The life of a premium golf ball is often short and painful. So why are Pro V1 balls so expensive?
Titleist mass produces the Pro V1 golf ball. Shouldn’t that result in a lower price? Why would a golfer pay so much money for a small object that only exists to take them from a tee box to a green?
These are fair questions and we’ll try to help you understand what leads to a more expensive golf ball.
The quick answer is this: Titleist (and other leading manufacturers) have a ton of scientific man hours (think research, development, engineering) as well as significant production costs (think high grade materials and inspections) that contribute to the final cost of a Pro V1 or Pro V1x. The energy they invest into a Titleist golf ball is simply phenomenal.
The production of a cheap golf ball does not have the same technology constraints.
All Golf Balls are Not Created Equal
Lose the faulty idea that a golf ball is a golf ball.
The average golfer may not understand the difference between a new Pro V1 and a less expensive ball, but there’s a reason why a tour player will only play with golf balls of a higher caliber.
A simple two piece ball may work well enough for a high handicapper, but it may lack the technology needed to promote better ball flight or ball speed. In the end, an inferior ball keeps the average golfer from longer distance off the tee.
The Titleist Pro V1 proudly advertises itself as “the number #1 ball in golf” without any noticeable fear of contradiction. One could say “it takes balls to do that.”
It took a ton of research and development to create a golf ball that everyone wants to use. And when you’re at the top, you can charge premium prices.
Some just blame this reality on supply and demand. After all, the best or most valued version of a product should cost the most when compared to all the rest of the products in the marketplace.
But it’s not just supply and demand or a positive reputation. If you want to understand why are Pro V1 balls so expensive, you need to dig deeper and delve into questions of what actually justifies the higher cost of the Pro V1 or the Pro V1x golf ball.
Let’s Start with Pro V1 Core
Ever cut open a golf ball to look at what’s inside?
There are golfers who are curious by nature and have to understand the how and why of their golf equipment. Others are a little less interested and just want the product to work.
The first group of people have one less golf ball to their name, but maybe some extra knowledge to make up for that loss.
A golf ball is a little like a planet (minus the magma, aliens, lack of oxygen, etc.) in that it’s made up of layers. The more expensive golf balls tend to have more layers. Each of those layers is designed for a specific purpose, and that purpose usually has something to do with energy transfer, or as your golf buddies may put it, some extra “pop.”
Titleist’s 2.0 ZG Process solid core is scientifically proven to increase distance and help golfers with their long game. This core is surrounded by a high-flex casing layer which results in better ball speed and lower long game spin.
More layers doesn’t necessarily result in a better product, but how the layers are constructed and the science behind each layer makes all the difference.
So how many layers does a Titleist Pro V1 Have?
The Titleist Pro V1 has 3 layers, but that’s not the only reason why it costs so much. In fact, the Titleist Pro V1x golf ball has more layers (4 thanks to a dual core) and the TaylorMade TP5 takes the cake with 5 total layers.
The rule that more layers equals a higher price generally holds true, although as you head towards the high end, the price tends to even out (the Pro V1, the Pro V1 x, and the TaylorMade TP5 all cost about the same per dozen). Check out the golf ball layers chart to explore other balls.
So why does the Pro V1 warrant a per ball cost that’s as high as a 5 layer golf ball? What’s the deal, yo?
The Pro V1 Cover
Again, we’re back to where we started: More research + better technology + premium materials = a higher retail price.
Every detail matters on the golf course, and Titleist utilizes a very detailed soft cast urethane cover on the Pro V1 ball. The result is increased greenside spin. Remember that core we mentioned earlier? The core helps off the tee, and this carefully designed cover helps with wedge shots.
But let’s not forget about the dimple pattern.
Golfers of all skill levels benefit from the Pro V1’s spherically-tiled 388 tetrahedral dimple design.
Sound fancy? It is.
This carefully-crafted cover took years to perfect and delivers a consistent penetrating trajectory. Until another manufacturer does better (and can prove it), Titleist will continue to set the bar high in the price department.
All told, the construction of the Pro V1 justifies its price by offering a heady mixture of must-have elements for high- and mid-handicap players. Their technology also translates into extra gains for the highest level players.
Other Factors that Influence Pro V1 Cost
It’s hard to believe, but there are approximately 90 process and product quality checks for each Pro V1 golf ball, and about 120 for the Pro V1x golf ball. That attention to detail comes at an extra cost.
Most of the Titleist golf balls are made in the USA, with the exception of Ball Plant 4 which is located in Thailand. Keeping most of the manufacturing in Massachusetts also results in higher production costs and a higher final price.
Sure you can pick up a Kirkland Signature Golf Ball for less, but the Kirkland Golf Ball is made in China, so the final price will obviously be cheaper. Many of the cheaper golf balls on the market tend to be produced in locations where labor and materials are less expensive.
Are Expensive Titleist Golf Balls the Only Good Option?
No. There are plenty of other reputable golf ball manufacturers out there. The Callaway Chrome Soft are one of my favorite golf balls to recommend to those who are new to the game or want a consistent ball they can play with.
However, there’s a reason why a Tour player is going to use a Titleist golf ball instead of a cheaper alternative.
Titleist isn’t immune to criticism either. Some golfers have complained that Titleist has thinned their cover over time, which results in cuts and chips faster than some competitor’s golf balls. These folks argue that Titleist has almost engineered a rapid redundancy into their product (which means golfers have to spend more money on more balls).
In spite of these critiques, Pro V1 golf balls continue to be a top performer, so Titleist will continue to charge a premium price for what is clearly a premium ball.