Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting: The Facts About Swing Speed

Posted: June 10, 2011

It's a common misconception among golfers that Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are effective only for tour players and tour-level swing speeds.

"My swing speed isn't high enough to play a golf ball that tour players use," is a refrain heard repeatedly by our Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting teams.

Truth is, in order for a golf ball to work for any golfer it has to work for all swing speeds, as every golfer uses a variety of swing speeds during the course of a round.

"The notion that a player has a single swing speed probably creates the confusion, because in reality every player has a wide range of swing speeds," says Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D. "We don't have a single swing speed that we use for every shot during the course of the round, that's just not the nature of the game."

Take, for example, three-time PGA Tour winner Bubba Watson, one of the game's longest-hitting players.

Bubba's driver swing speed is in excess of 120 mph, which results in a ball speed over 180 mph. As Bubba gets closer to the green, his swing speed decreases because the clubs get shorter. The shorter the club, the less force Bubba imparts to the golf ball. His swing speed is 100 mph with his 7-iron (136 mph ball speed) and 92 mph (113 ball speed) with his pitching wedge.

"That’s a wide range of ball speed," says Matt Hogge, Director of Product Implementation in Titleist Golf Ball R&D. "Rule 5-1 of the USGA rulebook says that one golf ball model must be played for the entire round. If that one ball that Bubba puts into play works only for his tee shots, then why play it? He plays a Titleist Pro V1x because the ball works at all the forces he puts upon it."

Over the years, the Titleist R&D team has measured the range of swing speeds of countless golfers, from tour pros to high-handicap players.

"We've seen that while a tour player has a very wide range of swing speeds – and certainly the highest ones are very high – the range of swing speeds through the set that all golfers use fits within the range that the tour players has," added Morgan.

Translation: The slower swing speeds you use while hitting your shots are also used by tour players for different types of shots.

"If Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls didn't work for lower swing speeds, there would be some shots a tour player has to execute that simply wouldn't work," Morgan says. "And that's simply not true."

When it comes to any golfer choosing the best Titleist golf ball for your game, it's not just about swing speed or ball speed, it's about all-around performance.

An important fact to keep in mind is that all Titleist golf balls are long.

Differences in distance between models off the driver for swing speeds ranging from tour players (near 110 mph) down to lower speed players (in the 80s mph) are less than four yards, a factor that is neither game-changing nor score-changing.

On the other hand, hitting a green in regulation can save you almost two strokes.  Selecting a golf ball that helps you hit more greens more often and more consistently provides the best opportunity to lower you score.

The key to lowering your scores is improving your scoring shots into and the around the green, the shots that will allow you to make more putts, and Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls offer all players the most performance control on these types of shots.

"The golf ball doesn’t know who hit it," Morgan says. "I can’t make a golf ball that makes a low swing-speed player as long as a tour player. However, I can make a golf ball that will help a lower swing-speed player hit a shot into the green that will help them score better. Same as it does for a tour player. Because that’s the part of the game that matters the most and that’s where all the golfers are really the same.

"They have the same requirements in that part of the game. Hit it as close to the pin as possible."

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To learn more about Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting and try the online Titleist Golf Ball Selection Tool, click here.

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BILL W


pro-v1 is my ball, my driver speed is about 85mph

bob r


I find that the ball fitting is very interesting and educational. I never would have guessed that the DT is the softest Titleist.

Sean FN


Makes sense.

Harry U


Long, long, long.  And, great around the green.  Works for me ! ! !

benjamin l


I agree that there is a variety of different swing speeds for each player. Comes down to personal preference and seeing which ball produces the flight you like on irons and driver.

Nathan B


Where does the Titleist NXT fit into this discussion? What doesn't it have that the ProV1 has?

Mike M


I recently purchased a set of AP2, Irons. After playing them for 6-9 month I've decided to rep[lace the KBS shafts with graphic shafts. I was shock to find there are very few choices I have with a .355T tip and the ones I have are very expensive.

For my peace of mind, can you let me in on why Titleist choose these diameter when a more standard .350 05 .370 would give you customers more shafts to pick from???? Thanks, Mike  

John P


Titleist brings out a good pint to counter all at hype Bridgestone has come up with. I have tried the Bridgestone ball for slower swing speeds - but it does not hold the greens for me on my second shot as well as the ProV1 does.

Why drive the ball 10 more years off the tee, then roll it off the green on your approach shot?

eagle3


Excellent commentary on swing speeds and their application to the ball you use. I use 3 different balls over the course of the year. Basically I use the ProV1x while we are here in Iowa as I find that I get greater feel, distance and control in the higher humidities. When we go to Texasin the Winter, the air is drier and soil conditions give me a better performance with the ProV1. The other ball I use is here in Iowa in the cold weather. It seems to give me more distance and control is sacrificed to some extrent, but my game remains fairly steady.

The best part of all is that I am totally dedicated to Titleist.

eagle3


I believe that I accidentally omitted what ball I use in my previous submission. If not, okay, but in the colder weather here in Iowa, (below 55 degs.) I use the NXT Tour.