Assignment: Play the new 2009 Titleist Pro V1 golf ball and write about it. I think I can handle that, and it won’t suck.
Like the 2009 ProV1x, which I reviewed in this article, the new Titleist ProV1 has had some changes under the hood. Actually many of the changes are outside the hood in the cover of the golf ball. Though they’ve been calling the cover “Urethane Elastomer” for some years now, it is definitely different than previous year’s models. Is it better or worse? We’ll see.
The Pro V1 is a three piece/layer ball.
The first layer, in the center of the ball is called the core. The core is 1.55 inches in diameter and made of a material called Polybutadiene. Polybutadiene is a highly durable synthetic rubber commonly used for tires or coating electronic assemblies.
The core provides the general (soft) feel of this golf ball, as well as contributing to the distance the ball will travel.
Layer two is called the casing. The casing is .035 inches thick and made of Ionomer, a highly durable plastic/rubber.
The casing is what I’d call a “scoring” layer, providing spin and control on approach shots.
The third layer is the cover, the white part with the dimples. The cover is made of Urethane Elastomer and is .030 inches thick. The cover has five different types of dimples, of which there is a total of 392. The dimples are arranged in a “icosahedral” pattern.
The dimples provide lift and keep the ball in the air and flying as straight as possible.
The cover is also a “scoring” layer, providing spin and control. More of the short game spin and control is in the cover than in the casing.
How to identify the 2009 model Pro V1 versus older models
You’ve knocked your junk golf ball in the bushes and while searching for said junker, you’ve found a ProV1. Congratulations on the upgrade. But how do you know what model or year your new ProV1 is?
Every time Titleist comes out with a new model they change the text or decoration around the “Pro V1.” The current model’s decoration can be seen in the image to the right.
The 2009 model: < . – Pro V1 – . >
The 2008 model: < – Pro V1 – >
What is different from the 2008 models of the Pro V1?
The major change to this year’s model is the cover. It feels more “rubbery.”
The new cover is more durable than the older model Pro V1’s. That being said, this is a performance ball with a very thin cover which still chews up.
The way this ball chews up is a bit different than previous models. Rather than shaving off parts of the cover completely, the grooves of the club can cut gashes into the surface. Most of the time these are hardly visible, but some crisp wedge shots with square grooves can do some major damage. That damage could be enough to effect the performance of the ball in flight or on the putting green.
No more seam
Another difference in the new model is the lack of a seam. In the “old days” we used to line up the seam on Pro V1’s and get more distance. I also liked to line the seam up and roll my putts with the line.
Staggered wave parting line (pictured right, accenting the wave) technology gets rid of the seam and covers more area of the ball with dimples. Dimples give the ball the proper “lift” and help the ball fly in the air better.
On the course
The first hole I played with the new ProV1 was at my airport course. That hole is 393 yards from the blue tees, the tees I was playing that day. I hit a very solid drive, which drew from the center to the left side of the fairway. The pin was in the back of the green and when I hit it with my laser rangefinder, I was 63 yards away! Wait a sec let me get out my calculator. Back pin means add 10 yards, so the hole was playing 403. I’m 63 yards out. 403-63=340. I just hit the ProV1 (regular flavor), the ball touted for spin and not necessarily distance, 340 yards? Wow.
Since that day I’ve confirmed the new ProV1 is noticeably longer than the old one for my swing. In fact it may be longer for me than the new ProV1x, which really shouldn’t be the case.
The feel of this ball is as good as it has ever been for my painful golfer’s elbow granny swing. The ball compresses well on the driver and feels great on iron shots. I really like the feel of full wedges from say 80-140 yards out and I don’t get super spin, which is good. The ball drops and doesn’t spin back too far.
Here’s where my confusion about the ProV1 and ProV1x gets deeper. I get less spin with this year’s model on short game shots than models past. The V1 is the “spin” ball and the V1x is the distance ball, right? But in short game situations, I get more spin with the X than I do with the regular flavor. Just to be clear, I’m not saying the regular flavor doesn’t spin. It has plenty of spin and control around the greens and I’m very confident with my short game and a ProV1 at greenside.
The ProV1 rolls great on the greens. I miss having a seam to line up, but I use their “AIM” technology to line up my putts. Really, is painting arrows on a golf ball “technology”??? I digress.
My distance control with the V1 is as good as any golf ball.
Like my main critique was for the ProV1x, the cover of the ProV1 can have some gouging issues.
Wedges and shorter irons with clean (especially square) grooves can really carve up the surface of this ball. Some very crisp full wedges can slice it up enough for me to want to take it out of play for fear of missing putts or having directional issues in the air.
The new ProV1 is a great golf ball and I’m confident in its performance when I have it in play. At $58 a dozen I have to play them until I lose them so I deal with the occasional cover damage.
I wonder if Titleist got the ProV1 and ProV1x labels switched at the factory though. I get more spin with the V1x and more distance with the V1! Yet another mystery to my golf game.
A couple of posts ago I did my 2009 Titelist Pro V1x review. I mentioned that I got a surprising amount of spin for the ball more touted for distance.
Yesterday I played my first full round with the new Pro V1 (not the x). I call this one Pro V1 regular flavor.
I was quite blown away by the distance I had with this rendition of the V1. I found myself on the par-4 1st hole closer to the green than I’d ever been off the tee. I was 66 yards to a back pin and the hole is 393. If a back pin is +10 yards that makes it about a 340 yard drive.
So my first impression of the new Pro V1 regular flavor, is that it is plenty long. Possibly even longer for me than the X. Is that right? I get more spin from the X and more distance from the regular flavor? WTF? Did Titleist accidentally label the two models backwards? Perhaps the regular flavor is a bit softer than the X, and allows me to compress it more.
Some reviews I really want to take my time and play a whole bunch of golf before I write them. This is the case with the new Titleist Pro V1x. I’ve played roughly my last 10 rounds or so with the new Pro V1x, enough rounds to experience the ups and downs of my normal game. For the last couple of weeks it has been ups, which doesn’t suck.
The new ProV1x has had some changes under the hood. It is no secret that Titleist had to change the ProV1 series due to their losing a court battle with Callaway over the way the ball is made.
The Pro V1x is a four piece/layer ball. The first layer, in the center of the ball is called the inner core. The inner core is 1″ in diameter and made of a material called Polybutadiene. Polybutadiene is a highly durable synthetic rubber commonly used for tires or coating electronic assemblies.
The 2nd layer is the outer core. The outer core is 1.55″ in diameter and also made of Polybutadiene.
Left: Cores – Center: Dimples and parting line – Right: Casing
Layer three is called the casing. The casing is .035″ of ionomer, a highly durable plastic/rubber.
The fourth layer (are we done with layers yet?) is a urethane elastomer, .03″ thick.
Why all the layers? What do they do?
Finally the snow has melted and I can get back to doing one thing I love to do, GOLF! Now that my golf schedule is up and running (unless it snows again), I’ve got two new pieces of gear I’m currently working on upcoming reviews.
I’ve played a couple of rounds now with the new Titleist ProV1x. My first round was in Orlando in January, when I was pretty rusty. My 2nd was a couple of days ago when I played solid yet still had my clock cleaned by my pals. So far I like the new ProV1x a lot. It isn’t as hard as previous models so my granny 100mph swing can compress it. The ball’s surface is definitely different than previous models. More to come.
Rife IBF Tour Aussie Black Putter
My pals at Rife Putters have been very cool to sponsor this year’s HOG Space Fantasy league with a putter as a prize. I’ve got two Rife putters in my review queue, the first being the very nice IBF Tour Aussie Black. I played my first round with this one a couple of days ago and when I made the right adjustments in my stance and stroke, I started dropping bombs from all over the place. Stay tuned.
Titleist has released new versions of the NXT Tour golf ball, the NXT Extreme and NXT Tour. I’ve been playing both flavors for a while now. In this article I’ll be reviewing the new NXT Extreme Golf Ball. My NXT Tour golf ball review can be found here.
Titleist NXT Extreme Golf Ball
The NXT Extreme is is a two piece (core and cover) distance ball. It is geared toward players who need distance and don’t need as much spin around the greens, and who don’t want to spend a ton of dough on a box of balls ($34.00). This would likely include about 90% of all amateur golfers. The ball is extremely durable, so if you can keep it in play you’ll be able to play very many holes with it.
The NXT Extreme is so durable that Titleist guarantees you won’t cut open the ball during normal play. If you do, Titleist will replace your cut ball with a whole sleeve of new ones.
The core of the NXT Extreme is made of Polybutadiene.
From WikiPedia: Polybutadiene is a synthetic rubber that has a high resistance to wear and is used especially in the manufacture of tires. It has also been used to coat or encapsulate electronic assemblies, offering extremely high electrical resistivity. It exhibits a recovery of 80% after stress is applied, a value only exceeded by elastin and resilin. Polybutadiene is a polymer formed from the polymerization of the monomer 1,3-butadiene. ….Right.
The cover of the NXT Extreme is made of Surlyn. Surlyn is a Dupont plastic which is very strong and resistant to cutting.
Titleist has long employed a 392 dimple aerodynamic design. Their research has concluded that the 392 dimple pattern provides more carry and distance. There are five different sizes of dimples which are arranged in an icosahedral pattern.
Staggered Wave Parting Design
New for this year Titleist has introduced the “staggered wave parting design.” Titleist balls, including the NXT, ProV1 and ProV1x series have all had a visible seam. What they’re doing now is staggering the dimples where the seam is, to gain that real estate on the ball. This has allowed more dimple coverage and even better results in carry, distance and spin.
No longer do you need to draw an aiming line on your ball with Titleist’s new A.I.M. system. A.I.M. is short for alignment integrated marking. They call it a system but come on. It’s just a line, right? Perhaps not. The arrows and lines give you conscious and subconscious influence on aim and club path.
On The Course
I’m not a “hard” ball player typically. I prefer softer cover balls and I usually play the Titleist ProV1. My main two reasons are the spin around the greens and the pain (or lack thereof) when I hit full shots. I’ve been battling golfer’s elbow for several years and I’ve just about got it beat. But when I hit hard balls, or a bunch of range balls for that matter, my pain starts to come back.
I found the NXT Extreme to be “extremely” long. Like I mentioned in my NXT Tour review, the biggest distance increase I noticed was in my irons. I was taking aerial photos of the green as my approach shots flew right over by one or two extra clubs. Once I adjusted and went one or two shorter clubs down I started hitting greens again.
I’m not a bomber, but I can poke my drives out there on an average of 290 or so. I’m definitely capable of going beyond 300 when my timing is right and I hit the sweet spot. I found the NXT capable of drives well over 300 yards, but perhaps more importantly they were all fairly straight. With the Surlyn cover and the lower compression producing less spin, slices and hooks were easier to control.
Though I didn’t get any mad backspin I found that the Extreme stopped quite well on approach shots. Keeping in mind that this is a harder ball, I adjusted my shots around the green as well. Once I found the right touch or shot selection (like a bump and run), I found the consistency of the NXT Extreme excellent. I never ended up hitting a shot and wondering how my distance control was so bad.
NXT Extreme 1, Cart Path 0
One shot I hit on my home course, #13 hole, hit the cart path. This is a par-5, 528 yards. After hitting the cart path, my NXT ended up right at 145 yards out. I’d hit about a 380 yard drive, 80 of which was cart path. I examined the NXT for damage, but that Surlyn cover barely had a scratch. Other balls would be unplayable with an impact like that.
The NXT Extreme is a reasonably priced and very durable ball. It flies true, straight and long. It’s a bit too hard for my game and physical limitations with my elbows, but for the average amateur player this would be an excellent choice. I think the average Joe would hit a few more fairways and gain a noticeable bit of distance off the driver (and irons) compared to other golf balls.
For more pictures of the NXT and other Titleist products, click here to visit the Hooked On Golf Blog Titleist image gallery.