Titleist NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity golf balls

Titleist NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity
David Dusek

From GOLF Magazine (May, 2012)

NXT Tour, $32 (Buy Now)

IT’S FOR: Aspirational, serious, competitive players.
SKINNY: A hard outer core (4 percent larger) and soft inner core (16 percent smaller) leads to faster ball speeds on full swings. Shots “peak” farther downrange and land more steeply than the previous NXT Tour, for longer carry and similar roll with similar spin. Promises a more stable flight in windy conditions due to a thin, soft Surlyn-like Fusablend cover (same as before) and a new dimple pattern with five dimple sizes.

NXT Tour S$32 (Buy Now)
IT’S FOR: Competitive golfers.
SKINNY: This 2-piece ball offers softer feel (“S” for soft) on full shots than NXT Tour. (Faster swingers should get more driver distance with NXT Tour.) It has a large low-compression core (for low driver spin) plus the same Fusablend cover as the NXT Tour (high spin on scoring shots). Designed to launch and fly lower, have a shallower angle of descent, and roll more than NXT Tour. Comes in a choice of two colors—white or optic yellow.

Velocity$27 (Buy Now)
IT’S FOR: Those who want to hit it past their buddies.
SKINNY: Titleist’s longest ball (replaces NXT) “kisses” the rule governing initial ball velocity. A “fast,” lively core and cover (to generate top ball speeds) combine with a dimple pattern built for high speeds. The cover offers respectable short-game feel, too. It launches higher than the NXT Tour/NXT Tour S but has a lower, boring flight. A fun wrinkle: It comes with orange numbers in single or double digits (00, 11, 22, 33).

DT Solo, $20 (Buy Now)
IT’S FOR: Players who need a high-launching ball and prefer an “entry-level” price point.
SKINNY: Titleist’s softest DT ever has a large low-compression core and soft Surlyn cover to deliver speed, spin and soft feel. It’s designed to get up in the air for golfers who need lift. Overall flight is a lower, penetrating trajectory with more roll. Shots hit with DT SoLo should spin more, feel softer and have a shallower descent angle than Titleist Velocity. White or optic yellow.

Also available from Titleist:

Pro V1x, $48 (Buy Now)
Soft urethane cover provides maximum short-game control. Feels slightly firmer, spins less and typically flies slightly longer off the driver than Pro V1.

Pro V1, $48 (Buy Now)
Soft urethane cover provides maximum short-game control. Feels slightly softer than the Pro V1x.

From GOLF.com (February 2, 2012)
There, she said it, and I have it on tape. Mary Lou Bohn, Titleist's vice president of golf ball marketing and communications, had just taken the red eye back from the West Coast, but she was awake and alert when she told me, "I think, in a perfect world, in terms of performance, the best golf balls for all golfers are the Pro V1 and Pro V1x."
The Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls are wildly popular among PGA Tour pros (who get them for free) and accomplished amateurs. But price is critical for most of us when it comes to selecting a ball, so at $48 per dozen, they can be tough to afford.
So with the Titleist NXT line, the company tried to keep as many Pro V1-like performance attributes as possible while keeping prices budget-friendly.
For 2012, the company went back to the drawing board and came out with two updated NXT balls. It's also releasing an all-new distance ball, the Velocity. Here is what you need to know about all three.

Titleist NXT Tour
David Dusek
Titleist NXT Tour
Titleist NXT Tour, $31.99 per dozen
"We asked [engineers] for longer distance on the NXT Tour," Bohn says, "but only do it if you can deliver similar spin control."
To do that, Titleist shrank the inner core of the three-piece NXT Tour by four percent and used a different blend of materials. That allowed the outer core—which is also designed using a new, softer material—to be bigger. The company says it was able to keep spin rates about the same, but this combination creates more ball speed.
The cover of the updated NXT Tour is unchanged, a softened blend of Surlyn, ionomer and other materials that Titleist calls Fusablend. But a new 302 dimple pattern helps the ball reach its highest point farther downrange off the driver.
You can think of this ball as the "Pro V1 Junior."

Titleist NXT Tour S
David Dusek
Titleist NXT Tour S
Titleist NXT Tour S, $31.99 per dozen
This model has the same cover and dimple pattern as the NXT Tour, but it's a two-piece ball with a lower compression. That means it has a lower initial launch angle with a driver than the NXT Tour, but Titleist says it delivers nearly the same distance because it will roll out more.
The real benefit of the lowered compression is more feel. In blind tests, golfers told Titleist the biggest difference between the two balls is that the NXT Tour S simply feels softer, hence the S.
"For some players, especially bigger hitters with the driver, the NXT Tour ball is going to go a little farther," says Bill Morgan, Titleist's senior vice president of golf ball research and development. "Not radically, maybe a couple of yards. If that's important to you, by all means, play the NXT Tour. If feel is important to you, play the NXT Tour S."
Aside from enhanced feel, the NXT Tour S has one other feature that the NXT Tour doesn't—it's available in a highly visible yellow version. It's not the first yellow ball Titleist has made, but the company says it did a lot of research to make sure the color looked appealing in bright sunlight.
"It's a multilayer color that you're seeing," says Michael Mahoney, Titleist's director of golf ball product management. "We developed it layer on top of layer. The color of the core actually contributes to the color that you see." 

Titleist Velocity
David Dusek
Titleist Velocity
Titleist Velocity, $26.99 per dozen
The name Velocity provides more than a subtle hint about what Titleist tried to do with this ball. The first all-new Titleist ball in 10 years, the orange-trimmed Velocity is a two-piece ball that features the fastest core material in the company's arsenal. According to Mahoney, it's even faster than the outer core material used in the Pro V1x.
After researching cover designs tested over the years, Titleist engineers encased that core material with the fastest cover layer they had developed, which turned out to be a 332-dimple pattern.
Unfortunately, the first balls they made exceeded the USGA's initial velocity rules and had to be scrapped. In fact, several more versions of the Velocity were produced that also exceeded the USGA rules, but Titleist says the ball it is bringing to market is absolutely legal.
Interestingly, the Velocity is not a rock; it has the same compression specs as the Pro V1 (although the Pro V1's two additional layers and different cover material make it play quite differently).
Sure, the back of the Velocity's box mentions that the NaZ2 cover emphasizes short game playability, but that's not why someone is going to buy these bullets.
"Look, this is not our Tour ball," Morgan says. "This is a ball that you can play with in all aspects of the game, but really the focus was, 'Make this bad boy long.'"
If you really want to crank up the volume, don't settle for sleeves of balls numbered 1, 2, 3, or 4 ... the Velocity is also available in 00, 11, 22 and 33.

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