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2018 Official Forum Member Review - Bridgestone Prototype Balls

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Official Forum Member Review - Bridgestone Prototype Balls

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This one's a little different for the forum.  Bridgestone approached us a while back to pick some testers to test, review, and give feedback on 2 new prototype golf balls.  We selected 6 guys to help us out and here we are.  Keep in mind when reading these reviews that this a prototype ball.  Bridgestone will be using the feedback and the final retail release may be different than the balls being reviewed here.  

 

Camcmart                           Stage 1                            Stage 2

DawgDaddy                        Stage 1                            Stage 2

kardboard.kid                     Stage 1                            Stage 2

Zylem                                   Stage 1                            Stage 2

Apes44                                Stage 1                            Stage 2

TSauer                                 Stage 1                            Stage 2

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IMG_3179.thumb.jpg.f5c460ccb1e4cde275b9d551340b17a6.jpg

Intro:

After being selected to help Bridgestone with their R&D of this ball, I felt pretty important. This seems like a ball that may be ideal for a golfer with similar tendencies/skills as myself; someone not looking to spend $40+ on a dozen balls while still trying to maximize the abilities of that ball. The balls presented to myself were a softer compression ball for my ~90 mph swing speed, they feature a 3-piece construction with a surlyn cover and “high performance polymers” as the core. These balls were designed to be placed between the e6 line and Tour B RX performance-wise and I think they should suit my game well.

IMG_3181.thumb.jpg.a2f16d41681dad50671eae57e92c3db2.jpg

First Impressions:

The balls look good coming out of the package with the signature “B1”. They have no alignment aid or title on them because they have not yet received a name as they have not been released on the market and still have an undisclosed release date. For now, we’ll do as TSauer and refer to them as AAMSFT; a softer compression for moderate swing speeds like I have. I'd cut one of the balls received in half, but I don't have the proper tools to do so 

Upon chipping and putting, the balls feel good. Personally, I like the feel better off the putter than off the wedge, not too soft, not too firm. I’d say they’re much better than the e6 balls that I’ve put into play before and I think their price point should be right around the same as Project a, Srixon Z Star and Tour Soft (~$35). I think the “high performance polymers” should be highlighted more than anything with this ball, especially since Bridgestone collaborated with its innerworkings to help produce this ball. Maybe even use a play on popular tire lines (Ecopia, Dueler or Blizzak) for the name since there was some potential rubber inspiration with tire R&D.

To really put these balls to the test, I went to my local golf shop to put these balls to the test on their launch monitor. Along with some launch monitor numbers, I played some pretty straightforward courses to get a good feel for these balls compared to some other balls in my golf bag. I’d like to see these balls land themselves in my bag rotation, but will they make the cut? Stick around to find out!

 

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Bridgestone Prototype AAMSFT Ball – Official Forum Review by Cameron Martinez

 

Intro

In total, I’d say approximately 5 rounds and 2 hours of range/practice green time were spent testing these balls. I used the launch monitor at my local golf shop, which was a Foresight GC2, primarily to get spin numbers, especially driver and wedges.

Looks & Durability (11 out 15)

Since this was a prototype ball being tested, the packaging and ball design are bland, just utilizing the Bridgestone “B” logo. The dimples do seem a bit shallow and even a bit hex-shaped, potentially utilizing similar tech as Callaway in terms of dimple pattern. Being the amazing golfer that I am, I “aimed” for the cart path a handful of times to test the durability and wasn’t necessarily disappointed. After hitting the cart path off a pretty high drive, there was a slight scuff, but nothing I wouldn’t have expected with the impact it took. After a full round of NOT hitting any cart path, I didn’t notice any distinguishable marks; this included full wedge and iron shots. When testing on the launch monitor, there were again no distinguishable marks after full wedge/iron shots which was a great sign in my opinion.

Sound & Feel (10 out of 15)

This was kind of where the ball lost my interest, but only because I’m used to a softer feel with my current gamer (Chrome Soft). It’s surprisingly easy to notice the difference between a urethane cover and the surlyn cover that this ball has. Sticking to the Bridgestone brand, in terms of feel, the AAMSFT fell precisely between the e6 soft and the Tour B RX on full wedges/iron shots. Its soft but not quite as silky as the RX. Off the driver, there was no noticeable difference in sound, but the feel was about the same all the way down to the putter; relatively soft and slightly clunky, so not quite to my liking.

On-Course Performance (43 out of 50)

Off the tee, I honestly didn’t notice any difference in distance or ability to find fairways compared to my current gamer, which was great. The ball held the green relatively well, maybe not quite as well with iron shots, but those are also hit or miss with me, depending on my trajectory. Wedge shots held really well also, as you can see: IMG_3230.jpgIMG_3231.jpg

this was about a 90-100-yard shot that I used my 50° to stick the ball about a foot from my ball mark hinting at some back roll. I typically only play a bump and run around the greens, and this ball performed just as well as my gamer. Off the putter, the ball did feel a little clunky/clicky, but still had some feel that I enjoy. Ball flight was consistent, as I typically hit high shots with little rollout which is great hitting into the green, but not so much off the tee, but it’s my game so I’m used to it. The ball did tend to air out a bit in the wind, but nothing too extreme. I was very pleased with spin and holding the green, but again, my only complaint was the feel of these balls. These balls are by no means game-changing, nor did they touch my lackluster scores, but were enjoyable to play.

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (14 out of 20)

This ball seems to be for a golfer just like myself; a mid to high handicapper not looking to spend an arm and a leg for a pack of balls but still looking to find a ball that performs in their price range. It may benefit Bridgestone to rethink using a surlyn cover if they want to compete with the Taylormade Project (a) or Srixon Q-Star Tour as golfers in this price range are looking more at feel than those buying Mojos, Noodles and Maxflis. Though, in terms of wedge spin numbers, the AAMSFT surpassed the e6 soft by about 1000-1500 RPM backspin, it fell short by about the same compared to the Tour B RX. This means the ball falls right where Bridgestone was intending for wedge shots, but irons on the launch monitor didn’t have as much of a difference with the AAMSFT averaging just ~500 RPM less (7i-9i) compared to the Tour B RX. Distance was hardly noticeable even on the launch monitor compared to the Tour B RX, and spin was virtually the same off the driver and the woods.

Conclusion

Overall, the AAMSFT did not disappoint per say; wedge spin numbers fell about equidistant between the e6 soft and Tour B RX. The ball went neck to neck with my current gamer (Chrome Soft) on the course, with no noticeable difference in distance or forgiveness. The ball holds greens rather well, plays true around the greens, but doesn’t have the most favorable feel off the putter. I think Bridgestone would benefit from changing the surlyn cover as the ball loses some of the feel compared to the Project (a) and Q-Star Tour, but the core of the ball is great in my opinion. If anyone has any other questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to respond! Thanks to Bridgestone and MGS for the great opportunity!

            Final Score: 78/100

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Soirée BLIND TEST, dansante et Karaoké

 

 

Hot dog, I am a tester for a new golf ball from Bridgestone Golf but I can't tell you what it is simply because I don't know what it is. This is a blind test. What I do know is that it is not a urethane cover and it will be a fit between the B330 series balls and the e series balls, both in performance and price. There are two different compression levels of the ball based on swing speed. The closest current production ball is the TaylorMade Project a, the ball I was sent is marked Soft SS for soft swing speed I imagine.

 

BBT1_zpsyvhgmykm.png

 

We had a conference call with all of the participants and some Bridgestone staff, there were several takeaways from the call, one of the more important ones to me was the why for this ball. One thought on their thinking is they feel they can get premium ball performance with a surlyn cover. They are the largest manufacturer of automobile tires in the world, the engineers in the R&D department for Bridgestone golf are able to pull from the engineers in the tire department for their developments that just may help in golf.  They think they have found a perfect formula with the tire polymers to do exactly that, make a premium performance ball for less money. Ambitious for sure but doable in their eyes.

 

BBT3_zpsk8yjy9zz.png

 

It was suggested that a ball be cut in half for a picture, I did that and the ball is a classic 3 piece, the core is relatively soft compared to others I have cut in half, the color is similar to a woman's make-up. The center layer is somewhat different looking than others I have seen too as it looks somewhat porous although it there really are no holes in the material. The outer layer appears to be slightly thicker than the middle. I hope you can see what I am talking about in the picture.

 

BBT4_zpsaj3zlbjk.png

 

Right now I still need to test this ball to see if it will hit my bag, I am playing the B330-RX and the Callaway Chrome Soft so I am hoping this that this ball might change my mind, comparable performance at a lower price point is something everyone would welcome, I know I would. So far in the area I put the most weight on, the short game, I could play this ball. It doesn't roll out excessively on short shots or pitches. It does have a harder feel on putts to me but again nothing I could not get used to but I would think it would take me a while as I have played the B330-RX yellow for years and recently added the Chrome Soft to my bag also. I play the Chrome Soft Truvis often so as to make my ball easily identifiable when playing in groups. Honestly with iron shots I can tell very little difference, I play TM M1 irons and they pretty much make all golf balls sound the same at impact. With the driver this ball has a harder feel to me but again nothing excessive, comparing to the urethane covers on the balls I regularly play this was to be expected but I was surprised at they were not as hard feeling as I expected.

 

Ball flight is slightly lower for me and side spin seems to be less than I am used to. I really hope I still have some of these to put in play on a windy day this fall or spring, they may play better than the Bridgestone e-6 (hands down the best ball I have ever played in windy conditions) the ball I have been putting in play on those type of days. That single aspect would sell me at least a couple of dozen each year for those type of days, early results seem to indicate they just might fit that niche for me.

 

I am hesitant to comment on any distance increase/decrease as I am still getting used to my game after a major back surgery. I will give my impressions in my next write up. I have lost one of the test balls and then obviously lost another when I cut one in half. With the 4 remaining I will be glad to do any comparisons anyone might wish me to do. As much a fan as I am of Bridgestone I promise to give you as unbiased an answer as possible. As always I welcome any questions and each of us testing will be happy to answer any and all questions.

 

Thank you Bridgestone and MGS for this testing opportunity!

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Well, I have put the Bridgestone SoftSS prototype ball through the paces and I will have say overall I have enjoyed playing this ball. Now lets get into the brass tacks as to what I think are the strengths and my perceived weaknesses.

 

Looks & Durability – Sound & Feel

 

  • I think the ball has a very clean look as I have used the B330-RX for quite a few years and the Bridgestone B logo is very familiar and I like that. I can't say I like the offset alignment arrows on either side of the Soft SS imprint on the side of the ball, I'll address that in the appropriate bullet below.

     

  • Being the high quality golfer that I am I hit many trees and a few cart paths during my testing. The ball seems very resistant to hard scuffing as most marks were made by cart paths and very little scuffs/scratches were left by trees. With my wedges I got zero ball sheer, unlike I do with many of the urethane covered balls. I really like the durability of this ball.

     

  • Back to the alignment aid, I would recommend that Bridgestone either use a different type of alignment marking or just leave it off all together, it may just be me but it seems a little distracting when I am standing over a putt. The dimple appears to be the familiar dual dimple pattern Bridgestone has used for the past several years.

     

  • The balls I used as comparison to this ball were the B-330 RX as a ball a step above in price and presumably performance, the e-6 as a ball a step below in price and presumably performance and the Q-Star a ball in the same price range and presumably very similar in performance. My finding did align with those presumptions, the B-330 RX was more workable and felt “softer” to me. As others have stated feel and sound are very individualized but I think most people somewhat agree on what constitutes a “soft” and a “hard” feeling golf ball. The e-6 was slightly harsher and as is my biggest problem with the e-6 sometimes it will roll much too much for me especially long approach shots, the Soft SS was easily better in that department. Compared to the Q-Star I felt the Soft SS did feel slightly softer and did stop slightly quicker, neither are difficult to draw or cut and ball flight of both was very comparable.

     

  • I will note that for me the biggest difference in feel/sound between all of the listed balls was with the driver and putter and even then if I were not testing a ball and simply out playing golf I am not sure I would even be tuned into the differences, so I would think that Bridgestone has created the ball they wanted because I could not say that about feel/sound between the B330-RX and the e6

 

Looks & Durabilit/ Sound and Feel (22 out of 30 points)


 


 

 

On-Course Performance

 

  • Off the Tee/Around the Green – This ball is at the least an equal in distance to any of the 3 that I tested and possibly a bit longer but living in a small town that is not really close to any larger cities I don't have access to a launch monitor to verify any findings so let's just leave it as equal. As I stated it is as workable as my talent allows me to work or spin a golf ball, I no longer have club head speed to make a ball back up but I can make short pitches hop, skip and stop when I want to with this ball so I imagine it will back up too. Compared to the 330-RX naturally it does skip longer before it stops and it is not as abrupt in its stop. I have no difficulty in finding this ball in fairways or in the rough but personally I would rather have Bridgestone offer an optic yellow option too as many golfers are biased toward only playing a white ball, I like the visibility of a different color and the fact that most times I am the only person in my group playing a colored ball.

     

  • Approach – On longer shots this ball does exactly what one would expect it rolls out more than the e6 & less than the RX. It is a very easy adjustment to make in my opinion, some may not find it as easy. I would think a higher swing speed player than I would possibly have very little adjustment to do.

     

  • Putting – For some reason even though this is a soft ball it comes off my putter somewhat hot, for me that is not a bad thing as I like to die the all in the hole and this has helped me occasionally to drop a putt that I “knew” I had not hit hard enough.

  •  

  • Ball Flight – I find the ball flight to be slightly lower than my regular ball but being as I hit a medium trajectory it is not a bother to me, as I have aged I depend on a medium height draw to get some roll for my distance. This ball is very consistent in doing what I expect when I put a good swing on it. I still have not had a chance to play this ball in any appreciable wind, however in an approximately 10 MPH wind it sails very much like the e6, there seems to be little push from that bit of wind.

 

On-Course Performance (40 out of 50 points)

 

 

Game Bag or Shag Bag?

 

For me that is a solid maybe, it will really depend on how well the Soft SS performs in the wind for me, I like the fact that it gives me a little more bite around the greens than the e6. That is the best part of my game and I could see it helping me in those fall/winter/spring days when the wind is up. I can tell you that it will not replace the Bridgestone B330-RX/ ChromeSoft balls that I play now as my regular go to choices. I really can see this ball appealing to a mid handicap golfer wanting more performance than the e6 can offer but not wishing to pay the higher price of the B330-RX. Golfers with more swing speed may too wish to try this offering, I would not rule it out until I had tried it as it is a nice offering.  

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (14out of 20 points)

 

 

Conclusion


 

I would say this ball is certainly worth consideration for players wanting closer to premium level performance without paying premium level prices, I think the target market is the mid to high handicap player as most low handicap players are fairly picky about which ball they use and know exactly what to expect from it performance wise.  For those contemplating this ball I have only this to say.

try-it-you-might-like-it.jpg


 

Final Score: 76 out of 100)


 

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Reserved Stage 1

 

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"Lot of pressure. You've gotta rise above it. You've got to harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness... energy... block... bad. Feel the flow, feel it. It's circular. Its like a carousel-- you pay the quarter, you get on the horse. It goes up and down and around. Circular... circle. With the music, the flow. All good things."

Firstly, Thank You to MGS and Bridgestone for this opportunity.  I truly feel honored to have been asked to participate in this ball R&D review.  So what exactly can you do to a ball that has for sure been redesigned, and engineered many time over the past years?  Well why not use technologies from other manufacturing sectors and product lines.  That is exactly what Bridgestone has done.  As we all know Bridgestone is one of the leading manufacturers of tires, and has a vast wealth of R&D engineers at their disposal.  This translates into their golf manufacturing side of the business.  Who better than the engineers designing top performance tires, to help create a new and innovative ball.  Using Surlyn to replace Urethane is the key here.

The balls arrived at my home in plain white sleeves, marked with “confidential” in red on them, so I thought it would be cool to throw a different concept sleeve out there for review and discussion.

image.png

 

So first off, how does the ball look, and feel?

image.png

At first glance you can see the ball is a cool white color and a bit more reflective than the Pro V1 or Chrome Soft.  I chose those two balls for comparison as this new ball is to be the midpoint ball for pricing and performance.  Initial thoughts are the ball looks and feels “soft”.  The surface of the Surlyn gives almost a rubber feeling to the ball and that will play into the testing to come.   How does the ball react to the driver, irons, wedges, and putter in relationship to the tried and true? What performance issues, or benefits can this technology bring to the already crowded table? If there are sacrifices in distance, for instance, will the ball give better spin on the green, or more feel with the putter to offset? If the ball performs close to the current low end ball, why would you pay more?  If the ball performs more like the top end, then we have a great new ball for the game.  Also “Surlyn” as a cover is already offered by other brands.  So what has the R&D group at Bridgestone created? 

Unfortunately we were not given the ball design by layers etc… as this is a prototype and any new technology will be closely guarded, but we can speak to the perception, feel, and performance of this ball. 

I am an average golfer and as such, nuances in the ball designs, may not always be obvious to me, so as I review and test this ball it will be from my perspective, and through my eyes, and feelings.   Initially the ball had the feel of a ball you are given at a putt-putt course, very rubbery and bouncy.   

image.png

There was a noted “spring” of the B1 off the putter, more so than the other 2, which could equate to longer distance.  That will be tested more in the days ahead, but for now you can put that in the “interesting” column.   Could this spring equate to more spin? Less spin? What kind of ball flight will it provide?   I am a low trajectory ball striker off the Tee.  My drives do not soar with the eagles, but they also don’t bounce along the ground like a stinger.  So for me this ball might prove just what I need off the Tee.  My irons though are just the opposite.  They do soar with the eagles, and I rely on the height and spin to keep my ball on the green.  If this ball it too bouncy will that also make it bounce off the green?  These would be key to whom the marketing would aim towards. 

The “soft” feel of the ball is a concern as well.  Have you ever put a “smile” in your ball with a bad iron shot?  If this is as soft as it feels, will the ball be damaged upon the first strike?

I am going to test this ball in those two specific areas, Driver distance and performance, and mid-iron shots into the green.  As for an official name for the ball, I think that will be reserved till after my testing.

 

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Reserved Stage 2

Testing began in Earnest shortly after the introductions were published.  Mother Nature is a Fickle Beast and Rain was in her sights.  Rain, Rain, Mist and Mud, Flooded our swampy courses, and left overall bad playing conditions.  There were highlights of sun and warmth, usually while I was at work.  Talk about frustration.  I was able to get in rounds for testing and sometime on the putting green.  Unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t provide for stellar photo ops, causing there to be a lack for the review.  For that I am sorry.

So let’s get to it, shall we?  Initially the outside felt rubbery and slick.  That did not change as I played the ball.  It somehow kept the clean white color and no matter how hard I tried I could not put a cut the face.  That was a big surprise to me, as have a bad habit of hitting thin and damaging balls.  Also I was able to hit a tree or two; of course on purpose, and again there was no mark.  When I refer to Mark, it is a cut, nick, scratch etc… on the face of the ball. There is also a different feel to the dimples, although I am not sure that this is the Delta Wing Dimple that Bridgestone advertises.  Comparing the Pro V1 and the Chromesoft to the Test Ball I would place it squarely between them. 

Scoring for the looks and durability would land firmly at 13 of 15.

Sounds of golf balls can be very subjective.   No one hears the same thing.  For me there is a very different sound.  The Pro v1 is crisp and has a snap to it like you hear while watching a golf event.  It’s the “expected” sound, that golfers have come to feel is the proper sound.  Chromesoft balls tend to be more subdued in the sound, although I feel there is still a bit of crispness to be heard.  Again not deviating too much from the “proper” golf sound.  This new ball can sound like a dud at times, especially on miss hits.  If you close your eyes and listen to the sound only you get the feeling that ball must have been a water ball.  It has no snap to it.  Open your eyes and there is a totally different response.  This ball would take some time to get used to if you were a Pro V1 only type of golfer.

 

Scoring for Sound and Durability 13 of 15.

Now we are getting to the meat of the review.  How does the ball perform? Going back to my intro, I am a low drive individual, as it helps me get more distance. This ball responded on cue.  My drives were longer, although how much cannot be determined as roll out on a soggy swamp is minimal, and those I hit high plugged and one was never seen again.  Even though I knew where it came down, it is now a seedling for a future golf tree.  There was also no help with drives that I pulled or pushed, as it amplified the errors.  The rubber feeling showed itself to be more than I feeling.  When I used my irons, I found the flight path to be very close on all balls, again plugged was a standard when landing in the fairway.  I tend to slice consistently so I usually set up to play that ball flight.  This ball came off the club feeling faster than others, and I found I was hitting straighter shots.  UGH, as I was playing left. Green side bunkers and nasty tall grass were my reward.  Around the green I do struggle, and rely on some sort of back spin to keep the ball on the green.  I could not create any back spin with this ball.  Not sure if it became a mental thing or not, but all the chips and iron shots into the greens bounced and ran off.  That was even more surprising given the soggy nature of the courses.  Then there was the putting.  I pride myself on being able to read a green and judge the speed of a putt.  In scrambles this is where I shine. My final round scores could not be lowered significantly if I had less putts. And so this part really frustrated me.  I could not figure out ball speed, as this ball comes off the putter face fast.  I would need to spend hours on several different greens to maybe get confidence needed to sink putts consistently. Those are hours Ii don’t have to give.  So to encapsulate the performance of this ball, I would say, it has potential to increase driver distance, and improve shot control off of irons.  It will mess with your putting and give you frustration on the lack of back spin generated.  However for the average golfer this could be good for them.  Most second and third shots are the ones most mishit by higher handicaps such as myself.  The last round I played was most likely my best for the year.  Was it the ball, or me more aware and very attentive on my shot selection and execution?  All things being said, I could see myself gaming this ball in the future, based on the price point.  I have found that when it comes to golf balls you do have to pay more for performance.

On-Course performance I give 35 out of 50 points.

 

Based on the statements above I don’t think I need to repeat.  This ball has the potential to be a game changer for me.  Being able to hit more accurate shots, and longer drives, combined with practice of the ball on the green could be what I need to take my game to the next level. 

In my bag? Yes I would 15 point out of 20

Final score 76 out of 100

Ball flight. Accuracy. Sound? Spin?  What is it that drives you? (No Pun intended)  Bridgestone has put themselves out there to be the next best thing in golf, and I applaud their commitment.  It is not easy to break from the mainstream ideas, notions, attitudes, and marketing.  Using internal engineering coupled with entrepreneurial enterprise, has offered up a totally new and unique opportunity.  Surlyn albeit already in existence, has found a new purpose.  Like anything new, you must truly try it yourself before casting judgement.  Hopefully my input and testing will have given you answers to your personal questions, and given you the desire to give the balls a serious try.

 

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First off thanks to Bridgestone for allowing me the opportunity to test their new ball. The balls came in a non-descript white package, with the logo, Confidential and AAMSPD. The way the speed ball was described was for those who have a faster swing speed. I liked the look of the ball, a simple B with a #. First thing I did was put my green dot over the number. The ball felt different, tough to explain but almost as if it was harder and smoother. I took this ball to a local putting/chipping green, sadly this wasn’t love at first chip…or putt. The ball felt heavy, chunky and louder than my normal ball.  I had problems with control around the greens. Putting wasn’t much better, the ball felt rock hard and made an odd sound. I took the balls to a course and the ball was a lot straighter off the tee and I gained about 3-5 vs my standard ball. 2nd shot in was a little straighter and longer as well, however I couldn’t get any stopping power when I would hit a green. Putting and chipping felt the same on course as it did at the local green. I think this ball has potential for certain golfers who want a little more distance and consistency but don’t have the need for feel around the greens.  If anyone has any ideas or wants any specific testing done, I am glad to try to accommodate.

Ball1.jpg

ball2.jpg

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Intro

My testing involved a few rounds, 1 round after I got used to the ball, the course was empty, so I was hitting two shots (at random, sometimes the Bridgestone first and others my normal ball).  I also took the ball to a local putting green that I was able chip and putt on. (Apologize for lack of photos on initial post, new phone and havn't been able to transfer pictures yet)

Looks & Durability (15 out of 15 points)

  • The boxes were plain white R&D boxes, so I don’t feel right assigning a score to it because we don’t know what it will look like. My score is based solely on durability and looks
  • The durability of the ball is its strongest trait. I played a full round without losing a ball (a miracle for me) hitting a few trees and sand traps (no cart paths) and once washed the ball looked brand new. It held up very well against wedge shots (even tried to swing as hard as I could with them to make a mark),
  • There were no marks other than the Bridgestone B and a number, I really liked how clean this was.  I usually mark my ball with a green dot over the number. The sharpie didn’t stick to it as well as most other balls and I had to remark it a couple times after using the ball cleaner.


Sound & Feel (5 out of 15 points)

  • This ball sounds a little heavier and thicker compared to what I normally play. Playing partners even comments on putts, how hard the balls sounded coming off the putter.
  • This ball just sounds and feels heavy on every shot from driver to putter, if you aren’t used to the sound and feel the first couple of shots may mess with you.
  • In my opinion this ball has very little feel, other than hard and heavy. From tee to green the ball I had a lot of trouble controlling the ball. Chipping and putting were more difficult with this ball compared to my normal ball.
  • In my testing side by side shots (that I tried to take same swing and aim) my standard ball was a lot closer every time to where I wanted it. The Bridgestone didn’t seem to have the consistency in landing / end spot.

 

On-Course Performance (25 out of 50 points)

  • Off the Tee – This ball is straighter off the tee compared to my standard ball. I gained a little distance off the tee (maybe 5 yards)
  • Approach – The approach shots seemed to be more difficult than normal, the only time I got the ball to stick on a green from more than 50 yards out was when the green was saturated.  
  • Around the Green – This is one area where I find the ball to fall very short. Normally my short game is what saves me, however I struggled with this ball.   I struggled to get the ball to stick on chip shots, a lot of roll out and inconsistent distance.  
  • Putting – This ball is like putting with a lead ball. Sounds hard off the face, hard to gauge distances and how it will break.
  • Ball Flight – This ball was very high off the tee and with the long irons.
  • This ball did not improve my scoring at all. That being said, distance has never been a problem for me, my short game always saved me and this didn’t help where I needed it.  When I played 2 balls from the same spot as the Bridgestone, consistently the shot with the non-Bridgestone ball was the more acceptable shot.

 

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (10 out of 20 points)

 For me this is not a gamer, I was really disappointed with the performance of this ball.  It did help me off the tee, but losing the feel and control from the second shot in, wasn’t worth the small gain. I think this ball would be perfect for someone who needs help getting the ball in the air and a few more yards off the tee that doenst have the short game feel yet. Someone who doesn’t care about playing a “performance ball” but wants something better than the cheapest rock ball at the big box store.

 

Conclusion

If you are a mid to low handicapper I would not recommend this ball. If you’re a high handicapper that need more air under the ball and more distance off the tee, this is the ball for you. This ball is perfect for someone who wants a ball that is inexpensive and needs distance improvement.  The balls feels and sounds hard and heavy. Lacks controllability around the green. Does not check up well at all.

Final Score: 55

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First Impressions

red-stamp-on-a-white-backgroun-64662655-1080x542.jpg

Intro

Welcome to the super secret Bridgestone golf ball testing. I am one of the few lucky members who was asked if I’d like to partake in a secret ball testing with some balls that have yet to hit the market. What’s better than trying new balls? Trying new balls that nobody knows about. Bridgestone is hoping to create a successful “in betweener” ball as I like to call it. A ball that sits in between their e6 and Tour B lines. Currently they do not have a marketed name, so we’ll stick with AAMSPD, as that was their confidentiality name when I received them. The AAMSPD is a 3-piece surlyn golf ball that, as you guessed it, fancies those with a higher swing speed. There is also another ball in the works, that you’ll see others review, that was made for those with a moderate swing speed. Now, lets get into the details.

First Impressions

When FedEx dropped off this package I was anxious to get inside and see just what Bridgestone had sent out way. Thought this will not be the final packaging on the ball, I have to say it is pretty cool to receive something from Bridgestone that says “Confidential.”

 

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From what I gathered from our call with Bridgestone, they want these balls to be priced between the e6, which retail at $29.99 and the Tour B, which retail at $44.99. My understanding is they are looking for those players that want a ball that is close to tour level, but aren’t looking to spend tour level dollars to get them. I like that idea. I’ve never been one to buy balls that are $45/dozen or more, I lose far too many balls to spend that kind of dough on them. I tend to stick with balls that are around the $30/dozen range and will pay a little more if it’s something that I really enjoying playing. I think the price point of these will be right in my wheel house.

 

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I was able to hit the course a few times to put these to the test against some of the balls I had in my bag, including Chrome Soft, Wilson Staff Duo, and even some Bridgestone e6. From what I gathered, these balls would compete with Wilson Staff Duo U, Taylormade Project a, and Srixon Z Stars.. as they are all balls priced between $30 - $40. Right out of the box, I knew they weren't going to compete with my favorites, the Chrome Softs, but that was to be expected. They aren't the softest and they aren't the firmest, I would say they are right in between, as one would expect with a ball in that price range. I won't spoil too much before getting into the scoring of the ball, but from my time with them around the green and some iron play, I can say they are a ball I will consider when they finally get released. 

 

As far as we know, the only release color of the ball will be in white, at least for now. With a variety of colors becoming more popular nowadays, including matte finishes, I believe this is something Bridgestone will look at and consider down the road. I personally am a fan of white, yellow, and a matte finish of both of those colors. I don't care for every other color of the rainbow when it comes to buying golf balls. Since I was able to test these before an official name is released, I am curious to see what they come up with. I'm always interested in stuff like that and how names come about for products, especially golf balls. I tried to do some research, but to no avail. Maybe since their top of the line ball is a "B xxx" and their less premium balls are "e", they will go with a letter in between there? Who knows. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone else's ideas as well. 

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I will be hitting the course as much as I can in the coming weeks to prepare for the questions you all will hopefully have about these balls. I currently do not have a ball that I buy religiously and stick to it throughout the entire season, I try everything out. That being said, maybe this "unknown" will be the one that replaces everything in my bag for months to come... or... maybe not. Stick around to find out. 

 

 

 

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Looks like Bridgestone likes to keep secrets!

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Yes they keep their secrets so well you still can’t buy the JGR driver online thru them. Maybe it’s a sign I don’t need it.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Come one, come all, check out this ball. 

 

Stage 1 is up!

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Come one, come all, check out this ball. 
 
Stage 1 is up!


Nice job! Can’t wait to hear more about the performance.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I'll be watching this thread to see what people are saying about this ball. It's an interesting grab for a market that I think is the trickiest one to break, that mid-tier price but high performance ball. I know it's Duo U, Project A, Srixon Z, but also Tour Soft, Q Star Tour, and older versions of tour level balls like last generation Chrome Soft, and even B series stuff. I know Bridgestone makes a high quality product and it stacks up against anything on the market, but looking at a pricing structure of 29.99, 36.99(?) and 44.99 will players appreciate the difference enough between too close a price point? I don't know. I do look forward though to reading more about it from testing and perhaps more from the people who talked to Bridgestone directly.

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Also, I will say I'm very intrigued by the dimple pattern. It almost looks Hex dimple like... very interesting.

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