The only place better than Las Vegas in October for testing golf equipment is indoors because the weather is consistently good and TPC Summerlin, the site of this week’s Shriners Children’s Open tends to yield at a lot of birdies. Last year, Sungjae Im won with a score of 24 under par.
So, Titleist has opted to once again bring the next generation of Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls to Las Vegas for their tour debut this week.
Before the start of last week’s Sanderson Farms, three players who had been involved in the balls’ prototype testing—Garrick Higgo, M.J. Daffue and Gary Woodland—asked if they could put the balls in play. The new balls are made in Ball Plant III, one of Titleist’s facilities in New Bedford, Massachusetts, so several “white box” prototype packages were delivered overnight to the players so they could be used.
It turns out the extra expense was worth it as Duffue made a hole-in-one using his new Pro V1x on the 182-yard fourth hole on Thursday and Higgo finished in third, just one shot out of the playoff between Mackenzie Hughes and Sepp Straka.
While Titleist has not released any details about the new balls, the company can only hope to match the success it enjoyed on the PGA Tour last season because each of the four major championships was won by a player using a Titleist ball—Scottie Scheffler (Masters, Pro V1), Justin Thomas (PGA Championship, Pro V1x), Matt Fitzpatrick (U.S. Open Pro V1x) and Cameron Smith (British Open, Pro V1x).
The 2021 Titleist Pro V1 is a three-piece ball with a large rubber core encased in a mantle layer that also features a cast urethane cover. Since it debuted in Las Vegas in 2000, the Pro V1 has always been a three-piece ball, so it would be surprising if the 2023 model was not a three-piece construction.
The 2021 Pro V1x is a four-piece ball that has a dual-core design encased by the mantle. Like the Pro V1, it has a cast urethane cover, but its design gives it a firmer feel and helps it produce a slightly-higher ball flight and spin rate.