Martin Hopley
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In case you hadn't noticed, golf balls have been getting softer over recent years, so much so that just having the word 'soft' in the title can increase the sales of a ball.

When it came along the Pro V1 combined the benefits of a tour performance ball with the solid centre of a distance ball. Now it seems we are on the edge of another shift in the design of golf balls, where a performance ball now also feels soft.

One or two manufacturers are doing this now, which prompted Titleist to look at this sector and after market trials over the winter of 2017/18 in the USA, they have released the Titleist AVX ball.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

As happens more often than you think, the internal project development name of AVX became the product name and is an abbreviation of 'Alternative to Pro V1 or Pro V1x'

It is still a three piece ball, but unlike most other soft balls in the market it uses a similar cast urethane cover to the Pro V1 called GRN41. Basically the ingredients are the same but the formulation is slightly different.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

The other difference is that the 352 dimples use a catenary dimple design instead of the spherical one on the Pro V1. In English this means that they are less like a curved contact lens shape and instead have steeper, sharper sides and a flatter centre section in order to lower the flight.

The AVX is also the only premium ball in the current Titleist range to also come in a yellow, which has a slight matte finish to it and should widen its appeal too.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

One of the common misconceptions is that a softer ball will spin more. In fact, more often than not they tend to spin less. In general, less spin is good for distance but bad for control on landing.

However with the AVX, Titleist claim the urethane cover provides that Tour level performance in your short game in order to give you back the control you might otherwise lose with a low spin soft ball.

To test all this out I met up with Titleist ball fitter David and we worked on the range with Trackman and on the course to see the differences between the AVX and Pro V1 and also whether the AVX would suit my game.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

First up was the wedge test where I hit all three balls to a 50 yard target. The two Pro V1 balls were almost identical for spin and carry and the AVX matched them. Yes the spin was down about 200 rpm, but David said that tour players would not notice anything around that level, even though the AVX flew a little further.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

Pitching the balls on to a real green on the course also saw relatively similar performance. The AVX did grip and stop almost as well as the Pro V1x on shots where less than a full swing is required, so I would say there was not much between them.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

Moving onto the 7-iron and the differences become more noticeable. As you can see from the Trackman numbers below, the AVX spun 1300 rpm less than a Pro V1 and 1700 rpm less than a Pro V1x which is significant.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

As a result the AVX was 7 to 12 yards longer off a lower ball speed, which would be due to variances in strike, so if the ball speed was the same then the gain could have been more.

The lower spin also resulted in a 3° lower landing angle so the combination of the two will mean it won't stop as quickly unless you already hit the ball higher than average or are needing to reduce spin.

Finally with the driver, I got the same results with the AVX spinning 250 to 300 rpm less and launching lower so that it made up the distance with run out to be the longest.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

Now I should caveat all this by saying that these were the results for me and that this will not apply to everyone. As usual I was the one who bucked the trend in Titleist's AVX ball testing trials, as we all agreed that the AVX was not the ball for me and instead I should go with Pro V1x.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

This was illustrated very clearly when we went out on the course. I hit a series of 4-irons into one of the greens and the Pro V1x just made the front and stopped. As seen, the AVX carried further, but the majority went through the back of the green even if they landed on the front, because of the lower level of spin and flatter landing angle for me.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

This review is really to highlight the differences between AVX and Pro V1 as they are the same price and, as the name suggests, it is an alternative for those who already hit the ball high to create that steep landing angle, or who already produce too much spin.

For them the lower spinning AVX ball goes longer and the reduction in spin brings it down to more normal levels so they don't lose any of the stopping power.

The AVX would also be worth considering for those lower swing speed players who don't put enough spin on the ball in the first place, so they won't be losing anything in control but would probably gain some distance with the greater carry over Pro V1 too.

Around the green the AVX performed very well thanks to that premium urethane cover construction. If I was being very picky I would say that with chips the AVX would check up fractionally less than a Pro V1x and fly a touch lower.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

On putts the AVX did sound and feel softer and as a result it might not roll out as much on medium to longer length putt as the firmer Pro V1 balls. Over a 30 foot putt, it was maybe a few inches 'shorter' for a similar strength of stroke.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

However it did not sound quite as soft as other premium and mid-market balls that have the magical 'soft' in their name, which is a good thing as sound equals feel in putting and you need feel to hole them in my book. For sound it was similar to a Titleist Tour Soft or a Callaway Chrome Soft.

If you can get your head around the fact that the AVX is a premium tour ball that is a low spin and soft alternative to Pro V1 then it starts to make sense.

It sits below Pro V1 on the spin/softness scale, with Pro V1x above them both at the top and it may not be for everyone as I have proved. However within the Titleist range it will be for some of you and the only way to do this is to try them out for yourself either with a Titleist fitter, or by taking the AVX and your current ball out on the course and comparing the carry and stopping distance.

Titleist AVX Golf Ball

It is quite impressive how similar the AVX performance is around the green to Pro V1 and also on 'less than full swing' pitches for a soft ball. This is its key selling point against other soft balls, even if the AVX price is going to be more expensive than most.

As you move further away from the green then the lower spin, lower launch and longer stopping distance becomes the key decision factor and maybe your game can cope with this or maybe it can't. If it can then you can take up the alternative of more distance, less club into the green and hopefully lower scores that the Titleist AVX can offer you.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Titleist AVX Golf Ball

Titleist AVX Golf Ball - Product Details

UK Launch02 July 2018
UK Launch RRP£52
USA Launch23 April 2018
USA Launch RRP$47.99
Handicap Range
Low
High
GolferMens, Women
Ball Construction3-Piece
SpinLow
Ball FeelSoft
Colour OptionsWhite, Yellow
Quantities12
Manufacturer's WebsiteTitleist Website

User Reviews

Sandy1949
September 2018

I love Titlist equipment, balls, etc., but did not find the AVX worked well for me, perhaps because I fairly consistently draw my drives. The lower ball flight seemed a wider diversion from the NXT and Tour Soft, and the ball just gets down on the ground too soon for me. It did not stop well for me, either - tested on two dry days, and switched in a casual round back to the NXT. I will try it again because the reviews on this site, and Titlist's claims are more impressive than my AVX results, and I trust this site for reviews and I trust Titleist. But, in rounds that count, and it seems that they all do, I'll play the discontinued NXTs while they last on firm green days, and the Tour Soft on firm green days. Even if the AVX were at a very low price, I still prefer the Tour Soft.

Connie Rye
August 2018

As a low ball hitter, I got some crazy results with this ball. Too low off the tee, but runs like crazy. Short irons and wedges are higher and dead straight, So, it's a mixed bag. Picked up 5-10 yards with the 3 wood and a little bit with the hybrids. I just don't think it's the ball for me. Played it and shot 73, 74, 71, 75, played a Maxfli from Dick's and shot 73, played a Srixon on sale from Rock Bottom and shot 70. Overall, I like the TP5, which feels really good off the tee.

Marklar
August 2018

Found this in a ditch, someone had lost one.

I wanted to try this AVX ball for a long time now, but will not pay 63€ for a dozen of golfballs. (that's almost $72 a dozen)

Played 3 holes with it and really liked the ballflight, length and spin. Was really incredibly long on a tailwind drive I hit off the screws, amazing distance. Looking forward to the price dropping a bit to purchase these balls.

Brad
August 2018

I've played Titleist balls since the first time I picked up a club. Year after year they deliver. The Pro V1 or V1x has been at my feet during every practice round, amateur tournament or club championship I've teed up at. I picked up a 3 pack of these at a local course that has some fairly short par 4s and honestly I'm only hitting driver on 2 of the 3 par 5's for that matter. However my 3 wood was never an option here because it always put me in between wedges and having to let off too much is a way of making yardage misses and not having clear cut birdie chances. I figured the extra yards from the AVX as well as the same quality around the green as a Pro V1 or V1x would allow me to use 3 wood on these par 4's and setting my 54° wedge at the exact yardage. Well, it worked. I played the club championship with the AVX and had birdie puts within 15 feet on 6 of the 7 par 4's. Granted, I'm a low handicap and never made it to the final day at this club until this year. Playing for par on the par 3's and 5's allowed me to relax and go after the short 4's with my sand wedge. Putting 45% or whatever from inside 15 feet isn't great, but attacking and scoring birdie on 3 of those par 4's allowed me to conserve my swing instead of chasing greens in 2 on par 5's. I don't use these on other courses, but boy is it nice having an alternate option that still performs around the greens. I keep Pro V1 balls and Pro V1x balls in my bag always. Now I have added a sleeve of AVX for just these circumstances. Great job Titleist and enjoyed reading this review!

Avx
August 2018

Simply the best ball for me. I should know I own a garage full of golf balls. Lol.

Kyle from Michigan
July 2018

Full on Switch! Good bye V1 and TP5. Never felt a ball like this. The distance is a bonus to me, the way this ball feels is truly off the chart. A tour ball with a low flight is an absolute winner. My long irons are sticking inches away from where they are hit. Short irons and wedges spinning a yard or two. And my drive seemingly not at all. This low spin ball is a game changer for me. I’m crushing irons, getting the feel I need around the green to go after my pitches, picking up a couple extra off the tee, and getting the perfect ball flight for my game. (Low)

Rob
June 2018

I received a trial pack from Titleist and loved the AVX. It definitely flew a bit lower but I found it still stopped well on our firm greens. I also think it was slightly longer than the Pro V1, overall I think it’s a great ball.

Don
June 2018

72 years old, and yes now play from the senior tees at most really long courses. Have played the Pro V1 and Pro V1x since their introduction and recently have switched to the AVX. I find it to be longer and the feel is fantastic off all clubs and especially the putter. I find no appreciable difference in control over the Pro V series. My home course first hole from the senior tees is 357 yards. With the Pro V series I was never inside the 100 yard marker with a tee shot. With the AVX I am now either at or inside the 100 yard marker and a wedge to the green stops within 3 feet of landing divot. For me can say only good things about the AVX....I have been converted..........

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