There has been a shift in the golf ball market lately towards softer balls for the average golfer. The Titleist AVX is the result of Titleist doing their research and coming up with an alternative to the Pro V series that more golfers can get the best performance out of.
In fact, the name AVX means “Alternative to the Pro V1 and Pro V1x.” Yeah I know, they skipped a lot of letters, but it sounds better than ATPV1PV1x, so that’s good.
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Regardless of your criteria for choosing a golf ball, one of the newer balls on the market that deserves consideration from amateurs of all handicaps and strengths, is the AVX from Titleist.
While it didn’t make our list of the best golf balls on the market, its might just be the best ball for most golfers out there.
For years, the Titleist Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x have been considered “holy grails” of the golf ball world by amateurs, largely because of their popularity on the PGA Tour and among professionals worldwide. And for good reason. The Pro-v family of balls boasts incredible spin and control for those who…you know…actually play high spin and don’t need much forgiveness off the tee or with long approach shots.
Not to mention, a glance at the leaderboard on PGATour.com during any given tournament clearly shows just how popular these balls are among professionals. However, needless to say, the right ball choice for a 4-time major championship winner may not be (and probably is not) the perfect ball choice for the 15-handicapper with the goal of breaking 80 for the first time. What ball is more conducive to the game of the average amateur?
Enter the AVX, first released from Titleist in 2017, and serving as the acronym for “Alternative to the V and X,” or as I like to think of it, the “Amateur’s” version of the V and X.
The AVX incorporates the strengths of the Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x that are also beneficial to amateurs, while modifying those characteristics which may only be useful to professionals and low handicaps, to better suit the average golfer. Below is a description of some of the main advantages the AVX offers to amateurs in contrast to the Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x.
AVX Compared to Callaway Chrome Soft
It is widely believed that the AVX was Titleist’s response to Callaway’s Chrome Soft and derivations therefrom. Callaway released the Chrome Soft in 2014 and essentially became the first company to create a softer, lower compression ball designed with amateurs in mind. While this review generally focuses on the AVX and how it compares to the Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x, it would not be complete without mentioning the Chrome Soft and stating that, generally, most of the benefits amateurs may receive from the AVX, are also available in some capacity from the Chrome Soft.
Since the AVX is the newer ball on the market, there are likely more golfers who have not experimented with the AVX, and thus, a review of the AVX feels a bit more logical for golfers to make an informed decision between the two (or other softer, lower compression golf balls from Bridgestone, Srixon, etc.) as to which ball may be best for them.
Both the AVX and the Chrome Soft are softer, lower compression balls with thinner urethane outer casings and shallower dimples than their respective predecessors. They are both designed to allow for more distance despite lower swing speeds, and more control on long iron shots, while not sacrificing any spin or control around the green.
The AVX and Chrome Soft differ in a few respects. The Chrome Soft is a 4-piece golf ball, and the AVX is a 3-piece ball. The extra “piece” in the Chrome Soft is one part of the two-part core, which is said to contribute more driving distance. However, the Chrome Soft, according to some reviews, was also designed to provide a higher launch angle off the tee, whereas the AVX was designed to avoid higher launches. The Chrome Soft has 332 hexagonal dimples as opposed to the 352 spherical dimples of the AVX. The significance of the AVX’s dimple design is explained below.
Finally, another difference between the Chrome Soft and the AVX is price. A dozen Chrome Softs will run you around $45, while a dozen AVXs will cost around $52—not a huge difference, but something you may take into consideration. Is it worth to save the money when a different ball may be slightly better suited for your game? The easy answer is to get a sleeve of each and compare the two, paying close attention to how each ball performs for certain shots, as well as how each ball responds to a…less than perfect swing.
That said, here are some things to consider when deciding if the Titleist AVX is a ball you should consider to complement the strengths of your game or to assist with areas in which you may need some help or improvement.
Everyone loves more distance, right? Well, the AVX contains a larger, lower-compression core compared to its Pro-v siblings, which allows golfers with slower swing speeds to compress the ball more easily, which means longer contact between the clubface and the ball, resulting in more distance than one may get from the higher compression (harder) Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x.
Additionally, the AVX differs from the other two in that it has larger core and a thin urethane high flex casing outer layer (the larger core allows for a thinner outer layer), which makes up for any distance that may have otherwise been lost due to the softer nature of the golf ball.
Not to mention, the AVX yields a lower launch compared to the Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x, and a shallower descent angle, thanks to what Titleist describes as a “unique aerodynamic dimple design”. The AVX still has the same 352 dimples as the Pro-v1, but those dimples are wider and not as deep as those on the Pro-v1.
This design, coupled with the thin outer flex casing, reduces wind resistance and allows for a lower, more piercing ball flight, which is perfect for keeping the ball lower in windy conditions. Not to mention—the lower the launch and shallower descent, the more rollout in the fairway, which will also increase your overall distance.
The lower launch and descent angles of the AVX are what also make this ball worth considering for even the highly skilled golfer with too high of a launch angle off the tee, and who is looking for some extra distance.
More distance is great, but it is essentially pointless if it means that you’re just exaggerating your hook or slice 20 yards further away from the fairway. The AVX addresses this concern as well.
Hooks and slices are created from sidespin applied to the ball at impact (a hook is created from a swing which is too “inside-to-out” that closes the club face too much at impact; a slice results from an “outside-in” swing that leaves the club face open at impact).
The lower compression and flex casing of the AVX reduces the sidespin that may result from an errant swing, which means the benefit of more distance without the worry of exaggerating the sidespin. Thus, more forgiveness and control on tee shots than the Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x.
Another area where the AVX separates itself from the Pro-v1 and Pro-v1x is the forgiveness and control the AVX offers for longer iron shots as well.
Although the Pro-v1 certainly has grants a level of forgiveness off the tee (more-so than the Pro-v1x), that forgiveness does not generally extend to long iron shots.
Even Titleist describes the AVX as having “very low long game and iron spin,” as opposed to the “very low long game spin” of the Pro-v1 and “low long game spin” of the Pro-v1x. The core of the AVX is even softer than the Pro-v1, with even lower compression, which allows the AVX to generate less side spin as a result of errant swings with longer irons, not just with your driver or 3-wood.
This “lower spin” notion may sound like a negative to some, but the average handicapper likely isn’t looking to hit Tiger-like precision cuts, Bubba-esque hooks, or to put backspin on the ball with their wedges and short irons that make the ball zip 15 feet back toward the pin.
The makers at Titleist clearly recognized this as well and created a ball to better suit the average golfer’s “low-spin” game. Moreover, because the AVX is designed to generate less spin with wedges and short irons, those who tend to generate too much spin with these clubs, will benefit greatly from switching to the AVX.
Around The Green
Don’t let the “low spin” of the AVX lead to you to believe that it won’t give you the control and spin you are looking for around the green.
The AVX has a softer feel than the Pro-v1, and a much softer feel than the Pro-v1x. The AVX’s “remarkably soft feel,” as Titleist describes it, is great feel for all shots around the green—be it a pitch, chip, bump-and-run, flop, or bunker shot.
The thinner urethane cover still allows for good control and “check” into the green, which even the average golfer typically looks for and is capable of executing.
This softer outer layer is what gives the AVX its great feel.
Generally, the AVX costs about the same as the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, so there is no real financial incentive to make the switch. But, if you’re going to spend somewhere between $15 and $18 on a sleeve of balls anyway, why not spend it on a ball that has been specifically designed for golfers more closely resembling your skill level?
It is worth noting here that he AVX also comes in optic yellow, which, obviously, makes the ball easier to spot, but also makes it easier to follow your shot while it is in the air, particularly on overcast and cloudy days when visibility is reduced.
These types of days are also likely to coincide with windier conditions, which, as explained above, the AVX was designed for.
The Titleist AVX is a great ball that can provide more distance for the average player, as well as more overall forgiveness off the tee and longer approach shots, while still maintaining great precision and control around the greens.
It is a 3-piece golf ball like the Pro-v1 which can still allow for a variety of different shots, however, it is not “too advanced” like the 4-piece Pro-v1x which was designed for highly skilled players with high swing speeds.
The AVX is certainly worth consideration and trying out for any mid-to-high handicapper, seniors, players with slower swing speeds, or even low handicaps looking for a little more distance or lower ball flight.
If you are looking for more distance off the tee but do not have a very high swing speed, of if you are generating enough club head speed off the tee, but are losing distance off the tee by launching the ball too high (which will also cost you distance by giving you a steeper descent angle), the AVX has you covered.
If you are playing in windy conditions and need a ball that will travel lower and pierce through the wind, the AVX has you covered.
If you are finding that you generate too much spin with your wedges and short irons, but don’t want to sacrifice any feel around the green, the AVX has you covered.
If your home course is a longer track that places more emphasis on longer approach shots (3, 4, 5, or 6 iron), or if you cannot seem to get the distance you want off the tee and need a ball that is more conducive to hitting longer approaches, the AVX has you covered.
This amateur-friendly golf certainly deserves your attention and consideration.
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