Monday, 18 March 2013

Titleist Tour Balata 90 V Titleist Pro V1

How does a Titleist Tour Balata 90 compare to a Pro V1 or Pro V1x?

I have some Titleist Tour Balatas that are being kept for posterity. A couple of days ago I took one dozen out and thought it would be interesting to see how they compared to a Pro V1.

I hit a dozen Tour Balata, Pro V1(2011 version) and Pro V1x(2011 version) with my Titleist 913 D3 driver, 9.5 degrees of loft, Graphite Design Tour AD Di-7 S-Flex shaft and recorded the results with my TrackMan 111 launch monitor. I hit balls over two different days. Both days there was a slight breeze of about 7 mph against with temperatures about 9 degrees C (48F).






Here are the results


Ball
Swing Speed(mph)
Ball Speed(mph)
Launch Angle
Spin Rate(rpm)
Carry (yards)
Total (yards)
Height (feet)
Balata 1
103.1
148.4
9.0
3454
216.9
237.8
78.2
Balata 2
103.3
146.9
9.9
3297
219.5
236.9
80.4
Average
103.2
147.7
9.5
3376
218.2
237.4
79.3
Pro V1 1
102.6
150.7
11.7
2383
233.2
252
91.3
Pro V1 2
104.5
153.3
11.7
2792
236.2
252.9
99.9
Average
103.6
152
11.7
2588
234.7
252.5
95.6
Pro V1x 1
105.1
153.6
10.7
2579
236.9
252.9
102.9
Pro V1x 2
104.4
152.4
11.9
2562
238.2
257.4
106.4
Average
104.8
153
11.3
2571
237.6
254.4
104.7

First thing to note is given the swing speeds and ball speeds the total distance for all the balls is slightly lower than expected. This was due to the slight breeze against and the low temperatures on the days.

As expected the Balata ball doesn't go as far as the Pro V1 or Pro V1x. Carries on average 16.5 less than the Pro V1 and 19.4 than the Pro V1x. The total is 15.1 yards less than the Pro V1 and 17 yards less than the Pro V1x.

The liquid center of the Balata doesn't transfer energy as well as the solid center of the Pro V1s. This is the main reason behind the shorter distance. We can see the ball speed is 4.3 mph and 5.3 mph lower. Spin rates are also a bit higher. Launch angle and height of the shots is also lower leading to a less optimised flight and lower overall carry.

The interesting aspect of the shots is the Balata was known as a high spinning ball, so would have expected higher spin rates and also a higher flight due to the higher spin rates. But the height of the flight was a good bit lower. The Balata also seemed to waver in flight. One potential reason behind this is the age of the balls, just over 12 years old which would have an impact on them.

I didn't include accuracy data in the analysis as I was mainly concerned with distance comparison but the Balata was slightly more accurate then the other two balls, averaging 2 yards closer to the target then the Pro V1 and 4 yards closer then the Pro V1x.

Coupled with the comparison between Titanium and Persimmon that I did last year we can see the jump is distance by elite players is mainly due to equipment. The difference between Titanium and Persimmon was 15 yards. Almost identical to the difference between Balata and Pro V1. The two combined gives us the 30 yard jump in distance that we have seen in the last 20 years.

Please leave any questions or comments you might have.




4 comments:

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  2. This is really cool to see. Thanks for sharing this! Man, 48F degree temp? That IS pretty cold for judging golf ball flight. Below 60F, I notice a significant difference in my distances too, and will often switch from the Pro V1x to the Wilson Staff 50 when it's below 60 deg out.

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    1. 48F wasn't too bad, especially with little wind and the sun shining

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  3. This page is AWESOME! Thanks!

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