This review is written by my good friend Andrew Rehfeld, who continues to offer his knowledge to the site as equipment editor.
I remember back in high school, circa 2005, when our golf team would get the Taylormade TP Red or TP Black balls for free. We were happy to get the equipment at no cost, but no one in their right mind would use anything other than a Pro V1 in a match. “Thanks, but no thanks, coach.”
However, gone are the days when Titleist had a monopoly on tour level balls. Nowadays, there is great competition everywhere. I first started playing something different when I realized how soft and spin-y the Srixon Z-Star was. Then, I went on to the Taylormade Penta TP—very little spin off the driver, but incredibly responsive around the greens. Since then, I haven’t had much brand loyalty, and I grab whatever tour ball is on sale (which is obviously never a Titliest Pro V1). Needless-to-say, I haven’t enjoyed a box of Pro V1s in a long time.
While other golfers have given mixed reviews of the new Titleist AVX, I’m definitely a convert. I’ve gone through two dozen, since they were released in California a few months ago (I played multiple times a week). The pro at my club told me that part of the reason that Titleist developed the AVX was so that they could have a yellow ball. As such, I’ve had a dozen of the yellow and a dozen of the white.
How does it play?
Compared to the Pro V1, this ball flies quite a bit higher and at least a little bit further. I’m very skeptical about distance gains with a golf ball, but the AVX must fit my game, because I’m definitely up five yards on each iron. I also hit the ball oddly low for my swing speed, so I’m happy to get extra height with the AVX. And the AVX seems as long as any other tour level ball that I’ve tried.
As far as feel, I wouldn’t say it is the softest ball out there. It is definitely firmer and “click-ier” than the Z Star or the Pro V1; it is not as firm or “click-y” as the Z Star XV, though. If I had to compare it to a ball, I’d say it feels somewhere between the Z Star and the Z Star XV, somewhat similar to the Pro V1x. In the feel category, it is not the best, but it’s still very good. Further, you have to make some sacrifices if you want a higher flight and less spin off the driver. I think the Z Star is the best feeling ball on the market, but it also spins way too much—the AVX presents a happy medium.
Regarding spin, the AVX seems closest to the Pro V1x. The AVX has low spin off the driver compared to other tour level balls. It also seems to spin quite a lot on full shots with shorter clubs, though it doesn’t spin as much around the greens as I would’ve guessed. The amount of spin reflects a compromise with the high flight and distance.
One of the main things that deters me from playing the Pro V1 is the terrible durability. Any golfer with a decent swing speed knows what it’s like to lean on a wedge and ruin the cover of a Pro V1 in one swing. Even with an unlimited funds, I’d feel pretty wasteful tossing a ball aside that regularly. The AVX makes huge improvements in this area. The AVX can absolutely take a beating compared to other tour level balls. I was really impressed in this area.
Overall, I really like the AVX!
Flight: 9 (high preference)
Spin: 9 (could be better around the greens)