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Are previous generation balls more or less just as good as current gen?


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There is a guy in my area selling unopened previous gen (2018) Bridgestone Tour B X and RX for $30 each. The current gen is $45. Are the older model balls pretty much just as good the new? Worth playing these over the new gen for the discount?

 

What about just in general, is there that much improvement from generation to generation or is it largely unnoticeable?

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Yes, easily worth it.  How much more "improvement" do you think they are making in balls these days?

I’d be content playing any multilayer urethane covered ball from the last ten years with the expectation that the model will play similarly through the years.  Negligible differences for the average p

Number of layers has little to do with cost. And more layers does not equal "better". And Taylor Made came out with a 5 piece ball in 2010, so more layers is not "new" technology.

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I’d be content playing any multilayer urethane covered ball from the last ten years with the expectation that the model will play similarly through the years.  Negligible differences for the average player, certainly for me.

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I buy a lot of previous gen balls as I like the discount.  I often pick up last year's prov1 for $39 a dozen and I cannot tell any difference between the years.  I mean was it such a disadvantage playing last year's ball last year when it was new?  Depending on your game last year's ball might actually be better than this years tweaked ball!

The new greatest ball ever is a recurring theme for a long number of years:

Add_1962_WilsonGolfBall.jpg.07593fe214bc390b608f53c4c2146380.jpg

Playing a ball from 60 years ago just might be disadvantageous but one from the last couple of years?  No problem!

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Yes. Someone posted a study about this subject recently and performance gains over the past decade are minimal and not enough to stop most of us from taking advantage of good pricing. Durability is the only thing (I can really tell) that has increased in the newer offerings.

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I think the thing we often forget when looking at balls is that like 10-12 years ago, a 3 piece urethane was a Tour caliber ball.  Now, those are the "cheap" balls.  While most can't access the "tech" that newer, 4 piece balls can offer just by lack of being able to properly compress a ball, there is TONS of good options out there that offer good to great value.  

 

My ball of choice for many years now has been the TM TP/X offerings.  I get either one hit wonders or new "practice" balls at 20% of the cost of new retail.  I can't and don't see them actually hindering my play.  If the ball doesn't do what I wanted it to do, it was likely because of the strike I put on it.

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Some may consider saving $1.50 per ball, especially if a ball lasts them a full round or more, a negligible cost. After all, we're paying $50+ per round; what's $1.50 ?

 

Ever price out what your $50-$75 shirt costs you per round after you won't wear it anymore (Cost/# of uses) ? Don't. TEAR HAIR.gif

 

So, if you want to stock up on an older version ball, by all means, buy 20 dozen and save yourself $360 over a number of years. You'll most likely not notice a difference.

 

Of course, well before you've exhausted your supply, you may stumble onto a ball you like better.

 

And then what do you do with your remaining 17(?) dozen ? Dunno1.gif

 

 

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13 hours ago, northstar33 said:

There is a guy in my area selling unopened previous gen (2018) Bridgestone Tour B X and RX for $30 each. The current gen is $45. Are the older model balls pretty much just as good the new? Worth playing these over the new gen for the discount?

 

What about just in general, is there that much improvement from generation to generation or is it largely unnoticeable?

There are very minimal differences in “new” models vs older models in most brands. At $30 a dozen you’re getting a good deal on good balls.

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2 hours ago, PEI_Golfer said:

I think the thing we often forget when looking at balls is that like 10-12 years ago, a 3 piece urethane was a Tour caliber ball.  Now, those are the "cheap" balls.  While most can't access the "tech" that newer, 4 piece balls can offer just by lack of being able to properly compress a ball, there is TONS of good options out there that offer good to great value.  

 

My ball of choice for many years now has been the TM TP/X offerings.  I get either one hit wonders or new "practice" balls at 20% of the cost of new retail.  I can't and don't see them actually hindering my play.  If the ball doesn't do what I wanted it to do, it was likely because of the strike I put on it.

Good point, and just to add that if a very good player were to use an older ball they would adjust to whatever those differences may be.

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3 hours ago, PEI_Golfer said:

I think the thing we often forget when looking at balls is that like 10-12 years ago, a 3 piece urethane was a Tour caliber ball.  Now, those are the "cheap" balls.

So the new 2021 3 piece Pro-V1 that sells for $49.99 (previously $47.99) are considered a "cheap" ball? The entire Bridgestone Tour B line of 3 piece urethane balls that sell for $44.99 are cheap balls? Same as the brand new 2021 Z-Star? All tour caliber balls.

 

To the OP: Previous generation balls are just fine.

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Like drivers, you can only do so much and still be legal. IMO, 99% of what you hear is advertising hype to get your money. If every driver/ball was 10 yards longer like I have been hearing for years, I'd be hitting it 500 yrs by now. I'm not. Same yardage +/- a few yards every year for me, no matter what I hit. 

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24 minutes ago, grm24 said:

So the new 2021 3 piece Pro-V1 that sells for $49.99 (previously $47.99) are considered a "cheap" ball? The entire Bridgestone Tour B line of 3 piece urethane balls that sell for $44.99 are cheap balls? Same as the brand new 2021 Z-Star? All tour caliber balls.

 

To the OP: Previous generation balls are just fine.

 

Ok, way to try and twist that one out...  Just because they are releasing a 3 piece ball currently doesn't mean it is going to be 'cheap', it's that the "technology" of a 3 piece urethane has been done, so it is likely very little more in an advancement other than a different core.  Now it is all marketing spin and fancy made up things like the cosmetics industry to sell you basically the same thing.

 

The HX56 eventually gave way to basically becoming the HX Bite, not much difference in between the 2 balls other than core for spin, and even by todays standards it wasn't a huge gap.

 

The fact that they are still trying to charge a premium price tag for less layers should be something that consumers should question.  We know (well I guess some don't) it's basically all marketing and not earth shattering difference between models.  It can't be or the loyalites would be screaming 'wtf have you done with my XYZ ball'.  All Titleist did was create more products at the 'top of the line' than previously .  It was always basically 2 and now they have 4...

 

It's why we're seeing a rise in smaller ball companies offering quality balls at lower prices where as 15 years ago that was basically unheard of let alone being successful at it.

Edited by PEI_Golfer

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Number of layers has little to do with cost. And more layers does not equal "better".

And Taylor Made came out with a 5 piece ball in 2010, so more layers is not "new" technology.

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20 minutes ago, Ger21 said:

Number of layers has little to do with cost. And more layers does not equal "better".

And Taylor Made came out with a 5 piece ball in 2010, so more layers is not "new" technology.

Callaway has had multiple 5 piece balls in the past. They were awful. Recently Honma has had a 6 piece ball like (Maxfli/DSG) some time back. The Maxfli balls (U/6) were junk. In spite of what some think it's still possible to make a 3 piece tour ball better.

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7 hours ago, PEI_Golfer said:

 

Ok, way to try and twist that one out...  Just because they are releasing a 3 piece ball currently doesn't mean it is going to be 'cheap', it's that the "technology" of a 3 piece urethane has been done, so it is likely very little more in an advancement other than a different core.  Now it is all marketing spin and fancy made up things like the cosmetics industry to sell you basically the same thing.

 

The HX56 eventually gave way to basically becoming the HX Bite, not much difference in between the 2 balls other than core for spin, and even by todays standards it wasn't a huge gap.

 

The fact that they are still trying to charge a premium price tag for less layers should be something that consumers should question.  We know (well I guess some don't) it's basically all marketing and not earth shattering difference between models.  It can't be or the loyalites would be screaming 'wtf have you done with my XYZ ball'.  All Titleist did was create more products at the 'top of the line' than previously .  It was always basically 2 and now they have 4...

 

It's why we're seeing a rise in smaller ball companies offering quality balls at lower prices where as 15 years ago that was basically unheard of let alone being successful at it.

Ball patents expiring also facilitates the smaller DTC market gaining traction.   “Free Technology.”

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1 hour ago, grm24 said:

Callaway has had multiple 5 piece balls in the past. They were awful. Recently Honma has had a 6 piece ball like (Maxfli/DSG) some time back. The Maxfli balls (U/6) were junk. In spite of what some think it's still possible to make a 3 piece tour ball better.

 

It's not a matter of 'in spite of', that's just a sad comment on your part.  

Edited by PEI_Golfer

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22 hours ago, northstar33 said:

There is a guy in my area selling unopened previous gen (2018) Bridgestone Tour B X and RX for $30 each. The current gen is $45. Are the older model balls pretty much just as good the new? Worth playing these over the new gen for the discount?

 

What about just in general, is there that much improvement from generation to generation or is it largely unnoticeable?

Specifically to one of your examples the 2020 Tour B RX is way better than all previous models.  The new cover is actually a huge difference maker.  I refused to play prior RX versions due to lack of spin, but the new cover fixed that issue.  With the buy 3 get 1 dz free starting on March 19 that makes the price $33.75/dz.  Buying an inferior ball to save $3.75 is not worth it.  The price also includes free personalization.  

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Often you will see the tour pros playing a ball that's one or two versions older than current models.  Todays state of the art has pretty much all balls at maximum allowed distance.  The variables left are trajectory and feel, with spin being a lesser variable.  All three of these are close in numbers also - no great differences, just minor fine tuning.   

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Absolutely nothing wrong with playing prior gen balls unless they had durability issues. Original TP5 (not Penta 5 or whatever it was) from 2017 scuffed quick on the wedge shots but, I’d play it if I could find it on the cheap. 
Some guys still play 2015 ProV1s I think. Some guys still play older renditions / off market renditions of Chromesoft. 

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There are plenty of people playing old golf balls. I know there are a few guys on WRX that have a stash of dozen upon dozens of the old Nike RZN balls. Pros will often play play a ball that is a gen or two older just look like the current ones. I play previous gen or two balls because they're just as good as current and cost much less. If I'm going to get a top of the line ball on discount why not. 

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If new balls made a difference, Tour players would shoot lower scores every year.

Have any Tour player go back to the ball they played 3-5 years ago, and they'll shoot the same scores they shoot with the new balls.

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Many times I have found a ball I really like, only to see the manufacture change it for change sake. I have wished many times that they would just keep making the same ball I spent time testing and liked.

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22 hours ago, cristphoto said:

Often you will see the tour pros playing a ball that's one or two versions older than current models.  Todays state of the art has pretty much all balls at maximum allowed distance.  The variables left are trajectory and feel, with spin being a lesser variable.  All three of these are close in numbers also - no great differences, just minor fine tuning.   

And since the standards that balls must meet have been around since 2005 or so how much can they make significant differences within those constraints?

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