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Are the Pros playing different balls?

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After getting rained off the course and into the clubhouse, where the Crown was poured perhaps too heavily, I got into a debate with my buds about golf balls and what the pros played. I think they are for the most part playing balls that are either available to us or are perhaps playing a new ball that is not yet available but will become available to us soon (such as Mickelson playing the new Callaway Tour ix a season before it hit the shelves a couple years ago). A friend contended that they are playing special formulations and custom balls that are not available to us, and claimed that the manufacturers are able to easily customize balls based on player preference and request.

 

It doesn't seem feasible to me that companies are able or willing to make custom golf balls to suit individual tour players, and that if they were, then these special formulations would see the light of day occasionally, as is seen with tour clubs and prototypes that one can find for sale. I've never seen this with balls.

 

So I'm asking the experts here at MGS to help settle this. When you see that a pro is playing the Nike One Tour, are they really playing the same Nike One Tour that that we can buy at our pro shop, or are they playing some specially designed ball with a Nike logo stamped on it?

 

Many thanks for your input!

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I've always wondered this as well... I'd like to know the answer to this...

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always rumors that tiger etc plays a nike witha tiger stamped on it and that ball is on the usga confirmed list of balls etc but if there is a difference them and only the tour players would notice i doubt we would

 

and with mickelson getting product a year early if anyone would get it be the big guys on tour

 

a article on this forum not to long ago talked about mickelson driver getting cracked and the r and d team at cally getting the gamer fixing it and back to him within like 24 hours so yea i say they have certain strings they can pull lol

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We all know they can get special club built to specs that we cant get and that they get new products far before we can but I highly doubt they play special balls. Yes Tiger can get TIGER stamped on the balls but anyone can get their name stamped on the ball, his is just in a different location the we are not offered. I know some of the tour guys all play different numbers like 1-4, 6-9 an I've played with a nationwide tour player who played a TM ball marked with #99 on it.

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All you have to do is look at the USGA conforming ball list and the different balls there that never see the retail light of day. If a pro wasn't thinking of putting a ball in play or at least to try the OEM probably wouldn't bother sending it in to be tested by the USGA.

 

I have come across several used Nike balls at one of my home courses that I found different. I would check and see they would be on the USGA list but not available in the retail market. I think some Nike exec from Japan probably comes over to my home course every so often and chunks a couple into the ravines.

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Customizing a club is one thing but I don't think (or at least I would hope not) that a company would go as far as to make a "spec ball" for each individual pro. I think it would take far too long to produce a batch of balls for a player. But what do I know, Kenny Perry played an R7 iron that wasn't available to the public for years. However as I think to myself, with the millions of dollars that these guys get paid, who knows maybe they do get balls made on a case by case golf course. Pretty crazy when you think about it.

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http://www.usga.org/ConformingGolfBall/conforming_golf_ball.asp

 

 

heres the link i searched callway and seen a few that might be a mickelson proto

 

Callaway Golf Company Callaway Golf with chevron logo ---- Tour Proto X ---- white

 

heres a nike ball that tiger may use, there 2 with tw on it

 

Nike Inc. Nike Swoosh logo One Tour TW white

 

 

 

and ps i know u can get custom balls with anything written on them but look at the list just search nike and u will see that there are balls that these guys do play that 99% of us could never get

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Some of those balls are Japanese or European marks. Take the Callaway Aero for instance and look at this: http://www.tourspecgolf.com/Callaway-Japan-2009-Legacy-Aero-Ball . It does seem almost undoubtable given that list that there are some balls that are never mass produced. It doesn't quite answer the question of why though. I suspect most are prototypes being tested by and played by pros in competition that for whatever reason don't make the cut or are remarked as something else. Some also seem to be balls released for players, although the Nike One TW is the only one on there that really jumps out at you.

 

Who knew Mizuno made golf balls?! Never ever seen those anywhere! Great list Andrew! Very interesting stuff to me!

 

Anyone out there with any first hand knowledge of how the pros get thier golf balls?

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Mizuno balls are a huge disappointment. I have tried almost all of them since they first came out in 2004-2005.

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We all know they can get special club built to specs that we cant get and that they get new products far before we can but I highly doubt they play special balls. Yes Tiger can get TIGER stamped on the balls but anyone can get their name stamped on the ball, his is just in a different location the we are not offered. I know some of the tour guys all play different numbers like 1-4, 6-9 an I've played with a nationwide tour player who played a TM ball marked with #99 on it.

 

 

FYI, you can order TaylorMade balls with whatever number you want on them 0-99. More or less the same as custom lettering you can order on most premium balls.

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I think on the whole most touring pros are playing the same balls that are available to us - just they usually have access to them before us.

 

I went to the Australian Masters last year (yes, the last tourny played by Tiger before the marital blow up) and saw a Callaway rep handing out boxes of ix balls to pros on the putting green (even non-Callaway pros).

 

Maybe a handful of pros might get a ball adjusted to their specs but I think this is a small minority.

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note the attached image. i went to the usga conforming ball page and was able to print this out. its all the types of pro v1 balls titleist makes.

 

now for the most part they are constructed the same, but what could be the difference? well basically if all fitting comes to launch angle and spin rate - my educated guess would be that each of these models are tweaked in such a way that spins more or less.

 

i remember the pro v1 diamond was played by vijay a few years back because it spun different than the pro v 1 * or pro v1 -

 

so yeah for the masses you get 2 balls that say pro v1 but the usga has currently 19 pro v1's approved that titleist can give to any one of their elite players - meaning, if your outside the top 50 in the world, you don't count, your playing what we play lol

prov1 versions.jpg

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Figure Titlest is on thier 4th Pro V1 release, so that accounts for several of those, I don't know if balls get taken off the list, presumably if a player wanted to play an old model, they could.

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Most players are playing a production ball. Generally speaking if they're not using Titleist and it's NOT a stock ball it is marked as prototype

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I have wondered about this, too. Its probably because they can make their ball do so much more than I can my ball. Someday, I will learn their little secrets.

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