Titleist Pro V1
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco

Titleist Pro V1

The best moment we might have on a typical golf day usually comes right after a nice swat from the tee box, when we walk directly to the deep brush to begin searching for the ball. It is there where we sometimes discover greatness: a shiny new Titleist Pro V1.

In the one sport that lets competitors select their own ball, it's pretty important to choose well. Now in their seventh iteration, Titleist's latest Pro V1s are a powerhouse combo: Lower compression and a softer core make for less spin and increased distance. The large, solid core material is the same as before, designed to maximize consistency and resilience. The Pro V1x – with its dual core and firmer outer layer – is also longer than its predecessor, but spins more with the long irons, producing a lower trajectory and more roll. Numerologists, take note: The ProV1 has 352 dimples compared to 328 on the Pro V1x (aerodynamics-wise, dimples reduce drag). Personally, we like the way the ball comes off a putter head – not so much with a click as with a soft kiss. Sometimes you just have to romance a 7-footer into the hole.

Consistency may be the Emersonian hobgoblin of little minds, but it's also the very essence of golf – pros abhor even minor variations in their gear – and it is the guiding principle of Titleist's meticulously controlled production process. No surprise then that the Pro V1 is the most played ball on the PGA tour, including by newly jacketed Masters champ Adam Scott. For an immodest $62 a dozen, you too can have a piece of the action – soft feel, longer carry, and drop-and-stop control around the greens. While that may prove a virtue even for everyday hackers, its the single-digit handicappers who will be lining up to drive this Cadillac of golf balls. Still, even if you swing slower and launch the ball in all directions of the compass, the Pro V1 is a great-performing dimple missile for golfers of all levels. [$62; titleist.com]