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misty_mountainhop

TopFlite Gamer V2 - a whole new ball game?

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When the TopFlite Gamer V1 was released I thought "Hmm, 3-piece ball, supposedly high spin and at a silly good price. Need to give that a try". I really wanted to like it as well - company with a long golf history, introduced the original Tour Edition (anyone remember that?) ball in the '80s with (better than?) balata-style spin and yet an uncuttable cover and I was fed up of the seemingly stratospheric prices for the supposedly best balls. Boy, was I disappointed. The price was undoubtedly good and the ball did spin almost as good as a urethane-covered "Tour"-level ball but the feel was typical "Rock" Flite and the cover shredded as bad as any ball I've played in recent years when given a good spank with a Vokey wedge. So, in the shag bag they went.

Scroll forward a year or two and we have the new, 'improved' Gamer V2. Curious to see how they compared to version 1 and a typical urethane-covered ball, I purchased a dozen (£12.49, online) and ran some tests ( i.e. I hit them on the course for a while) against both the Gamer V1 and also a 'typical' Tour ball, in this case the Srixon Z-URC.

First up, out of the box, the Gamer V2 looks a lot better than the V1; the graphics are a lot less garish. Nice and white, albeit not quite the semi-fluorescent white of version 1. Using my old, trusted tools to get a feel for the ball, I dug my thumb nail into the cover (nice indentation, pretty soft feeling) and flicked the ball with my finger in comparison to the Gamer V1 and the Z-URC (lower pitched sound for the V2, implying softer feeling ball). Playing a bit of keepy-uppy with the V2 on my sand wedge confirmed the initial impression about the softer feel cf . the Gamer V1. So far, so good.

A nice, new Gamer V2 with its interesting "dimple-in-dimple" technology on show:




Now, out on the course….

Conditions at the moment (mid-August 2010 in the U.K.) here are pretty firm still albeit the greens are now reasonably approachable having finally had some decent rain over the last week or two.

Off the driver, all three balls (at least for me) yielded about the same distance off the tee. Feel was actually pretty much the same on sweet shots but the Gamer V2 felt a lot better off slight mishits. Trajectory was pretty typical - nice mid ball flight. As I'm not driving that well at the moment(!), you may want to take this with a pinch of salt.

Off the fairway woods (3-wood in my case) the V2 was excellent. Due to driving problems, 3-wood from the tee has been a common occurrence recently and the V2 really scorches off mine. No problems getting it airborne, great feel and good distance.

The V2 was pretty good off the longer and mid-irons. Very good feel and a nice flight. The Gamer V2 was pretty long off my irons in general, certainly giving anywhere up to ~5 yards longer than the Z-URC. This may come down to slightly less spin which I'll come on to below. Spin off the mid- and long-irons was pretty good however; on one of our par-3s (about 180 yards, slightly elevated green) playing with a slight tail wind, I hit a high, drawn 6-iron which pitched pin-high but stopped within 15 feet past the hole. A flushed 2-iron (admittedly into a stiff breeze) from ~210 the other day stopped within 20-25 feet having pitched on the green. Not bad.

Off the short irons, the V2 was very good. The first punched SW I hit I thought "Ah. This is where the ball is a let down". Why? Well, I hit it flush but it took off pretty high; something I normally find in a ball without much backspin on it. However, on landing the V2 took one small hop forward and stopped dead. Nice.
In comparison, the Gamer V1 performed much the same but every (and I do mean every!) strike with a short iron shredded the cover. Not good.
How did the V2 compare with the urethane-covered Z-URC? This is probably where the "Tour" balls win out, depending on your likes/dislikes. The Z-URC had small, but noticeably, increased backspin on short iron shots. I'm guessing it also does on long irons hence my observed loss of distance cf . the V2 mentioned above.
Now, is this an issue? Depends what you want. Initially, I thought it was a problem but on reflection, the Gamer V2 has plenty enough spin for all but the hardest of greens. In addition, I think it may actually benefit many of us amateurs cf . a urethane-covered ball. Why? Well, almost none of us (I'm willing to bet) hit either enough club or commit to a pitch enough to fly the ball all the way to the hole-side. Most of us land it varying amounts short of the hole and a little bit of release from a ball like the Gamer V2 is probably a good thing here. Don't think you'll get a lot of release on a well struck shot because you won't….but at least it won't screw back towards you.
The one area where a urethane-covered ball like the Z-URC will win out is if you like hitting those hard, low, spinning, short shots. You know the ones; they come in low and hot, skip forward 3-4 bounces and then stop dead. I tend not to hit these so I'm not sure how the V2 would behave in all honesty; decent perhaps but not quite good enough.

For chipping, I really liked the V2. Nice and soft; great feel. The original Gamer V1 was a real letdown in this department for me as it felt like a rock.

Off the putter, the V2 felt great; particularly off my Cameron Newport w/o a face insert. On the softer side (all good for me!) but not too mushy. Those that like a harder, 'clicky' sort of feel possibly won't like this.

Durability was a big plus, especially compared with the original Gamer. Full wedges sometimes put a slight mark on the surface but, generally, I didn't either find loads of cover in my Vokey grooves or find a beard on the ball when I marked it on the green. Certainly, the durability is up there with some of the better high performance balls. See below for a few ball images after 42 holes use:





Overall, this is a winner; massively so in my book. Exceptional ball for the price. Quite similar in many ways to the excellent TaylorMade Burner TP or Titleist NXT Tour balls (slightly more spin than these maybe) but significantly cheaper. I'd play (in fact, I am playing) this ball quite happily in anything but the driest, hardest conditions where I might want the extra spin of a urethane-covered ball into and around the green.

And the only major downside? How on Earth am I going to stop my playing partners laughing when I say on the 1st tee "I'm playing a TopFlite #1…."
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And the only major downside? How on Earth am I going to stop my playing partners laughing when I say on the 1st tee "I'm playing a TopFlite #1…."

When you write a five next to their names on the card and a three next to yours.

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One of my favourite shots is the low spinny shot.
I was thinking about testing out this ball, but I like the spin I can get off a premium ball. How does this compare?

I change my game if I'm playing a harder ball like a ultra but if I can find some I like playing premium balls.
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I also liked the V2. I found it to hit and stop within a foot or so on short to mid-long irons. I have started playing premiums, and have seen significantly more backspin (ball backing up 5-15 ft) with the same short irons. I also have noticed that if I catch my short pitches/chips clean, the premium balls seem to take a couple of hops and stop, where the V2 rolls out more.

Granted I have been tinkering with my swing, trying to stay down on the ball longer, and this has, I think, created more spin by itself, so I need to hit a couple of shots with different balls into the same green to test the V2 again.

It is still a great ball at a great price.

Gary
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I love this ball as well. I am fairly easy when it comes to balls though and only if I am taking a round very seriously do grab a sleeve off the top shelf.

For the price, these can't be beat in my opinion.
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Good to hear your report. I start playing the Gamer V2 as soon as I run out of the RDS Tours. (Tours are a decent ball, but now out of production. I have about 6 sleeves left.)
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Glad to hear some positive feedback on these since I play the V1s now and will have to switch at some point.
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One of my favourite shots is the low spinny shot.

The spin off the V2 is definitely not as much as the Z-URC I was testing it alongside; particularly for, say, a wedge shot from ~75-100 yards. I suspect the other tour-level balls (read: urethane-covered) will also have noticeably more spin under the same circumstances.

However, the V2 doesn't have that much less spin on these kind of shots. I can make it dance backwards with my 52° on a 3/4 to full shot quite easily albeit not as much as the Wilson FG Tour which I've been using a lot just now. As I said, I don't really play those low-flying skidders that check on the third/fourth bounce. Not sure what would happen if I tried, either with the execution(!) or the ball's response if I get it right. Will try a few next time I'm out and let you know. I suspect that slightly less spin may help my driving (Heaven knows it needs it right now!) as it may keep the ball in the fairway!
I change my game if I'm playing a

The V2 is

nothing like the Ultra. If you've played the NXT Tour or the Burner TP balls at all, they're quite similar in many ways but I think the V2 may have a bit more grip than them. Maybe not, but the V2 is much better priced. I notice Amazon are doing them now at ~$19.00 (.com) or £14.99 (.co.uk; free P&P;). I'm seriously thinking of getting a few dozen in...
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Nice review. I switched a while ago. The Gamer V2 may not have the "Street Cred" of a Titleist but my performance of late does.
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