What makes a Titleist a Titleist? There are many important distinctions, but like a high-performance automobile, much of what separates a Titleist from any other golf ball is what's under the hood.
You can think of the core as the engine of the golf ball. This inner-most layer of the construction, whether a single- or dual-core design, is chiefly responsible for how fast the golf ball can fly and, ultimately, how far it can go. The core is made mostly from polybutadiene, a synthetic polymer rubber material. Polybutadiene is resilient, meaning that it recovers quickly when a stress is applied to it (such as an impact with a golf club). The more resilient the golf ball core, the higher the energy return (ball speed) when a force is applied to it.
But speed is only half the story when it comes to the core's contribution to golf ball performance. The core plays a big role in how high the golf ball launches off the club face and the window through which the ball flies. When we look at full shots, the player and the club have the greatest influence on how fast the golf ball will spin, but within the golf ball itself, it's the core that drives spin rate on full swings.
For the New 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x, Titleist scientists and engineers identified an opportunity to improve the flight and distance of our flagship models through the application of high gradient core technology. Matt Hogge, Director of Product Development for Titleist Golf Ball R&D, explained:
" A high gradient core is a core that has increasing levels of stiffness that radiate from the center to the outermost layer. By changing both the material composition of the core and the process used to mold them, we have been able to develop Pro V1 and Pro V1x cores that are relatively soft in the center and then become progressively firmer as you move out towards the outer boundary of the core. This creates a hard-over-soft material relationship that is a recipe for low spin. What golfers will experience, for both Pro V1 and Pro V1x, is lower spin on the driver, fairway metals, hybrids and full irons."
On its own, low spin is no guarantee for more distance. To optimize distance, you need a blend of initial ball speed, launch angle and spin rate. In developing the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x, it was essential that any added distance not come at the expense of any other performance attribute. We refused to sacrifice on precision, control or feel in any other phase of the game.
Achieving more distance required not only core reformulation, but precise balance between the new V and X cores and the other components in each model's construction. To maximize initial ball speed, Titleist engineers applied a high flex modulus casing layer around each model's core. In the case of Pro V1x's dual core, a larger diameter inner center was needed to find the sweet spot regarding spin rate for X's launch conditions.
High Gradient Core technology contributed to another important performance benefit that you'll find in the new 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x - more consistent flight. Teddy Costa, a Materials Research Engineer who helped develop the high gradient core formulations for the new V and X, recalled what prototype testing revealed at our Manchester Lane Test Facility:
"During machine testing with our robot hitters, we discovered that the reduced long game spin we had achieved with our high gradient cores was producing tighter dispersion patterns. There was less variation side to side of the target as well as short and long."
The final result? All the components in the construction of new Pro V1 and Pro V1x work together in concert to give you more distance where you want it – off the tee and on your longer shots – while maintaining all the spin and consistent Drop-and-Stop performance where you need it – on your iron approaches and finesse wedges around the green.
"For the best players in the world," Matt Hogge said, "and really for all dedicated golfers, the expectation is to improve every day. To constantly get better. Our approach to golf ball design and manufacturing is the same. The new 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x have earned the Titleist script, because they outperform every prior generation of Pro V1 and Pro V1x. They outperform every golf ball that came before them, period."
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Want to learn more about how Titleist golf balls are designed and manufactured? Take a Digital Tour of Titleist Ball Plant 3.
If you'd like to know which Titleist golf ball model is right for you game, visit our Golf Ball Fitting & Education Resources, where you can schedule a live, one-on-one virtual golf ball consultation with a member of the Titleist Golf Ball Fitting team and access the Titleist Golf Ball Selector Tool.