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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    Titleist launches new 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls on the PGA TOUR

  • The newest edition of the iconic Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls have been spotted this week at the Shriners Children's Open. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)The newest edition of the iconic Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls have been spotted this week at the Shriners Children's Open. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Titleist officially started its “tour seeding and validation” process for new 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls on Monday at the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open.

Although the golf balls are new, it’s not new for Titleist to launch Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls at the Shriners Children's Open in Las Vegas. On an every-other-year cycle, it’s a Titleist tradition to unveil the newest golf ball designs for PGA TOUR players to test, begin using in competition, and provide feedback. As part of the tour validation process, the company’s golf ball designers and fitters work closely with PGA TOUR players to answer questions, explain the new designs, gather launch monitor data during testing, and help figure out which golf ball model is best for their overall games. Titleist then uses these conversations and fitting sessions as feedback to make changes to future golf ball designs.

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(Courtesy GolfWRX)

It was mostly the same at this year’s launch ahead of the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open. Fordie Pitts (a Tour Consultant for Golf Ball R&D), Jeremy Stone (Vice President, Golf Ball Marketing) and the rest of the team brought out dozens of white prototype boxes filled with new 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for pros to try out and test.

The difference between this launch day, and the launches of prior years, however, is that the new golf balls have actually already been in play in competition.

Garrick Higgo (Pro V1), Gary Woodland (Pro V1x) and M.J. Daffue (Pro V1x) put the golf balls in play at last week’s 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship. The new golf balls weren’t officially launched yet on the PGA TOUR, but they were already cleared by the USGA for conformity, so Titleist granted those players’ requests to use them a week early.

No rules were broken, just tradition.

Higgo got off to a fast start with the new golf ball, finishing in 3rd place at the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship. Daffue had a memorable start with the golf ball, as well, making a hole-in-one in the first round.

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At the Shriners Children’s Open, M.J. Daffue showed off the new 2023 Pro V1x golf ball that he made a hole-in-one with at the Sanderson Farms Championship. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

Titleist staffer Charley Hoffmann, who did not play in last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship, says he’s switching into the new 2023 Titleist Pro V1x this week at the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open. He told GolfWRX.com on Tuesday that he’s been “looking forward to this day as soon as I tested it awhile back down at TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) in Oceanside.”

Hoffmann is a San Diego resident, who lives in close proximity to Titleist’s fitting and testing center in Oceanside, Calif., so he was able to get an early look at the new golf balls while at the facility “about two months ago.”

At the time, the new golf balls weren’t yet cleared by the USGA, so Hoffmann continued using his Titleist Pro V1 Left Dash golf ball. The “Left Dash,” as it’s called, is a variation that’s built to provide higher launch and lower spin than Titleist’s stock models.

Now that Hoffmann is finally able to put the new ball into play this week at the 2022 Shriners Children Open, GolfWRX.com caught up with him to get his take on the new 2023 Pro V1x.

“I just started hitting it [in Oceanside] and the speed was great,” Hoffmann told GolfWRX. “I call the Left Dash a ‘Trackman ball,’ because all the numbers look really good on Trackman, but you lose a little bit around the greens. This ’23 golf ball is, I would say, a very fast golf ball. It spins a little bit more [than the low-spinning Left Dash], but with the driver you can get optimal launch conditions, and low spin with the driver. But where I really like it, and where I’ve seen the bigger difference, is that it’s really tight with the irons, and really, really good around the greens. I would say a little softer feel, not as click-y as the Dash I was playing, or a traditional X golf ball. It’s a little quieter sound, and really, really good around the greens. It’s hard to keep both the distance and good ball flight with driver, and keep up performance around the greens, but somehow Titleist has figured it out with this ’23 golf ball.”

Pitts, who’s been conducting many of the first-time 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball fitting sessions at the Shriners Children’s Open this week, also spoke to GolfWRX.com about his experience with the new golf balls.

“It’s been a fairly typical development process for us,” Pitts said. “We started early in the year, actually even last year, into this year. Our goal was – our performance Northstar – a product that delivered a little less spin in the long game, potentially making it a little bit longer and tighter in its flight, while still maintaining all the performance in the short game.

“The changes we make to do that, we keep cover and aerodynamics the same, because the cover is such a big influencer on the short shots. By having the same cover and outer layers, we’re not changing spin at all inside 100 yards. The difference in both products is more related to the core, and the changes we make at fuller shots, higher speed shots, will reduce spin. Again, we tightened up the flight, potentially make it a little bit longer while still maintaining the short game performance.”

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(Courtesy of GolfWRX)

It’s important to keep in mind that in Titleist’s prior generation of 2021 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, Titleist made design overhauls to each model. The ’21 versions had new dimple patterns (348 dimples for the Pro V1x, and 388 dimples for the Pro V1), new cores, and new casing layers. The Pro V1 was a three-layer ball made to fly lower and provide a softer feel, whereas the four-layer Pro V1x was designed for higher flight, more spin, and a slightly firmer feel.

Based on Pitts’ statements above, it seems the cover is staying the same as ‘21, but changes have been made inside the ‘23 golf balls to lower flight and tighten dispersion.

“The ’21 golf balls, the prior generation was fantastic for a lot of guys, it was almost a love-hate, though,” Pitts said. “Some guys it was perfect for them, but then some, they said it just gets up a little bit too much with the height and spin. So that was kind of what we addressed with this product.”

Titleist hasn’t yet revealed what design changes engineers made to improve performance, but based on PGA TOUR player feedback so far, they’re welcome improvements.

We’ll keep you updated with details about the new 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls when we know more.