Vice Pro & Vice Pro Plus Review: Are They As Good As They Are Cool?
When it comes researching new golf equipment, a question that should be asked is, “Am I good enough to use this?”
That question is still valid in this case, but with Vice Golf you will be asked to answer an additional question: “Am I cool enough to play this?”
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Vice Golf name, let us give you a quick rundown of their history, and it will be very quick.
Vice Golf is a Munich-based company that started selling golf balls in 2012. They began their operation in an online-only format for the European market. That changed when, in 2015, Vice crossed the Atlantic to prove to us Americans that Bavarians do golf balls just as well as pretzels and beer.
Vice Golf sent us their Pure Glove — you can see that review here — and their Selected box, a package with 4 sleeves of balls, one sleeve of each of their models. Remember the “am I good enough,” question? The Vice Golf Selected Box gives you options to help you answer that question.
The box alone looks like it was designed by a fashion house. The clean white surface with the swooping black font of the Vice logo . . . Vice Golf’s packaging, with its European minimalism, is a muted contrast to the seizure-inducing colors and holographic designs that assault your eyes in pro shops.
On the ball is the Vice logo, again, in its simple form, it quietly screams “this is cool!” On the opposing side of the logo, “Vice Pro/Pro Plus” written inside of a black stripe makes use as the alignment aid.
Although we got to sample the range of Vice’s balls with the Selected box, we will focus on the Pro and Pro Plus for our review.
FEEL & SOUND
They’re Urethane. That’s about all you need to say about a premium ball when describing their feel. That tacky surface you can’t stop scratching with your fingernail is a feeling that only urethane can provide. But that’s not all that can be said, there’s more.
Vice compares the Vice Golf Pro ball to its similar 3-piece competitor the Titleist Pro V1, and they compare the Vice Golf Pro Plus to the 4-piece Pro V1x. They’re similar in construction to their Titleist counterparts, but the Vice Pro and Vice Pro Plus feel firmer. That should produce a noticeable difference in distance and short game performance.
As far as sound goes, you’ve heard it before. Hit it with your eyes closed, you’ll hear it, you’ll know it’s there, but it won’t rattle your bones. It’s nice to not lose your hearing at the hands of a golf ball.
DRIVER AND LONG IRONS
The Vice Pro and the Vice Pro Plus are predictable off the tee. Predictability isn’t a good thing to have if you find yourself in an underground fighting society, but it might be the best thing you can say about a golf ball.
The Vice Pro is the slightly softer ball of the two, but it’s still feels solid when you hit it. That’s not to be confused with the 3-for-1 rocks by the register at Dick’s. Vice compares the Vice Pro to the Titleist Pro V1, but, in feel, it’s closer to the Pro V1x.
Again, predictability being the theme, the Vice Pro doesn’t offer any surprises with the driver or long irons. Trajectory, ball speed, distance, Vice got it right by comparing their Vice Pro to Titleist’s premium ball. It feels like hitting a Pro V1x but flies and travels like the Pro V1 — the Vice Pro carries just a little bit further. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
Vice Pro Plus
Now, the Vice Pro Plus . . . comparing its performance to a Pro V1x makes sense, but the two are apples and oranges in feel and sound. The Vice Pro Plus is noticeably firmer than the Pro V1x and louder. In sound and feel, a more proper comparison would probably be the Bridgestone B330S.
If you’re a player who wants a more penetrating ball flight, that’s what the Vice Pro Plus does. It spins more, and the added firmness of its 4-piece construction gives it a lower flight. If you’re looking to increase your carry distance, this isn’t it.
There’s no deviation from driver performance to long irons with both the Vice Pro and Vice Pro Plus.
SHORT IRONS & WEDGES
We can talk all day about how great a ball is with a driver, but that’s not even half the battle. What good is that long baby-fade from the tee if it feels like hitting a potato with a wedge? Fortunately that’s not the case here.
The Vice Pro feels buttery soft with the scoring clubs. It has that reassuring, barely-there feeling at impact, launches high and easy, lands steep and stays. You’ll get some moderate spin out of the Vice Pro, but that’s not its forte.
Players who only care about the 100-yards-and-in game, skip the Vice Pro and jump directly to the Vice Pro Plus. In all honesty, the Vice Pro Plus sticks to the green from 130 yards and in. There was a significant jump in the amount of spin from the Pro to the Pro Plus, and the spin gap grew wider the closer we got to the green.
Real talk: the Vice Pro Plus will spin, but it’s not quite as dizzying as its comparison, the Pro V1x. It’s not far off! And it’s hard to fault a ball for being close-but-no-cigar to the industry leader. It’s still a more than admirable performance by the Vice Pro Plus, and that’s being modest. Anybody would be ecstatic with its play.
Final Verdict: Vice Pro & Vice Pro Plus Review
So many times are we let down by things that look cool. That might as well be the theme of our childhood — the Nerf gun wars in the abandoned warehouses always looked so cool, but your living room could never match that gritty appeal.
That is not the case with Vice. Every bit of the performance is impressive because it’s another example that online companies are becoming formidable competitors to the big boys. Availability and convenience is always the deterrent to buying online, but the price makes it a more convincing proposition. Both the Vice Pro and the Vice Pro Plus sell for $34.95, but if you buy three or more boxes, the per box price drops to $29.95. For balls that perform comparably to Pro V’s but are much cooler, you’re just stubborn for not at least trying them.
Check out all of the Vice products here.