Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Product Review: OnCore ELIXR

Like every golfer, I’ve been on a quest to find the right ball for my game. It needs to be long and straight off the tee, responsive into the greens and feel soft on and around the greens. Like searching for a unicorn, it hasn’t been easy.

The most recent participant in our quest ... OnCore Golf’s ELIXR.

The three pieces of OnCore's ELIXR
The ELIXR ($40) is OnCore’s top-of-the-line ball, followed by CALIBER ($30) and AVANT ($20). It’s a three-piece ball with a cast urethane cover, metal-infused ionomer mantle, and polybutadiene rubber core.

We found the ELIXR to be long off the tee, probably because of its 85 compression rating. The lower the compression ... the farther a ball generally travels. That said, it’s often harder to garner the feel a low-handicap player prefers. One of our testers (a low single-digit handicap) experienced both the good and not-so-good.

“I liked the distance and feel off tee shots and shots from the fairway,” he said. “I felt a good connection on my irons and longer clubs.

“When it got to short game, however, I was not a big fan of the ball,” he added. “This could just be my style of play, but on my chip shots I felt the ball to be too ‘spinny’ and did not travel the distance I wanted it to. I also felt like when the ball made contact with my putter, the ball did not pop off of it at all. I did not like how it felt when hitting the putter face and the ball did not get to the hole.”

His struggles in the short game left a lasting impression, which is not uncommon. We’ve found that most balls, regardless of overall quality, perform similar off the tee and with long irons. That’s not to say there aren’t difference, of course, but they’re less noticeable  with full shots. Delicate shots - chips, pitches and putts - can be so different from one ball to another that you feel lost on or around the greens.

I once had the “brilliant” idea to test three different-model balls over an 18-hole round - six holes with each. Setting aside all the obvious flaws in that testing process, I found the hardest part of that round was getting the feel around the greens.

Our suggestion: If you are looking for extra distance off the tee, the OnCore ELIXR is an excellent option. The lower compression can easily add 5-10 yards to your driver. Like a swing change, however, you have to commit to it. Pre-round, spend a little extra time on the practice green, getting a feel for the ball.

Learn more about the ELIXR and other products at

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