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Will Zalatoris switches to new golf ball design

3 Min Read


Will Zalatoris switches to new golf ball design

Why he opted to make his first change since 2019

    Written by GolfWRX @GolfWRX

    Back in 2019, when Will Zalatoris was grinding through the Korn Ferry Tour ranks, he switched into a Titleist Pro V1 golf ball model that was released that year.

    Since then, Zalatoris has established himself as one of the world’s best ball strikers. The reigning FedEx St. Jude Championship winner is currently No. 7 on the Official World Golf Ranking. Things have certainly changed for Zalatoris since 2019, but his golf ball stayed the same. Until this year.

    Zalatoris used the Pro V1 ’19 golf ball from 2019 until the end of 2022. Then at this month’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, he finally switched it up.

    Titleist officially launched its new 2023 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls to PGA TOUR players at last fall’s Shriners Children’s Open, and according to Titleist, the newly announced golf balls are designed with a new high-gradient core to produce lower spin on long shots, and more stability while flying through the air. Between the two models, the 2023 Pro V1 is designed to be slightly lower spinning and lower flying than the Pro V1x.

    Zalatoris first tried out Titleist’s new 2023 golf balls during an early-December testing session at TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) in Oceanside, California.

    Although he was previously using a Pro V1 model – which he just calls “the V” – he found the 2023 Pro V1 version to be slightly too low on spin. With the 2023 Pro V1x – which he just calls “the X” – Zalatoris found his new golf ball.

    “I played the V for 3 or 4 years, and then switched to the X,” Zalatoris said Wednesday at The American Express. “The new ball is really good through the wind … I didn’t really go through any deep testing or anything. I just hit a couple shots downwind, hit a couple shots into the wind, and just see which one does what you want it to do.

    “(Titleist) gave me the V at first, because I was playing the V, and my spin rates went down to like 2,000 rpm (with the driver). I had a tough time getting it in the air. And so, I tried the X, and (my numbers) went right back to what I was playing. It’s literally reacting the same (as my previous golf ball), it was just better through the wind. That was kind of it.

    “The golf ball is the engine of everything, but I’ve played a Titleist ball my whole life. So as long as it does what you think it’s going to do … this (switch) was really easy. It’s literally the same ball, it just fights the wind better. And it’s not like it’s a drastic difference, it’s maybe like a yard or two, but a yard or two could be the difference between hitting one in the lip of the bunker and having a 6-footer for birdie.”

    Nearly all PGA TOUR players mark their golf ball in some unique fashion to eliminate any potential misidentification. For Zalatoris, he marks his golf balls with his initials, and he draws a black line on the side to help with alignment. Initials are a fairly common way to customize a ball, but Zalatoris explained where that really started for him.

    “I use a black line, and then I put my initials on it, because I was standing on a tee at Riviera two years ago, and we all had black Titleist 1s with a black line,” Zalatoris said. “So I started to put my initials on it then, because, well, it kind of speaks to it with Titleist.”

    Zalatoris will continue to use the new Pro V1x ‘23 this week in La Quinta.

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