On the chopping block this week was a sleeve of balls our friends at OnCore sent over. Let me start by saying these things are unique for sure, from their construction to their appearance to their feel, you know you’re playing with something different. Now, I do need to say before you continue reading that these balls are not meant to compete in the tour ball market, and in fact, are not for players with high club head speeds or who like to work the ball. When compared to my TaylorMade Lethal, these balls actually traveled 30-50 yards less off the driver, but there’s a positive to that, more on that in the review. So as a high-handicapper or perhaps an older player with lower club head speeds, read on:
While this ball doesn’t travel as far as some other options, it does however spin less off the driver which means that it is not only less prone to slices and hooks, but if it does turn a bit, it will be closer to in play, and carry about the same. I hit three in a row, a draw, straight, and fade, and all three were within 3 yards of each other distance-wise and each less than 15 yards offline left to right…and that was me TRYING to turn them, so they do stay a bit straighter, that’s the positive I mentioned earlier.
They feel really clunky off the club head at high swing-speed (Trackman put me at 114 with the driver) but when I slowed it down a bit, they got a little more comfortable and a player with lower swing speed wouldn’t notice it nearly as much. As an added bonus, at the lower club head speeds, the side spin was even less prevalent and the flight a little more consistently straight. Again, don’t try to go after this ball as it won’t get you any added distance, but the rifle flight they promote makes itself pretty evident really quickly.
On full shots, I noticed the same drastic variation in distance control as with the longer clubs, except that on occasion these things would really pop and I’d hit a 200 yard 7-iron. At high swing speed, the spin is almost uncontrollable, so again, in slowing down a bit, I noticed the distances start to even out, the spin be more manageable, and the same reduced side-spin meaning that these balls should help you keep it closer to the green on your approach.
For partial shots, the spin kind of works against you. Since it doesn’t let you put too much spin on, you may have to re-learn your landing spot to pin ratio as it’s gonna roll out. It’s just going to. The same clunkiness was very prevalent in the irons, but mellowed out once I remembered to slow down a bit. This is a straight flying, ball that will roll out…great for keeping it on line, but keep that in mind when choosing a club.
Surprisingly, the spin on these things with the wedges is kinda fun. With straightforward square club faced chip shots, expect considerable more roll, so make sure you calculate your landing spot and break more carefully, as they’ll roll a ways, but if you are faced with a sand shot or a flop shot, the spin is actually quite good and I was able to (with slowed down swings) to hit some really good par savers. Keep the swing smooth and slowed down, and these balls are going to react how you’d expect them to.
I LOVE putting with this ball. The clicky feel, the way they hold their line and consistent speed and roll make them a lot of fun to practice putting with. Enough said…throw ’em down on the putting green, you’ll dig ’em.
If you’re an older player losing club head speed, a high handicapper struggling with a slice or if you’re just not getting the distance you’re looking for and have the room to let it land and roll, give these things a try. They won’t save your game, but they’ll make it a bit more manageable to get you back on track. The reduced spin is good in almost all cases and the surprising amount of spin on flop shots is a nice way to stick it close. I would like to see a softer cover, larger dimples and have them find a way to eliminate the seam in the cover. If they could get it a little softer and more high swing speed friendly, I think it would open the ball up to a greater percentage of players who could benefit from it’s ingenuity. They’re onto something here, but it’s got a little ways to go before it’s for more players.
Bunkers Paradise Rating:
By Nick Paster