Titleist has had the best-selling balls on the professional tours for many years with the Pro V1 and the Pro V1x. They identified a gap for a low spinning golf ball providing a low trajectory and extraordinary feel on and around the greens. To fill this gap Titleist added the AVX 3-piece golf ball.
In this piece, we will review the upgraded Titleist AVX golf ball released in 2020.
History of the AVX
Golfer’s requirements changed over the last decade and more golfers expressed the desire to have golf balls with a softer feel. Several manufacturers responded to this change in the market and released 2-piece golf balls with SOFT in the name such as the Srixon SOFT feel and Callaway Supersoft golf balls.
With the release of the Callaway Chrome Soft, Titleist decided that they have to enter this market. In response, Titleist released the AVX golf ball to expand the range of premium tour golf balls on offer. It was first introduced in small test markets (Arizona, Florida, & California) and to the open market in 2018.
It will not be out of place to say that Titleist was forced into releasing the AVX to respond to the market.
The AVX spins less than the other premium balls in the Titleist range and produces a lower ball flight and generates more distance.
The aim of the AVX was to increase the range of premium tour golf balls and offer golfers an alternative to their best-selling premium golf balls.
With the 2020 version of the AVX golf ball, golfers have the same premium qualities as the PRO V1 and PRO V1x golf balls but with distinctive differences in construction and the way it flies through the air.
Titleist released a new version of the AVX in 2020 with the same low spin on your long irons and woods and providing high spin on the short irons and wedges. The AVX is ideal for golfers that want the ball trajectory to be lower.
AVX place in Titleist range
The Titleist premium range of golf balls consists out of 3 balls, the PRO V1, PRO V1x, and the AVX.
The Pro V1x golf ball provides golfers a high launch angle and high spin. The Pro V1 is mid-launch with mid-spin and the AVX is a low spinning golf ball with low launch and trajectory.
AVX Target Market
Golfers that use the AVX are less concerned about the workability of the golf ball as the reduced spin will make it slightly more difficult to shape the ball at will.
Titleist AVX is one of the softest tour balls without losing the playability of higher compression Tour balls.
The AVX golf ball is a 3 piece golf ball with a high speed but low compression core, a second layer around the core. This is covered within a thin, soft, and durable cast thermoset urethane cover.
There are 352 tetrahedral, spherically-tiled dimples on the surface of the AVX golf ball. The differences in the edges of the dimples on the AVX creates a much sharper profile, and it is visibly different from the PRO V’s. This patented technology refines the efficiency and optimizes the ball flight.
Titleist has included much of their patented core, cover, and aerodynamic technology in the AVX golf ball.
The differences between the 2018 golf ball and the 2020 upgrade are not so dramatic that the AVX golf ball will lose its identity.
The core slightly larger, the second layer, and the outer cover slightly thinner to compensate for the increase in the core.
While the increased core results in an increase in the ball speed there is no difference in the compression rate 80 between the 2018 version and the 2020 version.
Distance has increased by between 2-3 yards when tested on the Titleist robot for comparison.
The thinner outer layer generates more spin around the greens but there is no increase in the spin rate off your irons or woods.
The compression rate of the AVX is slightly lower than the other premium balls in the Titleist range at a rate of 80.
The Titleist AVX golf ball is available in the same white as the PRO V1 and the PRO V1x and for the more flamboyant golfers, it is now available in high optic yellow. There is no deterioration in performance in the high optic yellow ball.
Golfers want as much distance as possible off the tee. The increase in the core size combined with the new dimple design is aimed at creating a low, penetrating ball flight and results in an additional 2 – 3 yards with the 2020 Titleist AVX.
The variation in the ball speed between the 2018 model and the 2020 model is not so significant that an average golfer will notice it but has been proven during robot testing to create a few yards extra.
The lower ball flight and less spin will improve the distance that you achieve and will most probably generate more rollout on hard fairways and greens.
The combination of the larger core and the thinner outer cover in the 2020 model generates increased performance and more control on scoring shots. Although the numbers are remarkably similar between the 2018 version of the AVX and the 2020 AVX, it feels like you get more spin out of the 2020 model.
Pitches and shots off your mid to short irons feel soft and spin at the level that you would expect of a premier golf ball. The lower ball trajectory will create a lower entry angle and is less likely to stop as quickly as shots with a higher ball trajectory.
However, the cast thermoset urethane cover generates sufficient spin that will aid in stopping the ball quicker than Ionomer covers.
The performance of the AVX is comparable to the most premium golf balls around the greens with the cast urethane cover that produces a soft feel off the wedges. Distance control around the green is not a problem as it feels soft off the clubface and you can create sufficient spin.
The 2020 AVX is on the soft end of the Tour ball spectrum and is the softest of the 3 premium golf balls in the Titleist range. It provides good feel off the putter head on the green. The extra soft feel may result in the AVX not rolling out as much as the PRO V1 on medium to longer putts.
There is no noticeable difference on the green between the 2018 version and the 2020 version of the AVX golf balls.
The AVX is not aimed at being the highest spinning ball off your woods and long irons. As a lower spinning golf ball, golfers can expect 200-500 less RPM off the driver. This will be more beneficial when playing in windy conditions due to the lower launch.
Decreased side spin will reduce the slice or hook leading to more fairways and greens hit. This will furthermore lead to more ball speed and increased distance through the air and more roll out on the fairways.
As this is a premium tour ball do not expect it to come at a budget price. All three of the premium golf balls from Titleist are 3-piece balls and use the same method of construction. The AVX is priced the same as the other premium golf balls in the Titleist range and one of the most expensive golf balls on the market.
- More distance
- Soft feel
- Premium tour golf ball performance
- Available in yellow
Titleist AVX Alternatives & Competitors
There are not too many competitors to the AVX as most of the competition is aimed at the PRO V1 and PRO V1x market.
Some of the closest competitors are:
1. Callaway Chrome Soft
Callaway Chrome Soft brought soft, low-compression golf balls center stage and was the first golf ball to employ graphene on the outer core for a thinner outer layer in 2018.
On the driver, there is no noticeable difference between the AVX and the Chrome Soft. The data indicates that the ball speed of the Chrome Soft was 1 mile per hour slower than the AVX and produces two yards less distance than the AVX. The Chrome Soft did produce a 13% tighter dispersion circle.
Off your irons, you can expect the Chrome Soft to produce approximately 1 mile per hour additional ball speed, 500 rpm more spin to help stop shots on the green, and an 8% tighter dispersion circle.
Wedge spin and feel
The Chrome Soft is slightly firmer than the AVX and produces approximately 7% more backspin than the AVX.
There is a highly respected group of professional golfers that use the Chrome soft with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Marc Leishman, Daniel Berger, and Thomas Pieters.
Callaway price the Chrome Soft at approximately 37% below the top end premium golf balls that makes it extremely competitive for the average golfer.
The Chrome Soft from Callaway is extremely competitive to the AVX and is probably the ball that pushed Titleist into releasing the AVX in 2018. You will be hard-pressed to find major differences in performance but will get better pricing on the Chrome Soft
2. Bridgestone e6 Soft
The Bridgestone e6 Soft is not a premium tour ball and is more aimed at the game improvement market and priced as such.
It is a 3-piece piece design with a Surlyn made cover and Bridgestone’s proprietary soft gradational core.
The construction is aimed at emphasizing a soft feel on all shots without compromising performance. The reduced spin off the driver, similarly to the AVX, and the Delta dimple pattern will add some extra distance to your drives.
The low spin will keep the trajectory straight and keep you on the fairways
Your irons and wedges will provide improved launch/stopping power and Bridgestone’s signature soft feel.
The difference between the e6 and the AVX is that the e6 is a high launching ball that may not suit golfers that want to keep the ball flight lower especially in windy conditions.
3. Titleist PRO V1/V1x
Except for the Callaway Chrome Soft ball, the closest that you will get to the AVX is the Titleist PRO v1 and PRO V1x.
They’re manufactured in the same manner but produce different ball flight patterns, spin, and feel.
The Titleist ball range has a good reputation for the smallest dispersion pattern, and it does not change with the introduction of the 2020 AVX.
With the AVX golf ball, you will get all the benefits of using the most popular premium golf balls with the option to launch it lower and have less spin off the driver, woods, and long irons. However, you will not lose the feel around the greens.
There are slight differences between the 2018 AVX and the 2020 AVX that Titleist believes will assist golfers to get the most out of the ball. These changes are not significant and will only be noticeable to the absolute best golfers.
The Callaway Chrome Soft is the biggest competitor to the Titleist AVX and produces a remarkably similar spin rate and distance of the driver and irons. The Chrome soft is very slightly harder than the AVX off the putter face.
If you are in the market for a premium golf ball that provides tour performance but requires a lower ball trajectory, the AVX is one to seriously consider.