Updated: Oct 27
Welcome back to the Three Off The Tee blog. It has been a while but I've been injured and so been out of action for a while. I've a blog covering that (Man Down) I haven't been idle while I couldn't golf and hope you've managed to check out my tasty Ryder Cup blog and in particular the video within the blog which was a unique behind closed doors round table with Ian Woosnam, Peter Baker, Jean van de Velde and Thomas Levet. Check it out here
I've also done a great product review on Go-Kart Golf MkII golf trolley. Definitely worth a read, especially with Christmas on the horizon or if you need a golf trolley or fancy a change. Again you can check out the review here
Apologies if this feels like a trip to the cinema and you've sat through the adverts for the local curry house and all the other film previews but rest assured we're ready for the main feature. Here is my review of the AD333 golf ball.
Let me start with the basics. I have received no payment or remuneration from Srixon for this review and they have had no input into the video or this blog. If you are familiar with my previous blog (also imaginatively called Three Off The Tee - check it out here), the you'll know I don't use launch monitors or gadgets and simply go out and play with it.
If you want to see the ball in action on the course, I've done a video review, playing over three holes (a par 3, par 4 and a par 5) as well as putting it through its paces with an array of short game shots including chips, pitches and bunker shots as well as a few putts. See the video and my initial thoughts here (AD333 Golf Ball - Video Review)
Let me start with the basics. I have received no remuneration or payment from Srixon for this review and they have had no input into the content of the video or this blog. If you are familiar with the previous version of my blog (also called Three Off The Tee - check it out here) then you'll know my ball reviews contain no technical specs from launch monitors and is just me playing three holes, hitting some short game shots and putts and coming back with my thoughts on how the ball performed.
The AD333 golf ball is now in it's tenth incarnation and it remains a two piece golf ball with an ionomer cover this ball is aimed at delivering value and performance and Srixon claim to have added some of the technology from their premium balls. Srixon say the next generation will bring golfers more distance and forgiveness than previous versions thanks to a slight reduction in compression and reformulated FastLayer Core.
Let me give you the marketing spiel from their website.
The new Srixon AD333 is a premium, lower-compression golf ball that delivers superior, balanced performance for golfers who demand exceptional distance, feel and green side control.
With a reformulated Fast Layer Core, it features a lower compression for a straighter, more sustainable ball flight, especially for players with moderate swing speeds. Fast Layer delivers exceptional feel and ball speed for maximum distance, and is combined with the 338 dimple pattern that provides less drag and more lift to boost overall distance and accuracy, even in the toughest wind conditions.
A new SeRM Sprint Skin has a coating with flexible molecular bonds digs deep into wedge and iron grooves, maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power.
NEW FastLayer Core: Features a lower compression for a straighter, more sustainable ball flight, especially for players with moderate swing speeds. Fast Layer delivers exceptional feel and ball speed for maximum distance.
NEW Spin Skin with SeRM: A coating with flexible molecular bonds digs deep into wedge and iron grooves, maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power.
338 Speed Dimple Pattern: Less drag and more lift boosts overall distance and accuracy, even in the toughest wind conditions.
So the big question is how does it play and how do these claims stack up. If you are a regular to the Three Off The Tee youtube channel you'll know I've done a number of golf ball reviews before. Check them out here in my product reviews and while you are on my channel please make sure you subscribe for all my video content and please give the video a thumbs up as well. Youtube really likes a thumbs up and so it all helps.
As always with the golf ball reviews, I've done a video playing a par three, a par four and a par five and I've hit some short game shots (pitches, chips and bunker shots) and hit some putts with the AD333 and so check out the video (AD333 review) to see how a mid-handicapper (12.7 handicap index) fared. See what I think of the ball out on the course.
I have been doing product reviews for many years now, starting on the previous blog incarnation (Original Three Off The Tee Blog) and as always with this fuller review I'll mark the AD333 ball over a number of criteria.
It's easy to see why the Srixon AD333 has been such a hugely popular golf ball for so long, leading the way for two-piece models in the UK. As a mid-handicapper I tend to play a more premium ball in competitive rounds especially Spring through to the Autumn (personal choice), but I'll play Winter rounds with an AD333 because it's such a solid performer, impressively durable and one of the best value balls around.
As always, I conclude these reviews breaking the ball and the way it performed into a number of key components and mark each separately out of ten and then give an overall score. Again, this is subjective to how I found they performed and please bear in mind these may not hold true for all standard of golfers and is based on how this mid-handicapper found them over just a few holes and hitting a number of short game shots.
Looks: The AD333 looked a nice bright white colour and Srixon have called it "pure white". There is also a "tour yellow" version if you prefer a coloured ball. The "pure white" was in marked contrast to the more matte finish, or myriad of colours (including two coloured balls) that seems to be en vogue from some companies at the moment. 9/10
Flight: I have used some of the well known two piece balls on the market, in particular the Vice DRIVE and previous versions of the AD333 especially in winter conditions. As a self-confessed short hitter, I want a winter ball for the higher flight which in turn means more carry. Perfect when the fairways are wet. I found this version of the AD333 gave a pleasant mid-height flight, and as the fairways were still firm, there was an impressive amount of run on landing. With iron shots the ball didn't feel hard or "pebble like" as some two piece balls can do. Again it was a mid-height flight but I didn't feel it would affect approaches into the green. 8/10
Control: Now, while it’s one thing to throw a two piece ball onto damp winter greens and expect a level of stop, hitting the Srixon AD333 onto firmer green would provide a sterner test. It actually performed reasonably well in the array of short game shots I played although if I am being honest, while Srixon say "A new SeRM Sprint Skin has a coating with flexible molecular bonds digs deep into wedge and iron grooves, maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power" I didn't really see too much of this. There was some initial check from the bunker on a first bounce and then it released. As I state on the video, I have been out injured and so some of it may be down to inconsistent strikes and the firm green I was playing onto. That said, while some pitches and chips did produce an element of check, there was more run out than I hoped. I accept most two piece balls won't spin and react like their three and four piece equivalents, and by choosing an AD333 or other two piece you'll have to accept a compromise in control but ultimately I was left a little disappointed.
I was going to mark this as 6.5/10 from the initial performance in the video and my test but since filming I've had a chance to use the ball around the course on several occasions following periods of rain which made the greens more receptive. I have found that when playing in more Autumnal conditions especially on a damp green there is certainly more check and spin. I'm still unconvinced about using the AD333 on harder greens but I saw enough in the last few weeks to make me think there is definitely potential to get some control with the ball in the next few months and I've adjusted my marking to 7.5/10
Durability: Playing just three holes, including a shot from a bunker and heavy rough, there were no blemishes on the ball which is as I'd expect. Having then subjected the three balls in the pack to a reasonable number of short game shots including a number from sand, I can report that they stood up to my somewhat suspect short game well. One had a small blemish as a result of the shots from the bunker (arguably from the couple I knifed over the green) but aside from that there were no discernible marks and the balls retained their bright white finish. 8.5/10
Feel: This brings me neatly back to the most subjective category of all. How do you mark “feel” as it differs from player to player subjective to the strike put on the shot? All I can really do is compare it to the other two piece balls on the market. I think the fact that this is the tenth version of the AD333 and it is arguably the best selling and performing ball of its kind then it must strike a chord with a lot of golfers who enjoy playing with it (and by default like the feel) Well struck shots felt soft of the face (but so do range balls if you hit them right) but there wasn’t any discernible click or nasty hard feeling off any club face including the putter.
Clearly as a two-piece it’s never going to be the softest ball on the market but Srixon do make some strong claims about the Spin Skin with SeRM and more stopping power. It did outweigh my personal pre-conceptions I had. If anything, it felt firmest off the driver and ultimately if that’s going to help lead to a few more yards, that would be a trade-off I’m happy to accept. I didn't think it felt as hard as many two piece balls on the market and and certainly felt more than acceptable off the club around the green even if I didn't see the discernible spin in the marketing 8/10
Price: As to be expected being a two piece ball, these come in far cheaper than three and four piece balls. This makes them ideal for price conscious golfers on a budget and those that aren't interested in more spin control or are looking for a ball to give more distance with a lower compression (it comes in as a 72 compression ball) and moderate swing speed. It is priced in the UK around the £21-£24 mark although with some searching I am sure there are some deals to be had. For a decent ball that doesn't break the bank it does (in my opinion) give good value for money. 9/10
I described the AD333 in my video review as being ideal for relatively new golfers now looking for a regular ball reasonably priced ball to use regularly and that it would suit both mid and high handicap golfers. It’s a ball designed to be both part of the Srixon range as a whole and capable of standing on its own merits. It fits both parts of the criteria well. It definitely ticks a lot of boxes, particularly in terms of distance, especially for golfers who may swing at a slower speed to some, which may be a buying decision for you However it also delivers in terms of durability and as you will have seen, going into damper conditions I have changed my view on the level of spin and control. As far as a two-piece ball goes, this is right up there with any of the market leaders in my opinion if not right at the top of the tree and given it's now in its tenth incarnation Srixon must be doing something right with the AD333.
I think I need to talk briefly about pre-conceptions and I think we all suffer from this whenever we try new gear. Once I get out there and film any product review and sit down to write the more in depth blog review I try and be as open minded as I can and each and every product review is an honest and unbiased opinion on what I really thought. Having used previous versions of the AD333 I knew to some degree what to expect, or at least had an idea in my head (a sub-conscious pre-conception if you will) but I was pleasantly surprised just how well the tenth incarnation performed.
The AD333 is a very strong performer in the two-piece sector of the market. I’ve tried several of the AD333 offerings over the years and as the leader (arguably) in a crowded two ball market place they’ve really created a place for themselves as well as a renowned reputation. The latest AD333 performed really well and I was very impressed. In fact, I was so impressed I will be switching to these as my winter ball of choice. I don’t think you can give a better recommendation than that. 8/10