Pros: The new “U6” series balls are available in three different compressions that will meet the needs of a wide range of players. They’re low spinning off the tee and have adequate spin and feel around the greens.
Cons: Most consumers do not associate Maxfli with tour level performance in golf balls. Given, the quality available in the “tour ball” category, the lack of name recognition will be a large obstacle for Maxfli.
The Bottom Line: If you’re more worried about performance and value than name brand, this ball is a must try for 2014.
Last year, Maxfli introduced the first ever six-layer golf ball with the intention of providing a tour level ball with increased spin and touch around the greens, but less full-shot spin, (and thus straighter shots) on long irons and tee balls. With six layers and a low compression core, Maxfli uses heavier two ionomer casing layers located directly beneath the urethane cover to give the ball a higher MOI (moment of inertia). The higher MOI contributes to a ball with a straighter flight.
This year, Maxfli added two additional balls to this line up in an effort to provide a tour level ball for players with a range of swing speeds. The models and suggested swing speed ranges (driver) are listed below:
- U6LC: 80-to-95 mph driver swing speeds
- U6: 92-to-102 mph driver swing speeds
- U6X: 102+ mph driver swing speeds
The balls are available now for about $40 per dozen.
The premise of this ball is tour level performance, straight flight and soft touch around the green. Based on my experience, the ball does generally what it is purported to do.
Tee shots: I spent most of my time testing the U6X for tee balls as this is the ball that fits my swing speed. Simply, the ball was long and straight. It wasn’t significantly longer or shorter than what I expected out of a tour-level ball. That said, if you struggle with too much spin on your tee balls, you’re going to find this ball will give you at least a couple extra yards of carry compared to the others. Don’t expect to gain 10+ yards because of the ball alone, but for the right player, there will likely be some distance benefit. When using the standard U6 and U6 LC, my drives were 5-to-10 yards shorter than with the U6X, but I believe this was due to simply using a ball aimed at golfers with lower swing speeds.
Approach shots: Again, the ball performed admirably. My distances were extremely consistent with all three balls. When playing in the wind, I was able to keep the ball online more often, which was a huge benefit, but I wasn’t able to work the ball left-to-right or right-to-left as much as I needed to at times. If you don’t tend to vary your trajectory much or try to move the ball a lot, this ball actually might help you hit your approach shots straighter.
Around the green: All three balls produced consistent spin and trajectory. While I wasn’t wowed by the feel of any of the three, they were all consistent. I actually found the LC and standard U6 to have the best combination of spin and control around the green. On short putts (inside 5 feet) all the balls were serviceable and I didn’t note any discernable differences. However, on lag putts, I struggled with distance control a bit with the U6X. The U6 and U6 LC were again more consistent for me.
X Factor: Perhaps the differentiating feature of this ball is the enhanced MOI. As such, it is a tremendous wind ball and if you’re not looking to work the ball on different trajectories or directions, there is a lot of appeal here.
Looks and Feel
From a visual standpoint, the ball is clean and the Maxfli moniker is clear. Perhaps there is something to the black dot beneath the “X” in Maxfli, but for the life of me I’m not sure what the purpose is. The ball is a crisp white and stayed that way, even after several rounds. The durability is better than average and the multiple dimple design isn’t noticeable from address. In fact, it really isn’t obvious unless you hold the ball a couple inches from your face.
The equator of the the ball has a preprinted alignment line with the name of the ball/model in the middle of the line. It’s very reminiscent of the 2012 Titleist Pro V1 series in this regard.
I didn’t love the feel of the U6X. I didn’t hate it either, but honestly, I was really hoping for a little bit more. When you have one ball that tries to do everything well, it’s more likely that it will do some things well, but not everything. On half shots and pitches, it felt “clicky.” I like a ball to feel solid, yet soft. I felt the U6X was solid, but harsh. As a result, I didn’t feel like I could control my distances as well as I needed to on chips/pitches or lag putts and being able to control your spin and getting precise performance from a ball around the greens is paramount to scoring. All of the U6 series balls come up a bit short here.
No doubt, this ball offers performance and does so at an attractive price point. No one else offers a 6-piece ball and you have to give Maxfli credit for being the first. The trend in the premium ball market is to offer multiple premium balls targeted at a variety of swing speeds. Maxfli has leapt right into this fray and has produced a ball that fits this niche market quite nicely.
Critics will be quick to question the value of a six-layer ball. That is, does that fifth or sixth layer really give you anything in terms of improved performance? My assertion would be that if you’re not paying any more for it (and perhaps less) does it really matter?
It wasn’t that long ago that you had to make significant compromises in the premium ball market. If you wanted a ball that was low spin off the tee, you gave up some feel and touch around the greens. The converse was equally true. Now, we have premium balls which blend these performance attributes much better and thanks to companies like Maxfli, we can offer them to players of nearly every swing speed.