The Titleist TruFeel may not garner all the headlines that the company’s flagship Pro V1 franchise gets for all its success on the world’s professional tours, but the low-compression two-piece ball aimed at moderate swing speed golfers shares one important element with the Pro V1 franchise: Both balls are developed with extensive input from the players that use the eventual finished product.
The product development team at Titleist over the last decade has been increasingly dedicated not merely to advancing the technological potential of the golf ball among its array of constructions, but also in understanding what golfers and specifically, a particular ball’s target audience, are looking for. While it’s adding its most dramatic color change in response to consumer interest—a matte red finish that will debut in early 2020—at the same time, it’s tweaking the performance attributes with the new TruFeel in a category geared to golf balls that feel soft.
“We know from our extensive player testing that golfers who gravitate toward the softest-feeling golf balls are also clearly focused on performance,” said Michael Mahoney, vice president, Titleist golf ball marketing. “Our engineers have advanced TruFeel’s low compression technology to add speed and distance in the long game while preserving the feel that golfers tell us they love.”
Key in that development was adding speed to the core of the TruFeel without sacrificing feel. While still remaining a low-compression core, the core was firmed ever so slightly to make it more responsive at impact for better distance off the tee and on longer shots. “We knew these golfers were happy with the feel of DT TruSoft, so they weren’t looking for improvement in that area,” said Michael Fish, Titleist golf ball product manager. “But they are looking for longer distance off the driver. The new faster core works with a new aerodynamics pattern to give them more distance, as well. The fact is all the parts of the ball work together to create more speed.
“We know that there is no magic to a particular compression number in the minds of these golfers, and we’ve done a lot of work with them over the years to understand what they’re looking for. This ball remains a very soft golf ball. But in our research, golfers actually talk more about ‘feel’ than they talk about ‘soft.’ We’ve maintained the cover from DT TruSoft and that really helps give them the feel they want.”
The advantage of the low-compression core is lower spin, which helps both produce more distance and limit some of the waywardness of tee balls with hook and slice spin.
The TruFeel, which has a new core that is also larger than DT TruSoft (better energy transfer), remains the softest-feeling ball in the Titleist lineup, and its thinner cover is designed to help with approach shot spin and short-game control. That new aerodynamics pattern is tailored specifically toward enhancing the long game also.
Another area where studying a product’s specific audience yielded a design change for the TruFeel lies in the sidestamp, which often serves as an aiming feature on putts. The new sidestamp reflects the most popular choice on Titleist’s custom ball website, My Titleist.
The TruFeel lineup is available in stores now (white and optic yellow, matte red in 2020) for $23 a dozen.