Titleist Tour Speed, Tour Soft golf balls

·3 min read

In some ways, golf balls are like wine. If price is not a consideration, there are plenty of wonderful things to try. But in reality, many people look for something good that comes at a price that is easier to handle.

Titleist is best known for making the most-played golf balls in the game, the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, but in addition to outstanding performance, those balls come with a price tag of around $50 per dozen. For many players, that puts them out of reach. The Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based company also makes several other balls that are less expensive, and many of them have technologies and features that make them appealing to many golfers.

The Titleist Tour Speed and Tour Soft are two examples of balls designed for players who want a high-performing ball at a slightly lower cost, and Titleist just released updates of each.

Titleist Tour Speed

Titleist Tour Speed
Titleist Tour Speed

Titleist Tour Speed (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Gear: Titleist Tour Speed golf balls
Price: $40 per dozen
Specs: Three-piece construction with a large core, casing layer and a urethane cover.

Who they’re for: Golfers who want more distance off the tee and greenside spin.

The Skinny: When you play a ball that has the word speed in its name, you expect it to jump off the face of your woods and long irons. The engineers at Titleist have updated the core of the second-generation Tour Speed to help make that happen.

While the reformulated core helps increase ball speed, a thin, high-flexibility casing layer that covers the core reduces spin and helps produce a low launch and piercing flight with woods and long irons.

While the 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple pattern has not changed, the Tour Speed has a urethane cover, so unlike some distance-oriented balls, the grooves of wedges and short irons can grab the ball’s cover more easily and boost greenside spin for increased control. It’s not the same cast urethane material found on the Pro V1, Pro V1x and the AVX, but this less-expensive alternative material delivers performance that is nearly as good.

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Tour Soft

Titleist Tour Soft
Titleist Tour Soft

Titleist Tour Soft (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Gear: Titleist Tour Soft golf balls
Price: $35 per dozen
Specs: Two-piece construction with a large core and an Ionomer cover.

Who they’re for: Golfers who want more distance with a soft feel.

The Skinny: At 1.6 inches, the third-generation Tour Soft has one of the largest cores found in any Titleist golf ball, which helps it produce speed. However, the core has a lower compression that feels softer at impact than the Tour Speed.

The most substantive change to the Tour Soft is a new 346 quadrilateral dipyramid pattern. It helps create better aerodynamics and is the same pattern found on the Tour Speed, but because the Tour Soft’s core is larger and the Tour Speed has a casing layer (while the two-piece Tour Soft does not), the Tour Soft will fly lower and produce less spin off the tee and with longer clubs.

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