The defending champion of this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas, began testing 2021 Pro V1x during Thanksgiving week at his home club in Florida, while working with Fordie Pitts, Titleist’s Golf Ball R&D Consultant on the PGA Tour.
“A key focus for Justin heading into this season is to flight the ball higher with his long irons and improve his landing angle into those very firm greens they find most weeks on tour,” Pitts said. “As we started testing New Pro V1x, the ball was consistently launching in that slightly higher window and giving him all the distance he needs. It was also a very windy day, and he really liked seeing how stable the ball was flying through all those gusts.”
JT put the ball to the test the following Thursday at the Mayakoba Championship, shooting a tournament-low 62 in Round 3. A week later, he teed up new Pro V1x while teaming up with his father, Mike, to win the PNC Championship.
Thomas was asked about his new ball this week during his pre-tournament press conference at Kapalua: “I feel like (the New Pro V1x) is able to kind of pick up on some of the areas that I was trying to improve in terms of I was trying to get a little bit more height on the ball, trying to be able to hold greens a little bit better when they get firm or with long irons, and I feel like this ball has been able to do that for me.”
After a busy tournament-filled end to 2020, Thomas spent part of his two-week holiday break getting dialed in to his new TSi3 driver – and watching his ball speeds increase.
In working with Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Weezenbeeck, Thomas moved into a new TSi3 9-degree with Fujikura Ventus Red 6X (B•1 SureFit hosel setting, Neutral SureFit Track setting).
According to Van Weezenbeeck, “The big improvement for Justin with TSi is the increase in ball speed. It’s just so fast. His ball speeds were up at least a couple miles per hour versus his TS3, and with the new shaft we were able to dial in his launch and spin and get him that ball flight that he loves to see and gives him the most confidence.”
JT Isn’t the Only Player in Hawaii Gaming a New Pro V1x and New TSi Driver
At November’s Houston Open, Adam Scott switched to both a 2021 Pro V1x and new TSi4 8-degree with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6X shaft (the same as Thomas) at 46 inches.
“(With the new driver) Adam saw an immediate increase in ball speed of 4-5 MPH with a great launch and spin combination, as well increased distance and excellent control,” Van Weezenbeeck said.
This week, Scott also added a new TSi2 15-degree fairway (Fujikura P95 shaft), replacing his TS 16.5-degree 3-wood. The stronger-lofted fairway allowed him to better fill the distance gap that had been created by the distance gains with his new TSi driver. He also carries a TSi2 21-degree 7-wood (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 10 TX).
After his Monday practice round at Kapalua with fellow Australian Cameron Smith, Adam provided an update on his new golf ball: “I think the New Pro V1x ball has a lot to offer. The X ball has always been known as the longer, harder golf ball, and it's still long but it's picked up that soft feel around the green. So I'm happy with that. It's also got a little more spin, which is kind of in my wheelhouse. So it's been a nice switch for me. I'm looking forward to playing it here this week.”
Smith has seen continued success since switching to a new Pro V1x and his new TSi3 10-degree driver (Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60) – including becoming the first player in Masters history to shoot all four rounds in the 60s.
He also provided an update on his new Pro V1x on Monday: “The biggest thing for me switching into the new one was the feel around the greens. I like to be creative, and I feel like I can be very creative with that new ball. I can hit any shot that I want off the fairway. I feel like out of the rough it's really consistent as well, which is really good.”
Griffin will be striking his New Pro V1 with a different TSi driver this week. Griffin moved from a TSi2 10-degree (at 45 inches) to a new TSi2 9-degree at 46 inches. The new setup, with a with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 6.5 shaft, gained Lanto approximately 10-15 yards.