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Tiger Woods Switches to Bridgestone Golf Ball

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, December 15th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf GearPGA TourPro GolfTiger Woods
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I saw this one coming for a while. I don’t normally write much about the “tour” anymore. There are so many millions of blogs and sites out there doing it. But I feel compelled to post about Tiger Woods switching to Bridgestone Golf balls. Obviously Tiger has read Hooked on Golf Blog and gathered how awesome the ball performs for my granny over the top dual chicken wing golf swing.

All due respect to Nike Golf, can you imagine how many more tournaments Tiger Woods would have won with the B330 or B330-S in the bag instead of the Nike ball? But now I wonder if it is too late. Time will tell.

It will be interesting to see where Rory McIlory and Tony Finau end up ball-wise too. A switch to the B330, or numerous other balls not the Nike ball could really help their consistency and performance.

The full Bridgestone Golf Press Release regarding Tiger Woods switching to their ball is here.


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.


Review: Bridgestone Golf J15DF Driving Forged Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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This product review of the Bridgestone Golf J15 Driving Forged Irons came at a critical time in my golf game and my attitude.  Anyone who follows this blog and/or my social networks knows of the frustrations I’ve had of late with this beautifully infuriating game of golf.  More on the timing and attitude later.  First let’s take a look at the J15 Driving Forged Irons.

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons - click to see more

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons – click to see more

Construction

The J15 Driving Forged Irons are designed for golfers from the professional level to mid-handicap players.  I fall somewhere in that range as a player who varies from a 1-4 handicap, depending on the time of year.  So they should be a good fit.

The J15DF features a two-piece premium forged carbon steel design.  For those of you readers who don’t know what “forged” really means, it’s one of two primary manufacturing processes irons are typically made from.  The other process is called casting, producing “cast” clubs.  In my opinion forged clubs tend to have a softer feel and provide more “feedback” to the player than cast.  Feedback would be the feel and sound translated to the player from the club.  Feedback gives the player great information with regards to the quality of contact and where it occurs on the club face.  Better players can translate this feedback into how they need to adjust for better contact.   Cast irons on the other hand, don’t often produce this feel.  Most shots, regardless of where they happen on the club face, feel about the same.

These irons feature a “hidden” cavity between the front and the rear of the club head.  This design employs “FAST” technology, or Flex Action Speed Technology.  The cavity and design allows the club’s weight to be moved out toward the perimeter.  Perimeter weighting (another buzz term in the golf industry) provides more forgiveness.

The sole of the club is a little narrower than game improvement clubs (clubs which are meant for higher handicap players).  “Mid Sure Contact Sole” design allows the club to be consistent in the way it interacts and bounces off of the ground.

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons

Specs

Iron Loft Lie
Angle
Length S/W Offset Bounce
3 20° 60.5° 39″ D3 3.5 mm 2.0°
4 22.5° 61.0° 38.5″ D3 3.5 mm 2.0°
5 25° 61.5° 38″ D3 3.0 mm 2.0°
6 28° 62.0° 37.5″ D3 3.0 mm 3.0°
7 32° 62.5° 37″ D3 3.0 mm 3.0°
8 36° 63.0° 36.5″ D3 2.5 mm 4.0°
9 41° 63.5° 36″ D3 2.5 mm 5.0°
PW 46° 64.0° 35.75″ D4 2.5 mm 6.0°

This club is available in right-hand only. Sorry lefties. You’re missing out. While the specs above show a 3-iron, the set I tested is a 4-PW.

Options

A club fitting would help in the setup decision making process without a doubt. I recommend making sure your shafts, lofts, lengths, and lies are all set for your swing. If you already know your specs, you can actually order your exact setup online at the Bridgestone Golf J15 page.

There are well over 20 shaft options available. I ended up with the True Temper Dynamic Gold Pro S300, the stock shafts. They’re fantastic.

The J15DF online configurator offers a choice of 14 grips. The model I’m gaming is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet. While they seemed a bit hard at first, I’ve grown to really like them. I’ll be reviewing the grips in a separate article later.

On The Course

From the first club I hit on the range (still remember it was a 7-iron), to the last one I hit yesterday, I’ve been thrilled with these irons.  I have the opportunity to play many of the world’s best irons from most of the major brands, many custom made.  None of those other irons but the J15DF’s have come close to the feel and control I grew accustomed to with my hand forged set of Hogan irons from nearly 15 years ago.  The feel is butter.

Unlike the old school irons though, these are easier to hit and much longer.  I’ve enjoyed very solid iron length and accuracy since putting the J15DF in the bag.  The control these irons offer is tremendous.  Whether I want to hit a low driving punch 5-iron like I did a few days ago on the par-3 11th to eight feet, or hit a high fade with a 7-iron, these clubs respond.

That high fade with a 7-iron came yesterday, probably my shot of the month.  It was my 2nd shot on the 510 yard par-5 7th.  I was 184 out and needed to carry the shot over some front bunkers and have it release to a back-right pin.  The shot was one of the most pure shots I’ve ever hit and the ball landed within inches of my intended landing spot over one of the bunkers.  It released up a slope in the green and finished at 12 inches from the hole for a tap-in eagle.   That came at a time when my partner and I had just been pressed on the front nine.  #winner

There are many stories I could tell like the 7-iron above, and with the J15DF’s in the bag there will surely be many more.

Critical Timing

I mentioned the critical timing in my opener.  You see, I’ve been struggling so much with my game I was close to quitting.  Not just for a week or two, or for the winter, but forever.  I’d had it.  Then the J15DF’s came in for review.  I was very close to declining the review and quitting.  Out of respect for Bridgestone and how great they’ve been to HOG over the years I decided to do the review. The J15DF irons gave my game a badly needed spark.  They talked me off the proverbial golf cliff.

Now that I’ve become excited about hitting quality iron shots again, winter looms unfortunately.  I’ll be trying to get in as many rounds with these irons as I can until the snow flies.

Conclusion

Bridgestone may be better known for their golf ball products, but you’d be making a mistake if you didn’t check them out before making an iron buying decision.  The Bridgestone Golf J15DF irons provide ultimate distance, control, and feel for golfers of mid-level handicaps and better.   I know exactly where I’m hitting it on the club face because of their fantastic feel and feedback.  I know if I execute shots well with these clubs, the results will be tremendous.


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