VIDEO: The Moment of Impact. An Inside Look at Titleist Golf Ball R&D

Posted: October 24, 2013

For our Titleist Golf Ball R&D team, the goal is always the same: Design and develop the most consistent and best performing golf balls to help golfers shoot lower scores. It's a process focused on continuous improvement, fostered by many talented individuals working tirelessly behind the scenes.

Of course, there's also some really cool (and extremely sophisticated) test equipment that plays a role in continually making the best golf balls in the game even better.

Case in point: The Titleist R&D team recently fired up one of their mechanical robots to film golf ball impact footage, using a high-speed camera, at 22,000 frames per second.

The second we heard this was happening, we were inspired to bring you an exclusive insider’s view. So we grabbed our cameras, headed to the Manchester Lane Testing facility and met up with Paul Furze, Manager of Product Test Methods.

Paul's plan was to run through a series of tests and capture the moment of impact of different Titleist golf ball models across various ball speeds. Using the high-speed footage, the team could then analyze how the golf ball reacts to the force being applied and show the actual compression upon impact.

One result, as you will see in the video: "If you compare the 120 mph driver [ball] speed to the 175 mph driver [ball] speed, you'll see that the compression on the ball is really quite similar," said Furze. In other words, every player, no matter their swing speed, compresses the golf ball.

Check out the video for a closer look at this step in our R&D process and to see what happens to a golf ball at impact – and a few micro-seconds after impact... (Yes, we said micro-seconds.)

Just in case you were wondering, "What exactly is Product Test Methods Development?" Well, this team develops and maintains all of the test equipment used throughout the various stages of the process. From robotic swing machines and air canons to wind tunnels and advanced simulators, they’ve got it covered.

Pretty cool gig if you ask us.

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David D

Day in and day out the most consistently produced balls on the market. Sometimes Titleist marketing gets a little confusing with name changes etc. One of the most noticeable changes in the PV-1 was the improoved whiteness.  Slight incrimental changes cloud the rare major steps in product advancement and when changes are made often it prompts one to try another product.

Bill M

I love the Pro V1. I have trouble watching my ball so I play the NXT s in optic Yellow. Make the Pro V! in Optic yellow and I'll play them instead.


The Titleist staff are experts at what they do!!  Everyone of them that I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with seem to love their jobs, and it shows in a big way.

Jack H

Is the ball compression the same under 125 mph? What does it look like at 90 to 120 mph?

William F

Interesting on how you are making your  products make us winners!

Frank M

Thank you Titleist for people like Paul!  You can tell he is really into his job.  That is to our benefit. The Pro V is the best ball out there, no question.

Jim A

I am so glad you at Titleist care enough to never settle for the status quo.  The sleeve of prototype balls you sent to me are fantastic.  I played them today and made my first hole-in-one and played a very nice round to boot.  Thanks again for all you do!


Love seeing people this excited about what they do!  Fun share and exactly what I'd hope the folks at titleist are like.

Titleist Fitting Team

Patrick H

The club speed Paul was talking about was actually the ball speed. The USGA sets the speed limit on clubs and balls, and the ratio is a maximum 1.5 ball speed (when hit perfectly) for each mph of club speed, ie:  

80 mph of club speed= 120 mph of ball speed

90 mph of club speed= 135 mph of ball speed

100 mph of club speed= 150 ball speed

110 mph of club speed= 165 ball speed


Average PGA Tour driver speed = 112

Average LPGA Tour driver speed= 95

Bubba Watson= 120-125 mph

World long drive= 140's

brandon j

awesome video