Maxfli U4x 1

    Category*: Premium

    Feel: Firm

    Tested for golfers with average driving distance of: 196 to 245 (carry + roll)

    Specs: Construction – Four-piece; Cover – Material; Urethane – Firmer compression; Dimples / Pattern – 336 in seamless design

    Compression: High

    Price as tested (new): $34.99 per dozen

    Ball notes: If you’re familiar with Maxfli’s family of “U” balls, you know the “U” stands for urethane. But what about the “x” in the U/4x? Think of it instead as an “f,” as in “firm.”

    Make that “firmer.” The U/4x complements the softer U/4 model by promising a little less spin from tee to green in exchange for a slight distance boost – much like the relationship between Titleist’s ProV1 and ProV1x. The primary difference is the firmer core of the U/4x, which also has fewer dimples.

    A silver medal winner in Golf Digest’s 2013 edition of the equipment Hot List, the Maxfli U/4x enjoys a loyal if relatively small following among avid golfers. Like its twin, the U/4x’s primary selling point is “tour” model performance at a lower price point.

    On the clubface: It’s firmer than the U/4, all right. This ball really jumps off the clubface of higher swing speed golfers, to whom we think it’s best suited. Provided you don’t buy this ball expecting super-soft feel – which it doesn’t promise – you should get along with it just fine.

    Off the tee: Golfers who can get the driver swishing through impact at 105 mph or better will hit some prodigious drives with the U/4x. We found it to launch a little lower than the U/4, which makes it an excellent choice for windy or firm conditions. Accuracy was very good as well.

    Maxfli U4x 2

    From the fairway / rough: There’s a pretty striking difference between the U/4’s super-high spin rate and the U/4x’s moderate levels. Where the U/4 is prone to slam on the brakes and hit reverse when struck purely with a wedge, the U/4x is more of a hop-and-stop kind of ball. Less backspin also means a lower trajectory, a plus for some players, a detriment to others.

    Around the green: On greenside shots, the U/4x rates as acceptable if not a little better. The firmer feel signals you to play for a bit of roll, versus the U/4’s almost “sticky” contact sensation that screams, “Spin me!” Spin and control were adequate on routine shots, and sufficient on tougher plays (short bunker shots, tight-lie pitches) so long as we nipped it crisply.

    Bottom line: We appreciate any ball whose performance matches the manufacturer’s promises, which makes the Maxfli U/4x a winner in our book. Even without preconceived notions, we’d give this model high marks for distance, accuracy, trajectory and controllability. If it’s lacking in any area, it’s feel – but since the U/4x isn’t supposed to be ultra-soft, we can hardly hold that against it.

    *Category key

    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