I’ve played a ton of different balls over the years, and can’t figure out a good way to pick the right one for me. Does anyone have experience with ball fittings? Or, if I am doing these experiments on my own, how do I go about evaluating different options?
Get set up at a TrackMan and compare numbers. This article is about drivers and spin, but it is a good start.
If you really want to get into numbers, TrackMan offers “TrackMan University” (it’s free) and you can take tests online and learn about the principles behind launch angle, spin, carry, etc.
Nice. Thanks man.
What I don’t get (and I’m practically wedded to Titleist at this point), is, why the hype that the 2019 Pro V1/x came out? What the hell is the difference?
At what skill level does the ball actually matter? I doubt many 15 handicaps, including myself could tell the difference between a ProV1, TP5x or even a Tour Velocity.
Sorry I should have noted, I’m a scratch player. The right spinning ball would definitely improve my game/the wrong ball would lose me a couple strokes for sure (balls caught up in the wind, spinning too much/little on approaches to the green, etc)
I’m basically in the same boat with an 11 handicap but I know higher handicappers (me) often play pro level balls out of ego and would be better suited for a less expensive ball. I looove the srixon z star NOT z star xv, which is harder like the pro v1x. Just that slightly softer ball makes me feel like I have more control. Often times a lower spinning ball can help since it means less side spin so misses can be a little less harsh.
Find the balls that you like to use on the short game. This will eliminate roughly half of them - some people like higher spinning balls on the short game shots, some don’t.
Then find the balls that you like off the tee and in the approach shots. Most likely, virtually all of them will be about the same here… so play what you like to look at.
Just make sure you consider the Snells, the Vices, etc. All the performance of the big names without the high cost.
I’m going through the same thing now. Spent some time putting and chipping with Pro V1, B330 and TP5X this morning, the Pro V1 won out for me.
Just bought myself sleeves of the TP5, Z-Star and Tour B XS. Interested to see how much extra spin I get on approaches vs the B330/TP5X’s that I’ve been playing lately, my home course loves a back to front sloped green so back pins could get tricky.
They’re supposed to promote faster ball speed with a thicker casing layer and a thinner cover. Haven’t hit them so couldn’t tell ya for myself. Difference is probably negligible from the last model.
linking a previous discussion on this topic:
I just found a place in town that lets you hit on Trackman and do your own ball testing (Precision Golf Academy). Went Sunday to check it out, and they had coverage on the back wall while I hit. great place to ride out the coverage gap.
I’m definitely not on your level (6 cap here), but I pick my ball primarily based on short game performance as well as spin with irons. I think that ball performance with the driver isn’t all that different between the top models. I have a decent amount of speed (6 iron just over 90 mph club head speed, can get the driver up to 110 if I’m really feeling good) but I’m low spin throughout the bag. I can hit a full wedge and it’s not going to spin back. So I need all the spin I can get to control my shots on firm greens. I play the Chrome Soft X right now, which is going to be the highest spinning ball in the Callaway lineup. I don’t have a good reason for not playing Titleist except that it seems like everyone else plays that ball and I want to be a little different.
For you, I’d try to find sleeves of 3 or 4 types of balls that you want to test, then just go chip and putt with all of them. Figure out the ones that react the way you want them to, then take those balls and either take them on a course or hit them on a launch monitor to see how they fly on full shots.
Here’s the update that no-one asked for. The softer balls were all pretty identical as far as I could tell, TP5 had an extra meter or two on irons maybe, easily could’ve been a slightly nicer strike though. I didn’t have the driver out much (only played 8 holes and most tee’s were pushed up near the reds) but all seemed the same. Might find a launch monitor to check that stuff but probably not worth it they’re close enough.
Spin wise a 7 would back up to the mark on all three (on mushy greens), compared to being a few feet ahead of the mark with the B330. 3/4ish 58 also backing up to the mark, bounce and stop with the 330. Definitely grabbier on short pitches too.
Definitely liking the softer balls personally. I kinda like the look of the TP5 better than the others, but the Srixon’s cheaper
I started playing the srixon just because it was cheaper then quickly learned it was the best ball I’d ever hit for my game. I haven’t hit anything from Taylormade since high school (our team was sponsored by them? Idk if it was sponsored but the coach gave us a sleeve before every round and I know he wasn’t buying them himself) but I remember really liking the ball.
Sorry I might have missed this, but which ones are the softer balls?
And by soft do you mean low compression?
I always thought that faster swing speeds needed higher compression balls to get maximum distance, but then the AVX came out and it’s the opposite? Idk
All I know is that the AVX seems (by the eye test) like an amazing ball. I’d just like to prove it
TP5/Z-Star/B XS being softer than the TP5X/B330
They’re both softer compression and cover, and I think that is true about swing speed and compression, but I doubt the difference is that much.
I’m not sure how accurate it is, but Bridgestone has this free golf ball fitting tool on their website. It doesn’t ask for swing speed or anything like that, but I suppose it’s probably no worse than blindly choosing balls.
i think this assertion basically used to be true, but has changed the last cycle or two.
i can’t tell you what’s right for you, i can only tell you how i evaluated golf balls for my game.
for a couple years i did nothing but try to find any and all equipment that spun LESS. i swung a million miles an hour at about everything, i was young, was steep and across the ball. then as i worked to shallow out, gain control, got better, and started firing at more flags. I found myself wanting a ball I could control better…meaning i could spin it if i wanted to.
i had two sleeves each of Chrome Soft/x, Taylormade TP5/x, prov1/x around the green and would spend a good hour hitting the same shot with each ball a few times. so hit 6 of the same shot with the same ball…clear the area…6 of the same shot with the next ball…cycle through all of them then move to a different spot and do it again. do this for an hour on a couple different days and you’ll start to notice a pattern of which one tends to cluster better.
for me i decided i wanted the “regular” version of each that spun more. we have very undulating greens where you frequently need all the spin you can get.
after that i took them to the course and would hit them off the tee primarily, as that’s where i struggle the most. I’d hit approaches as well, but i was primarily concerned with the driver. after a few trials of hitting them off the same tee with the same shot, i noticed the regular pro-v had a lower launch than the others, particularly the TP5. there’s so much wind in KS that my somewhat minor miss can become catastrophic in a hurry. off the tee i don’t really care about distance, I want the ball on the ground NOW.
the taylormade freaked me out. it was a good 1/2 club longer on approach than the others. it stayed in the air forever and i hated it. if i played in a different environment, on a different golf course i would probably spend more time with it and adjust. high and knuckling just made me nervous and i didn’t like it. i ultimately went with low and spinning with better control.
i have no idea how the new prov/x is different than the ones i play.
Bringing this shit back because I have no idea what ball to use with my new bag and I can’t figure out what the hell to even try.