Review: OnCore Golf’s MA-1.0 Golf Balls

Above: OnCore Golf's MA 1.0 Golf Balls
Above: OnCore Golf's MA 1.0 Golf Balls

OnCore Golf, a Buffalo startup, is attempting to kick traditional rubber cored balls to the rough with a disruptive new technology.  According to the company, their patented hollow metal-cored balls (an industry first) cause energy to disperse to the perimeter of the ball faster than traditional rubber-cored golf balls.  The quicker energy transfer reduces sidespin to produce straighter shots while also promising a truer roll on the putting green.

Golf balls were once rudimentarysacks of feathers stuffed into leather pouches. Then in 1848 the gutty came around and changed everything.  After receiving a marble statue wrapped in gutta-percha, the dried gum of the percha tree indigenous to Malaysia, St. Andrews University’s Dr. Robert Adams Paterson realized the tough material would make for a hardy golf ball.  Gutties were a triple whammy improvement: more durable, more aerodynamic and cheaper to manufacture.  By the last few holes of a round, after getting knicked a few times, gutties flew longer and straighter and so hammering in dents was incorporated into their design.

There was experimentation with different surface textures and it was found that dimples beat the snot out of pimples—a bit of wisdom any teenage girl could have chipped in.  At the turn of the century, the Haskell, a tightly wound rubber cored ball which gave golfers an extra twenty yards off the tee took the torch from the gutty.  As materials science progressed and launch monitor technology came online we eventually ended up with beauties like the solid cored, urethane elastomer covered, icosahedral dimpled, Titleist Pro V1 in 2000. Its last major upgrade came a few years back when the most struck ball on TOUR underwent dimple reduction surgery with the venerable ball dropping a few craters for a tweaked aerodynamic profile that goosed spin without hurting distance.

Are Oncore’s MA-1.0’s the latest marvels of modern materials science innovation as the manufacturer’s claim?  I tried them out during a mini RTJ Trail bender in Mobile Alabama, hitting these puppies at Magnolia Grove and Lakewood and they performed admirably.  Holding them in your hand they seem ever so slightly lighter than traditional golf balls but they flew marvelously.  The “you just became a better golfer,” tagline on the sleeves may be pure bluster but as Canadian heavy metal legends Anvil will tell you, metal on metal sounds awesome.  As far as pure performance, it might have been a placebo effect but through a couple rounds of testing they did appear to minimize sidespin and fly a tad straighter than the typical rubber cored ball.  As far as putting and and iron and wedge play go I didn’t notice any discernable difference, but straighter off the tee is certainly enough of an enticement for average golfers to give these metal cored balls a spin.

Mike Dojc

Mike Dojc

A card-carrying member of the leisure cognoscenti when Mike Dojc isn’t repairing impossibly large divots or alphabetizing his impressive ball marker collection, he’s slinging copy for a diverse range of editorial and corporate entities. Highlights of his client roster include Nike, Geico, Maxim, Metro News, CAA, AAA, Men’s Fashion, Huffington Post, Golf Canada, Fairways Magazine, Back 9 Network, and many others. He blogs at SlingingBirdies.com

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