WHAT WE LEARNED DURING OUR BALLS TEST...
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.