How important is a golf ball for performance?

Wedge and Driver ball comparison

In this short article I will look at how a different type of golf ball can effect shot outcome and ultimately performance. I am going to compare two Titleist golf balls, the Pro V1 and the Velocity on two different areas of the game, driving and wedge play. The Pro V1 is Titleist's premium ball costing around £45 per dozen and the Velocity golf ball is Titleist entry level ball costing around £20 per dozen, but what/if any is the difference?

Wedge shots

I chose a distance of 50 yards to hit wedge shots and used my own Vega 54 degree wedge for both shots. I selected the two shots that had the same ball speed and carry distance for a fair comparison. The data collected can bee seen below:

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From the data we can see that the Titleist Pro V1 (PRO V1) golf ball launches lower and spins more than the Titleist Velocity (VEL). The green circles highlight the launch angle and the the orange circles highlight the spin of each of the golf balls. The Velocity launches 4 degrees higher than the Pro V1 and spins around 1000 RPM (revolutions per minute) less. In current conditions with the ground and greens being firm more spin on a wedge can help the golf ball to stop quicker on the green.

Driver shots

For this test I used my own Ping G400 driver and aimed to swing the club at a similar speed and only counted shots that I would consider a good strike. The results can be seen below:

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What can we learn from the data?

Matching the correct ball to your individual needs and swing characteristics is very important in order to maximise performance. When selecting a golf ball we have got to consider both tee shots and shots played from around the green as well as the conditions we are playing in.

The Titleist Velocity is designed to launch the ball high and spin less. From my testing I saw this was more apparent with my wedges than with my driver. However, I have seen improvements to driver distance (ball speed) when recommending golf balls to golfers. The ball that will help maximise performance will depend on individual club head speed and delivery of the club head into impact. The golf ball is something worth considering when looking at performance gains in your game.

Depending on what the individual players requires from the ball I can then fit the ball accordingly - if you have any questions please post them to the group or message me to discuss further.