Golf Balls


First Look: Maxfli U/6 Tour Golf Balls

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Categories: Golf BallsGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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Maxfli_U6_Tour_02It has been a long time since I reviewed a Maxfli golf ball. In fact, the Maxfli Blackmax prototype may have been the first golf ball ever reviewed here at Hooked on Golf Blog, March of 2005. I used to game Maxfli’s waaaay back when Greg Norman was the #1 golfer in the world, the HT 100 Balatas to be exact. Yes, that long ago.

I’ve got a box of Maxfli U/6 Tour golf balls to test out courtesy of DICK’s Sporting Goods, who is running specials on all sorts of Maxfli golf balls. This is a six layer ball. I didn’t even know anyone made a ball with more than five layers.

The main requirements for my game is a “tour” cover, usually urethane, and a soft feel because of my golfer’s elbow. Since this ball has a urethane cover and is designed for slower swing speeds, it could be a good match for my game, or lack thereof.

I hope to start my first round of testing these Maxfli U/6 Tour golf balls this weekend, provided my tweaked back is done tweaking or twerking by then.

Let us pray.


First Look: 2016 Bridgestone Golf B330 Series Golf Balls

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, February 12th, 2016
Categories: Golf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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A couple of days ago I posted my first pics of the new Bridgestone Golf B330RX and B330RXS golf balls.  Very good, softer balls for golfers with swing speeds under 105mph.  Today we get our first HOG look at the B330 series.

Bridgestone Golf Tour B330 Golf Balls for 2016

Bridgestone Golf Tour B330 Golf Balls for 2016

These are for higher swing speeds, above 105.  That said, I game the B330 and love the performance, even at times when I know my swing speed is less than 105.   I’m right on the line, with my driver swing speed in the peak of the season and the summer at about 105.

Bridgestone Golf Tour B330S for 2016

Bridgestone Golf Tour B330S for 2016

I have yet to hit the 2016 model but last year I played the 2015 for most of the season, when I was not testing other golf balls for review. The new ball has some improvements like the crazy sounding “self repairing cover.” Below is a press release from Bridgestone with some info on the new ’16 B330 series:

NEW SLIPRES COVER AND TOUR CORE OPTIMIZE HIGH SWING SPEED PLAYERS’ PERFORMANCE FROM TEE-TO-GREEN
2016 Tour B330 Balls Four Years in the Making Turn Tour Pros’ Heads in Hawaii
Covington, Ga. –Bridgestone Golf, the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, has used knowledge gained through extensive PGA TOUR testing and over 300,000 consumer in-person ball-fittings to perfect its Tour B330 family of balls.  Bridgestone’s new 2016 Tour B330 and Tour B330S golf balls have been specifically engineered to produce longer drives and better spin around the green for players with swing speeds above 105 mph, using new proprietary TOUR Core and SlipRes Cover technologies.
Bridgestone’s 2016 B330 Family features Bridgestone’s new TOUR Core that is 6% larger and utilizes a steeper gradient in softness from the inner part of the core to the outer region, to generate faster ball speed and less spin off the driver than ever before.  In fact, Bridgestone’s proprietary gradational compression technology in its core allows the company to accomplish in one layer what other ball makers accomplish in two or three layers, leading to a smoother energy transfer and more power.
Among the best players in the world, spin optimization is critical, so Bridgestone has designed the new Tour B330 and Tour B330S balls to have the largest dispersion of cover performance ever between the two models, offering something for the wide range of spin and feel preferences on Tour. Thanks to Bridgestone’s new SlipRes technology (an R&D marvel four years in the making) and a slightly softer cover formulation the 2016 Tour B330S offers increased greenside spin over previous versions, while the B330 offers feel for those players who prefer hit-and-sit short game performance.
The new proprietary SlipRes cover produces increased friction that keeps the ball more stable on the clubface, resulting in more spin on short shots.  At the same time, SlipRes has the opposite effect off the tee, lowering driver spin due to that type of impact’s recoiling force, generating longer distance.
An added benefit to the new SlipRes Cover is enhanced durability.  Due in large part to the cover’s innovative, soft self-repairing formulation, the new Tour B330 and Tour B330S golf balls are more resistant to stains and abrasions than ever before.
Both the 2016 Tour B330 and Tour B330S are in play on the PGA TOUR, including in the hands of Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar, respectively.  Snedeker debuted the new Tour B330 at the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions and realized immediate benefits with a T3 finish.
“After testing the new ball I had no hesitancy in putting it in play right away in Hawaii. I usually do not put a new product in play so quickly, but the distance I was gaining with driver and the incredible greenside spin couldn’t be ignored,” said Snedeker. “Bridgestone hit a homerun.  It’s longer off the tee, pure with my irons and around the greens it is just phenomenal!”
“The new B330S has serious wow-factor,” said Kuchar.  “The combination of increased greenside spin and increased distance off the tee at the same time was something I never thought possible.  I am genuinely excited about what this new ball can do for my game in 2016.”
The Tour B330 and Tour B330S balls will be available at retail on March 4, 2016 and will feature a street price of $45 per dozen.
Visit www.bridgestonegolf.com to learn more about Bridgestone Golf’s entire lineup of innovative products for 2016.

First Look: 2016 Bridgestone Golf Tour B330RX and B330RXS Golf Balls

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, February 11th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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Dear snow. Please melt. Thank you. That way I can start testing golf equipment, like these new Bridgestone Golf Tour B330RX and RXS golf balls.

Bridgestone_Golf_B330RXS_2016_01

The RX series is designed for golfers with a swing speed lower than 105 mph. When I’m on in the peak of the summer, I’m right at 105mph and usually play the regular Bridgestone Tour B330. The B330RX series is a good spring/fall/winter ball since it is a little softer.

Bridgestone_Golf_B330RX_2016_00

Below is the official press release from Bridgestone Golf, describing the new 2016 RX’s.

NEW CORE-TO-COVER TECHNOLOGIES IN BRIDGESTONE’S TOUR B330RX FAMILY PRODUCE THE BEST PERFORMING BALLS FOR AMATEURS

2016 B330RX Family Dispels Age-Old Myths About Golf Ball Design

Covington, Ga. –Bridgestone Golf, the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, is using what it has learned through more than 300,000 consumer golf ball fittings to produce the best tee-to-green performing balls ever made for amateur swing speeds.  Bridgestone’s new 2016 TOUR B330RX and TOUR B330RXS golf balls have been specifically engineered to produce longer drives and better spin around the green for players with swing speeds below 105 mph, using new proprietary AMATOUR Core and SlipRes Cover technologies.

Historically, distance and spin has been a “give and take” relationship. To increase distance off the tee, players had to sacrifice spin around the green and vice versa. With Bridgestone’s 2016 Tour B330RX family, that is not the case.

Bridgestone’s 2016 B330RX Family features Bridgestone’s new AMATOUR Core, a new engine of the golf ball, that is 28% softer than the average firm tour ball core, and utilizes a steeper gradient in softness from the inner part of the core to the outer region, resulting in faster ball speed and more reduced spin off the driver than ever before.  In fact, the proprietary gradient technology in its core allows Bridgestone to accomplish in one layer what its competitors accomplish in two or three, leading to a smoother energy transfer and more power generated by the B330RX and B330RXS balls.

The innovation doesn’t stop in the core. Both models have received an injection of greenside spin as well, thanks to Bridgestone’s new SlipRes Cover.  The SlipRes cover leads to increased friction that keeps the ball more stable on the clubface, which results in more spin on short shots.  Simultaneously, SlipRes has the reverse effect off the tee, lowering driver spin due to that type of impact’s recoiling force, leading to longer distance.

An added benefit to the new SlipRes Cover is increased durability.  Due in large part to the cover’s innovative self-repairing formulation, the new B330RX and B330RXS golf balls are more resistant to stains and abrasions than ever before.   

“The claims we’re making may seem unbelievable, and I wouldn’t have believed them myself if I heard them without having witnessed them firsthand in our R&D testing,” said Adam Rehberg, Golf Ball Marketing – Bridgestone Golf, Inc.  “We witnessed significant distance increases over major competitors in robot testing, while providing improved greenside spin. The truth of the matter is these balls perform better than anything currently on the market for swing speeds below 105 mph and golfers will notice immediately when they put them in play.”

The B330-RX is designed for players who swing below 105mph with distance off the tee as the main priority. The B330-RXS is designed for players who swing below 105mph with spin around the green as the main priority. Both golf balls are tour proven, including the likes of Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb. The Tour B330-RX, Tour B330RX Yellow and Tour B330RXS balls will be available at retail on January 25, 2016 and will feature a street price of $40 per dozen.

Visit www.bridgestonegolf.com to learn more about Bridgestone Golf’s entire lineup of innovative products for 2016.


Killer Box from Bridgestone Golf Previews the 2016 B330 Models

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, February 7th, 2016
Categories: Golf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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This winter has been killing me with regards to getting to product reviews. The courses are closed, buried in as much as couple of feet of snow. The high temperature for about the last month has been below freezing. Spring can’t come soon enough.

Bridgestone_Golf_B330_2016_02
Last month I received an amazing promotional box from Bridgestone Golf. I knew no matter what was inside I’d dig it. As it turns out inside was a sample of each of their new B330 golf ball series, the B330, B330-S, B330RX, and B330RX-S. I would have posted these pics earlier, but there was an “embargo” on. That meant I had to wait for a certain date.
Bridgestone_Golf_B330_2016_01
During the waiting the box became buried in a bunch of other products which came in for review. I finally got the chance to open it up today and take some pictures.

I do plan to review all of these balls after the snow melts. I’ll need to get my hands on more than one sleeve of each model though. I could lose a sleeve on the first hole of my home course, before I even get off the tee box.


TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Categories: Golf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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This is the second review of three TaylorMade golf ball models I’m in the process of reviewing.  The first was the Project (a) ball, a ball designed more for amateurs with slower swing speeds.  This review features the TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf ball.  The “TP” is a “tour” level ball, meaning their highest performance and most expensive.  This is one which many TaylorMade PGA Tour players use, and for good reason.  Let’s take a look.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball

Construction

The Tour Preferred ball is a four layer ball.  Each layer features materials and engineering which give the ball specific performance characteristics.  For instance, the core may provide the primary distance of the ball while the outer layer or cover provides much of the ball’s feel and spin.   Most tour balls, the Tour Preferred included, have a urethane cover which provides the softest and best spin in the sort game.

Together these layers and their engineering produce the following performance characteristics in the TaylorMade TP ball:

  1. Low driver spin
  2. Medium-high mid- to long-iron spin
  3. High short iron and wedge spin
  4. High spin inside of 100 yards

These characteristics are slightly different than the Tour Preferred X ball, which I will be reviewing soon.  The difference between the two is that numbers two and three above are swapped.  The X ball has medium mid- to long-iron spin and medium-high short iron and wedge spin.

Low driver spin means more accuracy off the tee and longer distance.  High spin inside 100 yards means short game control.

On The Course

I don’t do TrackMan or FlightScope testing on my golf balls and clubs, just real world golf on real golf courses.  If you need to know the exact spin rate off a 9-iron at X miles-per-hour swing speed with x-launch angle, there are other sites full of that information.  Google it.

Off the tee the TP feels very solid and I can hit it as far as just about any other ball I’ve tested.  I can feel the ball compress and I’m able to work the ball as needed, though my swing lately seems to only want to go straight or draw.  Don’t ask me to hit a fade right now.   I’ve hit a few massive drives (for me), and even some massive 3-woods with this ball.

Iron feel of the TP is excellent.  The ball is soft enough for me to feel it on the face and tell if I’m clipping it just right, compressing it.  Those pure shots produce pure results and birdie opportunities.

Inside 100 yards (admittedly my weakest link) I have plenty of spin.  Sometimes I can actually clip the ball to crisply when pitching or chipping and it will check too much.  That’s not the ball’s fault.  It the fault of my skill level, short game distance control.

Lastly, the fee of the putter is great.  The cover feels soft and I have total distance control with the flat stick.

Not Just For Tour Players

Over many years one of the main reasons amateurs were not well off hitting “tour” balls is because of the compression of the ball and maxiumum distance.  High swing speeds were needed to get full compression out of them.  That does not seem to be the case with the TP ball.  I have a driver swing speed of about 100MPH, and 105 if I’m really killing it.  With the right driver head, shaft, and this ball, I can hit them quite far.  I don’t feel like I’m losing distance with the TP due to not having a high enough swing speed.

The other component to “tour” balls is the high spin.  The engineering of this ball gives the player, amateur or pro, the high spin where it is needed in the shorter irons and short game.  So once again, an amateur could benefit from playing this ball.

Conclusion

Whether you are an amateur or a pro, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf ball is a high performance option.

Related Links

TaylorMade Project (a) golf ball review.


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