Titleist 2020 Balls Test - Neil Tappin tests the new Titleist AVX, Tour Soft and Velocity balls for 2020
Titleist 2020 Balls Test
The Pro V1 and Pro V1x will always represent the best of the best from Titleist in terms of all-round feel and performance but for 2020, Titleist has launched updates to three other balls for golfers that have different preferences when it comes to feel, flight and price.
AVX is at the same price point as Pro V1 but has a softer feel and lower flight and spin off the tee. For 2020, Titleist has made it a little bit faster on iron shots and provide more spin control into and around the greens.
When we tested the original AVX it didn’t quite spin as much with a wedge as Pro V1 and Pro V1x but now the three balls are much more in line in terms of short game performance, while still providing a great option off the tee for golfers that need lower spin to maximize distance.
The Tour Soft has always been an excellent all-rounder that offers soft feel at a lower price point. Our testing of the 2020 version has shown that it is a little bit faster off the tee, possibly because of the larger core and thinner cover, and gave us a touch more control around the greens while maintaining that soft feel many golfers enjoy.
We also really like the new sidestamp design, with the T-shape provide an effective visual to line up your putter’s sightline and clubface to help return it square at impact more consistently. We found it to be especially effective on those nervy putts from 3-6 feet.
The final update for 2020 is on the Velocity, Titleist’s longest ball off the tee. It has been made even longer this year and while the gains are minimal over the previous version, it remains the ball of choice for golfers that want to out-drive their playing partners but not have to pay a premium for the privilege.
Titleist has also added some new matte finish colour options and not only do they really stand out against the grass and sky, we also found them to be particularly durable, along with the white version too. So as long as you can keep it in play, your Velocity ball should last you multiple rounds and be easier to spot and track in dim light conditions.
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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