Review: Omen Golf Ball by OnCore

I see straighter shots in your future
Every golfer is looking for straighter tee shots that will go right down the middle of the fairway and then irons shots that land right on the green.  The reality is that creating such a ball isn’t very easy.  There have been some that have tried, but most often those balls come up short in one area or another.  I’m always on the lookout for a golf ball that will help the average high handicap golfer. I read a press release about the Omen a few months ago and wondered if they could live up to their claims. I’ve tested now a number of “straight” golf balls and I have to say that the Omen is the best. 

The first factor that sets them apart from other so called straight balls is that they are legal*.  I wrote a review earlier in the year about another “straight” ball that was not USGA conforming.  The Omen is*.  It isn’t limited by a dimple pattern and does not need to be pointing in a certain direction for each shot; you just play the ball as it lies.

The second factor is distance.  Almost every “straight” ball I have hit is considerably shorter.  It is shorter to the point that I couldn’t put it in play.  The Omen is so close to regular golf balls in distance, that many would have a hard time telling them apart.  I played 5 rounds and only saw a couple of yards lost in driving and iron play, barely enough to club up on iron shots and on a familiar course, rarely was I back from my normal landing zone.

The third factor is spin.  So many “straight” balls don’t spin around the greens.  You could hit a near perfect chip and the ball would roll off the back of the green.  The Omen spins very nicely, as much as many premium balls.  From what I could tell backspin seems to be the key factor in this ball going straighter than other balls.

While that makes the ball sound near perfect, it did have a couple flaws.  The first being that this hollow core ball sounds louder and feels quite hard.  Now again, the target audience of this ball might not mind this, since it is aimed more at the higher handicap golfer who tends to play a harder ball already.  It has more of smacking sound, almost giving a nice sounding driver a little aluminum bat sound.

The other issue can be that this ball spins and hits high.  On calm days that was not a problem and these things just flew almost equal to the other premium balls I was playing, but on a windy day it was night and day compared to a premium ball.  It was much shorter and really ballooned.  Downwind it bombed long drivers, but into the wind, it just floated and came up short. 

I think that is why it went so straight.  It is kind of like hitting a 3-wood shot with your driver.  It is higher than normal and spun a little more, but thankfully didn’t lose much distance and went straight. 

An interesting feature is the way it rolls on the green.  It rolls perfectly true, but faster than other balls.  I don’t understand it or get it, but I could put down the Omen and another ball and every time with the exact same stoke, even with my eyes closed the Omen putted further than any other ball.  I don’t know why that is, but just the way it rolled.

It is straighter, but yes you can slice it or hook it too.  I found it in the fairway more often than a normal ball, but not 100% of the time.  A good swing is still necessary to keep it in play.  Also while it is a hollow core ball, it doesn’t float, I checked that out a couple times off the tee.

It is legal*, it is straight, and it goes high and spins nicely, now they just need to make it softer in sound and feel.  I know that OnCore is working on their next version of this so hopefully that will be the direction they are going.  But if you don’t mind the firm feel, it will work better than a regular ball and you won’t be falling behind in distance or spin, all playing legally*.

For more information:

Quick Hits
+Keeps up

–Balloons into wind
–Hard sound and feel

*It was USGA conforming under the past name.  The redesign was done to conform in every way
and will be submitted soon for USGA official approval.