To the average golfer, choosing which golf ball to use may not matter that much. After all, no Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike, or Bridgestone will stop that slice you haven’t fixed off the tee!
But for the serious golfer – and especially those on the PGA Tour – it can mean everything, especially when approaching how a course like Augusta National Golf Club plays with its narrow fairways, undulated greens, and demand for precision around the green.
“For an experienced player, the choice of ball is going to boil down to two things,” says Sean Ferris in this Golf Academy of America article. “Do you want distance or a softer feel that you can control?”
For the pros, however, a significant change occurred in 2000, as PGATour.com’s Jonathan Wall wrote in a piece called “Launch of a Legend.” It was the first event the Titleist Pro-V1 made its debut on Tour, and it’s hybrid of using a distance ball’s core but surrounding it with a casing typically seen in golf balls aimed at better control (using a surlyn casing).
A huge change in golf technology had taken off, and the sea change among the professional tour ranks was drastic – and the effects are still seen to this day, as nearly 2/3 of professionals still use Titleist.
This includes each of the past five Masters Tournament champions: Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Watson again, and Charl Scwartzel.
Is it a trend? Or is it pure chance?
Phil Mickelson, who rallied to tie for second in the 2015 Masters, has used Callaway for over a decade. Justin Rose, also T-2 last year, uses TaylorMade. And Rory McIlory, usually on leaderboards around the world, sports Nike in his bag (as does Tiger Woods).
In fact, over half the top 10 in the 2015 Masters Tournament did not use Titleist as their ball of choice.
What do you think?