Trying out a new golf ball for any golfer can be a dubious affair, which 99% of the time will result in it not being as good as your original ball. By design I’m a consistent user of Titleist Pro V1 in the summer and Nike 20XI in the winter so when we received our Vice Golf Balls I was largely reserved and had probably made up my mind that I knew they wouldn’t be any better than what I was using.
The first thing you will notice about the Vice Golf balls is the packaging. Immediately you get drawn to the ‘Shooter’ box! The tour versions are just as impressive with the image of a male lion with a full mane and the tour neon version are, well bright and I mean bright, although they do go with Matt’s new lime green trolley, lime green bag and the lime green clothing that’s just been ordered.
Once out of the box, you get a bright white (unless your playing the neon) ball with crisp black printing, just as you would expect. All versions have a smart black alignment line, which I always use anyway, so this was a big advantage especially as I’m lazy and don’t want to draw one on myself. As an additional the ‘Shooter’ version come’s with alternative numbering, which is a nice touch rather than the standard 1-4 the average ball has.
The feel of all four versions was great and as described by the Vice Golf Site. These balls ooze class and certainly feel like a premium ball. The outer layer gives off a soft impression to touch and when striking off the tee you get a good feeling at impact. Providing confidence that the ball will get up and get running nicely along the fairway. Around the greens you get a great soft feel that you know will be responsive. Then depending on your swing, groves and strike you get the check up and stop a good shot deserves.
It didn’t take long to decide that the distance was good. I probably hit one of my best ever drives down the first with it easily clearing the ridge and ending up measuring about 290 yards so with the course still slightly wet I can’t wait to see the distance in the summer when you get roll as well. None of the 3MIB team lacked distance that day and the balls performed as well or better than our usual balls.
Once again it didn’t take long for me to judge the level of control. During my round I managed to hit greens with a variety of clubs long irons, mid irons, wedge and even a hybrid and on all occasions I was able to control the ball and get it to check or stop as expected. Plus a particular highlight of my day was when I hit the 5th green from 115 yards with a wedge and I got about 15 feet of spin, although it took it further away from the pin I didn’t care and I quickly knew this ball would do for me.
Although I did put my ball in the water on 15, up until that point, I had one small scuff but to be honest that could have been caused by me deciding I needed to sharpen the groves on my wedges the night before and seeing as I didn’t have a sharpener I decided a screwdriver would have the same effect, not my brightest idea to date! However there were no cuts and the ball was still beaming brightly.
After two full rounds I am massively impressed with the overall quality of the balls. I can’t notice any real difference between the Vice Pro Ball and my usual Titleist Pro V1 apart from the price. A few more rounds with the ball will help me to determine the durability, that’s if I manage to keep one for a whole round, but overall they provide an excellent alternative to a premium ball and for me it won’t be long before Vice get an order for a batch of the ‘Shooter’ and ‘Pro’ versions.
What does Paul think: I very quickly ‘shotgunned’ the shooters. Having played mainly with Pro V1 and a few Pro V1X I have tried plenty of alternative in my time. but never really strayed from the market leader. I am a Titleist fan (clubs and balls). However, three rounds into my Shooters I will certainly be thinking twice before shelling out for Pro V’s again. The durability is great, i’ve used the same ball for two rounds and it has marks, but still a great provisional. Spin rate is good, feel is nice and to be honest I cant tell the difference. Money talks I reckon. Look out for my order.