Over the weekend we heard from sources that Titleist Sales Reps have started sharing information with their accounts about the next iteration of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.
While we haven’t been told anything specific about the performance advantages (or even differences) over the current model, the potentially exciting news – insomuch as pigment can be exciting – is that the upcoming version will be offered in yellow.
It’s about time.
Currently, colored balls, a term which covers anything other than standard white, account for a bit less than 20% of the market. It’s reasonable to expect that number will climb a bit when the #1 Ball in Golf hits shelves in yellow.
While it seems unlikely that a yellow Pro V1 will boost Titleist’s market share in any significant way, I suppose it’s at least possible that there are some golfers whose absolute preference for yellow tour balls has kept the available-in-white-only Pro V1 out of their bag. It’s also possible that yellow might cause golfers who have moved on to other brands to take a fresh look. If nothing else, yellow a nice option to have, I suppose.
I’d be remiss to point out that Titleist has lagged a bit behind with respect to adding a splash of color to its flagship golf ball. Srixon has offered yellow for years, Callaway offers yellow variants of the Chrome Soft, the same is true for the Bridgestone’s Tour B. Earlier this year, Dean Snell began offering the MTB in yellow.
For Titleist, making a yellow Pro V1 has been a bit of a chemistry problem. With thermoplastic urethane (the cover material used by most of the above), adding pigment isn’t particularly difficult. Coloring the thermoset cast urethane material that Titleist uses isn’t as simple dripping some yellow dye into the mix. It takes a bit of work, but the company apparently found a formulation it liked with the AVX, and now it’s trickling yellow up the line into the Pro V1 franchise.
Chemistry aside, it’s fair to acknowledge that while Pro V1(x) usage has ticked up slightly of late, the company is feeling pressure at retail, particularly from Callaway’s Chrome Soft, which is available in both yellow and Truvis colorways. The addition of yellow to the lineup, like AVX and Tour Soft may be part of a larger play aimed at regaining some retail momentum. The recently published Acushnet Q2 financial report suggests, so far anyway, it’s working.
We weren’t able to get any photos, but we were told the new coloring will be similar to AVX. Call it something between glossy and opaque, not matte or flat; more Srixon than Callaway – albeit with a slightly greenish hue.
If release patterns hold, you can expect the new Pro V1 to be launched at the PGA Show in January. Yup, we’re about 5 ½ months out. There hasn’t been any indication the Titleist feels any sort of need to lower prices, so expect both yellow and white versions to retail for +/- $52 a dozen.
More info as it becomes available.