Ball tested: Maxfli U/2
Specs: Construction – Two-piece; Cover – Urethane; Core – Low compression; Dimples / Pattern – 422 in seamless design
Price as tested (new): $24.99 per dozen
Ball notes: Once a major player in the golf ball wars, Maxfli has seen its market share erode in recent years. The company is making a comeback, however, with its “U” lineup – it stands for urethane, the cover material for every model.
Some manufacturers do not reveal or emphasize the compression ratings of new golf balls. Some models are now designed and marketed to fit and appeal to a golfers preferences for price, distance, spin, feel and control.
The U/2 is Maxfli’s two-piece offering in the “value” category, where it’s rare to find a urethane ball. (Urethane is a soft, high-spin material typically used on “tour” balls.) Still, delivering distance is this ball’s primary function. The low compression core is intended to help players with average swing speeds hit higher, longer drives.
Golf Digest is certainly impressed. The magazine named the Maxfli U/2 to its Hot List in both 2012 (gold) and 2013 (silver).
Sound and feel: The Maxfli U/2 isn’t quite as soft as other urethane balls, probably because of its two-piece (rather than multi-layer) construction. That said, it’s a lot softer than many competitors in the value ranks. The ball may not “stick” to the clubface like a tour model, but sound and feedback are relatively mellow and pleasant.
Off the tee: While we didn’t perceive exceptional distance, the U/2 was plenty long. Better yet, it flew straight, too, and the lack of sidespin produced a nice, predictable roll after landing.
From the fairway / rough: Golfers content to get approach shots on or near the green – rather than take dead aim at the flag – will like this ball. Spin is sufficient to stop well-struck irons without excess release, and while gifted shotmakers may find it lacking workability, they should be playing tour balls anyway.
Around the green: Similar to the Bridgestone e5 – another two-piece ball with a urethane cover – the U/2 feels and performs better than the average distance ball on chips and pitches. A golfer with decent short game skills can hit a variety of shots with a fair degree of confidence that the U/2 will come through. Even those accustomed to playing high-spin balls should be able to adjust to this one without losing much control.
Bottom line: It may not be the best of both worlds, but the Maxfli U/2 captures many appealing features of distance and tour balls. If driving length is your top priority, with spin and control second, it’s an excellent choice – especially at $25 a box.
Value/Recreational/Distance – Designed for mid- to high-handicap golfers with swing speeds below 90 mph; typically feature two-piece construction and firm covers; promote greater distance over high spin rates. Examples: Pinnacle Gold, Slazenger RAW Distance
Premium – Designed for low- to mid-handicap golfers with swing speeds of 90-99 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and medium-soft covers; happy medium between Value/Recreational and Tour categories for distance and spin qualities. Examples: Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HEX Diablo
Tour/Advanced/Performance – Designed for low-handicap and professional golfers with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and soft covers; promote greater spin rates and enhanced feel over distance. Examples: Titleist ProV1, Bridgestone Tour B330