We Tried It: Volvik Crystal & Vista iV

Color has never felt so good

Labels: EquipmentBalls
Tech Talk: The Vista iV is a 4-piece golf ball that has a Urethane elastomer with Zirconium Z-I compound cover designed for both power off the tee and added playability with short shots. Like the Crystal, it comes in four colors, only this time without the translucent sheen. It has a higher dimple count (392) than the Vista that, according to Volvik, lends a mid-high trajectory.

Feel: The Vista iV isn't your ordinary high-performance golf ball. Aside from the obvious dose of color (which I'm not ashamed to say I love), the Vista iV is probably one of the best balls you've yet to try. (By the way, that's not a true statement, relative to colored spheres; it's one of the most popular colored golf balls worldwide.) With a 95-compression rating, the Vista has a firmer feel than the Crystal with a driver, and from the fairway and when putting, the ball feels a tinge softer than the Crystal. If you were to compare the Vista iV to other premium Urethane-covered balls, then, yes, it has a firm feel. That said, don't get me wrong. It's still a soft-feeling ball! It's just not as soft as some of the other 4-piece multilayer balls I've tried.

Performance: Could the Vista iV be one of the biggest surprise hits of 2013? I think so. Not only was I surprised by how much the ball spun (with short irons and around the green), but the ball also provided some staunch distance off the tee. I hit the ball a little higher than the mid-high trajectory the ball promises. That might not help me in the wind, but on the day I tested the ball, I hit the Vista iV farther than I did the Crystal, which makes sense since I have a faster-than-average swing speed and the ball has a higher compression. The real surprising stuff was in the shorter shots, though. Despite the balls harder feel, it still packed plenty of bite when I needed it most as I hit a few shots that spun
like crazy! Like the Crystal, I barely made a scratch on this ball after 18 holes.
(Yes, I made it through the round without losing one.) It's also more durable than any Tour-level ball I've tried this year. Easily.

Conclusion: The Vista iV is a breath of fresh air in a market that commands $40+ a dozen. The Vista iV is actually a pretty solid performer with big distance and loads of spin. What more could you want? For me, I'd probably prefer a lower launch with the driver, but even with the higher ballflight, I found the fairway as often as my swing allowed. As to the firmer feel, I like that. It's up to you to decide if it's right for you. Same thing about the color. Some stubborn traditionalists prefer white, but trust me, they're missing out. The Vista iV is probably the most fun I've had with a 4-piece golf ball all year. It's totally worth checking out.

Volvik Crystal: $32/dozen
Volvik Vista iV: $47/dozen

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