MyGolfSpy Ball Lab is where we quantify the quality and consistency of the golf balls on the market to help you find the best ball for your money. Today, we’re taking a look at the Vice Pro. An overview of the equipment we use can be found here. To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
Given the nature of direct-to-consumer business, we can’t be absolutely sure but it stands to reason that Vice is among the most popular brands in its segment. It’s fair to say its balls have been among the most requested for Ball Lab.
You asked for this one.
As it turns out, we bought our samples of the original Vice Pro just before the new models came out. Rather than publish data on an out-of-date model, we decided to wait until we could get the new models for comparison. With COVID messing with the supply chain, it took us a while.
We’re caught up and that means the Vice Pro has the distinction of being the first ball for which we have two generations’ worth of data in Ball Lab. So, in addition to our standard Ball Lab metrics, having a bit of history allows us to compare quality across generations and see where things have improved, devolved or stayed the same.
About the Vice Pro
As you can see, not a whole lot has changed between models. Like the original, the 2020 Vice Pro is a three-piece performance golf ball with a urethane cover. It’s manufactured by Foremost in Taiwan and features the 318-dimple design common to many Foremost-made balls. It’s the same pattern used on the OnCore ELIXR we reviewed earlier, though we should note that the latest generation of Foremost-made balls features thinner covers. That should lead to more greenside spin and, indeed, that’s among the benefits listed by Vice.
Results from our 2019 Golf Ball test suggest the Vice Pro is a mid-launch, mid-spin ball. We expect that will carry over with the new model given that the Vice Pro is positioned to compete against the Titleist Pro V1.
Vice Pro – Compression
Vice is sticking to the formula that works. With respect to compression, the new Vice Pro is, for all intents and purposes, unchanged from the original. At +/- 86 compression, it lives in the sweet spot where speed lost to compression is absolutely minimal while providing a bit softer feel than a healthy percentage of the “Tour” category.
If you’re looking for a direct point of comparison, the Vice Pro sits between the Bridgestone Tour B XS and the Srixon Z Star which are likely the two softest balls in play on the PGA TOUR.
Vice Pro – Diameter & Weight
As the Ball Lab database has grown, we’ve come to understand that quality typically begins and ends at the factory level. While there can be some variance between models—for example, low-compression balls tend to be less consistent than high-compression balls—for the most part, we have a good idea of what to expect from balls coming out of any given facility.
Foremost does an outstanding job with size so it’s not surprising that we had no issues with diameter across our Vice Pro samples.
- None of the balls in our sample failed to meet the USGA minimum size requirement.
- None of the balls in our sample failed to meet our standard for roundness.
Suffice it to say, weight is an area where Foremost sometimes struggles. We certainly saw that with the original Vice Pro.
- In our sample of the 2016 Vice Pro, 17 percent of the balls we measured exceeded the USGA weight limit (and flagged as “bad” accordingly).
- With the new Vice Pro, we’re happy to report that all of the balls conformed to the USGA’s maximum weight specification.
Vice Pro – Inspection
Centeredness and Concentricity
Again … speaking to patterns … while Foremost excels at making balls all the same size, the layers aren’t always evenly distributed. In every case where we flagged a ball as bad, it was because of a significant concentricity issue with the mantle layer, the cover or both.
While off-center cores are easily recognizable, the experts we’ve worked with in developing our Ball Lab standards agree these seemingly small inconsistencies in the outer layers will often have a more significant performance impact than cores that are slightly off-center.
In total, 11 percent of our 2020 Vice Pro sample was flagged as bad. That’s a modest improvement over the prior generation.
Core color was consistent across both the 2016 and 2020 samples.
We found no significant issues with the Vice Pro covers. Foremost’s cast urethane process appears to produce few meaningful defects.
Vice Pro Consistency
In this section, we detail the consistency of the Vice Pro across generations. Our consistency metrics provide a measure of how similar the balls in our sample were to one another, relative to all of the models we’ve tested to date.
- As mentioned, weight is an area where Vice’s factory tends to be a bit inconsistent.
- Both the 2016 and new 2020 Vice Pro models rate as “fair” (below average) relative to the other balls in our database.
- As noted, Foremost is typically above average when it comes to diameter consistency.
- That holds true here as both versions of the Vice Pro were rated on the higher end of the average range.
- The compression of the 2020 Vice Pro was significantly more consistent than the prior generation version.
- The compression range of the 2020 Vice Pro sample was just over nine points, compared to 13 points with the previous model.
- Zero balls were flagged for having a compression value that deviated significantly from the median ball in the sample
True Price is how we quantify the quality of a golf ball. It's a projection of what you'd have to spend to ensure you get 12 good balls.
The True Price will always be equal to or greater than the retail price. The greater the difference between the retail price and the True Price, the more you should be concerned about the quality of the ball.
Vice Pro – Summary Report
To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
- Overall, quality appears to be better than the previous generation
- The Vice Pro is a solidly average quality ball priced below the market leaders.
- Concentricity issues are problematic, though likely not out of the realm of what’s tolerable considering the price (especially if you buy in bulk).
- Weight consistency is still below average.
The True Price of the 2020 Vice Pro is $39.36. That’s 13 percent above retail and significantly better than what we found with the prior version (True Price $50.39, 44 percent over retail).
Vice Pro – Retail Price and Options
The Vice Pro golf ball is available in white, neon lime, neon red, drip lime and drip red. The standard retail price is $34.99. However, per-dozen pricing is as low as $26.99 when purchased in quantities of five dozen or more.