Golf Ball Testing: The Pioneers of Performance | Titleist

What does it take to be the #1 ball in golf? First and foremost, it takes a number of amazing people who bring countless ideas and innovations that continuously improve the way we design, develop, manufacture, and ultimately test golf balls.

And when it comes to the testing process, our team works hard to ensure we are always at the forefront of the industry.

 Assortment of Titleist prototype golf balls

The Importance of Testing in How Golf Balls Are Made

Now you might be wondering, why is this so important to us?

The short answer, we will only introduce a new Titleist golf ball when it satisfies real performance needs and delivers an improvement over a previous design. The product testing and validation process guarantees a product worthy of the Titleist name.

This has been one of the key missions of our business since the first Titleist ball was introduced in 1935.

Titleist's 1930s golf ball testing machine The first mechanical golfer developed by Titleist. Circa 1935.

The first mechanical golfer was developed by Titleist in 1935, the same year that the very first Titleist golf balls arrived in golf shops. Our team developed the first mechanical golfer to provide true tests of new product designs. This machine pioneered a tradition of testing that is at the core of the Titleist brand.

Committed to elevating the standards of overall performance, our team coupled the mechanical golfer with a stroboscopic camera to measure golf ball deformation and recovery at impact – another first in the industry.

In the 1960’s, Titleist R&D was among the first to start conducting wind tunnel testing and computer analysis to evaluate dimple shapes and configurations for the most efficient blend between lift and drag.

These tests continued to evolve through the years and as more data became available, we began studying and categorizing the launch conditions (initial velocity, launch angle, spin rate and spin axis orientation) of different types of players from professionals to serious amateurs to recreational golfers.

As always, the end goal has been to design the best golf balls to meet the specific needs of every different type of player.

Titleist R&D wind tunnel for golf ball testing

These extensive machine and player tests are the final steps of our product development phase and they ensure that all of our new products meet the exacting performance specifications and quality standards we have set forth.

In the end, as our golf ball technology advances and grows more sophisticated, so do our testing methodologies and tools.

From state-of-the-art facilities and new inventions to large-scale prototype test panels with Team Titleist members, we are dedicated to providing golfers with only the very best products designed to help them shoot lower scores.