Colorful Golf Balls

February 16, 2007

I recall bygone days when guys like Jerry Pate and Wayne Levi played fluorescent balls on the PGA Tour. Well, what’s old is new again—colored balls are back. There’s orange, pink and yellow, of course. But you’ll also find fun variations like purple, blue and raspberry-colored balls gracing putting greens near you. The big difference is that the color craze today mostly targets slower swingers such as senior men and women.

Two others worth mentioning are Wilson’s Hope and Precept’s Tour Lady SIII.

The Hope, a 2-piece ball, comes in purple or pink pearl. It targets recreational types who aren’t so concerned with shooting a number. What’s great is a percentage of Hope sales go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Paula Creamer, the LPGA Rookie-of-the-Year in 2005, serves as the chief spokesperson for Lady SIII. Creamer told me last week that she likes the feel, loves the technology and, of course, adores the pink color. Creamer, incidentally, plays a white one in tournaments through the Saturday round and the pink version on Sundays only. (These balls have the same 3-piece construction with urethane cover.) For every Sunday birdie, Bridgestone donates $500 worth of balls to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.

Did you know?

Jerry Pate was the first Tour pro to use a colored ball in competition. The year was 1980. The ball: An orange Wilson ProStaff.

So what’s your ball of choice? Are you loyal to a particular brand? Your fellow readers at reveal their ball DNA below.

1. Which one of these player types best describes your game?

High handicapper You have potential but must solve fundamental problems. 27.3 %
Power hitter You hit the ball a long way but your game needs control and consistency. 22.5 %
Low handicapper You play well but want to shave those last few strokes off your handicap. 22.3 %
Senior player You’ve lost some flexibility and power but you can still play well. 14.5 %
Straight hitter You keep the ball in play but lack of distance puts pressure on your game. 13.2 %

2. Which brand of ball do you play?

Titleist 44.5 %
Maxfli 11.5 %
Callaway 11.1%
Nike 8.1%
Bridgestone 4.7%
Precept 4.5%
Top-Flite 4.5%
Pinnacle 4.1%
Srixon 2.4%
Wilson 1.7%
Ben Hogan 0.9%
Slazenger 0.7%
Dunlop 0.7 %
Volvik 0.1 %

3. Which ball type do you most-often play?

  • Multi-layer high-performance 42.7 %
  • Multi-layer, high-performance ball with urethane cover (such as Bridgestone Tour B330, Callaway HX Tour, Maxfli BlackMax, Nike One, Titleist Pro V1)

  • 2- or 3-piece ball 24.0 %
  • Two- or three-piece balls with less spin than premium balls (such as Bridgestone e6, Callaway HX Hot, Maxfli Revolution EXT, Titleist NXT)

  • 2-piece performance 21.6 %
  • Two-piece performance balls, many have “low compression” with more spin and feel than their cheaper brethren (such as Callaway Big Bertha, Maxfli Noodle, Nike Mojo, Pinnacle Exception, Precept Laddie Extreme, Srixon AD333, Titleist DT SoLo)

  • 2-piece value 11.7 %
  • Two-piece value balls are built for distance (such as Callaway Warbird, Dunlop LoCo, Nike Power Distance, Pinnacle Gold Distance, Top-Flite XL Pure Distance)

    Source: 883 GOLFONLINE respondents