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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Golf Balls: Its all about choice.
Golf Balls: Its all about choice.
By John Torsiello | Published  08/9/2010 | Play Testing | Unrated
Balls: Its all about choice.


"Balls: It's All About Choice"

Manufacturers have flooded the market with an amazing number of balls, all designed to be fine tuned to individual swing characteristics and ball striking ability. The major players, such as Titleist, Callaway, Nike, Bridgestone and TaylorMade, feature an almost exhaustive array of balls that promise better playability and forgiveness…for the high handicapper to the most accomplished golfer.
If there is one constant in golf balls it is change. To wit, the constant tweaking of designs in order to squeeze out every last ounce of performance from the little sphere. Just take a quick glance at the shelves in your local pro shop and you will quickly discover how competitive a marketplace it is. There’s Cleveland/Srixon’s interesting launch of its yellow (or yellow/green depending upon whom you talk to) Srixon Z-Star, Titleist’s consistently hot selling Pro V1 line, Callaway’s wonderful new Solaire and HX Bite balls, Bridgestone’s innovative B330 and “e” lines, and TaylorMade’s ground-breaking five-piece) that’s right, five piece!) Penta. There seems no limit to the choices consumers have when it comes to laying down a few bucks (or more) for a sleeve or a dozen balls.
It is vitally important that golfers take a little time to determine what ball is best for them. Some golf balls are designed to match the launch elements of the club being used, especially the driver. The right ball for your swing speed can add distance and accuracy to your repertoire. If it short-game scoring you’re after, then you’ll want a multi-piece ball that can impart maximum spin and shot shaping to your clubfaces. If you are a mid-handicapper desperate for a bit more distance off the tee and from the fairway, try a new dual-core or three-piece design that produces hot ball flight, while offering more control than the sometimes rock-hard two-piece balls of a decade ago.
Don’t allow golf balls to be an impulse purchase, something you do last minute at the counter before heading out for your round. Do a little homework and find the ball that fits your game. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make.





Bridgestone Tour B330-S/B330

TECH TALK: The B330 is optimized for Tour average swing speeds of between 103 and 115 miles an hour. A soft gradational core generates enhanced initial velocity and decreased driver spin for long carries off the tee. An outer mantle is designed for high repulsion and greater workability on a variety of shots. An inner mantle helps provide power and maximum distance.
The B330-S four-piece ball features a dual mantle that reduces spin off the tee for a long, straight ball flight. A soft urethane cover and slightly softer core increases spin and feel around the greens. The company claims the B330-S is the softest-feeling multi-layer urethane ball on the market.



Bridgestone B330-RX/RXS

TECH TALK: The B330-RX is one of the few golf balls on the market with the ability to help fast-swinging pros and average golfers equally. The RX’s high repulsion mantle makes it easy to fade or draw at will, and the ball’s soft compression allows average players to get maximum distance.
The Tour B330-RXS has a Soft Gradational Core for longer distance and better feel. An Ionomer inner cover provides increased velocity with reduced spin off the driver and long irons for greater carry. The ball’s mantle generates reduced spin off the driver for more distance, and a soft urethane seamless 330 dimple design gives consistent ball flight.



Callaway Tour i(z)

TECH TALK: Through second generation Dual Core technology, Callaway engineers claim to have designed a 4-piece Tour ball that delivers even faster ball speeds. The four-piece Tour I (z) has a soft urethane cover that uses a proprietary blend of materials to allow the ball to play softer, last longer and generate Tour-level greenside spin. A high-resiliency Dual Core construction increases ball speed for a wider range of swing speeds, and a Sub-HEX design features six deep hexagon depressions for a penetrating, Tour-type trajectory. The i(z) emphasizes distance with more greenside spin than previous models.



Nike One Tour/Tour D

TECH TALK: The Nike One Tour four-piece ball is long, thanks to a proprietary Power Transfer Layer, it’s soft due to its seamless urethane cover, and it’s accurate, with a progressive density core that prevents ballooning and limits sidespin. The ball is made up of a seamless urethane cover.
The Tour D offers “massive” distance off the tee and surer shots into the green. The ball’s dimple design on a seamless urethane cover creates a highly playable ball for all types of shots. The three-piece ball’s improved cover is also engineered to generate maximum distance off the driver and fairway woods.
SRIXON Z-Star/Z-Star X



Srixon Z Star/Z StarX

TECH TALK: The new Z-STAR is a high-performance multilayer ball with low compression and extremely soft feel, designed for the player looking for a tour proven ball with great feel and distance control. an ultra-thin urethane cover combines with a new dimple configuration maximizes performance. The core is designed to improve spin and launch conditions for every club in the bag. The Z-Star X is a firmer ball for faster swing speeds (105-plus mph). A coating on the cover is intended to increase friction on short-game shots. New to this line are “tour yellow” versions to improve visibility.



TaylorMade Penta TP

TECH TALK: TaylorMade claims this unique 5-layer ball improves the performance for each of the five shots we hit in a round of golf: Drives, long irons, scoring irons, wedges and putts. An NdV4 core, delivers faster ball speed to promote more distance, and an ultra-thin cast thermoset urethane cover delivers a tour-caliber blend of spin, soft feel and superior durability. Low-Drag Performance (LDP) forgives off-center hits by delivering added lift to keep ball airborne. An Iothane 56 cover combines the speed of ionomer with the spin and feel of urethane.



Titleist Pro V1/V1X

TECH TALK: The Pro V1 utilizes a three-piece multi-layer construction to maximize distance, durability and performance. A reformulated, larger core provides soft feel, while contributing to longer distance. A thinner, Ionomeric casing layer contributes to improve “drop-and stop” scoring performance, and a high-performance urethane elastomer formulation offers improved cover durability.
The Pro V1x utilizes a four-piece dual core construction that lowers spin and maximizes distance, and a soft center, high energy core delivers low spin and increased velocity. A Ionomeric casing layer controls driver spin for longer distance, and a staggered wave parting line provides more consistent ball flight.



Wilson FG Tour

TECH TALK: The FG Tour utilizes a cast urethane cover and multilayer construction to maximize distance, durability, and performance demanded by the game’s best players. The FG Tour’s exclusive low compression, coupled with Traction Control Technology, makes it the only urethane ball on the market to offer “balata-like feel and tour-caliber spin.” A thin urethane cover provides premium feel and excellent scuff-resistance and helps deliver low driver spin and a stable, penetrating ball flight. While the FG Tour may not have the Tour presence yet of some other balls in this category, it certainly exhibits the overall quality and performance you would expect from a premium ball.



Bridgestone e6/e7

TECH TALK: The e6 golf ball includes an enhanced Anti-Side Spin Inner Layer that reduces excess spin for golfers who seek a straighter and longer flight. A soft Suryln cover is designed for longer and straighter distance. The enhanced Anti-Side Spin Inner Layer also reduces hook and slice spin for improved performance for players of all abilities.
The e7 is designed for golfers who need a slightly lower trajectory or may already have an ideal trajectory but are seeking more distance. A Reactive Suryln cover allows for longer and straighter ball flight, and a high-speed, multi-layer construction presents maximum distance performance.


Dixon Wind

TECH TALK: Dixon Golf has created the world’s first high-performance eco-friendly golf balls. They are 100% recyclable and made from reprocessable materials. Even the packaging is made from 100% recycled material. The 428 Monster dimple pattern allows for ultimate distance and accuracy while the resilient Eco-cover provides maximum durability and spin control. A densified precast green core generates extra recoil for even greater distance.



Nike Vapor Speed

TECH TALK: The One Vapor Speed is a 3-piece multilayer ball designed for the average amateur swing speed. A newly reformulated core with a 13% softer compression rating than last year’s Vapor and optimized aerodynamics combine to increase ball speed and maximize distance for the amateur player. A reworked core improves feel and increases ball speed off an average amateur’s swing of 85-95 mph, and an optimized aerodynamics and seamless ionomer blend add length and consistency. A Power Transfer Layer maximizes velocity, distance and control throughout the bag.



TaylorMade Burner TP

TECH TALK: Distance, tour-caliber bite and soft feel. The key to the Burner TP’s performance is its HPF 1000 SpeedMantle which teams with the high-energy/low compression core to limit spin off the driver, and which also teams with the Iothane cover to increase spin off the short irons – providing the most spin on approach shots of any TaylorMade ball. Iothane is itself a small miracle, being soft and durable while also promoting excellent spin. The 75-compression count makes Burner TP arguably the softest Tour-type ball available in the market.



Titleist NXT/NXT Tour

TECH TALK: The NXT represents the “next generation of distance” for golfers seeking extreme distance and durability with straight ball flight. A 332 Icosahedral dimple design with staggered wave parting line offers consistent ball flight, and a resilient, low spin ionomer cover provides long, straight shots. A high-velocity, low-spin solid core is built for “extreme” distance.

The NXT Tour is designed for the average to highly skilled golfer seeking the combination of soft feel, high performance control and longer distance. An advanced, multilayer construction, with a new Tour-proven, high coverage dimple design and staggered wave parting line provides longer, more consistent distance.



Wilson C:25

TECH TALK: The low compression, three-piece ball is designed to deliver minimal spin off the driver for longer distance, and a soft ionomer cover provides a soft feel for “unparalleled” performance. A “supersoft” core utilizes advancements in rubber chemistry to maintain high initial velocity, and an HDF speed mantle encases the low compression core to generate higher spin. Wilson claims the ball promotes progressively higher spin as the player approaches the pin for shots inside 150 yards. The ball is designed to work with the Wilson Staff Ci9 irons.


Nike Crush

TECH TALK: Delivering explosively longer, straighter performance for a wide range of swing speeds, Nike Crush is a 2-piece ball that combines a lower compression core and optimized cover design to reduce unwanted side-spin and maximized ball velocity for straighter, longer distance. A Micro-Composite coating is designed to lower spin for driver shots that would normally slice or hook the ball. The 312-dimple design optimizes lift for longer carry and consistent ball flight.



Pinnacle Dimension

TECH TALK: Designed and engineered for golfers seeking straight ball flight, soft feel and long distance, the Pinnacle Dimension’s new 3D (distance, durability and dispersion) A Soft, thin 3D Ionomer cover formulation provides cut-proof durability. New, large, soft core technology contributes to softer feel, a high initial velocity for longer distance, and exceptional greenside control. A high coverage 332 Icosahedral dimple design provides consistent ball flight and minimizes dispersion. A Pinnacle alignment sidestamp promotes better putting accuracy.



Pinnacle Gold

TECH TALK: The Pinnacle Gold has been advanced to produce improved accuracy, as well as the superb distance the brand has come to be known for. A soft responsive Ionomer cover and high speed, soft compression core creates more pop off the driver, but also delivers better feel on and around the greens. The Pinnacle Gold is available in 2 models, the Distance and Precision. With its cut proof guarantee, color choice of white or yellow, and a 15 ball pack for the price of a dozen, the Pinnacle Gold has long been the “gold standard” for the value conscious golfer.



Noodle+ Easy Distance

TECH TALK: The Noodle + Easy Distance ball is designed for players with swing speeds less than 85 miles an hour. Noodle’s two-piece construction includes the new Impact Propulsion Core, which stores energy with greater efficiency and releases it with greater energy. That equals higher ball speed and softer feel. Part of the reason the core is so soft is due to the Iothane cover, which feels and sounds soft, yet its construction gives it first-rate durability and shear-resistance. This low-compression ball is made for golfers who want increased ball speed and soft feel around the greens.



TaylorMade Burner

TECH TALK: The new Burner ball is engineered to deliver all of the performance qualities that the Burner name is known for: fast speed, distance and feel. Inside is the V-Core, a large sphere that promotes ultra-fast ball velocity, even though the ball itself measures a super-soft 60 on the compression meter. Outside is an Iothane cover that’s feels soft at impact yet it’s also incredibly durable and shear-resistant. For those that don’t hit like a Tour player but still want the benefits, the TaylorMade Burner is here to save the day. This two-piece ball with its low compression will help nearly anyone get more distance.



Titleist DT Solo

TECH TALK: A 392 Icosahedral dimple design with staggered wave parting line helps create consistent ball flight, and a soft and responsive Ionomer cover provides exceptional feel and control for better shot making ability. A soft compression, solid core is designed for greater feel and longer distance, and the A.I.M. (Alignment Integrated Marking) side stamp helps creates better putting. With it’s pedigree coming from the Titleist DT family, this latest iteration is sure to be a solid performer for golfers with slower swing speeds.



Wilson D:25

TECH TALK: The low compression, two-piece ball delivers low spin off the driver face for greater carry and a soft ionomer cover provides maximum feel for performance on and around the greens. A supersoft core utilizes advancements in rubber chemistry to maintain high initial velocity and provides high lift conditions off the tee and on longer shots into the green. The lower spin will be a real benefit to gofers fighting either hooks or slices. This ball is designed to work with the Wilson Staff Di9 and D-FY irons.

Player’s Choice Awards

Best Ball over $35
Bridgestone B330 RX/RXS
Srixon Z Star
TayloMade Penta
Titleist Pro V1/V1X

Best Ball $25-$35
Bridgestone e6/e7
Titleist NXT/NXT Tour

Best Ball under $25
Pinnacle Dimension
Noodle+ Easy
TaylorMade Burner