0:48 | Equipment
Tiger Woods Signs Multi-Year Deal with Bridgestone
By Michael Chwasky
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Like most technologically advanced products, the game's newest balls offer an array of options. The trick is finding the model that best meets your tee-to-green needs. Here's everything you want to know about the latest offerings, so you can get off to a hot start this season. Just scroll down -- and have a ball in 2017!

Bridgestone e6 Soft ($29/dozen)

Bridgestone e6 Soft golf balls

Bridgestone e6 Soft golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Straight flight with soft feel.

Buy them now for $28.99

You Need to Know

"Through our data, we saw a chance to better fit a wider range of players with our new e6 balls," says Elliot Mellow, marketing manager of ball fitting. "Only 10 percent [of players using e Series balls] were in the e5 and e7 models, which have been replaced with the two new e6s."

The e6 Soft is similar to the previous e6, which is Bridgestone's best-selling model. A larger gradational core (softer on the inside, firmer on the outside) and firm mantle layer provide low spin on full shots and a steep descent angle on short ones. There's also a soft Surlyn cover with "delta wing" dimple pattern to minimize sidespin and ballooning.

Buy them now for $28.99

Final Word

Bridgestone says both models compress easier than Tour balls, leading to higher launch and speed on mis-hits.

Bridgestone e6 Speed ($29/dozen)

Bridgestone e6 Speed golf balls

Bridgestone e6 Speed golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

High, straight flight with maximum ball speed.

Buy them now for $28.99

You Need to Know

The three-piece design has a higher-compression gradational core than the e6 Soft, resulting in a slightly firmer overall feel and more velocity off the clubface for added length with the big clubs. A softer Surlyn cover than the e6 Soft contributes to higher ball flight, more spin on long shots and improved performance on scoring shots around the green. The e6 Speed has the same "delta wing" dimple design as its sister product for reduced in-flight drag and a straighter flight.

Buy them now for $28.99

Final Word

Players struggling to consistently hit shots high enough should consider this model.

TaylorMade TP5 ($45/dozen)

TaylorMade TP5 golf balls

TaylorMade TP5 golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Manfred Koh; Cross section: Jesse Reiter

The Basics

Soft feeling, medium-launch Tour ball.

Buy TaylorMade balls now

You need to Know

In development for 10 years, the five-layer TP5 series balls have large, soft, three-layer inner cores (called a "Tri-Fast Core") consisting of an extremely low-compression center, a marginally stiffer outer core, and an even stiffer mantle layer. Meanwhile, the fourth and fifth layers -- a firm inner cover and soft cast-urethane outer cover -- combine for elite short-game spin and control. "We've designed balls that give players excellent control around the green, plus significant distance gains with the driver and irons," says Eric Loper, director, product development, golf ball R&D.

Buy TaylorMade balls now

Final Word

TP5 feels softer and launches shots lower than TP5x. In stores March 1.

TaylorMade TP5x ($45/dozen)

TaylorMade TP5x golf balls

TaylorMade TP5x golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Manfred Koh; Cross section: Jesse Reiter

The Basics

High-launching, firmer feeling Tour ball.

Buy TaylorMade balls now

You Need to Know

The TP5x, which replaces the Tour Preferred X, features a similar five-piece progressive design as the standard TP5. However, the TP5x is built with a firmer "Tri-Fast Core," including a 25-compression inner core, 35-compression outer core, and 55-compression mantle layer, which together provide a firmer feel (90 overall compression versus 83). A soft, cast-urethane outer cover and firm inner cover improve short-game performance by creating more spin on wedge shots.

Buy TaylorMade balls now

The Final Word

The TP5x ball has a more solid feel than the TP5. It also launches marginally higher and has lower spin on longer shots.

Titleist Pro V1 ($48/dozen)

Titleist Pro V1 golf balls

Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Tour ball feels softer, launches lower with a more boring flight and spins less tee-to-green than the new Pro V1x.

Buy them now for $47.99

You Need to Know

Eighty thousand players tested prototype balls, and the intel was combined with R&D advancements. A new core formulation has similar compression (and feel) as before while producing faster ball speed and less spin on full shots. "There's significantly more distance than the previous model, and it's on par with the Pro V1x," says Michael Mahoney, VP of golf ball marketing. Short-game performance and spin are largely unchanged, while a more efficient dimple pattern provides consistent flight.

Buy them now for $47.99

Final Word

The new Pro V1 spins less throughout the bag than Pro V1x, whereas the 2015 Pro V1 spun more on long shots.

Titleist Pro V1x ($48/dozen)

Titleist Pro V1x golf balls

Titleist Pro V1x golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Tour ball with a firmer feel and higher trajectory than the Pro V1.

Buy them now for $47.99

You Need to Know

The ball's improved aerodynamics result in a more consistent, repeatable flight. As in the new Pro V1, tooling refinements and enhanced manufacturing processes lead to less variation in dimple diameter from ball to ball. All this combines with a more-efficient dimple arrangement to boost shot consistency. Players can expect similar distance (the dual core is the same) and short-game spin attributes as before.

Buy them now for $47.99

Final Word

Compression is eight to 10 points higher than the Pro V1 for firmer feel. A spherically tiled pattern of 328 dimples promotes higher flight. Pro V1x spins more than the V1, but spin difference and speed on tee shots is negligible.

Callaway Chrome Soft X ($40/dozen)

Callaway Chrome Soft X golf balls

Callaway Chrome Soft X golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Tour ball with a firmer feel than the original Chrome Soft.

Buy them now for $39.99

You Need to Know

Following the success of the original Chrome Soft, the four-piece Chrome Soft X has a higher compression (90 vs. 70) for faster, Tour-like swing speeds. A formula change to the dual "SoftFast" core contributes to more ball speed off the tee and combines with a slightly firmer urethane cover for crisper feel. "The ball has similar greenside control as Chrome Soft, but with more iron spin for maximum workability and control," says Dave Bartels, senior director of golf ball R&D. Plus, the HEX aerodynamic dimple pattern has been modified for a more penetrating flight with short and mid-irons.

Buy them now for $39.99

Final Word

Like the previous version, the Chrome Soft X will have the Truvis color scheme as an option.

Callaway Superhot 70 ($28/15-ball pack)

Callaway Superhot 70 golf balls

Callaway Superhot 70 golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Soft-feeling distance ball.

Buy them now for $27.99

You Need to Know

The three-piece design has a lively, low-compression core (70) for soft feel and fast ball speed. (The previous version, Superhot 55, had a 55 compression core, so you should expect the updated model to have a marginally firmer feel.) The mantle layer and new Surlyn cover complement the core by limiting spin on full shots, which reduces hooks and slices. Plus, the HEX aerodynamic dimple pattern cuts in-flight drag and increases lift for higher-trajectory shots off the tee and from the fairway. The new cover composition also helps generate higher spin rates (and added control) on shots around the green compared with the the previous model.

Buy them now for $27.99

Final Word

The Superhot 70 is sold in 15-packs rather than by the dozen.

Callaway Supersoft ($22/dozen)

Callaway Supersoft golf balls

Callaway Supersoft golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Straight flight, maximum distance and soft feel.

Buy them now for $21.99

You Need to Know

The softest ball in Callaway's lineup, the two-piece Supersoft features an ultra-low 39-compression core that's a little firmer and faster than the previous version. The result? More ball speed and low spin for longer, straighter shots. The new Tri-ionomer (Surlyn) cover is softer than before, which leads to additional spin on greenside shots. The HEX dimples are constructed with slightly sharper, more defined contours to reduce drag while increasing lift for added carry and more shot consistency.

Buy them now for $21.99

Final Word

The Supersoft comes in four different color options -- white, yellow, pink or in a multicolor pack that includes orange and blue.

Srixon Z-Star ($40/dozen)

Srixon Z-Star golf balls

Srixon Z-Star golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Softer-feeling Tour ball for 90-plus-mph swingers.

Buy them now for $39.99

You Need to Know

A slightly softer gradient core -- softest in the center, hardest on the edges -- than the previous Z-Star provides more ball speed and longer shots. There's also a new "speed dimple" pattern -- five different sizes among 338 dimples creates more uniformity and surface coverage. This leads to a more stable ball flight, particularly in windy conditions, and it cuts down on drag for extra carry distance. The company's third-generation "Spin Skin" cover coating is, says Jeff Brunski, Srixon/Cleveland director of R&D in North America, "softer and more elastic than any ball coating Srixon's ever made, which increases frictional force at impact for more reliable and consistent greenside spin control."

Buy them now for $39.99

Final Word

Available in white and yellow.

Srixon Z-Star XV ($40/dozen)

Srixon Z-Star XV golf balls

Srixon Z-Star XV golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Firmer-feeling Tour ball for 100-plus-mph swingers.

Buy them now for $39.99

You Need to Know

The four-piece ball has a new dual core. Like the standard Z-Star, the inner core boasts a similarly constructed gradient design. However, the XV has a second (outer) core as well. The innermost portion of the core is considerably larger and softer than the previous model, while the firmer outer core has a consistent hardness. The combination provides faster ball speed for powerful, Tour-like swingers. And like the Z-Star, the new XV features both the same 338-dimple pattern to cut down on in-flight drag and the company's third-generation outer coating to improve short-game control.

Buy them now for $39.99

Final Word

The higher overall compression than the standard Z-Star (105 vs. 88) results in firmer feel. Comes in white and yellow.

Srixon Q-Star Tour ($30/dozen)

Srixon Q-Star Tour golf balls

Srixon Q-Star Tour golf balls.
Sleeve and ball: Brian Henn; Cross section: Jesse Reiter.

The Basics

Tour-like performance for moderate swing speeds.

Buy them now for $24.99

You Need to Know

Featuring a three-piece design and urethane cover, the Q-Star Tour provides Tour-caliber performance with a low-compression core for players who don't swing like a Tour pro but still want to play a ball with a soft feel. The large gradient core (similar in design to the Z-Star and Z-Star XV) provides a more efficient energy transfer at impact for more speed and distance on full shots, while the "speed dimple" pattern should enhance performance in windy conditions.

Buy them now for $24.99

Final Word

The Q-Star Tour has the same outer coating as the two new Z-Star models, to increase friction between the ball and club at impact for additional short-game spin and control.

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