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We did, so we hooked up with Titleist’s Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing, Michael Mahoney recently to talk about the new balls and a few other things.
Michael was kind enough to spend some time with us explaining what’s new in the newest #1 Ball in Golf, and also, some of the differences in the two balls.
According to Mahoney:
Understanding how these qualities relate to both of the new balls will help you decide which one will better fit your game.
Tom Brassell: Welcome to GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops. Episode 223. Hello everyone my name is Tom Brassell thanks so much for joining us. We say it every time if you’re a first time listener or a long time subscriber, maybe somewhere in the middle doesn’t matter. We’re just glad that you just joined us.
Especially glad that you joined us today our special guest is the vice president of golf ball marketing for Titleist Golf, Mr. Michael Mahoney.
Michael Mahoney: Everybody says “Maw-hoe-nee” yeah my family was one of the few Mahoney’s who didn’t change it to “Maw-hoe-nee” when my, several generations removed came over from Ireland.
Tom Brassell: I heard Michael Breed the other day too. He said he owed you some apologies, cause I think he did it wrong the whole show I believe.
Michael Mahoney: Yeah he did. He did I called him Michael Brad for the next month or so every time I saw him.
Tom Brassell: Oh my goodness. Well hey thanks for coming on. I know it’s a really, really busy time for you especially with what you do in the Golf Ball. So tell us what’s new and exciting. Obviously Pro v1 and new Pro v1x.
Michael Mahoney: We’re obviously really excited we’ve had them out in the market place, for us it seems like at long last for about a month now, and the response has been great. New pro v1 and pro v1x for 2017, most importantly are our best performing and most advanced golf balls that we’ve ever introduced. The thing that makes them that way is really on pro v1 a golf ball that is now longer than its predecessor, significantly longer at that. Through a really a redesigned and reformulation the engine which delivers longer distance both through the spin and increased speed.
Pro v1 gets longer, and is now every bit as long as pro v1x. Both pro v1 and pro v1x have an improvement in their consistency. When we talk about consistency we’re talking about flight. We’ve improved the dimple pattern which delivers the aerodynamics in both process and design resulting in more consistent flight for both pro v1 and pro v1x.
Bottom line is pro v1 is longer and more consistent, and pro v1x is more consistent. Like I said the feedback that we’ve received from golfers who are playing these and buying them in shops now has just been overwhelmingly positive.
Michael Mahoney: That’s right. For us the exciting part and also the really hard part about designing golf balls is that you’re trying to design a product that’s going to work on every single shot. You’re trying to deliver a product that will keep spin low in the long game where you’re trying to achieve distance and speed can be the enemy, and you’re trying to have a product that spins a lot in the short game so you can control those shots into the green.
The different layers of construction of a golf ball all work together on every shot to provide that kind of performance and to optimize what we’re doing all the way from tee to green.
Tom Brassell: Michael, the commercials you have are fantastic with the tour players saying I play the one “I play the v, I play the x.” Here’s that question that comes up every year, How do you know which ball is right for you? The old fallacy I know used to be that the pro v1x was for higher swing speeds, the pro v1 wasn’t. That really wasn’t true to begin with was it?
Michael Mahoney: It wasn’t really even true to begin with and certainly I think as we have had more and more innovation over time it’s become even less true. Today the difference between pro v1 and pro v1x can be boiled down to three things. Ultimately I think you asked the question, how do you know what’s right for you? Well start by knowing how do they compare to one another.
The three big differences between pro v1 and pro v1x are in flight, feel, and then spin. So let’s briefly talk about each. Flight pro v1 has a more penetrating lower trajectory where pro v1x flies higher, peaks deeper down range and ultimately that gives it a steeper angle of descend. Feel, pro v1 is the softer feeling of the two. Last on spin, pro v1x will spin a little bit more than pro v1 and that really shows up in your mid irons into the end in through the green. I think it does call out, one of the things that’s changed is historically off the tee pro v1x would be this lower spinning of the two. They’re now essentially a parody. That’s one of the reasons that we have now essentially identical distance characteristics for both pro v1 and pro v1x.
Tom Brassell: Have you noticed on tour Michael, or are you at liberty to say if players have changed between the two because of these? This is fascinating.
Michael Mahoney: Absolutely. This has been a big change for us and something, partially it’s been a perception for a long time, you asked the question well pro v1x, that’s for the high speed guys. Well maybe the high speed part of it wasn’t accurate. Certainly the x was longer than v has been mostly true even if it wasn’t enough of a game changing difference to pick one versus the other. Nobody wants to give up distance so we went to tour players we went to golfers across the entire pyramid of influence and asked them what they’re looking for and they told us, “I would like those pro v1 characteristics but I don’t want to give up any distance.”
When we brought pro v1 to market and started testing with players, we’ve seen more players, not just on tour but everywhere considering both. On tour we’ve seen a pretty significant shift. We were actually looking this morning whose playing what down in Mexico this week and who was playing what in the Honda Classic last weekend. Some traditional x guys, Lee Westwood is a example, Bernd Weisberger is another example of two guys who have been long time x guys now playing pro v1. We’ve seen that really across the board.
Tom Brassell: Well even better reason for the players, your amateur players to give them both a try. The best players in the world are giving them both a try and maybe considering changing between one and the other. You should too. I like what you said, flight, feel, and spin right?
Michael Mahoney: Yep, flight, feel, and spin. If you know those things, and then ultimately the thing we say to golfers in terms of evaluating them. Go out to the golf course and hit the shots that you like to hit. No golfers the same. We can give five golfers a shot from 40 yards into the green and we might see five different ways of getting home. We want you to go out and hit shots the way you hit them on the golf course, and make sure the golf ball performs the way you want it to. Put golf balls down next to one another hit a few shots with each. That’s the best way to do it. Get out on the golf course hit them side by side and identify what’s the right set.
Tom Brassell: The new pro v1, the new pro v1x. Michael let’s shift gears before I let you go. Let’s talk about something that happens once a week. You guys started it last year, and picking it up again this year has been very successful. Titleist Thursdays. Let’s talk about that.
Michael Mahoney: So last year we really wanted to emphasize the opportunity for us to directly connect with golfers and offer them the opportunity to get set with all of our products. So we started Titleist Thursdays, and the response was really overwhelming. We call the opportunity to have you connect with a expert fitter and get a piece of equipment put into your hand we know is going to improve your game. Say that’s sort of the moment of truth right? So we want to create more and more of those. So we’ve expanded our Titleist Thursdsays this year and there’s literally hundreds and hundreds of events around the country. You can go to to titleist.com/Thursdays to go identify an event.
They’re free, they’re an opportunity to go get fit for 917 metals, for 816 hybrids, 716 irons, vokey wedges, and of course pro v1 and pro v1x. You get to experience new 2017 pro v1 and pro v1x. It’s a great opportunity for golfers out there who maybe haven’t ever been fit before, it’s a game changing experience to be fit into equipment that truly is fit for your game, and probably the greatest opportunity you have to play better golf. Go to titleist.com/Thursdays and check it out.
Tom Brassell: I think Steve Pelisek said it best when we talked to him at the show and he looked at the camera he goes, “Folks please it’s a $500 driver, get fit for it. It’s great out of the box but we can’t guarantee you, we can’t get you that extra 10, 15, 20 yards if you don’t want to get adjusted for your swing and the way it fits you. That’s why it’s there.”
Michael Mahoney: That’s exactly right, and I think the growth we’ve seen in our business in terms of the percentage of certainly our club business that is going out, custom fit. We’ve seen it grow every single year. Ultimately when we reach out to golfers who have been fit, the level of satisfaction that they have, and really the benefit they’re seeing it’s like I said it is that moment of truth for golfers when they get something put in their hands that’s been specifically fit for their game.
Tom Brassell: Can’t say it better Michael. Hey thanks so much for joining us it’s great to have you talking what you love and what you do the best pro v, pro v1x, and also Titleist Thursdays. Appreciate you joining us.
Michael Mahoney: hanks so much for having me.
Tom Brassell: Michael said it best, “Titleist does it like no others as well go out there and get fit for it.” Not only the 917 driver, not only the vokey wedges, but make sure you find the right ball for you. If it’s the pro v1 or if it’s the pro v1x. Tour players are changing one between the other and they’re finding out which one works for them. You should too.