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How to Pick a Ball


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Quick question for everyone. If most balls are sold on the basis of swing speed leading to certain spin/trajectory/distance outcomes, what speed do you pick based off of? For instance, my driver speed is in the mid 90s, but my wedge swing is in high 60s. I want more spin coming into the greens, so should I pick based on my slower speed?

 

Thanks in advance!

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There always has to be that guy. A person who can't deliver a square, down the line strike on the ball will be penalized by a ball spinning more as it will take it further left/right than a ball that

I choose balls based on short game, feel and stability in the wind. Most modern balls are right at limit imposed by USGA, or whomever the governing body is now.

 

FWIW, I don't buy the swingspeed reqs OEMs market with, I don't swing 105+ anymore due to age/injuries, but played B330S for years without meeting Bridgestone's recommended swingspeed, and I found the B330 RX (for 'amateur' SS) and found it to be pretty bad when compared to B330s.

 

Just another opinion to confuse you.

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If you are interested in more spin, you're in business IF you are willing to spend money; spin costs! The balls that spin the most off a wedge are also among the longest, though the total variations in length are not huge across the market, so to keep it simple, try either of the ProV1's, either of the TP5's, or either of the Snell MTB's. Whichever you prefer, you will be getting Tour quality spin rates off your wedges, and superior distance as well.

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Thanks everyone for replies. I have been playing the new Srixon Q Star Tour, with a plan to move to the Z Star in the summer. I tried putting with both the other day, and didn't really notice a difference. The Z Star was clearly firmer than the Q Star, but both rolled just fine. I like the alignment aid on the new Q Star, so I hope that gets transferred to the Z Star at this point.

I'd be worried about going to the Z Star XV because my swing speed is so low. Thoughts about which out of the three I should use?

I tried the ProV1, but the launch/flight was too low, and I found the cover too soft.

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Feel + performance divided by price.

Srixon Z 785 9.5 Atmos Tour Spec Black 60X
Srixon Z F85 15 Atmos Tour Spec Black 60X
Srixon Z U85 18 Steelfiber i110 S
Srixon Z FORGED 3-9 Steelfiber i110 S
Cleveland RTX4 46 Steelfiber i110 S
Cleveland RTX4 Forged 50 Steelfiber i125 S
Cleveland RTX4 58 Steelfiber i125 S
Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft Premier 11S

Bettinardi QB6 DASS High Polish
Srixon ZStar XV Yellow

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Swing speed is a poor way to choose a ball. Several independent tests have shown firmer balls go further, period... though they may not feel particularly good to slower swinging players.

 

As many have said here, focus your ball fitting on where you score... around the greens. Find a ball that reacts to your shots the way you want them to. Do you want check or run out? Do you prefer a higher or lower trajectory? From there, work backward to about your 7 iron and make sure you are getting the flight you want and proper reaction on the green.

 

If you desire, you can mix feel into your selection. For me, I have always tried to get over the feel and play the ball that fits my game the best. At times I have passed on a ball because the feeling and I didn't mesh, and/or because I found something super similar performance-wise but with better feel. This year I am not playing my favorite feeling ball... however, I am playing the ball that performs best for my game.

 

The last piece of the puzzle is the driver. Once you have found one or two balls that meet all of your other requirements, I suggest hitting several drives with them. At this point, the only thing I would look for here is that the ball doesn't spin and rise or have tons of sidespin that will cost you accuracy. As it's been said, distance is good with all modern balls.

 

Good luck, and please post your results when you are done!

TaylorMade SIM Driver 8º ~ GD Tour AD IZ-6
TaylorMade M5 Fairway 14º & 19º ~ GD Tour AD IZ-7
Titleist U•510 Iron 4i ~ Project X HZRDUS Black 80
Epon by Endo AF-505 Irons 5 – PW ~ Rifle Project X 6.0 blackout
PING Glide 2.0 Stealth Wedge 50/SS (51º) ~ Rifle Project X 6.0 blackout
PING Glide 2.0 Stealth Wedge 56/SS (57º) & 60/SS (63º) - Tour Department 'SG' Grind ~ Rifle Project X 6.0 SS blackout
Titleist Scotty Cameron Circle T Del Mar Buttonback Select Tour Prototype (A026140) 
Bridgestone Tour B X
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The only thing I would quibble with is the sidespin. A ball can't have sidespin. The spin axis of a ball is what causes movement and the spin axis is 100% determined by your delivery. "Sidespin" is just the amount of backspin multiplied by the spin axis. And with a driver, where backspin is generally going to be 3500RPM or lower, more spin will actually cause a more stable flight (just a shorter flight).

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Fair statement.

 

Perhaps my use of the word sidespin should be replaced with the word dispersion. As we both know, poor strikes can cause a ball to move more left or right than preferred based on the spin generated by improper impact.

Therefore, I would pick the ball that fits your short game requirements and gives you the most accurate or tightest dispersion with your driver.

 

Hope this clarifies things.

TaylorMade SIM Driver 8º ~ GD Tour AD IZ-6
TaylorMade M5 Fairway 14º & 19º ~ GD Tour AD IZ-7
Titleist U•510 Iron 4i ~ Project X HZRDUS Black 80
Epon by Endo AF-505 Irons 5 – PW ~ Rifle Project X 6.0 blackout
PING Glide 2.0 Stealth Wedge 50/SS (51º) ~ Rifle Project X 6.0 blackout
PING Glide 2.0 Stealth Wedge 56/SS (57º) & 60/SS (63º) - Tour Department 'SG' Grind ~ Rifle Project X 6.0 SS blackout
Titleist Scotty Cameron Circle T Del Mar Buttonback Select Tour Prototype (A026140) 
Bridgestone Tour B X
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Short game, 30 yards and in.

JBeam Bullet 10* Ventus Black 6X
Exotics CBX 119 13.5* 3WD & 18* 5WD Accra TourZ 382 M5
Exotics CB2  21* 7WD Accra TZ5 85 M5  
MIURA CB57 5-9 Mitsubishi MMT-125TX
Miura Tour Milled Wedge 48, 52, 56, 60 Fuji MCI 125 Solid

Bettinardi Innovai Tour DASS Flowneck Prototype

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  • 2 weeks later...

Checking back in because some folks asks for results. The new Q Star is like playing with a marshmallow, even compared to the previous generation. Z Star will definitely be my new gamer. Lots of distance, but great greenside spin. I'm really glad I took advantage of the buy 2 get 1 free deal from Srixon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would agree and say to start with greens, and slowly work your way back. For higher swing speed players, generally go with the firmest ball you can stand the touch around the green with. That way you get the most out of your ball speeds with the higher compression ball. Not many people want to lose 3-5 mph on ball speed on a driver no matter how it feels around the greens. Then it gets tricky for individual spin and launch characteristics too: partial wedge control, iron traj/spin/speed, driver traj./spin/speed.

You would be amazed how much you can change numbers with just the ball. Ball fitting will become an integral part of golf fittings in the future.

I can't post the link apparently (Haven't been a member for long enough) but check out on youtube: TXG "Premium 'X' model Golf Balls - Iron/Wedge Testing" . Really puts it into perspective

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i like to choose based on Feel (soft), Sound (muted) and spin on the green. I don't like the fitting recommendations based on swing speed.

 

To my opinion, swing speed, as some have mentioned, is only relating to driver. I find this very wierd that i'm recommended a ball based on my driver swing speed, when i also input that short game spin is most important aspect of the ball. Then i'm recommended a harder fast swing speed ball which doesn't perform how i like on the course...

I did my own fitting to find the best ball based on experimentation buying a lot of balls (i can use them all anyway). Overall, the Chrome soft from Callaway is the best feeling in my opinion. it's really smooth and buttery soft and i really like the muted sound. However, i do feel i can get better distanced and combined performance from another ball. (same spin and control, more distance and similar feeling)

Titleist Tour Soft was also good in my short game testing, however, previously when i played a full round with them, i didn't initially like them. Still a good backup for my next consideration.

Titleist AVX was a more tour level ball and i liked it for the most part, but the performance to cost ratio just isn't worth it for a weekend warrior like myself. Half of them will be lost on the short term.

I settled on Honma TW-x, that have a medium soft feel, medium muted sound and good spin on the greens. They're also relatively cheap under 20 usd per dozen. (i bought 7 dozen from e-bay and arranged as a bullk buy price)

(avx are about 50usd, tour soft are 40usd, chrome soft 35 usd for some very rough price comparisons.)

 

It all comes down to feeling and control. How does it put and how will it react from wedge or approach shots ?

 

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