WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x both feature a softer cover as well as a reformulated core along with a fast, high-flex casing layer to generate speed. The real news, though: The first new dimple patterns since 2011 with the new Pro V1 having 388 dimples and the new Pro V1x has 348 (both in a tetrahedral pattern).
PRICE: Available in golf shops Jan. 27, the 2021 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are available in white in Nos. 1-4; 5-8 or all the same play number (00-99). The high-optic yellow version is only available in Nos. 1-4. Price is $50 per dozen.
THE DEEP DIVE: In the creation of the latest iteration of the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x paid considerable attention to an area of golf-ball design consumers don’t pay much attention to: dimple design.
This is nothing new for Titleist—a company that has produced close to 2,000 dimple patterns since the debut of the Pro V1 in 2000. On an annual basis the company will create between 40 and 160 dimple patterns.
The new Pro V1 has 388 dimples, and the new Pro V1x has 348 (both in a tetrahedral pattern), marking the first time the dimple counts have changed since 2011. Dimple patterns, however, are far more than simply the number of them. The diameters, shapes, depths, relationship of dimples on surface are all important and Titleist looked at all of it, starting in 2012 and creating more than 60 versions of the Pro V1 pattern and more than 30 iterations of the one for the Pro V1x.
“We knew we had a good pattern on our hands, but we wanted to make sure it was as good as it could be,” said Michael Madsen, director of aerodynamics and research engineering for Titleist. “When we are looking to put new dimple patterns, we look at the trajectory of the ball and how we want it to fly. Deep dimples, the flight goes down. Shallow dimples, the flight goes up. So there is somewhere in between that maximizes distance for that pattern. As we go lower in dimple count the trajectory is typically higher and vice versa. That’s why different patterns. If you use the same pattern for both the performance of one of the balls is being hurt. ”
Still, for all the attention paid to the dimple patterns, no single element of ball design determines performance. “We have a lot of new tech in these balls and it required balancing all the pieces to get it to come together,” said Madsen.
That includes a reformulated 2.0 ZG Process core for both the single-core Pro V1 and dual-core Pro V1x to help generate speed. A fast, high-flex casing layer originally used on the Pro V1x “Left Dash” model (originally made for tour but eventually made available to consumers) adds speed while reducing distance-robbing spin on the long clubs. The cover is the softest ever used on a Pro V1 and Pro V1x for more short-game control.
As always, Titleist went through extensive player testing and feedback as well as its tour validation process, with prototypes on tour at last year’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
One of the players immediately putting the ball in play was Cameron Smith, who went on to use the ball in becoming the first player to break 70 in four rounds in a single Masters a few weeks later.
“The last time they had a new ball I put it straight in and did well and the same happened here,” Smith told Golf Digest in November. “I have my windows set with all the clubs and this ball hit all of them just like the last ball. This ball, however, around the green, feels a little bit stickier. The ability to control the ball around the greens for me is number one. I don’t hit a lot of greens in regulation, so I need to be able to control it out of the rough and fairway near the green and the new cover does that.”
Available in golf shops Jan. 27, the 2021 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are available in white in numbers 1-4; 5-8 or all the same play number (00-99). The high-optic yellow version is only available in numbers 1-4. Price is $50 per dozen.