The new Titleist Velocity and TruFeel golf balls are not the models most golfers associate with the manufacturer of the “#1 ball in golf.” That’s not meant to disparage either model. It’s just the reality.
Titleist offers nine different models, four of which target golfers who are willing to pay a premium for a ball that sets the industry standard for quality and consistency with Tour-level performance—five if you include AVX. The remaining four (Tour Speed, Tour Soft, Velocity and TruFeel) serve a slightly different purpose.
Golfers tend to use one of two primary criteria when purchasing a golf ball: performance or preference. Performance-conscious buyers tend to scrutinize product details and are less responsive to small price increases. Conversely, preference buyers hone in on a single attribute (distance, feel, color) and don’t mind compromising on other features in exchange for a more budget-friendly price tag.
With that, let’s dive in.
Every new ball is the result of fundamentally the same challenge: Give golfers more of what they want without taking away too much of what they need. And because no single ball can do everything for all golfers, we end up with a variety of models and performance characteristics.
As the name implies, the primary objective of the two-piece Titleist Velocity is speed. And therefore distance. So it’s no surprise that Titleist’s ambition with this version is to find a bit more distance without compromising a playable greenside feel.
With that, the distance-first architecture on Velocity utilizes a high-compression, 1.550-inch LSX core and reconstructed NaZ+ cover. Speed and core compression are directly related. If you make the core firmer, ball speed follows. So the new LSX core is slightly firmer than the previous version, though overall compression remains the same. More on that in a minute.
Because every layer of a golf ball impacts the other components, it’s not as simple as trading a softer core for a firmer one and calling it a day. How each piece of a golf ball (in this case, it’s two) relates to the adjacent layer impacts overall performance. With that, Titleist altered the NaZ+ cover to be marginally softer. Remember that a soft layer on top of a hard layer is what generates spin. Therefore, it stands to reason that the firmer LSX core and softer NaZ+ cover should theoretically maintain the overall compression while potentially offering a bit more greenside spin.
Dimple patterns impact the aerodynamics of a golf ball. Moreover, the dimple pattern (like each layer of the ball) serves a unique purpose and has to work in concert with the various layers. With that, think of trajectory as the total path the golf ball takes from point A to point B. Because Velocity is engineered to generate faster ball speeds, the spherically tiled 350 octahedral dimple design promotes a higher overall trajectory.
Fun fact: Unique dimple patterns are a clear point of differentiation between vertically integrated manufacturers like Titleist and offshore third-party ball factories that help supply the DTC (direct-to-consumer) market. As is often the case, DTC brands select from a limited number of dimple patterns based on the generic performance attributes of the ball. For example, Foremost has a 318 dimple pattern that you’ll find on a number of balls including Vice Pro and OnCore’s ELIXR and Vero XL.
Initially, Titleist will offer Velocity in a basic white colorway. Beginning Oct. 1, it will augment the line with matte green, matte orange and a new matte blue colorways.
TruFeel is the softest ball in the Titleist golf ball family. Commensurate with a soft feel is a low-compression core. And—stop me if you’ve heard this before—lower-compression cores generate comparatively less ball speed. Part of the challenge in designing a low-compression ball is addressing this speed deficit through modifications to the core, cover or dimple design. Typically, it’s all three.
Not surprisingly, the charge with the new TruFeel is to increase overall distance and add a dash of softer greenside feel. To accomplish that, Titleist increased the size of the core which necessitated a slightly thinner cover to maintain the same overall size.
According to Mike Madson, Director of Aerodynamics and Research Engineering, “the new 1.600-inch core is very large for such a soft golf ball. By adding more fast rubber to the golf ball, we add more speed for distance but we also needed to balance the increased core size by reformulating a slightly thinner cover.”
Yeah, what he said.
The cover of TruFeel features a spherically tiled 376 tetrahedral dimple design. As compared to cast-urethane or injection-molded construction processes, TruFeel is compression molded.
For gearheads and equipment nuts, I don’t expect that Velocity or TruFeel will make your short list of balls to try in 2022. But the other “#1 ball in golf” is still whatever most golfers find abandoned on the course. Most golfers play at public courses and wear blue jeans and a T-shirt if they so desire.
They don’t know (or likely care about) the difference between Surlyn and urethane, let alone dual-core and dual-mantle construction. So while many of us fixate and focus on the top-tier balls, plenty of golfers do not.
If you look at our Ball Lab database, seven out of the top 10 balls are made by Titleist. That doesn’t happen by accident. What it indicates is that production consistency isn’t something that Titleist bakes into some balls while cutting corners on others.
Pricing and Availability
Velocity is available in standard white beginning Feb. 4. Matte orange, matte green and matte blue will be available beginning Oct. 1.
Retail pricing is $29.99 per dozen (MAP).
TruFeel is offered in both standard white and high optic yellow beginning Feb. 4. Matte red will be available beginning Oct. 1.
Retail pricing is $24.99 a dozen (MAP).
For more information, visit titleist.com.
*We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.