OnCore Seeks to Simplify Golf Ball Selection

OnCore Golf manufactures premium high performance golf balls for all skill levels using brand names ELIXR, AVANT 55 and the new VERO X1 golf balls.

DELRAY BEACH, Florida – This is the time of year in which golf equipment companies begin bombarding consumers with product – everything from drivers to irons to putters to various makes and models of golf balls.

OnCore Golf, however, is content to go the other way. The Buffalo, N.Y., company, founded in 2011 by Bret Blakely and Steve Coulton, isn’t about the number of ball models it can make, but instead embraces a “less is more” philosophy.

“I think it makes it tougher on consumers when they go to a (web) site and see and 10 or 12 different balls,” Blakely said. “Most golfers don’t know the differences in their games to that degree. Our philosophy always has been to design a golf ball that’s going benefit a multitude of swing characteristics.”

OnCore has accomplished just that with its ELIXR and VERO X1 balls, each designed by golf ball guru John Calabria, who during his career played a significant role in engineering Titleist, Maxfli and TaylorMade balls.

OnCore Golf is a direct-to-consumer company with an active online market share.

Basically, Calabria worked off OnCore’s original hollow-core ball (MA 1.0), which had a high Moment of Inertia (MOI), to create the ELIXR. Launched in 2017, the ELIXR ball, Blakely said, maintained a high MOI by the addition of dense metal particles on the outside layer. But unlike the hollow core design, Blakely said the ELIXR was softer, more accurate and longer, than the original hollow core ball and better suited for players with swings speeds below 100 mph.

OnCore recently upped the ante against its bigger competitors with the 2020 introduction of the VERO X1, a four-piece, perimeter-weighted, cast urethane tour ball. The VERO X1 that raised eyebrows – with trade and consumers – when it tested higher than Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x in independent testing conducted by Golf EQ. The VERO X1 is aimed at players with swing speeds above 100 mph.

“It has a little higher compression (80 to 84 than ELIXR,’’ Blakely said. “And it feels firm – but not hard.”

Indeed. The VERO X1 is everything a player with a higher swing speed looks for in a performance ball. The ball reacts well off the clubface, keeps it line in the wind and doesn’t give up any distance when compared to its big-name competition.

“We’re always going to be ‘challenger’ brand,” Blakely said. “It’s almost impossible to break into the mainstream – for the time being. But I think we can be considered a company that is playing in the same sand box (as the big-name companies) and makes as good, or better products, as they are making.”


Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at spikee41@hotmail.com.

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