There are two basic criteria required of all so-called tour golf balls. They must incorporate a thin, responsive urethane cover to offer enhanced spin and control around the greens, and they must offer three (or more) layers to reduce spin off the tee and generate optimal launch parameters on iron shots.
Beyond that, construction and performance differences can be minute. Several hundred RPM here and 1° of launch there isn’t likely to make or break a round for the vast majority of amateur golfers. This isn’t to suggest all tour balls are the same, but there’s an argument to be made that as relevant patents have expired and the accompanying intellectual property has entered the public domain, DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands like Snell and Vice are leveling the playing field.
DID YOU KNOW?
MyGolfSpy is in the throes of its first-ever Most Wanted Test for golf balls. The test report will tackle a myriad golf ball related issues and should help bring the performance discussion together in a more meaningful and cohesive fashion.
With the Tour and Tour X, Maxfli is following the industry standard two-pronged approach. It’s pairing a lower compression (90), 3-piece ball (Tour) with a higher compression (100) 4-piece ball (Tour X). While 90 compression shouldn’t be considered soft by modern standards, in general, lower compression leads to less spin throughout the bag, whereas higher compression balls tend to launch higher, spin more, and often produce a bit higher ball speed. Both the Tour and Tour X feature soft cast urethane covers a la Titleist and TaylorMade. Comparatively, Bridgestone and Callaway use a TPU (Thermoplastic Injection) cover.
The differentiating factor with this release is Maxfli’s Center of Gravity balancing. The premise is fundamentally the same as the Technasonic Check-GO, which spins a ball at 10,000 RPM to find the ball’s most balanced orientation. With Maxfli, however, this process takes place during production. Maxfli uses the linear side stamp to indicate optimal alignment.
CG alignment is based on the understanding that a ball wants to spin around its most balanced orientation. If the ball starts in that position, less time and energy are wasted during flight, leading to more efficient flight. It’s somewhat akin to throwing a perfect spiral as compared to a wobbling, wounded-duck. Moreover, the practical application of CG alignment, according to Maxfli, is it helps tee shots reach a greater peak height and fly farther.
Maxfli also supplied testing data from Golf Laboratories to support the “higher and farther” assertion. Specifically, the testing data shows 2.5 yards of additional carry with 1 yard more peak height. This is based on a 95 MPH driver swing speed. Subsequent Golf Labs testing suggests that the increased distance does not come at the expense of wedge spin/control. When compared to category leaders (Titleist Pro V1 and ProV1x) results for the Maxfli Tour and Tour X were similar. The Maxfli Tour produced fractionally less spin with similar height as the Pro V1, while the Tour X generated an additional 100 RPM of spin, with nearly identical total distance as the Pro V1x.
It’s easy to get too far into the weeds on specific numbers which ultimately don’t play a large role in performance, but what such testing offers Maxfli is some evidence to support its insistence that this iteration of Maxfli balls belongs in the same class as Titleist, Callaway, Bridgestone, Srixon, and TaylorMade.
No doubt, critics will point to the fact that to whatever degree the technology impacts performance, it does so only when the player can (or chooses) to align the ball, which is the tee and green only. However, Maxfli contends performance isn’t falling off during the other 30-40 shots per round; it’s simply a value-added feature.
Speaking of which, though it’s still the subject of ongoing testing, there isn’t statistically significant evidence to suggest CG alignment results in more made putts, though it could make for some spirited conversation.
The ball market is becoming increasingly competitive as performance from challenger brands reaches levels similar to leading brands. As such, OEMs often differentiate themselves with price (Snell and Vice dip below $30/dozen for bulk purchases), technology (dimple design, multiple cores, different materials, and specialized urethane covers), or in the case of Maxfli, possibly both. At $35/dozen, Maxfli doesn’t offer significant cost savings over DTC brands, but the pertinent point is that the balls are $10+ less than most every other tour ball to which it sits adjacent at every one of the 700 or so Dick’s Sporting Goods locations nationwide.
With that, does the CG story resonate or is the tour ball dance floor already too packed?
Maxfli Tour CG and Tour X CG golf balls are available now. The Tour is available in Gloss White, Matte White, and Hi-Vis Matte Green. The Tour X is available in Gloss and Matte White only.
Retail price is $34.99/dozen.