Archive for the "Golf Balls" Category
Bridgestone has been quietly jumping up the ladder as far as the golf ball market is concerned. One of the areas in which they have strived to match their competition in is tour-level golf balls, known as the Tour B330 line. The first two balls that Bridgestone came out with, the Tour B330 and B330S, were a huge success and are currently used by PGA Tour players such as Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, and Davis Love III. Since then Bridgestone has come out with a new type of golf ball, one that provides tour level performance for amateur players, known as the RX line. The RX line includes the B330 RX, which is more geared for players looking for distance, and the B330 RXS, which is geared for players looking for more short iron spin. I decided to give the Bridgestone B330 RXS golf ball a try to see if it can really provide tour performance for amateur golfers (those with swing speeds less than 105 miles per hour).
Even through the B330 RX is supposed to offer more distance as opposed to the RXS, I found the RXS to have great distance both off the tee and in the fairway. The distance was certainly comparable to that of a Pro V1 or a Callaway Tour golf ball. On average I was getting about 3 to five yards extra distance on both my iron and wood shots, which is certainly surprising to find in a golf ball. If anything it proves that in order to increase distance one of the first things to try out is better golf equipment such as new clubs or balls such as the B330 RXS.
When it came to the short game, I was also pleasantly surprised to find out how well it performed. There wasn’t very much backspin on say 75 yard pitch shots, but how many amateur golfers are really looking for that to happen when hitting a pitch shot from that distance? In either case, the ball did stop quickly whenever I wanted it to, not only on pitch shots but also when it came to chipping. Whenever I needed to hit a bump and run chip the ball would always check up. The Bridgestone B330 RXS golf ball also feels great when putting. There is a very useful putting alignment on it that makes it easier to line up putts where you want them to go.
As far as negatives, the only major one that I found came in regards to shots into the green using mid to high irons. The golf ball just would not stay on the green no matter what I tried; it would hit the green and then just keep rolling. How can a supposed tour-level performance golf ball not provide decent spin for mid and long iron shots? Also, I found it a bit harder to shape shots with as opposed to similar balls such as the Pro V1. The ball is fine if trying to hit low or high shots, but it seemed to exaggerate fades and draws, making them instead slices and hooks.
Overall it is a very solid golf ball for amateurs looking for a high performance golf ball. It provides distance comparable to any other golf ball on the market today and could even add a few extra yards to your iron and wood shots. It is also great for the short game as well, but one should be a little cautious when it comes to mid to long irons shots when hitting into the green.
Take a look at some more great deals on new and used Bridgestone Tour B330 RXS Golf Balls.
Over the past few years Callaway has been making great strides in the golf ball market. It now offers golf balls for practically any handicap imaginable, and has great quality golf balls that are played by the likes of Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els on the PGA Tour as well. One of the more recent high-end golf balls that has come out is the Callaway Tour iS golf ball. It has received a lot of hype since it has come out, being featured on Golf Digest’s Hot List for 2011 for instance.
The Callaway Tour iS is technologically advanced as a four piece golf ball (I guess three isn’t good enough these days or something) and its main purpose is to help golfers with their short games. Along with most of their other golf balls the Callaway Tour iS has HEX Aerodynamics; this means that when you look at the golf ball the dimples are hexagons instead of regular circles. This supposedly makes the ball better able to get good ball flight in practically any weather condition imaginable. Another feature concerning the Callaway Tour iS is its dual core technology, which is pretty self explanatory in which the golf ball has two cores (hence being a four piece golf ball instead of three piece), and it supposedly help in getting maximum distance along with great short game feel. With all of that said, does all of this technology in a golf ball really help your game? I decided to give the Callaway Tour iS a try over a few rounds to see if it can really live up to its hype. What follows is my review of the golf ball.
As far as the short game, the ball lives up to its hype; it is truly a great short game ball that can rival any other brand on the market today. Especially from 100 yards and in the golf ball checks up beautifully and provides a good amount of backspin when needed. When it came to chipping bump and runs were very easy to execute and the Callaway Tour iS checks up every time. It was even great out of bunkers too. As anyone knows it can be quite difficult getting a golf ball to stop on the green when hitting a greenside bunker shot, but I was able to consistently get the ball to stop on the green; the same applied to fairway bunker shots as well. When it came to putting the golf ball felt great and rolled true every time. It certainly provides added confidence when putting on the green.
The Callaway Tour iS is a really great ball to shape shots with, whether it is a fade, a hook, or even a riser (where the ball starts low and increases height). I just used the appropriate swing for each shot and the golf ball did the rest for me. I got some pretty good distance out of the fairway woods and driver, and I would it was comparable to similar golf balls. The major downside for the Callaway Tour iS came in regards to long iron shots (5 iron to 3 iron). The distance that I got for this kind of shot was well below average (about 5 yards shorter than a Pro V1). I play from the back tees and 5 yards means a lot, so I pleasantly surprised to find this out.
The Callaway Tour iS certainly lives up to its hype as a great short game ball. I would say that it is a great fit for someone who already gets good distance and is looking to improve their short game stats. The only downside that I found when using the ball was long iron shots, but other than the Callaway Tour iS performed very well.
Take a look at some more great deals on new and used Callaway Tour iS Golf Balls.
Srixon has slowly been climbing the golf ball rankings year after year with great quality golf balls that appeal to any handicap. A close friend of mine gave me some Srixon AD 333 golf balls to try out, so I decided to compare them with Titleist NXT golf balls to see how they perform.
The Srixon AD 333 golf ball is a 2-piece ball made with a state of the art Rabalon elastomer cover. It supposed has a softer feel and more durability than Surlyn, which is another popular cover used on golf balls. It has a 333 aerodynamic dimple pattern, which is unique in that most golf balls these days have an even numbered dimple pattern. With that said, how does it compare to the Titleist NXT?
As far as the long game (driver, woods, high to mid irons), the Srixon AD 333 performed above average compared to the Titleist NXT. I was most surprised at the distance difference of the two golf balls. The Srixon golf ball went an average of 10 yards further than the Titleist golf ball did. A lot of it had to do with the launch angle and roll. The Srixon AD 333 certainly a high launch angle to say the least, and this lead to greater carry and roll with the driver. The woods and irons were mixed when it came to the Srixon golf ball. The distance control for the irons and woods was great, but the spin on the golf ball was below average when compared to the Titleist NXT. Where I could reasonably expect the Titleist golf ball to release a little and then stop on the green, I could hardly get the same result with the Srixon golf ball. It always seemed to just hit the green and keep on running off of it, as if it were being chased by something. This was surprising given that the launch angle was generally higher with the Srixon AD 333 as opposed to the Titleist NXT golf ball. I also found it difficult to hit low stinging shots into the wind with the Srixon golf ball. For a low handicapper like myself, it is a must to be able to adapt to the environment and hit particular shots when called for, and I was able to do this as well with the Srixon AD 333.
As stated earlier, the golf ball does not have a lot of spin to it when approaching the green (at least during the few golf rounds that I played with it). However, it still compared favorably to the Titleist NXT when it came to the short game (putting, chipping, low irons). What surprised me the most concerning the short game using the Srixon AD 333 was bunker play. I was hitting great bunker shots consistently with the Srixon golf ball, as opposed to sporadically using the Titleist golf ball. I generally hit explosion-type bunker shots where the ball just lands on the green and runs to the flag, and the Srixon golf ball performed beautifully in this area. Nonetheless, it was below average when it came to chipping around the green though. If you need to hit a flop shot or have the golf ball stop immediately this is not the golf ball to do it effectively. Another bright spot however came when putting, as the Srixon golf ball had a better and much softer feel than the Titleist golf ball. It was much easier to gauge distances putting when using the Srixon AD 333.
My overall view of the Srixon AD 333 is that it compares well to the Titleist NXT golf ball, for both long game and short game. The ball offers great distance off the tee, while having below average spin on incoming shots to the green. It is a mid-handicappers ball at best, as it doesn’t offer the performance that a low handicapper needs around the greens. It could be a great alternative consider if you are playing a Titleist NXT or similar golf ball.
Take a look at some great deals on new and used Srixon AD 333 Golf Balls.
I don’t usually play Callaway Golf Balls, as the brand is more known for its golf clubs than its golf balls. However, there was a great deal on a dozen of the Callaway Warbird Plus golf balls at a local golf store so I decided to give them a try and see how they performed out on the golf course.
The first thing that came to mind when purchasing these was why they were called Warbird Plus. Apparently, it is because they made improvements to the original Warbird golf ball. Callaway made two main changes to the golf ball. The first is that they brought the dimples of the golf ball more in line with their HEX aerodynamics (in other words, instead of having dimples in a simple circle, Callaway made it so that they are hexagons instead). Another improvement Callaway made to the Warbird Plus was in regards to its core. They changed out the old core and put in a new “high powered” core that supposedly provides long lasting durability, maximum distance, and softer feel. In other words, they made the ball like any other golf ball you would find on the market today, except for those weird hexagon dimples.
The Warbird Plus certainly performed well when it comes to the driver and irons. It gets good distance, especially for its price, as well as a decent amount of spin off of the clubface. It may help those who are struggling with either a slice or a hook off the tee, as I found when I intentionally tried to hit both that it didn’t go as far left or right as it would other golf balls. I normally hit a fade with the driver, and it didn’t do it as much when hitting this golf ball for whatever reason (may be the new dimples, but I’m not completely sure). The irons performed okay, about what I would expect from this kind of golf ball. It hardly gives any spin at all for the mid to high irons, as I saw shot after shot keep rolling on the green and not check up. I got some spin on the low irons though, so it wasn’t all that bad.
Like any typical golf ball in this price range (~$25), it has below average spin around the green. As a three handicap golfer I like to play a lot of bump and run chips around the green, and this ball certainly ran. However, it hardly checked up at all, and especially when hitting bunker shots the ball just kept rolling and rolling. If you can learn to consistently play the golf ball shorter of the hole than you normally would, I have no doubt that this ball will work well around the green. I was surprised however when putting with the Warbird Plus. It felt as good as hitting a more expensive golf ball and had a good feel to it.
My overall impression of the Callaway Warbird Plus golf ball is that it is a good golf ball for its price. Definitely consider getting it if you are a mid handicapper (10-15 range). It will get good distance off the tee as well as good fell when putting. If you are a low handicapper like me you may want to look elsewhere, as the golf ball does not complement the short game in any way. As I stated earlier, expect the Warbird Plus to be worth its price but not much more than that.
Take a look at some great deals on new and used Callaway Warbird Golf Balls.
Titleist has dominated the premium golf ball market for years with its Pro V1 and Pro V1X. However, competitors such as Taylormade, Bridgestone, and Srixon are certainly closing the gap on the iconic brand. With PGA professionals such as Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk hyping the Srixon Z Star for some time now, I thought I would give the golf ball a shot to see how it compares with the Pro V1.
Like the Titleist Pro V1, the Srixon Z-Star is a three piece golf ball designed for great spin and control around the greens while not losing any distance off the tee. The core of the golf ball is one of the firmest you will find anywhere (if you want to know the technical jargon, it is called the energetic gradient growth core), while the outside of it has a thin urethane cover that helps with both feel and distance.
As far as the long game (driver, irons) I thought the golf ball performed on par with the Pro V1. For the driver, the distance was about the same as the Pro V1, maybe a couple yards short at times but not much of a real difference to tell. The spin off of the clubface was great and actually performed a little better than the Pro V1 did. I also found the Z-Star to be more durable than the Pro V1 after hitting numerous driver shots with both balls. Regarding the irons, the Z-Star was just as good as the Pro V1 when it came to both spin and trajectory. You know you are hitting a top quality golf ball when you can get some spin off of mid to high iron shots, and I certainly had many with the Z-Star. One minor difference that I found with the Z-Star is that it had somewhat higher trajectory than the Pro V1. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your swing and where you are, but I thought it was helpful for my three handicap swing.
The short game really determines whether a premium golf ball like the Z-Star is worth the money, and it disappointed me on and around the green unfortunately. The problem with the Z-star that I found was in its stopping action. It just did not stop like the Pro V1 did, especially when it came to bunker shots. On normal chips around the green it performs okay, but if you are a bump and run kind of chipper like me it doesn’t check up as much as the Pro V1 did when I was testing it out on the golf course. When putting the Z-Star has somewhat of a more firm feel to it as opposed to the Pro V1. I am more of a firm kind of player anyways so I was able to drain more putts with it than the Pro V1, but if you are looking for a softer feel on the greens then do not go with the Z-Star.
My overall impression of the Srixon Z-Star is that while it may be a little bit better for the long game, it is not as good as the Pro V1 when it comes to the short game. If the short game is one of your strong suits and are looking for a (somewhat) cheaper alternative to the Pro V1, consider trying out the Srixon Z-Star. If it isn’t, stick with the Pro V1 or consider trying the Bridgestone B330.
Check out some great deals on new and used Srixon Z-Star Golf Balls.
Pinnacle Gold Distance Golf Balls
Let us face the facts: no one really hears of Pinnacle golf balls being very good. Commercial after commercial on television is inundated with Titleist, Callaway, or Srixon golf balls. And thus, Pinnacle golf balls have not been given their due justice. I thought I’d buck the trend of buying from the previous brands mentioned and decided to try a sleeve a Pinnacle Gold Distance golf balls for a few rounds. It says on the package that it is “for golfers seeking long distance tee-to-green with straight ball flight. Does it really live up to its name?
I certainly found several great things about the ball when playing a few rounds with it, and I will discuss three of them in this article. First, I must admit that I was surprised and the distance I was getting out of them. When I hit several drives using well known golf balls such as Callaway and Bridgestone alongside the Pinnacle Gold Distance golf ball, it was going just as far if not further. What is great about it is that it does not simply give one better distance off the tee; it also gives great distance using the irons as well.
Second, the durability of the golf ball was phenomenal to say the least. I played round after round using the golf ball and it never seemed to scuff up (unless I hit the cart path or a tree of course, but I digress). It certainly lasted a lot longer than the Bridgestone I was playing alongside it, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Less golf balls scuffed=more money in my pocket, so if you are a frugal golfer this could be a great alternative golf ball for you.
Lastly, I believe that the best feature about the Pinnacle Gold Distance golf ball is the trajectory that if offers on mid-to-low iron shots. When compared with say a Callaway HX Bite (nearly twice as expensive), the Pinnacle golf ball was getting much high trajectory. This was extremely helpful for me because I play in a region where there is not much wind, and the higher I can get the ball the softer it will land on the green, thus giving me a better chance at making birdie.
Having discussed the positive aspects of the golf ball, there are a couple of downsides that should be mentioned as well. First, it is extremely hard to get the ball to spin around the green. I like to hit a lot of bump-and-run chips when playing golf and this golf ball is not very well suited for it. It never seemed to really check up at all and just kept running through the green. The ball is a nightmare when it comes to deep rough as well. Whereas I am able to get the ball to stop on the green somewhere using a Titleist or a Srixon golf ball, not so much for the Pinnacle.
Even though Pinnacle put a sidestamp on the golf ball to promote better putting accuracy, it still wasn’t very useful for me out on the golf course. I am what you would call a “feel” putter, and both the putter and golf ball play a tremendous role in whether or not I can sink a lot of putts during a golf round. I just didn’t get that same comfort when putting with the Pinnacle Gold Distance as opposed to better name brand golf balls.
Overall, I thought the Pinnacle Gold Distance golf balls were a steal for their price. If you do not want to spend $50 on some Pro V1’s, think about considering trying these golf balls. I will admit however that these golf balls are not for those who are good at golf (I am a three handicap). They won’t aid you in any way around the green, so if that is a weak part of your golf game I would suggest another golf ball such as the Callaway HX Bite. If distance is your problem however, this is a must-have golf ball. You will find yourself hitting it the same distance as you would a golf ball two to three times more expensive. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?
Take a look at some great deals on new and used PInnacle Gold Distance Golf Balls.
A great golf ball for its price, recommended for those who struggle on and around the green.
Callaway is known for having great golf clubs, but what about its golf balls? As a near-scratch golfer, I thought I would give the Callaway HX Bite golf ball a try to see how it stacked up against other golf balls, notably the Titleist Pro V1. According to their website, the HX Bite is supposedly known for having great control around the greens as well as long and accurate distance. After playing a few rounds with it, here is my impression.
As far as the long game, the Callaway HX Bite lived up to its name, being both long and accurate. The trajectory of most of my drives was mid-flight (using a 9.5 degree driver), and there was a lot of roll after the ball hit the ground. Irons shots with this golf ball were great as well when it comes to accuracy. If you are hitting a 7 iron or lower, expect the golf ball to stop fairly quickly when it hits the green.
What is most surprising about this golf ball is how well it spins around the green. I like to do a lot of bump and run chips around the green, where I aim for a spot several feet below the hole and let the ball check and run up to it. Nearly every chip I hit with this ball did that, very similar to a Pro V1. In regards to putting, the golf ball runs true practically every time, going exactly where I aimed.
The Callaway HX Bite is a great golf ball for its price (roughly $30). I found the ball to be especially useful for the weakest part of my game, the short game. Try this golf ball out if you are facing similar problems. I would especially recommend this golf ball to those golfers shooting in the low 80s or high 70s, as the green control it offers will make a profound difference.
Ryan Kekoufksi is a three handicap golfer who has both played and watched the sport for over a decade. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia.