Pros: Great spin and control, good driver feel, excellent distance, soft feel
Cons: Loud graphics, cover durability, soft feel
After several practice sessions and 36 holes, I think I'm ready to declare this ball a real winner.
The first thing you notice when taking these balls out of the sleeve is how soft and cover feels in your hands. The urethane cover almost feels 'sticky' in comparison to other premium balls... it is noticeably softer than what I am used to playing. Because of this, the Kick X tour took a bit of getting used to on the putting green.
Putting side-by-side with a Pro V1x left a sour impressed as these balls feel very different off the putter face. The V1x has a muted crisp feeling, and in contrast impact off the putter with the Kick X was much less distinct. These balls feel more similar to a TP Red LDP or Penta TP5. After a few sessions exclusively with the Kick X, I began to get a feel for the ball and I began rolling the ball well. Distance control on the green was very, very good with this ball.
This distance control carried to the course as well. Playing the Kick X, I had one of my best putting rounds this year with this ball... 26 putts, without a single 3 putt.
This ball is very fun near the green. I was astounded with the amount of spin and control that the Kick X exhibited near the green. I haven't played a ball that has this level of consistency and flexibility on pitch and chip shots. I was able to hit it high and let it release as well as hit it low and watch it grab. The way this ball checks after a crisp pitch let me get much more aggressive with my wedges. Comparing the performance against a Pro V1 and Pro V1x was interesting; as I found the Kick X to feel softer off of my wedges and spin harder than either.
The Kick X has a very nice feel off of the driver and 3-wood and impressive distance. Again, it's a bit softer feeling and sounding than the V1x, but the sensation at impact is very nice. I could still tell where on the face the ball was hit, and solid tee shots felt very fluid at impact.
Distance and shot shape were also very good with the Kick X. Playing the ball back to back with the Pro V1x on my home course, as well as exclusively on a new course, I'm fairly convinced this ball is a few yards longer than the Pro V1x for me. Give the soft feel, this was really a welcome surprise. The ball also seemed to generate less side-spin than the Pro V1, and generally flew pretty similar in shape and trajectory to the Pro V1x. Playing in the midwestern wind, this ball didn't balloon off the tee and had a nice strong trajectory.
Feel off of the irons was again, nice and soft. Distance was predicable and on par with other premium balls. I was able to shape the ball both directions and able to control trajectory to a certain extent. Compared to a Pro V1x, I found that I had a difficult time hitting lower-trajectory shots on approaches, but I haven't been hitting the ball as solidly as I'd like. With that said, the ball had great stopping power with my shorter irons and several mid-iron shots that I was able to test.
Wind Performance (3/5)
I didn't care for this ball in the wind. Downwind shots seemed to fly shorter than expected, and the ball struggled to pierce through side and head wind. We played in 25 mph wind this morning, and I had a tough time getting this ball to do what I wanted it to do. Approach shots into the wind seemed to really get eaten up, and I never developed a feel for how to compensate. By contrast, the Pro V1x seems to play more predictably and is less influenced by wind.
As you can see, I didn't care for the aesthetics of this ball. The logo is loud, and the putting aid (which I don't use) is enormous. I am still not warming up to the big orange X on the cover, and the font and graphics seem incongruent with a 'tour' ball. Lastly, I found these balls to cut easily on wedge shots from the fairway. A crisp shot from 60 - 120 yards would leave 3 - 4 cuts on a new ball, which is aggravating but not dissimilar to other tour balls. I played 3 different Kick X tour balls over 18 holes due to scuffing/cutting the ball with wedges. I can't confirm that these cuts really hurt the flight or performance of the ball, but I don't like looking at them.
I'm going to continue playing this ball. I had too much fun around the green, and this ball just seems to work great for my short game. The distance and accuracy are excellent, and my playing partners wanted to know what I was playing after several hard-stopping pitches that behaved like 'magic.'
I can deal with the aesthetics, and will continue to rotate this ball with the Pro V1x depending upon the wind.