There was a time not all that long ago when, in my opinion, the Titleist Pro V1 was far and away the best golf ball on the planet. When it became available to the masses in the spring of 2001, it was a revolutionary ball because of how it flew off of the driver, spun around the greens and had much greater durability than wound balls.
Now I’m not going to knock the Pro V1, but the gap isn’t nearly what it was. It isn’t because Titleist is making a bad product — that’s far from the case. But the top-line ball from every company has improved dramatically.
A year ago, I became something of a Nike One Tour loyalist. It was simply an economical decision. At a time when a dozen Pro Vs were going for around $45, you could get two dozen One Tours for between $50 and $60 depending on the current deal that was available.
I’m not going to say the Nike One Tour was better than the Pro V, but it was plenty good. And the Titleist wasn’t $20/dozen better.
Now it appears that TaylorMade is getting into the act. When TM launched the Penta, it was another $45/dozen ball. Now most places are selling the Penta for $40 and there is a promotion at pretty much any retailer in which you can get a free dozen if you buy two dozen.
The math on that is pretty simple: 3 dozen balls for $80, or about $27/dozen. And I just pulled a coupon out of my Entertainment book that will give me $15 off of a $75 purchase at Dicks Sporting Goods. If I can apply that to the sale golf balls, I’ll get three dozen balls for $65 or about $22/dozen.
I have played a couple of rounds with a Penta. It seems to provide a good combination of distance off of the tee, decent spin around the green and even some solid durability.
The ProV might be a little better than the Penta, but I’m not sure it is $20-$23 a dozen better.
Anybody else have strong opinions?