In golf, one rule of thumb is to stick to one make and model of ball, the idea being that familiarity breeds predictability and thus consistency. Arriving at that one ball choice however, depends on what you the golfer decides is a priority for your game; be it feel, ball flight, short game spin or just pure distance. To that end, Titleist has a ball model to suit every golfer seeking to maximize their game potential. And for 2020, 3 models receive performance updates to stay relevant to what consumers want.
Generation two of Titleist’s third premium ball, the 2020 edition of the AVX (Alternative to V and X), promises more ball speed with increased short game spin. First launched two years back, the original idea was for the multi-layered AVX ball to serve golfers seeking distance and a softer feel in a tour level ball. With the lowest ball flight, lowest spin and now the softest feel in Titleist’s premium tour ball range, the AVX has been re-engineered to deliver improved performance from tee to green over the previous version.
The higher ball speed, lower long game spin resulting in a longer driver distance but with exceptionally soft feel is achieved through its new larger low-compression core and a redesigned high flex casing layer. The piercing low ball flight comes via the new 352 aerodynamic dimple design. The new thinner cast urethane cover increases greenside spin and control.
According to Frederick Waddell, Senior Product Manager, Titleist Golf Balls, “In our ongoing discussions with golfers, we are constantly meeting golfers who tell us, ‘AVX is the ball I’ve been waiting for’. We’ve been able to lean on these golfers to better understand how they experience AVX and what we can do to help them shoot lower scores. The improvements to AVX are a direct result of their insights and the inventiveness of our R & D team. The new AVX is faster and longer, it performs better around the green, and delivers more of the incredibly soft feel that golfers love about this product.”
Softer than the AVX, the Tour Soft is popular for its long distance, soft feel and consistent short game control. Falling into Titleist’s performance category, the Tour Soft packs in a good measure of spin, just not as much as a urethane covered premium ball.
Sporting a new look “T” alignment stamp, the Tour Soft has the largest core of all the golf balls in Titleist’s stable, this has been reformulated and made even larger in the 2020 version to deliver faster ball speeds. To allow for this larger core, the new ball’s high performance 4CE grafted cover had to be made thinner which in turn produced increased short game spin performance. A new spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple design provides a more penetrating flight for the new Tour Soft.
“Golfers wanting to play a softer-feeling ball shouldn’t have to sacrifice yards off the tee or control into the green. We know they have real golf to play and their ball has to be much more than just soft,” said Michael Mahoney, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing. “The new generation of Tour Soft continues to show what’s possible in a lower compression design. Our engineers have developed a longer, all-around better performing golf ball that maintains the soft and responsive feel that golfers love about this product.”
Catering to single-attribute focused golfers, the Velocity is more about distance and less about short game control. This year, Velocity has been reworked with a formula that offers maximum velocity with improved green stopping spin; all in response to golfers requests.
All the comprehensive feedback alongside Titleist innovations has resulted in a new spherically-tiled 350 octahedral dimple design that delivers a high ball flight with greater aerodynamic consistency for enhanced long game distance. Its engine now sports a larger, higher speed LSX core that generates fast initial velocity with extremely low spin on all full swing shots, helping golfers squeeze out every last meter. A benefit of this larger core size is added spin on approach shots over its predecessor. The latest edition also contains a fast Naz+ cover designed to offer golfers added speed and greenside feel.
Along with the improved performance, the new Velocity comes in three new colours featuring a high optic, vibrant matte finish. Choose from matte pink (play numbers #1-4), matte green (#00-11-22-33) and matte orange (#00-11-22-33) in addition to the standard white. These new matte colors have a proprietary coating designed to keep the colour of the ball from fading thereby enhancing durability.
Understanding one’s game and how each ball behaves in the air (higher versus a lower flight) and around the green (spin versus roll) would be key to choosing the right ball for your game. Yet even for the more experienced golfer, it can be confusing.
Thankfully, Titleist has a golf ball fitting tool that starts the fitting process by suggesting a recommended and alternative ball for you to test. Then an on-course evaluation follows, working backwards from green to tee, to see which golf ball is the best for your game.
Because it is a fact, playing a properly fit golf ball will help you shoot lower scores.