Golf ball companies have upped the ante every year in the elusive race to produce a better ball than the Titleist Pro V1. So far, TaylorMade has come closest with the Penta TP5. Engineers from companies as diverse as Callaway, Bridgestone, and Nike have taken a crack at beating the Pro V1. Perhaps 2013 is the year of the golf ball breakthrough. The following is a preview of what to expect next year:
Titleist – Titleist lost Rory McIlroy to Nike this offseason. But no matter – the Pro V1 remains the most popular ball on tour. There are rumors that Titleist is testing a new prototype ball. Titleist has big shoes to fill and they should never be expected to replicate the impact of the Pro V1. But if any company can do it again, it’s them.
Nike – Nike has some big challenges ahead in trying to incorporate McIlroy into its golf family. They look to make improvements to the 20XI with the addition of a new RZN core. In addition, sources are reporting that the RZN technology will be added to its ONE line. We covered how Tiger Woods plays with an older ball not available to the public. Will this new RZN core addition persuade him to play with the 20XI? Also, it will be interesting to see what ball McIlroy uses.
TaylorMade – TaylorMade has internet messageboards abuzz with a secret ball dubbed “Project 5”. Justin Rose won the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final last October with the ball. Very little is known about the ball but many speculate that “Project 5”, or whatever it ends up being named, will replace the Penta TP5 as TaylorMade’s flagship ball. Early reviews have been outstanding. Could this be the next great ball?
Bridgestone/Callaway – There isn’t enough information out there, but it would be reasonable to assume that each of these companies will make an improvement to their top of the line balls (Callaway with the HEX Black Tour and Bridgestone with the B330). We’ll post reviews once details become known.
There is a lot at stake on and off the course for golf balls in 2013. Check back to this blog for regular updates and reviews.