Titleist is undoubtedly one of the biggest brand names in all of golf and they really made their name with the Pro V1 golf ball, still considered one of the best in the game. But when the now legendary Pro V1 was first in testing it may have performed too well.
Reaching back into the Titleist archives a story recently resurfaced talking about one of the earliest tests of the Pro V1. According to the story, Marc Fritz, the Vice President of Tour Promotion was told to take 12 Pro V1’s out to be tested by Davis Love III in Georgia back in 2000 and to only return with all 12. Fritz arrived in Georgia with the dozen balls he was issued but not all 12 made it back
Once he and his team arrived in Georgia, Love took the Titleist team out to a local course to test how well the ball performed compared to the Professional, the ball that he was already using. After using the ball in short game situations, Love took the group over to the tee box next, where there is a ditch about 340 yards away and that’s where disaster struck.
A detail of a Titleist ball during the first round of the WGC – HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 26, 2017 in Shanghai, China. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
With Love on the tee box, Fritz stood at the end of the fairway, about 300 yards away, and judged the distance difference between the two balls. It was obvious that the Pro V1 was outdoing the Professional by a long shot, with Love’s drives consistently challenging Fritz’s position in the fairway. Eventually, they told Love to let it fly and one of the Pro V1’s ended up being launched into the ditch that they never thought was reachable.
After several minutes looking around the ditch to salvage the ball, Fritz was forced to return to the headquarters with only 11 of the 12 balls, failing in the one task he was instructed to do. Love did his part, however, returning back to the course the next day and scouring the ditch for the lost ball. But after he and his son searched the area up and down, they still weren’t able to find the ball. And thus started a long tradition of golfers searching for their coveted Pro V1s.
Byron Nelson Classic, Davis Love III in action during drive on Saturday at TPC Four Seasons, Dallas, TX Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
As for the new Pro V1, it ended up debuting on the market three months later.
This is an interesting little tidbit that was discovered from the Titleist archives and hopefully something Fritz and his team can laugh about now. Who knows where that original Pro V1 went and if it was ever discovered before the official launch, but one fact remains…that it will go down as being the very first lost Pro V1.
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