Billy Horschel, on Wednesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, used the same Pro V1 golf ball to win two matches. This comes as no surprise to the other Pro V1’s in his ball pocket. They’re used to being patient.
“I probably use the fewest amount of golf balls than anyone on the PGA TOUR, hands down,” said Horschel Tuesday, speaking to Team Titleist after winning his first WGC title. “I don't know of anyone else that uses less golf balls than me.”
The first match went 16 holes – Horschel’s final match of the group stage versus the world’s 4th-ranked player, which he won, 3 and 2. The second lasted three holes – his sudden-death playoff with Max Homa, which he won with a birdie to qualify for the Round of 16.
“I don’t switch golf balls unless I make a bogey. And sometimes I still may not switch a golf ball,” said Horschel. He made nine straight pars to begin his Wednesday group match, before making four birdies over the next seven holes to close out the win and force the playoff with Homa.
“I thought about switching,” he said. “That was a predicament in itself because I was like, ‘Man, should I switch to a new golf ball here? Because it's a new start? What should I do?’ And I kept it. I just said, ‘You know what? I’m going to. This golf ball knows nothing but birdies and pars and that’s what I'm going to use.’ ”
Over the five days and seven matches at Austin Country Club, Horschel believes he used 12 Pro V1’s. He typically uses no more than one sleeve per round, and carries only six balls in his bag total. “Seven, if there’s a lot of water on the course,” he said.
So far this season, he’s had seven bogey-free rounds – with 58 total clean scorecards since he got his card in 2011.
“It all came about in college (at University of Florida),” he said. “I was playing a golf tournament, I got off to a really good start, I wound up making a bogey on a hole and I was a little ticked off going to the next tee. My college coach, Buddy Alexander, was on the tee. He knew I was playing really well and was trying to figure out why I was upset. I said, ‘Man, I just made a bogey on the last hole. I switched golf balls because I had a little scuff in it and I made a bogey, and I’m ticked off that I switched golf balls.’
“Buddy looked at me and said, ‘That ball doesn't know anything but birdies and pars, why are you switching golf balls? It has a little scuff on it. That’s not going to do anything. That’s not going to affect it.’ And so since that day, I don’t switch a golf ball.”
“I’ve had caddies look at me towards the end of the round when they have to clean my golf ball. And they’re like, ‘Are you going to switch golf balls?’ I’m like, ‘No, I've talked to the guys at Titleist. What you’re seeing right there is nothing, that’s not going to affect the performance of the golf ball.’ So I'll keeping using it because I haven’t made a bogey. All it knows is birdies, pars, and possibly eagles.”
In September of 2013, Horschel visited Titleist Ball Plant 3 in New Bedford, Mass., to see how his Pro V1 is made. Earlier that year, Horschel earned his first PGA TOUR victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. On a poster he signed at BP3, he wrote: “To Ball Plant 3, thanks for all your hard work! Means a lot knowing you take great pride in what you do! 1 win down, many more to come! Thanks for your support!” A year later, he won the FedEx Cup. Sunday's victory at the Match Play was his sixth TOUR title.
“To go through that ball plant and to see how the process is and see how everything is done to a certain level of perfection to make sure that there’s nothing missed – no ‘T’ that's not crossed, no ‘I’ that's not dotted. It just gives us the level of confidence that you are making a golf ball that is to a standard and to a level that all golfers are looking for. If you get fitted correctly to the right Titleist golf ball, you know you don't have to worry about your golf ball performing to the level you need to. You know it's going to do what you need it to do if you make the correct swing or hit the correct shot.”