Forte Golf Balls, They come from a Land Down Under
OK, I know that was ridiculous, but honestly, every time I grab a Forte ball I start humming some Men at Work.
That, I promise will be the last reference to iconic Australian things. No talk of Kangaroos, Greg Norman, Koalas or Kookaburras or the 2000 Olympic Games.
Today I’m going to be talking about a new player in the densely crowded Golf Ball industry.
For this write-up, Forte Golf sent us a couple of boxes of their higher end balls. The Tour Performance Plus S and the APEX6. They also offer two other versions, the SS2 Soft, and the SS3 Speed. We didn’t use any of those versions in this review. I’d encourage you to check out their site for further information.
Should You be Looking to Austrailia for a golf ball?
Yes, if you live in Austrailia!
As you’ll read coming up here in a bit, I’m very fond of the APEX6 ball. It’s long off the tee, responds great around the greens and is quite durable. The bad news is they’re only available for sale in Austrailia, as far as I can tell. That will be a bummer for my US counterparts. However, I believe if the quality of the APEX lives up to my hype, they’ll be available sooner than later.
Spending a Little Time Getting to Know Forte Golf
Golf balls are a tricky thing to review. In my opinion, it takes some time, not just an outing or two. You need different conditions and different courses to see if what’s happening isn’t an anomaly. The first thing I did when I received the box of balls was to open up a sleeve (which for Forte is two golf balls) and head out back to my putting green.
Even though the surface is synthetic, I get great feedback from chipping balls. I hit from the rough to targets on the green and in the tight lie areas as well. What I noticed rather quickly was the ball reacted to the surface more so than the other balls in my range bag. The APEX6 reacted even more so than the Tour Performance S. I’m not one who “checks’ the ball up regularly, but with the APEX6, on a decent size chip shot, I was getting some excellent feedback.
Next up I spend a lot of time putting. I know it may not seem like the ideal way for most to check out a golf ball, but for me, it’s an excellent way to get your hands on the ball and take in more from its construction. The outer shell is such a vital component to the golf ball, and when you tee it up and smack it around the course, you can easily lose sight of how vital it is. Putting gets me closer to the ball, lining it up for each putt and feeling the feedback in the face of the putter adds significantly to the perception of how the balls are going to react on the course.
Lastly, I’ll head out to the garage and pound away at one ball for as long as it takes to cause some damage. I’m no superman by any means so this typically takes several session to see any signs of wear. The APEX6 was incredible for this part of my testing. Weeks went by, and the ball still looked fresh and new. You could see some wear of course, but for the most part, it held up amazingly. I would have never expected that from a six layer ball.
Ready for some Testing Out on the Course, almost
I had some down time before receiving the balls from Forte. My winter break, which isn’t really a thing here in Vegas, was longer than I wanted it to be so needless to say, I was rusty. My first outing I didn’t get a feel for how the ball was playing. I was out of rhythm with my swing, wasn’t hitting the shots I generally can pull off and just felt a little lost.
After that outing, I stepped up my practice trying to get back into a groove. It helped for sure. Over the next few rounds I played, I began to notice just how legit the APEX6 golf ball was. I wasn’t surprised though. With companies like Vice, Kirkland and even the big names putting out affordable golf balls that perform, there’s no reason a company dedicated to the craft can’t create a high-performance ball.
OK, Now I’m Ready
I found the APEX6 to be an excellent golf ball. It’s very long off the tee. I mean long. I get a little bit of a boost playing at elevation here in the mountains surrounding Vegas. The course I play, more than any other, sits right around 3,000 feet. There’s a par five on the back that plays slightly downhill and on average when I hit it, I’m about 275 yards down the fairway. It’s not a long par five by any means, it plays a little under 500 yards, and I’ve never felt comfortable going for the green in two. Mainly in part to not being far enough down the fairway. My last three rounds I’ve played there though I’ve had an iron into the green a few times. 295, 305 and 325 were my last drives playing there and using the Forte APEX6.
Now I did see a dramatic change in distance from my home course when I went and played at Torry Pines last month. That’s was an eye opening experience. The APEX6 didn’t disappoint at all though. Even without my altitude aided ball flight, the ball performed as well as any other I’ve played to date. It holds up incredibly well just as the garage ball did I was blasting away at for weeks. Even with a few assist from the cart path the ball just doesn’t break down. I’ve been shocked with the durability.
Tour Performance Plus S or the APEX6
Going back and forth between the balls I could easily tell the difference. I’m far from a science guy who knows exactly why the 6-Layers make so much if a difference. All I can say is it does. The ball flight of the APEX6 is penetrating and aggressive.
I didn’t find anything even remotely close to comparing it to when I put their other ball in play. It was an average golf ball. It does play well around the greens. I didn’t have as much control with it as I did with the APEX6.
For me, the clear winner is the Forte APEX6
It’s been a while since I played a golf ball that resonated with my game. You’d have to go back to the pre-Titleist lawsuits days, and my old friends at I Need The Ball. Shame that situation had to happen. Regardless of that, Forte has a sure fire winner on their hands with the APEX6. Once I realized it was the ball, I preferred out of the two I’ve put together a string of solid outings, and I’m playing the best golf of my short reawakening into the game.
Unfortunately, the ride for me is going to come to an end one day. The biggest issue facing Forte Golf is how the golf ball is not available in the states. Yeah, you read that correctly. For now, the Forte line of golf balls is only available to be purchased in Australia. I spoke with one of their representatives the other day, and they said plans to ship internationally are in the works. Until then I’m taking each swing I make with an APEX6 ball I’m going to try and relish the moment.
It’s nice to see another potential player in the golf ball arena. With all the drama surrounding golf ball companies of late, it was nice to find out about Forte and give their product a go. I’m excited to have some left in the bag and for those of you who got some from me, GIVE EM BACK! Ha ha. Just kidding, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Visit the Forte Golf Website for More Information.
The prices for the balls are somewhat competitive when you compare them to similar balls in the segment. Doing the money conversion, the APEX6, their highest price ball sells for just under $50.00 a dozen. I just checked the Golf Galaxy website, and PROV1’s are selling for $47.99, so they prices are close. As a comparison, the Tour Performance Plus S goes for $31.00 a dozen.
The downside will be shipping from Australia to the US; I can’t imagine it’s cheap. If they decide to pass on those fee’s to the customer, it will completely end them over here. I don’t know if anyone would be willing to pay $50 and shipping. Then have to wait for the balls to arrive from the other side of the planet.
It’s going to be interesting to see how that handle that situation. Forte has a great product on their hands. Getting it to the masses though is going to be a hell of a challenge. I sure hope they make it! I’ll be a buyer if the ever wind up on the shelves at my local golf shop.