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A Golf Ball Epiphany: Why Are You Playing The Pro V1 ?
I’m amazed that the Titleist Pro V1 is the most played ball in golf. Not that it is on the PGA Tour, but that it garners almost 25% of the ball business in the marketplace.

The reason I’m amazed is that only 3% of amateur golfers play to a low, single digit handicap, and the average handicap is over 18 !

So why are golfers shooting 90+ with a ball designed for tour players’ skill levels ? You can do better.

I’m not picking on it, but the Titleist Pro V1 was engineered to perform for the 200-300 best players in the world, who develop tremendous clubhead speed and strike a golf ball almost perfectly, almost all the time.

They hit it differently that you and I, even if we’re pretty good players. They don’t lose very many, and they don’t have to pay for them !

The fact is, there are dozens, if not hundreds of very good golf balls out there, and for most golfers, you’ll get more distance with a ball that costs half as much as a Pro V1.

I went through some pretty intense testing myself, and discovered that the best ball for me was the Bridgestone B330-S. It’s plenty long, and spins as good as the Pro V for me.

The greens at my club are very firm and fast, so that was a consideration. Oh, and it’s about $10-12 less per dozen than the Titleist.

I also found the Precept Lady to be just behind it in performance, and it costs half that much !

My point is that you should try different golf balls to see which is the optimum for you to play. Give those bargain balls a chance and you might be surprised.

What’s wrong with lowering the cost of golf and enhancing your performance at the same time ?
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
nocurling says:
Terry,

for the longest time i played the titleist DT wound (this goes back a ways). it fit my game as it gave me more distance, but i was still able to stop the ball, even with long irons. but i realized that my short game was being compromised as it didn't have the right feel around the greens. so i switched to the titleist professional for a while, sacrificing some distance but with better feel around the green, then evolved through several different makes before settling on the nike one black.

i'd be curious to hear other players evolution from what they used to play to what they play now.

cheers, and keep writing.
iceless in olympia
4/4/08
 
Pappy says:
"So why are golfers shooting 90+ with a ball designed for tour playersGÇÖ skill levels ? "

For the same reason they buy certain clubs - because the pros use them.

When I started playing it was pretty much with any ball that was given to me or what was available cheap. When I picked up golf again, it was the Dunlop DDH. I must've played a dozen brands before settling on the Callaway HX Hot. It's long, has a softer cover, putts well, though because my short game needs work, it's a bit lively around the greens.
4/5/08
 
Fredback says:
To some people it may be a status symbol. I am playing the Titleist NXT Tour. I like its performance and feel and the price range is good. If the price would increase I would probably switch to a less expensive ball. My swing effects my game more than my ball.
4/7/08
 
Kiwi says:
I play the B330 or the Srixon ZURc. And I play the recycled versions of them too. I may play off 2 but that doesn\'t mean I can tell the difference between them and the new ones. Besides I lose them that quick its a damn sight cheaper
4/7/08
 
wedgeguy says:
The point is, readers, that there are a lot of great golf balls out there, at a many different price points, and you should experiment until you find the combination that works best for you on the courses you play. And don't be afraid to have a couple of favorites -- you can use a harder ball on days the greens are softer, etc.
4/7/08
 
Worth says:
I had to respond to this post since Terry entered it on my Birthday. The same day I got a dozen Bridgestone E5+ balls.

I have found that the BridgestoneE5+ & E6+ are just about the best balls out there. There are about $25 a dozen and offer performance not significantly different than the ProV1's of the world. The fact is, I if I lose 5 yards on a drive or have 500 RPM less spin, I am not going to notice it. As Terry said, as a 10 handicapper....it really doesn't so much matter.

Besides, if you use his V sole wedge, you can make a Pinnacle spin.
4/8/08
 
duffy says:
I like playing the Taylormade TP Red & Black. But they're pretty darn expensive and a drag to lose.

I played a round with a guy who told me that the MC Lady is supposed to be a really good ball and that a lot of men have started using them. I'm trying them now and I hope they work out b/c the price is right! $10 per dozen.
4/8/08
 
wedgeguy says:
My personal preference? The Bridgestone B330-S. I don't mind plugging these guys, as they are making a great product. I found this ball to be as long or longer than the V1, and spins beautifully around the greens. And it costs about 75% as much -- street price $39.95.
4/9/08
 
cfsboss says:
Still looking 4 Hop Hop Stop fr 40-100 yards. Bought almost every ball rated for spin (Golf Digest Feb 08) = Pro V checked up and so did ProV1, better than ANY. None of others came close on short stickers w 56 W, so gave up my beloved DT SOLOs (under $1), Noodles, Precepts, etc to pay big $$ just to stick on tight greens. Now I haunt the golf shops for ProV Practice n X-Outs. "Tired of Rolling Off"
4/10/08
 
Troy says:
This blog kind of goes hand-in-hand with the blog \"You are not as bad as the golf industry thinks you are!\" The golf industry has some marketing geniuses. They suggest that in order to play your best golf you need to play the tour preferred (and usually the most expensive) balls and equipment. However, you don\'t need the same bike Lance Armstrong rides to enjoy a nice and efficient bike ride do you? My point is, play what suits you and your game the best, not what you think you SHOULD be playing based on golf advertising! There\'s absolutely no shame in playing a Top Flite versus a Titleist if you so choose! Play what you want, play what your game warrants!
4/21/08
 
Tony says:
My buddy plays nothing but Pro V1's, which is comical considering he plays to an 18, and swings so slowly he got fit for graphite irons at the age of 32.

I do occasionally play the Pro V1, but only because I quite literally have over 4 dozen than I've found on the course over the past couple of years (It must be nice to be able to throw $3 away so easily).

Personally I'm a fan of the Nike Power Distance Soft. For $15 a dozen it's near impossible to beat. I've given a sleeve of the new Wilson Staff Zip balls at a recent demo days. It's still early, but so far I absolutely love soft feel. At under $20, it's another great alternative to the higher priced balls.

All that said, if money were no object, I'd play nothing but Nike One Blacks.
4/22/08
 
William Marshall says:
In the late afternoons when the course traffic allows I often play different balls and experiment with clubs, etc. Between the balls I buy and all the different "samples" I find there is no appreciable difference in distance off the tee with a driver, fairway wood or hybird. The differences, for me, all come down to the feel off the club head, check up on the green and - maybe the most noticeable for me - the feel and distance control off the putter face.
4/22/08
 
Bob weseen says:
I play the prov-1x. I found that the prov1 spins too much for me on my approach shots to the green. I have tried numerous balls from all the manufacturer's but in the end I come back to the prov1-x as it feels the best off all my clubs. I may try the new Bridgestone balls this year, the one ball I found great in the wind was the Callaway HX design balls. The aerodyamics in the design of the hex dimples really cut through a sidewind enabling a golfer to hit more at his target instead of hoping that the wind will bring his/her ball back to the green.
4/26/08
 
Alex Graham says:
I've been switching back and forth between the NXT and Pro V1 and really haven't decided which I like better. I seem to get slightly better performance with the Pro Vs, however I love the durability of the NXT. It's not uncommon for me to play two or three rounds with the same NXT, and they never seem to scuff.

Has anybody heard of the Titleist Tour Prestige. Costco is selling them for $34.99 for 2 dozen and I'm wondering how they compare to the NXTs or Pro Vs.
4/29/08
 
Bob Damron says:
I've tried about all the balls out there and have settled on using the the Wilson 50. I do not lose anything on the drive and the feel of this ball off irons and the putter is great. It also is a bargain at 16.00 a dozen. I found and used a DT Solo +, their new ball this year, and it seems to have about the same feel as the Wilson 50 and is 15.00 a dozen.
5/8/08
 
Thorre says:
Because my swing speed is 85mph I have started using Callaway Pearl. It is easy to compress, so I have picked up distance and feel. Besides that, it putts great. It's not pink either.
5/12/09
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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