[Updated w/pics] A Quick and Dirty Golf Ball Review.
Nike One Black vs. Titleist ProV1x vs. Taylormade TP RedGreets,
This is a follow up post based on my early season experimenting. I'll try to be brief, and to start here's some info leading into my comments about these balls:
I have about a 97-106 driver club head speed. Why the discrepency? I have a ruptured disk that can rob me of a few MPH late in a round, or on bad days. But there you have the driver speed for your consideration while reading this. I also consider myself an extremely accurate driver. I can shape drives but straight is my go to shot on drives. (A quick plug for the NIKE 5900 here though because this driver is stupidly easy to bomb.)
My weak game is long iron play from fairways/rough and putting (lately). My wedge play I would consider strong, with decent ball control. It's still early so it's not quite as sharp.
Again the balls in my quick and dirty review are all 2008 models of the Nike ONE Black (NOB), Titleist ProV1x, and the Taylormade TP Red.
All three balls have a similar feel/sound. Since they say 80% of feel is sound derived, I'll say these balls have become fairly similar in this category.
I'd suggest all three of these balls are aimed at the same type of player. The overall distance of all three is -extremely- similar if you hit them correctly. However, that being said I would say a mishit on the ProV1x is the most costly to your game. The Nike One black was shockingly deep at times, where I would say the Taylormade Red was the most consistent for distance.
NOB: 8-10. Obviously not a pure distance ball, but very deep. An upgrade on last year's model by a longshot.
V1x: 7-10. A great ball when struck pure, but if my swing was beneath optimal swingspeed, I would say this was a tad shorter in most situations.
TM TP Red: 9-10. I give it a nine, only because there might be something better in this ball category, but I don't know what it is. I have to award this a 9 out of 10 even though I think my longest drives were with the NOB because the TP Red simply outdistances the others no matter the swingspeed (overall). An incredible distance ball for a premium ball, at a -very- wide range of swingspeeds.
Driving Accuracy and Forgivess:
NOB: 8-10. This ball showed me a bit more spin off the driver than I expected. I could shape a drive but a slight over the top move would pronounce a slightly undesireable effect. Nonetheless, fairly forgiving.
V1x: 8.5-10. Extremely similar shot shape to the NOB. The forgivenss on an errant swing was surprisingly good. I can only give it a slight edge over the NOB in this category, but considering shortgame ability, I was pleasantly surprised on the lower driver spin results.
TM TP Red: 9.5-10. If your swing is on fire, these balls are very close in driver forgivenss, but if that fire goes out, I'd say you can gain confidence on off days with the TM TP Red. There were times I was sure I'd lose the ball a bit right (fade) but it holds the line extremely well.
Wind considerations. Yesterday's testing for me ended up with a great opportunitty for wind testing. I was on an open course with gusty winds. Some were quite punishing for par 5's. I would have to say the TP Red would be my wind ball of choice. This might be a direct side effect of reduced driver spin rate, but it's worth mentioning this translates into a very respectable 'straight ball' in gusty conditions.
NOB: 8.5-10. A definite improvement over last year IMO. I'm not surprised though as the driver spin was moderate as well. It feels nice to cut into with a wedge and you can be confident of a hop and stop effect.
V1x: 9.5-10. If you have a moderate to high spin game to begin with, I would consider this the ultimate dart thrower of the three. My testing of this ball's shortgame was a week ago, and it still stuck out for me as a great short game tool. VERY respectable short game spin considering the driver forgiveness.
TP Red: 8.5-10. Consistently spun a tad lower than the other two. I would not put it in the V1x category for shortgame spin; however, it is still very accurate. A huge surprise considering I rank the TP Red as the most forgiving/overall long ball in the driving category. Technology is getting scary, ain't it?
This was a fairly easy category. In my V1x testing, I probably would not play the ball more than a round. It had the most scuffs, and a smiley face at the end of the day. Not bad, but not great. In this category I would give a significant, but equal lead to the NOB and TP Red.
A very personal category in my opinion. I actually found all three balls to be very soft, and very similar. If I had to split hairs, I'd put the TP Red at the bottom of the three, but not by much.
Three similar balls that target the same market. The technology of all three is amazing and top rate stuff. I think these three balls proove the 'premium' ball is meant for all players. I would say my surprises came the most from the TP Red. Last year's offerings didin't really do much for me. Although the NOB is also noteably improved, I have to say the TP Red (comperable to last year's TP Black) is like a completely new ball. In my opinion both the NOB and TP Red are doing their own thing, but have caught up to the V1x in many categories.
Overall I feel the TP Red is my safe ball choice. By safe I mean the ultimate driving forgivenss will be there for you when your swing has left the building for a while. But when you're swinging well the TP Red doesn't disappoint at all. Forgiveness, driving distance, and respectable shortgame combine for making the TP Red my favorite. A total surprise to me.
Here in Canada, the TP Red is the cheapest of the three balls making the choice a tad easier. The ProV1x would probably move up in my rating if it was a little kinder to <100 Mph swing speeds (I don't think this is a low swinger's driving ball), and if the durability was a little better. Still the ProV1x is my favorite wedge ball. The Nike ONE black was very close to the TP Red in my overall choice; however I felt on off days the TP Red would get me the most mileage off the driver tee (where I felt the balls differentiated themselves from each other).
If you've read this far, thanks, and I have to say this is just my personal opinion and I wanted to whip up a quick review to repay you guys who have done such an awesome job reviewing other balls. I hope you've gotten something out of this. /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':russian_roulette:' />
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