Jason Dufner might have a reputation as one of the most laid-back, easy going golfers on the professional circuit. But, when it comes to equipment testing there is nothing nonchalant about the American's approach to determining the best tools for his trade.
When Golf Digest took the opportunity to analyse the 36-year-old's testing session at Titleist's Oceanside California facility last November, it became quickly apparent that Dufner is an analytical perfectionist, paying close attention to every detail that determines the quality of a product.
Here, the facts-and-figures freak is testing the latest version of Titleist's Pro V1 golf ball, a new design of the 2009 Pro V1 that Dufner has been using over the past few years.
Tour-proven around the globe, the new Pro V1 is 'engineered to deliver exceptional distance, consistent flight, green-side control, and longer lasting durability'. But will it be good enough for Dufner?
"The golf ball is probably the most important piece of equipment that we play with," he reflected. "You are using that piece of equipment on every shot out there, so you need to find a ball that performs well off the tee, performs well with your iron shots around the greens, and even putting there is a good bit of feel involved.
"Titlelist came out with some new golf balls that I've been testing here. I settled on the 2013 Pro V1 and was happy with a lot of the results that I saw today.
You can definitely tell the differences between the feel and the sound that a golf ball makes when you hit it."
Starting with the pitching wedge and working his way up the bag, Dufner's testing process for golf balls is pretty straightforward. He hits three to five balls with each model and then averages the numbers and data.
It's a far cry from his college days when Dufner admits he had 'no idea' what he was doing, often choosing equipment on the basis of looks or feel alone. Now, in order to maximise his performance, he knows that data provides much better insight.
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