Titleist Pro V1--A Hacker Goes For A Spin
Jul 30, 2006
Review by Mike Mosier
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Enhanced feel, spin, distance
Cons:Not durable and very expensive
The Bottom Line: The Titleist Pro V1-392 offers the ultimate in feel. It's not a durable ball and it's pricey. I'm not sure it's the ball for a mid to high handicapper.
I've been catching a lot of flak from some of the guys in my regular golfing group about my penchant for using a hard golf ball. I suspect that they might really be giving me a hard time about being cheap, but some of them use the more expensive Callaway, Nike and Titleist golf balls, and they continually tell me that I can hit these balls as long or longer than I can hit my trusty Top Flite pellets. Factor in the enhanced feel of these balls, they say, and my short game will improve too. The only question in my mind was whether I could afford to pay $4.00 or so for a golf ball that I was subject to losing on any given shot. I thought about it for a bit and realized that I had a $20.00 gift certificate in the pro shop of my home course for placing in a tournament back in April. I decided to cash in the gift certificate (plus $6.00 and change) and buy two sleeves of Titleist Pro V1-392 golf balls. These are my impressions.
Recommend this product?
I'll have to admit that I was skeptical about being able to hit the Pro V1 as long as I hit the hard balls that I usually play with, because the Pro V1 is a very soft ball. I was very pleasantly surprised when my drives seemed to rocket off the face of my driver--I ascertained no loss of distance, and when I really clocked one, I may have poked it out there a little bit further with the Pro V1. At any rate, the Pro V1 passed the distance test very satisfactorily.
Feel was where the Pro V1 really makes a difference. Those of you who have read some of my golf ball reviews will remember that my short game is purely bump and run from off the green. I couldn't spin the hard balls that I was playing with, and I had to rely upon accurately gauging the roll that my ball would take on any particular pitch or chip. All that changed when I hit the Pro V1 with a pitching wedge from about 115 yards out on the first hole. My ball hit the green about 15 feet in front of the pin and actually did a little bit of the "back up bougaloo"--it didn't release and track to the pin like the hard balls that I play with would have. I'm not saying I spun it like the pros, but it checked up immediately and even backed up about 18 inches. I made a mental note that I could attack the pin with the Pro V1, because it wasn't going to release and run to the hole like my usual nuggets.
Shots with my long irons had a tendency to land pretty softly and gently release before checking up. The Pro V1 would roll when it hit the green, but it wouldn't get out of control like some long iron approach shots with hard balls.
The Pro V1 had a buttery, clingy feel--I got the impression that the ball stayed on the clubface just a bit longer than a hard ball would have, allowing me to really feel my shots and get good accurate feedback from the contact. Although I've always heard that putting is improved with a soft ball like the Pro V1, I could discern no appreciable difference in my putting during that round. It seemed that the ball stayed in contact with the putter face a bit longer, but that didn't make my putts any straighter. I had to make an adjustment with my stroke because I had to hit the Pro V1 a hair harder than a hard ball, but I soon became comfortable with it on the green.
My first Pro V1 lasted until the sixth hole, when I pushed my approach shot into a greenside pot bunker. I hit it a bit thin out of the trap and put a nice scuff on the Pro V1. I put the ball into the shag pocket and played with my second Pro V1 until I blew it right and out of bounds on the sixteenth hole. Luckily, I made it through the rest of the round with the third ball in the sleeve, so as of this writing I have four of these balls left.
Will I play with the Pro V1 regularly? I really haven't decided yet--on the one hand, it's sort of a thrill for a hacker to watch his ball spin, and I guess I hit the Pro V1 about as far as I've hit any other ball. On the other hand, this ball is not very durable when banged about by said hacker, and at over $4.00 a ball, it's pretty expensive, even for a guy as wealthy, suave and impossibly handsome as I am.
So the jury is out--the Pro V1 didn't improve my score on that day, but with extended use, I may well shave a couple of strokes off my score with this ball.
Thanks for reading.
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