After going through nearly 200 dollars in Pro V1Xs this past month, I decided to look elsewhere for balls. I wanted something that had the performance of Titleists, but as a college student I can’t afford dropping that much on balls every month when they hardly last more than 9 holes. That brought me to Vice golf. For half the price per dozen I’d been paying for my usual balls, I bought 5 dozen Vice Pro Plus golf balls and so far I’m really impressed with them.
I probably play 30 rounds a month and typically shoot under par. My driver swing speed is 130-133 so I am a very high speed player and the strength of my game is wedge play. Current bag is 913D3, S55 irons, Vokey Wedges, and Nike Method 001.
Off the driver this ball is really incredible for me. I found the flight to be a touch lower than Pro V1Xs and the spin a bit less. This overall gave me about 5-10 yards more distance. In addition, the Vice ball sounded phenomenal coming off of my 913D3. Whereas I typically consider Titleist balls to be almost sound neutral in that they’ll sound like whatever the driver’s acoustics were manufactured as, the Vice ball gave a much stronger “thwack” and a feel of slightly less compression and more response off the face. My feeling’s are that higher swing speed player’s will like this ball more than typical tour balls, it feels just a touch hotter and firmer than your average ball, almost like the old RZN Black but without the clicky sound.
To be honest, I didn’t hit a ton of iron shots over the last few rounds, but the performance between the Vice and Pro V1Xs was nearly identical here for me. Vice may have flown a little further but overall these two were about dead on in this department.
Full wedge shots:
Hitting full wedge shots with the two balls provided very similar characteristics. The trajectories and spin were consistent with one another but I’d give the edge to Titleist for feel as they are just a touch softer at this distance, though it really depends on what type of feel you’re used to. The best comparison I could give between the two balls with this shot would be to say hitting the Vice versus the Titleist is a similar difference in feeling as hitting a Titleist with a cast versus forged wedge. Just a touch firmer but overall very similar.
Half wedge shots:
For my game, I actually preferred the Vice balls over Titleist for half wedge shots as the trajectory was lower and spin was a tad less. This let me hit the low and controlled spinning wedge a bit easier than with Pro V1Xs where the flight would typically be higher and spin back a bit too much for my liking. If you’re a player who already spins the ball a ton, I imagine you’ll like the playability of the Vice ball in this category over the excess spin which Titleist can sometimes give.
Around the green and very short wedge shots definitely go to Titleist. With Titleist balls I can typically one hop and stop a shot from very close to the green whereas I found the Vice would check but roll out a couple feet. Definitely a very playable shot with both, but the extra spin around the greens with the Titleist is helpful in certain situations. After getting used to the characteristics of the Vice balls I imagine this won’t be a huge issue.
I’ve used the Nike Method 001 for about 6 years now with almost exclusively Pro V1Xs so I’m very used to that feel. Honestly switching to the Vice balls I found it almost impossible to tell a difference in sound or feel. I can attribute a lot of that to having a putter with an insert and I would guess that if you’re using a putter with any sort of insert you’re going to have a hard time differentiating between the two balls. That’s a strong point for the Vice balls as a lot of the different balls I’ve tried in the past have failed at the putter test when they were either too clicky (RZN) or too rubbery (Chrome Soft). I will try these two again when I get my new putter (something special that I’m very excited about) to see how the two perform against each other on a non-insert putter.
Durability and other factors:
The durability of the Vice balls was about the same as Titleists, minor scuffing after 5-6 holes but very playable. I played one ball for a whole 18 and a second ball for another 9. As far as the WRX factor goes, these balls are really damn cool. The packaging is just incredible with the subtle but beautiful Vice logo adorning a navy/black box with the tiger print on the individual sleeves. Plus if you play with these balls I can tell you you’re never going to be confused about which one is yours if you’re looking through rough or fescue.
This golf ball is a phenomenal option to players who play a lot and those who want a cheaper alternative to mainstream tour balls. If you’re a high to very high swing speed player it might even prove to be a better option than your current ball as it was for me. That being said these balls might not be for the once a week or twice a month player. Ordering 5 dozen at a time might not make the most sense and since they ship from Germany you really have to know when you’re going to be playing ahead of time and plan out when you’re going to order more of these balls. Additionally, if you’re a slower swing speed player or your bread and butter is spinning short game shots and incredibly soft responsive feel off baby wedges, these balls might not beat out Pro V1s or Chrome Softs or whatever you play.
Overall the Vice Pro Plus is an incredible golf ball. It’s responsive, playable, and feels great as you’d expect from a tour caliper ball. At half the price of typical tour models, I honestly feel that it’s one of the best deals in all of golf coming from one of the coolest and most modern golf companies. Looking down at the beautiful Vice logo and being a part of a relatively unknown brand is very exciting and I look forward to trying more of their product in the future.