Hi, Team Titleist.
How did you like this year's Masters Tournament? Did you enjoy seeing players deal with some inclement weather? Was there enough drama, enough roars for you? Regardless of the final outcome, there's one thing I can always count on from The Masters. It inspires me to play and to hit the ground running as we welcome a new golf season. I hope Masters week left you with the same feeling.
The first thing I'm going to do during these early rounds of 2023 is thoroughly examine the new Pro V1 and new Pro V1x golf balls. At the tail end of last season, I was fortunate to be able to play a round with the 388 Prototype, the late-stage iteration of what would become the new Pro V1 golf ball. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn before I could test the 348 prototype (Pro V1x).
As I shared in this post , I recently had the opportunity to witness first-hand how the 388 and 348 prototypes performed in the hands of some very accomplished players on the west coast. This event was part of a vast testing and validation effort that ensured that the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x would perform for golfers under any playing conditions, in every corner of the globe.
Today, I'd like share a few insights from another group of golfers who met with our intrepid photographer, Nick Hamilton, for a day of product validation at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. A crucial element in validating Titleist golf ball products is obtaining feedback from golfers of all skill levels - from recreational amateurs all the way to tour players competing for major championships. Marc Guertin, the Head Golf Professional at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, helped us organize this day of testing. With his assistance we were able to get some expert insights from a very important segment of dedicated golfers - PGA Golf Professionals.
The participants for this leg of Pro V1 and Pro V1x validation would include Marc, his fellow golf professional at Caledonia, Jacob Grundhoefer and Eltoria Renwick and Christian Maultsby - both golf professionals at Caledonia's sister club, True Blue Golf Club.
(Quick side note: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club were each designed by renowned golf course architect Mike Strantz. Strantz was more artist than earth-mover and if you haven't played one of his courses, put it at the top of your list. I had the good fortune to play Tobacco Road a couple times and in sharing notes with Nick, Caledonia and True Blue share that same magical feel that Mike Strantz was able to bring to life. Visit them if you can!)
Marc, Jacob, Eltoria and Christian would play a friendly match during their round. As Marc told me later, "Matches are a good way to test the ball as you tend to concentrate more and pay attention to how the ball reacts."
As Nick prepared his camera gear, each member of the foursome teed up the 388 prototype. Here's how Nick described the experience:
"The guys are all strong players and they were very familiar with where the ball lands on various shots around the course. We had a beautiful fall day, with a slight breeze at times. Eltoria came out swinging with a hot start, with three birdies in first four holes, if I remember correctly. He also reached one of the par 5’s that’s surrounded by a water hazard, and isn’t always a green light to go for. The approach is long and the target is small. I remember Eltoria mentioning that he was getting some additional yardage off his driver, and felt good about the approach over water knowing the ball would carry nicely.
The course was a great test. I actually played it the following day. Long holes, short holes, dog legs left and right, plenty of forced carries, and giant alligators to get your attention. Marc and the guys were talking about the trade winds. The winds in SC are definitely a thing, so if your shots can cut through wind you are at an advantage. We could hear some thunder in the afternoon while out playing, but for some reason lighting storms tend to skirt past the barrier island. The guys didn’t seem concerned about it and said, 'it always misses us here and stays the other side of Waccamaw River', which separates Pawleys Island from the mainland."
Check out the slideshow gallery above for some detailed insights that the pros provided after their round.
Thank you to Marc, Jacob, Christian and Eltoria for helping us bring the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x to market. And our sincere thanks, too, to everyone at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club for their gracious hospitality.
Have you had a chance to experience the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls? Please weigh in and hear what other players from around the world have to say on on our Pro V1 and Pro V1x Validation page.