Maxfli U/6 golf ball

Dick's Sporting Goods, which now owns Maxfli, is unveiling a golf ball under the iconic brand, and it's certainly distinctive: The Maxfli U/6 is a six-piece golf ball.

For decades, Maxfli was one of the grand old names of golf.

The brand formerly included clubs and golf balls, although Maxfli was best-known for the latter. Thus Dick’s Sporting Goods and its sister company, Golf Galaxy, have brought back the Maxfli ball.

The latest model is distinctive. The Maxfli U/6 is the first widely available six-piece golf ball; none of the top U.S. manufacturers have gone to six pieces.

What does six pieces mean? In the jargon of the trade, each part of the ball is counted as a piece. The core is one piece, and a dual core is two pieces. The outer cover is another piece, and each of the mantle layers in-between the core and the cover are counted as pieces.

So the Maxfli U/6 has a large core, four separate mantle layers, and an outer cover. Add them up, and the total is six pieces.

The big question, of course, is this: Does a golf ball really need six pieces? Some existing balls have five-piece construction, the newest being the Lethal ball from TaylorMade.

“We just didn’t pull six out of a hat because other people had been doing five,” said Ray North, Maxfli’s director of product development.

The pieces are intended to promote optimum spin control for different clubs and different shots. For example, the thin mantle layers between the core and the cover are designed to provide varying amounts of spin based on the speed of the swing and the angle of attack as the clubhead makes contact with the ball.

A wedge shot, usually delivered with a sharp descending blow, will interact with the mantle layers to create a maximum amount of spin if executed properly. A driver swing, on the other hand, is characterized by a sweeping motion and generally will produce less spin than any other club.

The philosophy of the U/6, as explained by North: “We wanted the lowest spinning ball off the driver... We wanted a lower trajectory, to get the ball on the ground and let it run.”

In conjunction with this mission, Maxfli engineers also focused on the stability of the U/6. They say they achieved this by using softer, lighter material for the two mantle layers closest to the core, while choosing heavier, more dense material for the other two mantle layers closest to the cover.

This, in effect, placed more weight near the outside of the ball and created a high-MOI golf ball with consistent rotation and stability, according to Maxfli.

The U/6 also features a urethane cover for a soft, responsive feel, and it is designed to provide control around greens. With its lower launch characteristics and emphasis on stability, the U/6, according to North, “is a tremendous ball when it’s windy."

Maxfli officials say they are receiving positive feedback about their new ball, including from

renowned short-game instructor Dave Pelz, who has been testing the U/6 for use in his golf schools. The Pelz method is all about carrying three or four wedges with various lofts – particularly 60- and 64-degree wedges – and controlling the spin with repeatable precision.

“I’m still testing, but I like the ball very much,” said Pelz, who is not paid to endorse the Maxfli ball.

The U/6 sells for $39.99 a dozen at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy.

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