Pro V1 Alternatives: Should You Switch?
The Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x have been the top dogs on professional tours for many years. This of course led to them being one of the most popular balls played by amateurs too. Who doesn’t want to copy their heroes on the PGA Tour?
The big sticking point for some people though is the price at around $50/dozen! Should you be playing the Pro V1? Would you do just as well with another ball? Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives that are out there and what they can do for your game and your wallet.
For those of you that think a ball is just a ball, this article will hopefully make you think again.
What Golf Ball Is Most Similar To Pro V1?
All of the major manufacturers make a ball that tries to compete with the Titleist Pro V1. Here is a rundown of some of the current models on the market that are trying to grab market share from the Pro V1. Their design characteristics are similar but obviously, no two ball models will perform exactly alike. You can make a case for them being Titleist Pro V1 equivalent.
Titleist Pro V1, Srixon Z-Star, Callaway Chrome Soft, Bridgestone B XS, Volvik S3, Snell MTB Black, Maxfli Tour, Cut Grey, Kirkland Performance+V2.
Mizuno RB Tour, Vice Pro Plus, Wilson Staff Model.
How Much Could You Save Buying Cheaper Golf Balls?
If you lose a couple of balls per round and play twice a week then that’s 204 balls per year! So you would be spending 17 x $50 = $850 per year on Pro V1s. If you went for Snell balls then you should be able to get them for around $30/dozen if you buy in bulk so that’s a saving of $340 or enough to pay for a couple of new Titleist SM9 wedges!
Obviously, if you lose 3 or 4 balls per round or play more often then your savings would be greater.
Only you can decide whether your game is good enough to justify spending $50/dozen on golf balls.
Alternatively, if you value your scores more than money then finding the best premium ball for your game is going to be worthwhile.
Is Compression Important?
Given that manufacturers rarely talk about compression I’m not sure that it is all that important when choosing a ball. It is likely to affect how the ball feels to you, however.
Bear in mind that testing by third parties has shown a reasonable variation in the compression ratings of balls even by the top manufacturers. In the region of a 10% variation in some cases so that ball that you think is a 90 compression might be anywhere from 85 to 95!
Best Golf Ball For The Average Golfer?
The problem with answering this question is how are we defining average? Average handicap, average swing speed et cetera.
The right ball for a particular golfer is primarily dependent on their impact conditions and to a lesser extent on what they feel is right for them.
You may have a swing that needs help generating sufficient spin to optimize your ball flight. You may be someone who generates too much spin so a lower spinning ball would therefore be more suitable.
Ideally, you would need to have a professional ball fitting session to identify the best golf ball for you. Failing that you could use the online ball selector tools offered by the manufacturers to create a shortlist of balls to test yourself.
Cheap Golf Balls Similar To Pro V1
I suppose it depends on your definition of cheap.
The Kirkland Signature ball offers a similar construction to the Pro V1 since it is a three-piece ball and has a urethane cover. It is most definitely cheaper as it works out at about $1.50 per ball. A lot of golfers are probably going to be hard-pressed to see much of a difference during play.
Balls from direct-to-consumer brands like Snell (MTB) and Cut (Grey) offer similar performance to the Pro V1 whilst removing fewer bills from your wallet.
What Taylormade ball is similar to Pro V1?
The TP5 Is the ball in a Taylormade range designed to compete with the Titleist Pro V1. It has 5 layers rather than 3 to try and optimize performance for different aspects of your game.
Is AVX better than Pro V1?
The AVX ball is neither better nor worse than the ProV1, it is merely a different ball in Titleist’s lineup that fits a specific type of golfer with certain impact conditions.
Compared with the ProV1 it gives a lower flight, has less spin on long shots and is among the softest balls in the Titleist range.
Are Kirkland Golf Balls The Same As Pro V1?
Although Kirkland did sell a four-piece ball that was well-received a few years ago they had to stop producing them because of a lawsuit by Titleist.
Kirkland Golf Balls vs Pro V1
The current performance+V2 ball is a three-piece urethane ball but doesn’t offer the same performance as a Pro V1 or other balls by major manufacturers.
However, they do cost $35 for 2 dozen so for players on a budget they may be a useful option.
They have a tendency to be extremely spinny and also don’t go as far as other Pro V1 equivalents.
Who Makes Kirkland Signature Ball?
The Kirkland Signature Performance+V2 is sold by Costco since Kirkland is one of their in-house brands. It is manufactured in China by a company called Qingdao SM Parker, which also manufactures Cut balls.
Should I Play The Same Model Of Ball?
Most definitely. Once you find a ball that suits your game and you feel comfortable with it, you should stick with that ball. That way you are eliminating one of the variables that could affect your scores.
It will allow you to judge distance and spin better. You will also get used to the feel off the putter’s face.
Why Are Pro V1 Balls So Expensive?
They have to go through some rigorous quality control checks. A lot of time and money is spent on research and development and finally, there is the marketing budget and player endorsement.
This is one reason why direct-to-consumer brands like Snell golf can massively undercut the price of the Pro V1.
Don’t All Golf Balls Perform The Same?
No. Every ball will spin at different rates, have different trajectories and will travel different distances.
The combination of core materials, cover materials and dimple patterns will dictate how well the ball will perform for a given set of impact conditions.
In robot testing, even at slow swing speeds, there is a difference of around 8 yards between the longest and shortest models. This difference increases as clubhead speed increases.
Spin generated on wedge shots can vary by up to 1500 rpm from the lowest to highest spinning balls.
For example, the Callaway Chrome Soft had about 10% less spin than the Pro V1.
Pro V1 Alternatives: Conclusion
There are probably several different ball models that could work for your game. Without a doubt, Titleist would prefer you to buy one of their urethane models (Pro V1, Pro V1x or AVX) but the simple fact is any one of the balls listed above might be a better fit for your game.
If you don’t try then you’ll never know. Just test out some of the comparable golf balls to Pro V1.
Personally, I’ve played the Srixon Z-Star for many years and the money I’ve saved has gone on green fees at other courses! You might want to check out my Z-Star vs Pro V1 comparison.