The plot thickens.
Applying for a patent, Titleist is. The product:
A high performance golf ball having a reduced overall distance while maintaining the appearance of a high performance trajectory. The golf ball includes a combination of low CoR core and cover materials coupled with a less aerodynamic dimple pattern that achieves a reduction in carry and overall distance of 15 and 25 yards versus a conventional golf ball, while still providing the look, sound, feel and apparent flight of a conventional golf ball. A high performance golf ball having a reduced distance is also achieved by controlling dimensionless coefficients of lift/weight and drag/weight at certain Reynolds numbers and spin ratios for various CoR.
And here's what Tiger has been suggesting for some time now, slowing down the core:
One golf ball component, in particular, that many manufacturers are continually looking to improve is the center or core. The core is the "engine" that influences the golf ball to go longer when hit by a club head. Generally, golf ball cores and/or centers are constructed with a polybutadiene-based polymer composition. Compositions of this type are constantly being altered in an effort to provide a targeted or desired coefficient of restitution ("CoR"), while at the same time resulting in a lower compression which, in turn, can lower the golf ball spin rate and/or provide better "feel."
Here's where they acknowledge that some ball-driver combos are outsmarting the current USGA testing:
On the new USGA standard: Advances in golf ball compositions and dimple designs have caused some high performance golf balls to exceed the maximum distance allowed by the United States Golf Associates (USGA), when hit by a professional golfer. The maximum distance allowed by the USGA is 317 yards.+-.3 yards, when impacted by a standard driver at 176 feet per second and at a calibrated swing condition of 10.degree., 2520 RPM, and 175 MPH with a calibrated ball.
Yes, this is probably just a technicality related the USGA ball study.
But I still say that the first company coming out with such a ball and if it finds its way to classic, respected courses, has a better chance of establishing dominance in the "competition ball" or "classic course ball" market. Or even the overall market, should the USGA act.
And if that company is Titleist, they not only solidify their well-earned place atop ball sales, they earn huge points for doing the right thing from traditionalists/purists/above average golfers, a sizeable portion of their Pro V1 customer base.