When Wayne Levi collected his winner's check for the 1982 Hawaiian Open, little was made of his 11-under score. Rather, Levi retains the dubious distinction for being the first golfer to win a PGA Tour event using a colored golf ball. And not just any colored ball–an optic orange Wilson Pro Staff colored ball.
While most of us tend to disparage the notion of using colored spheres, colored golf balls once were somewhat popular (in the 1980s, colored golf balls accounted for 25% of all balls sold). And though the trend faded, colored golf balls are back with a vengeance in 2006. Sure, their looks are radical, but so, too, is their performance.
Maxfli Noodle Ice _Ê The Noodle Ice ($20) will do for the clear-coat, colored-core golf ball what the Noodle did for the affordable soft-distance ball. Replete with the same soft feel and long distance of the original Noodle, each Noodle Ice features a clear Surlyn_¨ cover and a high-optic core for enhanced visibility. The new lively core spins less with the driver yet launches the ball high for the ultimate distance recipe. Each dozen comes with a sleeve of different core colors: yellow, pink, light green and orange. Visit www.maxfli.com.
Volvik Crystal If you haven't heard of the Volvik Crystal ($20), you're probably not paying attention. These clear-coat golf balls have long been a popular alternative for women golfers, thanks not only to the cool colors, but to a soft, 70-compression core. Made with a 446-dimple pattern and a crystal-clear cover, the Crystal is playable, highly durable and affordable. Visit www.volvik.com.
Precept Lady SIII Remember the Precept Lady? We bet you do. It shattered the taboo that women's golf balls were just for the ladies, as many men took advantage of the soft feel and long distance the Precept Lady delivered. This year, Precept is back with the Lady SIII ($20), a clear, pearly and more updated version of the original. The Super SoftCore and Super High Launch dimple-design pattern helps get the ball airborne quickly for the utmost in carry, especially with the driver, fairway woods and long irons. Visit www.preceptgolf.com.
Nike Golf Mojo The Mojo ($20/doz.) from Nike Golf may not have a clear-coat cover, but that's not to say this golf ball isn't loaded with style and performance. Designed as a distance ball with a soft feel, the Mojo features a 432-dimple Surlyn_¨ cover that, in the sunlight, sparkles like a diamond in the rough. This unique look has already made these balls popular favorites among recreational players, as is the disco ball-like Mojo sphere (pictured) found in every dozen. Visit www.nikegolf.com.