Urethane use in Golf
Titleist Pro V1 balls interview
Titleist golf ball product & marketing manager Jonathan Dowdell talks to GolfMagic
Following the launch of the new Titleist Pro V1 balls, GolfMagic caught up with Titleist’s golf ball product and marketing manager Jonathan Dowdell to discuss the new models.
So Jonathan, what is new about the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x for 2015?
The one area we conducted research on was short game performance and how much that meant to our players on the worldwide Tour and our consumers. We found the one thing that everyone wanted a little bit more of, without sacrificing anything else, was short game control.
So what we have done to the new 2015 Pro V1 balls is deliver more short game spin and control from the half wedge shot in, as well as provide softer feel through a new softer thermoset urethane elastomer cover. That’s the only thing we’ve changed in terms of construction.
We’ve been able to keep the ball extremely durable through the paint and cover system we applied two years ago, so the balls are still as durable despite the softer urethane change. Some of the Tour pros who have been using them a couple of months now, have not noticed a lack in durability.
What makes Titleist’s new ‘thermoset’ urethane different from others in the golf ball market?
From all the research we do in our labs, there are two distinct ways at the moment that urethane is applied to a golf ball. We own one way of doing it, and really all competitors fall into another bracket. From what we’ve found is that all our competitors are using an off-the-shelf version of urethane that comes in a pellet form and is bought from a third party vendor. It’s also melted down and injection-moulded around the golf ball, so it’s not their own urethane and essentially they aren’t able to control it as well as we are. Not all urethanes are the same.
In contrast, our urethane is very, very different. It is a liquid urethane – used for both Pro V1 and Pro V1x – created by a chemical reaction that takes place during the casting process. It’s a ‘thermoset’ process, where it is wet when poured into the mould. Essentially, the cover, once heated and formed, will not re-melt. As we own this process, we can control the properties of urethane better than our competitors can because of it being a wet urethane, all the components that go into making that specific urethane, we can control. It’s very unique, something we own and is protected by a patent. It is a process that makes us the market leader.