Titleist has raised the bar again with its new Pro V1 design. In our testing it was the added consistency in the long game that shone through. Without dramatically changing the characteristics that have made the Pro V1 so popular, it seems Titleist has made some subtle but important improvements.
Excellent tee-to-green performance
Improved distance, particularly with the mid irons
Strong ball flight
Lovely soft feel
Low spin players may get better performance from the Pro V1x
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It is one of the most enduring equipment franchises the game has ever seen. Titleist’s Pro V1 is now in its 23rd year and, along with the Pro V1x, is still the most played ball on Tour. Two years on from the last update, a new version of the Titleist Pro V1 has landed with the promise of longer distance, lower long game spin and a more consistent flight.
The key technology upgrade in the Titleist Pro V1 2023 is the high-gradient core. Firmer at the periphery, the new core gets progressively softer towards the center. Titleist designers say this feature promotes fast ball speeds and low long game spin. With further advancements to its manufacturing processes, the brand also says it has been able optimise the consistency on offer (both in terms of speed and spin) from the new ball.
We wanted to see if the Titleist Pro V1 is one of the best golf balls on the market in 2023 so I tested both old and new versions on a launch monitor and out on the course at Prince’s Golf Club. I was also able to compare the performance with the new Titleist Pro V1x 2023 golf ball to get an understanding for the key differences.
I’m going to start with the area that impressed most during my testing, the mid-iron performance. I hit a series of 7-iron shots with each ball and I noticed both a reduction in spin and a little more distance from the new ball. Whether this came courtesy of the new core design or the added consistency is hard to say but I did hit a couple of shots with the older version of the ball that spun up at around 7000rpm which was around 700rpm higher than the average with the 2023 Pro V1. Interestingly, the flights were very similar with both versions of the ball - if anything the newer model offered a slightly higher peak height.
Again, it is worth noting the 2023 Titleist Pro V1 did launch lower and spin less than the new Pro V1x as Titleist says it should. The average difference in spin was around 200rpm and the Pro V1 flew 4-yards lower on average. To me, this is one of the areas of the game where I notice the biggest difference between the two models. Whilst the Pro V1x is the ball that’s better suited to my game, it was pleasing to see the lower, more penetrating flight of the Pro V1 isn’t too extreme and it still provides very good stopping power with the mid irons. For those golfers who require a further reduction in spin, there is certainly still room in the line-up for the Titleist AVX.
Off the tee I found it harder to spot major differences between the two generations. Both offered excellent ball speed and distance from a familiarly strong ball flight. One thing I did notice in the data was how similar the spin performance was of each shot I hit with the new ball. It is important to say that I was using the new PING G430 Max driver (which I also liked for its’ consistency during testing) and the difference in spin between each of the shots I hit was only around 300rpm.
To test the short game spin control I also hit a series of 50-yard pitch shots. With an average of 5183rpm, I was pleased to see how much control I was getting from the new ball (around 100rpm more than the previous generation). Despite offering low spin in the long game, it is reassuring to see how much this number jumps up when you get closer to the green.
Who Is the Titleist Pro V1 2023 Golf Ball For?
As with previous generations, the Titleist Pro V1 is the lower spinning of the two Pro models in the long game. For those golfers who create excess spin at impact, seeing the flight of their drives balloon for instance, or who are just looking for a more penetrating flight, the Pro V1 is likely to provide the best combination of distance and control. Those golfers opting for the Pro V1 are also likely to notice a slightly softer feel versus the Pro V1x.
If you’re already a Pro V1 user, the new version of the ball will offer a familiar flight and feel. That Titleist has been able to build on the speed of the new ball was more evident to me during my mid-iron testing than off the tee. However, what really impressed me was how the new version of the ball raised the bar in terms of consistency. Both during my launch monitor testing and also out on the course, I felt like the flight was impressively stable and reliable. The new Pro V1 earns a place in our 2023 Editor's Choice awards.
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In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf.
Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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