Five New Golf Balls

Wednesday February 21st, 2007
Greg Lord

In the golf ball jungle, Titleist is the 800-pound gorilla. The company has dominated the market since boiled feathers ceased to be the primary core in balls. But while Titleist has no new introductions planned for now, its competitors do.

So how should you check out the new pellets vying for a spot in your back pocket? Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your game. Do you want more greenside control? Are you a short knocker who wants to be a big crusher? Compare any two balls side-by-side. Begin your examination around the green and work your way back to the tee. Do the same with two more balls. Only then will you know for sure which one should be looking up at you on the first tee.

Bridgestone e6
$38 per dozen; bridgestonegolf.com
IT'S FOR
Players who want distance with feel and control, too.
CONSTRUCTION
Three-piece, multi-layer, Surlyn cover
HOW IT WORKS
It's got the requisite soft core and Surlyn cover. But the key is a resilient midlayer that reduces sidespin with the driver. A sister product, the two-piece e5, is wrapped by a urethane cover (used in premium balls). Choose e5 if you're a lowball hitter who requires higher flight to max-out carry.
SIMILAR BALLS TO CONSIDER
Titleist NXT, Callaway HX Hot

Callaway Big Bertha
$25 per dozen; per dozen; callawaygolf.com
IT'S FOR
Players who want distance and feel at an affordable price.
CONSTRUCTION
Two-piece, low compression core
HOW IT WORKS
This Bertha blends the Big Bertha Red and Blue into a single ball, which means you'll get plenty of power (Red) with a decent amount of spin and feel (Blue). But don't expect HX Tour-like spin here. The company's HEX dimple pattern helps Bertha fly steady.
SIMILAR BALLS TO CONSIDER
Titleist DT SoLo, Maxfli Noodle

Maxfli RedMax
$25 per dozen; maxfli.com
IT'S FOR
Players who would sell their children for longer tee shots.
CONSTRUCTION
Two-piece, low compression core, Surlyn cover
HOW IT WORKS
RedMax combines a low-compression core with a lively Surlyn cover. So what? The company claims the highest coefficient of restitution (COR) in its league. Say what? RedMax jumps off the clubface fast and hot for serious distance. The soft core ensures that shots don't feel like a rock.
SIMILAR BALLS TO CONSIDER
TitleistDT SoLo, Nike Mojo

Nike One Platinum
$54 per dozen; nikegolf.com
IT'S FOR
Skilled players who want it all: Length, smooth feel and lots of bite.
CONSTRUCTION
Four-piece, three covers, urethane cover
HOW IT WORKS
The current Platinum provides ample feel and spin. Nike set out to lengthen this One ball so it tweaked the "progressive density core." The new core creates less spin off the driver for longer carry without compromising the spin/feel quotient.
SIMILAR BALLS TO CONSIDER
Titleist ProV1, Callaway HX Tour 56

Srixon AD333
$25 per dozen; srixon.com
IT'S FOR
80+ mph swingers who want to bust drives without losing short-game control.
CONSTRUCTION
Two-piece, low compression core, Rabalonelastomer cover
HOW IT WORKS
The updated AD333 has a modified core — the outermost part is firmer now. That means you'll experience faster ball speeds and a higher launch angle off the big clubs. Srixon softened the cover so feel and control aren't compromised.
SIMILAR BALLS TO CONSIDER
TitleistDT SoLo, Maxfli Noodle

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