After all these years you'd think the Pro V1 (introduced in 2000) and the Pro V1x (introduced 2003) would be about as good as they could be, but you'd be wrong. In fact, both new models ($47.99/dozen) feature significant improvements over their predecessors from which both Tour pros and amateur players can benefit. The first improvement is a new, patented thermoset urethane elastomer cover that provides a softer feel as well as more short game spin and control without compromising durability or distance. The new cover is made with a complex casting process that is unique to Titleist.
"Thermoset urethane is very difficult to work with, but it gives us complete control of the chemical composition. It's essentially a little chemical plant right in the mold, compared with using an off-shelf material like TPU. This allows us to dial in our desired properties of spin control, softness and durability," said Michael Sullivan, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Product Development. "We do a lot of testing. We test the urethane on the ball and test it off the ball. In fact, we do so much material testing before it even gets onto a golf ball that by the time it does, we have a solid understanding of how it's going to react. With the new 2015 models, we tested hundreds of formulations. You simply can't do that with TPU. In the end, our iterative prototyping process ultimately improves performance for golfers."
Both new models are able to provide added feel and short game spin but maintain the outstanding distance and durability characteristics traditionally associated with the Pro V1 line due in part to an improved paint system that carries over from the 2013 models. This system, which was designed to help maintain a brighter white color for a longer period also contributes to more consistent aerodynamics.
"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. 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," said Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball R&D.
For players who wonder which model is right for their game, it's helpful to know that the Pro V1 has a softer feel, a bit more spin on long shots, and a more boring trajectory. The Pro V1x has a bit firmer feel, less spin on long shots, and a higher launch angle.
Both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x will be available at retail on 1/30/15.
If you're interested in hearing what the best players in the world think about the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x, check out some of their comments:
Jordan Spieth: "The 2015 Pro V1x is very much an improvement for me just as each version has really improved. This one's better for me because that softer cover around the greens allows me to have more spin control and softer feel, without jeopardizing any distance or spin with the long clubs. It's still long off the tee with more control around the greens. … [New Pro V1x] feels really nice, like it's sticking to the club face more, which I like. It allows my short irons and wedges to spin a little more which is always nice around the greens, to be able to fly it closer to the hole and have it drop and stop."
Bubba Watson: "I first tried the new ball two weeks prior to going to China. I loved it and put it in play right away. It has all the great qualities of the previous generation Pro V1x with improved feel around the greens, which is exceptional. It even goes a little further for me off the tee." Hunter Mahan: "The new ball feels great. It has the performance and flight characteristics I'm looking for with all my full shots, and I've picked up more spin on my 30-40 yard pitch shots. Overall, I'm getting better performance into and around the greens, and still have the flight, trajectory and control I need on full shots."
Bill Haas: "The first time I tried the new Pro V1x I immediately noticed a softer feel with my irons and wedges. The softer feel provides me slightly more spin around the greens and gives me the added confidence that I can get the ball to stop the way I need it to. For me, more confidence leads to better scoring. I still get the long game performance I need as well with the proper amount of spin and control."
Charley Hoffman: "I put the new Pro V1x in play immediately after my first day of testing. It has all the great characteristics of the 2013 model off the driver and irons with a slightly softer feel around the greens. It's extremely hot off the driver with the feel of the Pro V1 around the greens. When I won at Mayakoba, the new ball stood up to all the tests. It performed great in the rain on Saturday and unbelievable in the wind on Sunday."
Marc Leishman: "The new ball still has the firm, solid feel and penetrating flight off the tee, but is noticeably softer and spins more with half shots and chip shots. I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds - long off the tee and workable around the greens."
Padraig Harrington: "I used the new ProV1x for the first time during my victory in the Indonesia Open. After some testing on the practice days, I put the ball straight into play and found it to be a seamless switch. I loved the feel and felt that the ball was spinning a little more around the greens, whilst being just as long off the tee. In fact the last time I switched to a new version of the Pro V1x ball (during the 2011 tour seeding process) I also won in Asia the first week out."
Ian Poulter: "The new Pro V1x gives me a softer feel and better performance around the greens. I'm able to execute all the shots and the ball feels great. I also picked up some ball speed with the driver during testing, so I'm getting a little more out of it off the tee."