- Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot is available today in limited quantities.
- Left Dot is a lower-flying, lower-spinning version of the Pro V1.
- $49.99 while supplies last
Here we go again … kinda. As it did two years ago with Pro V1x Left Dash, Titleist is taking the Pro V1 Left Dot—previously a secret menu, Tour-only, CPO (custom performance option) golf ball—and offering it to the public.
My use of “kinda” speaks to the fact that, unlike Left Dash which now is part of the retail lineup, Left Dot is a limited-run experiment. It’s here today but in the most literal of senses, you can bank on it being gone tomorrow.
To that end, you won’t find Pro V1 Left Dot on retail shelves. It’s being sold almost exclusively through Titleist.com. Titleist sales reps have small allocations as well, so if you know a guy, I’d put in a call now.
Seriously, if you’re even a little curious about Left Dot, get yours now. This story can wait. Come back and read the rest of this after you’ve secured your stash.
About the Pro V1 “Left Dot”
The Pro V1 Left Dot is the most popular Titleist CPO on the PGA TOUR where it gets more play than Left Dash. If you’re looking for validation, it has been the ball of choice in wins at The Masters and the Open Championship. Left Dot has been played by Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose and, of recent note, Tony Finau during his win at the Northern Trust.
That last bit makes for fortuitous timing. Despite appearances, the Left Dot release has been in the works for months. The new-to-you balls have been the key ingredient in a blind test for MyGolfspy forum members for the better part of a month. With Finau winning last week, Titleist probably wishes it made a few (thousand dozen) more.
Left Dot Versus Pro V1
As far as the technical details go, like the stock ball, the Pro V1 Left Dot offers three-piece construction. On our gauges, the compression comes in right at 90, which is more or less the same as a stock Pro V1. The 352-dimple cover is different than what you’ll find on any current Titleist golf ball.
The performance story is simple. Left Dot is designed to be a lower-flying, lower-spinning version of the Pro V1. With the qualifier that so much of golf ball performance is golfer dependent, golfers may not notice much off the driver but, in the middle of the hole, 200 to 300 rpm less spin isn’t out of the question.
… Versus AVX
Pro V1 is the logical comparison for Left Dot but it’s worth noting that Titleist is going to be looking very closely at how Left Dot is received by AVX players (a portion of our blind test pool was sent AVX alongside Left Dot). For those golfers, Left Dot should produce a similar trajectory and spin through most of the bag. With its higher compression, it’s going to be a bit faster off the driver. It’s also going to feel firmer and less jumpy off the irons where AVX absolutely flies. For some golfers, that will be seen as positive. For others, it will be exactly the reason they stick with AVX.
Finally, Left Dot should spin appreciably more around the green which may entice some AVX users to trade away softer feel for more greenside control.
Titleist’s Pro V1 Left Dot Objective
So why release Left Dot? A limited release creates an opportunity for Titleist to learn what it needs to learn.
Yeah, that’s vague. Let me see if I can add some clarity.
Titleist already knows how Left Dot performs relative to other balls in the lineup. The differences are apparent with robots and with the best players in the world. What Titleist doesn’t know is whether the Pro V1 Left Dot is different enough for average golfers to appreciate and benefit from.
The story isn’t entirely dissimilar from Left Dash. It’s fair to say that ball has found an audience though, internally, Titleist believes that while Left Dot is more popular on Tour, Left Dash was likely to be a better fit for the rest of us. It’s why Left Dash is on shelves now.
With Left Dot, the answers seem a bit less certain though, in limited fittings, Titleist is fitting five to ten percent of golfers into Left Dot. Those may not seem like big numbers but, extrapolated to the market as a whole, we’re talking about a huge number of golfers.
That said, we know that not every golfer can discern subtle differences between golf balls. Titleist concedes that from one shot to the next, you’re going to find plenty of overlap between balls. What it’s hoping to learn is whether there’s enough difference in Left Dot for average golfers to change what Titleist’s VP of Golf Ball Marketing Jeremy Stone calls the “total aggregate outcome.”
“We want to shift the bell curve in a positive direction,” says Stone. “If we can save you one stroke, that’s meaningful.”
The differences between Pro V1 and Pro V1 Left Dot will be subtle. That’s a given. Are they not so subtle that average golfers can find the difference?
Said another way, can … or I suppose should … Left Dot co-exist with other Pro V1 offerings (and AVX … and Tour Speed) or does it simply muddy waters and only add to the confusion already experienced by golfers trying to find the mythical right ball?
That’s the fundamental question Titleist seeks to answer with this little Left Dot experiment.
How Many is Too Many?
You should take the limited release of the Pro V1 Left Dot as a sign that Titleist is definitely flirting with the idea of bringing another premium urethane offering to market. Regardless of whether the end result is limited distribution (similar to Left Dash) or in every golf shop alongside Pro V1, Pro V1x and AVX, it’s fair to ask how many golf ball models is too many?
Six? Assuming for a moment that Pro V1 Left Dot eventually comes to market and nothing else changes, that’s where Titleist would be. Most of its competitors have three urethane offerings; Bridgestone has four.
Too many, not enough or just right, six is still a lot and it does risk putting a strain on retailers and further confounding consumers, most of whom won’t be in the Left Dot wheelhouse.
The risk of too many isn’t lost on Titleist but, according to Stone, it recognizes that “a perfectly tuned one of one is becoming the expectation.” From that perspective, nothing is too much. Any ball that helps golfers play better is included in the “right” number.
The Future of the Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot
Whatever the feedback from the Pro V1 Left Dot experiment, golfers shouldn’t expect a quick decision. That’s especially bad news for golfers who end up loving it, but it is what it is.
Left Dot won’t be like AVX—a late-summer experiment and PGA Show launch. There’s a zero percent chance that happens. Whatever Titleist does with Left Dot, it’s going to take some time. COVID has created capacity issues and Titleist’s short-term focus will be on keeping up with demand for stock Pro V1 and Pro V1x.
With that in mind and some allowances for distribution strategies, there are three potential outcomes for Left Dot
- When it’s gone, it’s gone – If the feedback suggests that average golfers aren’t finding appreciable benefit … if that bell curve isn’t shifting, then that’s probably that. Left Dot stays on Tour and only on Tour.
- Left Dot comes to retail – If the response is positive, if golfers identify differences and benefit from them, then retail is a possibility. A year from now is likely the best-case scenario but it could happen.
- Left Dot informs other products – Even if Titleist learns that there isn’t enough in Left Dot to stand on its own, that doesn’t mean nothing else will come of it. For example, lessons learned from the high-flex casing layer in Left Dash trickled into the current generation of Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Something similar could happen with Left Dot.
The manifestation of your feedback could include everything from subtle to significant changes in the next generation of Titleist balls. It could also mean an entirely new ball that’s kinda like Left Dot but not exactly Left Dot.
To some degree, the outcome is up to you … you meaning the golfers who take Titleist up on the opportunity to test Left Dot. If you’re one of the comparatively few, it’s important that you put the ball through its paces and take the survey. It’s that feedback that will ultimately decide the future of Left Dot.
If you are able to get your hands on Left Dot, please come back and let us know how it performed for you.
The Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot golf ball is available through Titleist.com for $49.99 a dozen while supplies last (which won’t be very long).