- Titleist has announced new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.
- The 2023 models feature high-gradient cores for more distance, lower long-game spin and tighter dispersion.
- Retail price is $54.99.
- Availability begins Jan 25.
The story of the new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls is relatively simple.
Before we dig into what’s changed, however, what you need to know is that what’s true for one ball is basically true for the other.
For example, spin properties have changed a bit for both but the relationship between the two remains the same.
The Pro V1 is still a mid-flight, mid spin ball while the Pro V1x remains Titleist’s highest-launching and -spinning option. Compression ratings haven’t changed, either. The Pro V1 is still a high-80s compression ball while the firmer Pro V1x runs in the high 90s.
The more things change …
Both models still offer the same high-flex casing layer that was born of lessons learned through Pro V1x Left Dash. Functionally, it’s a speed enhancer but, again, it’s the same technology used in the current (2021) ball.
Both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x feature the same softer urethane cover as the 2021 ball. For the sake of being unnecessarily technical, the spherically tiled tetrahedra dimple patterns are also unchanged.
Titleist Pro V1 / Pro V1x – High Gradient Core
Updates to the new balls are isolated to what Titleist calls a High Gradient core.
We’ve talked about gradient or graduated cores before. It’s an exaggerated example insomuch as the center of the 2023 Pro V1 isn’t liquid but the core of the new balls is a bit like a chocolate lava cake.
The idea is that the core is softest in the center and gets progressively firmer as you move outward.
Like the high-flex casing layer, the high-gradient core has its roots in Titleist’s Custom Performance Options: Left Dash (Pro V1x) and Left Dot (Pro V1).
In three-piece golf ball constructions like Titleist Pro V1, the high-gradient core makes the ball perform a bit more like a dual-core model. In true dual-core designs like the Pro V1x, a high-gradient inner core creates even greater spin separation.
Before we jump into performance, allow me to address the pervasive myth that high-compression balls are exclusively for high swing speeds (105 mph and above) and low-compression balls are for slower ones. I’ve covered this before so this time I’ll just point out that Titleist fits more amateur golfers into Pro V1x than any other ball in its performance lineup (and that includes the lower-compression AVX).
Very often, slower swing speed golfers struggle to get the ball in the air and most struggle to generate sufficient spin throughout the bag. The issue is compounded by irons with increasingly stronger lofts so, frankly, it borders on common sense that, putting away feel preferences for a moment, a higher-launching, higher-spinning ball makes a hell of a lot more sense than a no-spin marshmallow. “Soft” might feel nice—but it doesn’t spin.
Moving on …
Titleist Pro V1 Performance
Really what we’re talking about is lower long-game spin without compromising spin in the approach game. That lower spin is the driving factor in both the distance increase (which should be most appreciable with your irons) and tighter dispersion that are the key performance benefits of the new balls.
Titleist says the Pro V1 offers 12-percent tighter dispersion compared to the 2021 ball. That’s a result of the aerodynamic benefits that come from the slightly lower flight and spin. With the lower trajectory, the ball isn’t impacted quite as much by wind and, generally speaking, lower-spinning balls fly straighter.
If you take all of that and surmise that the new Pro V1 is a tick more Left Dot-ish, that’s probably reasonable.
Titleist Pro V1x
The Pro V1x is becoming somewhat of an anomaly in the marketplace as most golf ball makers have shifted away from dual-core to the easier-to-make dual-mantle designs.
That’s not the case with Titleist.
“We’re leaning into it,” says Michael Madson. “We see it as a critical design to achieve optimal performance with a high-compression golf ball.”
That lean-in comes by way of a $100-million investment in the ball business. As you would expect given current demands, a lot of that is going towards expanding Titleist’s manufacturing capacity but a good bit is being pumped into R&D with the specific intent of increasing the operational expertise in the dual-core space.
Titleist already does dual-core better than anyone and, instead of shifting to dual-mantle construction like its competitors, it’s doubling down to do dual-core even better.
That’s the future.
Pro V1x Changes
The “right now” is that the volume of the inner core of the 2023 Titleist Pro V1x has been increased by 40 percent. The larger inner core gives Titleist greater ability to control the high-gradient core.
If I haven’t been clear: Like the standard Pro V1, the inner core of the Pro V1x is also a high-gradient design.
As with the Pro V1, the result is lower long-game spin without sacrificing short-game spin. As with the Pro V1, you should see more distance in the long game and tighter dispersion.
Like I said at the beginning: What’s true for one is true for the other.
An interesting side note: Pro V1x’s dispersion improvements aren’t quite as good as the Pro V1’s (9% versus 12%). That’s the result of the higher flight and spin properties of the Pro V1x which make it slightly more vulnerable to environmental factors.
If none of this sounds exceptionally revolutionary, you’re right. With both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, Titleist isn’t making any crazy promises. Neither ball represents a massive improvement over the 2021 model. Both are a little bit better.
Pro V1 and Pro V1x – Miscellaneous Other Notes
Color, Designs and Patterns – We’re talking Titleist here so it’s no surprise there aren’t any radical (or even non-radical) changes with respect to the Pro V1s cosmetic options.
You can put whatever pattern you want on the new balls so long as what you want is an all-white or all-yellow ball.
It’s not that the company lacks the ability to print lines and patterns and whatnot on a golf ball but, for now, it’s allocating those resources to printing the radar reflective marks on its Trackman-friendly RCT balls.
Eventually, there will be some additional options but the first round of whatever that looks like will likely be driven by PGA TOUR players.
The company may find its way into something akin to the preference-driven designs (Truvis, Pix, etc.) offered by some of its competitors but it’s nothing I expect in the near future, which is kind of a bummer. Patterns are fun.
And speaking of bummers … (Boom! Segue).
Left Dot and Left Dash – There are no immediate updates in the queue for Titleist’s other Pro V1 balls. It’s early but a good bit of the Titleist Tour staff has already moved into the new ball and the new Pro V1x claimed its spot as the No. 1 ball in play at the RSM Classic. That will probably be the story until the 2025 ball comes along.
Once the Tour gets cranking in earnest, Titleist’s plan is to see how much of its Pro V1 Left Dot crowd moves into the new Pro V1. The thinking is that with the benefits of the Pro V1’s aerodynamic package and the softer cover, there’s a chance Left Dot usage will switch, though, Left Dot will still fly lower and spin less than the new Pro V1.
If Tour demand remains high, Left Dot could see wider release (current eBay prices aren’t a good look). If usage dips and Left Dot becomes more of a niche product like the Pro V1 Star, that could be the end of the story.
Likewise, there’s no new Left Dash launching alongside the standard Pro V1 and Pro V1x. While I don’t have anything concrete, the between-the-lines read is that something might be in the works. I’d bank on a softer cover, though I should mention that the current Pro V1x dimple pattern on Left Dash would likely push distance beyond what the USGA allows.
As a Pro V1x Left Dash loyalist, I’m a little disappointed by the lack of an update (again). Finger crossed that this isn’t the end of the story.
Availability and Pricing
The 2023 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls will be available at retail beginning Jan. 25. The radar-friendly RCT version will launch at the same time. Yellow versions will follow on Feb. 17.
For more information, visit Titleist.com.