The latest iteration of the Titleist Pro V1x delivers in all areas of the game. We noticed a jump in ball speed off the tee which, combined with a strong flight, offered superb distance. That this didn’t come at the cost of short game control was a big win.
Performance in the wind
Good stopping power when hitting into greens
Some may prefer the softer feel of the Pro V1
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Two years on from the last set of updates, Titleist has come to market with a new version of the hugely popular Pro V1x for 2023. Aimed at those in search of a higher flight and more spin with a slightly firmer feel than the Pro V1, the latest Pro V1x has already been seen out on Tour. In fact, Will Zalatoris described his decision to switch into it as, “a no brainer”.
The main upgrade in the Pro V1x comes from a new high gradient ‘Dual-Core’ construction. From outside to inside, the center of the ball gets progressively softer. In the Pro V1x there is an inner core which has been made 44% bigger. The engineers at Titleist say these features work to reduce spin in the long game, which helps increase speed, and provide a more stable flight.
It’s important to say at this point that in 2021, I went through a golf ball fitting with Titleist and it was the Pro V1x that emerged as the right model for my game. It’s fair to say that I’m not a particularly high spin player so the extra flight of the Pro V1x gave me the distance, but particularly the control, I’m looking for when hitting into the greens.
I wanted to see how the Titleist Pro V1x 2023 compares so I took both old and new versions with me to the course to test. I hit them on a launch monitor and on the course at Prince’s Golf Club to see if this is one of the best premium golf balls on the market this year. I also hit the new Titleist Pro V1 2023 golf ball during the same session.
Whilst it was with the mid irons that I noticed the biggest jump in performance from the Pro V1 2023, it was with the driver where the new Pro V1x impressed most. During my testing there was a modest reduction in spin versus the previous generation but a more noticeable bump in ball speed. Of the drives I hit on the launch monitor with the new version, I gained just over 1mph. Of course, variations in strike make the true gain here hard to quantify but it is worth noting my carry distance was two yards longer on average and this was something I also picked up on during my on course testing.
In comparison to the new Titleist Pro V1, the Pro V1x launched just over a degree higher off the tee and delivered a 2-yard higher ball flight.
Again, the higher launch and overall flight of the Pro V1x was evident during my 7-iron testing (the peak height averaged 4-yards higher with the Pro V1x). For lower spinning golfers, this should provide a steeper descent angle and more stopping power when hitting into the greens. Higher spinning players may find the extra flight is too much. That's why it's worth testing the different models - and for those who need even less spin in the long game, the Titleist AVX golf ball remains in the range.
The final part of my launch monitor testing involved hitting a series of 50-yard pitch shots. Interestingly, both new Pro V1 versions provided me with a little more spin than their respective outgoing models. The difference was hardly drastic (just under 100 rpm with the Pro V1x) but it was good to see such a strong separation in performance from long game to short game.
How Does The 2023 Titleist Pro V1x compare to the Pro V1?
There is no doubt that finding the best golf ball for your game can make a significant difference to your scoring. Of the two Pro V1 golf balls, the x version is designed to be the higher flying and spinning model. For those whose long game spin is under control, this can help them find a better flight, and more stopping power when hitting into the greens. The Pro V1x should also feel a little firmer too.
My final comment about the performance of the new Titleist Pro V1x relates to what happened when I played 18-holes on a very windy day at Prince’s Golf Club. This proved an excellent testing ground to see the strength of the ball flight. Looking over my Arccos data from the round, the two areas I performed best in were ‘Approach Game - Shots From The Fairway’ (SG +1.0) and ‘Driving Game - Distance’ (SG +0.7). Given the cold and windy conditions, this was a surprisingly positive return.
Whilst the differences between the two generations might not be drastic, I was pleased to see some subtle improvements. In particular, there was a small gain in carry distance both off the tee and when hitting into the greens. Crucially, this gain didn’t come at the cost of any less control which is so important when choosing a golf ball.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has 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 (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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