scoring control and feel – makes them the best fit for any golfer.
“Golfers often ask us what sets Pro V1 and Pro V1x apart from other golf balls. You can’t just point to one or two things. The difference is everything,” says Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball R&D. “We have more people with more experience designing and making golf balls, the largest intellectual property portfolio and the most sophisticated precision manufacturing processes. The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the culmination of all that knowledge and all of that technology.
“The original Pro V1 was revolutionary, no question, but we’ve learned a lot in the last 15 years and these new Pro V1 models are the best we’ve ever made.”
The Titleist Golf Ball R&D team is made up of chemists, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as PGA professionals and turf management specialists. Due to their work, Titleist owns the industry’s largest portfolio of golf ball intellectual property with more than 1,000 patents. Since 2010, Titleist has been awarded nearly 50 per cent of all golf ball patents issued in the United States. There are more than 100 patents that cover the technologies and manufacturing processes for 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x combined.
Eighty years after the first Titleist golf ball was produced, the Titleist operations team is comprised of over 1,100 associates with an average tenure of 20 years. These associates manufacture every Titleist golf ball to exacting standards in Titleist owned and operated facilities – there are about 90 process and product quality checks for Pro V1; about 120 for the dual-core Pro V1x – assuring that every golf ball performs consistently for every golfer, every round and on every type of shot.
Before being introduced to the market, new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are tested and validated by golfers at every level of the game, from the world’s best tour players to amateurs of all skill levels and swing speeds. Since 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x were first introduced on the US PGA Tour in October last year, more than 100 players have put the new models in play around the world, with Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Charley Hoffman, Gary Stal and Jimmy Walker each trusting new Pro V1x to victory.
“I used the same ball the entire day today and it still flew perfectly. The changes to the new golf ball have been big for me and I’ve been playing well since changing.”
– 2014 Australian Open champion, Jordan Spieth
At the 2014 Australian Open, Spieth used the new Pro V1x golf ball to what he called “the best round I have ever played” – a final-round 8-under par 63 to win by six shots. Spieth’s round set the course record on a gusty day at The Australian Golf Club, leading several media members to suggest it may have been the best round in the event’s 110-year history. “It obviously performed well,” Spieth said after the round. “I used the same ball the entire day today and it still flew perfectly. The changes to the new golf ball have been big for me and I’ve been playing well since changing.”
WHAT’S NEW WITH THE 2015 MODELS?
The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls feature a new, patented thermoset urethane elastomer cover that delivers more short game spin and control, and softer feel – while maintaining their distance and flight characteristics, and best-in-class durability. The softer, reformulated cover system improves feel, sound and short game scoring control, providing golfers the confidence and performance to hit it closer to the hole.
“When we set out to improve Pro V1 and Pro V1x, the product development process always starts with asking golfers how we can help them shoot lower scores,” says Bohn. “Since golfers have had such resounding success with Pro V1 and Pro V1x, this time around, they told us, ‘Don’t change much. I love the distance. I love the scoring performance. I love the durability. If you can give me slightly more spin in the short game as well as even softer feel, I’ll take it. I just don’t want to give anything up.’ So that became our design goal.”
The new Pro V1 and Pro V1x also maintain their long-lasting durability. The new urethane cover, combined with the improved paint system that debuted on the 2013 models, keeps Pro V1 and Pro V1x whiter and brighter longer throughout the course of play. The cover and paint system also contributes to an aerodynamically more consistent golf ball.
“The breakthrough we made in durability with 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x really opened up the doors for us in terms of experimentation with our cover formulation,” says Morgan. “Our urethane is so resilient that as we softened it, we were able to increase short game spin and enhance the feel while maintaining its abrasion resistance.”
CHOOSING BETWEEN PRO V1 & PRO V1x
The Pro V1 is a three-piece, multiple component technology with a very soft compression ZG process core, ionomeric casing layer, softer thermoset urethane elastomer cover and spherically-tiled 352 tetrahedral dimple design. This ball has a softer feel, slightly more long-game spin and a more penetrating trajectory for a shallower angle of descent and thus more roll than Pro V1x.
The Pro V1x is a four-piece, multi-component technology with a ZG process dual core, ionomeric casing layer, softer thermoset urethane elastomer cover and spherically-tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design. This ball has a slightly firmer feel and lower long-game spin and launches higher with a steeper angle of descent than Pro V1.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are now available in golf shops across Australia with a suggested retail price of $74.95 per dozen.
Both models are available in standard and custom play numbers.
Standard dozens include play numbers 1-4 (low) and 5-8 (high).
For more information on the new Pro V1 range, check out titleist.com.au