For our economy distance shootout, we went with the inexpensive Dunlop that said “Explosive Distance.” on the box. After it finished last for the comparative sessions, we picked up a dozen of the Steelcore’s to see how well they would do. Running at slightly over a dollar a ball, the Steelcore is also very economically priced. The unique features of this ball are its thin, middle layer of steel and its ultra-high compression.
In a separate mini-shootout of 150 balls, we hit the Steelcore in comparison to the DDH Explosive Distance and our shootout winner, the Pinnacle Gold Distance. Mid-priced, distance balls such as the Wilson Smart Core Straight Distance and the Slazenger Raw Distance were included, as well.
The Steelcore proved easily longer than the DDH Explosive Distance – by more than five yards on average. In one, 4-wood session it was the longest ball of all, beating out the Pinnacle Golf Distance by two to three yards on average. In the driver session it finished third to the Wilson Smart Core and Pinnacle Gold. All three hit well and the Steelcore was within several yards of the winners. Its distances were reduced due to online inconsistency. They flew offline more often than the two winners. The Steelcore did easily outdistance other competitors such as the MC Lady and Ram XDC Distance by substantial amounts.
Off of short irons, the Steelhead was the clear winner for distance. Its best hits were more than five yards longer than those of any others. The Steelhead flew very long and lively with booming trajectories. On the downside, it did not show the same degree of accuracy exhibited by the Pinnacle, Smart Core, Accuplus or others. Feel off of irons was bright and electric on clean hits. It could be very harsh on mishits, however.
Trajectories off of woods are quite low with the Steelcore. The amount of roll is well over average. As may be expected from an ultra-high compression ball with a steel layer, the feel of the Steelcore is hard and vibrant. It will probably be too hard for all but true distance ball junkies. The special characteristics of the Steelcore mean that it should almost be considered as specialty ball. It belongs in a category for those ultra-hard balls that feature distance at the primary expense of everything else. Other balls in this group are the Desperado and Pirate. Players selecting such balls want distance and everything else be damned. They forsake most all short game considerations in selecting a ball. Unlike the others of this ilk we have tried, the Steelcore is fun to use – in a steely sort of way.
We actually liked the Steelcore much more than the DDH Explosive Distance. The softer Explosive Distance comes off as blah – lacking in real personality. The Steelcore is a better looking ball. Its hard, vibrant shimmer works well with some soft, jumbo-sized drivers. Doubtlessly, some of our range testers will reach for it when a dollar or two is on the line during distance competitions. Whether they will want to ever play it on-course is highly doubtful. Few of them want an over-lively ball close in around the green. This is a ball that is aimed almost primarily at distance junkies.