If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
Welcome to the SPY Pinseeker Awards — a badge of excellence for the finest products and destinations in golf. Our senior golf writer, John Scott Lewinski, tests out the field in play, and we select only the finest golf products and destinations to receive this special stamp of approval.
For our latest entry, we’ve selected the iconic Titleist Pro V1 golf ball, which has collected countless rave reviews from golfers.
The golf world has its royalty. It may not offer lines of succession or jubilees, but it has The King and a Black Knight in its court. In the palace’s menagerie, there’s a Golden Bear and a Tiger. And, in some cases, those royal warrants stretch out into the realm of golf equipment. In this edition of the Pinseeker Award, we hail the crown prince of golf balls — the Titleist Pro V1.
Our previous picks for the Pinseeker Award — the Garmin MARQ Golf Watch and BGT Stability Carbon Shafts — may not be known to the average golfer, but we suspect most golfers are familiar with this one. When we set out to rank the best golf balls in the world, the Titleist Pro V1 was the clear winner.
Still ranked as the number one and most played ball amongst pros on the PGA Tour, the Pro V1 is immediately recognized as the standard-bearer for elite golf balls. Setting the benchmark for competing manufacturers to match, the Titleist Pro V1 is the ball you play when you want to invest in the best of the best.
The balls carries their name from the first Titleist edition. Obviously, the “Pro” stands for the professional quality that took the ball out on tour. The V1 refers not to Version 1, but to Veneer 1. That’s because the first ball off the line with this name carried a thin outer coating that was unique in the game, promoting longer ball flight, longer carry and a soft touch around the green. Designs improved over the years, but it still carries an evolved manner of that veneer.
Titleist Pro V1 Best Feature: Construction
During the course of its development over the years, the Titleist Pro V1 established the process of multi-layer construction in golf balls, which is now extremely common. From edition to edition, all of the golf ball’s levels are proprietary and unique to the Pro V1, but the construction levels start with the 2.0 ZG Process Core, re-created for 2021. A new casing layer, created to reduce spin, wraps around that core. Finally, a softer, cast urethane Elastomer cover — with the new, spherically tiled, 388 tetrahedral dimple design — wraps up the total package.
Why Play the Titleist Pro V1?
There are longer off the tee golf balls out there than the Pro V1. There are softer golf balls around the greens who don’t wear the Titleist name. There may be competitors who fly higher or spin less. Still, there is no golf ball on the market that provides the same level of well-rounded excellence in all of those key areas. In this regard, the Titleist Pro V1 stands alone. The ball checks all of the boxes, rather than reaching for excellence in just one part of the game.
In the end, how do you really know the Titleist Pro V1 is the sport’s aspirational pellet? It’s not just about the incredible Titleist Pro V1 reviews you’ll find all over the golf internet, or the fact that after nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon this golf ball has a perfect rating. Instead, look to the links. Just keep an eye on any golfer who sprays a shot and spends a couple of minutes stomping around looking for his or her golf ball. If that player comes across a lost Pro V1 lingering in the rough and waiting for a new owner, the golfer will scoop it up happily and worry less about stroke and distance. Any golf ball that makes a bad shot worthwhile is a special addition to any player’s bag.