a great time for a Golf Ball Review, and
this time I am taking a look at the long awaited Titleist
AVX Golf Ball that was first introduced in small
test markets (Arizona, Florida, & California)
then officially released for shipment in April 2018.
you are a fan of Titleist product you may have noticed
that the NXT Tour, a 3 piece (core, mantle layer and cover)
soft plastic covered golf ball was discontinued in 2018. It
was a great ball and a staple in the Titleist lineup for over
a decade! Moving forward, the NXT line will be well represented
by the NXT Tour S (or soft) which has now become officially
known as the Titleist
Tour Soft. It has a 2 piece construction (large core,
cover) and is preferred by golfers who like a lower compression,
less expensive golf ball.
wisdom states that the Titleist AVX Golf Ball was
introduced as a replacement for the 3 Piece NXT Tour. However,
this new golf ball has
a construction unto itself and more closely resembles the Pro
V1 than the NXT series. Yet there are real differences as we
will see below and it may well be the perfect ball for your
AVX Golf Ball Construction
into the construction of the AVX as it is a well thought out
product by the R&D team at Titleist. The AVX golf ball is a
3 piece golf ball consisting of a high speed but low compression
layer around the core, and a soft but durable cast thermoset
So at first
glance you may be saying "isn't this really just a Pro V1?!"
And yes, the Pro V1 is also a 3 piece golf ball with a urethane
cover, but the AVX has a distinct difference in the area of
compression. It is considerably softer than the
Pro V1 (or Pro V1x for that matter).
the engineers at Titleist have delivered a golf ball with a
Tour ball construction that is softer than many brands of Tour
balls, but still maintains much of the playability of higher
compression Tour balls. Quite a feat if I may say so.
AVX Golf Ball Compression
when an overall golf ball compression is reduced,
you can say goodbye to distance. But over the past 10 years
or so golf ball constructions
and materials have become very sophisticated, delivering properties
that "restore" some of the desired attributes like
carry and overall distance. Case in point, the mantle or casing
between the core and cover adds another variable that allows
engineers to reduce or add spin and/or increase ball speed
(which translates to more distance) in the finished product.
values have become less relevant over the years as the USGA
does not regulate ball compression and there are various scales
of measurement. Hence, the days of absolute 75, 90, or 102
compression ratings are long gone. However, to give you an
idea of real world values, the compressions of the Pro V1
and Pro V1x are on the order of 90 and 100 respectively. The
AVX is closer to 80 compression. And you will notice that difference
when you tee up the AVX.
Titleist AVX golf ball is now available in both white and
High Optic Yellow which will please many golfers. Of note,
this is the company's first yellow urethane covered ball.
Yellow golf balls are still holding their own in popularity
and even PGA and LPGA players tee them up from time to time.
Of course for some it's in their contract!
Open a sleeve,
and you will be struck by the AVX golf ball dimples that
more resemble Bridgestone product than other Titleist balls.
the ProV1, the AVX features a spherically-tiled
352 tetrahedral dimple design, but you can see a
difference on the edges of the dimples which feature cross-sectional
profiles formed by a catenary curve. This is a patented technology
by Titleist that ads another tool to the tool box for refining
and optimizing golf ball flight performance. Here's a
side-by-side look at the AVX vs. the Pro V1:
AVX Golf Ball Low Spin
the AVX is a lower spinning golf ball. Many golfers can expect
200-500 less RPM off the driver. This was actually a positive
for my current driver set up as I tend to be a higher spin
player. If you play in windy conditions like my friends in
Texas, Australia, and parts of the UK, this can also be a benefit
to you. Lower tee shots in windy conditions and hard fairways
are a great combination for this ball. And if you suffer from
a lot of sidespin
or hook you can expect to hit more fairways than with other
Tour balls with more spin. That reduced sidespin translates
directly into more ball speed, which is the biggest factor
affecting carry and total distance.
mentioning though that you need to have enough driver loft
and launch angle to maximize distance with the Titleist AVX
ball. If you are still using an 8.5-9 degree driver and have
a slow or moderate swing speed, you will not achieve the desired
launch angle to take advantage of the engineering in this ball.
One test is to see if you hit a 3 wood (~15 degrees) similar
total distance to your driver. If so, your ideal driver loft
for the AVX may be closer to 12 degrees. Consult your local
pro or jump on a monitor to confirm.
off the tee was comparable to the Pro V1 and Chrome
Soft. Where you will really notice the difference is on the
irons, particularly the 6-8 irons. Again, as a high spin player,
this worked to my advantage. There was a ~1/2 club distance
advantage with the Titleist AVX and a noticeably lower ball
flight. Due to this, the ascent angle or the angle that the
ball hit the green was lower so this posed the threat of balls
bounding off the green or taking extra hops or rollout to stop.
But it was not an issue. Remember, the AVX has plenty of spin
and a cast urethane cover. If we were talking about an ionomer
(plastic) covered ball with low spin and low flight we would
have a different story. Good things happen when you can flight
a ball into a green with a flat trajectory and have it hop
once or twice and stop.
AVX Golf Ball Short Game Review
quickly talk about Golf Ball Compression vs. Golf Ball Hardness.
Compression can be defined as the relative resistance of
the ball to being
This is primarily related to the firmness of the ball's
core and COR (coefficient of restitution). The mantle or
casing layer around the core contributes to this too.
This value is determined by a compression testing machine.
On the other
hand, the hardness is actually a property of the cover of
the golf ball. There are specific standards for hardness
and different measurement scales. Golf balls are measured using
a hardness gauge and report measurements using the "Shore
D" scale. Basically, these gauges use
a small metal point to puncture just the cover
of the golf ball (through the paint) and the resistance to
that puncture is recorded.
So when you
chip and putt the Titleist AVX golf ball (or any other model),
the feedback you get through your hands (and ears) is primarily
hardness. This is why a 100 compression Pro V1x with a urethane
cover will feel softer around and on the green than a 50 compression,
plastic covered 2
You are feeling the properties of the cover vs. the core and
Chipping & Putting
the Titleist AVX
line is that the AXV performs similarly to the Pro V1 and Pro
V1x around the green. All three balls have similar cast urethane
covers that produce a soft feel off the wedges. Since the dimples
don't affect chipping feel off the club face, you are left
with the visual difference between the AVX and Pro V1. This
of course is subjective depending on your requirements and
certainly something most golfers can adapt too. You may even
begin to prefer the look of the AVX dimples, or the high
optic yellow ball
rate putting feel on 3 sound levels, as sound relates directly
a "snap" (harder balls, poor feel)
a "knock" (decent feel and speed control)
a "soft click" (great feel, ala urethane covers)
ball rates between the knock/soft click and as stated,
is comparable to the Pro V1. Distance
control was also excellent. Putting
feel is perhaps the most subjective aspect of the ball characteristics.
If you like the feel and sound of urethane covered Tour balls like the Pro V1
or V1x, you will be right at home with the AVX.
AVX Golf Ball Price
now the hard part. What's all this new technology (and advertising)
going to cost you? Well, the Pro V1's little brother comes
at the big brother price, and even more so at this writing.
There is a new Pro V1 on the horizon which will be launched
at the PGA show next month. Because of that, the current model
Pro V1 and Pro V1x are being discounted at $39.99/dozen. The
AVX is $47.99/dozen which will essentially match the cost of
the new Pro V1's later this year. As stated, both balls have
the same 3-Piece composition so the price follows suit. I wouldn't
be surprised to see the AVX price soften as time goes on though
as the new Pro V1 models take center stage given their Tour