In the past decade, there has been an explosion of craft beers in the marketplace. It seems there’s a new microbrew popping up every couple of months these days. Golf is following suit with a revolution of smaller companies delivering performance, tour-worthy golf balls. In recent years, the explosion of Snell Golf on to the market, then the highly publicized Kirkland Tour Balls and the names go on and on.
OnCore Golf (www.oncoregolf.com) has jumped into the fray delivering a 3-piece, urethane golf ball. They recently ran a promotion that offered a ball fitting (http://discover.oncoregolf.com/ball-fitting) and offered you an opportunity to “Try Before You Buy” promotion and receive a sleeve of balls free ($3.99 shipping not included). So I thought, why not?!?
Who is OnCore Golf?
In 2009, two young men introduced a new concept to the golf ball. A hollow, metal core! They produced a ball that was designed for a straighter, more stable flight pattern to hit more greens and fairways. Several years and three patents later, OnCore Golf is gaining fans around the world.
OnCore Golf now offers several different balls, depending on your game and desired performance. First up, the Avant golf ball – selling for $20 a dozen. An ultra soft, 65-compression, surlyn golf ball with a 392 dimple pattern. Next up, is the reemergence of the hollow metal-core golf ball, the Caliber. A 80-compression ball, designed for swing speeds under 100mph, due to the perimeter weighting, it touts a ‘rifle spin’ on the ball similar to what a bullet does when coming out of a barrel of a gun. This softer version of the original ‘MA-1.0’ hollow-core ball sells for $30 a dozen.
Fast forward to the purpose of this review – The ELIXR golf ball. A 3-piece, double cast urethane golf ball designed for distance, spin, control and great feel off the club face. The soft feel is a result of a 85-compression golf ball that flat out performs.
I took this ball out for its maiden voyage last weekend – the result was impressive. It felt soft, yet solid off the driver, woods and irons. Distance was spot-on with any other ball on the market, but the crowning glory for me was the performance off the irons. I routinely hit the ball into the green and had it one-hop and stop, or check and backup – often more than 5 yards. The ball feels great off the putter, as well.
Price – at $40 a dozen, they are priced in the upper tier of the golf ball market.
I was genuinely interested in playing this ball – until I saw the price. Priced at the same cost as the Callaway Chrome+ ball, there isn’t much incentive to switch to this new ball. Although, OnCore Golf does offer a “Money Back Guarantee”. OnCore also offers a Loyalty Program for repeat customers to help off-set the cost.
Technology – The double-cast urethane cover with low 85-compression. Perimeter weighting increases the accuracy and control of the ball for more balls in the fairway and on the greens.
Spin – Greenside spin was exceptional – putting it on par with the top performance balls on tour. I was able to one-hop and stop, and get the ball to check and back-up on full approach shots.
Distance – this ball is long!
Feel – soft, yet solid feel to the ball. The ball comes off the clubs with a nice ‘click’. Feel around the greens was also soft and the ball felt good coming off the putter.
Durability – Soft balls aren’t known for their durability, but the double-cast urethane ball was remarkably resilient. After two full rounds, there was minimal marking and no scuffing on the ball.
Improvement – The logo and ball alignment marking are a bit large, not to the point of distracting, but certainly larger and more pronounced than my personal preference. In terms of performance, it does everything well – except the price is a little steep for a new, unproven ball in the golf industry.
Try It / Buy It – The OnCore ELIXR is a “Try It” ball. You should take advantage of the OnCore Ball Fitting app and get a sleeve to try for yourself. While the performance is rock-solid, at $30 it would be a no-brainer, but at $40 a dozen, I’ll pass. I believe OnCore could benefit from following the Snell business model, producing a top-quality golf ball at a competitive price and earn some loyal followers. Purchasing can be done at a few select retailers or on-line. To find them at a location near you (http://www.oncoregolf.com/storelocator ).
-- P.J. Evans, GolfBalled.com Tester