Nearly fifteen years has passed since the original Titleist Pro V1 was first seen on the PGA Tour at the Invensys Classic in October 2000.
From that point the Pro V1, and the Pro V1x that launched in 2003, have been the most played golf balls in all levels of competitive golf as well as the clear choice of everyday golfers, leading ball sales around the world.
This isn't by accident and the Pro V1 combination of distance, flight, short game control and feel are a result of the Titleist Golf Ball R&D and Operations teams, who between them represent 20,000 years of golf ball-making expertise, process of continual improvement and development.
The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are no exception and the improvements in the new balls, headlined by a softer cover that enhances short game control and feel, are the fruits of this labour.
Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball R&D explains:
Golfers often ask us what sets Pro V1 and Pro V1x apart from other golf balls. You just can't point to one or two things. We have more people with more design 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 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 problem with having such a successful product is how can you improve on it without changing elements that are so popular among those who play it.
Titleist are acutely aware of this, so always start their thinking with what would make an even better ball for golfers and help them play better golf. So they ask them what they can do to help them shoot lower scores.
Mary Lou Bohn, VP of Titleist Golf Ball Marketing and Communications:
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 result was the new Thermoset urethane elastomer cover of the 2015 Pro V1 models.
Thermoset is a scientific term meaning that once formed the plastic urethane will not re-melt, so by using it Titleist has complete control of the chemical composition of their golf balls.
Most urethane covered golf balls use Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) that is produced by a third party for a variety of uses and then melted down by golf ball manufacturers and reformed to cover the golf ball.
Titleist's method is a more complicated process as they create a chemical reaction in the golf ball mold from liquid materials formulated in house. However, it allows the engineers to create the desired properties of spin control, softness and durability.
Before the urethane is put into production on the next generation of Pro V1 golf balls, it is put through a rigorous testing regime that involves many hundreds of different chemical compositions and many iterations of tests of those covers both on and off the golf ball.
The new covers of the 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x maintain the long lasting durability of previous models and the improved paint system that was introduced in the 2013 ProV1 ball ensures that the balls stay whiter and brighter for longer, as well as making them more aerodynamically consistent.
Morgan explains how the ball has evolved from 2013:
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 feel while maintaining its abrasion resistance.
The Differences Between Pro V1 vs Pro V1x
With the 2015 balls Titleist once again offer golfers two distinctive performance options to choose from, both of which combine exceptional distance with long lasting durability.
The Pro V1 is a three piece construction with a very soft compression core and a 352 tetrahedral dimple design. It has a softer feel than the Pro V1x and offers slightly more spin in the long game, with a more penetrating trajectory and shallower angle of descent for more roll.
The Pro V1x is a four piece construction with a dual core and a 328 tetrahedral dimple design. It has a firmer feel than the Pro V1 and offers lower long game spin and launches at a higher angle for a steeper angle of descent.