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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Golf Balls  »  Golf Balls 2011
 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Golf Balls 2011
Golf Balls 2011
By Tom Landers | Published  08/16/2011 | Golf Balls , Play Testing | Unrated
Balls 2011


While much of the attention in the equipment marketplace over the last decade has been paid to drivers, irons and wedges, there can be no question that one of the most dynamic changes to sweep across the industry has been with the golf ball.
Where we once had to choose between feel or distance, modern golf balls combine the attributes of both, providing superb distance off the driver, fairway woods and long irons and feel and playability with short irons and when using the flat stick on the putting surface.
Remember. While we may use, as Mark Twain once said, "Instruments ill suited for their purpose" to play the game, the golf ball is what we score with. Most manufacturers now design balls to match certain types of swing speeds, so it is more vital than ever to know what kind of golfer you are and how much speed your swing (especially with the driver) generates.
Better players usually prefer premium golf balls that provide great short game attributes that allow them to stop their shots near the flag from 100 yards out from the green. Some amateurs and mid-handicappers can go either way; they are good enough to use a premium ball but may opt for one that offers a tad more distance at the expense of a bit of feel. High handicappers are best served by a ball that provides durability and is affordable.
Like most things in life, it's all about personal preference. Try out various golf balls and determine what works best for you. Don't be fooled into thinking that the most expensive golf ball on the shelf is necessarily the right one for your game. In short, get fitted for a golf ball like you would a set of irons.
Let's check out the plethora of golf balls on the market this summer.

Balls Over $35

Bridgestone Tour B330-S/B330 • $43

TECH TALK:: The B330 series of Tour performance golf balls feature a proprietary new material used in the dual mantle construction. The Tour B330 offers high swing speed players more distance off the tee and the same "great spin and feel that better golfers have become accustomed to with Bridgestone."

A Soft Urethane cover with 330-dimple design on the B330-S provides piercing consistent flight, and Tour-level spin and control on the greens. A Modified Gradational Hardness Layering allows for a smooth and efficient power transition, and a proprietary new RD10 resin material produces higher initial velocity and less spin, generating longer distance.

Bridgestone B330-RX/RXS • 43

TECH TALK: The SOFT Gradational Core on the B330-RX provides longer distance and better feel, an Ionomer inner cover offers increased velocity with reduced spin off the driver and long irons, and a reformulated mantle further reduces excess spin to produce straighter more accurate shots.

The mantle formulation on the B330-RXS generates reduced spin off the tee for greater distance performance, a SOFT Urethane Cover with Seamless 330 dimple is designed for consistent ball flight, and a Unique Seamless Cover Technology produces uniform dimple coverage on the entire ball surface for higher spin control with a consistent trajectory.

Nike 20XI-S/20XI-X • $46

TECH TALK: The 20XI-S's RZN core delivers more distance off the tee and better control around the greens. It features faster initial velocity for maximum distance, and the highest levels of moment of inertia for longer, more controlled shots. New construction materials give greater consistency ball-to-ball for highly predictable performance.

The 20XI-X is a four-piece ball with a seamless urethane cover and 360 dimple pattern. A new resin core provides faster initial velocity and a lighter, low density core distributes weight to perimeter, minimizing off line ball flight. A steeper spin slope provides lower driver spin and higher wedge spin.

TaylorMade Penta TP • $43

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 • $46

TECH TALK: The Pro V1 has three axes of symmetry, creating new aerodynamics to deliver a penetrating ball flight that holds its line in the wind. A high performance Urethane Elastomer cover provides excellent durability, and an A.I.M. (Alignment Integrated Marking) sidestamp is an integrated guide for improved putting alignment.

A higher trajectory contributes to Pro V1x's longer distance and a consistent flight that cuts through windy conditions. The ball provides consistent flight, low long game spin and soft feel on all shots, and a spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design gives "Drop-And-Stop" greenside control.

Wilson FG Tour/Tour X
• $38

TECH TALK: The Wilson® Staff FG Tour™ Golf Ball is a multilayer urethane golf ball that delivers the same long distance and shot-control as other urethane balls with one major difference: the softest feel of any urethane ball on the market. In Tour and better-player testing, the feel of the FG Tour ball was favorably compared to wound balata balls, yet with modern durability characteristics.

Wilson FG Tour X is designed for advanced players. The multilayer urethane balls delivers low spin off the driver and long irons. The FG Tour X has exceptional distance, shot-stopping spin and Tour caliber feel.

Balls $25 - $35


Bridgestone e5 • $27

TECH TALK: The Bridgestone e5 Golf Ball has a new dual dimple design for increased distance. The e5 is engineered for control and distance. The new e5 delivers consistency on the green because it is the only 2-piece urethane cover ball on the market, which provides the power of a large core with the control of Tour-proven urethane. New Dual Dimple Technology also provides improved distance performance and the inside dimple works to increase thrust power at launch while the outer dimple promotes a shallow angle of descent for increased roll.

Bridgestone e6 • $27

TECH TALK: The e6 golf ball employs a newly enhanced Anti-Side Spin Inner Layer that kills excess spin for an even straighter and longer flight. New Dual Dimple Technology also provides improved distance performance. The inside dimple works to increase thrust power at launch while the outer dimple promotes a shallow angle of descent for increased roll.The company says it's the lowest compression and softest multi-layer golf ball on the market, delivering optimal accuracy and "towering" distance.

Innovex V Motion • $34

TECH TALK The V Motion promises predictable stopping power that maximizes accuracy from 150 yards in. An optimal putting feel provides the confidence to sink putts from anywhere on the green, says the company, and 318 engineered dimples "partner with the air" to reduce drag and increase carry distance. The company conducted wind-tunnel testing to create its 318-dimple pattern. The three-piece construction features a cast urethane cover. The V-Motion is a Tour quality, urethane ball made for golfers who want high-spin and great feel around the greens, as well as extreme distance off the tee. The V-Motion challenges every professional ball ever made.

Nike Vapor Speed • $25

TECH TALK: Designed for the average amateur swing speed, the Vapor Speed has a newly reformulated core and optimized aerodynamics that combine to increase ball speed and maximize distance for the amateur player. This three-piece seamless ionomer golf ball features Power Transfer Layer which is a highly advanced polymer that maximizes velocity, distance and control throughout with added off-center hit forgiveness. This 3-piece ball is engineered for 80+ MPH swing speeds.

Polara Ultimate Straight • $29

TECH TALK: Featuring three different kinds of dimples that eliminate hooks and slices by up to 75%, this firmer distance ball has a Surlyn cover and a high-velocity polybutadiene core. Also like the XS, it has two regions of dimples. On the poles, the deeper dimples lower drag and enhance weight distribution, while the small dimples provide added slice and hook correction. On the equator, the shallow dimples lower lift and establish the preferred spin axis. To correct hooks and slices, simply point the side stamp arrow at your target. (When the arrow doesn't point at your target, it'll react like a regular ball.) To boost distance with your driver, tee the ball up high and use a driver with a loft of 10.5 degrees or more. Polara says you'll gain up to 20 yards.

Polara Ultimate Straight XS • $35

TECH TALK: Featuring a soft ionomer cover material that geneates higher spin for better stopping power on the green, the 3-piece Ultimate Straight XS is Polara's high-performance golf ball. One layer beneath the cover is its boundary layer material called DuPont HPF that produces lower driver spin and longer distance. At its core is a soft, resilient polybutadiene core for better feel. The shallow dimples lower lift and establish preferred spin axis, the small dimples provide slice and hook correction, and the deep dimples lower drag and enhance weight distribution. To correct hooks and slices, simply point the side stamp arrow at your target. To boost distance with your driver, tee the ball up high and use a driver with a loft of 10.5 degrees or more. Polara says you'll gain up to 20 yards. DOES NOT CONFORM TO USGA REGULATIONS

TaylorMade Burner Tour • $25

TECH TALK: The TaylorMade Burner Tour Golf Balls combine maximum distance with great feel. combine maximum distance with great feel. The softer and thinner cover of the TaylorMade Burner Tour Golf Balls provide more control into the green. Offering 10% more spin around the greens over the Burner golf balls, the TaylorMade Burner Tour golf balls utilize a 3-piece multi-layer construction that promotes exceptional distance and soft feel. They also feature Low Drag Performance Technology, where multiple dimple designs maintain lift on low-spin, off center hits to minimize distance loss.

Titleist NXT/NXT Tour1 • $20/25

TECH TALK: The NXT Tour golf ball represents "the next generation of performance" for golfers seeking long distance with the driver and long clubs, yet consistent shot stopping short game control. A soft center, a large multi-layer core for soft feel and long, straight distance, and a soft and thin Fusablend cover for improved spin and control.

The NXT golf ball features a 332 Icosahedral dimple design with staggered wave parting line for consistent ball flight, a resilient, low spin ionomer cover for long, straight ball flight, a high velocity, low spin solid core for extreme distance, and an A.I.M. (Alignment Integrated Marking) sidestamp for better putting accuracy.

Wilson C:25 • $25

TECH TALK: The Wilson C:25 Golf Ball is a multilayer golf ball and is perfect for players looking for distance, soft feel and shot-stopping spin. The soft core utilizes advanced rubber chemistry to maintain maximum initial velocity. A firm, speed-generating HPF mantle generates higher spin, and a thin, responsive ionomer cover delivers soft feel, especially greenside, with improved durability. Large, flat-bottomed, shallow dimples deliver stable, penetrating ball flights.

Balls $25 - $35

Bridgestone xFIXx • $20

TECH TALK :The xFIXx golf ball is designed for recreational players looking for great all-around performance. Features include a newly formulated soft ionomer cover that provides increased spin control and feel around the greens, a soft Gradational Core for longer distance with better feel, and low compression rubber core technology to generate longer and straighter distance off all clubs.

Nike Power Distance Soft/Long • $16

TECH TALK: The two-piece construction of the Power Distance Soft features a low-compression core and softened ionomer cover to provide "effortless distance" with added feel. The ball is designed to offer longer distance off the tee and from the fairway, a responsive feel off irons, and penetrating ball flight and added roll.

The two-piece Power Distance Long features a high velocity core and optimized dimple pattern to reduce drag and deliver more distance off the tee. The company says the ball delivers exceptional distance and feel, enhanced greenside control, and consistent ball flight.

Pinnacle Gold Distance • $18

TECH TALK: The Gold Distance is designed to deliver maximum distance, and features a low spin, resilient Ionomer cover and a high-speed core to provide long, straight distance from tee to green. A high speed core offers longer distance on all shots, and a resilient, low spin Ionomer cover promotes a long, straight ball flight from tee to green.

Pinnacle Dimension • $15

TECH TALK: The Dimension is designed and engineered for golfers seeking straight flight, soft feel and long distance. A soft, thin 3D Ionomer cover formulation provides cut-proof durability, and a new large soft core technology contributes to softer feel. The ball delivers high initial velocity and long distance with exceptional greenside control.

Noodle+ Easy Distance • $15

TECH TALK: The Noodle's two-piece construction includes the new Impact Propulsion Core, which stores energy with greater efficiency and releases it with greater energy. This 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 "amazingly soft," yet its muscular construction gives it "first-rate" durability and shear-resistance.

Titleist DT Solo • $20

TECH TALK: The DT Solo features a 392 Icosahedral dimple design with staggered wave parting line for consistent ball flight, a soft and responsive Ionomer cover for exceptional feel and control, a soft compression, solid core for better feel and longer distance, and an A.I.M. (Alignment Integrated Marking) sidestamp for enhanced putting accuracy.

Wilson D:25 • $20

TECH TALK: The Wilson D:25 Golf Ball is a high-performance two-piece ball with a 50 compression core. It is the softest two-piece ball on the market. On full shots, the ultra-soft, high-velocity core takes control to reduce spin and deliver penetrating ball flights. On short shots and around the green, the super-soft cover provides outstanding feel and shot-stopping spin.

Player’s Choice Awards Balls

Best Ball over $35
Bridgestone B330
Bridgestone B330 RX
Nike 20XI-S
TaylorMade Penta
Titleist Pro V1
Wilson FG Tour

Best Ball $25-$35
Bridgestone e5
Innovex V Motion
TaylorMade Tour
Titleist NXT Tour

Best Ball under $25
Bridgestone xFIXx
Pinnacle Dimension