FIRST LOOK: Titleist’s 2020 Tour Soft and Velocity golf balls
Titleist’s Tour Soft and Velocity golf balls are back for 2020 with new technology, core and cover designs that should allow golfers to see improvements in a number of key areas at more affordable price points.
With Tour Soft — launched two years ago as the replacement to NXT Tour — Titleist’s research and design team made it a priority to deliver extra ball speed while still maintaining a playable level of greenside spin and performance.
The largest core in Titleist’s lineup was made even lager to squeeze as much speed as possible out of the golf ball. The core is encased by a slightly firmer, and thinner, 4CE grafted cover system that enhances the short game spin many golfers have come to expect from the mid-level price point ball. A new spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple design was also added to the cover for a more penetrating, lower flight.
“It was difficult to make changes to this ball because R&D felt like they geeked it out for 2018,” said Michael Fish, Titleist’s golf ball product manager. “But we’re kind of pushing the boundaries with this ball. We like to talk about this ball as the best technology we have out of Ball Plant 2.”
Another alteration that will likely garner attention is the “T” sidestamp that doubles as an alignment aid. The stamp was initially introduced through the company’s My Titleist customizer, in February 2018, and has become the most popular offering among golfers choosing to add custom logos.
“We wanted to add some personality to this product, and we think the sidestamp certainly helps accomplish that, while also serving a purpose,” Fish said.
Titleist’s Tour Soft ($34.99) hits retail shelves Jan. 22 in both white and high-optic yellow.
With three new matte color options (pink, green and orange), Titleist’s Velocity stands out in a crowd. Distance remains at the top of the list for golfers playing Velocity, but one thing Fish and Titleist’s golf ball team noticed was a request for drop-and-stop spin on approach shots as well.
The combination of a larger, high-speed LSX core and spherically-tiled 350 octahedral dimple design on the NaZ+ cover formulation generates faster initial velocity off the tee with more stoppability on approach shots.
As far as the new matte finish is concerned, Fish confirmed extensive work was done to ensure the color didn’t fade over time, in addition to ensuring the durability and performance remained at a level that met Titleist’s exacting standards.
“More golfers are considering different colors and matte finishes, and we wanted to be able to introduce it appropriately in our line,” Fish said. “We’ve always considered Velocity to be our personality ball.”
Titleist’s Velocity ($27.99) will be available Jan. 22 in matte pink, matte green and matte orange (play numbers 00-11-22-33), and standard white (play numbers 1-4).