I had a couple of extra days off over the Memorial holiday and I thought I would spend one of my two planned golf days with some real-world testing of the Titleist Velocity and the Titleist DT SoLo. I played a longer course, Dryden Muni in Modesto, CA., on an 85 degree day with a pretty substantial wind from the northwest at 15-20 MPH.
I wanted to do this test for quite a while because I have played each of the two golf balls on a challenging par three, 9 hole course where every whole was an iron and a put or short chip, not a "typical" round. Dryden in the wind becomes long and requires a variety of shots you just won’t see on a par 3.
The Velocity and SoLo are some of the most popular golf balls on the market for higher handicappers with good reason. The Velocity lived up to the hype and was consistently 5-10 yards longer than the SoLo with the driver and long irons, but the SoLo had a softer feel and a lower trajectory though neither ball "ballooned" in the wind, the Velocity has a noticeably higher flight. I played each ball side-by-side on every hole alternating the tee shot order so each had a sporting chance.
Off the tee both balls are straight, low spin balls that were both within my normal driving distance numbers though the Velocity is definitely longer. Both balls coped well with the substantial winds, neither over exaggerated slices or draws and though you can hit draws and slices off your mid-irons with some effort, these are designed not to slice and draw and they are great at that. With the driver they tend to go straight where you hit it.
Irons and approaches
Here is where the two balls differ the most and where I think surprisingly the cheaper DT SoLo outshines the Velocity. This was indeed a surprise because in my previous play with the Velocity I noted that it had a nice greenside feel and it is great on short chips and from inside 50 yards. But on a longer course you have to hit quite a few 6,7,8 irons into greens and on those shots I found that I was flying over greens with the Velocity and even after I taking one less club, the ball still had a tendency to rollout too far. Dryden does not have the firmest nor the fastest greens in the world so this was very surprising. The SoLo did not have this problem, though not as long, it had a nice soft feel and seemed to land very softly with a hop and stop action even on a 7 iron.
Chip and Put
Here both balls are decent, they are hot and light feeling when compared to a 4-5 piece pro golf balls. Both balls pop off wedges and are predictable with nice feel on the putter. Where you see the most difference is on flop-shots or longish chips, the Velocity rolls out more than the SoLo so again advantage SoLo. But here again, flop shots are not something a higher handicap player is not likely to attempt.
For me the DT SoLo gets the nod. I like its overall strengths and I find it to be a better overall solution for most golfers. However, I do appreciate the distance gain with the Velocity and depending on your game and the course you play, the Velocity is really cool. I hit one 270 yards, the longest drive I have measured with my GPS to date. So yes, it is long and that is a bunch of fun.
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