MAXFLI Tour and TOUR X – Official MGS Forum Review by Alf.S (12/2021)
I’m a 60 year old retiree based out of the central belt in Scotland between Glasgow and Edinburgh conveniently placed for golf, with St Andrews, East Lothian (Muirfield), South Ayrshire (Troon and Turnberry) and Angus (Carnoustie) all with in a 2-hour drive. My home course is parkland and is The West Lothian Golf Club which sits above the Firth of Forth giving views over Fife, all the way down to the Bass Rock and up to the hills of the Trossachs north of Stirling.
I’m a mid-swing speed golfer averaging just below 100mph with my driver and hit a high ball flight with my irons, typical bad shot is a high cut or push. Like most golfers I go through the peaks and troughs of my play, at the moment my strongest part is my short game with my weakest being 160 -100 yds in. But when I’m playing bad it is the driving that is the usual cause.
I play on average 3-4 rounds a week; weekly competition, bounce game with friends and I’ll try and get a couple of rounds by myself when the course is quiet. I have been playing social golf since my early teens but for the last 20 years I have played competitively, I’m currently off 6.7 and my scores usually between 2 to 12 over par, with my best round being a level par 64 at my home course on the Winter setup last year.
My go to ball is the Pro V1 which I have used for the last 10 years. The choice was made mainly through trial and error and going back to the 00s, it was pretty much the premium ball to play and it’s stuck with me. In the last couple of years mostly due to the MyGolf Spy Best Ball reviews I have tried out the alternatives, last year it was the Snell MTB-X for half the season and this year it was the Srixon Z Star XV and Bridgestone Tour BX. In the review I was looking for a low spinning ball for mid swing speed golfers and these 2 seemed to fit the bill.
My work background was microelectronics so I have an analytical mind and am a technophile, any tech I can use to help me I will (within a budget). Skycaddie, Nikon Rangefinder, Arccos, Shot Scope and Mevo are in or have been in my bag over the last couple of years.
To avoid any preconceptions, I’m intentionally not reading the earlier Maxfli reviews and going in with an open mind, but I do have some experience of what I like. The ball must feel and sound good off the face, this to me promotes confidence, next is driving distance and dispersion off the tee, finally it is good spin from the irons. I’m not a particularly good ball striker with my irons and in my head, I don’t think a high spinning ball will improve my game.
From a historical view point I’ve heard of MAXFLI but for the last 20 years it is not a brand I would normally play with or regularly come across in stores or with other players using. If I found one on the course, it will be put in the collection box for the Juniors to use so I’m starting with low expectations.
The testers were given a dozen balls each of the MAXFLI TOUR and the TOUR X.
From the market information on the box you can plainly see they are aligning the balls with industry leaders i.e Tour is the lower spinning, lower trajectory ball aligned with Pro V1 and the Tour X higher spinning higher trajectory ball.
My plan was to take
· 6 of each and my Gamer to the practise area, with my Flightscope Mevo and hit several clubs to get a feel and comparison of the MAXFLI balls against the gamer.
· Spend an hour on the green chipping and putting with both balls
· Do alternate rounds with each ball and confirm the data and observations picked up on the practise area
Unfortunately a couple of things hampered me, I’ve recently agreed to help an old acquaintance out and have been working 2 days a week from home and I tore a calf muscle. When I got out I focused on playing rounds with the ball and targeted to cycle back to the range work at the end.
On a cold autumn day with soft and wet greens I scheduled my first round. I turned up an hour early and took the balls on to the practise putting area. The area allows for you to do some short chips as well as putt. I had six each of the balls plus my gamer and hit different types of chips from 20 yds, with the 3 different balls using my 56° Callaway MD5. I found it hard to find any differentiation between the 3 different types, the TOUR, TOUR X and Pro V1. If pushed the TOUR X sounded a bit flat off the club face but in terms of spin and consistency they were pretty much a muchness. For putting I did the same, hitting putts from 20, 12, 6 and 3 feet looking at pace mainly and found very little difference except again the feel of the TOUR X being a little harsher. Both balls have a triple line for putter alignment but I don’t use the align aid for putting so it didn’t make a lot of difference.
For the first round I used the TOUR for the weekly competition at the club, straight off I felt comfortable with the feel and sound of the ball off the club. My driving was maybe not as long as with my gamer but driving dispersion was really good and my approaches were consistent. It is hard to gauge on soft greens the spin from approaches but I seemed to get a few that checked and spun back. My putting was the weak point for the round but I put this down to the time of the season rather than the ball.
A very solid round of +2.
The second round was the TOUR X and this didn’t go so well, the sound off the club face was harsher and I immediately noticed the difference in launch, higher and the dispersion wasn’t as good. It was windy conditions that didn’t help but after losing a ball at the 3rd hole I moved back to the TOUR which although not as good as the week before did seem to stabilise my score.
Through November I stuck with the TOUR with a +5 and other respectable scores within my handicap range. My last 2 rounds were back to the Tour X which I persevered with, I was still finding it launching higher than the Tour and but still managed a couple of respectable rounds.
For the final task I took the balls out on to the range with the Flightscope Mevo. Again, I had 6 of each plus 6 Titleist Pro V1 2019 as the control sample. The balls were prepped with silver stickers so the Mevo can give better numbers on spin.
I took 3 clubs 8i, 52° Wedge and driver. For the wedge work I found very little difference in the balls which surprised me but with the 8i, there was a difference, the same as I had seen on the course the Tour X launched, flew and spun more that the other 2 balls.
For the driver I have to say I wasn’t hitting it well on the range, so the averages didn’t really show anything but anecdotally the longer balls on the range were the Pro V1 with 216 yds with the Tour next 209 yds and the Tour X a couple of yards behind
Since I saw a significant difference between the balls, for the grading I’ve graded them separately.
Looks & Durability (Maxfli Tour 13 out of 15 points, Maxfli Tour X 10 out of 15)
On opening the packaging, the first impression is that the ball boxes are eye catching and is what you would expect from a Premium ball supplier.
The packaging design for both the 12 ball
and 3 ball packets
are eye catching and distinctive, what you would expected from a quality ball supplier.
The balls are gloss white and use the industry recognised black for TOUR and red for the higher flight, higher spinning TOUR X. The balls have a “triple track” putter alignment aim, well defined on the balls. My personal preference would be for the TOUR X to have a red dot under the MAXFLI which would make it easier to differentiate between the 2 models.
To put into context on durability it helps to know that at my club we are playing on our Winter layout which means the course is down to a par 64 and 4800 yards and for me that is a lot of irons from 130 yards and in i.e. PW - 60° LW. I also tend to use old wedges in the winter which don’t have the sharpest groves.
I played more rounds with the TOUR (2 balls over 6 rounds) and found this to be very durable and showed very little sign of wear or grazes even after 3 rounds. I hit a tree point blank with a 5i circa 120 mph and the ball showed no damage. The picture on the left shows the only damage I could find on one of the TOUR balls after 3 rounds. The TOUR X on the other hand showed several scuffs after only 12 holes. This is shown on the 2 pictures on the right.
Sound & Feel (Tour 13 out of 15 points, Tour X 11 out of 15)
Both balls urethane covers are firm and resist any ingress. As per my initial First Impression section above I did find the Tour X a flatter harsher sound off the driver. As for irons and putter, to me I heard and felt no discernible difference between the 2 models and the Pro V1. After saying at the beginning sound and feel were important to me in this case neither caused me issue and loss of confidence in hitting the ball through out my bag.
On-Course Performance (Tour 35 out of 40 points, Tour X 30 out of 40 points)
Of the 2 balls I found the on-course performance of the TOUR ball more suited to my game. It’s hard to put down the 2 or 3 good rounds (+2, +6 and +6) I had with the TOUR down to purely the ball but the ball striking and consistency over the piece was as good as my gamer. The TOUR X higher launch and spin didn’t help me, especially in a windy Autumn in Scotland.
Off the tee the distance of both balls was pretty close to my gamer but I did find the TOUR X dispersion worse and more affected by the wind.
With my approaches the higher launch of the Tour X was more pronounced which in the conditions didn’t help my game apart from this both balls compared very well in all other aspects of my game
I am always searching for a ball that suits my game and gives me confidence, the MAXFLI TOUR has done this. To become my Gamer it is competing with the incumbent, Pro V1; new kids on the block Bridgestone Tour BX and the Srixon Z Star XV. Ultimately for me it will probably be availability in Europe that means I don’t use it as my Gamer.
For players in the US looking for a lower cost DTC ball that gives like performance to the ProV1 the TOUR is worth a try.
My experience with the TOUR X was not so good, the extra ball height and the durability questionable.
For the last 10-15 years MAXFLI is not a brand I would have ever considered using. It has fallen out of fashion and market awareness in Europe is practically non-existent. I was pleasantly surprised by the whole package and would say that they have succeed in making a DTC ball that is capable of competing in performance with the top brands. The only downside I would highlight is the durability of the Tour X which marked up throughout the review time period.
For the Maxfli Tour the score is 88/100 and for the Tour X 74/100