For Titleist, having the most played golf ball on Tours worldwide must be a nice blanket under which to sleep. This has not stopped the desire to innovate and find gaps that appeal to different players.
In the Tour category, this is none more evident than the Titleist AVX, now in its second iteration. Designed as an alternative (A) to Pro V1 (V) and Pro V1x (X) it promises the softest feel and lowest spin of the three balls.
But what does this mean to the non-Tour player, and why would we use it?
WHAT WE LIKE
+ Control around the greens
+ Spin and consistency of performance
+ Lower spin on full shots = straighter shots
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
× Feels firmer to putt with than expected
× Lower ball flight wasn’t overly apparent
× Lower spin is noticeable on firm greens
The basic construction of the AVX remains in that it is a 3-piece golf ball (cover, inner mantle, core). With golf balls minor changes can make a big difference.
To enable even softer feel, the Titleist AVX has an even larger, softer core. This is what you are feeling on full shots.
They have made the Urethane cover even thinner for more control around the greens (the cover works with the inner mantle to create spin on half shots), and the dimple pattern has been tweaked to deliver a lower, more penetrating ball flight.
From a Tour ball perspective, there are a couple of types of urethane, mainly cast or thermoset, and injection moulded or thermoplastic. Easiest way to tell, other than reading the packaging, is cast has that delicious slightly off-white colour.
AVX has this in common with its two siblings, although its cover is a blend of elastomer as well.
Feels is a funny thing. When Kippa tested the AVX he felt it was firmer on short and long putts than the Titleist Tour Soft, and the feel on full shots he described as nice and solid. It does feel softer on full shots than ProV1 and ProV1x.
From the tee and with full iron shots, the AVX delivers what you would expect of a ball of this calibre but unlikely you’ll get a WOW moment, until the shot that normally would have sliced 20 yards right moves only 10. This is the benefit of playing a lower spinning golf ball.
Around the greens, the spin is consistent and from 100 yards and in it clearly belongs in the Tour category of golf balls. Whilst on firm greens it doesn’t have the same stopping power as the other two, it is consistent so you can trust that if the ball behaves differently it was you not it, sorry.
For us the lower ball flight wasn’t noticeable, but the feel on full shots compared to ProV1 and ProV1x certainly was. If you play at a course exposed to wind, or are willing to concede a little spin for a softer feel, but stick with a premium ball, than the AVX is a great option. Ø