Gear: Titleist Tour Speed golf ball
Specs: Three-piece construction with a urethane cover
When manufacturers know they can charge $50 for a dozen premium Tour-quality golf balls, it lets chemical engineers and people who specialize in aerodynamics go crazy and make the no-holds-barred, best ball possible.
When balls are targeted around $20 per dozen, those same ball designers can typically add one or two good attributes, but golfers know the bargain balls are not going to perform like their premium counterparts.
Between those types of balls in the $27-$40 range, things get tough. Consumers expect products that deliver on every shot, but price restraints mean companies have to be smart.
The new, three-piece Titleist Tour Speed is retailing at $39.99 per dozen, about $10 to $15 less per dozen than the most popular ball in golf, the three-piece Pro V1 played by Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Tony Finau and 2019 U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland. Ask people at Titleist and they will tell you, the Pro V1 performs better than then Tour Speed, but for golfers who don’t want to pay the premium price, they made the Tour Speed to be the best-performing ball in its category.
You might recall, Titleist released the very limited EXP-01 ball in select pro shops in October. The stores that did get a shipment of those balls received only a few boxes, and it turns out the EXP-01 was a prototype of the new Tour Speed.
The core of the Tour Speed is designed to deliver distance off the tee, and it is surrounded by a firm, low-spin casing layer. On top of those layers, Titleist gave the Tour Speed a 346-dimple cover pattern designed to create a penetrating ball flight that bores through the wind.
While the Pro V1 and Pro V1x are made with cast urethane covers, the Tour Speed has a cover made from a proprietary thermoplastic polyurethane. Titleist said it is more durable and provides more greenside spin than the Surlyn covers commonly found on balls in this price range, but it is more cost-effective than the urethane used in the Pro V1 and Pro V1x.
Golfers who participated in blind tests at Titleist’s Manchester Lane facility in Massachusetts said that while they preferred the short game performance of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x to the Tour Speed, they like the Tour Speed more than other balls in its category, which was Titleist’s objective.
When the Titleist Tour Speed arrives in stores, it will be available only in white, but a yellow version is expected in the coming months.