Day 1: Tour Validation of prototype Pro V1 and Pro V1x at Shriners

Beneath a glaring Las Vegas sun, the tour seeding and validation process for new prototype Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls officially began Monday morning at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Those rays reflected particularly brightly off the white boxes that Titleist Golf Ball R&D tour reps Fordie Pitts and Jeff Beyers carried around TPC Summerlin, as they spent Halloween more or less passing out treats: prototype Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

Here are just a few sights and sounds from Monday’s proceedings:

  • At 8 a.m., Titleist tour reps and associates on site this week gathered inside the Titleist Tour Van. “It’s an exciting week, a new prototype Pro V1 and Pro V1x on tour,” said Frederick Waddell, Senior Manager of Golf Ball Product Development, addressing the group. Waddell, along with Pitts and Beyers, spent the next 20 minutes discussing the two new prototypes and answering questions. Toward the end of the discussion, Pitts pointed out the new side stamp, referring to its shape as a “wedge.”Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill, looking over at his boss, Bob Vokey, remarked with a wry smile, “We like that.”
  • Inside the locker room at TPC Summerlin, around 9 a.m., Titleist golf ball loyalist Billy Horschel approached Tour Rep Todd Harris to inquire about the new prototypes. They spent the next few minutes discussing earlier prototypes that Horschel tested at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Horschel wondering how those compared to the new models.

“This is like Christmas for PGA Tour golfers,”Horschel said. “Obviously we get a lot of cool things, but when you see a white box, you know there’s something special in here. No one else has it.”

  • Fresh off a victory at the Ryder Cup and a Hall of Fame election, Davis Love III spent at least five minutes chatting with Pitts, asking questions about the two new models. Love is the only participant this week who was also in the field at TPC Summerlin for the 2000 Invensys Classic, when the original Pro V1 prototypes debuted to instant and overwhelming success. He plans to do some on-course testing during his Tuesday practice round.
  • Cameron Smith spent a good half hour testing the new prototype Pro V1x and analyzing his results on Trackman. Pleased with the numbers, he told Pitts and Beyers to put them in his locker for further on-course testing Tuesday.

The pace will pick up Tuesday as more players arrive at TPC Summerlin. Stay tuned to Team Titleist for more updates!