It’s not exactly a secret that Titleist has had a monopoly in the golf ball market for decades. While you might think their success is due to a genius marketing team and paying the best players in the world hundreds of thousands of dollars to play their balls, such is not the case. Sure, there are a handful of Tour Pros that are endorsed by Titleist, but there are many more that choose to play their golf balls on their own volition. Why? Because they work. Bottom line.
Titleist first came out with their Pro V1 and Pro V1X balls in the 2003. Since then, the technology and design incorporated in the ball has been improved upon every year and the 2019 versions is no exception. Designed for the above-average player, both the Pro V1 and Pro V1X are engineered to deliver unsurpassed distance off the tee while allowing for ultimate control on and around the greens. If you’re still trying to decide what ball is best for you, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t give either the Pro V1 or Pro V1X a fair shot.
What Makes the Pro V1 and Pro V1X so Great?
The newest Pro V1 and Pro V1X balls have a number of design features that work together to reduce driver spin for longer tee shots without sacrificing Titleist’ patented Drop and Stop Technology that provides exquisite feel and control.
The most noticeable difference between the 2019 balls and their predecessors is a cover that is 17% thinner. The thin cover helps golfers generate more spin on approach shots but doesn’t compromise distance off the tee.
The distance component in the ball is the casing layer. This layer of the ball is larger than in the past and as a result there is more space for speed enhancing material to be put in the ball. The 2019 Pro V1 and Pro V1X are hands down the longest version of the ball Titleist has ever made.
The new 2.0 ZG Process core in both the Pro V1 and Pro V1X is the fastest yet as well. By increasing ball speed while reducing spin, this design feature once again maximizes performance both off the tee and into the green.
The last noticeable feature of both balls is that they are available in yellow for the first time ever as well. Yellow balls have proven highly popular, especially for players that have trouble following the flight of the ball in low or flat light.
A Side-By-Side Comparison
Both of these balls are considered to be the highest performing option on the market. With that being said, they each play differently.
Titleist Pro V1
For years, it was common knowledge that the Pro V1 was the softer and higher spinning ball. While that still remains true to some extent, it’s worth taking a closer look.
Through extensive testing and garnering feedback from the best players in the world, the Pro V1 is still the softer feeling of the two balls. However, the 2019 version actually spins less with clubs throughout the bag and has a lower ball flight.
Though there have been some improvements made to the design of the new Pro V1, structurally it remains similar to earlier generations. The Pro V1 is a solid three-piece ball that has 352 dimples.
Titleist Pro V1X
The same principles hold true for the latest version of the Pro V1X. Conventional wisdom told us that this was the firmer, lower spinning ball for years. And while there is still some truth in that belief, there are some differences worth noting here too.
The latest edition of the Pro V1X does indeed still feel firmer than the Pro V1. However, it actually flies higher and spins more from the tee all the way through the green.
The construction of this ball remains similar to older models as well. The Pro V1X is a four-piece ball with 328 dimples.
Should You Be Playing the Pro V1 or Pro V1X?
If you’re considering putting either the Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1X in your bag, it’s important to remember that both these balls are designed for intermediate to advanced players with high swing speeds. That is not to say that the Pro V1 or Pro V1X can’t be beneficial for your game if you have a slower swing speed, but it might be worth considering these balls along with some other options as well.
If you’re a player with a high swing speed and are looking for premium performance out of a golf ball however, there’s a good chance either the Pro V1 or Pro V1X is the ball for you.
According to Titleist, the Pro V1 spins less and has a more penetrating flight than the Pro V1X which flies higher and spins more. Therefore, logic would suggest that if you’re a player that already hits the ball high and spins your short irons and wedges a lot, the Pro V1 would be the best choice. Conversely, if you’re a low-ball hitter that could use some additional spin on approach shots and around the green, the Pro V1X would suite your game.
How to Find the Best Ball For You
The only way to truly find out what ball is best for you though, is to put them both to the test. There are a couple ways you can go about this.
By the Numbers
First, if you’re a player that relies heavily on numbers and data when making decisions about your equipment, a launch monitor is going to your best friend. If you don’t have one yourself, your local pro or retail golf store should have one.
Once you’ve located a launch monitor, hit a number of shots with your sand wedge, 7-iron and driver with each ball and take note of stats like launch angle, ball speed, spin rate, shot height, carry distance and total distance. If you’re not sure how to interpret all these numbers, it’s worth spending the time and money to enlist the help of your local PGA Professional or a certified Titleist ball fitter.
The Feel Approach
If you approach the game from more of feel standpoint and don’t rely as heavily on numbers, there’s no substitute for on-course testing. If this is method you prefer, it’s best to play a practice round where you don’t keep score and instead hit both balls side-by-side from a number of different yardages and lies.
With the short irons and wedges, pay close attention to ball flight and how shots are affected by the wind. Are your shots penetrating with adequate spin allowing you to control distances? Or do they tend to balloon up in the wind and get blown off line or come up short?
You should ask the same questions with your mid irons and pay attention to both carry and total yardage.
If you’re looking for maximum distance with your driver, you probably understand that maximizing your launch angle and minimizing spin is the key. Hit a series of shots with each ball from the tee and again, take note of how ball flight is affected by the wind and what your carry and total distances are.
The last factor to consider when you’re deciding whether the Pro V1 or Pro V1X is best for you is the kind of conditions you play in most often. Are the majority of rounds you play in windy conditions where the golf course plays firm and fast? Or do you tend to play in softer conditions where you have to carry the ball to the target because you don’t get much roll?
If you play in windy conditions, the Pro V1 might be best bet as it spins less and has a lower, more penetrating flight that will cut through the wind better than a higher spinning ball.
On the other hand, if you play in rainy or wet conditions, you’re going to want a ball that maximizes carry distance. In this case, the Pro V1X might be the best choice.
There’s a reason the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1X are played more than any ball on professional tours worldwide. They are hands down the best performing ball for moderate to elite players. While there are certainly other premium balls on the market like Taylormade, Callaway and Srixon, the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1X continue to outperform their competitors year after year. The 2019 versions are no exception.
If you’re a serious golfer looking for a ball that will maximize both distance off the tee and feel and control around the green, the Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1X is likely the ball for you. Even though these balls are some of the higher priced on the market, they are worth every penny for the benefit they can bring to your game. The Titleist slogan for years has been “the number one ball in golf” and the new Pro V1 and Pro V1X speak for themselves in making this claim true.