Forte Golf Ball Review
“Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?”
Finally, I have an excuse to quote Men at Work lyrics. Oh, come on, you know you loved that song so don’t even pretend to not know the words. While we all know the “greatness” of Men at Work, I will forgive you if you have not heard of Forte golf balls unless you say “mate” or eat VegeMite sandwiches, because these balls are primarily sold in Australia.
For this review, we played two of Forte’s golf balls (they make four). Specifically, I will review the Forte Tour Performance and the Apex golf balls.
Golf ball reviews are inherently tough, especially without using Trackman data or other analytics. Moreover, the golf ball world is littered with brands and claims that makes it really hard to find the best ball for your game. One thing I do know is that since the K-Sig ball by Costco news came out, players have come to realize that the big companies aren’t the only ones to can make a quality golf ball. In other words, we should be open to smaller golf ball companies.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of my Forte golf ball review, let me share with you my “methodology”. I put that in quotes because I am a self admitted non-techie when it comes to reviews. While I understand that does come with some disadvantages, I also believe that our “Trackman” game is often very different than our “real game”. I mean, has anyone ever not swung as hard as they can in the hitting cage? On the course, we tend to dial it back a bit, and it’s results that matter, not swing speeds or ball spin stats.
Even though I don’t have a Trackman I do have intimate knowledge of my home track. I have played my course thousands of times and know exactly how far my ball usually goes and how balls react on the green. I also know if I typically outdrive certain guys; my comments about the Forte golf ball will therefore all be in relation to those experiences.
Forte Tour Performance S golf ball:
The Forte Tour Performance S ball is their 2nd most expensive product. This three piece ball features a cast Urethane Cover and runs $48.99 (AUS). Distance wise, I found this ball to play as long as most other balls I hit. Off the tee there is nothing specific I felt or heard, but my drives ended up pretty much where they typically do.
In terms of iron play and wedges into the green, I am impressed with the Forte as they provide solid spin and control. Despite having less than a tour quality wedge game, I found the Forte Tour Performance met all of my needs around the green.
Where the Tour Performance ball really shines is on the green. For me, how a ball comes of a putter is one of the most important aspects of a golf ball. I want to be able to feel the ball and hear a soft sound. The Forte Tour Performance has this in spades. For those Titleist Pro V1 fans, I would compare that feel to the Forte in terms of softness.
From a durability standpoint, the Forte balls hold up quite well. I don’t lose a ton of balls and it is not uncommon for me to play a ball for multiple rounds. Even with a cart path bounce, the Forte holds up well. Color wise, I did find them to lose the ultra white shine, but aside from that the durability was superior.
The only complaint I have is that there is not a natural line on the ball. Instead, the Tour Performance S logo takes up two lines of text, making it non-ideal if you like to line up your ball. Of course you can always use a Sharpie to make a line if that is important to you.
Forte Apex golf ball:
The Apex is Forte’s premier golf ball and runs $66.99 (AUS). What makes this ball unique is the 6 piece construction. Honestly, I am sometimes confused as to whether more layers is better or not. I mean is a 4 minute Abs workout better than the 6 minute version? Is more always better? In any case, Forte’s goal was to provide layers that each bring something to the game, whether it be distance or control.
During my several rounds with the Apex, I would alternate between the Apex and Tour Performance (hitting two of the tee). After a number of side by side tests, I would conclude the Apex is indeed slightly longer than the Tour Performance but not overwhelming. I also did not see that much difference in spin control, albeit my game may not qualify to properly test spin.
There is, however, one major difference between the Forte Tour Performance and the Apex. You only need to drop both balls on cement to see and hear the difference. The Apex is a far harder ball (which might indicate why it is longer). The downside, at least for me, is how it comes of the putter. Unlike the Forte Tour Performance, the Apex has a “click” sound and bounces off of the club face. I am sure this a bit of personal preference, but I like the feel of the Tour Performance on the green compared to the Apex.
Which Forte golf ball is right for you:
Lucky for you, Forte has an online fitting questionnaire that will help determine what ball is best for you game. The fact is, the right ball for you is not necessarily the right ball for me. Most important is your swing speed, which needs to match the ball construction. In my experience, too many people choose a ball because it is played on Tour. However, those balls are designed for swing speeds in excess of 120 mph. Unfortunately, most amateur golfers don’t even crack 100 mph swing speeds.
Normally, I would have taken the Forte fitting test prior to playing the golf balls, but in my case I completed the questionnaire after playing both balls for a month or so. Interestingly, when I took the test, Forte recommended the Tour Performance for my game – exactly the ball that I prefer despite it having a lower cost than the Forte Apex. Chalk one up for the smart guys in product development.
While I don’t expect a lot of Americans to order the Forte golf ball, I can absolutely recommend this ball for Australians. As a comparison, my ball of choice is the Bridgestone Tour B330 RX. The Forte Tour Performance plays much like this ball in terms of distance and feel and I have had no problems putting the Forte into play even when I am looking to play a serious round of golf. I really like the feel on the green and the distance is absolutely fine.
While there are players who will prefer the Apex for its added distance, to me I just did not like how it came off of my putter as it felt too hard. With that said, I would recommend the fitting guide on the Forte website to see if it fits your game.
Check out all of the Forte golf balls on Forte Golf