Buffalo, NY is the home of the Buffalo Wing, the Buffalo Bills, and even the Toronto Blue Jays (2020, am I right?), but it is also the home of OnCore Golf. OnCore is a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand that first made some noise back in 2012 when they introduced a golf ball with a hollow metal core, and while some may have looked at that product as a bit of a gimmick, it’s hard not to recognize the amount of growth the company has gone through. Their current lineup no longer includes that ball; however, it does have a low-compression 2-piece ball (Avant 55), a 3-piece tour ball (Elixr), and now for the first time, it includes a 4-piece golf ball thanks to the introduction of the Vero X1.
OnCore gained some steam with their Elixr golf ball. For two straight years, it has received a gold medal in Golf Digest’s Hot List, which is a pretty big deal for a DTC brand. Instead of just sitting back on this new notoriety, they pushed forward to create a product that would improve specific characteristics of that ball, and hopefully bring in even more customers. Mainly, the goal was to create an option that would spin more off of the irons and produce a little more speed and distance off of the tee. To achieve these results, OnCore created a thicker mantle that provided more speed, and a thinner cast urethane cover assisted in generating more spin on irons and wedges.
During on-course testing, the Vero performed well in several areas. Visually, Vero appeared to fly higher than the Elixr, especially with my irons. Where I noticed the height difference the most was on shots taken with long irons. That alone gave me a slight confidence boost that I could hit my four or five iron into some firm greens because the added height could help the ball land softer. To my naked eye, peak height differences didn’t seem all the different, aside from the long irons. When looking at numbers later collected on a Foresight GC2, those thoughts pretty much fall in line. Not to say that the Vero X1 didn’t fly high, because as you look down, I was able to achieve ball flights that peaked around 34 yards for a 7-iron.
OnCore Elixr was one of my frequently used golf balls last season. Performance-wise, that ball fell a little short in the amount of spin I was able to generate with my wedges, so hearing that the Vero might get a boost in that department was intriguing. Here is one of those times where I am glad to see something on the course that a launch monitor backs up, and backs up big time (more on that later). While playing, there was undoubtedly more control of my golf ball with wedges in hand. Full shots were hitting and stopping, and pitch shots had noticeably more grab.
Above is data collected with my driver, 7-iron, and SW when paired with the Vero golf ball. Without dissecting every detail, I think it’s important to highlight what this ball has provided over the Elixr. Off of the driver, the ball speed sits at 146, representing a 3 MPH improvement over the speeds obtained with the Elixr. The 7-iron numbers are pretty much right where I’d expect, seeing both good spin and height.
When looking at the wedges, OnCore delivered on their promise of increased short game spin. Earlier I mentioned that the on-course testing showed that the Vero had more stopping power on both full and pitch shots. On full swings, maybe for the first time, our average spin was over 10,000 RPM. On those long pitch shots, the high spin numbers remained, coming in about 7,000 RPM. Directly comparing those numbers to the Elixr, Vero generated an extra 1,000 RPM difference for both shot types. The Italian translation of Vero is true, to which OnCore says this ball is a true performance option. Well, when it comes to short game control, this ball was impressive.
Having had plenty of experience with their previous offerings, I feel confident in saying that this is the most complete golf ball that OnCore has brought to the market. Vero produced more ball speed off the driver, increased short game spin, and frankly, it felt better off every club in the bag. Entering into this end of the market with a 4-piece golf ball costing $39.99 as a direct-to-consumer brand will be interesting to follow. Part of the lure of the DTC model is that golfers could get good golf balls, at a more budget-friendly price. At this price tag, there are some savings, but will it be enough to entice those who play the more well-known brands to give them a chance? If you do, there is a good chance that you will like what you see.
More information on the Vero X1 can be found at www.oncoregolf.com.
Construction: 4 Piece, Cast Urethane Cover