For the last couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with playing bright-coloured golf balls. A combination of looking for the right golf ball for my needs has resulted in testing a myriad of colours from a few different brands. The DUO OPTIX from Wilson Golf is one of the golf balls that I’ve tested.
For this testing, I purchased a dozen of their matte-green version.
The DUO OPTIX golf ball from Wilson Golf was designed to help golfers and their golf balls, stand out on the golf course. Offered in several bold colours including pink, orange, green, yellow (like a lemon), and red there’s likely a colour offered in the OPTIX that could suit your individual needs.
The DUO OPTIX golf ball from Wilson Golf is built on the same chassis that is their successful DUO Soft golf ball. That golf ball (and the OPTIX for that matter) are golf balls that fall into the “distance” golf ball category.
Upon looking at some of the technical details about the DUO Soft/OPTIX the first important item to know is that this golf ball features an astonishingly low compression rating. It wasn’t all that long ago when we looked at a golf ball with a rating of 50 and thought, “it’s like a marshmallow” (ironically, it’s Wilson’s Fifty that comes to mind). Well, compared to that 50-compression rating, the DUO Soft/OPTIX weighs in with an amazing compression rating of 29. A soft core for ease of compression of the golf ball which could equate to more distance.
To aid golfers in tracking the flight of their golf ball, Wilson Golf R&D opted to design this golf ball with a semi-translucent cover. Not only does this cover make life easier for golfers to track their golf ball easier in the air, but it also can aid in locating their golf ball in various types of ground conditions. Long grass, fallen leaves of the fall and so on. The cover of the DUO OPTIX is finished with a matte paint finish, this is done to prevent glare from the sun in the address position.
The core itself is constructed from POLYBUTADIENE which delivers a soft feel and a straighter, longer ball flight. I should note that there was a prior generation of the DUO OPTIX golf ball. The current generation, the golf ball is constructed with a smaller core.
The DUO OPTIX retails for $19.99 USD or $27.99 CAD.
Even though my testing of this golf ball didn’t start until September, I feel obligated to tell everyone that I didn’t try this golf ball with the intent of making it strictly, a “fall golf ball”. Because it isn’t. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have tried this golf ball until the temperatures had fallen to below 10*C (50*F). Which is a fact that I feel I should point out before I get too far into this review.
So many golfers think that low-compression golf balls are strictly for colder temperatures. I’m one golfer and tester that believes that this, is simply not the case.
Low-compression golf balls have their advantages all year-round. Not just when the temperatures are cooler. Why not have a golf ball that’s easier to compress and potentially “milk” a few extra yards out of, it in the heat of summer? Some people contend that golf balls get “too soft” in the summer. I guess scientifically that’s possible. But I also feel that unless you’re leaving your golf bag in a 100* car, it won’t happen. I’m no scientist, it’s just my opinion.
Categories that I tested the characteristics of the DUO OPTIX were…
- Greenside Spin (50 yards and in)
- Full Approach Spin
The latter is always what the majority of golfers care about.
Putting – As one might expect, putting with a golf ball as soft as the DUO OPTIX is very pleasant. The feel is so soft and muted that, at times you don’t even really feel the golf ball coming off of the putter. Some golfers may not like this sensation, but I really like it. It just feels so good in my hands at impact. The alignment aid is pretty basic, as it says “DUO OPTIX” inside of two chevrons. This is the only visual difference between this current generation of DUO OPTIX and the generation prior that I noticed. The prior generation alignment aid says “DUO Soft” inside of the aforementioned chevrons.
Greenside Spin (50 yards and In) – When it comes to greenside spin, it lacks just a little vs one of its competitors that I’ve tested and posted about recently. The DUO OPTIX doesn’t have an astounding capability to “check up” on greenside shots. On a number of occasions I got a little bit more rollout than I had anticipated. In no way am I suggesting that the DUO OPTIX waved at the hole as it was going by, I just thought that it might “deaden” to the hole a little sooner. The “lack” of spin never got me into trouble. What I will say however, is that if it were another golf ball ball with more spin, the golf ball would have stopped. A greenside pitch out of a tight lie had a lot of spin, I landed it just onto the surface and couldn’t believe my eyes as the ball rolled 4 feet past the hole. In total, it rolled about 20 feet. A good putt saved par.
At the root of what this golf ball truly is, it is a “distance” golf ball and not a tour-level golf ball. Much of the lack of greenside spin has to do a cover that might be a little more “slippery” on putting surfaces and the face of your wedges when compared to a urethane-covered golf ball. For the sake of comparing, it is like comparing “apples to oranges” which isn’t necessarily fair.
Full Approach Spin – Ironically, what this golf ball lacks in greenside spin is made up for in terms of full approach spin. From wedges to full irons and even hybrids. The DUO OPTIX spins. Do receptive greens help in this regard? Yes. But, I never experienced the approach spin results that I did with only receptive greens. I played a round with these golf balls at a private club in the area with very firm and fast greens. The DUO OPTIX held the greens and in those conditions and exhibited some “drop and stop” characteristics. On a “Closest to the Pin” hole I struck my shot, tracked it, and watched it land into a backstop. The DUO OPTIX backed-up and funnelled down to the hole. Less than a foot away (Sidebar: My group nor I don’t know how I lost the Closest to the Pin on the hole. It was for a set of TW Proto Wedges). At any rate, that result would not have happened if the DUO OPTIX didn’t have very fair full approach spin.
Distance – The DUO OPTIX delivers plenty of pop off of all of the clubs throughout the golf bag. I feel that this is a direct by-product of the low-compression core of this golf ball. But, I think what might be underrated here is the cover itself. Perhaps, the dimple pattern is low drag, which translates into plenty of distance off of the tee with driver. Not to mention, the spin rates with the driver appear to be quite low based on the fact that this golf ball does not balloon. Moreover, it seems like this golf ball just likes to fly straight, even in heavy winds. For example, in a round played on November 20th, we had sustained winds of more than 40 km/h with gusts near 60 km/h. The wind did not touch this golf ball, even when the wind was a crosswind. I wouldn’t be surprised if some golfers picked up a full club of length with their irons.
One last aspect that I should touch on is the cover. The cover holds up extremely well and has shown no signs of wear. The current ball has been used for several rounds. Also, the semi-translucent nature of the cover and the matte-green paint does show up very well as the golf ball flies through the air. It’s a very easy golf ball to track. However, I noticed one issue. In certain “high sky” situations where it’s very bright and there’s a glare on the grass there was a tendency to lose the golf ball as it laid in the turf. Fairway or rough. On more than one occasion I drove right past my golf ball or never located it right off of the fairway. It’s almost like the green is the right shade of green. In fairness, how do you come up with the right hue of green?
First things first. If I were to purchase and play the DUO OPTIX golf ball again, I would lean towards one of their other colours. I’ve developed a real fondness for red golf balls, because that colour shows up very well in almost all conditions. Unless there are red leaves on the ground during the fall. The red almost has a tail behind it, like a “Shot Tracer” as it cuts through the atmosphere. If I didn’t go with the red, I’d try their yellow which is like a lemon. I would think that that colour, would be very hard to lose in the grass.
Bright golf balls aren’t for everyone. I like them and I really like the DUO OPTIX. I recommend them to golfers looking to brighten up their game a bit. I’m talking from both a visual and performance standpoint. This golf ball feels great and as I alluded to, some golfers will pick up some yardage, (maybe lost yardage) by playing the DUO OPTIX.
There is the one drawback to this golf ball. It is a distance golf ball, and a distance golf ball first and foremost. You will not see greenside spin with this golf ball. The cover is “slick” and is not designed to stop. Expect rollout and play your shots accordingly.
Not to mention that the DUO OPTIX has a fair price point as well. It’s worth a look and if you’re hellbent on sticking with white. At least give the DUO Soft a look.
Until The Next Tee!!