In golf, one thing has become standard, and that is the white golf ball. Sure we all remember those neon yellow Top Flite X-Outs or the bright orange ones we had as kids, but as most golfers decided to take the game more seriously, they realized that the constant out there is that the golf ball is white. Enter the Golf Refugees Black Golf Ball. Golf Refugees contacted The Hackers Paradise about reviewing their line of products. They sent over a couple of their carbon neurtal shirts (review coming soon on those) and a dozen of the black golf balls. We were very excited to take these for a spin on the course and practice green and find out if their claims hold true.
When we opened up the box, you get this kind of grin going that says “I cannot wait to try these”. Why? We really don’t know why exactly. Our best guess is because they are different. The Golf Refugees ball is basically backwards. Rather than the traditional white ball with black lettering or logo, it is an all black ball with a white logo and white lettering. Our first thoughts were that both on the green and in the trap, this would be such a major contrast that we were excited to give them a try.
From the Company
Golf Refugees developed Thermal Distance Technology (TDT) to produce the ultimate long-distance golf ball. The Golf Refugees original black ball has a revolutionary heat-absorbing ultra-thin black cover which increases the temperature of the core materials when played in hot, sunny conditions. As a result the Golf Refugees black ball transfers energy more efficiently than traditional white balls, to give you greater distance on your golf shots. And thanks to the abrasion-resistant soft cover, it achieves ultimate distance with the added benefit of soft feel.
Myself and three other individuals took the Golf Refugee Black golf balls to the putting green for some testing on putting, bunker play, and chipping. It took a couple of shots to get used to the look and contrasting colors, but both on the green putting and in the bunker, the ball worked quite well due to the color. While putting we watched for the logo to be in a nice end over end turn as it went towards the hole. It is not going to give you the nice soft feel of a Tour Level golf ball on the green, but the color contrast really made it work well. During our bunker testing, we really liked looking down and seeing the color contrast. It just seemed to work a little better when setting up for the shot. However that is where the positives ended in the bunker. The ball seemed just a little too hard and with shots where spin and feel can be needed, this ball fell a little flat. Chipping and pitching saw similar results to the bunker shots. When pitching the ball, the release wanted was nice and the logo roll was great as well as it rotated towards the hole. But the shot lacked the feel we were used to from playing the premium balls or even compared to a mid-range ball of similar price. When working with the Golf Refugees Black ball in chipping, the ball struggled to check up and we did not care for it much. The feel and sound we have come to be used to from just about every ball we have tested in 2009, was just not there. It reminded us more of a distance ball from a few years back.
We went out in a foursome, each player armed with a sleeve of the balls. We were teeing off early in the morning and the sun was beginning to shine bright. Looking down at the Golf Refugees Black golf ball was something totally different than we were all used to at the first tee box. But what we found is that after a few swings, the tee shots became normal. After a tee shot, locating the ball in the air was quite easy. Look for the black dot and although our eyes are accustomed to looking for a white golf ball, this caused no problems. Did we see an increase in distance? Not really. If the technology did not work in the Florida Sun, I am not sure where it would work, but not one of us thought we saw any length increases in this compared to other balls we have tried. However all golf balls tout longer drives and we are used to seeing very little length added. Off the tee the ball worked just fine, on approach shots the ball did as was expected. They did not hold the greens all that well, but that is to be expected from a 2 piece distance ball playing a course with rock hard and lightening fast greens.
The ball seemed to work “fine” just about everywhere on the entire course. However there were a couple of major issues we had. First, was the lack of feel and spin. That can be overlooked as the ball is a 2 piece distance ball and not really geared towards the finesse game. But one issue that came up A LOT cannot be overlooked, and that is finding the ball. Unless you hit the ball right down every fairway or in the bunker, you simply cannot find these golf balls. In the rough, it is impossible to see unless you simply step on it. Get it near some trees? Forget it. All four of the testers are fairly low handicap golfers, yet not one of the four made it through the round with the original three balls. Here is the kicker though. Not one person should have lost more than one ball in the round. We just could not find them in the grass.
Play Where is Waldo in the picture below
Overall we think the Golf Refugees Black golf balls are very fun, unless you are trying to find one in the rough. If used for fun and novelty, we think that they are a blast. However make sure you use them at a course that does not have very thick rough, or you better be prepared to purchase a few dozen at once. The fun side of it and the conversation piece make it a good product for a round with the guys or gals. We also feel as though these golf balls are absolutely great for putting practice. The concentration seemed different when using these and watching the roll of the ball was exceptional. Our opinion of the product is that it is more geared towards players that are not looking for a performance ball and are not going to compare them to a whole lot of others on the market. A dozen balls cost $25, plus shipping. Not a bad price for the fun golfer in you. You can read more about these and more of Golf Refugees products at their website.
Till Next Time