Testing off the tee now complemented by approach shot data and greenside considerations

 

COVINGTON, Ga. – (January 23, 2019) – Bridgestone Golf, the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, is announcing exciting changes to its groundbreaking Ball Fitting program that will help golfers determine which golf ball is best suited for their game for tee shots, approach shots and greenside performance.

To date, Bridgestone’s Ball Fitting program has relied on a method of head-to-head driver testing – with a player’s current golf ball selection being pitted against a selection from the Bridgestone line that was derived from a series of driver swing measurements on its Science Eye launch monitors. In 2019, in addition to the trusted driver performance analysis, Bridgestone will begin measuring approach shot performance using an 8-iron as its testing control.  Bridgestone will look at spin rates, launch angle, ball speed and other key measurements to help determine changes in accuracy, consistency and distance on approach shots from ball-to-ball.  Once a player is fit into a category of ball based on the driver and approach shot testing, Bridgestone will provide that player with 2-ball sample sleeves to conduct their own greenside testing before making a final determination as to which ball they make their “gamer.”

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“In 2006, we launched a program that changed the conversation golfers were having from which players were playing which balls on Tour, to which ball should I play that best fits my game,” said Adam Rehberg, Golf Ball Fitting Manager, Bridgestone Golf, Inc.  “As we have continued our efforts to educate consumers through many different methods about the best way to choose a golf ball fit for them, technology has advanced and consumers have become more sophisticated about what questions to ask.  So, in 2019, we are adding approach shot analysis and short-game considerations to our in-person fittings.  We will be able to confidently fit golfers the same way they play the game, from tee to green.”

Bridgestone’s Ball Fitting program, which launched in 2006 as “The Bridgestone Challenge,” is credited with being the first consumer-focused system to use science-based launch monitor data to educate golfers on how different golf balls affect their games – encouraging them to choose golf balls based on data metrics rather than the emotional appeal of what Tour players are playing.  What Bridgestone found was astonishing.  An incredible 7 out of 10 players tested benefitted from being fit for a golf ball, gaining distance and/or accuracy off the tee.  Through 2018, Bridgestone has conducted over 300,000 in person fittings and over 2.1 million golfers in total have been aided in their golf ball selection with tools like B-FIT Chat, On-Line Golf Ball Selector and the B-FIT Swing App that allows golfers to conveniently measure their swing characteristics using their smart phone’s camera.  In addition to being used as a diagnostic tool, Bridgestone has also relied on Ball Fitting in product R&D with several balls being developed as a result of information gleaned through the program.

In 2019, Bridgestone will return to a greater emphasis on its in-person fittings, relaunching teams of ball-fitting professionals to conduct one-on-one fittings at golf courses, retailers and other special events throughout the golf season.

“Greenside testing is challenging because feel is so subjective when it comes to player preferences on chips and pitches, so what better way for a player to ensure they have a ball that fits their game on and around the greens than doing some testing of their own with complimentary balls,” said Rehberg.  “We are confident that with the evolution of our Ball Fitting methodology golfers will have a clearer picture than ever before about how a golf ball’s construction impacts every facet of their game.”

Bridgestone’s new Ball Fitting program will kick-off in Atlanta during the Super Bowl Experience at the Georgia World Congress Center and Super Bowl LIVE in Centennial Park. This spring Bridgestone’s evolved Ball Fitting will make its way to select Sunbelt markets, expanding its reach nationwide this summer and fall.  For more information about Bridgestone’s enhanced Ball Fitting program visit http://www.BridgestoneGolf.com.

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About Bridgestone Golf

Based in Covington, GA, Bridgestone Golf USA manufactures premium golf balls, clubs and accessories under the Bridgestone and Precept brands. The company started making golf balls in 1935 and today has more golf ball design patents than any other company. Beginning in 2006, Bridgestone revolutionized golf ball selection with its custom ball-fitting program, identifying a golfer’s ideal golf ball based on personal swing characteristics. Today, as the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, Bridgestone has conducted over 2.1 million fittings via a combination of live-fitting, online selection and its B-FIT App.  The consumer data gathered from ball-fitting continues to inspire Bridgestone’s innovative new golf ball designs, yielding industry-leading performance products for the entire range of players, from recreational golfers to the best in the world. Bridgestone Golf is proudly represented on international professional tours by icons such as Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau and Lexi Thompson.  Bridgestone Golf USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo. More information:  bridgestonegolf.com.

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Until recently I had limited to no experience with golf balls from Bridgestone Golf. All of this changed recently when I sold the house and started packing for the move. While cleaning out my golf room I stumbled upon a dozen Bridgestone Golf Tour B330 golf balls that I acquired a couple of years from the PGA Show. So I thought that I would put them to good use and do some testing. My intentions at the time was to do write a review.

Then one night on Twitter I posted a picture of the aforementioned golf balls and was contacted by an unknown member of the social media team from Bridgestone Golf. The individual and I started to talk and I was then asked if I would be interested in testing a new line of golf balls that have yet to be released. Of course I had to say yes. After all we are talking about an opportunity to test a golf ball that not many others have played as of yet. So a few days later an envelope arrived from Bridgestone Golf and in it was a sample pack of the new TourB golf ball range.

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With the launch of the new TourB line-up from Bridgestone Golf comes four different golf balls that intend to hit various demographics in the golf market. With this new line-up there is a golf ball for most types of golfer. The TourB offers two golf balls that are geared towards those players who average lower scores (note the wording). These golf balls are the TourB X and Tour B XS. For golfers who average scores that are considered to be low to mid-range the TourB RX and TourB RXS are the “recommended” golf balls. Below is a breakdown of each of their characteristics and in bold my testing observations.

TourB X – The TourB X is a golf ball that is designed to give those that shoot lower scores a combination where feel and accuracy are at a premium. The enhanced feel is a result of a softer cover that stems from “SlipRes Technology”. Meanwhile, the enhanced accuracy is a by-product of the lower spin created by the “gradation core construction”. Not to mention higher initial ball speed and reduced spin with the driver. Bridgestone’s “Dual Dimple” pattern delivers more distance and roll. “Seamless Cover Technology” (SCT) also adds to the accuracy while delivering a more consistent ballflight along with more distance.

The new TourB X is a golf ball that I am extremely excited about. The feel off of the driver is one where you feel like you’re really compressing the golf ball and this holds true throughout the golf bag. The cover is indeed durable but I hit a cart path or something that scarred my tester. Instead of pulling the ball out of play I continued to play with it. To the naked eye the scuffing never affected the performance of the ball. I was astonished with the sheer length of this golf ball. The TourB X consistently produced long drives and there is definitely something to the gradation core construction. It seemed like that the B X was always hitting the middle of the fairway or landing on the GIR. Yesterday on very firm greens this was the ball that ran the least on approach shots into the green. The Tour B X was a champion in strong winds… seemingly cutting through the air being unaffected. Greenside it was a very admirable performer that was very consistent. The TourB X has been put into play recently by Bridgestone Golf staffer Bryson DeChambeau.

TourB XS – The TourB XS is a golf ball designed to deliver enhanced feel and distance for golfers who tend to score lower. Feel and distance are the characteristics that the TourB XS delivers. The TourB XS features the same “SlipRes Technology” as seen in the TourB X. A softer cover means more feel for all shots from the driver to the green. Less drag created by Dual Dimple technology and less drag created by a more efficient trajectory equals more distance.  The cover on the TourB XS also features a seamless construction creating more consistency from a balanced dimple pattern.

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The TourB XS was a fun golf ball to play. It’s a long golf ball that was consistently a touch longer than the TourB X. This was the case seen throughout the golf bag. Perhaps all of the man hours spent by Bridgestone Golf’s R&D team investigating the dimple pattern was well-rewarded. The feel of the TourB XS I felt was equally as good as the TourB X however I felt a slight difference on shorter shots (putting and chipping) where the TourB XS felt just a little more… firm?? The cover is durable as this golf ball has seen a decent number of golf holes played with nary a blemish. In the wind the XS cheated the wind and the ball was seemingly unaffected. The Tour B XS definitely gets my nod of approval. The TourB XS was put in play by Bridgestone Golf staffer Matt Kuchar at the President’s Cup.

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TourB RX – For golfers that don’t post consistently low scores the TourB RX is built for you. If you’re a golfer with a swing speed that isn’t described as Tour-like then the RX is definitely worth a look. First and foremost the TourB RX is designed to be a distance golf ball with the addition of enhanced accuracy. This extra distance is the result of similar technologies found in the “Tour-level” golf balls in the family. “SlipRes” cover technology, a gradational compression core, “Dual Dimple” pattern and “Seamless Cover Technology” are all present. The SlipRes cover yields more friction at impact which leads to more spin.

My findings with the TourB RX weren’t that far off from what I saw with the TourB X. It’s a long golf ball and it is an accurate one at that. If anything it might have felt more firm with the driver but maybe it’s just how I was feeling during the testing process. That said, the RX is a good all-around performer with no blemishes or weaknesses to speak of. I really liked what this ball did from a ballflight standpoint with the flight maybe being a touch higher than it’s TourB X counterpart. This ball is built on a similar chassis that was the Tour B330-RX which had a cult-like following. Remember when I said I had minimal experience with Bridgestone Golf? I did use the B330-RX and I feel that the replacement to the original RX model is an upgrade. I would suggest better length and more control. Greenside it might have spun less than the Tour-level balls and this fact was noticed on firmer greens in particular. The runout was a little more yet it was still consistent and predictable. The TourB RX is also offered with a highly visible yellow cover as well.

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TourB RXS – This is the golf ball that is the heir to the B330-RXS throne. A golf ball designed with more distance and feel in mind. Technologies are the same across the board where the RXS features all of the technologies as stated above in the other three models. “SlipRes” cover, “Dual Dimple” pattern, gradational compression core and “Seamless Cover Technology” are all found here.

 

When it came to the testing of the TourB RXS it was conducted at the same time as all of the other golf balls in the line-up. The TourB RXS was as you might suspect a great performer like the rest of its brethren. Durable and solid around the greens. I felt that the RXS had a higher ballflight than the rest of the stable and maybe it’s because this golf ball might be a tad more “spinnier”. From a length standpoint I felt that it was a little shorter than the TourB RX again leading to me believing that the spin rates of the RXS were higher than it’s RX counterpart. In no way am I suggesting that this ball is inferior because it simply is not. I thought it performed better around the green and let’s face it… if a golf ball is going to help us it would be around the greens when greens in regulation are scarce. The TourB RXS was very admirable in all facets of the game. The TourB RXS is also offered with the high visible yellow.

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The bottom line with this golf ball range from Bridgestone Golf is that there is not one weak offering in this line-up. This stable of balls from Bridgestone Golf is terrific throughout. If I had to pick one I am definitely leaning towards the TourB XS. I just preferred the all-around performance and feel of the TourB XS . When it comes to selecting one of these golf balls from the TourB range consider a few things. Firstly, there is no difference in the cost of the TourB from one to another. The suggested retail price for all of the TourB offerings is $44.99 USD. Putting the price aside focus on your game and what you need help with to improve your scores. Do you prefer more feel or more distance? Say you prefer feel what’s the next important variable. If you say distance then you know that your baseline for selection is the TourB XS. Personally I love that Bridgestone Golf made it this way for golfers to select a golf ball. It makes it easier. One other thought. If you go to the Bridgestone Golf Fitting Guide they can definitely get you on your way to selecting the correct golf ball for your game. I used the Fitting Guide out of curiosity and for me it recommended the TourB XS. For me it would be my second choice. Go ahead and join the “TourB Revolution”. #DareToBridgestone