It must be understood that the balls and equipment the Tour Pros use are not necessarily the same equipment you will buy off the retail shelf. When it comes to clubs, they are vastly different as the shafts are fitted to fit the Pro’s total requirement to optimize his game.
However, the ball is very similar, if not the same from your favorite retail store. This leads us to the question…what is the most used golf ball on the PGA Tour?
Without a doubt, Titleist is the most widely played ball on the PGA Tour and they have more Top 50 players on their books than any other manufacturer. The latest stats show that 69% play a Titleist golf ball.
At The Memorial Tournament for 2021 that finished very recently, 83% of the players put Titleist golf balls into play, against their closest competitor with 12%. 41 players used the ProV1 and 42 used the Prov1x.
Players seek different characteristics when it comes to choosing a ball. Some hit the ball with too much spin, because of the attack angle of the swing. Others want a more penetrating flight that suits the way they go about their business on the course. The short game is where the players look for those finer details that could provide an advantage.
The most popular Titleist balls are the ProV1 and the ProV1x. Golf manufacturers spend huge budgets on marketing whether it be to the amateur or the professional.
These two have slightly different characteristics which give the Tour Pro an option that will bring the best out of his game.
Titleist Ambassadors on the Tour and their ball Preference.
Justin Thomas ProV1x
Webb Simpson ProV1
Jordan Spieth ProV1
Patrick Cantley ProV1x
Adam Scott ProV1
Is the Prov1 better than the Prov1x?
The Prov1 is a three-layered golf ball made to fly lower than the Prov1x and provides a softer feel. The ProV1x is a four-layered ball designed for higher flight, with more spin and a firmer feel off the club.
Is the Compression the same on the Prov1 and the ProV1x?
Before we go into this detail, it is important to understand compression. Simply put, the speed of the clubhead “squeezes” the ball at impact, and the amount of “squeeze” is what makes the ball travel great distances. The ball actually “elongates” at impact and then the spin and dimples keep it in the air.
The less compression the less distance! So selecting the correct ball to match the swing speed of the clubhead is a key factor. In a nutshell, if you cannot compress the ball properly, distance will be lost.
Always err on the softer option for consistency.
The ProV1 has a compression of 90 and will suit swing speeds of between 85 and 105 mph. The ProV1x has a compression of 100 which is best suited to fast swing speeds of above 105mph.
Titleist Golf Ball Validation
Titleist test and validate the performance of their golf balls with golfers of all skill levels from Tour Players to recreational golfers. For Tour Players switching a golf ball is a serious matter and requires hours of testing, validation, and comparison.
Titleist has a tour representative who travels to most of the tournaments and works closely with their players to ensure they get the best out of the ball. No two players want the same characteristics and therefore he liaises constantly with Titleist R & D to maximize performance.
Fordie Pitts is their guy, and he is often seen with their players on the range or the course during practice sessions, discussing options or new ideas.
The final validation to any new developments is done on the course and will move from short wedge shots, chips, and medium irons to the long irons and finally the driver.
Launch angle, feel spin, and flight control feature on the top of the list. Drivers are all about adding the extra meters, with spin and side spin key factors.
Tournaments are won on the greens, and the way the ball deflects off the putter head is extremely important for feel and distance control. No two players have an identical stroke and the different putter heads and weights are always a consideration.
Golf ball technology mainly enhances new materials and aerodynamics, and Titleist is at the top of the pile.
TaylorMade, Srixon, Callaway, and Bridgestone compete well on the PGA Tour, and many of the top players like Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, and Rory McIlroy play TaylorMade balls of various descriptions.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.