We review the new Titleist Tour Soft golf ballsApril 10, 2018 Golf Equipment
It's goodbye to the NXT Tour and hello to Tour Soft. Equipment editor James Savage puts Titleist's newest ball to the test over multiple rounds.
We’ve found it can be quite difficult to learn about new golf balls by playing one round.
After a few, you can start to notice some common themes. You recognise the differences between what the ball does and what you cause it to do.
It may be different for better players, but for me I feel a few rounds basically allows me to hit enough good shots to know how it performs.
Titleist Tour Soft Review – The background
Before going into the performance, let’s have a look at the thinking behind them.
If you didn’t know, the Titleist Tour Soft is the NXT Tour and NXT Tour S kind of rolled into one.
It sits at a mid price point and competes against options like the Callaway Chrome Soft, Srixon AD333 Tour and TaylorMade Project (a).
The NXT Tour franchise was hugely successful and popular, accounting for around seven percent of the UK golf market – that’s a more than many brands have for all their models.
So why get rid of it? Well, it wasn’t a decision Titleist took lightly. But they did feel there was a bit of confusion around the differences between NXT Tour and NXT Tour S.
With Titleist Tour Soft they are confident they have a ball which can meet the needs of the golfers who want the best performing ball at around the £30 price point.
It has the word ‘Soft’ in the name – obviously something which resonates with the consumer and avoids any confusion.
Titleist Tour Soft Review – The technology
Much of the performance benefits of the Titleist Tour Soft come from a new core which helps give a soft feel while producing more ball speed and distance.
It’s the largest core ever produced in a Titleist ball.
With a larger core, it challenged Titleist to create a thinner cover. The cover on the Titleist Tour Soft is made using a blend of four different materials and the brand say it’s just as thin as some urethane covered balls on the market.
Titleist say this new cover will give excellent short game control and aid the soft feel.
There’s also a new dimple design which aims to produce a more consistent and penetrating flight. It’s a spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple design and if anyone can pronounce that correctly, I’ll send you a dozen.
Titleist Tour Soft Review – The results
For the first couple of rounds, I tested out the new yellow version of the Titleist Tour Soft.
And I’m a big fan as it’s definitely easier to find in the rough. Not ‘un-loseable’, but you can often see it more clearly from a distance which takes out a bit of the stress.
I’m also a big fan of how this ball performs off the tee with driver. It seems to have a low-spinning flight but also goes nice and high which is a great combination for hitting long drives.
It’s the best thing about this ball for me. My driving in the three rounds I played with the Tour Soft was pretty solid by my standards.
On iron shots there didn’t seem to me to be a noticeable ‘soft’ feel.
And I didn’t feel like there was as much spin as I would expect to see with a Pro V1.
But again, the ball flight always seemed strong and they were certainly gripping on the greens.
Around the greens it feels like the ball pops up off the face of your wedge effortlessly and you can notice more of a soft feel.
It’s not the same feeling as a Pro V1 and that will largely be down to the different covers.
When it comes to putting you do have to hit your putts quite hard but once you get used to that, they seem to roll really nicely.
The Tour Soft branding is good for alignment for those who like to line up their putts with a line.
Commenting on the durability is a tough one as I believe you could play 18 holes and barely scuff up a ball or play a couple of holes and scuff it quite badly.
It all depends on where you are hitting from or how many times you bounce it off a cart path.
But I never felt like this ball was scuffing up much at all. I’ll normally lose one ball a round so on average a ball would last me about 12 holes or so before I lost it.
At no point did I notice my ball was scuffed and decide to replace it.
Titleist Tour Soft Review – NCG verdict
The Titleist Tour Soft does seem to offer a simpler message for the consumer than the NXT franchise.
Apparently there were many who didn’t know the difference between the two models or that the ‘S’ stood for soft.
Now it’s clear that the Tour Soft is Titleist’s mid-price ball and is for golfers who want good performance and feel.
And for those who may struggle to justify paying the extra £15 for Pro V1.
Titleist will say that the Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the best performing balls on the market and the Tour Soft it the best-performing at the £30-35 price point.
Personally, I’d be more than happy to play this ball for every single round in 2018.
I can’t fault it and I especially love the way it performs off the tee with my driver.
If you were to give me a dozen Pro V1’s, I will use them. If I had a lifetime supply, I’d never use anything else.
But if you were asking me which ball I’d spend my money on, I’d buy the Tour Soft.
I think the Tour Soft allows me to shoot good scores and isn’t costing me any shots.
For a better ball-striker, they may feel like they need the superior performance of the Pro V1 to shoot their best scores.
For me, the Tour Soft is a great all-rounder that’s going to get the job done.
Titleist Tour Soft
SRP: £32 per dozen
Colours: White and yellow