Titleist has been a big fan of the limited release of late, and that chic style has made its way to their golf ball line.
The company has made a limited-release golf ball, called the Titleist AVX, which will only be available in three states -- California, Florida and Arizona -- starting in early October (approximately Oct. 6, after the next USGA conforming ball list is published). As GolfWRX reports, the Titleist AVX is different from the flagship Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. The Titleist AVX is a three-piece, Tour-caliber, performance-oriented ball which has a cast urethane cover, a softer compression rating than the Pro V1 models, a new 352-dimple tetrahedral catenary pattern and is available in optic yellow, a first for Titleist's performance balls.
— Rock Bottom Golf (@rockbottomgolf) September 20, 2017
So, why mess with success? Well, Titleist has seen its peers make some inroads with golfers selling lower compression balls billed as providing more driving distance for players with slower swing speeds and a general softer feel. Of course, those benefits come at the cost of some distance in shorter irons and in the amount of greenside spin a player could generate compared to a ball with a higher compression rating.
The Titleist AVX is, according to MyGolfSpy, going to be billed as being on the same plane price-wise as the Pro V1s, meaning you're looking at close to $50 per dozen. So far, then, the AVX won't be seen as a cheaper alternative to the Pro V1. It'll be seen as a performance option that's wholly separate but on the same level as the Pro V1. That flies in the face of what other ball makers have done with their softer Tour-caliber options. They're typically cheaper.
What's the point of the test, then? The idea would seemingly be to find out if golfers choose softer balls at a Pro V1 price point, and find out the type of golfer who would make that choice. Are they already playing the Pro V1 line? Are they in another softer ball and have been longing for such an offering from Titleist? Are they buying softer balls because of the lower price?
These are all things Titleist can learn for however long they choose to sell these balls. And Titleist could sell them for a week, a month or longer until they get the info they need. Then the next question is if these balls will make it to the broader market in 2018 and beyond. From the sounds of things, all options are on the table, and this is a genuine experiment.
Honestly, I love the idea of this. I'm a craft beer fan, and I always love when a brewery thinks of an idea for a new beer, makes it and distributes it in trusted places to see how well the new brew is received. If all goes well, it gets a broader release. If it doesn't, then you'll never see it again. In fact, my favorite beer on Earth, Flying Dog's Raging Bitch, began as a limited release. Now, I can't imagine a drinking world without it. Maybe we could see the same in golf balls.