In the first phase of his recent golf ball testing session, Justin Thomas started around the green, evaluating how the new 2019 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls performed in the short game. Once Titleist Tour Consultant for Golf Ball Performance, Fordie Pitts, recorded JT's results and feedback, it was on to phase two - full shots with wedges and short irons.
Using a Trackman launch monitor to capture flight data on each shot, Justin worked through a variety of shots to see how well he could control the distance, trajectory and spin with his Vokey wedges and his 718 MB 9-iron and 8-iron. Titleist Director of Club Promotion on Tour, JJ Van Wezenbeeck, stayed greenside with a walkie-talkie, watching each shot land and relaying back to Justin and Fordie where each ball landed and how it reacted and spun on the putting surface.
The world's best short iron players are sensitive to their launch window, and want to see their golf ball fly through a specific section of the sky that they picture as they visualize an approach shot. However, in Titleist R&D, we've learned that angle of descent is just as important when it comes to the scoring clubs. If the angle of descent is too low, the ball will skid and bound forward, towards the back of the green. If the angle is too high, the ball will strike the green and spin backward, towards the front and sometimes even off of the green.
In this part of the golf ball evaluation Justin's team is looking for a piercing flight (with a touch more spin) that descends into the green at an angle that will result in shots that Drop-and-StopTM. This is a hallmark of Pro V1 and Pro V1x performance in which the ball comes to rest very close to where it first impacts the green. The 2019 Pro V1 or Pro V1x model that provides this will give JT the freedom to take dead aim and know that a well executed shot is going to result in a great opportunity for birdie.