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How is Bridgestone Golf's Strict Insistence on Driver Ball Speed in Fitting Defensible?


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12 minutes ago, buckI said:

I have not tried the 2020 much.   Did not like the 2018 when comparing it to others.    Switched back to Titleist and really liking the Pro V1.    Willing to give the 2020 ball a better chance.   Played in an alternate shot with a friend who plays it and liked it but still not like the 330S.

The 2018 was quite a bit firmer. I really love the 2020 XS and I’m a longtime v1 user. 

905S 9.5 Graffaloy Blue S
Ping G25 3 wood Diamana D+ X

Ping G25 3 hybrid S300
Mizuno MP-18 4-PW S300
Ping Glide Stealth 52*/ Ping Tour S 56*/Ping Glide 3.0 60*
Scotty Cameron Mil Spec 350 35”
Pro V1

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I am a senior and have found off the tee pretty much every ball goes the same distance. The only difference I see among golf balls is performance around the green. 

This isn't really true. In fact, if two balls have identical covers, the firmer ball will always spin more. For Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Maxfli, and Snell; the X ball is the higher spinning. For Tayl

I’ve tried all the balls. Hands down, the 2020 Tour B X outperforms every other ball for me. I don’t swing as fast as the “recommendation” states, but it’s longer off all clubs for me.

On 12/3/2020 at 8:59 AM, cristphoto said:

I find it interesting that a large number of LPGA players use the firmer ProV1X ball while many PGA pros are switching back to the softer Prov1 or TP5 versions.  I wonder how many Bridgestone pros stick with Bridgestone's guidelines?  

 

This was intentional by Titleist. The ProV1 is now the low spin ball and the X is now the high spin. For most other companies the firm ball is low spin and soft is higher spin.

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On 12/14/2020 at 6:29 AM, Jc0 said:

 

This was intentional by Titleist. The ProV1 is now the low spin ball and the X is now the high spin. For most other companies the firm ball is low spin and soft is higher spin.

This isn't really true. In fact, if two balls have identical covers, the firmer ball will always spin more. For Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Maxfli, and Snell; the X ball is the higher spinning. For TaylorMade, Callaway, and Bridgestone; the X ball is the lower spinning.

 

Ball design is kind of a conundrum because of this fact. A fast swing speed player usually requires a firmer ball to stop from losing ball speed on drives. They also usually generate a lot of spin and would prefer to reduce it on irons. But the firmer ball will usually increase spin. To get around this companies often make the cover of the firmer ball harder. That will reduce the spin of the ball, but it also reduces short game spin and can make the ball feel clicky. 

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I retired 8 years ago and started using Bridgestone golf balls at that time.   Prior to that I generally played with whatever I found.  At that time my handicap was 28 and I picked a golf ball mainly by how frequently I seemed to lose or not lose it.

 

Back then the Bridgestone E6 offered me the best combination of distance and seemed to go straighter than other balls, just judging solely on the fact that I didn’t seem to lose as many of them.

 

As my game improved and my handicap came down from playing and practicing more, taking lessons and getting fitted for clubs, my ball of choice moved from the E6 to the B330 RX.

 

I’ve tried other balls from other companies and also from Bridgestone.

 

My handicap is now down to 4.4 and I’m playing the current Tour BRX.

 

For whatever reason that is the ball that seems to fit my game the best.

 

Why?  First, when putting it gives me a consistent roll, predictable distance and I like the feel and sound off the putter face.

 

Second, When chipping around the green it also produces  predictable roll out and it usually checks up after one bounce.

 

On wedge shots it give me a mid trajectory that hops once and stops on firm greens and when it is wet and the greens are soft the ball will bite and spin back some.

 

On longer shots it gives me the shape and trajectory that I prefer and with my driver it generally goes pretty straight as long as I do my part with the swing.

 

Their new E12 ball gives me more distance than the Tour BRX, but I don’t like how it feels or performs on and around the green.

 

With each dozen balls purchased I take the time to spin each ball on a Check-Go ball spinner and mark the equator with a black line and then use a Dave Pelz O-ball marking clamp to draw lines on either side of the center in red, then I draw a perpendicular circle in red as well.

 

I’m convinced that the ball rolls better because of this process and it has helped me to align the balls on my intended start line better while driving and putting.  

 

Regardless of which ball you choose to use, the best advice given to me was to use the same ball all the time.  It definitely will allow you to develop a better feel for how the ball will react in different situations if you use that same brand and model consistently.

 

It also makes me feel good that Bridgestone balls are made in Georgia not that far from where I live.

 

Good luck on finding the right ball for you and best wishes for success on the course.

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, arbeck said:

This isn't really true. In fact, if two balls have identical covers, the firmer ball will always spin more. For Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Maxfli, and Snell; the X ball is the higher spinning. For TaylorMade, Callaway, and Bridgestone; the X ball is the lower spinning.

 

Ball design is kind of a conundrum because of this fact. A fast swing speed player usually requires a firmer ball to stop from losing ball speed on drives. They also usually generate a lot of spin and would prefer to reduce it on irons. But the firmer ball will usually increase spin. To get around this companies often make the cover of the firmer ball harder. That will reduce the spin of the ball, but it also reduces short game spin and can make the ball feel clicky. 

The ball manufacturer with the most significant spin difference between its two premium models is TaylorMade, with the X spinning less. The next most significant difference in spin can be found with Snell, but with the MTB-X spinning more than the Black. Beyond those two, the difference in spin from X model to standard is far less significant/linear. 

OEM Certified Master Fitter

 

"Never forget that the luxury of being
wrong is not enough to make you right."
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Back to the OPs original question, it is all marketing. It may not resonate with you, but apparently Bridgestone believes it resonates with the majority of golfers. I’ve been exposed to consumer marketing for years, and you wouldn’t believe how simple you have to make things for it to resonate with consumers. But if you think about it, it isn’t terribly hard to understand why. First, the majority of potential buyers of these balls aren’t nearly as sophisticated as you when it comes to making this purchase. And second, most are making a decision on the purchase in a few seconds. So keep it simple and give them a guideline that might resonate and let them go from there. For the rest of us, who spend hours thinking about golf ball characteristics, this approach is still OK. We just do our own research and read between the lines of what Bridgestone or Callaway or Titleist tells us, and we make our choices too. 
 

Callaway tried the swing speed differentiator with the SR1, 2 and 3 balls and that failed miserably. But it was because they didn’t give us anything else in the name, and the balls weren’t great. Snell has tried this “customer-back” naming convention (My Tour Ball) rather than the “technical” naming convention, and my sense is that the audience potentially interested in a Snell ball likely won’t find that naming convention to resonate as much as a more technical name might (especially given Dean’s story being a ball engineer etc...I’d go all in on some goofy technical name like “Snell T3x” or something that describes the technical aspects of the ball).

 

Anyway, Bridgestone seems to be having some success with their approach, and they need some way to help you decide between their multitude of premium ball choices. I personally think they have too many premium balls, but again they must believe that they can support that many options from a cost and branding perspective while appealing to a wide variety of golfers.  It seems to have worked because they make a good ball and haven’t strayed too much from the approach. 

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21 hours ago, bcflyguy1 said:

The ball manufacturer with the most significant spin difference between its two premium models is TaylorMade, with the X spinning less. The next most significant difference in spin can be found with Snell, but with the MTB-X spinning more than the Black. Beyond those two, the difference in spin from X model to standard is far less significant/linear. 

 

Very true.  The test reports I've seen comparing the ProV1 and ProV1x models show about 100 rpm difference on both driver and wedge - negligible.  The X goes maybe 2-3 yards further off driver - again negligible. On these two the main difference now is feel and trajectory.

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Correct, and that spin difference signal rapidly disappears into the background noise of variables like course conditions, strike patterns etc. With very rare exception, choosing a ball based on spin is about as futile as choosing a model of wedge over another because you think one spins more.

OEM Certified Master Fitter

 

"Never forget that the luxury of being
wrong is not enough to make you right."
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33 minutes ago, bcflyguy1 said:

Correct, and that spin difference signal rapidly disappears into the background noise of variables like course conditions, strike patterns etc. With very rare exception, choosing a ball based on spin is about as futile as choosing a model of wedge over another because you think one spins more.

This is mostly true, but not always the case. The spin between a ProV1 and ProV1x is pretty negligible for most shots. But compare the ProV1x and -ProV1x and the difference is big enough to worry about. The spin difference between a TP5 and TP5x can easily be a half club. And when you compare something ultra low spin (Bridgestone BRXS) with something super high spin (Mizuno Tour BX) you can end up with 1500 RPM of spin difference on an iron.

 

For most normal players, choosing between a ProV1, ProV1x, TP5, Bridgestone BX or BXS, Either Snell Ball, etc; won't make that much difference. But if you are a high spin player it might make sense to go BRXS or -ProV1x depending on how comfortable you are giving up ball speed on drives and how much you prefer a soft feel. And if you need as much spin as you can get, going to a Mizuno or Bridgeston BXS might be what you need.

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On 12/17/2020 at 11:52 AM, arbeck said:

This is mostly true, but not always the case. The spin between a ProV1 and ProV1x is pretty negligible for most shots. But compare the ProV1x and -ProV1x and the difference is big enough to worry about. The spin difference between a TP5 and TP5x can easily be a half club. And when you compare something ultra low spin (Bridgestone BRXS) with something super high spin (Mizuno Tour BX) you can end up with 1500 RPM of spin difference on an iron.

 

For most normal players, choosing between a ProV1, ProV1x, TP5, Bridgestone BX or BXS, Either Snell Ball, etc; won't make that much difference. But if you are a high spin player it might make sense to go BRXS or -ProV1x depending on how comfortable you are giving up ball speed on drives and how much you prefer a soft feel. And if you need as much spin as you can get, going to a Mizuno or Bridgeston BXS might be what you need.

I'm seeing about 750 rpm increase in spin using the Bridgestone BXS over the TP5, TP5x, Pro V1 and Pro V1x with the X Forged CB 7i iron.  

Driver - Home Callaway MAVRIK / G400 MAX
Woods - XXIO 10 3W
Hybrids - XXIO 10 3H, 4H, 5H
Irons - Home - PXG Gen 2 0311P 5-SW   Away - Callaway Epic Forged 5-SW
Wedge - Callaway MD5 JAWS X Grind 60* 
Putter - Odyssey Triple Track 7
Ball - TM TP5X, TM Tour Response

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