The guys at Acushnet brought the circus to town this past week to unveil the latest developments in their Titleist and Cobra lines. A couple hundred CPGA pros and media were captivated by the 3.5 hour presentation that covered everything from flight vectors to explaining MOI and introducing staggered wave parting lines.
First up was the Pro V1. Although there are no construction changes (Pro V1 is still a 3 piece and Pro V1* is a four piece ball), they have developed the staggered wave molding machine that essentially eliminates the seam in the ball. What that has allowed them to do is change the dimple pattern to adjust the flight characteristics of each of the balls. As a result, the new Pro V1 has a slightly higher flight and the Pro V1* has a slightly lower ball flight (helping it bore through the air). Neither ball loses their spin characteristics around the green.
Next up was the new generation of Titleist drivers – 905 D1 and 905 D2. Moment of inertia (MOI) is this year’s industry buzz term. Manufacturers are maximizing club head size, moving more weight to the back of the club and minimizing the club head from twisting when it strikes the ball (MOI).
While some companies are addressing the MOI issue by building square drivers, Titleist has decided that using a triangle shape will allow them to shift more weight directly behind the club face. The 905 D1 has a larger head and greater MOI resulting in straighter shots off the tee.
Because of the higher MOI, players have less of an opportunity to work the ball off the tee so Titleist also offers the D2 which also has moved the weight back but has a slighter smaller head and lower MOI than the D1. With a little more give, they claim pros are able to work the ball more effectively left or right.
Titleist also introduced the Scotty Cameron Newport Detour putter which adds an alignment bar to the traditional Newport design.
Closing out the presentation was Cobra who introduced two new lines of clubs. The higher handicapped player gets the Speed LD driver which features the weight moved back and down for a lower centre of gravity to help get the ball up in the air and a higher MOI to keep the ball straight. They also introduced the Speed Pro designed with their stable of pros for the better golfer with greater swing speed.
The road show ended with a town hall meeting in which executives tackled questions from the audience. The highlight of the morning came when Bill Morgan, Sr. VP of Golf Ball Research and Development stood up in mock indignation when asked if the golf ball had reached its limit and should be brought back. After having been forcibly detained, Bill pointed out that golf club advancements and golfer fitness had much more of an affect on the length a golf ball is hit than the ball itself (which, of course, sits there innocently waiting to be whacked). It was also pointed out that the best players in the world only play tournaments on about 40 courses in America so it is poppy cock (my term, not theirs) to say that golf courses are being made obsolete.
Over the next few months we will be testing some of this new equipment ourselves and will report to you, our loyal readers, if their claims are valid.