In Part I of our VICE Golf ball review we brought you an overview of the products, the company and the concept of VICE Golf. In Part II will give you a more in depth look at each model and the differences in performance.
The Company have made quite a stir in the golfing world with their business strategy, but in all honesty they just want to give players the products they deserve at an affordable price and look good doing it!
Here is how we got on with testing the VICE Golf ball range at the Real Aero Club de Santiago.
PRO - RRP £29.88 (DOZ)
The Pro is a 3 piece ball with a cast urethane cover which is designed for responsive and soft feel, especially around the greens. It incorporates a 318 large dimple pattern which is designed for a more stable and controlled ball flight.
The Pro is aimed at low handicapped advanced players with mid-high swing speeds, this is simply due to the softer cover and characteristics the ball has to offer.
I really liked the feel, look and way the Pro played, it is as good if not better than other balls that currently flood the market but at a much lower price.
The Pro has a great responsive feel off the driver, and produces a mid-high launch angle and overall ball flight. It seemed to fly higher than the Pro+ with a touch more spin. Even tho the Pro is not designed for distance, its not lacking in that either, the total and carry distances were good, with moderate amounts of roll. I got a little more out the VICE Pro than my current ball too, which is always an added bonus.
With the irons the Pro feels great, you can feel the softness of the cover off the face and response of the ball on the green was up there with the best. The flight was brilliant and I would say it was medium-high with all the distance still there! As for control, the ball came down with a lot of spin but not too much that it was out of control.
Wedges (75 yards)
I am always quite picky about the ball I use and wedges are the best way for me to choose. The Pro offered great feel off the face with even better distance control on the greens. It was extremely receptive and stopped almost instantly with a good amount of backspin. Again there wasn't too much spin that the ball was out of control, and the flight was mid to high. A lot of tour level balls fall down in this areas as they can cut up or spin too much, this was not the case with the Pro at all. I got the most spin, feel and control with the Pro, as would be expected from their tour level model.
The Pro had the softest feel and most response for me out of all 4 models around the green. It felt soft off the face and stopped within a few yards of landing with some check. The distance control and receptiveness of the Pro is going to be hard to beat, the feel off the face is brilliant and if you are wanting to play a shot with less spin which will release out, the Pro also offers that option too. It will not simply spin with all clubs and for chip and run shots it performs just as well. The Pro offers great levels control, constancy and feedback around the green, which is comparable to the best tour level balls.
The Pro was again the softest off the club face and the noise and feedback is fantastic. The ball rolls extremely well and most importantly is consistent. This is extremely important when manufacturing golf balls, as there cannot be too much variance or you will never get used to them.
The alignment aid on the ball is also a unique feature, it is thicker than most but helps with aligning the club face to the ball. I noticed that it can also help you see how good a stroke you have made too, as you can see the black mark rolling end over end.
**The alignment aid features on all models in the VICE Golf ball range.
The Pro is extremely durable for a tour level ball, without compromising on feel. This is impressive for a ball that offers feel and spin as good as this. I comfortably played a full round without having to change, yet another reason to choose VICE !
Overall the Pro is a great feeling ball that is up there with the leading brands, it does exactly what it is designed to do and looks good doing it. The spin and distance control on the greens is one of the best out there and the feel off the clubface is hard to beat. VICE have designed a great ball in the Pro and one I can see myself using. Couple this with the price tag of the Pro and you have a ball which is going to be hard to beat all round.
The Vice Pro also comes in a NEON Yellow, which provides the same great feel but with a bold paint job, this is perfect for those players wanting to try something a little new.
Feel - 10/10
Overall - 10/10
PRO+ RRP £29.88 (DOZ)
The Pro+ is a 4 piece ball and the newest offering from VICE. It provides longer distance off the tee and a little firmer feel than the Pro model, but still the receptiveness needed for advanced players. This ball is designed for players with faster club head speeds, that struggle to control high spin rates off the tee. The overall flight and launch is lower than the Pro but that doesn't compromise the feel around the greens at all.
The Pro+ incorporates a smaller 336 dimple design to encourage a lower more penetrating ball flight and launch angle which it does perfectly.
The Pro+ felt a little firmer than the Pro off the club face but it is not too noticeable unless you are looking out for it. The launch angle was certainly lower than the Pro, which I expected and it did create a more penetrating ball flight.
There was also a lot less spin produced on longer shots, which is great for players who have a high club head speed / steeper angle of attack and struggle control spin rates off the tee. I did get a few more yards out of the Pro+ than the Pro, so if you are looking for a little more off the tee but still want a great feeling ball, this is the one for you.
The feel off the face was again just a little firmer than that of the Pro but still extremely responsive. The launch and flight was a little higher than I expected with my irons but the control when the ball landed was brilliant. There wasn't as much spin produced by the Pro+ which makes it a great ball for windy conditions, but it still provided great control on the greens. Many players who have a higher club head speed, and launch angle will find the Pro + very appealing.
Wedges (75 yards)
With wedge shots the Pro+ felt great, again you can feel it is slightly firmer than the Pro off the face but responds extremely well with a lower overall flight. The spin rates are a little less than those seen with the Pro because of the lower launch, dimple pattern and 4 piece design, but this is not to say it still doesn't respond. This would be a perfect choice for when playing in the wind, the lower more penetrating flight means it will not be effected as much by conditions.
There is a little more of a clicky noise off the face, but it certainly does not feel hard and the distance control was not affected by the difference in design.
There was not much difference in terms of the feel and control between the Pro and Pro+ when chipping. Both felt great and offered high levels of spin and distance control. There is a slightly firmer feel with the Pro+ but it is not very noticeable, which is great for those players who are wanting the feel of a soft ball around the greens yet the reduced backspin and lower launch on longer shots. Again the noise off the face indicates that the ball is a touch firmer, but the feel is still great and performs well.
Again the feel off the face was brilliant with great response and consistency. The Pro+ felt soft off the face and the noise and feedback with the putter was second to none. You can feel that it is slightly firmer off the putter than the Pro but a lot of players like this, as it means they don't have to hit their putts as hard and they can get a better roll.
The Pro+ is a great ball for those players with high club head speeds that are wanting to optimise distance off the tee by creating less spin, but not wanting to compromise on feel. The feel on shorter shots is amazing and up there with the best. They are extremely durable as with all the VICE balls and I played 18 holes without even considering to swap for a new one.
The Pro+ is a great feeling and sounding ball and the feedback off the face is up with the best, especially when you consider the ball is a much lower cost which usually would mean a worse ball. But don't be fooled by the price tag! This is a great performing tour level Golf ball.
Feel - 10/10
Overall - 9/10
VICE TOUR - RRP £19.08 (DOZ)
The Vice Tour is a 3 piece ball with slightly firmer DuPontTM Surlyn® cover, it is extremely durable and offers a 392 small dimple design pattern for a more stable and controlled flight.
The Tour is aimed at players of all levels and helps to optimise distance wilst providing great greenside feel. The Tour is long off the tee with good short game control and a responsive feel off the putter. The Tour is not as soft and responsive as the Pro and Pro+ models but still provides high levels of control and spin on the greens.
The best way to describe the feel of the VICE Tour is medium to soft. The deeper dimple patters as you can see in the picture to the right, gave the ball a lower and more penetrating flight.
It felt good and solid off the tee but not too much so that it felt like a distance ball. I got a little more distance with the Tour than either of the Pro models off the tee with an impressive and desirable flight.
The ball flight with irons was mid-high with medium levels of spin, I really liked the flight with the Tour and it was refreshing to see a ball that feels solid off the face yet performs well on the greens. The spin rates are not as high as the Pro or Pro+ but the ball still responds well and stops within a few yards of landing.
Wedges (75 yards)
The flight with wedges was medium-high with medium spin levels, the higher flight means the ball offers good control on the greens but less backspin. Even tho it is a little firmer than other models it still has moderate levels of spin and feels good off the club, the firmer DuPontTM Surlyn® does mean the feel and sound is not as soft as the Pro or Pro+ but it is longer off the tee and will appeal to those players with slightly lower club head speeds.
Around the green is where you can feel the biggest different between the Tour and the Pro models, it is firmer with a more noticeable click off the face and less spin. But for a ball that offers the advantages it does off the tee it still has great playability around the green.
As the DuPontTM Surlyn® is a little firmer the cover is also more durable and hard wearing, this will appeal to many serous amateur golfers who are looking for a long, durable yet responsive ball.
The feel off the putter was mid-firm but still responsive and controlled, sometimes a firmer ball can shoot off the club face and this can lead to an inconsistent roll, this was not the case with the Tour. The noise was considerably different to the top level models as I would expect with the cover being made of a completely different material, but this does not mean there is no feel at all. For a ball designed to optimise distance and perform all around I was pleasantly surprised but eh feel on the greens.
The Tour is an extremely well designed all round ball that is suitable for every golfer, yes it is a little firmer on shorter shots but this does not ruin the playability of the ball at all ! It has been designed with 'serious amateurs' in mind and I could not put a better description on it.
The cover is soft enough to respond to players with low-mid handicaps, but also firm enough to generate a little more length off the tee.
The firmer cover means the ball is a lot more durable than most and will comfortably last 18 holes and more if needed. This is a great all around ball and one which will be hard to beat by competitors.
Feel - 8/10
Overall - 9/10
VICE DRIVE RRP £13.08 (DOZ)
The Drive is the firmest model in the VICE family, and offers a 2 piece 368 symmetrical dimple design with a tough DuPontTM Surlyn® cover. This does not mean to say it is like playing with a rock like some other distance balls, as it still also performs extremely well around the green and feels good off the club face.
It does feel a firmer than the other models but remember it is designed for players with a low to medium club head speed that are searching for a little more distance off the tee.
The Drive is specifically designed for longer distance off the tee and for players who have a slower club head speed, I found the launch angles were higher and I did get a lot of roll on the fairway. I also got a sneaky few extra yards out of the Drive, but for me it just felt a bit too firm off the club face. This does not mean to say its not a great ball, but I prefer something with bit of a softer feel.
It felt a little harder than other models off the face, but the flight was good and it did still have a moderate levels of control on the green. One thing I noticed was that even tho it is a distance ball it still offered good feedback, distance control and response.
Wedges (75 yards)
With the wedges the firmer feel was a little more noticeable, the Drive did stop relatively quickly but didn't not have a lot of spin. The higher ball flight helps the ball to stop well but if you are wanting high spin rates on short shots it does struggle.
Around the green you can certainly feel the difference between the Drive and other models, it does have a louder click noise off the face and doesn't grab up as much. This being said it is not completely void of feedback, it still reacts on the green and certainly doesn't feel like you have just struck a hidden boulder, it just doesn't respond and react as well as the others in the range.
It did come a little hot off the face and felt firmer than the rest, but it was by no means awful. It is what it is and this ball never professes to being the softest out there, it is designed to give you added yards off the tee. That being said it still rolled and played very well, but with a little less feel and response than the others.
The Drive is a great ball if you are searching for longer distance off the tee and with your irons, it certainly provides that in abundance! It does feel firmer around the greens, but this is expected from a distance ball. That being said it does not come across as your traditional distance ball, it still responds well on the greens and offers moderate control which I think many distance balls overlook.
The Drive is by far the most durable in the series and one that many competitors should keep a close eye on. If you are looking for distance but don't want to loose all feel give it a try!
Feel - 7/10