Golf Balls Galore

How to find the right golf ball for you.

The golf ball wall can be a pretty intimidating place if you’re not sure what to look for in the perfect ball. There are the varying prices, distances, densities and materials in the plethora of golf balls available, and it can be very difficult to find the right ball on the first try.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be quite as daunting as it may seem. With golf balls coming in the right fit for any golfer, be it TOUR pro or newer joe, Bridgestone has all the tools needed to help you find the perfect golf ball. To get started, Elliot Mellow of Bridgestone Golf Marketing suggest getting a golf ball fitting. And it’s as easy as downloading the Bridgestone B-FIT app on your smartphone.

“We are different than our competitors because we don’t market that our TOUR balls are for everyone,” explains Mallow. The fact is that the ball Tiger Woods uses (TOUR B XS) likely isn’t a great fit for recreational players. The only way to know for sure is to go through the fitting process.”

For beginners, Bridgestone has recommended three different ball types that are perfect for maximizing both accuracy and distance off the tee: Extra Soft, e6 SOFT and e6 SPEED. While a TOUR ball, like the TOUR B XS that Tiger uses, is great for pros who are adept at spin control, but maybe not for the average player.

“It is important to help newer golfers maximize their distance and accuracy off the tee, as that sets up quality approach shots,” said Mallow. “It is critical that newer players not fall into the trap of trying to play the same balls they see TOUR pros using on TV, as the features that professionals use to their advantage, such as added spin, can actually have a negative effective on beginning golfers who aren’t as skilled in control spin rates.”

When researching and shopping for your next dozen of Bridgestones, it is also helpful to keep an eye out for some of the newer technological features available, which include:

  • Gradational Core: Added distance and forgiveness attributed to higher initial ball speed and lower side spin.
  • SlipRes: Added feel and control attributed to increased friction from the urethane cover.
  • Dual Dimple: Extra distance and enhanced aerodynamics for more efficient ball trajectory and less drag when the ball is in flight.
  • Seamless Cover: Consistent flight and performance thanks to a perfectly balanced dimple pattern.

With the ease and accuracy delivered from the revolutionary B-FIT app, to the variety of balls fit for any player and finally to the technological features that set Bridgestone golf balls apart from the others on the course, players from Average Joe to the TOUR Pro are able to easily find the perfect ball for the next round.

-Par Shooter

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Horses for Courses

Pair Your equipment to the Course for Optimal Performance
 
For serious golfers living in the Midwest, winters and early spring are simply too long. We pass the time reading golf magazines, practicing indoors and watching The Golf Channel. If you are getting the itch to head somewhere warm to put into practice what you’ve learned and worked on, consider the Carolinas.
 
Pinehurst, with its nine courses, is on many golfers’ bucket list. You can find top-ranked North Carolina golf courses with breathtaking mountain views or with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop.
 
In South Carolina, Hilton Head and Kiawah Island are frequent PGA Tour stops and for variety, it’s hard to beat Myrtle Beach. If that’s your destination, consider two terrific courses in the area. We played and enjoyed them immensely. Both are in North Carolina, just minutes from North Myrtle Beach. If you’re going to be in the area, be sure to check them out.
 
Thistle Golf Club and TaylorMade Drivers
 
The first course was the Thistle Golf Club. Situated in Sunset Beach, it features three very challenging 9-hole layouts with plenty of water, natural areas and sand bunkers. Its five sets of tees enabled each member in our foursome to play at his or her level. In addition to pristine conditions, we were duly impressed with the service, the friendliness of the staff and the 12-minute tee times. It felt like we had the course to ourselves for the most part.
 
Accuracy is extremely important at Thistle, so I recommend the new TaylorMade R15 or AeroBurner drivers. The R15 continues TaylorMade’s approach of reducing ball spin off the driver by increasing loft and moving the center of gravity toward the front of the club.
 
“To maximize driver distance, the golf ball must be launched at a higher angle and with very little backspin. A number of PGA Tour players are playing 12-degree drivers and they are among the longest on tour,” explained TaylorMade’s Jeff Nielander.
 
The R15 features even more adjustability than last year’s SLDR model, with two sliding mechanisms that can be adjusted to offset hooks, slices, maximize distance or consistency.
 
“We’ve also made the speed pocket longer and placed it a little closer to the clubface,” Nielander added. The speed pocket increases the clubface’s trampoline effect for greater distance.
 
For those who don’t need – or want – the R15’s adjustability, TaylorMade offers the AeroBurner driver. According to Nielander, it’s the company’s most aerodynamic driver ever made, resulting in increased club speed, which means more distance.
 
Crow Creek Golf and Nike Vapor Speed Driver
 
We also played and recommend Crow Creek Golf in Calabash, NC. It stretches to 7100 yards from the tips, though even good players will find the next sets of tees challenging enough. For average golfers, I recommend the white tees (just under 6100 yards). Like Thistle, there is plenty of trouble to be found at Crow Creek, though our group felt that there were fewer bunkers and more generous landing areas – if you choose your tee box wisely.
 
To give you a better chance at being on in two on some of the par 5s, I recommend the new Nike Vapor Speed driver.
 
“This is the line of drivers played by the number one golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy,” said Nike’s Chris Coffman.
 
As Coffman explained, Vapor Speed is designed to deliver optimal distance and low spin by combining FlyBeam technology with a NextCor face and spreading the weight across the head and toe. It further features the company’s FlexLoft 2 for 15 different launch options.
 
“Vapor Speed delivers consistent distance, even on off-center hits. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to hit it farther. In other words, pretty much every golfer,” Coffman added.
 
Callaway Chrome Soft Ball
 
Whether you play Thistle, Crow Creek or your favorite course, there is a new ball I recommend to players of all levels: Callaway’s new Chrome Soft. As the name implies, it’s soft (65 compression), enabling you attack fast, undulating greens and greens that require accurate approaches.
 
“This ball is going to change the category; it’s a paradigm shift for the industry,” explained Callaway’s Steve Conley. “It used to be that you had a soft ball that didn’t go far or a hard ball that would not spin on the green. Chrome Soft eliminates that compromise.”
 
Callaway believes most players will see increased distance with the driver and irons. Plus, the may get their ball do what we see pros do every weekend on TV:
 
“The low compression will allow average players to compress the ball like the pros. They’ll see the ball land and stick … maybe even back up,” Conley added.
 
Just as a good meal is truly complemented by an excellent wine, pairing your clubs with a ball that is ideally suited to your game and skill level will greatly enhance your golfing pleasure.
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last six years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Improve Your Score

With Golf Balls Specifically Engineered for Your
 
It’s common knowledge that, on average, a woman’s golf swing is slower than a man’s. Smart players (and manufacturers) recognize this and in recent years have replaced lower-lofted irons with hybrids. Frequently, however, that additional assistance is mitigated by playing a ball whose optimal performance is achieved by those with faster swing speeds.
 
The good news is that you don’t have to play the same ball as your male partner, because a number of golf ball manufacturers are offering balls designed specifically for you and your swing speed.
 
“Probably one of our most popular golf balls for women is our PD (Power Distance) Women. It features a soft ionomer cover with a modified 314-dimple pattern for longer carry. Its low-compression core delivers both longer distance and softer feel around the greens,” said Nike’s Chris Sullivan. These golf balls are available in both white and pink.
 
For the mid-handicap women players I like the Nike RZN Red and the RZN White. Both are designed for moderate to slower swing speeds. If you’re looking for more distance, try the RZN Red. Those who want a ball with more feel, resulting in more spin around the green, will find the RZN White better suited to their liking.
 
“The RZN Red and White golf balls feature a three-piece construction. The RZN core is 10 percent lighter than the conventional rubber core, allowing for heavier outer layers for optimal distance and stability,” Sullivan said.
 
Lower-handicap players are advised to consider the RZN Black and the RZN Platinum; the former delivers more distance while the latter delivers more feel. These four-piece golf balls are specifically designed for players with higher swing speeds.
 
“It’s important that all golfers – not just women – play a ball that is matched to their swing speed,” Sullivan added. “If they don’t swing fast enough to compress a higher-compression ball, they don’t get the desired trampoline effect, which maximizes distance and performance. On the other hand, if they’re playing a ball with not enough compression, the ball will almost feel like a marshmallow on the clubface.”
 
Be sure to check out the Ball Recommender on the Nike site. Simply by answering a few questions you’ll have a better idea of which ball is right for you. Of course, you may also consult with one of our knowledgeable sales professionals; they’re always eager and willing to help.
 
With the right ball in your bag, you’ll soon find yourself shooting better scores and beating your playing partners.
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last five years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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