MyGolfSpy.com Titleist Ball Fitting – Case Studies

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Titleist Ball Fitting – Case Studies (MyGolfSpy.com)

Titleist Ball Fitting


Why should I get fitted for a golf ball?

It’s a fair question and one most golfers likely don’t spend enough time pondering. The myriad answers start to get at what is a very simple and, at times, nuanced situation.

The most basic and applicable thinking is that the ball is the only piece of equipment you use on every shot.

More detailed fittings might involve specific-use cases, such as 7-iron peak height, player-preferred spin around the greens, long-iron descent angle … Those sorts of situations.

Moreover, the decision point between two balls with relatively equal performance is highly individualized and often has less to do with driver distance.

With that, we put 14 players through a premium ball fitting at Independence Golf Club in Richmond, Va.

While each fitting was as unique as the player, several trends emerged. Perhaps the most important was that every golfer, regardless of skill, playing experience or style of play, can benefit from a fitting

CASE STUDIES


Titleist Ball Fitting


Fitting Summary​


Bennett ended up in the Titleist Pro V1x largely due to its higher trajectory throughout the bag and steeper descent angle with her irons. The Pro V1x did feel slightly firmer around the greens. However, feel isn’t always indicative of greenside spin as was the case with Bennett where the Pro V1x performed similarly to her previous ball.

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Fitting Summary​


Steve is natively a low-launch/low-spin player. So, the high-launch and -spin characteristics of Pro V1x help him find optimal launch/spin conditions throughout the bag. However, with the driver, both Pro V1 and Pro V1x generated nearly identical launch/ball speed off the driver. With a flighted 75-yard wedge shot, Steve generated 6,500 to 7,000 rpm of spin and a 46-degree descent angle with the Pro V1x. Comparing 7-iron data, the Pro V1 generated 5,400 rpm of spin, a peak height of 68 feet and a 40-degree landing angle. The Pro V1x had less spin (6,000 rpm) and a 41-degree landing angle.

Steve’s case is a good example of where finding a ball that offsets your natural tendencies can lead to better performance. If you tend to hit the ball too high with too much spin, consider starting your search with balls that are designed as low launch/low spin and vice versa.

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Fitting Summary​


Ryan is a professional golfer competing on mini-tours and PGA TOUR Latino America. He won the 2021 Iowa State Open with a score of -19. Although the Pro V1 and Pro V1 Left Dot generated nearly identical numbers, Ryan prefers the slightly higher-spin Pro V1 as he is more comfortable taking spin/trajectory off by altering his swing as opposed to trying to add spin/launch. In reviewing 7-iron data, the Pro V1 generated 6,900 rpm of spin, a peak height of 105 feet, a 50-degree descent angle and a carry distance of 176 yards. Comparatively, the Pro V1 Left Dot produced 6,800 rpm of spin, a peak height of 102 feet, a 49.5-degree descent angle and a carry distance of 177 yards.

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Fitting Summary​


Charlie is the archetypal example of why every golfer should be fitted for a ball. He believed his prior ball (Srixon Soft Feel) was better suited to his game because of its “soft” characteristics, namely that a lower-compression, softer ball provided him with more spin around the greens and increased distance off the tee. Based on Trackman data, Charlie generated longer carry off his driver and significantly more greenside spin from the higher-compression Pro V1x. Underlying Charlie’s entire experience was his belief that he didn’t have the necessary swing speed to play a “premium” ball.

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Fitting Summary​


Tom is a typical amateur golfer who fights too much spin throughout the bag. He tends to have a slightly steep, over-the-top swing that produces a strong left-to-right (fade) ball flight. Titleist AVX is a low-spin option. However, it still launched too low for Tom. Pro V1x Left Dash offered Tom the low-spin characteristics of the AVX but with a higher overall flight and descent angle (45 degrees) than AVX.

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Fitting Summary​


Adam is an accomplished amateur golfer and needs to optimize performance for the course conditions he plays most often. Tournament courses are often set up with firm and fast greens and ultimately this is where the Pro V1 won out over Pro V1x Left Dash. Given a 65-yard pitch shot, Pro V1 produced more spin than Pro V1x Left Dash (8,000 rpm versus 7,500). Additionally, Pro V1 produced a steeper landing angle (49 degrees) as compared to Pro V1x Left Dash (44-45). Moreover, Adam was pleased the Pro V1 didn’t give up any ball speed off the driver as compared to the Pro V1x Left Dash.

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Fitting Summary​


Chris is a high-flight, high-spin player. As expected, Pro V1 and Pro V1 Left Dot helped bring down the ball flight. Initially, Pro V1x Left Dash presented some intriguing options but still generated a higher-than-optimal flight. Comparing Pro V1 and Pro V1 Left Dot, the latter offered a slightly lower flight but a bit more spin on partial wedge shots and around the green. Comparing 7-iron data, the Pro V1 generated 6,900 rpm of spin, a peak height of 105 feet and a 51-degree landing angle. The Pro V1 Left Dot had less spin (6,600 rpm), a peak height of 96 feet and a 48-degree landing angle.

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Fitting Summary​


Sometimes, through trial and error, a golfer can find a ball that is an ideal fit. In this case, Ryan’s fitting data confirmed that the ball he’d been playing (Pro V1) was still the best fit for his game. On a 70-yard shot, the Pro V1 produced 6,800 rpm, a peak height of 57 feet and a 51-degree landing angle. With his 7-iron, Pro V1 produced 6,900 rpm of spin, a peak height of 94 feet and a 48-degree descent angle. If anything, Ryan might benefit from slightly less spin off his driver (2,800 rpm). However, combined with a peak height of 98 feet and a 39-degree landing angle, he is well within a workable window.

The message here is that a golfer doesn’t always need to change equipment in order for a fitting to be beneficial.

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Fitting Summary​


Phillip is typically a low-trajectory and-low spin player. As such, the additional spin delivered by the Pro V1x increased his 8-iron peak height (81 feet) and descent angle (46 degrees). Phillip also found similar increased distance and playability with his driver for the same reasons, namely a higher overall trajectory as a result of additional spin

As with several other players, finding a ball with characteristics that oppose your natural flight/spin tendencies is often going to yield performance benefits. Players may fight certain launch conditions for a variety of reasons. For Phillip, his prosthetic leg can make it difficult to generate spin and height on some shots.

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Fitting Summary​


Chris felt the primary weakness in his game is a lack of sufficient peak height with his long irons. Interestingly enough, Chris generated PGA TOUR-level ball speed with his 4-iron (137 mph) but his landing angle (42 degrees) is six degrees less than the Tour average of 48 degrees. The Pro V1x increased both spin (350 rpm) and landing angle (46 degrees) for Chris. It also gave him access to a wider variety of shots around the green. For some golfers, the decision point between two balls can be a single type or category of shot.

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Fitting Summary​


Harry recently turned pro and competes in various local and regional professional events. If anything, Harry has a tendency to create too much spin with short irons and not enough spin with chips and pitches. The Pro V1x launched too high with too much spin off the irons and the Pro V1x Left Dash didn’t spin enough around the greens. That left Pro V1 and Pro V1 Left Dot. Ultimately, Left Dot performed marginally better on short irons while producing noticeably more spin on short chips and pitches. With the driver, Harry’s most common miss is a spinny, high-right block. The Pro V1 Left Dot generated slightly less spin (2,200 rpm) and peak height (five feet lower) than Pro V1 on well-struck tee shots. As a result, the Pro V1 Left Dot helped produce a “better” miss for Harry.

Titleist-Ball-Fitting-ARTICLE-Graphics.png


Fitting Summary​


Jimmy is probably more like the majority of golfers than many of our testers. Prior to this fitting, he played a variety of balls without any real understanding of which ball might be best suited to his game. The reality is that the real “#1 ball in golf” is likely still whatever a golfer finds in his/her bag or abandoned in a penalty area. Regardless, most golfers are in the “you don’t know what you don’t know” category of players. In this case, Jimmy didn’t have much experience using spin to help him control greenside chips and pitches or understand how a ball with a softer, thinner cover (Pro V1) could potentially improve his short game. Jimmy initially gravitated toward the Titleist AVX primarily as a result of its soft feel. However, Jimmy generated more spin (4,425 rpm versus 4,050) on partial wedge shots with the Pro V1. Additionally, the Pro V1 produced a higher trajectory and more optimal descent angle with his short irons.

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Fitting Summary​


Sometimes a fitting adheres to Voltaire’s line of thinking that “Perfect is the enemy of good.” More specifically, sometimes the best ball is the one with the fewest drawbacks. While neither launch/spin combination is by-the-book ideal, the Pro V1 offered more spin on irons and around the green while maintaining sufficient distance off the driver. With the 7-iron, Pro V1 produced 6,500 rpm of spin and a 35-degree landing angle. Comparatively, Pro V1x Left Dash generated less spin (6,100 rpm) but a steeper landing angle (38 degrees).

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Fitting Summary​


Jonathan is a former collegiate golfer who relies heavily on short-game performance to shoot low scores. As expected, Jonathan prefers a ball with more spin around the greens and off his wedges. With the exception of AVX, the other models he tested (V1, V1x, V1x Left Dash) all produced sufficient spin for his needs. Jonathan’s 7-iron data with the Pro V1x (6,500 rpm, a peak height of 79 feet and a 44-degree landing angle) suggest he could benefit from additional launch and spin to maximize distance. However, the Pro V1x is already the highest-launching/-spinning offering in Titleist’s lineup and generates a playable combination of peak height and descent angle for Jonathan.

Titleist Ball Fitting


WHERE DO WE GO NOW?​


Testing is an organic process. Each time we ask a question, some answers surprise us while others confirm or contradict previously held beliefs or popular marketing messages. With that, here are five key takeaways from this experience.

#1. Every golfer, regardless of skill level, can benefit from a ball fitting.

#2. The ball you’re playing right now is likely NOT the best fit for your game.

#3. There isn’t a single ball that is best for every player—or for every shot.

#4. Don’t let “better” be the enemy of “optimal”.

#5. When in doubt, err towards the ball with more launch/spin.

MY $.05​


We get that the majority of golfers who can benefit from a ball fitting likely don’t have access to a Tour-level experience. Ball companies understand this reality as well. To that end, Titleist offers a virtual fitting option with the same staff that performs the on-site fittings. Bridgestone launched its VFIT app in 2017 and most ball manufactures have some version of a self-guided online fitting tool as well. Additionally, we know plenty of you are DIY-type golfers. If that’s you, stay tuned for our self-fitting checklist.

As more golfers come to realize the performance benefits of playing the correct ball, it will be intriguing to see how the industry responds. Perhaps we will see more conglomerate fitting engines such as PING’s Ballnamic tool ($39). Or maybe individual manufacturers will move forward with various strategies and brand-specific proprietary products.

What do you think? What would you like to see?

The post Titleist Ball Fitting – Case Studies appeared first on MyGolfSpy.




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