Ball tested: Maxfli U/4x
Ball tested: Maxfli U/4
Tested for golfers with average driving distance of: 196 to 245 (carry + roll)
Specs: Construction – Four-piece; Cover – Urethane; Core – Low compression; Dimples / Pattern – 318 in seamless design
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.
Price as tested (new): $34.99 per dozen
Ball notes: Now sold exclusively by Dick’s Sporting Goods (which owns the brand) and its auxiliary Golf Galaxy shops, Maxfli’s lineup centers on the all-urethane covered “U” series. The U/4 and its twin, the U/4x, are joined by the value-oriented U/2 and U/3, plus the “tour-level” U/6, golf’s first six-piece ball.
Maxfli trumpets the U/4 as a jack-of-all-trades that delivers solid distance, soft feel, lots of spin and good greenside control. The U/4x is a slightly firmer version with similar attributes.
The U/4 has garnered much praise among golfers looking for a ball that’s slightly more affordable than the top-grade tour models, which typically fetch $40-plus per dozen, with the same performance characteristics. Golf Digest is duly impressed, too, handing the Maxfli U/4 a Hot List silver medal in 2013.
On the clubface: Noticeably softer than the U/2 and U/3, the U/4 fits the feel profile of a tour ball. We felt a nice, spongy but spring-like jolt off the driver and a decidedly “sticky” sensation on chips and pitches. Good stuff.
Off the tee: Our tester’s usual drives fly a bit lower than the average player’s, but not with the U/4. His launch angle increased as did his carry distance. While your mileage may vary based on swing speed, backspin and so forth, the U/4 could be an answer if you crave higher tee shots. The ball flew with excellent accuracy as well, without a whole lot of curve in either direction.
From the fairway / rough: Golfers who long to emulate the pros’ hard-spinning wedge shots should give the U/4 a try. It’s a spinner, all right. Players who already produce an abundance of backspin might struggle to keep this ball’s action in check (so to speak); for them we’d recommend the U/4x. Overall, the U/4 feels terrific, displays an effective, mid-high trajectory and stops dead in its tracks when it hits the green.
Around the green: The tacky urethane cover and four-piece construction really get the job done here. The U/4 showed tour-model responsiveness on a variety of shots played to firm greens. Our tester especially liked the ball’s “thump” off the putter.
Bottom line: Aside from price, we couldn’t find much if any difference between the U/4 and high-end tour balls. We might caution golfers with above-average swing speeds (105 mph or more) about its backspin levels, but very few amateurs will suffer adverse results. If you swing in the 90 – 100 mph range, the Maxfli U/4 just might make you feel like a pro.
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