Little did anyone know that Billy Andrade’s victory at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas in October 2000 would mark a turning point in golf ball history. Andrade, runner up Phil Mickelson, and many others that weekend used the Titleist Pro V1, a ball that had been available to pros for less than a week. The ball was made available to the public two months later and “tipped” within a matter of months. Current players who endorse the ball read like a who’s who of the tour: Steve Stricker, KJ Choi, Angel Cabrera, Jose Maria Olazabel, Rickie Fowler – the list goes on. The Titleist Pro V1, and its cousin, the Titleist Pro V1x, are not only the most used golf ball on the PGA World Tour, but have been the best selling golf ball in the world for over a decade. How did the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x achieve this popularity?
In short: technology. The original Titleist Pro V1 raised the bar on the construction of a three piece ball, with the core, casing, and cover made from the cutting edge technology at the time (a core made of Polybutadiene, an Ionomeric layer, and a Urethane Elastomer cover, to get more technical). This allowed the ball to have a highly sought after combination of spin and durability. The Pro V1 had a “soft” feel to enable pinpoint accuracy. Yet durability was the x-factor – popular balls at the time simply didn’t last as long as the Pro V1.
Titleist then introduced the Pro V1x in 2003. The Pro V1x was a four piece ball as opposed to the three pieces that made up the Pro V1. The Pro V1x introduced a dual core layer, creating a compact core meant for distance. Another difference was in the number and construction of the dimples: the Pro V1 has 392 dimples with five different sizes while the Pro V1x has 332 dimples with seven different sizes. The contrast in construction shows in a player’s game. The Pro V1, with its three layers, more dimples, and soft core is for players who prefer spin and control. The Pro V1x, with its added layer and less dimples, plays for distance.
Scan the names of pros who use the V1 or the V1x and it’s easy to say that Titleist revolutionized golf balls with the introduction of the line. And by making subtle but important changes every few years, it’s difficult to imagine any company overtaking their spot in the meantime. Remember to go to the Golf Balls Unlimited shop to get a piece of the pros at discount rates (Titleist Product Page).