Pros: Excellent visibility and visual appeal, excellent long game performance
Cons: Not much spin in the short game, trades some durability for color
I received this ball for review, hoping to try out a new brand (for me) of premium balls with the additional bonus of candy colors. The ball is appealing and very bright to the eye, and the course was looking beautiful so the orange really stood out. It isn't a urethane cover so it didn't have the same texture of the White color S3, but it certainly brings the element of color to the table, something I haven't really tried in the past. I'm not much of a traditionalist in terms of my ball, but I tend to play white because it's available.
First tee, I didn't warm up at all and don't feel settled, but hit a 3 wood on a tough fairway that sets up poorly for my draw. I bonked 2 of these suckers into the woods right off the bat, and I only had 3. So from that point on I was a little gun shy hitting big shots with these. I used it a couple times for various shots and eventually got back into the tee rotation.
Around the greens, this ball has a decent feel but not as nice as the White color S3. For a non urethane cover, there is a bit of spin, but side by side with something like a proV1 and this ball doesn't compare. I hit a few short pitches with a bit of spin, but this ball is generally not going to be ideal for people with really sharp short games.
Off the irons, the trajectory was similar to what I like to see, high without too much spin and a little heat. Distance was right up there and stopping power was pretty okay compared to the S3.
Off the long clubs, this ball is absolutely a sleeper. I hit one of the longest drives of the year on a tough hole, the ball kept penetrating with the perfect shape and rolled out nicely, and it not only set up a second shot onto a long par 5, it also got me within 20 feet in 2 despite a poor iron shot. I am a high swing speed player, but this ball is definitely not just for ladies and seniors because I hit it about 315 on that hole. The flight was fairly low because of the shot, but on other shots the trajectory was nice and high with low spin. Due to the height, I could carry farther and stop my long clubs a lot faster compared to the S3 which I consider a good thing. This ball has everything I could possibly want for tee shots and I consider that to be a demanding standard.
The color, lastly, did help me spot it a couple times. I tracked it fine against the sky and saw it on the greens from far away, and the upper half stood out in rough as well. I could see this feature possibly saving shots once in a while by helping you find your ball and identify it easily. The only caveat here is that the color isn't very durable; a couple cart paths here and there and a few wedges and the color starts to ugly up pretty quick. Though I put the ball through lots of punishment, the surface starts to lose its appeal and visibility after a few scuffs. Though it's to be expected, I had hoped the durability would be better since they didn't use urethane. The White color S3 actually was very durable despite having urethane, but neither spun very much for me.
Volvik has a potential winner here if you're a player who values long game performance and color but doesn't require a lot of spin. However, I'd be reluctant to pay for it when there are better tour balls out there with much more spin around the greens. If they could improve the cover without sacrificing long game performance, I might consider them toe to toe with the other companies at this price point. I'd consider it to be fairly solid compared to something like the NXT or the Bridgestone E series, but those are both in the 30$ range.