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Titleist is stepping up its game in 2013. The company, which already introduced its 913 metal woods will soon add a new and improved version of the most famous golf balls in the history of the game: Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Titleist went to the core of the matter to begin uncovering improvements. For the select few that have already sampled the latest from Titleist, the early returns appear more than favorable, which isn’t surprising given the rich history of the product and brand. Some individual’s leans towards results over anecdotal returns but in both instances the 2013 models have delivered positive grades. Prior to their official launch in the commercial marketplace, the new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls played their way to the winners circle for Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Louis Oosthuizen.

Scott played the 2013 Pro V1 on his way to a four-shot victory at the Australian Masters in November, his third consecutive top-8 finish after putting the new ball in play. Donald, playing the 2013 Pro V1x for the first time in competition at the Japan Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix event, also in November, won by five shots. A week later, he tied for third at the European Tour’s season finale, the DP World Tour Championship. Hiroyuki Fujita followed with a five-shot victory the first week of December at the Japan Series JT Cup, his second event playing the 2013 Pro V1 on the Japan Tour. The wins by Scott, Donald and Fujita have highlighted a period of instant acceptance and success for the new models. Playing in just his second official event with the new 2013 Pro V1x model, Louis Oosthuizen captured the season opening event on the European Tour in 2013, the Volvo Golf Champions. He was the fifth player to win with a new 2013 Pro V1 or Pro V1x prototype golf ball since the seeding process began last fall. Angel Cabrera is the other winner at the 107 Visa Open de Argentina.

While wins are hard to come by, the products have been adopted by others at a time when improved results were critical when the playing season last year was winding down. The 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls made their competitive debut on the PGA Tour in early October as the seeding and tour validation process began at the Shriners Hospital for Children Classic in Las Vegas. Eighteen players immediately switched to the new models that week. According to Titleist, five of those 18 early adopters finished T-13 or better. Bill Lunde shot four rounds in the 60s (67-69-67-66) to finish in fifth place, his best finish of the season. The following week at the Frys.com Classic, Jason Kokrak was one of 21 players that played the new models. He shot four rounds of 68 or better to finish runner-up and earn the best finish of his PGA Tour career. Jimmy Walker delivered (Pro V1) a T-4 finish that included a tournament-best 9-under 62 in the final round. David Toms played the new Pro V1x for the first time a week later at the McGladrey Classic, where he also registered his best performance of the season, finishing second after a closing 63. Toms was one of 27 players that week that relied on 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

“Performance drives all of us at Titleist,” said Mary Lou Bohn, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing and Communications. “While its no easy task for our Golf Ball R&D team to improve upon our industry-leading products, new Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the best performing golf balls we’ve ever made and the best performance choice for all golfers looking to shoot lower scores.” So what are the changes to the Pro V1 and Pro V1x?

Many times the word soft is associated in an unfavorable light, however Titleist found it to be just the opposite. “This is the softest Pro V1 we’ve ever made,” said Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Golf Ball R&D, Acushnet Company. “Due to the softer ZG process core technology, new Pro V1 has a lower, more controlled flight with lower driver and long iron spin that results in a shallower angle of descent, providing golfers with even more distance. That softer compression also makes this the best-feeling Pro V1 yet and gives golfers an even greater sense of control with shots into and around the green.”

The ZG process, Morgan mentioned, is likely something many might be confused about. Titleist loyalists may recall the process was originally introduced in the 2011 version of the golf balls. “Using ZG process core technology in the center of the 2013 Pro V1x results in a more consistent core hardness and more consistent concentricity. Any time you can improve the uniformity of the golf ball, it translates into more consistent on-course performance for golfers,” Morgan explained. “When golfers have less variation in their equipment, they have the opportunity to improve their performance.”

The core of the golf balls are not the only thing that have changed in the 2013 versions. “We’ve made an improvement to the formulation of the urethane cover that retains its out-of-the- box appearance longer, and introduced a new paint system with exceptional adhesion to the cover,” Morgan added. “These two technologies combine to create a far more durable golf ball while still maintaining all of Pro V1ʼs outstanding scoring performance and the feel that golfers love.”

“Golfers want exceptional distance in their long game and the best scoring performance for their short game,” said Bohn. “Yet they also value longer lasting durability. With our improved Urethane Elastomer cover system, golfers will not only experience an aerodynamically more consistent flight, they will notice their new Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball looking new and whiter longer.”

The new 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls will ship to golf shops beginning Jan. 25, 2013, with a suggested retail price of $62 (Minimum Advertised Price of $47.99). Click here to read more what TOUR players are saying about the new Pro V1 and Pro V1X

WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING ABOUT 2013 PRO V1:

“Iʼm a guy that likes the softer feel... The feel (of 2013 Pro V1) is unreal. Itʼs the best feeling ball I've played ever.” – Charley Hoffman

“I like to see a slightly lower ball flight on my driver. I feel like when I bring the ball flight down, I can control it a little better. And with this ball Iʼve been able to do that, but also keep plenty of distance on it. I also like to see the ball fly a little higher with my irons, so itʼs very hard to balance that, but somehow theyʼve managed to be able to do that with the new Pro V1 ... The new Pro V1 golf ball definitely has a softer feel which is something that I personally like. I feel that the soft feel, especially around the greens, is where I find the biggest benefit. Thatʼs where you want the touch and the nice feel coming back up off the clubface and into your hands and you can really zero in on getting it close to the hole.” – Adam Scott

“I felt like I had really good control with it, and that I could really spin it when I wanted to. I was hitting it very far and I was fourth in driving distance for the week (at the Frys.com Open). The ball was really moving good. It feels good especially off the putter. This has been a really easy transition into the new ball.” – Jimmy Walker

“I really like the trajectory of the new Pro V1. It has a penetrating flight to it yet still has plenty of height and performs very well in the wind. The trajectory fits my eye even better than the previous Pro V1 and it has a nice soft feel with the putter and around the greens. Iʼve been very happy with the performance of the golf ball.” – Ken Duke

“The new Pro V1 worked very well for me in the couple tournaments Iʼve played with it so far. It had good pop off the driver and I feel like I was hitting it a little further than my previous Pro V1. I was getting very good distances with it but was still able to control and flight my shots. I enjoyed how it performed for me.” – John Senden

“It feels so good with my irons. ... You're looking for feel and distance and thatʼs what the New Pro V1 does.” – Chris DiMarco

WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING ABOUT 2013 PRO V1x:

“I put the 2013 Pro V1X into play for the first time last week (at the Dunlop Phoenix) and won on a tight, demanding golf course. From tee to green, I felt I had total control of distance, ball flight and shot shape, and on and around the greens, the ball performed just as I needed in order to shoot winning numbers.” – Luke Donald

“It was instantly great feel, great flight, and it did everything that I could ask out of a ball. ... Itʼs definitely a little bit softer. It has a superior feel and you still get a lot of distance and a really good flight out of it. Iʼm not a guy that changes that easily so for me to just put it right in play really says a lot about how good it really is.” – Brendan Steele

“The cover seemed stronger. I tend to scar up golf balls pretty quickly, and this one stayed together a lot longer.” – Martin Flores

“It performs better, it does everything that the other ball did but better. It flights better, itʼs a little bit softer and it just performs better in all circumstances. ... The durability, that's probably the thing I like the most. I was probably going through five or six balls a round with the other one and I didn't really like changing that much and this ball holds up through the round better, especially for your average amateur player that's going to play it. You can play it as long as you want to realistically and the ball still performs.” – Scott Stallings

“The golf ball is the absolute most important piece of our equipment without a doubt
and you know with all the R&D thatʼs gone into a new Titleist golf ball that itʼs going to be something pretty special. It's exciting to know that the people behind the golf ball are really working hard to improve the product and make a better performing golf ball, and right now I believe they've done it.” – Jason Bohn

“The first nine holes I played with it, I immediately saw a ball flight that better fit my eye, was more durable and had softer feel around the greens. I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I made the transition immediately and ended up having my best finish of the year. ... The 2013 Pro V1x launches lower for me, itʼs very strong flight into the wind and it just feels great. ... I definitely have seen a durability increase. The cover doesnʼt fray as easy with wedges, when you hit that crisp wedge or a good bunker shot, you donʼt see the cover fray or tear.” – Bill Lunde