Volvik XT Soft Golf Ball Review
Volvik XT Soft Golf Ball
Teachers’ Comments: Performs well, but I think it feels muted.
I’m a fan of Volvik golf balls. I’ve used the Volvik Vivid (in orange) as my gamer for a couple of seasons now because I find that it offers good distance for my swing, and suits my short game well.
I was therefore happy when Volvik sent samples of its new XT Soft golf balls for review. Would the XT Soft be a better ball for me?
The XT Soft is billed as a Tour Performance ball. It is a three piece design with a urethane cover.
In its core, the ball incorporates an element called bismuth. The heavy metal is 86% as dense as lead, although it is brittle. Bismuth typically is used in alloys, in medicines and cosmetics, and as a general lead replacement
In the case of the XT Soft, Volvik says adding bismuth to the core improves resiliency and energy transfer.
Although Volvik is known for its wide array of brightly colored balls, the XT Soft comes in just two: traditional white and a fairly vibrant yellow.
The XT Soft’s cover has a three line stamp to help promote alignment. Volvik’s promotional material doesn’t say so, but the three lines take advantage of an effect called Vernier Hyper Acuity, which is the ability to discern a misalignment between two line segments. Landing strips for airplanes will take advantage of the same effect.
Dimples on the ball are what Volvik calls “Cube Octahedron.”
The Volvik XT Soft reportedly has a 70 compression. That means that technically, it is not nearly as soft as, say, a Wilson Duo, with its 40 compression. On the other hand, it’s softer than the Vivid’s 75.
The numbers say that the XT Soft is relatively firm, but I found that the ball has a definite muted feeling.
Perhaps it’s the urethane cover (the Vivid has an ionomer cover). Perchance there’s something in the outer mantle that takes the edge off. Maybe I’m just not hitting it fast enough to get the bismuth in the core to show its kick.
Whatever the reason, with my swing, the XT Soft flirts with feeling a little too dull. When I hit it, I get the feeling that it’s not going to go anywhere.
Until it does.
In truth, I get just as much distance with the XT Soft as I do with the Vivid or the Vice Pro (another of my regular balls). I have played my home course, Washtenaw Golf Club, many hundreds of times, and know where my shots should land. The XT Soft lands in those spots. I know what clubs to use from those spots. The XT Soft matches those expectations as well.
And an update from last night’s round. I hit my longest drive of the season with one of the XT Soft balls, on a cool (57 degrees) breezy afternoon. And then I plunked it into a pond after underestimating the wind on a wedge shot from the fairway Another two yards …
Performance on full shots is therefore just fine. My guess is that the XT Soft, as a Tour Performance ball, may very well come into its own with a faster swinger. A faster swinger may be able to activate that bismuth core and get the sort of feel that they are seeking.
In contrast to full shots, I like the feel around the greens quite a bit. The XT Soft feels gentle off short wedge shots, avoiding that click feel that makes me think the ball is going to snap over the green. Again. Confidence goes a long way.
Short game performance for me is quite good. This ball can hold a green, even with my not-so-spinny game.
I also like the feel off my putter. The alignment marks work well on the greens.
So I have mixed feelings about the XT Soft. On the one hand it performs well. On the other, it doesn’t quite have the feel I’m looking for.
If you’re a “tour performance ball” sort of player, who likes a softer feel I think you should give the XT Soft a try. Golf balls come in an incredible array of configurations these days, and this might just be one that fits your game.
The Volvik XT Soft Golf Ball Review was first published on GolfBlogger.Com on September 19, 2020.