If you believe all you read and hear, buying a suitable ball that compliments your game, pocket and your golfing ego can be confusing. (“Golfing Ego” is a whole other discussion, though it’s safe to say it can extend right through your bag).
For the sake of this review, I am going to divide golf balls into three categories.
Tour balls are exactly that, balls made for Ty Webb and his night putting friend Mitch. They offer exceptional control, allowing a competent user to bend the ball both ways, control your distance and stop it on command. We ALL bend the ball, some of us ALL the time. This is awesome if you have a reliable draw or cut. A lot of the time though, the curve you put on the ball is unwanted. A tour ball can accentuate this as they are designed to spin.
Mid-Range balls are designed for the golfer who demands performance with but needs forgiveness and they are priced accordingly. All the major ball manufacturers make a ball for this category. These balls are designed to have low driver spin but offer some control around the green.
Distance/Economy balls are two piece balls that are designed to be very low spin as they have very durable covers and hard cores. They are aimed at the longer marker and are cheap so when you inevitably lose a few it doesn’t hurt too much.
I realise there are sub-categories based on swing speed and gender, a topic for further/another discussion.
Today I’m road testing two new balls, the front nine with a Bridgestone B330 (tour ball) and the back nine a Bridgestone E6 (mid-range all-rounder), both 2016 releases. I have played the previous B330 models for a number of years, but I have been playing less in the last year or two and have become wayward, even more so. It’s time to park the golfing ego.
The B330 is Bridgestone’s tour distance ball for driver swing speeds of over 105mph. It was very good and performed as expected – I can’t honestly say if it was 5 meters longer or shorter as I wasn’t in a simulator, but I have always got good distance from this ball. The balls I hit poorly finished where I expected and the balls I centred went basically where I wanted. The few times I needed to draw or cut the ball around the trees, I was able to….as expected. I really do like this ball.
The E6 was pleasantly surprising. Whilst I didn’t hit every fairway and green on the back nine, the ball flew noticeably straighter especially off the driver. I hit the ball with a draw and my bad ones are draws that just won’t sit down…. hooks! So after making “hook-like” contact with the ball a few times, it was nice to raise my eyes to see the ball not heading as far left as I expected.
Full iron shots to the green were what surprised me most, especially short irons. Whilst the ball didn’t “suck back”, they sat down nicely. It must be said I do generally hit the ball with a lot of spin, so I had no trouble stopping the E6 basically where I wanted to.
Only around the green did I notice the real difference. With less than full chips and pitches, the E6 will release so I found myself allowing for the extra run, a small price to pay to find more fairways off the tee.
Summing up, I may have found my new ball. To get the raw data, you would have to hit the balls in a simulator measuring everything and possess a perfectly repeating swing…. mmmm don’t have that! We feel if you’re “road testing” - better to play the ball and see, feel and try to experience the differences.
Whilst you my struggle to find real differences between balls from the same categories ie. Srixon Q Star, Taylormade Aeroburner Pro and Bridgestone E6 – you can definitely see them in balls from different categories.
But I will take those naked lady tees and orange balls!
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