Forte Golf

It’s amazing how worldwide the golf industry has become. We see products of all kinds from every corner of the globe. These products cover the full gamut of golf. From golf bags, to golf clubs and of course golf balls.Some products are even from “Down Under” like independent golf ball company Forte Golf.

Forte Golf is a company that was started out by a group of lovers of the game of golf. Being passionate about the game of golf (like so many of us) their love became addiction. With addiction comes practice, more play and with any sort of luck… improvement. While the group of golfers knew what equipment to play the mystery was playing the right ball. They were of the opinion that the balls in the industry were designed for Tour players and that the masses pick their golf ball based on what the Tour players play. So they set out to design and create a golf ball of their own to rival the “big boys” of the industry. Starting out with themselves leading them to tracking a variety of players’ data (which ranged from swing speed, hole-by-hole score, posture, and ball used). When the dust finally settled 2 years later the team at Forte compiled a list of what golfers looked for in a golf ball basing this on data points collected from their research.Ultimately, the goal of the team at Forte Golf want to “reawaken” the passion for golf for those that play this game.

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Two offerings from Forte Golf

How did we get to the testing? Well, the answer is short. I received an e-mail from someone (Laurie) over at Forte Golf who asked me if I would like to try their golf balls. Of course, I would not decline the offer as I like to shed light on any company willing to let me test their products. Besides, I have a history of testing golf balls from independent golf ball companies. So, I was informed that I would receive a sample package and I waited… eager to see what the company had in mind. So the parcel arrived from Taiwan and I opened it up eager to see the contents. Inside were a dozen each of two of their models. The first model was a 3-piece offering called the Tour Performance S while. the second model was a 6-piece offering called the Apex 6. Ironically, Forte sent me the two balls that I was the most curious about. Below is some background information on each of their golf balls as taken from literature at the Forte Golf website.

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All set for “The Dungeon”.

Tour Performance S – This golf ball is aimed towards the “Advanced Player”. This particular golfer is one who “demands premium urethane covers ball at all skill levels. Increased short game spin control without sacrificing tee shot distance”. The Tour Performance S features 

  1. P.R.B. High-Energy Core: The low compression core that provides super-soft feel and lower spin rate of the tee.
  2. Ultra-Soft HPF Resin: An extremely thin layer of resin that perfectly blends the core with its cast urethane cover.
  3. Cast Urethane Cover: Along with an exclusive patented polyurethane formula that provides excellent spin control around the green along with incredible soft feel.

Manufactured with industry leading material and our unique urethane formulation. Tour Performance S is your ultimate control ball.”

(Honestly, the above features are something that I personally look for when putting a golf ball into play)

Apex 6 – This golf ball is also targeted towards the “Advanced Player” and in particular to those with a higher swing speed. “Ideal for players who demands the best or nothing. Underneath the cast urethane cover is the world’s first 6 piece golf ball! It guarantees to outperform the competition in all aspect.” Features of the Apex 6 are outlined below.

  1. P.R.B. High-Energy Core: The high energy core with super-soft and low compression leads to ultimate distance with low spin off the tee.
  2. Soft HPF Resin: The first mantle layer is made by soft and lightning reaction formula for the improved touch and feel.
  3. Mid-Soft HPF Resin: The energy transfer layer is a perfect combination of the first and third layers characteristics.
  4. Toughness HPF Resin: Offering extraordinary control, the third layer has the greatest flexibility and strength. 
  5. Surlyn Lonomer Resin: Resin that is used to aid generating greater spin control around the green.
  6. Cast Urethane Cover: Along with an exclusive patented polyurethane formula that provides excellent spin control around the green along with incredible soft feel.

 

(Forte Golf had me hooked with all of the above stated information)

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A look on the respective “alignment aids”

So I set out to testing. Initially, due to the winter season all of my testing started down in “The Dungeon” (my basement practice studio… it’s cold, damp and dark).

Putting – I started with putting because this is an important and intimate part of the game. I started to make putts and I really liked the feel of both golf balls. The Tour Performance S (TPS) is said to be an “ultra-soft” golf ball and that did in fact translate when it came to putting. The Tour Performance S is void of an alignment aid per se but I used the part of the golf ball where it’s model name is emblazoned on the side. I observed no wobble and the ball rolled true on the Big Moss (Augusta) putting mat downstairs. When it came to the putting of the Apex 6 I observed no difference in feel (both have cast urethane covers) but what I immediately liked better was the obvious putting alignment aid. It just had a cleaner look while I was over the ball. The Apex 6 rolled true as one might expect.

Chipping/Pitching – Again, this is a part of the game that I feel is intimate. After all the stroke (chipping in particular) is just a little bit bigger than the putting stroke. I would gather baseline information by hitting chips and pitches onto the surface to the Big Moss. The Tour Performance S has very nice greenside spin characteristics based on early observations. I noticed that the Tour Performance S had no problem with “applying the brakes”. The Apex 6 was more of the same… the ball stops (but remember folks the strike that you put on a golf ball plays a big part of acquiring short game spin… accelerate through the ball). What I thought was an eyebrow raiser was that I preferred the feel of the Apex 6. I honestly thought that since I love a very soft golf ball the TPS would be the preference. It wasn’t. I would start taking bigger swings with my pitching wedge downstairs hitting now into my practice net. With these “bigger swings” I really liked the feel of both golf balls yet if I had to lean in one direction it would have been the Apex 6… which again surprised me.

Full Swing – We had some decent golf weather (please take with a grain of salt) here in Niagara Falls. I took the opportunity to play 9-holes on New Year’s Day which was a balmy +4*C at tee off (38*F). Not the ideal time to play new balls for the purposes of testing but still it gave me an idea of what I was dealing with. Without elaborating too much on this particular instance both models of golf ball tested very well. Off of the tee both balls fared well with an edge going to the TPS and I figured that had to do with the temperatures. Iron shots yielded the better feel (Titleist 710 AP2) but the better spin on the sometimes thawed greens did point to the Apex 6. However, that said I had a few approach shots where the TPS outperformed the Apex 6. Driver distance I would suggest was very even in the cold as was distance with irons.

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In the hole.

However, the testing would continue as I traded the cold north for the “sunny south” of Florida during PGA Show week. I used this opportunity to put the Forte Golf offerings to good use. My testing would begin around the putting green of a course called Wedgewood Golf Course. I also happened to be putting the finishing touches on a putter testing for the Lateral Line L2 MAXX MOI. As I went through my short game practice I started to observe that (for my liking) the Apex 6 was the better performer by the slimmest of margins. They were pretty equal to each other when it came to pitches/chips that were into level or hole locations that were on an uphill slope. But for the chips that were to holes on a downslope the Apex 6 performed better. The TPS released and appeared to have spin less from the Bermuda grass than the Apex 6. The Apex 6 just looked like it had more spin out of the turf and it’s release wasn’t “as drastic”. When it came to full swing results in “season-like conditions” I found that the Apex 6 was a tad longer than the TPS while the control of the Apex 6 was a little more superior. I should note that the durability of both balls was very good with no cuts appearing on the cover of either one.

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The Forte Golf Tour Performance S was a real solid performer.

Quite honestly, both golf balls tested well but with these results comes a little bit of concern. This is something that I brought up in recent correspondence with Laurie. Actually, my concern is more of a concern with them in mind. The price point. When it comes to the price Forte Golf does what a few other of the independent golf ball company’s do… discounts for quantity. The more that you order from them the less per dozen. If you were to order just one dozen golf balls the TPS is listed at $48.99/doz ($37.55 USD) which puts them right where some of the “industry giants” have golf balls with similar designs. The Apex 6 on the other hand is more expensive starting at $76.99/doz. These prices are reflected in AUD (Australian Dollars). At the time of writing $76.99 AUD is equal to $59 USD which has them well above most if not all others on the market including Titleist Pro V1. My other concern is the claim that the Apex 6 is the first 6-piece golf ball on the market. In 2014, Maxfli introduced the U/6 golf ball which is also a 6-piece design. I e-mailed my concerns on pricing and the message was relayed to the others.But the crew at Forte Golf believes that the price is “justifiable” as it relates to its performance on the greens.

I’m not the judge and nor am I the jury. I believe that the golf balls brought to us by Forte Golf are very good performers. They tested very well in all aspects of the game. But the question is this… will the average golf consumer be willing to spend extra on the Apex 6 no matter how good it is? That’s not for me to decide. All of this said… I would have no problem putting the Tour Performance S into play.

 

Until The Next Tee!

 

About Until The Next Tee

I am a soon-to-be 45 year old who has pursued golf over the past 6 years. I've played on Mini-Tours and in one U.S. Open Qualifier. I have worked in different aspects of the golf industry. I became interested in golf after a chance meeting of Mr. Arnold Palmer when he was in Hamilton, Ontario for the PGA Canadian Senior Open in 1996. I had no idea then that this beautiful game would consume me and develop into one of my passions.
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