One day I was browsing through the November 2016 issue of Golf Digest I get sent to my house as a part of my Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) membership. While flipping through the pages I noticed an ad for Vice Golf. Nothing seemed to jump out at me at the time. Just another golf ball.
A couple of weeks go by and its December. I have done zero Christmas shopping. I need ideals. Browsing through the same magazine I notice the ad for Vice Golf again. Beep bop boop and I am on ViceGolf.com.
Wow, those seem like really good prices for golf balls and their kind of cool looking. I get it, their trying to be the un-golf ball maker. Like, a hip golf ball company.
(**Update 4-11-18 – If you want to buy some Vice Golf Balls I suggest comparing prices at the Vice Amazon Store first and then on ViceGolf.com. Things have changed since I first published this article. It really only makes sense to buy directly from Vice if you buy in bulk (discounts kick in at 3 dozen) or if you plan on uploading a photo like I originally did.)
Hmmm, maybe I can buy a dozen golf balls each as a Christmas present for my mom, brother, Uncle, and Aunt (who I had for secret santa). Hmmm, whats this customizer thing? Awesome – my passport photo on a golf ball. Christmas shopping done.
Not entirely done of course. I’m not that cheap. I did get my mom and brother at least one more thing each but my Aunt and Uncle who both play golf were done.
The entire process of selecting which golf ball I wanted to put my face on, to uploading my photo was simple as can be. I went with the Vice Tour as it was the second least expensive ball Vice makes. Don’t judge. I bought five dozen. Four as gifts and one for me. At $16 a dozen plus the $6 (total) for uploading my picture I felt it was very reasonable.
I also bought the Vice Selected Pack which includes four (now five) of the golf balls they make. The Selected pack is for new customers only. Figured it would be a good idea to try them all especially at a big discount. (*Since my initial order in Dec. 2016 Vice released the Pro Soft model which I do not have yet.)
Turnaround Time Was Impressive
The next afternoon I received the “your order has shipped” email which says to expect your order from FedEx in two days…from Munich, Germany.
Two days later there was a box saying Vice Golf sitting on my porch. Impressive, especially since they charge a flat $6.95 shipping fee.
Everything was just as I ordered it but the attention to detail and the little things like putting the invoice in an envelope really stood out. And the graphics on the sleeves themselves were cool. Lions, and Tigers, and such. My face even looked good. Very good to be honest. Was surprised how well they were able to transfer my picture onto the golf ball.
What About Christmas?
These golf balls with my face on it stole Secret Santa. Everybody loved them. Might have helped I wrote a few choice words in permanent maker on the ball coming out of my mouth. My brother was the luckiest of them all. He had three different balls with “Your Fat” , “You’re Fat” , and “You Are Fat” written on them. Had to make sure the grammar was correct on at least one of them. I might have even drew what would resemble a gentlemens sausage with my head being the tip of it. He always said I was a dick head.
Lets Get Into These Golf Balls
Five months these golf balls sat in my basement waiting for their turn to get into the best golf ball challenge. We didn’t even get one of those mild days in March or even April where I could justify going golfing. Was May before I could get out.
The reviews of the golf balls are going to happen in chronological order. After finishing each round I would come home and write everything down as it happened instead of trying to remember it all at the end. I would save the article in my admin area and re-visit the post after my next round trying another Vice Golf Ball. Figured this way would be the best way.
All four of my rounds took place at Rackham Golf Course in Huntington Woods, MI playing from the White Tees. Had good weather each day with a little bit of wind one day.
Vice Tour Golf Ball Review
May 17, 2017 – Temperature – 72 degrees – Sunny
Rackham Golf Course – White Tees
Waited months to smash my face. I mean to play the Vice Tour Golf Ball with my handsome face on it. Used it for my first round of the 2017 golf season so expectations were low.
Tour is the second cheapest of the four Vice Golf balls and is of three piece design.
What I liked most about the Vice Tour was its comfortability. It provided just enough performance to tell you its not the cheapest but do not expect a whole lot.
Off The Tee – Easy breezy off the tee. Found six fairways and at worst was within a couple yards of it most of the day. Not a whole lot of spin with the Vice Tour so if it didn’t go straight it was a slight hook or fade. Typical distance for me off the tee.
Fairway Woods & Hybrids – Felt comfortable hit woods and hybrids from the fairway or rough. Again, little spin meant it either went straight or a slight hook or spin. Did not notice any gains in regards to distance.
Irons – Hit seven greens in regulation which is about regular or a little better. What I liked most about the Vice Tour here was it was about getting yardage right. I knew there was going to be little to no spin when hitting the green so there were no surprises.
Wedges – Got up and down for par twice which is decent for me. With little to no spin it meant making good contact and not expecting it to check up. Felt comfortable chipping all day.
Putting – One putted four times but three putted three times. Could not get a feel for the Vice Tour on the greens.
Durability – Vice tour had no marks on it. Well, my face had a blemish but even that held up pretty well through 18 holes.
Score – 81
GIR – 7
Putts – 35
Penalty Stroke – 0
Fairways – 6
Vice Drive Golf Ball Review
Rackham Golf Course – White Tees
Through the first 4 holes I was 1 under which is a personal best for me. Things got a little back to normal after that with pars and sadly three double bogeys. Wind picked up on the back nine which it tends to do at Rackham.
Vice Drive is the cheapest of the five golf balls Vice makes and is the only two piece.
What I liked the most about the Vice Drive was its simplicity. Its not designed to spin and promise all that much and I kind of liked it. Less is more is a motto I tend to go by.
Standing over the ball took all the “I’m trying to do this…” or “shape this shot” or “its supposed to check up” right out of the scenarios as I know this ball is not designed to do it AND I am not good at doing those. I’m still trying to shoot in the 70s and that comes with doing the basics, not trying to do too much.
Off The Tee – The Vice Drive was great. It just went. With it being designed to not have a lot of spin I did not hit any big slices. Mostly fades and straight shots. There was a bit of wind today which probably gave me extra yards on a couple of drives. Hit four fairways and three in the first cut. Rackham is an open course.
Fairway Woods & Hybrids – Loved the Vice Drive with these. I hit a 5 wood 243 yards on the second hole (duffed the drive – lol) and put it 20 feet behind the hole. Flew dead straight to the front of the green and rolled out. Had another instance where I took a 4 hybrid from 170 with the wind coming from the side and put it 20 feet from the hole. Since the ball does not have a lot of spin to begin with I knew I just had to put it into the wind and thats what happened.
Irons – Made good contact all day but was pushing them. With the wind today I really didn’t use my irons all that much. It was crush a drive and either fairway wood or wedge to the green.
Wedges – Surprisingly hit them well. Again, since the Vice Drive does not spin much I knew I just had to hit the distance. Zero times did I back spin or check up a ball. Everything rolled out. Had one very good sand save from 20 yards out. The ball did get some crazy side spin and stopped 3 feet from the hole. Don’t know how I did it.
Putting – This is really my only gripe about the Vice Drive. I could not get a good feel off the putter all day. The only putt I made all day was a 50 footer on hole #3 for birdie which is of course skill but of course luck. The rest of my one putts were because of good chipping. I had 9 GIR and only one birdie. Four of the GIR’s were within 15 feet and I left most of them short. Had three 3 putts too.
Durability – The Vice Drive had no marks on it. You would think it just came out of the sleeve. Would have no problem playing another round with it.
Score – 84
GIR – 9
Putts – 36
Penalty Stroke – 1 (Damn you prickly bush on #15)
Fairways – 4
Vice Pro Golf Ball Review
Rackham Golf Course – White Tees
The Vice Pro is the second most expensive golf ball Vice makes and is of 3 piece design. First time I pulled one out of the box it instantly reminded me of a Titelist Pro V1. Something about the cover and it had an almost grabby/sticky feel to it.
What I liked most about the Vice Pro was it surprised me more than the Vice Drive and Vice Tours I recently played with. Over 18 holes I noticed it travel a little farther, would draw off the tee, and check up on approach shots. None of those happened with the Drive and Tour.
Off The Tee – Noticeably farther than the two cheaper balls. When I made good contact you could feel it. Mis-hits still went. Two notable tee shots to discuss. One in which I hit a very nice draw which carried a hill I had never hit over before.
I do set up for a draw but rarely hit one and most of the times it goes straight or a pull to the left. Was shocked to see where it ended up even though it was a dog-leg to the right. My other tee shot went left down the 9th fairway which has happened before but this time went twenty yards further into some tall grass and I could not find it. Was a bit sad about that. Never had I ever reached those two spots on the course before with any ball I’ve ever played.
On average, the Vice Pro went twenty yards further than the Vice Tour and Vice Drive with the Driver.
Fairway Woods & Hybrids – Distance was longer but spin was higher. Was almost too much spin with these clubs, especially the 4 hybrid. Response from the 3 and 5 woods were smooth. Had very good shots with them. Was tricky with the 4 hybrid as my natural tendency is to hit a cut fade. With the Vice Pro it produced more spin and lost distance with a couple of shots.
Irons – What was different about the Vice Pro versus the two cheaper balls was the feedback from hitting irons. Reminded me of the one time I played with blade irons. When you hit it perfect it felt like cutting through butter. When you missed it, everything felt clunky, even the sound at contact.
There were a number of clunky sounds through out the round but all in all not too bad. What impressed me the most was the Vice Pro’s staying power. There were a number of approach shots where it bounced once and stopped.
Wedges – Found my way into the sand twice and saved par once. The bunkers at Rackham are not kept up all that well so you don’t know what kind of lie you are going to get. In most cases, not good. Around the green the Vice Pro had a nice feel and a few times it checked up. A number of my one putts on the day were due to my chip shots getting into tap in range.
Putting – For the third time in a row using Vice golf balls I could not find a feel for it. Not sure if its my putter or me. Its probably me but I cannot make anything. Had a 4 putt and a number of 3 putts. Outside of a 25 footer for birdie on #6 I could not make anything.
Durability – With me losing a ball on the ninth hole I cannot say for sure how they would hold up for 18 holes. Before I lost it the ball did have one scuff mark and a yellow mark (sand?). The other ball I played with had one small scuff.
Score – 86
GIR – 9
Putts – 38
Penalty Stroke – 1 (Off the tee into tall grass on #9)
Fairways – 3
Vice Pro Plus Golf Ball Review
Rackham Golf Course – White Tees
The Vice Pro Plus costs the same amount as the Vice Pro but should cost a little bit more. Reason being is it is the best of the Vice Golf Balls. Maybe its because its the “Plus” or maybe its because of the four pieces of materials it is made out of.
What I liked most about the Vice Pro Plus is it took the best parts of the Vice Pro, Vice Tour, and Vice Drive and wrapped them into it. I cannot think of a better way to describe it than that.
Saved the Vice Pro Plus for last and am glad I did. Even though I struggled on the front 9 I still kept it together and played well on the back 9.
Off The Tee – Noticeably farther than the Drive, Tour, and a little further than the Pro. The sound it made coming off my driver was different than the other three.
Hit two very good draws that day, a number of good old straight shots, and a couple of fades. Remember above how I discussed hitting into tall grass on the 9th with the Vice Pro and losing it? Not on this day.
Scorched one down the fairway twenty yards further than where my Vice Pro was lost. Tee boxes are relatively in the same area from day to day. Maybe ten yards give or take. On average, the Vice Pro Plus went ten yards further than the Vice Pro and twenty to thirty yards further than the Vice Tour and Vice Drive.
Fairway Woods & Hybrids – Distance was noticeably longer than the Vice Pro. It just had a better feeling coming off the club than the Pro. The 16th hole at Rackham is one of the toughest Par 3’s around at 220 yards. Many a golfer hit Driver on this hole. Forget about it if its a windy day as the small green is exposed. Today there was a light breeze so not to much to worry about in the wind department.
Pulled out my 3 wood and hit one 20 feet above the hole. The Vice Pro Plus stuck and spun back a yard. Was the best shot I’ve ever had on #16.
Irons – Have to be honest here for a second. Iron play was very poor until my second shot on the 9th hole. Just could not get it going till the back nine.
Had similar feedback from the Vice Pro Plus as I did the Vice Pro. When it compressed, you felt it. When you missed it, you knew it. But when it hit the green, it stopped.
Wedges – Did not hit a lot of Greens In Regulation today which made for a lot of wedge and chip shots. Was impressed with the control of the Vice Pro Plus. There was not the grabby feeling of the Vice Pro with the Plus. Even in your hands the Plus does not feel sticky. There were no times when it checked up and stopped.
Was in the sand twice and did ok. Forgot my 60 degree wedge at home so I played with my lob wedge instead. Might have made a difference. Did not have any crazy spin coming out of the traps and sadly did not save par on those.
Putting – Out of all the Vice golf balls, the Vice Pro Plus was the only one I felt comfortable putting with. Had 7 one putts and no three putts. A couple of the one putts could have been two putts as I putted from the fringe or just off the green. Technically speaking those count as chips.
Saying that, it showed how much better I putted with the Vice Pro Plus versus the other three. Most of my two putts were finished with a tap in and my one putts were from 5 – 10 feet.
Something I noticed with the Pro Plus and not with the others was the “Keep In Line” or “KIL” putting line during the putt. All it is is the black line on the side of the ball where in white lets it says “Vice Pro Plus.” A number of times I saw it staying straight and on line.
By far, the Vice Pro Plus had the best feel on and around the green of the Vice Golf Balls.
Durability – Almost lost the Vice Pro Plus on my approach shot to the 18th green. That would have been embarrassing. Bounced it into flower bed I never noticed before and thankfully found it. Did have to take an unplayable though.
You would have to look hard at the Vice Pro Plus to notice it played through an entire round of 18 holes. There are no scuff marks on it at all and I hit three trees. A very small brown area is on the outside from the bunkers or dirty crappy not fairway areas at Rackham (best description for the rough I can come up with).
Score – 80
GIR – 6
Putts – 29
Penalty Stroke – 1 (Unplayable on 18 because of flower bed. Dammit! Almost broke 80)
Fairways – 7
Where To Buy Vice Golf Balls
Reason being is you only get a discount buying directly from Vice if you buy in bulk. Discounts start at 3 dozen and really kick in at 5 dozen. So if you only want one or two dozen then you’ll probably save money at Amazon because of free shipping. There is no bulk discount on Amazon.
Vice did not have a store on Amazon when I bought the golf balls in 2016. If you want to upload a photo like I did then buy directly from Vice. Its the only way and was effortless.
Vice Golf Promo Code
The fine people at Vice have given me a quasi promo code to give to friends, fellow golfers, and overall awesome people.
Follow any link on my website to ViceGolf.com. Embedded in the links are my promo code.
Select the golf balls you want.
Go to checkout and you will see a free sleeve of golf balls added to your order. It will say “Quantity: .25, Unit: USD $0, Total: USD $0”.
If that doesn’t work than fill out the form on my contact page and ask for the Vice Promo Code. I have a separate code the people at Vice gave me but per their terms I can’t post it online. The links should work though.
What started as a last minute Christmas gift idea turned into a little insight into the golf ball industry and a conversation starter on the course.
I should have been recording my family members faces when they opened the boxes up. Since Christmas in 2016 I would get random texts saying they’re using “my face” on the course.
People I have golfed with have cracked up when I told them the story about buying them. Had an instance where I hit one with my face on it over the green and a guy was looking for his ball in the same area as the next fairway is behind the green. He rolls up to my ball, looks at it, looks at me, and says “Are you hitting…well thats you.”
With my Christmas gift in 2016 being such a big hit you knew paybacks were coming. My Uncle Larry decided to “get me” with a Christmas gift of his own in 2017.
And with our kids finally being old enough (3 and 2) to bring to my parents timeshare in Cancun my brother and I were able to get two rounds of golf in at the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club using some “Larrys” and “Brads”.
The Vice Pro Plus is my favorite followed by the Vice Tour, Vice Pro, and then Vice Drive. There was just a little bit more comfortability with the Plus versus the Pro for me. Tour had a simplicity to it which I enjoyed. Drive felt a little too simple. With these golf balls costing half as much and the performance being similar to a Titleist Pro V1 you might as well get the Vice Pro Plus.
The people at Vice are onto something with their business model. Top of the line golf balls like the Pro V1 are expensive. How many times have you played a hole with water everywhere and decided to not play it and took out a cheap ball? With Vice Golf Balls you will only feel bad about hitting one into the water and not about losing a $4 golf ball. I wonder how many more golf ball manufacturers will embrace the direct to consumer business model.