OnCore Golf Debuts High Performance Four Piece Tour Ball – VERO X1

BUFFALO, NY OnCore Golf, the Buffalo, New York-based golf ball company, unveils their second Tour ball after three years of research and development.  OnCore’s first four-piece ball, the VERO X1 upholds OnCore’s commitment to innovation and technology while diversifying the company’s portfolio of golf balls to meet the needs of all player performance levels.

Building off of their award-winning three-piece tour ball, the ELIXRTM, OnCore undertook an effort to further increase spin off the irons and distance off the tee while maintaining the highly desirable feel and control offered by the ELIXRTM. The VERO X1 features a thinner cast urethane cover, a nano-thick transition layer between cover and mantle, a high modulus, perimeter-weighted mantle, and an oversized-core. These elements are combined to release a turbocharged performance delivering enhanced speed and distance, noticeably higher stability in flight, and more control and responsiveness to irons and wedges for high skill shots.

“Our primary objective in developing the VERO X1 was to create a product that the best golfers in the world would objectively consider best-in-class.  We even selected the name to communicate clearly that this is not a story of marketing – it’s a story of performance.  Vero is Italian for “true, real, or genuine” and that is what this ball is all about.  True performance,” commented Keith Blakely, OnCore’s CEO.   

John Calabria, OnCore’s Senior Technical Advisor who led the VERO X1 development effort added, “I’ve been involved with the development of some of the top performing balls in the industry for the past thirty plus years and could not be more excited about what we’ve accomplished with the VERO X1.  The robotic data speaks for itself but the true test of any ball is how golfers respond to it.  The feedback from golfers who know their game and are able to be discerning in their assessment of a new product have been unanimously positive in their reviews.  Distance, control, accuracy, and feel – everything these golfers look for – are all showing up as pluses for the VERO X1 against their current tour balls.”  

Pros and low handicap amateur golfers alike are experiencing first-hand on how well this 85-compression and a 318-dimple pattern tour ball is performing.  Golf Labs testing over a range of clubhead speeds has confirmed that the VERO X1 tour ball is competitively longer than other brands on the market across driver, 7-iron and wedge, along with the desired spin rates for each.

Following several weeks of testing, Gary Player, three-time Masters Champion and international golf legend offered his assessment: “I’ve given it a good test in all kinds of weather conditions. I love the ball. I must say I’ve never played a better ball. The paint on it is outstanding and it’s a little firmer than the ELIXR™.  I just love putting with it and it gives a very nice click. You’ve got a ball that is outstanding.”

Priced at $39.99 per dozen, the VERO X1 Tour ball can be purchased at www.OnCoreGolf.com along with OnCore’s other highly-regarded golf balls, the AVANT and ELIXR™.

More About OnCore Golf

OnCore Golf is dedicated to delivering breakthrough technology and innovation while inspiring all golfers to achieve peak performance. The company entered the golf ball industry through development of the first-ever commercially available USGA-conforming hollow metal core ball and has since developed a growing suite of differentiated products that includes the soft low-compression AVANT 55 and the top-performing, award-winning ELIXR tour ball.  For more information about OnCore Golf, visit http://www.oncoregolf.com.  

Go Farther with the 2021 Z-STAR Series

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Feb. 1, 2021— SRIXON®, a global leader in golf ball technology and innovation, is proud to announce the launch of the seventh generation Z-STAR Series golf ball. Srixon’s Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV are available in Pure White™ and Tour Yellow™ and officially launch in North America on February 26, 2021.

The seventh-generation Z-STAR features a 0.6mm cover that is thicker than previous generations for enhanced spin and control around the greens. When paired with the revolutionary FastLayer Core that dramatically increases ball speed to deliver maximum distance, the new generation offers unparalleled feel. 

“The new Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV golf balls are specifically designed for better players and they feature advanced technology to add performance from tee to green,” said Jeff Bunski, Vice President of Research and Development. “The Z-STAR XV is played by some of the longest hitters on professional Tours around the world, and this new generation features a reformulated inner core to add even more distance. The new Z-STAR produces the highest green-side spin of any ball in our line-up, thanks to its super soft urethane cover and Spin Skin coating. If you demand the absolute best performance, the new Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV are made for you.”

For 2021, the new Z-STAR XV features a reformulated inner core for heightened resilience, leading to improved ball speed and distance without sacrificing feel. This allows players to push their distance to the limit and take advantage of high levels of greenside control.

Both of the new Z-STAR Series golf balls feature new Spin Skin technology with Slide-Ring Material (SeRM), a urethane compound that coats the cover of every Z-STAR Series golf ball. By taking unprecedented levels of shearing force without breaking its molecular bonds, Spin Skin with SeRM is able to dig deep into your wedge and iron grooves, dramatically increasing friction and maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power on every shot.

The all-new Z-STAR Series golf balls are the only in the world to use Slide-Ring Material, providing a competitive advantage that cannot be matched.

“Engineered for more spin and control, the Z-STAR Series features a Spin Skin coating enhanced with SeRM, an extremely flexible material,” Brunski said. “Never before has Srixon combined so many technologies in one golf ball, to produce more friction for more spin around the green.”

The 338 Speed Dimple Pattern on each Z-STAR Series golf ball improves overall aerodynamics for better flight performance, even in the toughest wind conditions, with drivers, woods, and irons.

Key Innovations Inside Z-STAR Series Golf Balls:

  • New FastLayer Core: The FastLayer Core starts soft in the center and gradually becomes firm around its edge, giving high-speed players exceptional feel and enhanced ball speed for maximum distance.
  • New Spin Skin with SeRM: A new coating with flexible molecular bonds digs deep into wedge and iron grooves, maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power.
  • New 338 Speed Dimple Pattern: The 338 Speed Dimple Pattern offers less drag and more lift to boost overall distance, while flying straight even in the toughest wind conditions.

Retail Information and Pricing

Pricing: Z-STAR & Z-STAR XV – $42.99 per dozen

U.S. Retail Launch Date: February 26, 2021

2021 PGA Show Virtual – Monday Recap

There’s definitely a different feel to the annual PGA Merchandise Show this year. For one, as you can below my flight to Orlando was pretty much empty except for one other person. I can’t say enough about the quality of service from Pan(Demic) Air. Not to mention, there were no baggage fees and the flight felt like I never even left home.

Of course, I kid. The reality is that due to the pandemic, the only way to have a PGA Merchandise Show in 2021 was to do so virtually. It’s definitely a different feel and if you’re somebody like me, not technologicall savvy, a platform like this can be daunting.

Technically speaking, the PGA Show doesn’t begin until Tuesday, which is usually Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Resort Lodge but I took advantage of Monday to get a few appointments booked, take care of some meetings, and more importantly iron out some kinks. Which I had.

Ironically, there was still a part of me that was excited for the show, regardless of my anxiety. Up until two days ago maybe three, I had never used Zoom or anything. However, after Monday’s meeting I’m comfortable and I find myself all-in with this years iteration of the PGA Show. I’m now looking forward to seeing what this new experience brings.

I had meetings with Bridgestone Golf, Yatta Golf, Roll Ready, Moonshine Golf, and SIK Putters. When the day ended, it actually ended up being a productive day. The video below is a recap of today’s meetings.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind

Review -Wilson DUO OPTIX Golf Balls

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 Set-Up

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. 

The Transition

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…

  • Putting
  • Greenside Spin (50 yards and in)
  • Full Approach Spin
  • Distance

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.

What the DUO OPTIX lacks in greenside spin is made up in full approach spin. This picture is very representative of the results that I saw on approaches into greens.

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?

The Finish

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!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

WILSON INTRODUCES NEW STAFF® MODEL R GOLF BALLS

CHICAGO, November 17, 2020 9AM EST/8AM CST – Designed directly with Wilson Advisory Staff members and with direct feedback from the game’s best players, Wilson Sporting Goods announced their new, revolutionary Staff Model R golf ball. A true Tour-inspired ball, the Staff Model R features a first-of-its-kind raw, unpainted cover to ensure aerodynamic consistency and pure, precise ball flight to the intended target.

The Staff Model R is designed for PGA Tour professionals and low handicap players striving to carve out fairways and attack pins. The Staff Model R ball features a 4-piece maximum-velocity construction that delivers long distance and a thin urethane cover promoting exceptional spin for greenside control. The ball’s key feature is a raw unpainted cover, which provides next level precision, accuracy and reliability.

“Staff Model R is unpainted as the dimple cross-section geometry and the pattern of dimples on a golf ball are critical aerodynamic elements that affect the flight performance of the ball in terms of trajectory, distance and directional stability. These dimples are a mere 0.004-0.007 inches deep and super sensitive to the level of paint on the ball,” said Bob Thurman, Vice President Wilson Labs.

“The painting process can frequently result in balls with poor, uneven paint coverage and pooling of paint in these shallow dimples,” said Frank Simonutti, Global Director of Golf Ball Innovation. “This can significantly affect the trajectory and the directional stability of the flight of the ball. By eliminating the paint, we were able to eliminate all of the short comings attributed to the paint process used on all golf balls.“

According to Thurman, under a black light, it is very easy to observe inconsistencies and paint pooling in the dimples. “Our internal testing* shows that tour quality balls on the market can drift offline as much as +/- 25 feet on a 200-yard 5 Iron shot. The Staff Model R ball’s urethane cover has been left completely unpainted, creating a nearly perfect aerodynamic surface that can be relied on to deliver the ball to its intended target,” concluded Thurman.

Although the removal of paint allows for ball flight to the intended target, the lack of paint protection may compromise the physical look of the ball. Given paint on golf balls is primarily for glossy appearance, UV stability and stain resistance, the Staff Model R may eventually stain and discolor during play depending on turf, weather and course conditions.

Finished with a modern Staff Model stamp, the all-new Staff Model R ball joins the award-winning Staff Model ball family, designed by and for the advanced player. The Staff Model R ball will be available on Wilson.com and select retailers starting November 17th, 2020 for $49.99.

*Results of internal testing performed in Humboldt, TN. Driver test (105 mph) on 7/7/20, 9-iron test (84 mph) on 8/7/20 and 5-iron test (93 mph) on 8/9/20

About Wilson Golf

For 100 years, Wilson Golf has designed, manufactured and distributed premium and recreational golf equipment throughout the world. Since 1914, Wilson Staff irons have won 62 major championships, more than any other iron manufacturer in history. The winning tradition continues today by delivering the highest quality equipment to all golfers to enhance performance on the course and overall enjoyment of the game.

About Wilson

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a division of Amer Sports, is the world’s leading manufacturer of sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century.