Golf technology usual has no appeal. I’m not one to chase the latest and greatest.
For me, it’s all about feel. The last set of irons I bought was about 12 years ago, Hogan Apex FTX. I tried probably close to 10 brands that day. Hogan’s felt the best, so I chose them. I’ve never regretted the decision.
I usually have an inherent distrust in what golf companies tell especially in regards to golf balls dating back to 2009 when the Acushnet Company had to change the design of the Titleist Pro V1 golf ball after losing a suit to Callaway. The U.S. District Court in Delaware ruled for Callaway on eight of nine claims involving patents related to solid-core golf ball technology found in the Pro V1. So while I thought I was playing a Pro V1, I was actually teeing up a Callaway knockoff.
In a break from my usual pattern, though, I’ve been playing a newcomer to the market, the Volvik White Color S3 all year and feel is the reason.
It was the summer of 2013 while on the Southwest tip of Scotland that my introduction to the Volvik golf ball came. I was caddying at Machrihanish Dunes at the time and an American was playing an orange Volvik. He said the brand was from South Korea and unavailable in the U.S. A South Korean friend was his personal supplier. I had never heard of it, but was intrigued. The guy raved about them and on one occasion made me go far into the tall grass to find his errant Volvik.
Cut to 2014 when I found out Tim Petrovic on the PGA Tour, along with Craig Stadler and Larry Nelson on the Champions Tour are playing the balls. Further digging revealed that a host of players are using the Volvik on the LPGA Tour. We all know they’re getting paid to play Volvik, but it’s highly doubtful that they’d jeopardize their career to do so.
I contact the company and they were kind enough to send me a dozen of the White Color S3. Some of their other models, including ones for advanced players, come in red, orange, yellow and green.
I’m an 8-handicap with a swing speed of about 92 and I love them. Here’s why: more than any other ball I’ve ever played, they spin when I chip and pitch. The feel off my putter is soft, but not mushy. With my irons and driver—I know this sounds a bit kooky—it feels like the ball stays on the club face longer. I also like the light crystal sheen the S3 has.
I also gave a sleeve to some friends to test out.
A.D., a long-hitting 19-year-old with a handicap of just under three, shot 1-over for 18 holes the first time he used the ball. He told me, especially with his driver, it’s the longest ball he’s played. He was also stunned on one hole when a he stopped dead a 7-iron approach shot to the green. He was used the S3 on a course he plays all the time.
Also acting as tester was G.R. He’s in his early 60s, sports a handicap of about 11 and will try, and probably purchase, every new piece of technology that comes down the boulevard. Most end up on a shelf in short order.
His review of the White Color S3 came to me via email: “I noticed several things right off the bat, a. ball seems to stay in the air longer, b. hit some rescues over the greens when I expected to land on back 1/3, c. putted very well…does not feel too soft, d. ball checked up quickly…..need to practice acceleration thru chips to gauge length…does not roll out too much.”
G.R. ordered two dozen.
You might just might want to try the S3 or anyone of the other six styles Volvik makes, including ones specifically for ladies. Sometimes it’s good to be the trendsetter.