Looking forward to having Max go head-to-head with my Snell MTBx balls. One test that I already have in mind is seeing which one goes farther into the woods, water and OB. Fun!
Thanks to MGS and Maxfli for my first product testing opportunity. I started playing golf relatively late: in my early 30s, which was in the late 1980s. I played in two leagues at work, and at least one more time a week on weekends. Back then, I had gotten my index to the mid-13s, and breaking bogey fairly regularly.
Flash forward to the first decade of the new century. Work travel had severely curtailed my golf time, and I was down to maybe 5-10 rounds a year. Eventually, due to to the travel schedule and injuries, I stopped playing completely; that was 16 years ago. Last year, I was newly-retired, and began a part-time seasonal job at a local muni in Fort Wayne. This is in NE Indiana, more or less half way between Chicago and Cleveland. My love for the game has been rekindled, at the ripe young age of 64.
So far, my back and arthritic hips are limiting me to 3 or 4 rounds a month, but even so, with lessons and new clubs, I am actually hitting my drives 15 yards farther than I did when I was in my 30s. My index is currently 15.3 I used to dread the driver, and resorted to 3 wood most of the time, but now it is my favorite club in the bag. Is it my strength? I guess so, but with so much to work on, that's not saying a whole lot.
Based on my swing speeds (low 90s with the driver) and careful study of the great ball reviews here on MGS, I have chosen the Snell MTBx. For me, it gives me what I need in a ball, which are good distance off of the tee, and decent spin into greens. I'm not looking to hit a wedge and pull the string on the ball as it hits the green, spinning back like a yo-yo, just the confidence that, with a well-struck wedge or short iron, my ball will stop reasonably quickly, and not go skidding off of the green. Manufacturing consistency is also important to me; I want to be sure that any mishits are a result of my swing, and not a flaw in the ball that I can't see. A great thing about the Maxfli's that we will be testing is that it seems that they will be in the same category as the Snells I play, facilitating comparisons.
My typical ball flight has a rather high trajectory, and when I do hit a ball well, a slight push-draw. Unfortunately, my misses are much more common than those golden shots, the most common of which is a putrid low snap hook. Lately, my back has been acting up, causing me to subconsciously restrict my turn. At its worst, I will pick up the club steeply on the backswing, and, trying to correct the path on the way down, either hit it fat, or a thin wormburner.
Since I do lose balls, my first plan is to take the Maxfli's and Snells to an indoor range with Trackman, and compare numbers before taking them onto the course. I'm looking forward to it!
The Review :September 6, 2021
Maxfli Tour and TourX Golf Balls – Official MGS Forum Review by Oze
I was very pleasantly surprised with the packaging of both Maxfli balls, especially in comparison with the utilitarian packaging of my Snells. In my opinion, both the outer box for the dozen balls and the sleeves of three just say "class", and give my the feeling that I am in the presence of top-shelf golf balls, and especially the black ot the Tour X!
The high gloss white finish on both of the Maxfli's was pristine on all 24 balls, and appeared identical to the Snells.
The "Tour CG" and "Tourx CG" alignment aids seemed a bit odd to me, and in my opinion, look gimmicky and took away from my overall impression of "class" with these balls. I decided to perform the salt water balance test, and so filled a glass measuring cup with salt water, and spun away with 6 balls of each type. Given that a ball coming to rest at the same spot repeatedly indicated an out of balance ball, with the center of gravity fixed and that if they came to rest in different, random positions indicate a balanced ball, here are my results:
Number of balls that were in balance:
- Snell: 4/6
- Maxfli Tour: 6/6
- Maxfli Tour X: 3/6
Again, for someone of my skill level, no big deal, but it is good to know that if I miss a putt, it is my own fault, and not a ball that was out of balance. Suffice it to say that I did not use the "CG" alignment aid on neither tee shots nor putts.
And so, on to the testing. I decided to break the it up into three areas:
- Chipping and putting
- Trackman analysis
- Full rounds of golf
My testing philosophy was that I am auditioning the Maxfli balls as a possible replacement for my current ball, the Snell MTB-X. Given similar price points, I would expect there to be a clear, compelling reason to switch, especially since I tend to be brand-loyal. Given a significantly lower price, the bar to switch would of course be set much lower. At the current price difference of $5/dozen if I buy two dozen of the Maxfli's I consider the price to be effectively the same.
My playing partners' reactions to the new Max's were mixed, but humorous. I have been out of the world of golf for 16 years or so, and in any case, have never been an equipment snob. Initial comments included, "What are you hitting? A Maxfli? What's next, Spalding Kro-Flites?" To be fair, some of these lesser-educated Cro-magnons that I played with never heard of Snell, meaning I have to endure a couple of holes of Sergeant Schultz impersonators yelling, "Macht schnell, Colonel Hogan!" It was almost universal that they all echoed my first impression of the"CG" alignment aid when I explained to them what Maxfli claimed. "Gimmick".
Here are the sticks used for the testing:
- Ping 425 Max Driver
- Wilson D7 3 and 5 Woods
- Titleist TS2 4-hybrid
- Titleist T300 irons
- Ping Glide 52 degree and 58 degree wedges
- Odyssey Stroke Lab Rossie putter
That's a CuddleDud of Maddie, the best dog I ever had. Adopted her from a rescue, and sadly, 3 years later, she died in her sleep. I'll admit to occasionally talking to her every time I pull out the driver, a la Judge Smalls and his Billy Baroo putter.
I visited Apex Golf in Fort Wayne, to see what Trackman had to say about each ball with each club. At the risk of public humiliation, I'm attaching some screen shots of the results for the Maxfli's. Somehow, the none of the data for the drivers nor any for the Snell didn't ported over to my email, so I just have those averages to report.
First of all, so that you all can measure the grain of salt with which you take this data, belowis the dispersion plot for the 8 and the wedge; the driver information, of course, was even worse. This was not a great day at the range.
Here are the average values for spin and carry distance for the 3 balls. Sorry that I couldn't figure out how to upload an Excel file:
Clearly, for my skill level and purposes, the performance of the three balls is effectively the same, with the Snell having a slight advantage in some of the numbers.
Looks and Durability: 12/15
This category is a complete no-brainer. As mentioned above, the packaging is top-notch. The gloss white finish is also something that immediately caught my eye, and compares favorably with my Snells (no colorful golf balls for me, please). The personalization was a pleasant surprise, and yes, Maxfli *did* spell my last name correctly. Although I lost more balls than I care to admit, I was able to save a representative of each type of ball which survived several holes, including bunkers, full wedges and a foray into the brutal waste areas of the links course I played. As you can see, durability is definitely not an issue. These covers withstood it all. The only small nit to pick for me is the alignment/CG gimmick. I would prefer that it not be on the ball at all.
Sound and Feel: 15/15
I really liked the sensory experience of hitting both balls. Starting with chipping and putting, the feeling was soft, and the sound was a very satisfying "click", identical to those of the MTB-X. Ditto with full swings, including the driver. Going into the testing, I expected there to be at least some sensory difference between the 3-piece balls and the 4-piece TourX, but to my uneducated mind, all three were the same. In a very good way.
On-Course Performance: 40/40
I have to say that I was very impressed with the performance of these balls, but especially with the Tour's performance with wedge shots. It is not usual for me to hit a shot of <100 yards and have to ball seem to just drop from the sky onto the green and *stop*. This happened on multiple shots during the two rounds, and each time it was when I was playing the Tour ball. Pars and even multiple birdies were the direct result of this, and I think that the Maxfli Tour and my 48 degree T300 gap wedge have become fast friends. I cannot stress enough how, after the second or third time of watching (admittedly, somewhat slack-jawed) my ball descend and stop on the green, my confidence in playing this type of shot soared. It was my favorite part of both rounds, and saved me from having to enter triple-digit scores.
This is the 10th hole at the Pete Dye-designed Tippecanoe Country Club in Monticello, IN. It's a very short, 260 yard par 4, with a tree that bisects the severely-sloping fairway at 200 yards. Of course, I clipped that tree with my tee shot, leaving me with a 60 yard shot to a green so elevated that I could barely make out the top of the flagstick from where my Maxfli Tour ended up. Taking into account the slope, I hit a 52 degree wedge, and although I couldn't see it land, it felt great and looked majestic; my hopes were high as I walked up to the green. The ball had stopped 6 feet from the hole, and 3 inches *behind* the pitch mark! I 2-putted for par, but still...
My first impression upon opening the package was the excellent presentation that the packaging gave, both the dozen boxes and the sleeves. Especially compared to my current ball, the Snell MTB-X, these insignificant cardboard boxes just exuded class. I was further pleasantly surprised to find that the balls had been personalized with my name--very cool. Although I have to say that I would never get my real name put on a ball that I was going to play, given the embarrassing possible locations where one of my errant shots could end up. Although I don't share my playing partners' extreme negative bias towards the Maxfli name, it was a name that I somehow associated with being a budget brand. My experience so far with these balls has proven quite the opposite.
Game Bag or Shag Bag: 15/20
I would have absolutely no problem playing either of these balls under any circumstances, especially the Tour. They compared favorably to the ball I currently use for important rounds, like the occasional $5 Nassau. The sight of the Maxfli logo and black dot has quickly become one to instill a great feeling of confidence in me, especially with my wedges. My only reason for the not-perfect score in this category is my personal feeling that I lose too many balls to be paying even $3 apiece, and plan on doing a deep dive into the MGS ball test data to see if I can find a low-price ball for next year to replace the MTB-X that will be "good enough" for my game, at least until it improves to the point where I can use a single ball for a complete round, or maybe even two! But both of these Maxfli's would be great choices for any golfer, and the price point is not bad for anyone who is not a loser-of-balls to the extent that I still am on tougher courses. I've A-B compared the MTB-X with the ProV-1, and the Snell comes out on top for me. By extension, I think that a serious golfer would do well to try out these Max's; in my opinion, they have everything that the "Ball that Tour Player X Uses", without the snob factor and associated inflated price.
I used my current ball, the Snell MTB-X as a baseline for the review of the new Maxfli Tour and Maxfli Tour X golf balls. The price point for each are very similar, especially if one shops sales and offers. On first impression, the packaging of the Maxfli's blew that of my Snells out of the water; not that shiny-wrapped cardboard can lower your score, it does give one a feeling of quality right out of the box. So to speak.
I took all three balls to the practice green, a Trackman stall, and two very difficult golf courses, and tested them under identical conditions. In what was a surprise given my preconceived bias against the Maxfli name, they performed nearly identically to the Snells in all aspects. The Snell performed slightly better in terms of distance according to the Trackman, but I wasn't able to notice this on the course. What was a truly awe-inspiring display, the Maxfli Tour out-performed the Snell (and every ball I have ever played) when it came to ball flight and stopping ability with full wedges. I am not used to seeing a 115 yard gap wedge drop from the sky onto the green, and finding that the ball was within a foot or two of the pitch mark. This is unheard of for me, and happened multiple times when I was playing the Maxfli Tour.
Unless you are one of those who is brand-conscious and a slave to what ball what tour players (being paid to) use, I suggest that you give these balls a go. Spend the $20/dozen you save on some good craft beer.
Final Score: 92/100
Semper ubi, sub ubi.