As the old Scottish saying goes, “aye wind, aye golf.”
That’s to say, if you’re playing golf, it’s most likely in the wind. The average daily wind speed in the U.S. is between 6 and 12 mph. If you live in the Great Plains, along the coast or in the Mountain West, sustained winds of 15 mph or more and gusts up to 25 mph are a daily occurrence.
High-level amateurs and professional golfers will attest that golfing in the wind impacts their games more than temperature and precipitation. Louis Kelly, an up-and-coming pro playing out of Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, N.J., experienced it firsthand.
At pre-qualifier for the Wells Fargo Championship on April 28th at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va., he and the other participants faced sustained 40 mph winds. Kelly had been introduced to OnCore earlier in the year by a mutual industry friend and was playing the VERO X1.
“The second hole was playing into the wind and there was a bunker out there 278 yards,” Kelly says. “I didn’t think I could reach the bunker, so I aimed right at it, figuring the wind would slide it hard to the right, what I call a professional slice. I hit it so good with the VERO X1, it went straight into the bunker. I thought to myself, ‘this is revolutionary, I don’t have to worry about the wind anymore.’”
Kelly was the only player to post a score below par that day. He finished first, moved onto the Monday Qualifier and just missed making the four-player cut to play in his first PGA TOUR event. He had rigorously tested the VERO X1 at John F. Byrne Golf Course in Philadelphia, where he works with the First Tee program.
“I was playing the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash and tested three of them against three VERO X1s with alternating shots on a 200-yard par-3 into the wind,” Kelly says. “The OnCore balls were on the flag, every time, and the distance control was amazing. That’s when I knew I needed to make the switch.”
Kelly experienced the effect OnCore’s proprietary perimeter weighting has on sidespin and the resulting superior performance in windy conditions. Particularly the VERO X1, which, when tested by Golf EQ had 60% less side spin on driver shots than Titleist Pro V1® and Pro V1x®. Less sidespin helps keep the ball online and airborne longer, even with a stiff headwind, according to OnCore Senior Technical Advisor John Calabria.
“We hear from players how OnCore’s perimeter-weighted balls stay in the fairway on a shot that they thought would end up in the rough,” Calabria says. “The AVANT 55, ELIXR and VERO X1 resist side spin and can appear to be self-correcting. I’ve seen this effect for myself with my own shots and really like what the ball does when hit into a headwind. I’m amazed how far it still goes even though it has some side spin.”
Of course, not all wind is bad wind. There’s no better feeling than a brisk tailwind at one’s back when teeing it up on a long par 4 or par 5. However, Calabria says a headwind hurts more than a tailwind helps, at least when it comes to spin. For example, a headwind can reduce carry distance by as much as 8%, while a tailwind increases it by only 5%.
“A tailwind doesn’t help as much because it takes some spin off the ball, which hurts carry distance a little more than you would think,” Calabria says.
Kelly put OnCore’s soon-to-drop VERO X2 in play at the Travelers Championship Pre-Qualifier and Monday Qualifier at Ellington Ridge Country Club in Ellington, Conn. where he shot 4-under and just missed qualifying by one shot.
“I birdied seven holes, including four in a row and five on the back nine with the VERO X2,” he says. “Anything that was missing for me in the VERO X1, the VERO X2 has it.”
If perimeter weighting can help the best players in the world shoot lower scores, Kelly says the impact on the average golfer’s game can be staggering.
“If you already have 40 yards of left to right curve on your ball and there’s a 20-mph crosswind, you’re out of bounds,” he says. “There’s nothing I can tell an average golfer to convince them to switch to OnCore, they just have to try it for themselves. I did my research online and learned everything I could about perimeter weighting. It almost feels like cheating.”
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