Pros: Visible, very soft, straight, reasonable length and wind performance
Cons: not enough spin, doesn't seem to launch high and not the best value
I received the Volvik white color S3 and the vista is for a review, since I have been pleasantly surprised by many premium balls in the past. I can definitely say they are appealing in the packaging and in terms of the look and feel of the cover. It has a certain texture that feels like it will grab the clubface and certainly looks very bright in the sun.
I took them out for a round and played reasonably well enough to test the balls. The first thing about this ball is that it feels very soft and flies quite straight, which I noticed on a PW shot on the first hole. I stopped this shot on one bounce, right about where I wanted it. It seemed like I couldn't putt this ball for my life, though it rolled nicely and felt very soft off the putter. Durability was excellent, but the cover got really dirty whenever it touched grass and required constant washing.
Around the greens, I was disappointed overall. Though the ball had a urethane cover, it didn't seem to spin much when I wanted it to and it had very poor spin out of the rough and bunkers, despite fresh grooves and smooth greens. I could have stopped the ball with trajectory or played a bump and run, but only one pitch had noticeable spin. The feel was basically unsurpassed, however, and I would compare it to the FG tour balls which I've liked in the past. Since most people are paying for short game performance, I consider this ball to underperform for the money.
Off the irons, the ball was very straight and went typical distances for a premium ball, but I had major trouble getting it to spin on my mid and long irons. Usually, I get enough height and spin on my well struck irons to stop on a green, but I had a 3i tee shot release about 30 yards uphill when the strike felt fine. It always rolled out excessively except on my short irons, and really flew on a low trajectory compared to the other balls. This wasn't a good thing for my game, as I don't put enough spin for the low flight to be much help. I think my swing was partly to blame, but there were too many shots I hit well that didn't fly properly.
Off the long clubs, it basically performed well, but the distance was certainly limited by the trajectory; it never got to a good peak height a couple times when I felt I launched it well. Not much curve, but not a lot of distance either.
Overall, I'm not sure who exactly fits this ball; it's similar in my opinion to something like the B330RXS. I think the Bridgestone is the market standard for that type of ball, and it outperforms this one at that price range. Even something like the E5 would probably beat this ball, and at a cheaper price. If these were at the 30$ price point they'd be worth a look, but honestly Volvik's own Vista is proved to be a much better option at the same price. I admit that I probably don't fit this ball, as a high swing speed player, but I've used other balls of this type before and gotten better performance.
Aside from the look, durability and feel, I consider this ball to have room for improvement. The cover material is always a tradeoff between spin, durability, and feel, but this one lacks spin despite being excellent at the other two. The other issue is that although it's soft and a good wind ball, the ball pales in comparison to distance balls in terms of trajectory on the long clubs; it reduces the ball's curve but robs you of control and height, ie distance. A higher launch and better spin control, and I think this ball would be worth using at the 45$ price point for a lot of players who like the feel.