Ever wonder what goes into the making of a Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x?

Here at Team Titleist, we're lucky to go to work every day with some of the best and brightest people in the game, the Titleist associates responsible for creating the #1 ball in golf.

And with Titleist Ball Plant III only a few minutes away in New Bedford, Mass., we recently had the opportunity to tour the facility and witness first-hand the making of the 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

It's a pretty cool experience, so we wanted to share it with all of Team Titleist.

Check out the video above for your own tour of Titleist Ball Plant III and see our team at work.

Remember, there's a difference between a golf ball and a Titleist golf ball - the #1 ball in golf.

FAST FACT: For more than 75 years, Titleist golf balls have been designed and manufactured by Titleist associates in Titleist's own world-class facilities, each person playing an important role in making the highest performing, most consistent golf balls in the game.

Click on Image Above to Launch Slideshow

While Team Titleist was in full force at the 2013 PGA Show in Orlando, FL for the introduction of the new 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, we did manage to sneak out west earlier in the week to take in the stunning views found along the North and South courses of Torrey Pines.

The 2013 Farmers Insurance Open features a strong field of talented players including the 2010 Champion and Titleist Brand Ambassador Ben Crane. With both courses playing tough, all players will be looking to bring their best performances into the weekend.

And for a majority of players in the field, performance is the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Titleist is the overwhelming top choice in golf balls at the Farmers Insurance Open with 104 players in the field of 156 relying upon a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, more than 5 times the nearest competitor with 20, and more than all competitors combined.

This includes a total of 57 players who will be relying upon a new 2013 Pro V1 (10) or Pro V1x (47) golf ball – which made their public debut on Thursday at the PGA Show. Check out this post for more details.

Titleist was also the favorite in the iron sets (42), sand, lob and approach wedge (163) and putter (56) categories.

Check out the slideshow above to take a stroll with Team Titleist  beneath the Torreys and see what the players including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Charley Hoffman, Scott Stallings, Ben Crane and Brendan Steele among others, were up to early in the week.

Performance is the 2013 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. The team has been hard at work and we are happy to introduce you to the new 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

Driven by the pursuit of superior performance, the Titleist team of golf ball R&D experts has been able to deliver even more distance, softer feel and longer lasting durability in the 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x models through new core and cover technologies.

Here's a quick look at what's new for 2013...

  • The 2013 Pro V1 provides even softer feel, making it the softest Pro V1 yet. Golfers will also benefit from the Pro V1’s longer distance due to lower driver and long game spin, and a shallower angle of descent that produces more roll.

  • The 2013 Pro V1x delivers even more distance and more consistent performance with its deep downrange peak trajectory, tight ball flight and outstanding spin control.

  • Both new models feature an improved Urethane Elastomer cover and paint system that results in longer lasting durability while retaining a whiter, brighter finish. 

  • The new Pro V1 and Pro V1x also maintain their outstanding Drop-and-Stop control, providing all golfers with the proven short-game scoring performance that contributes to shooting lower scores.

Available in golf shops beginning Jan. 25, 2013, new Pro V1 and Pro V1x are manufactured to exacting standards in Titleist’s own world-class facilities. As a result, every Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball performs consistently for every golfer, every round and on every type of shot.

Check out the slideshow below for a closer look, watch the video above and click here (http://www.titleist.com/pro-v1/) for even more information on the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

“One of the undisputed pleasures of golf lies in the comforting knowledge that all golfers around the world play the same game. Imagine the chaos that would exist if there were, as some have suggested, different Rules for professional and amateur golf or each country had its own unique code of Rules. It is the uniformity and worldwide acceptance of the Rules that allow us to compare our rounds to those of the top players and to appreciate a tournament played on the other side of the world.”

- David Fay and Michael Bonallack
From the foreword to The Rules of the Green: A History of the Rules of Golf

The case for unification is rooted in the game’s history. In his seminal work, The Rules of the Green: A History of the Rules of Golf, Kenneth Chapman observed that since the first written code of rules appeared in 1744, the Rules of Golf evolved through periods of adaptation, consolidation, divergence, and eventually unification. This march to unification, where the game is played by one set of rules, has been an inexorable one with interruptions only occurring when opposing parties had a political or economic agenda.

There are two fundamental forces driving this progression to unification. The first is the essence of the game; the emotional allure that compels golfers to play and experience the same course or shot as one of the game’s greats, even if just to aspire. The second impetus is the dysfunction and instability caused by multiple sets of rules. Prior history of multiple sets of rules created widespread confusion and prompted the need for clarification and unification. The fact remains that the game’s growth, and its globalization, are inextricably linked to the idea that golfers – of all skill levels – play the same game.

For its first 100 years, the Rules of Golf provided political and economic stability as most of the newly formed golf clubs adopted the Rules of 1744. The Industrial Revolution helped facilitate golf’s first growth era. International commerce flourished and transportation improved. Golf’s first major competition, The Open Championship, was established, and for 20-plus years, contested according to the rules of the host club.

In 1895, the United States Golf Association (USGA) was formed. The USGA decided their competitions would be played according to the Rules of Golf, as adopted by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, while reserving the interpretation and decision making prerogative. C. B. Macdonald, winner of the 1895 U.S. Amateur Championship and first chair of the USGA special committee to “interpret the Rules of Golf,” highlighted the difference between American and British golfers in his letter to Horace Hutchinson:

“We find in America that it is necessary to have the rules more clearly defined, as people (Americans) are more inclined to play more by the letter than the spirit.” (Golf, February 12, 1897)

These differences between ruling bodies became exercises in bifurcation as separate rules applied to medal and match play, center shafted putters, steel shafts, the stymie and the number of allowable clubs.

When the great “balloon ball” experiment failed in 1931, it culminated in the R&A and the USGA having separate sets of golf ball rule specifications for the next 50 years.

The tension from this experience led to the first major collaborative decision on the road to uniformity – the adoption of the 14-club rule in 1938.

Post World War II, a meeting between representatives from the game’s major golf organizations resulted in the joint R&A-USGA Code of 1952. This marked an unprecedented and historic decision to unify the Rules of Golf. Clearly, the growth of the game for the next 30 years, its globalization and commercialization, went hand in hand with this unification.

In 2002, the R&A and the USGA accelerated the march toward unification with the landmark issuance of a Joint Statement of Principles where they announced,

“The R&A and the USGA continue to believe that the retention of a single set of rules for all players of the game, irrespective of ability, is one of the game’s greatest strengths.”

For 250 years, there has been documented progress toward uniformity and worldwide acceptance of the Rules. Yet there are new voices advocating for “Bifurcation,” arguing that the game should reverse direction for political and economic reasons.

The three most common arguments advanced by bifurcation protagonists are:

1. “Today’s professional game does not mirror today’s amateur game.”

While some lament that PGA Tour players aren’t playing the same game as amateurs, this is more a commentary on the skill of the professional golfer than amateurs’ desire to play a different game. Part of the fabric of the game is the relationship between the game’s best players and all golfers who play. Today’s amateur golfers maintain the same appetite to emulate the swings of of the world’s greatest players and play America’s greatest courses as ranked by Golf Digest.

2. “Golf participation has matured and the adoption of different sets of rules will allow the game to renew its participation growth."

1990 to 2000 was the most innovative decade in the game’s history, yet during this period, golf participation in the U.S. and Europe flatlined. Golf is a game of the middle class, and golf has a demographic issue. In the Western world, today’s middle class is the same size as in the early 1990s.

3. “Golfers just want to have fun. They do not play by the rules today and the formalization of multiple sets of rules is just sanctioning what is already reality.”

If golfers don’t play by the one set of rules that exist today, why are two sets of rules required? If the argument is that golfers don’t play by the rules and bifurcation will help grow the game, then how will two sets of rules contribute to additional participation? The logic is flawed.

In a passage entitled “Rambling Thoughts” (Scotland’s Gift: Golf), C. B. Macdonald, America’s first rules expert, observed that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews never attempted to mandate that its rules be forced upon those who played. They simply stated:

“We are going to play the game as it was handed down to us by our forefathers. We will tell you how it was handed down and we will provide you with our interpretation of the rules and endeavor to convey to you all the spirit of the game, but do as you like, much as we desire to see you play the game that has been played for some many centuries in Scotland.”

Today, more than 250 years after the first Rules of Golf were codified, the game is played by 55 million golfers in over 150 different countries. A final C. B. Macdonald quote reinforces why globalization requires unification. It is prescient given that it was written in 1927:

“Golf is a world encircling game. One of its charms is that no matter where you go, whether America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe or Scotland, the game is the same, with only such rules as are necessary to govern the local situation.”

History remains a wise and thoughtful teacher.

There is still dew on the fairways of 2013, but Titleist golf ball loyalist Louis Oosthuizen is in mid-season form. Oosthuizen relied on his new 2013 Pro V1x prototype for a come-from-behind victory at the Volvo Golf Champions in his native South Africa on Sunday. Louis began his final round five shots back, but closed with a joint best of the day 6-under 66, to edge the overnight leader by one stroke.

In the land where palm trees sway, Titleist Brand Ambassador Tim Clark trusted his new 2013 Pro V1 prototype to a final round 9-under 63 and second place finish at the Sony Open in Oahu, Hawaii.

• • •

EUROPEAN: Playing in just his second official event with the new 2013 Pro V1x prototype, Titleist golf ball loyalist Louis Oosthuizen captured the Volvo Golf Champions. He posted a 16-under par 272 victory total which included six birdies in the first 11 holes Sunday.

“After being five down, to make it up after 12 holes, I was really chuffed about that. I just played really well all day.”

The win marked Oosthuizen’s sixth career European Tour title and elevates him to the fourth spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.  Oosthuizen has had seven top-ten finishes in his last eight starts.

He becomes the fifth player to win with a new 2013 Pro V1 or Pro V1x prototype golf ball since the seeding process began last fall, joining Luke Donald (Pro V1x/Dunlop Phoenix), Adam Scott (Pro V1/Australian Masters), Hiroyuki Fujita (Pro V1/Japan Series JT Cup) and Angel Cabrera (Pro V1x/107 Visa Open de Argentina) in the new prototype victory circle.

Titleist was the most played golf ball at the winners-only event, with 17 of the 33 players relying upon a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, more than twice the nearest competitor with seven.  Oosthuizen’s win is the first for Titleist on the 2013 worldwide professional tours.

• • •

PGA: The 2013 PGA TOUR’s first full-field event is in the books from Honolulu where 144 players teed it up at the Sony Open in Hawaii.  Titleist was the overwhelming top choice in golf balls with 103 players relying upon a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, more than six times the nearest competitor with 15. 

A total of 62 Titleist golf ball loyalists relied upon a new 2013 Pro V1 (12) or Pro V1x (50) prototypes, including runner-up and Titleist Brand Ambassador Tim Clark (New Pro V1, 913D3 driver, 913F fairway metal, CB irons, 712U 4-iron, Vokey Design SM4 pitching, sand and lob wedges) and third place finisher Scott Langley (New Pro V1x), who was playing in his first event as a PGA TOUR rookie.  Langley tied for third with fellow Pro V1x loyalist Charles Howell III, as three of the top four finishers relied upon Titleist for their success. Titleist was also the field favorite in sand, lob and approach wedges with 135 and putters with 57.

In addition to the new golf ball, Clark put a new Titleist 913F fairway metal (15.0) and 712U prototype 4-iron in play this week for the first time. The last time TT saw Tim Clark was in Las Vegas in November, where he first put his New Pro V1 in play.