Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Joy of Six? Golf's First 6-Piece Golf Ball

Maxfli used to be one of the biggest, most prominent, best-selling brands of golf balls in the game. Now, it's a house brand at Golf Galaxy and Dick's Sporting Goods. A house brand? That means that there's no more innovation taking place under the Maxfli name, right?

Wrong. That's what "house brand" means for a lot of formerly independent brands, but not, apparently, at Maxfli. Because Maxfli just became the first to market a 6-piece golf ball, the U/6.

Man, I'm so old I can remember when a 3-piece ball seemed like a luxury!

My first reaction to the news was to think of those 5-blade razors and triple cheeseburgers. If two beef patties are good, why not put three on your burger? If twin blades shave close, why not add three more blades? If 3- and 4-layer golf balls are selling, let's add ... more ... layers! Yes! Marketing genius! More, more, more!

But Maxfli makes the case that each of the six layers that make up its U/6 ball is there for a good reason, and serves a good purpose. Here's a screengrab from the Maxfli website (click to enlarge it if you can't read it as is):


My second thought after hearing about the Maxfli U/6 was: How many layers can manufacturers squeeze into a golf ball? Let's face it: So much of the technical jargon manufacturers use to sell their clubs is gobbledygook to many golfers. It sounds good, but how many golfers actually understand golf designers' techspeak?

So if a 6-piece golf ball sounds good, won't another manufacturer come along and make an 8-piece? A 12-piece? A 75-layer golf ball! Is there a limit? Yes, there is: The size of the core.

Core sizes in golf balls are getting bigger; they'd have to get smaller to squeeze ever more layers into a golf ball. So there is probably a "speed limit" on the number of layers manufacturers can squeeze into a golf ball.

If you try the Maxfli U/6 ball, tell us about it in comments. You can find them at Dick's and Golf Galaxy, and you can also order online on the websites of those two retailers.

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