Rickie Fowler switched to Titleist's Pro V1 ball after years with the Pro V1x. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Titleist's Pro V1x ball has been a staple of Rickie Fowler's bag since he turned pro in 2009. Even though he's never been quick to change balls — he used the 2009 Pro V1x for a portion of last season — Fowler has transitioned into the latest version of the ball over the years.
Earlier this season Fowler switched to the new 2013 Pro V1x and opened with four top-15 finishes in his first seven starts. But following a T-32 finish at the Masters, Fowler made the decision to start testing the 2013 Pro V1 on the range at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
One week later at the Wells Fargo Championship, Fowler put the Pro V1 in play at the Wells Fargo Championship. According to Titleist Golf Ball Tech rep Jeff Beyes, who spent time walking with Fowler early in the week at Quail Hollow, Fowler thought the iron trajectories and distances with the Pro V1 were similar to the 2013 Pro V1x he had been playing.
Where the ball really seemed to separate itself, when compared to his Pro V1x, was with the driver. Fowler and caddie Joe Skovron felt the Pro V1 was slightly longer with the driver, based on Fowler's launch, spin and overall flight characteristics.
To the casual golf fan, the switch may seem like a lateral move, but it's more common to see a player switch to an updated version of the same ball he was playing than to a slightly different model within the same family of balls. Especially when you consider Fowler's history with the Pro V1x.
As you'd expect, there are a few differences between the two balls. The three-piece Pro V1 is softer than the four-piece Pro V1x, spins slightly less, and flies marginally lower.
Adam Scott won the Masters last month with Titleist's 2013 Pro V1. Bubba Watson, Luke Donald, Webb Simpson and Zach Johnson are a few of the notables currently using the 2013 Pro V1x.