80% of all golfers ( did you know that 92.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot?) have no clue about spin rates, core composition, compression, dispersion rates, etc., they just like the golf ball they are playing or they don't. The other 20% of us, well, we're just plain nuts! Weekend golfers select their golf balls based on things like what the pros use, perceived distance, cost, sphere of influence or whatever they find in the woods. That's because most recreational golfers don't have the time or are not interested in AB testing golf balls, they just want to get out and play.
We've seen a lot of social media activity by OnCore Gollf so we thought we would get some of their balls and see how they perform from a short game standpoint. We used OnCore's ball selector on their website and based on age, gender, swing speed, club distance and feel preference they recommended the AVANT ball for us.
According to OnCore the AVANT is "for the player that wants phenomenal distance, with a super soft feel. The AVANT offers low spin off the driver and high spin on wedge shots." Really isn't that what every golfer WANTS? And Really doesn't this sound like every other ball maker's claims? Ahhh marketing people, ya gotta love 'em.
Removing the AVANT from its box, the ball presents a very large OnCore logo on both sides with the #4 in a red box that some people may love and others will hate how busy the ball looks. As a marketer, I understand the importance of branding, but many golfers prefer a more minimalist approach to their ball. Perhaps its the size of the logo that makes the ball appear a bit smaller than other balls. Additionally, the AVANT name surrounded by two alignment lines for putting further eats up the white space on the ball.
The surlyn (my spell check wants to correct surlyn as surly perhaps it knows my normal disposition) cover is indeed quite soft and the ball has an almost tacky and textured feel to it.
Since the Titleist Pro-V1 is the #1 ball in golf, and a ball we're very familiar with, we used it as a comparator for testing. Obviously the make-ups, and Mark-Ups of these balls are quite different so we also included our MaxFli Revolution Distance 2-piece ball as a more fair analog.
The AVANT logo provides a nice visual for alining your ball to the hole and to your putter markings, though others may prefer a less obtrusive line. We used our Odyssey Versa 7H putter throughout this review. (See Odyssey Review Here)
The sound coming off the face of the putter was a dull quiet thud as compared to the Pro-V1 which has a louder click sound to it. The ball also has a much softer sound when it rolls into the cup that is pretty similar to the MaxFli. The quiet nature of this ball can be both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side its much less annoying than the loud click sound of the Pro-V1. The downside is that the harder balls make a slightly different click noise depending where on the putter face you hit it, which can allow for swing path corrections. We did not notice a change in the thud sound on off-center hits with the OnCore or MaxFli.
The feel is incredibly soft compared to the Pro-V1 balls and on par with the MaxFli. We found ourselves hitting the ball a little harder at first since we are conditioned to hear that click, but eventually got adjusted to the softness of the ball.
Chipping from around the green we saw consistently better roll-out with the Pro-V1 versus the OnCore & Maxfli, often leaving the later two balls short of the hole. Again, this could be a factor of our swing memory with the harder Pro-V1. We don't see that as a detriment as most golfers will get accustomed to the softer ball and eventually work out their distances. Again, the more quite nature of the softer balls coming of the face of the wedge takes some getting used to when one is accustomed to hearing that tight click with the Titleist.
Out of the sand all three balls performed adequately checking up on short bunker shots and rolling out on longer carry shots. Since we are primarily hitting the sand, rather than the ball, out of the sand the harder versus softer dilemma did not really come into play.
Composition: 2-piece ball with a proprietary SoftCell technology polymer blend
Cover: Soft Surlyn
Dimple Pattern 392
While we detest golf sites that provide wishy washy reviews so as to stay in the good graces of their advertisers, when it comes to golf balls we have take the cliche route here. For the price, we like the OnCore ball, on and around the greens. The softer sound and feel takes some getting used to and could be a major preference point for golfers. Since we don't do long game testing its impossible for us to assess distance, so if that's your primary criteria for ball selection we can't help you there.
On the positive side OnCore has a sample program that allows you to purchase a sleeve of 3 balls for $3.99 so you can test them out for yourself before investing in a dozen. OnCore also has a no questions asked money back guarantee so why not check out the AVANT ball they just might be what your looking for, or, not.
NOTE: The golf balls for this review were purchased by Golf Gear Box.