Given the high profile of these Titleist golf balls, beginners often ask me which is better for high handicappers: the Pro V1 or Pro V1x.
After I have quivered at the thought of a slow swing speed golfer striking these high compression dimples, I politely say neither.
Now, I know that gives away the answer to this post, but it is essential to understand why they do not suit a high handicapper. In this post, I will take you through their construction, spin rate, ball speed, and flight to highlight why it benefits higher swing speeds the best.
Table of Contents
What High Handicappers Should Look for in a Golf Ball
Accelerated Ball Speed
Low compression is vital for slower swing speeds, requiring added ball pace for consistent distance. A low compression golf ball provides increased spring off the clubface on long shots leading to rapid velocity and high, long golf shots.
The downside of added spring off the clubface is reduced friction on short game shots, resulting in a lower spin rate and less short game control. However, the trade-off is consistent launch to help you keep your ball airborne for longer.
As the compression rating increases, the golf ball becomes stiffer at impact and provides limited spring and speed assistance.
Excess spin generated from off-center strikes causes high handicappers to deliver inconsistent distance and erratic shot dispersion. Affordable distance golf balls typically contain an ionomer cover which ensures low long game spin and enhanced durability.
You’ll notice that combining low long game spin with explosive ball speed generates increased yards.
The final must-have feature is drag-resistant dimples that encourage a high launch for elevated ball flight and carry distance. I find that Titleist’s best golf ball for high flight is the Titleist Velocity, which is fitted with a spherically-tiled 350 Octahedral dimple design.
You’ll notice that it fights drag and gets your ball airborne to help you achieve consistent high ball flight and optimal carry yardage.
If slow swinging golfers play lower launch golf balls, you can produce inconsistent flight and carry distance results.
Pros and Cons of The Titleist Pro V1
Mid to Low Long Game Spin
The first advantage I noticed on the Pro V1 was exceptionally low long game spin compared to my usual results with a Srixon Soft Feel, my go-to. The Pro V1 came out ahead of the Pro V1 x for long game spin.
Penetrating Ball Flight
Penetrating ball flight is advantageous to golfers seeking greater control over their shots. The 388 Spherically-tiled tetrahedral dimple patterns on the Pro V1 are built to keep your ball on a controlled trajectory.
This helps eliminate the risk of ballooning your golf shots and losing carry and total distance. The downside of this flight is that it can cause slower swingers to produce limited carry yards and roll.
Accelerated Long Game Ball Speed
During my test, I found that the Pro V1 produced faster ball speed than the Pro V1x on average, but the difference was marginal. Precisely, 0.1 mph. That means that on another day, in different conditions, the Pro V1x may tip the scales.
Despite losing to the Pro V1x in long and short game distance, it put up a brave fight with an exceptional roll. It ran along the ground for 7-yards farther than the x off the tee and 3-yards longer on approach shots.
Lower Driver and Iron Spin
The results showed that the Pro V1 delivers lower long game spin than the Pro V1x. Like the ball speed test, the difference was minimal off the tee, with the classic Pro V bagging the title by 40 rpm.
Furthermore, the Pro V1 overshadowed its relative with an iron in hand, producing over 500 rpm more spin than the x.
The Pro V1 is the softer feeling Titleist golf ball thanks to a thin, cast urethane cover and lower compression rating than the x. Besides providing a pleasant feel, the urethane cover enables the golf ball to bite into the sharp grooves of short irons and wedges to produce maximum shot-stopping power.
Previously, premium golf balls were solely produced in a tour-white color. Fortunately, Titleist has broadened its horizons and added an easy-to-identify yellow. You’ll find this is ideal for seniors or golfers with visual impairments struggling to source their ball around the golf course.
Let me get the elephant out of the room. These quality golf balls fetch a premium, which is another reason why beginners should steer clear of them. If you lose a dozen Pro V1s in a round, you will find yourself almost $50 down, excluding your green fees, fuel to the course, and refreshments.
The higher compression of the Pro V1 makes it unsuitable to slower swinging high handicappers desperate for spring assistance. The sturdy golf ball remains firm at impact and does not jump off the face, which can cause slower swingers to gain limited air time.
Low Ball Flight
Although low ball flight aids faster swingers with control, it can cause erratic results for average golfers. For example, you’ll see the golf ball fall out of the sky earlier than intended, leading to a loss of carry and total distance. All this mess before you have even had a crack at the green.
Shorter Carry and Total Distance
I found that the Pro V1 produced shorter long and short game carry and total distance compared to the Pro V1 x. Off the tee, the Pro V1 fell 6-yards short of the landing point of the x. Conversely, it touched down 4-yards shorter than its rival on wedge shots.
Pros and Cons of The Titleist Pro V1x
High Ball Flight
A feature that does benefit high handicappers is the elevated ball flight of the Pro V1x. I noticed that my drives reached an apex of 22 feet higher than the standard Pro V1. This propelled it to produce longer carry and total distance over its nemesis.
Furthermore, the Pro V1x produced 15 feet of additional height with the 7-iron and 7 feet with a wedge. This makes it an easier golf ball to get airborne and traveling unhindered.
Faster Mid and Wedge Ball Speed
The Pro V1x was pipped at the wire in the long game ball speed category, but it flipped the script in the mid iron and wedge category. The 7-iron tests showed that the X was 0.4 mph faster than the Pro V1. Plus, it generated 3.5 mph more on wedge shots.
High Greenside Spin
Despite a marginal difference, the Titleist Pro V1x turned out as the winner in the greenside spin contest, pipping the Pro V1 by 600 rpm. This led to exceptional short game control to help me get up and down easier.
Like Pro V1’s, Titleist offers you the option of the Pro V1x in traditional tour white or yellow for an easier find.
Firm Golf Ball
A major negative of the Titleist Pro V1x is its high compression rating, which exceeds 100. This means it provides limited spring off the face, requiring rapid swing speed to produce a powerful launch. Slower swingers will struggle to get this ball airborne on off-center strikes leading to a loss of carry yards and accuracy.
Higher Long and Mid Game Spin
The high and mid-long game spin of the Pro V1x golf ball is detrimental to the consistency and accuracy of some high handicap golfers. You’ll find that the added spin leaves you at risk of producing aggravated slices and hooks on off-center strikes. Plus, it can cause some golfers to balloon their shots.
Finally, like the Pro V1, the Pro V1x is a premium-priced golf ball, which is not viable for high handicappers who frequently lose dimples on the links.
Which Ball Goes Further?
After running the numbers from our test, we find that Pro V1x delivers greater long game distance over the standard edition.
Winner: Pro V1x
Which Ball Is Easier to Hit Straight?
I found that the penetrating flight of the 338 Spherically-tiled dimple design made the Pro V1 easier to hit straight.
Winner: Pro V1
Which Ball is Cheaper?
Neither golf ball is cheaper. They both carry the same premium price tag, which puts them out of the running for many golfers.
Winner: Dead Heat
The Final Verdict
There you have it. The next time your 36 handicap buddy asks whether to use a Pro V1 or Pro V1x you know what to tell them. Granted, these dimples are the pinnacle of modern golf ball engineering and deliver distance off the tee and higher spin around the green.
I understand why every golfer wants to play these golf balls. However, their high compression rating and premium price rule them out as a practical option for the average amateurs.
You’ll find that slower swing speed golfers may struggle to consistently launch these golf balls, leading to a loss of carry and total distance. In addition, you will spend an unnecessary fortune on golf balls, which is a senseless undertaking.
However, if you absolutely must have one of these golf balls and love making your life difficult, go for the Titleist Pro V1x. It delivers consistently high flight, enhanced greenside spin, and mid to low long game spin for all-around performance.