Titleist’s ball-fitting process

Richard Harries explains the principle differences between the various balls in the Titleist range and outlines the brand’s fitting philosophy

“Ball fitting is relatively new for us,” says Richard Harries.
“We are a green-to-tee ball-fitting company. It’s not all about speed and spin – it’s about your preferences, like colour and feel and price. The fitting element is all about performance but your preferences are at least just as important.”

“There are a lot of myths about Pro V1 and x. ‘I don’t hit it hard enough to compress it’ is a comment I hear a lot but although it feels different you can’t even see it on super-slow-motion cameras.”
Our testers were invited to do some chipping and putting with all the balls from the Titleist range to compare the feel and performance.

Richard then used a TrackMan launch monitor to watch each player hit full shots with a range of clubs from wedge to driver.

While assessing the data, each tester had the chance to tell him what they thought of the feel and flight.
Richard then recommended two balls for each tester to take out on to the course to play some holes with and offer feedback.

Which ball is best for you and have you ever considered what you might be missing out on with others on the market? Are you looking for maximum distance off the tee? Or is spin on your approach shots the most important factor? Maybe you are seeking better feel in your short game? For many durability is the key. And for others still, it simply comes down to value for money.

All of these are really good reasons to make a choice, but what really matters is that having reached a conclusion you get the ball you are looking for. And unless you go through a fitting or do some extensive testing of your own then it’s hard to know for sure.

Perhaps, like many of us, you are the kind of golfer who automatically reaches for a Pro V1 whenever a competition comes along. And if so, that’s great – it’s overwhelmingly the most popular ball in golf, both with amateurs and on tour for a reason.

But do you actually know what you are gaining in terms of performance, beyond the confidence of knowing you are using the best and a ball that has won countless Majors?

Or maybe you don’t believe there is really that much of a trade-off at all in performance between a premium ball at £50 per dozen and a budget one at a fraction of the cost.

We know these are questions that deserve answering.

So for some straight-talking and to find the answers, we invited Titleist’s custom fitting specialist Richard Harries to Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds to give four of our readers the benefit of his expertise.

The idea was to empower them with some key information then let them test out the theory for themselves and put the balls into practice.

So for some straight-talking and to find the answers, we invited Titleist’s custom fitting specialist Richard Harries to Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds to give four of our readers the benefit of his expertise. Here’s what happened:

Lynn Haynes

Handicap: 27


Current ball: Bridgestone e6
What she says: I’ve only occasionally used a premium ball.
What she looks for: I don’t really know – it just depends if I play well!


Recommended balls: Pro V1 and Pro V1x
Lynn’s findings: I want to use both! The softer one stops but you need to hit it a bit harder around the greens. Accuracy-wise it would be the Pro V1.
I now know that I don’t hate Titleist and that they are only for the good players – I can hit these! I’m a convert and I’ll buy some.
Verdict: Pro V1 and Pro V1x

Angela Taylor

Handicap: 11


Current ball: Callaway Warbird or Titleist (but not usually Pro V1)
What she says: I use a premium ball in the summer but my best round was with a Molitor! I’ve got naturally good feel and touch. I like to use a new ball for every round.
What she looks for: Whatever my husband’s got in his garage!


Recommended balls: Pro V1 and Pro V1x
Angela’s findings: The Pro V1 for me. I tried it with my Callaway and I was more confident with it. The long shots held – that was the key. My husband said Pro V1s were too soft but he was wrong!
Verdict: Pro V1

Linda Newman

Handicap: 13


Current ball: Titleist Pro V1s – generally cast-offs from my husband because he uses them!
What she says: I like to have a ball that gives good feel on the green.
What she looks for: I like No 3s. I always have a good round with a No 3!


Recommended balls: Pro V1 and Pro V1x
Linda’s findings: I’m a lasher! It was equal between the two. Both balls were great around the green and gave me more control. I could well go with the recommended Pro V1, it’s about trust and Titleist do the job. I could get the ball to stop so I’ll stick with them.
Verdict: Pro V1

Mary Martin

Handicap: 16


Current ball: –
What she says: I have never bought a golf ball in my life!
What she looks for: Whatever I can find, win or steal off my husband! But I do like Titleist best. You can tell the difference when you’re putting – sound and feel is very important on the greens and that is half the job.


Recommended balls: Pro V1 and Pro V1x
Mary’s findings: I hit my best drives ever! I couldn’t split them. It was the same performance for both but the Pro V1 felt a bit softer. I still wouldn’t buy them but I would do if money were no object.
Verdict: Pro V1


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