Do you need a ball fitting?

Golf Equipment

Do you need to get fitted for the right golf ball? Find out how our readers got on at a special Titleist event...

Are you one of those golfers who has a mix of golf balls in your bag, not taking a moment to think what the benefits of using the same ball could be for your game?

The golf ball is the only piece of equipment that you use on every single shot during a round of golf.

So why is it that people don’t find the ball fitting process as important as getting fit for a new set of clubs?

A lot of golfers up and down the country are simply uneducated in the golf ball fitting process, that’s where Titleist come in.

We travelled north to Morpeth Golf Club to attend one of Titleist’s ball fitting demo days which they have all over the country to see first hand at how club golfers feel about ball fittings.

In January we attended the official Pro V1 and Pro V1x 2017 ball launch in Abu Dhabi and we went through the process ourselves.

Before the event at Morpeth got underway we spoke to David Guthrie, Titleist golf ball specialist about the process as a whole.

We do an initial player assessment, what golf ball they play, the reason they play it and whether they play it consistently or not.

From there we do a performance fit with Pro V1 or Pro V1x looking at a 50 yard pitch, 7 iron and a driver typically and then from there we can make an assessment based on the numbers we see from Trackman what golf ball we feel they should go and test out on the course.

Here is how the members at Morpeth got on…

Player 1: Lisa Herron, (Handicap 14)

Current ball: A mixture

Suggested ball: Pro V1x

It was really interesting seeing the different spin rates during the ball fitting process.

I never really thought the ball was that important but I’ve only just recently started to learn that it is!

I tended to play a mixture of golf balls for no specific reason really.

I’ve been sent away with the Pro V1x because it helps me get that extra height on my irons and actually lowers my ball flight a little with my driver, as I tend to have a really high ball flight when I use my driver.

Player 2: Martin Calder, (Handicap 13)

Current ball: Titleist in summer/Mixture in winter

Suggested ball: Pro V1x

I’ve been fitted for my irons quite a few times but this is the first time I’ve been fit for a golf ball so it’s all very interesting.

I thought that the explanations made so much sense, things that I would normally overlook once they were explained to me they all seemed to fall into place.

I tend to use Titleist balls in the summer but I must admit that during the winter I would use a mix of balls, pretty much whatever is on offer in the golf shop.

What I found today with David the fitter today was that my ball flight wasn’t particularly high and we decided that I should adjust my driver and use the Pro V1x to get a bit more spin on the ball to launch it a bit higher.

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Player 3: Steve Jemmett, (Handicap 8)

Current ball: Pro V1

Suggested ball: Pro V1x

This was the first time I’d ever had a ball fitting and I’ve got to say it was really informative.

I always thought I’d pick a ball based on putting but the numbers on Trackman are radically different to what I expected.

I always use a Pro V1 now but I used to use a Velocity until I went and had a lesson about my chipping and I was told if I wanted to put some spin on the ball I’d be better with the Pro V1.

So I have played with the Pro V1 since but after today’s fitting it seems that the Pro V1x might suit my game a bit better.

I could see the ball flight was a lot different to my normal flight and that’s exactly what I want from my golf ball. A higher launch with more spin. So the Pro V1x which has been recommended to me could definitely be the ball for me.

I think ball fittings are good, I’m not sure if you should match the ball up with the clubs that you play, but as the fitter said today the ball is the only thing you use on every shot.

Player 4: John Taberham, (Handicap 12)

Current ball: NXT Tour

Suggested ball: Pro V1

Yes this was the first time I’ve had a ball fitting, I’ve had a few club fittings but never a ball fitting.

I’ve been fiddling round with the NXT Tour for a while now and I just wanted to get some confirmation as to which is the best ball for me really.

I do feel like the Pro V1 comes off the clubhead a lot better than a harder golf ball does so for the feel I really enjoy the Pro V1.

Today we found that the Pro V1 was probably the best for me, it keeps my ball flight a bit lower and gives me more control around the greens, which is what I’ve been looking for.

Conclusion

At the end of the event I spoke to David again to ask him about what attitudes he has been seeing towards ball fittings and also the latest trends on Tour.

What kind of attitudes are you seeing towards ball fittings?

A lot of the time we are told that they don’t play the same golf ball all of the time or they chop and change. They maybe start with a brand new Pro V1 but then lose it and change to a completely different ball mid-round.

So really from there it’s an education on the benefit of playing with the same golf ball all of the time.

We do add other balls from the range in the test to really highlight the performance benefits of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x because we feel they are the best golf balls for everyone because they have more stopping power.

It is an education as well as a fitting that’s the way I see it.

What particular trends are you seeing out on tour?

We have seen a slight switch towards V but I would still say probably the majority of players are in X but they’ll be in X for the same reasons that I would put an amateur into an X, they prefer the higher ball flight with their irons or they prefer the feel around the greens it won’t be for any other reason.

They go through the exact same process as we put an amateur through.

How highly would you recommend the traditional club golfer to go through a ball fitting?

We do the ball fittings five days a week and as a golf ball company we see it as crucial to get our message out there.

The golf ball is the one piece of equipment that golfers will use on every single shot so for us we really feel we can optimise players stopping power and flight purely with a 15 minute Trackman evaluation.

So yes it’s something that everyone should do.

More information on ball fitting and a list of events can be found on the Titleist website.

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