Titleist revamped their golf ball selection with the Tour Speed and Titleist Tour Soft golf balls, but how do they actually perform? Here we test the Titleist Tour Speed golf balls on a launch monitor and on the course to let you know how they stack up against the competition.
The Tour Speed stands out as it claims to have a lot of the same characteristics as the Pro V1, just cheaper. As we reveal this is mostly true with a couple of exceptions…
Titleist Tour Speed At A Glance
Here are some basic stats about the Titleist Tour Speed golf balls.
- Number of pieces: 3
- Compression: around 80
- Cover material: Titleist Performance Urethane (TPU)
- Dimple Pattern: 346 Quadrilaterial Dipyramid Dimple Design
- Color options: White and Yellow
- Pricing: Average – between Pro V1 and Velocity
- Golf ball category: distance and speed with an optimized feel
The distance from the Tour Speed is good all around. In fact, when I took the golf ball to the course, I first noticed a penetrating ball flight and a similar distance to the Titleist Pro V1 that I normally have in play.
With a name like “Tour Speed,” I wasn’t shocked that the Tour Speed golf ball was more of a distance ball. In fact, I had hoped to see great distance with the ball in play.
Of course, we care about driver distance, and the carry from the Tour Speed was pretty much level with the Pro V1 off the tee in terms of carry and total distance.
When it came to iron shots, I noticed a very slight decrease in carry distance. Total distance between my irons and something like a Pro V1 is close to the same, this ball rolls out just a bit more on longer approaches to the green. Overall, I could learn to adjust to it, and it would likely not result in any strokes lost on the golf course.
I think for high-speed players, a few yards here and there are expected between a premium and an average-quality golf ball.
If you are keen to max out your distance the Tour Speed is a good option, but the Titleist Pro V1 might gain you an extra 1-2 yards. Or if you are shopping on a budget and care less about feel and spin, the Tru Feel golf ball is well worth checking out.
To test spin we like to look at full wedge shots with a launch monitor and then how the ball reacts around the green from different lies – the latter is a little more subjective but important nonetheless.
Full swing wedges
There are two key factors that determine how quickly wedge shots will stop – backspin and descent angle. The more backspin, the quicker a ball will stop, and the steeper the descent angle the quicker a ball with stop.
As expected, there is a small drop off in backspin rates for full wedge shots with the Tour Speed vs the more premium Pro V1s. There was also a small drop off in decent angle, both of these factors suggest we’d see less of that drop-and-stop performance we’ve grown to love from the Pro V1.
However, on the course, I didn’t notice that there was much difference in the golf ball stopping on the green. From a 6 iron to a pitching wedge, I felt like I could take my standard club (155 yard 7 iron), go right at the pin, and it would stop within a few feet.
I’m happy with the Tour Speed from a spin perspective on the approach shots and long game shots. It’s just the shorter wedge shots where I think we have to be careful calling this a golf ball “optimized for precise short game control.”
Around the greens
Around the greens, the Tour Speed golf balls do not spin all that well. I tested them from several locations; out of the bunker, rough, short grass, etc. When chipping from the short grass, the Tour Speed golf ball does pretty well, and you can see it working on spinning and stopping (although you still have to expect some roll out.)
From the rough, make sure to give plenty of room for the shot to release.
Overall the feel is pretty soft, which doesn’t necessarily help with greenside spin, but it can help you feel more in control of where your golf ball stops on the greens.
The more I’ve tested golf balls, and especially while going through the Tour Speed golf ball review, I’ve learned that as long as you know what the short game spin is like from a ball, you should be able to get the short game control you need.
For instance, the new Tour Speed has decent short-game spin that I could get used to if it was the ball I always had in play. However, if I happen to short side myself and I want to get the ball up and down quickly, the Tour Speed isn’t going to be my first pick!
It’s important for amateur golfers to understand that more spin is not always better. However, having control over your golf ball (through a combination of spin, feel, and short game technique) matters most.
With ball speed being the selling point of the Titleist Tour Speed, I expected the ball to be a bit hard coming off the face of my golf clubs. However, the Tour Speed golf ball has a relatively soft feel on the golf course.
From the tee box and with the iron shots, the overall feel was fast but not like a rock. As you would expect, in comparison with the Tour Soft golf ball, it’s quite a bit harder.
The Tour Speed has a Urethane cover, but the overall look and even coloring of it is a bit duller than a brand-new Pro V1. Despite the fancy marketing of having a Urethane cover, the slightly thicker cover and high-flex casing layer result in a different feel to the premium golf balls on the market.
Launch monitor testing is important, but it can’t tell us much about feeling. I’m kind of picky with feel on the putting greens, and I did like the Titleist Tour Speed on the putting greens; I would have no trouble switching to it from a putting feel perspective.
The Titleist Tour Speed is an excellent ball from a longevity standpoint. I bought a sleeve of golf balls, have played four rounds of golf, and I’m still on the first ball. Luckily I’ve avoided water hazards and out-of-bounds, but the new Titleist Tour Speed ball has a really durable cover, and I haven’t noticed imperfections or scratches that would make it unplayable.
Keeping the golf ball in play for a few rounds won’t be an issue.
Every golfer wants a Pro V1 that is more affordable. I know that when I tested the Tour Speed, I had this in mind. In fact, I tested the Tour Speed, Tour Soft, and Tru Feel, and the only one I really had hope for when it came to a Pro V1 replacement was the Tour Speed.
I think for the price you pay for Tour Speed, it’s worth it. This is a three-piece golf ball, and it has good performance from the tee and the fairway. In addition, it offers more spin on short-game shots than other golf balls in this price range. However, it is not a replacement for a Pro V1 around the greens.
In the end, value comes down to what you need the golf ball to do. If you want all-around performance, the Tour Speed is a smart choice. In addition, the durable outer cover makes this a good choice for longevity and could lower your cost per round.
The Tour Speed has an alignment aid that is worth mentioning. It looks like two lines and can be good for players who line up their putts this way.
With the Tour Speed line being a little thicker than you would find on a Pro V1, it’s worth mentioning this as a feature of the ball.
Golf Insider Verdict
With drives and approach shots, there is very little difference between the Titleist Tour Speed and the most premium golf balls on the market. From 50 yards and in, we see a difference. Prepare yourself for a little less spin, a few yards of rollout (even on a good shot), and perhaps a slightly lower trajectory.
As I mentioned, if you are prepared for that on the golf course, it’s not a bad thing and the Tour Speed provides a nice option for those golfers not wanting to fork out for top-of-the-range golf balls, but still want all-around performance.
If you read through our Tour Speed golf ball review and felt like it’s not the right golf ball for your game, there are a few alternatives out there to consider.
TaylorMade Tour Response
The Tour Response has a very similar on-course performance as the Tour Speed and is a very good ball. You will find good distance off the tee and the same average spin on the short game shots. The Tour Response from TaylorMade also has a similar feel and compression. It’s enough firmness to keep the ball coming off the face hot but soft enough to offer more control around the greens.
Titleist Tour Soft
The Titleist Tour Soft is considerably softer than the Tour Speed. This is only a two-piece golf ball, with considerably lower compression. I like this one better for golfers with slower swing speed and those that like that softer feel on the putting green.
Titleist Pro V1
The Titleist Tour Speed can’t be all that the Titleist Pro V1 is and be offered at the same price. The Pro V1 is the superior golf ball. However, if you want to play a few rounds of golf with something similar for a lower price, the Speed is a good alternative. In the end, if you have the money to spend, there’s a reason the Pro V1 is known as one of the best golf balls in the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the Titleist Tour Speed golf ball.
What is the compression rating of the Titleist tour speed?
The compression rating of a Tour Speed golf ball is around 80. It’s a three-piece golf ball, best suited for average to higher swing-speed players.
What is the difference between Titleist Tour Speed and Tour Soft?
The Tour Speed golf ball fits in between the Pro V1 and the Tour Soft. The Pro V1 is a higher-compression golf ball with three pieces. The Tour Speed is a three-piece with mid-compression and soft feel. Tour Soft is a two-piece ball with lower compression and a softer feel.
Is Titleist Tour Speed hard or soft?
The Titleist Tour Speed is not hard; it feels slightly softer than a Pro V1 and not as soft as the Tour Soft golf ball. The Tour Speed still has enough firmness to get a solid roll off the face of the club on the putting greens.
Does the Tour Speed spin like a Pro V1?
The Titleist Tour Speed spins well, but it’s not a Pro V1. Expect to have no trouble on approach shots to the green, but when it comes to inside 50 yards, you won’t get the same drop-and-stop technology you get with a Pro V1.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how the Titleist Tour Speed performs before making a purchase. The Titleist Tour Speed is a good all-around golf ball with decent distance technology, good iron spin, and a medium soft feel around the greens.
You can’t put a Titleist Tour Speed into play and expect the same things you get with a Pro V1. However, for good club players and casual golfers who want to save a little money, the Tour Speed from Titleist could be a great fit.
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