Yonex VCORE Pro 97 (310) Specs
Head Size:97 sq. in. / 625.81 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.5oz / 326g
Balance: 12.59in / 31.98cm / 7 pts HL
String Pattern:16 Mains / 19 Crosses
So today we’ve got the Yonex 310g VCORE Pro 97. We recently got our hands on the 330g version of this racket and were really impressed with it, giving it an 8.5 out of 10. 330g unstrung is not a particularly manageable weight for most people though, so we were interested to see if the 310g racket would live up to its heavier brother.
The 310g version has got the same clinical red and black paint job that we love and keeps the same technology that worked so well in the 330.
NAMD technology uses a flexible material that makes this racket extra responsive and the grommets have been enhanced for extra power through Lock Booster System. These technologies combined brilliantly in the VCORE Pro 97 (330) so I’m hoping it would be the same in the 310, which is an ideal weight for me.
This stick continues with Yonex’s signature isometric head shape, which I have taken time to get used to in the past. I don’t know if it was just in my mind, but I shanked so many balls when I first played with the VCORE 100 that I wondered when I was ever going to hit a ball in court again.
Luckily, I got pretty dialled in with the VCORE 100, and then found the VCORE 97 (330) completely to my liking. I don’t know if the isometric head offers anything extra per se, but it certainly works in these Yonex rackets. It’s obviously to the liking of Hyeon Chung, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and Frances Tiafoe, as they all rep this racket with distinction.
My hope was that this racket would stay true to the nature of the heavier racket in this range and offer the same great control and feel. With a little less weight, this VCORE 97 should be a little bit more manoeuvrable and give great speed that is tamed by solid control.
Walking out on court, I found the balance of the racket felt great in my hand, and most of all I looked like a complete badass with this awesome looking racket! I like the pure, clean look of my Pure Strikes, but the VCORE Pro 97 is at the other end of the spectrum with its sleek, cold blue/black and red look.
I may have felt like a badass with this racket in hand, but the question was, would I play like a badass, or simply look like an ass?
Groundstrokes – 9/10
There was no adjustment period with this racket, it simply felt brilliant straight out of the blocks.
The feel of the VCORE Pro is spot on, and it has an excellent blend of spin, power, and control. There are plenty of people out there who will like the 330g weight of the heavier VCORE, but I think this one has far wider appeal.
The main advantage with the VCORE Pro 97 310 is the manoeuvrability. You can get the racket moving much more easily and it is a little easier on your wrists and elbows. On the forehand side I don’t have problems with racket head speed, so I probably slightly preferred the 330g, but on the backhand, the lighter weight did make a big difference. I was just able to get my hands through the ball a little bit quicker and this made all the difference. This 310g version may be a little bit lighter, but it doesn’t lose much in the stability department, so you still keep that great feel and control.
I found I was getting great depth with the VCORE Pro 97 310 and didn’t have to adjust how much spin I was putting on the ball. This stick is actually a 16 x 19 string pattern, which you wouldn’t normally associate with these levels of control, and I actually found it to be quite similar to my 18 x 20 Pure Strike.
I talked about the possibilities of playing like a badass or an ass in the intro, and from the back of the court, it was most certainly the former. I immediately discovered great rhythm with the VCORE and was hitting some bombs, whilst keeping my consistency high. A great performance on the groundstrokes resulted in a great score for the VCORE Pro as it surpassed its heavier brother, storming in at a 9 out of 10.
Volleys – 8/10
The VCORE Pro 97 (330) volleyed like an absolute dream and got a great score of 8.5 out of 10. The VCORE (310), however, is that bit lighter, so it doesn’t have quite the same levels of stability. This racket was never going to be quite as good as its big brother at the net, but that doesn’t stop it from doing a very good job.
For a 310g racket, the VCORE Pro 97 is very stable and offers excellent feel and control. These are exactly what I look for any time I’m playtesting at the net. Racket companies spend endless time going on about power and spin, but sometimes you just want plain old control! The VCORE is right at the top of the class for these things in its weight category.
I found that whether I was hitting an easy put-away volley or a difficult pickup volley, the VCORE had the kind of stability I needed, and I was able to cushion the ball back where I wanted it. The 310g is a little bit more mobile than the 330g version, so it was nice and easy to get into position. 330g can be a bit of a hassle to carry around the whole time, so it’s nice for players to have the 310g option.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play any doubles with the Pro 97 (310) as I would have been really excited to see how it performed. It did feel wonderful on returns and at the net, so I would have thought it would be a good stick for anyone who plays a lot of doubles. If you are someone who spends quite a bit of time at the net, either in doubles or singles, and you enjoy a speedy racket that still has high levels of control then this racket is well worth having a look at.
I gave the VCORE Pro 97 (310) an 8 out of 10 at the net. It’s very manoeuvrable but still has high levels of control – a great mix for playing at the net. It’s not quite as good at the net as it is from the back of the court, but it’s pretty close!
Serve – 8.5/10
The serve is the area where I can sometimes struggle with the heavier rackets. I just can’t seem to keep the racket head speed up as much as I would like. That didn’t seem to be the case with the 330g Pro 97 though and I gave it a great score of 9 out of 10.
The 310g is even speedier on the serve and I had absolutely no problems getting dialled in with this racket and hitting a few cannons. The feel of this racket is just so good that it gives you confidence in every aspect of your game.
On first serves, I was able to get great power when I flattened them out, but still managed to produce good spin when I went for the leftie slider out wide. I find with most rackets I get either one or the other. If I can hit my leftie serve out wide really well, then I struggle with the flat serve, or vice versa. I didn’t have any of those problems with the VCORE Pro 97 (310) though.
Second serves were not an area of concern either. I was easily able to generate the kind of spin and flight path that gave my second serve good margin for error, and the confidence this gave me allowed to attack the serve a little bit more. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to adjust to racket on serve, but I didn’t hit a double fault the whole practice with the VCORE.
If I had to choose, I would give the edge slightly to the 330g racket on the serve. That’s unusual for me to say, but I managed to get the 330 moving so nicely that the added weight just gave me a little extra power. That’s not to say they 310g racket is bad on serve though because it’s anything but that.
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 (310) gets an 8.5 out of 10 on the serve. It’s got great control and speed, that can have you hitting some seriously good serves.
Overall – 8.5/10
I think you can guess where this one is going! I loved the VCORE Pro 97 (310) just as much as I loved the 330g racket, the only difference being, the weight suited me a bit more. There was a time (not so long ago) when I would have taken the 330g racket without thought. I wouldn’t have believed the 310g racket could compete on control and feel.
With modern technology, lighter rackets are now able to offer some of the qualities of the heavier rackets though, and you get the added benefit of some extra manoeuvrability. This also makes the game a little bit easier on your body, since I dropped down from 334g to 305g, my wrist problems have magically disappeared.
Even if you are someone who prefers a racket in the 330s, I would recommend taking a look at this stick because it has some great qualities. Whether you’re playing from the back of the court, or attacking the net, the VCORE Pro 97 (310) is right up there with the best rackets I’ve played with. You might still prefer something a bit heavier, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
I gave the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 (310) a score of 8.5 out of 10, which puts it right at the top end of rackets. I think for a racket between 310g and 320g that’s about the best score we’ve got. Groundstrokes, volleys, serves, I couldn’t find a bad word to say about this racket.
Review by: Will