WHAT WE LEARNED DUR­ING OUR BALLS TEST...

Golf Asia - - GOLFING GEARGUIDE -

THERE’S A REAL CHOICE TO BE MADE

A few years ago balls sold for less than S$50 a dozen were rocks, aimed at adding dis­tance to any golfer’s game. The land­scape has changed, and there are now more op­tions than ever. At the out­set we had no in­ten­tion of split­ting the balls into cat­e­gories. But we soon re­alised the need to clar­ify who each ball’s aimed at, and who it would work well for. There’s so much choice.

LOWER BUD­GET DOESN’T MEAN LESS PER­FOR­MANCE

Like most golfers we didn’t be­lieve there was a le­git­i­mate pre­mium tour ball avail­able at a per­for­mance ball price. Dean Snell, who was in­volved with de­sign­ing the orig­i­nal Pro V1 and Tay­lor­made’s first TP tour ball, started the “direct to con­sumer” idea, and it’s spread­ing. The idea works be­cause the brands op­er­ate on­line. They don’t pay tour play­ers to use their prod­ucts, keep mar­ket­ing spend to a min­i­mum and don’t give any mar­gin to a re­tailer. It’s an ef­fi­cient model and means golfers can buy pre­mium balls with­out fund­ing a tour star’s pri­vate jet...

SHOULDN’T TITLEIST’S NEW TOUR SOFT BALL BE IN THE TEST?

Titleist’s new Tour Soft shouldn’t strictly be in our test. But be­ing the new kid on the block for 2018 we were cu­ri­ous to see what an ex­tra cou­ple of quid buys, so we got our test pro’s feed­back on the Tour Soft, too. He liked it, feel­ing the com­pres­sion of the cover and core were more closely matched than much of the com­pe­ti­tion. Kevin reck­oned feel was softer off the driver (it was three yards short of the long­est on test) and wedge spin was within 200rpm of the best on test.

TWO-PIECE BALLS DON’T AL­WAYS RE­DUCE FEEL OR SPIN

Srixon, Tay­lor­made and Mizuno have got it spot-on with the AD333, Project (s) and JPX; many club golfers won’t be able to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween these and pre­mium balls. Each has been op­ti­mised to per­form at both ends of the bag – speed and dis­tance from the driver and high spin with a wedge, which is what lots of club golfers are af­ter. And at their prices, you won’t wince ev­ery time you top one into a lake...

BALL FIT­TING RE­ALLY SHOULD BE A THING

Our test showed up tan­gi­ble dif­fer­ences in speed, spin and carry be­tween balls that were specif­i­cally en­gi­neered for our pro and those that weren’t. There re­ally is no ex­cuse for not mak­ing sure your swing can fully com­press a ball. Shots will re­bound with more en­ergy and still of­fer all the feel and spin you want in the short game.

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