Who can REALLY tell the difference in brands of golfballs?

64degreewedge64degreewedge Members Posts: 21
Going back years, I'd hear people say "Oh the Topflites are the worst to putt with" or "If you're going to buy Wilson, stick with the Prostaff" and so on. I used to think to myself "You REALLY have to be one **** of a golfer if you can tell a difference in the performance or even the feel of a certain ball. I will admit however to me the Callaway Supersoft do seem to have a nice glide off the irons, but I'm really not sure how much I'm just imagining that.


  • MrJonesMrJones Waiting for the weekend... Members Posts: 2,724 ✭✭
    If they're only going by the name brand and not even the actual ball, they probably can't tell the difference.
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  • JonesyJonesy Members Posts: 1,540 ✭✭
    If you find yourself with a wedge in hand yelling get down to your ball, you've probably just hit a TP5X... Those things took off like rockets...

    Callaway chromesofts definitely have some spring off the putter and wedges around the green... lots of *FISM's with this ball

    Srixon XV sounds like you've hit a rock when you're putting and chipping and you think you've scuffed your club... Same with the old Nike RZN Black actually.

    I haven't hit a ProV/V1x in years so I have nothing for you there... except that they used to discolor after 12 holes.

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  • NJpatbeeNJpatbee Members Posts: 1,531 ✭✭
    I might be able to tell the type of ball but for similar balls I could not differentiate between the brands. An example for me is the Gamer Soft and e6 Soft - they are about identical to me. I believe I can tell a tour caliber ball on a 100 yard approach shot to the green but no way I could say the brand and ball.
  • Ayoung19Ayoung19 Members Posts: 1,644 ✭✭
    I think I can certainly tell a little bit in terms of performance, I think the Srixon XVs that I play now are the best ball in the wind I've ever played, and still perform well around/on the green. SO much more durable than a ProV as well. In terms of feel, I think most all premium balls feel similar.

    To answer your question, I personally don't think most guys even great players could identify the brand of a "blank" golf ball just by hitting it. Maybe some could, but I'm not among them.
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  • SixtySomePingSixtySomePing Members Posts: 5,176 ✭✭
    Brands maybe not but urethane vs surlyn yes,,,
  • JerseyBoyJerseyBoy Members Posts: 655
    edited Oct 25, 2017 #7
    When I started playing this past Spring, I was using Top Flite XLs. They felt hard as a rock and after playing a couple of rounds, I switched to the Callaway Superhot 70s. I got them for free. HUUUUUUUGE difference in feel. I didn't like them, but they felt much different to me.

    I've now lost most of them, so will be trying the Top Flite Gamer Softs. I did play around with one in my backyard and also found a HUUUUGE difference in feel to either the XLs or the Superhots. Some of that could be my own improvement over the summer, but each ball felt different when chipping.
  • MarMill8412MarMill8412 Members Posts: 233 ✭✭
    I think you can tell a difference b/w premium and not premium golf balls. Between premium balls I have a hard time to distinguish. I will agree that the Srixon is incredible in the wind tho.
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  • jimb6golfjimb6golf Members Posts: 1,591 ✭✭
    You can tell the difference between Urethane and Surlyn balls. After that it's pretty hard and comes down to preference I think. I tend to like the Snell MTB ball and feel it flies better in the wind but I'd be hard pressed to prove it. Although I have found that chipping and pitching balls can help to tell you which ball you like better.
  • Conrad1953Conrad1953 Members Posts: 15,131 ✭✭

    Brands maybe not but urethane vs surlyn yes,,,

    It boils down to what Sixty says here pretty much IMO.

    If you gave everyone 5 blank balls and asked them to hit and identify them

    ........................well......................it would be fun is about all can say, lol.
  • CwebbCwebb Members Posts: 5,959 ✭✭
    Significantly different compressions, I believe would be pretty easy to feel in a blind test
  • BLLDWG23BLLDWG23 Members Posts: 490
    Premium Vs. Non : yes absolutely

    Surlyn Vs. Urethane: Yes more than likely, particularly if you hit the ball fairly consistently

    Premium Vs. Premium: Probably not, might could pick up on some small things if you played a lot with one particular ball. But I doubt it.

    Non Vs. Non: I think you can tell which ones are your "better" companies, may not can say this is a Titleist velocity, or an E6, but you know its not a Pinnacle or Top Flight.
  • HatsForBatsHatsForBats Members Posts: 1,695 ✭✭
    Growing up next to a golf course I supplemented my allowance by finding and selling golf balls. By doing that I was able to try out just about every make and model of ball back then. There definitely was a difference in feel between a ball like a Prostaff and say the bottom end Top Flite balls. Some felt like rocks off the club face while others felt like butter. Top Flite is one of those brands that seems more dedicated to the low cost end and thus most of their offerings tend to feel hard. The Top Flite Strata was a decent ball and what I hear of the Top Flite Gamer has me guessing it is a decent mid-level ball. The XL's are rocks, like Mojos, Pinnacle Golds etc.

    I played some of my best rounds with Pinnacle Golds but they definitely have a different feel than a premium ball. At a course with firm greens you can definitely tell the performance difference between a low-end Rock-Flite and a premium ball. If you can't tell the difference I would think that is odd. I stopped playing premium balls for a while as I got sick of occasionally hitting a good full wedge shot to the middle of the green only to watch it suck back off the front of the green. Now I don't hit the ball with as much spin and a 'premium' ball suits my game better than it previously did.

    I don't think there is anyone that can tell the difference between brands. They might be able to guess it is a Rock-Flite given they are a very popular low end ball.
  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,977 ✭✭
    I can hear the difference, but I cannot say that "This is a ProV, that is a B330 etc.". I can feel a difference in a Pinnacle and a random premium ball, but could not identify the premium ball by feel.
  • NessismNessism To measure is to know... Members Posts: 18,606 ✭✭
    It's easy to feel the difference between a Chrome Soft and a Srizon XV, but not easy to notice any difference in performance.
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  • kozubskozubs Members Posts: 275 ✭✭
    I always played Pro V but tried some different balls this year to see if they really did handle better in the wind. (Marketing hype got me hook line and sinker) I tried the TP5x, Chrome Soft and XV's. There is a definite feel difference between all of them. I could tell you which Ball I hit without knowing but it may take a few swings. I'm not saying it's good or bad. Performance wise, they were all about the same. Every time I went back to a Pro V though, after the first swing it just felt right, probably because that's what I'm used to. For me they're the perfect blend of feeling the compression but a firm inner core if that make any sense. The XV's felt like rocks and made me feel like I was miss hitting. The chrome softs were a bit too soft and didn't provide as much feedback. The TP5x's were very close, I thought to the pro V's. I do think the Prov's can mask the feeling of a miss hit better than the TP5x or XV. There's no missing an even slight miss hit with the XV's

    Here's the kicker that will probably get me banned from this site and all my contributions erased from history. I like Noodle Long and Softs. There, I said it. I'm just paranoid that I ace one and have to display a Noodle on my rack. I had a round about a month ago where I shot even par. I haven't done it since. My playing partner said that he was surprised that I was gaming a Noodle being a single digit. I tried my best to hide it from him all round but he discovered my dirty secret about the 16th hole. I don't have much of an opinion on their feel as don't have much, I just seem to game them well. I do get a kick out of posting a good round with them though. People hate being out driven by a Noodle L&S. Note, the regular Noodles (they just say Noodle) are pure compressed carbon that sends shock waves through your spine into the depths of ****. Maybe I'm understating their hardness but sure you get the point.

    All that said, your irons probably make the biggest difference. Once and a while I'll try some shovels and they make everything feel like sponge. My MP53's, also seemed to go through the same thing though after I demoed a set of MP4's one day.
  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,244 ✭✭
    I can tell the difference between my Callaway Supersofts and my mate's Titleist V1s. The Supersofts have a lovely (to me) dull thunk when struck whereas the V1s are more of a thwack. And on the green the Supersoft's velvet feel gives me confidence.

    Doesn't make any difference to my score mind image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
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  • OrlandogolfguruOrlandogolfguru OrlandoGolfGuru ClubWRX Posts: 2,011 ClubWRX
    BLLDWG23 wrote:

    Premium Vs. Non : yes absolutely

    Surlyn Vs. Urethane: Yes more than likely, particularly if you hit the ball fairly consistently

    Premium Vs. Premium: Probably not, might could pick up on some small things if you played a lot with one particular ball. But I doubt it.

    Non Vs. Non: I think you can tell which ones are your "better" companies, may not can say this is a Titleist velocity, or an E6, but you know its not a Pinnacle or Top Flight.
    this is probably most accurate. especially with the putter and a wedge.
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  • NJpatbeeNJpatbee Members Posts: 1,531 ✭✭
    I cannot tell the difference between a Titleist Velocity and a Pinnacle Gold (both made by Acushnet). I also cannot tell any difference between a Bridgestone e6 Soft and a Top-Flite Gamer Soft which I have played side by side, on different 9's, and on separate full rounds. I tried 2 dozen of the e6 Soft and found zero difference in performance over the Gamer Soft for my swing. For myself, discerning the brand of non-tour balls of a similar type would be extremely difficult.
  • SpicoliSpicoli Members Posts: 329 ✭✭
    I'm a 10 and I play a precept laddie x. They feel firm but not like rocks.

    I can tell a Pro V1 and the like with wedges, not so much off the tee.
  • Rusty1885Rusty1885 Members Posts: 354 ✭✭
    I just played with the topflite XL 2000, remember that gem? I can tell just by hitting the ball.

    Difference between 2 premium? May be not so much. A Chromesoft and Pro V1 feel about the same to me.
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  • slimeoneslimeone Members Posts: 922 ✭✭
    I think balls show their characteristics quite clearly, provided you are compressing them and getting then to do what they do. If you don't compress the ball properly they all kind of do the same thing but some will feel softer. For example one of favorites is the Pinnacle Gold. If you just hack away at it feels and moves like a rock but if you catch one on the screws with a big swing, well it still feels like a rock but those things fly and roll forever! Also some balls seem more vulnerable to windv and air resistance, you know when you hit a great shot, takes off well, then just drops out of the sky. My favourite ball was the Nike 20Xi. Sounds and feels like a Top Flite Titanium but performs like no other ball out there.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,707 ✭✭
    I'd like to think so, especially with a wedge and putter. I play the prov1 specifically because I get a better sound off the putter, even though I'm marginally longer with an x. I've almost always played titleist, tried taylormade tour preferred x for a bit, and Srixons, even the Calloway chrome soft (loved the ball flight, but too soft on wedge shots and putts for my taste).
  • hybrid25hybrid25 michiganMembers Posts: 1,563 ✭✭
    I can easily tell the difference between different golf balls based on feel. I can tell you what is a low compression ball and what is a high-compression ball, and what I like the best in terms of compression and feel.
  • eagle1997eagle1997 Members Posts: 18,092 ✭✭
    Challenge Accepted.

    I can tell the difference between a 2014 b330s and *any* other ball, guaranteed. Would only need 2 shots: one off a Driver and one off a putter.

    No chance I could identify that other ball tho.
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  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,581 ✭✭
    Nessism wrote:

    It's easy to feel the difference between a Chrome Soft and a Srizon XV, but not easy to notice any difference in performance.

    I agree with this 100%

    I notice a difference in FEEL between premium balls. To me Pro V's feel a bit lighter and clickier than TP5's for example. The TP5 is a "heavier" ball that is more thumpy to me. I find the Chrome Soft to be closer to the TP5's than the Pro V family.

    I mean i can tell these things. But performance and impact on score? Negligible

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  • MedicMedic Members Posts: 9,422 ✭✭
    OP, the Callaway Supersoft isn't your imagination buddy. I love playing them because they feel so nice and soft off the face. But come "game time" I will put the Chrome Softs back in the bag because there is DEFINITELY more spin.

    For fun I played a Top Flite I found on the course and was amazed:

    1. It went a LONG way.

    2. It felt like I was hitting a stone! (Worried it might actually cave in my driver face)

    Can I tell the difference between Premium Brand 1 and Premium Brand 2? Probably not. But seeing as how golf is a game of confidence and I have found such incredible success with the Chrome Softs there isn't really any reason for me to change my tourney ball/brand.
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  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,609 ✭✭
    There are a couple of slightly different takes on this:

    (1) Can you pick the ball that you play out of a lineup of random balls? I definitely could, but it would take me a few holes of side-by-side play to differentiate between the ProV1 and the ProV1X (which is my regular ball).

    (2) Can you identify a bunch of balls based on feel / performance / etc. This is hard because there are a million balls out there, and nobody plays them all. Can I tell the difference between a Pinnacle Soft and a Bridgestone Extra Soft? Nope. Not sure I've ever hit either one of those balls. Would I be able to tell the difference between either one of them and a ProV1X? Definitely.

    Our range is stocked with ProV1, ProV1X, and NXT Tour balls - it's easy to tell the difference between them given a few hits with a variety of clubs. But it would be a real savant to be able to hit a totally random golf ball off the conforming list and tell you what it was.
  • MathwizMathwiz Members Posts: 986 ✭✭
    edited Oct 26, 2017 #29
    I CAN! I CAN!

    It's written................. right there on the ball.

    .........in other words
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • deetsaldeetsal deetsal Members Posts: 1,380 ✭✭
    For what's it's worth I remember reading a test in which they took away the sound of the ball being struck and no one could tell the difference between balls, any balls. Conclusion was that it's the lower pitched sound of urethane balls. Well I do not believe it, completely. On pure strikes maybe, but off enter hits, (not by me of course but I've heard others speak of such things), well there is were it is most obvious. (On off center hits).
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,609 ✭✭
    deetsal wrote:

    For what's it's worth I remember reading a test in which they took away the sound of the ball being struck and no one could tell the difference between balls, any balls.

    No way. Give me a putter and I could tell the difference between balls with (basically) no sound at contact.
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