The accepted idea that golf balls with lower compression didn’t go as far as higher compression golf balls particularly for higher swing speed players was shown to be wrong when Callaway began producing the Chrome Soft. Titleist, far and away the leading ball company with its flagship Pro V1 and Pro V1x leading the way, after extended test marketing last fall has brought to market their response called the AVX.

Neatly fitted into the performance spectrum players expect from the bestselling Pro V1 and Pro V1x, the three-piece AVX has a lower compression of approximately 80 compared with about 90 for the Pro V1 and about 100 for the Pro V1x. The cover is still a cast urethane but of a different composition than its stablemates and combined with the high flex mantle plus a new core formulation a softer feel is achieved. The mantle decreases spin off the driver to deliver added distance and there’s a new dimple shape and pattern to improve trajectory. The inside of the new dimple is a catenary curve which is the shape of a hanging chain supported at its ends.

“Golfers have spoken loud and clear about the performance of AVX,” said Michael Mahoney, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing. “While our R&D team is constantly exploring new golf ball technologies, only a limited number of prototypes ever make it past the initial machine and player testing phases. AVX stood out from the beginning. Ultimately, it was important to let golfers decide whether this golf ball had a place in our line and the results of our test market were emphatic. Many golfers were waiting for a product like AVX – our lowest flying, lowest spinning and softest feeling high performance golf ball – to help them play their best.”

The AVX is priced at $48 per dozen, the same as the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, and available in both white and yellow.

Andrew Landry Playing Ping Wins in San Antonio

He may have lost a playoff in January at the Career Builder to Jon Rahm but if anything, the loss helped Andrew Landry steady himself in only his 32nd Tour start. Sunday, he won the Valero Texas Open with a final round of 68 finishing two strokes ahead of Trey Mullinax and Sean O’Hair.

Proving that distance isn’t everything the slightly built Landry, a Texas native, was 46th in driving distance but built his victory around his first in greens in regulation and eighth in putting. For the 30-year old it is his first Tour win.

Landry’s driver is a Ping G30 model introduced in September of 2014, but his fairway woods are newer being the Ping G which first saw retail in January 2016. Eight months later Ping iBlades hit the market meaning that except for his Titleist Pro V1x ball and Vokey SM7 wedges, the 2017 Ping PLD ZB-S putter is the newest model equipment he carries.

Driver: Ping G30 9 degrees – Aldila Tour Blue ATX65 TX shaft
Fairway Woods: Ping G 14.5 degrees & Ping G 17.5 degrees – Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 shafts
Irons: Ping iBlade 3-iron through pitching wedge – Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105X shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52 & 60 degrees – True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue shafts
Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

In Case Anyone Should Ask:

Club and Ball Counts at Valero: The Pro V1 and Pro V1x from Titleist were again the most played ball by the 156 pros teeing it up in San Antonio with 114 (that’s almost 75%) compared with 18 using Callaway’s Chrome Soft. Titleist also won as top choice in the hybrids with 22 and iron sets with 43. With 210 in play their Vokey Design Wedges were number one in the approach, sand and lob wedge category and the 59 Scotty Cameron putters being used at the TPC San Antonio made it the most played brand.

Stat Support: It’s nice to have someone of the stature of Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura point out something we’ve been saying for years. Using data from the Arccos GPS swing tracking app he writes in “Are average golfers gaining distance?” that not only they are not but for some groups of players they may actually be getting shorter. This is contrary to the rationale cited by the USGA as support for the ball going too far certainly by professionals and by inference recreational players.

TP Black Copper: Rory McIlroy was effusive over the TP Black Copper putter he used to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month and maker TaylorMade Golf has now brought it to retail. McIlroy said he really liked the nonreflecting finish which is achieved by hand polishing of the edges to show the copper underneath. Four models, the midsize mallet Mullen 2, the Soto (modern blade), Ardmore 3 (mallet) and Juno (tour blade) all have TMaG’s Pure Roll insert and retail for $220 each.

Bentley Irons: Bentley Golf announced two iron models, the cavity back BC1s and the forged BB1s. A set of either consisting of 5-iron through pitching wedge is priced at $3,000.

Golf is Number One: Quoting an article by Adam Schupak in the NGF newsletter, “Since 1976, there have been more than 22,000 patents connected to golf, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.” This makes golf the number one U.S. sport for patents. No wonder this game is so maddening.

2018 Wedge Series: Miura Golf announced their new 2018 series of wedges with bounce angles designed to reduce turf resistance and a more rounded leading edge. Forged from soft carbon steel with satin chrome finish they are available in odd number lofts and sell for $200.

EXOfrom Odyssey: The combination of aluminum in the center of the head and a stainless steel outer portion gives the new EXO models very high MOI values for more consistent speed and control with the popular White Hot face insert now using Odyssey’s Microhinge design. EXO mallet putters have both face balanced options to decrease face rotation and toe hang options for more face rotation. Priced at $299.99 the three shapes available are the Seven, Rossie and Indianapolis.