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2019 Official Forum Member Review - Bridgestone e12 Speed and Soft Golf Balls

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2019 Official Forum Member Review - Bridgestone e12 Speed and Soft Golf Balls

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Testing the e12 Speed:

@DannyDipsStage 1 | Stage 2
@ga_pike:  Stage 1 | Stage 2
@GregB135Stage 1 | Stage 2
@M. ParsonsStage 1 | Stage 2
@tchat07Stage 1 | Stage 2

 

Testing the e12 Soft:

@00sportsmanStage 1 | Stage 2
@azstu324Stage 1 | Stage 2
@Low Country GolferStage 1 | Stage 2
@RonocStage 1 | Stage 2
@thegolfgalStage 1 | Stage 2

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Bridgestone e12 Speed MGS Review-DannyDips

 

First, I’d like to thank MGS for the amazing opportunity to review a product. I’ve loved reading the many product reviews available on the forums and am excited to tackle producing one myself.

 

The e12 Speed is a 3 piece Surlyn cover ball that Bridgestone claims will “spin more than a traditional Surlyn ball”. Along with claiming “The target player for e12 certainly appreciates soft feel, and there are certainly golf balls on the market that deliver soft feel, but we want to deliver soft feel with added performance benefit of distance, as well.”

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Link to Bridgestone e12
 

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I’m a 35 year old professional engineer from Crossville, TN (the Golf Capital of Tennessee). I’ve been playing golf since I was 7 and like everyone on MGS, I love golf. As a former college baseball player, I've always been driven to work toward being my best, and golf is the perfect game to chase personal bests. No matter how well you play you always strive to play better and that is what makes golf great.

Over the past several years I’ve been playing Titleist ProV1x and Callaway Chrome Soft for the most part (with some Bridgestone B330s and Srizon Z Star XVs sprinkled in at times). The main part of selecting a golf ball for me is how it responds and feels off the club face around the greens. I typically want a ball with lower spin off the tee and irons but soft feel and lots of spin with wedges and short shots around the green.

I’m currently playing to a 6.2 handicap but I've been working with an excellent local golf instructor to help me bring that lower. I typically have a pretty high ball flight with my misses mostly being fades to the right or straight pulls left. My driver swing speed is around 115 mph and 100 mph with my 6 iron. I would say the strengths of my game are my distance (280+ yards off tee) and wedges (I've worked really hard from 100 yards in). Weakness would be accuracy and putting.


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:ping-small: G400 LST 8.5° (set to 8°) Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi X-Stiff

:taylormade-small:  Rocketballz Stage 2 16.5° hybrid, X stiff

:taylormade-small:  M1 19° hybrid, X stiff

:mizuno-small:  MP-15 4 iron thru PW, S300

:mizuno-small:  MP-T4 51°, 56° & 60°

:ping-small: Sigma G Kushin 34.5" putter

 
 

kK--FwTSw2xAYR73mb-cEp2Ug_NMX5xsUJUGTdszzr3QtSkJbz0fTMp_qBmASnqX8LLof6qRIOz-J2j7CyDcu3eqiL2zTooCTf9nUY3mqsCbErawSV6jEwRBRGNcNAET43bzMhkr

 

My first thought when getting the box in the mail was how sweet a MGS logo would look on the side of these balls. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed when I opened the box but I admit the packaging does look pretty sweet and an upgrade from the previous “e” models. The gray, black and white say “serious golf ball” to me.

BUAKsaU0Fw7fdwNW6TXFBXGPdGg7wZ3U-d44sAX6-mAcugeRc1-ZCD8e1crUXW6alU4IgC9cqtUdOYwd1H0X9akvcv1rjNDX2SPwyc3-qaKwoAfI5lME99-E6S78lRJYIVpxZ2-o

(These are the golf balls I’ll be using for comparison. Chromsoft, B330, Z Star XV and ProV1)

 

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(This will be my testing golf ball bag filled with my dozen e12’s, comparable balls, tees and markers. Shout out to my alma mater TTU Golden Eagles #wingsup )

My plan is to conduct putting and chipping tests immediately upon arrival comparing the e12 to the typical balls I play. I want to see how far they roll out with my wedges around the greens and how the ball feels off the putter face. Next, I’d like to take the e12s to the local PGA Tour aboutGolf simulator and check the numbers for ball flight with a driver, 6 iron and wedge and compare again with my typical balls. Last, I’ll take them on a field trip to my favorite local courses to see how well they behave.

Since Bridgestone only sent a dozen I’m going to keep track of where and when I lose one. I’ll be posting updates as well as casualties to my dirty dozen here and also on Twitter (@DanielOwens35).

 

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Bridgestone e12 Speed - Official MGS Forum Review by DannyDips

 

Introduction

 

Again, I can’t thank MSG enough for the fun opportunity to test a product and submit an official review in the forums. I've been playing with and testing the e12 speed for a little over a month now. I've played full rounds with it, I've spent hours on my indoor putting green with it and hours chipping and putting on the course with it. At this point I think I have a really good grasp of what the ball can do and what it doesn't do very well.

 

Looks and Durability (6 of 15 points)

 

The e12 speed scores all its points in this category based on looks. The packaging looks nice, the ball looks nice. The only knock on the looks I can even think of would be that I like a slightly larger alignment aid on the side but as you can see that can be easily fixed.

 

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Now on to durability… I don’t think I've ever played a ball or at least not in the last 10 years that scuffs up so easily on just the club. You can find a montage of pictures I think we all took of seemingly light damage shredding the cover. It was to the point I think it's almost more cost effective to pay more for an expensive ball. I know multiple times I had balls that after three or four holes I wouldn't feel comfortable putting them back into play if the scoring really mattered. It almost seems the cover is so thin its defective.

 

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Sound and Feel (5 of 15 points)

 

I would best describe the sound of the e12 speed as “clicky”. The ball is extremely firm and hard off the clubface if you’re hitting a putt, chip, wedge, iron or driver. My first testing with it was done on a birdieball putting green and I can still remember rolling an e12 followed by one of my gamer balls and noticing how solid and “clicky” the impact was. The first time I chipped with them on a practice green I attempted to use a very repeatable stroke landing the ball at a tee punched into the green. I found they seemed to always fly further and roll out more than the balls I compared it to. The e12 was such a different ball than what I was used to playing that I had to club down and anticipate far more roll out around the greens. Hitting my driver I didn't notice a huge difference in feel than other balls. Of course, if you've read the MSG 2019 Golf Ball Buyer's Guide you know not to let soft feel override your judgment.

 

On-course Performance (23 of 40 points)

 

On the course the ball performed similar to how I assumed it would after chipping and putting with it.

 

Starting with the good, this ball is long and I’m talking 5-10 yards further than what I’m used to. I’m also going through some swing changes that might attribute to some of that gain but I’d say a large portion of it was the ball. The ball seemed very solid off every clubface hit, I would even describe it as “hot”. The second big surprise I found was with wedge shots not hit full. In my opinion, you can really separate a premium ball from a cheap one by how much spin you can generate hitting 45-60 yard shots. One day testing, I hit shots from 50-55 yards that stopped within 10’ of the ball mark. I can’t do that with a cheap ball and usually get that result only with a premium ball. I will say there might also be a slight increase of accuracy off the tee.

 

Now for the flip side, I did not enjoy chipping and putting with the e12. In fact the roll out I was getting on chip shots and pitches was so much more it limited what shots I could hit around the greens. I found myself trying to hit higher softer landing shots because I knew I wasn't getting much spin. Those shots would land hard and still roll out too far. Putts felt too firm and difficult to control distance. The ball seemed so firm I found gauging distances on iron shots difficult and I found no noticeable gain in distance with my driver.

 

My golf game relies on length and a solid short game to shoot my lowest scores. The e12 puts even more pressure on my short game by its lack of spin and firmness on putts. It does give me a few yards of length on irons shots, which in turn lead to shots hit over greens and more added pressure to my short game. I don't play a lot of different balls and prefer to stay with one the whole season and the e12 sure isn't the one this year.

 

Miscellaneous (3 of 10 points)

 

Bridgestone is a top notch company and I've played great golf balls from them before. However, they took quite a while after getting our information to actually get the balls to us. I can understand a delay but it seemed to drag on a few weeks waiting on our balls to arrive. Otherwise getting and testing the balls was an easy process.

 

Game Bag or Shag bag (10 of 20 points)

 

The e12 speed is definitely a Shag bag ball for me. I could see using it to play a scramble and only hitting tee shots with it but it really wasn't that much longer off the tee. Even when I toss the ball into a Shag bag it wouldn't last long after a few practice holes it would be too scuffed up to use further. The e12 just isn't the ball for me and my game.

 

Conclusion

 

The e12 speed is a firm ball that would be perfect for someone who needs a little extra distance with irons and isn't concerned with spin around the greens. That's pretty much the exact opposite of myself so I won't be buying a dozen anytime soon. I was surprised by the amount of spin I got with half wedge shots it was similar to premium golf balls.

 

Final Score: 47 of 100 point

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Posted (edited)

After several rounds with the E12 Speed and direct comparison to my gamer, the Vice Pro Soft, my initial feeling is that while the ball is nice, it’s not for me.  After spending quite a bit of time putting, chipping, and pitching with it, I was extremely excited to see what it could do on the course.  The remainder of my testing was performed during live rounds both regular and scramble along with some specific shot conditions where I was able to hit several shots from various locations around the course with both balls to gauge performance.

 Looks & Durability - 5 out of 15 points

From a looks standpoint, this ball appears to look the same as its high end siblings.  The large “B” logo is appealing to me and the finish is nice and glossy. 

During my first round, I had the pleasure of knocking this ball off a couple of trees and also a cart path.  There was noticeable scuffing and discoloration.  I would have normally removed the ball from play but decided to see how much the performance was affected.  Additional rounds proved that there was significant scuffing and wear on the ball from normal use.   By the end of a round, these balls seem to be worn enough that I wouldn’t use them again.   I would suggest that the worst thing about these balls is their lack of durability. 

 Sound & Feel (12 out of 15 points)

 Putter:

Noticeable “click” at impact but the feel was surprisingly soft.  Ball seemed hot off the face but got rolling quickly with limited skid. 

Irons/Wedges:

The ball had a very “clicky” sound and somewhat harsh feel on full shots… reminded me of what I remember about surlyn covered balls.  On chips and pitches, the click was still noticeable but not as much.  It was easy to feel the ball on pitches and chips which I liked. 

Driver:

With the driver, the ball had a firmer feel than the Vice Pro Soft, but not anything to write home about.  Sound wise, it was acceptable.  Not too loud but a more noticeable sound than the Vice. 

On-Course Performance (30 out of 50 points)

·         Putter: The E12 Speed jumped off the putter face a little faster than the Vice Pro Soft and it seemed to roll out a little more.  This would be acceptable once you get used to it.  Roll was true to line and the ball did not seem affected negatively by any imperfections in the green.  Overall, this is a ball I’d be happy to putt with at any time. 

 

·         Chips/Pitches:  The ball seemed to come out slightly lower and roll out a little more.  It seemed that the ball came off the face of the club “hotter” but it was consistent.  As with putting, this is something that would only take a little getting used to and would be totally acceptable for normal use. 

 

 

·         Irons/Wedges: Ball flight was slightly lower than my gamer and the ball seemed to “knuckle” instead of spin.  I found it difficult to control the ball in wind and carry distance was a ½ club to full club shorter than my current gamer but the additional roll made up for the distance.  I feel like I do not have the swing speed necessary to properly compress this ball to achieve desired flight and carry distance.  The ball works well when you do not have a forced carry but can allow for some run up.  I started hitting irons to a target short of the green with the desire for the ball to run or hop up and then roll out.  This became an issue with elevated greens or under softer conditions because it was difficult to judge how the ball would react as opposed to landing on the green and stopping. 

 

·         Driver: As with the irons, I simply couldn’t get this ball up like I wanted.  Most shots were low to mid-low and seemed to “knuckle” instead of spin.  I actually lost my first tee shot because it didn’t get up high enough to clear the waste area between the tee box and fairway.  I tried hitting before and after my gamer, but just couldn’t seem to get consistent results from hitting these off the tee.  That said, during afternoon rounds, total distance was only 5-8 yards short of my gamer…  morning rounds however were a different story as the softer, dew covered ground greatly reduced any run out.  They did seem to carry significantly less meaning forced carries were of concern. As before, I feel like it may be a swing speed issue as my driver swing speed as measuring 95 – 98 MPH and this ball is designed for 105+. It will be interesting to see if there is any difference after I get through the first stage of the Superspeed Golf program.  I’ll be sure to report back on that later. 

 

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (12 out of 20 points)

Right now, this just isn’t the ball for me.  While I was pleasantly surprised upon initial testing around the practice green, the performance in regular play was just not where I’d like it to be. It wasn’t horrible, but there is definitely room for improvement. As stated previously, I feel as though some of this is attributed to my swing speed not being high enough.  Their marketing clearly states this ball is designed for swing speeds of 105+ and my 95-98 MPH swing speed just isn’t there.  The bigger issue for me was durability.  Although these balls are less than a premium ball, the cost per round is higher because they need to be replaced every 9-18 holes. 

 Conclusion

·         I feel like my swing speed is not enough to generate the positive effects this ball is meant to provide from the E12 Speed

  • Short game shots come out lower with less spin but are very playable.
  • E12 Speed ball flight with full irons shots was lower than expected
  • Driver ball flight was lower than expected but generated lots of roll on firm, dry fairways
  • Durability is an issue

At the end of the day, while I wouldn’t personally purchase this ball, I can see where it would be helpful for fast swingers looking for help keeping the ball in play.  If your course has lots of trouble around the greens that requires you to get it up and spin it to stop it close, this may not be the best choice…  but if you have the option of running it out and playing lower shots into the pins, this would definitely work.  If Bridgestone can address the durability issues, tis ball could really become a viable option in the future. 

 

Final Score: 59 out of 100

Edited by ga_pike
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Official Member Review Bridgestone E12 Speed by GregB135

Stage 1

Intro

Hello again MGS readers. This is my second opportunity as a tester and I’m excited and honored for the selection. You can read the more in-depth history of my golf evolution in my Stage 1 of the Odyssey EXO putter review.

 

The shorter version for this test, I’ve been playing golf for just over 30 years now. More seriously for the second half of that time. My handicap has been as low as 9 (too recently), but is currently back up around 14. As age started going up, and I recognized athleticism starting to decline I began to see a recognizable drop in distance. I’ve since taken on the SuperSpeed Golf training and have gotten back some swing speed. With my driver number hovering just a smidgen below 105 again, I requested the e12 Speed for this test.

My preferred normal gamer was the NXT Tour. I recently switched to its slightly costlier replacement the Titleist Tour Soft. The rising handicap saw lots of those wind up not retrievable so I’ve tried several other lower priced options settling on the Vice Tour as the b-gamer ball. My ball choice is typically based on a performance for price basis. The NXT was great but the Tour Soft is priced a little higher than I prefer.

My typical ball flight is high with the irons, mid to high launch with the driver, usually with a right to left bias. My all too regular miss is either straight pull or pull-hook. Wildness from the tee is the primary reason for the handicap going up over the last couple of seasons. Putting has become one of the strengths of my game, especially after the EXO test, so feel and performance on the green is going to be a big factor as I test the e12.

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The Contenders 

First Impressions

When the e12s arrived they were packaged in a shipping box marked “Logo Balls”. There was some initial excitement that they had sent out some MyGolfSpy special editions. But, alas, just regular old Bridgestone E12 Speed balls.

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I can honestly say I’ve never once purchased a dozen golf balls based on the appearance of the box. However, I do know that once a preference is decided, an easy to recognize box that stands out on the shelf does help avoid having to spend too much time on the aisle searching. The eye-catching silver box with the aggressive graphics I think does that trick.

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The look and finish of the E12 Speed is good for me. I like the Big B logo better than its predecessor. The gloss white is similar to the balls I play already so it isn’t distracting to my eye at address.

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I took a few out to the short game practice area and hit some chips and putts. Results on the chipping green were just about equal across the three different balls. Feel off the putter was nice and solid. The initial on-course impression was okay, but not enough data yet to form a conclusion. I didn’t hit any drivers, but feel off the irons was very solid on shots between 100 and 150 yards. The well struck irons seemed to gain a yard or two over the competitors and were about equal with the others as far as holding the greens. This image is the three balls after about 10-15 chip/pitch shots each and another 2-3 approach shots for each ball.

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Held up well to first strikes

 Teaser

Bridgestone’s selling points for the e12 line are improved distance and accuracy. The accuracy aspect is more what I am interested in finding out. I’ve always been a little leery of claims that the ball itself can reduce side-spin. The Bridgestone claim seems more centered on the reduced drag of the new dimple pattern which should reduce the effect of sidespin. If it means the difference between in the rough and in the trees it can only mean positive results for me. We’ll see!

https://www.bridgestonegolf.com/en-us/balls/e12-series/e12-speed

 

Second Teaser: I’ve recently gained access to an indoor training facility that uses Foresight launch monitors for immediate feedback. Here’s the comparison data using 7-iron and Driver. Purposely not labeled so you can see the performance is all about equal.

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Bridgestone e12 Speed – Official MGS Forum Review by GregB135

 Introduction

This was the first time I gave any kind of dedicated attention to testing a golf ball. Usually I just see/hear the advertising on a ball, do a little reading up on it, and if I think “that might work”, I’ll go get a dozen. Up until Titleist took the NXT Tour out of their lineup, that was my gamer of choice. Since then I’ve been searching for a full time replacement. In the testing application, I chose the e12 Speed because my SuperSpeed training workouts were showing my driver swing speed just a tick below the 105mph B-Stone claims that ball is engineered for.

I ran through the Q+A of a few of the on-line ball fitting questionnaires and got these results: Bridgestone: e12 Soft; Titleist: Tour Soft; Vice: Tour. The results didn’t change for the Titleist or Vice when I bumped swing speed from 100 to 105, but the 105 input (as expected) changed the Bridgestone to e12 Speed. Partly because I’ve used those ball fitting tools before, the Tour Soft and Vice Tour were already in the bag.

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For testing, the first thing I did was head off to the chipping green and put all three balls head to head from short chips through about 35 yards. For short chip shots there was virtually no difference in the three. As distance increased past about 20 yards, the Titleist Tour Soft started showing better stopping power than the other two.

Next was putting. I chose to just put the e12 through the same test paces I used in my review of the Odyssey EXO putter, and some of my regular putting practice drills The e12 Speed ball putts very nicely. I got nice tight groups on the distance tests. Make rates in the 3 foot circle drill and 3/6/9 ladder were consistent with other balls I’ve used. The e12 Speed, as others noted, did feel a little firmer off the putter and seemed to get off the face a little hot. For intermediate and short putts, I found that a plus. The different feel degraded my distance control on longer putts a bit.

Then there was on-course testing. First time out during a practice round, I simply alternated shots, or played multiple shots with the different balls and took note of the differences. Where swing quality felt the same, here is what I noticed: The e12 speed felt firmer off the driver but that didn’t change distance of quality stikes. On errant (sideways spinning) shots, the e12 did seem to perform as advertised and the results were slightly less off line than with the Tour Soft or the Vice Tour. Full iron shots were where I saw the biggest performance gain. Well struck irons flew high and straight and I got about a ½ club better distance pretty much through the bag. Intermediate shots and short game are this balls real down side. Either my swing speed on those was not high enough to generate spin or this ball just doesn’t want to stop. On multiple occasions, I hit my target landing spot with a chip, pitch, or intermediate wedge only to see the ball roll well past the hole or completely through the green. I had to make a huge adjustment in my short game strategy and play to accommodate.

Looks & Durability: 7 out of 15 points

I liked the bright white and the big B logo. With B for my last initial, marking my first initial next to the logo made for instant personalization! This ball’s durability is its demise for me. Hitting a full iron flush meant brushing white ‘fuzz’ out of the grooves and a distinct scuff mark on the cover. If the ball encountered anything but grass during its travels down the course, the cover got marked up or dinged. Hit a cart path or tree, and forget it.

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Sound & Feel: 12 out of 15 points

Solid feel across the board. Sound only really matters (to me) off the driver. Centered up it sounded as good as anything else. Off center it sounded a bit more tinny or ping-y. Very crisp feel off the irons and wedges. Putter feel was firm and sound was a nice solid ‘click’ (noticeably different with the EXO insert) Club construction has so much to do with the driver/putter sound dynamics it’s hard to judge. Feel off the irons was fantastic, so that carries the grade here.

 On-Course Performance 30 out of 40 points

      Off the Tee – Until I saw the MGS ball test results I used to argue that the ball doesn’t make that much of a difference off the driver. In the case of the three I tested that was mostly true. Distances were all about equal. I did see marginally better results on hook/slice swings where the e12 finished slightly closer to center

      Approach – This ball was fantastic for me off the irons. My normal ball flight is high, so even though the e12 Speed tends to roll out rather than hit-and-stop or draw back on flush irons it was still holding greens for me.

      Ball Flight – Ball flight was slightly lower off the driver and seemed consistent with my normal game off the irons. I didn’t see a loss of distance with the lower driver flight. Irons looked normal (high for me) and did carry a bit longer both in flight time and distance. Dispersion off the driver was a little tighter (let’s be honest though, at a 15 handicap I was still in the woods my fair share) but not noticeably so with the irons.

      Around the Green – Anything but a bump and run type of shot and the e12 Speed just rolled out way too far for my short game style preference. Having to adjust my landing spots to much shorter carries messed with my head on club selection and really reduced my confidence on tougher distance control shots around the green.

      Putting – I was pleased with the putting performance. The firmer feel and hotter release was good for me on short or intermediate putts. I struggled a bit controlling distance on longer putts, but that would resolve with a little more practice.

      Again, durability was the only major negative for me with the e12 Speed.

      Bottom line: did it help improve your scores?  Not really. It seemed like the ball’s positive results with minimizing mis-hit effects on longer shots were all overcome by its short game shortfalls.

Miscellaneous 9 out of 10 points

This ball looks like what the tour guys are playing for Bridgestone. The engineering claim from B-Stone of ‘Straight Distance’ gave me a little more confidence at the tee where I could think – if I miss just a little, the ball is going to help me out.

Game Bag or Shag Bag? 10 out of 20 points

I put this score right in the middle because on the longer clubs, the e12 Speed did just what B-Stone said it would. It kept me closer to the fairway or green when I had a small, side-spinning mis-hit. Driver distance was not longer, but it wasn’t a net loss either. The short game performance just didn’t match my game style. I prefer more hit-and-stop on the intermediate wedges than this ball was able to offer. If you’re a player that likes to run up the short shots, it will probably be a better fit for you there.

Conclusion

Not a great ball for me. It performed well enough off the driver and irons but I just could not get it to perform how I wanted it to around the greens. For the most part, though, it lives up to Bridgestones’s advertising claims. On shots that I know had some side spin, the end result was closer (a bit) than similar shots hit with other balls, so the straight part of the straight distance mantra was accurate for me. I did not see longer shots with the driver, but that could be my swing speed not quite topping out above the 105mph they market the ball for. Durability and short game performance will keep it out of my bag. It just doesn’t fit my game: mid-handicap, decent short game, loses most strokes with errant tee shots. Who would it be a better fit for? Probably the high swing speed mid handicapper who loses strokes with errant tee shots, but is still refining short game skills and preferences.

Final Score: 68/100

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Posted (edited)

Bridgestone e12 Speed Ball – Official Forum Review by Michael Parsons

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Introduction

First I would like to thank MyGolfSpy and Bridgestone for the opportunity to test and provide feedback on their new e12 Speed golf ball.  I have put in for many testing opportunities to no avail, so it is my desire to make this one good.  My name is Michael and I live the Albuquerque, NM area.  While I’ve only lived here for just under 2 years now, I can tell you that there are some very nice courses in New Mexico, and the weather typically cooperates.  I know that my handicap might lend you to think that I have been golfing for too long, but I actually started golfing regularly in 2001.  I was able to get it down to a 12 at one point, but marriage and kids (none of which I would ever trade) has taken more of a priority in my life.  I’m just now getting to the point where my kids want to join me on the course, and that really pleases my heart.

I recently retired from the US Air Force, and let me just say that it was an honor to serve this great country.  Back in 2001 I was stationed in Japan and the golf course was very hilly and always packed, a great challenge for a beginner as myself.  From there it was on to England, and some of the most wonderful golf in the world.  I mean, sure you gotta deal with the rain, but it’s England, we’re talking links golf people.  This is where my game really improved, and it’s also where I was stationed when I got married.  After 4 years in England and having the opportunity to travel the world, to include playing golf in Lusaka, Zambia, it was back to the US we go and this time to middle (hot & humid) Georgia.  Now, I’m originally from Arkansas, so I know all about the humidity. I finished up my Air Force career in Las Vegas, NV, the golfing destiny, in my opinion anyway.

As far as my game goes…I’ve been working on a lot of different things for a while now.  Whither it’s trying to swing like one of the top pros or just relaxing and swinging my swing.  Back in September of 2017 I thought I had everything figured out when I shot a 36 even par on one of the local 9-hole courses, only to be devastated the next time I went out (March 2018) to find out that I had developed the shanks.  Thankfully, those are gone and I feel like this might be the year to really improve on my handicap.  My miss is like the other 90% of us…to the right, but there are times when I’ll miss left (at least twice a round).  My short irons and wedges are pretty consistent, and my putting is usually pretty good, but there is the occasional 40 putt round.

What’s In The Bag   

Driver:  PING G400 SFT set to 9 degrees Alta CB 55 R

Fairway:  Sonartec 15 degree UST Proforce 65 S

Hybrid: TS3 19 degree UST Proforce 65 S

Irons:  PING 2016 G 4-PW Power Spec Loft AWT 2.0 S +1/2” black dot

Wedges:  Hopkins 52 degree TT DG S300, SGS 56 & 60 Rifle S

Putter:  EVNROLL ER6 Red 35”, 4 degree loft, 64 degree lie

Ball:  Snell MTB-Red

Handicap:  19.3

Teaser

As I said before, my miss is typically right, and I know the fix the correct club face to path, but these e12 Speed balls claim to be “Designed for Distance” & “Engineered for Consistency”, with “Straight Distance”.  They are also designed for swing speeds Over 105 mph, so I’m basically going to try a “grip it & rip it” mentality, at least on the launch monitor.  My swing speed is usually around 103, so it’ll be interesting to see how they work for something below the recommended 105+.  I will test this ball against a verity of balls, last year’s e6 Speed (which the e12 Speed replaces) and Snell’s MTB-Red & Black just to name a few.  So stick with me, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

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Bridgestone Claims

Bridgestone’s website says the following about the new e12 Speed ball:  Distance Performance class, 3-piece surlyn golf ball that delivers sidespin reducing performance, with explosive distance off the tee with a solid feel. Bridgestone’s proprietary new Active Acceleration Mantle layer is a key component of the 3-piece construction. The Active Acceleration Mantle is comprised of a new High Performance Polymer material that provides increased thrust and higher initial velocity at impact, while allowing Bridgestone to enhance the core for greater forgiveness and enhanced feel. Designed specifically for players with greater than 105 MPH driver swing speeds. The e12 SPEED utilizes Bridgestone’s Delta Wing Dimple pattern for less drag and optimized aerodynamics in the cover.

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Edited by M. Parsons
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Posted (edited)

Stage 2

Bridgestone e12 Speed Ball – Official MGS Forum Review by Michael Parsons

Introduction

So here we are, at the end of this ball review and like I said in Stage 1, I’m super grateful for this opportunity.  I was able to test this ball during on-course rounds approximately 4 rounds, on a Foresight GC2 launch monitor, and chipping and putting on the practice green.  Below you will find my final thoughts and some data on the e12 Speed Ball.   

Looks & Durability (8 out of 15 points)

      The e12 Speed comes in white only, so there’s not anything shocking about this ball to point out appearance wise.  However, I found the packaging for the e12 Speed to be very good.  I like that there is a hole in the box (not just sleeve) where you can physically feel the outer layer of the ball.  I don’t think I’m the only one that likes to pull balls out of the package and hold them in my hand, so this makes it so that you don’t necessarily have to go to that extent.  The box has raised lettering/graphics which is a more modern look and pleasing to the touch.

      From the times I played this ball during the review time, I found this ball to be lacking in long term durability.  Could you get through 18-holes with one ball?  Sure, but I found that it would definitely be scuffed up in more than one place.

      The alignment aid on this ball is about what you would get on most balls.  I typically like something a little longer though, so I usually add my own line to the ball I’m playing.  I know that most people just extend from the factory alignment aid, but I draw a line on my ball from a blank section of the ball.

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      This ball is what I would describe as a “rock”, and I know that after reading through the MGS Most Wanted Golf Ball Test  https://mygolfspy.com/most-wanted-golf-ball/, you might think that’s a good thing, but this is a surlyn covered ball, not urethane (which typically helps with spin in the short game, more so than surlyn).  This ball has the Delta Wing Dimple pattern for less drag and optimized aerodynamics in the cover.  

Here are some dimple comparison pictures:

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Sound & Feel (7 out of 15 points)

      I found the e12 Speed to be very clunky, and I feel like that’s due to the surlyn cover, but I don’t think that really played into my performance and decision on this ball for future play.  I did find it to be very loud coming off the driver, but I wasn’t completely sure if that was because I miss hit it or not.

      As far as feel, as I mentioned above, it’s a rock, there’s no way you’re going to be able to push a nail into this ball, it would only leave a slight indention if you tried.  Whereas, with most urethane balls, you would leave more of an indention on them when trying to push a nail through it.  I know that when we speak of softness and hardness it’s typically used to describe the compression of the ball, but when I talk about the feel of a ball I like to include the feel to touch.

      I wouldn’t say that the sound of a ball impacts my performance in any way, but I will say that if the outer layer of the ball feels hard then I probably wouldn’t trust it to stop on the green and that would definitely impact my performance.

      I typically don’t pay much attention to the sound of the ball coming off the club, so I don’t usually have any different reactions to different balls.

      I felt that this ball was loud coming off the driver, but didn’t notice much sound difference with the other clubs in the bag, just hard coming off the putter as well.

On-Course Performance (25 out of 40 points)

      Off the Tee – This ball does provide adequate distance and will run once it hits the ground.  I’ve been struggling with consistency in my driver lately, but I did have at least 1 good drive that went about 290 dead straight.  This ball will slice, please don’t think that there is a ball out there that won’t.  I can get some good distance with my current gamer as well, but it doesn’t typically run out as much as the e12 Speed.

      Approach – I had a hard time getting this ball to stop on the greens, most of the time.  I will say that I typically get a high trajectory with my 6-iron-thru-Wedges, but I was only ever able to get this ball to stop on the green with my 9-iron-thru-Wedges…when playing pristine greens…I could never get shot to stop on city course greens.

      Ball Flight – This ball is consistent and usually flies the same as my current gamer, it just has more roll-out with the driver and long irons.  While chipping and pitching I found this ball to be clunky and impossible to get some bite.  It does seem to perform well in the wind though.

      Around the Green – I like to play a hop and stop, but that’s difficult with any ball on a city course.  But it’s super difficult with this ball…don’t expect it to stop for you.  You’ll get plenty of roll-out even on flop shots around the green.

      Putting – It felt really hard coming off the putter, which made me feel as though I was going to blow it past the hole.

      I was pleased with the driving performance of this ball, but I do not think that the short game performance was enough for me to keep playing this ball.

      Bottom line: This ball didn’t help improve my score, if anything it added strokes.

Miscellaneous (5 out of 10 points)

I had planned to share a sleeve of these balls with one of my playing partners, but they felt to new to the game to be able to provide any meaningful feedback.  I was able to use a Foresight GC2 to get some numbers.  I hit all full shots and used my 52 degree wedge, 7-iron and Driver.  I also tested the e12 Speed next to e12 Soft and Tour BXS.  e12 Speed = Blue, e12 Soft = Red, and Tour BXS = Yellow.

52 degree:  1777444849_GapWedgeNumberssamll.JPG.8d4a44c231ce75071778900a302146e5.JPG

7-iron: 1733205462_7-ironNumberssmall.JPG.a058cc16f27c6a894d7c31d900ef4ff1.JPG

Driver (struggle club):  For fun I hit some drives with my new gamer, Snell MTB-X = Green

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

I do play in a local men’s league and I just couldn’t bring myself to put this ball in play during tournament play.  So, while Bridgestone says this ball is for swing speeds of 105 mph or more, I think it’s best suited for the beginner, and I will probably be throwing the rest of these in my boys bags as they just started Jr Golf and need as much roll-out as they can get.

Conclusion

I would like to say a big “Thank You” once again to MyGolfSpy and Bridgestone for affording me the opportunity to test the e12 Speed ball…very honored!  I think if I had it to do all over again and choose between the Speed and the Soft, I would probably go with the Soft, mainly because of Bridgestone’s recommendation of 105+ mph swing speed for the Speed ball.  While there are times that I can get it up there, I just don’t do it consistently enough.  Like I said before, I was pleased with driving distance with this ball and somewhat pleased with full shot results, but very disappointed in pitching and chipping performance.  While this is not the ball for me, I do think it could be a really good ball for beginners, but just like Bridgestone and MGS would tell you…Go Get Fit!!!

Final Score: 55 out of 100

Edited by M. Parsons
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Introduction

 

Having “applied” time and again for product testing with My Golf Spy I was beyond excited when selected as a member of the Bridgestone E12 testing crew.  A few years ago I can across a Bridgestone E6 on the course and started playing with it and played very well! I went out and bought a bunch and was gaming them for 2 years, then one day at a golf outing started playing a Titleist Velocity and just as before played better then expected so have been gaming them since. 

 

I became very passionate about golf in winter of 2015 which has led me down an incredible winding path from playing with my grandfather (our family golf patriarch), to going to Hawaii for PGA tour events, to volunteering at LPGA events, and to now being a collegiate golf coach.  Golf is an incredible game that is never the same no matter how much you play and rewards you for hard work and perseverance. I have a handicap that has dropped progressively every year from 20-16-14-11, last year I had my first round in the 70s and feel I am constantly knocking on that door. 

 

Have spent my whole life in Maryland and have played a lot of different courses but have a rotation of 3 that I play often.  The similar trait between each of these courses is length off of the tee is going to give you the best opportunity to score low.  They have very few dog legs, wide open fairways and short rough, which allows you to get away with inaccurate tee shots.  When it comes to golf balls, low spin rate and increased distance are major factors.  My miss is a slice so any golf ball that can limit that side spin is going to help.  I also have a high launch with my irons so a ton of spin is not necessary going into greens because my ball normally ends up not far from its land point.  For my personal golfing data I use myRoundPro from Taylormade and I have the highest strokes gained with driving and gain +1.2 strokes per round with my driver. I struggle with approach shots, hitting only 37% of greens in regulation.

 

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First Impressions

 

Bridgestone speaks highly of the e12 because of what they call the Active Acceleration Mantle design.  The new design allows the interior of the ball to remain soft to reduce spin but the Mantle layer is hard to boost distance.  They should fly farther and straighter than your average ball because of this design. 

 

First thought when I opened the box and saw the e12 I recognized they didn’t have the interesting dimple within a dimple like the e6 did.  I am not sure why but I always loved that dimple within a dimple look. Below the e12 is on the left and e6 is on the right. In your hand the ridges of the e12 just feel much more prominent then that of the e6, which makes me wonder if there will be different spin characteristics. 

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Second thing I noticed was the logo design of just the “B”. I definitely think this is any improvement on writing out Bridgestone Golf but I do not think it has the classic look of Callaway or Titleist.  I do personally love the B3, I think this is a subtle cool way of giving their design a different feel then others.

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The final observation I made was the sight line on the side of the ball. Easily an epic improvement over the absurdly large marking of the e6 but I feel it does not have the cleanliness of others. The lettering is a bit to small and seems very pinched, for some this won’t be an issue for me I like lining up the line on my ball with my intended putt line and will see how I feel on the greens.

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Everything this ball is supposed to do sets up perfectly to enhance my game, to start off testing I am going to dive right in and play my first round with the ball and see what happens. After that I am going to do head to head testing with other balls from other manufacturers, is there any brand my fellow Spies would want to see it played against? 

Get yours today and follow along with us!! Bridgestone e12 Speed

 

 

Edited by tchat07
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So I have been pretty frequent with what has been going on with my e12 test results and I have come to a relatively personal conclusion, the e12 just is not right for my game.  If the game of golf came down to “driving for show”, then yes I would certainly make this a gamer.  However, it doesn’t and I want to have my most comfort with a ball around the greens aka “putt for dough”.  Do I think they are “bad” golf balls not in the slightest I think they would work great for certain people’s game.

Looks & Durability (7 out of 15 points)

Looks (5/7) – I thought that the “whiter” look of the golf balls was nice. It was nice to look at on the green, fairway, rough, and tee.  I really liked the B2 style of print, it provided a sharp contrast with other balls and was quirky enough it seemed cool.  I did not like the side line, I thought the writing was too small which made it difficult to read as well as not being great for lining up putts.

Durability (2/8) – We all spoke in depth about the durability of the ball and all of the issues with it.  If you struck cart path “she” was for sure a goner due to the deep gouges.  If you made hard contact with a wedge it would pull off a layer. I compared it in one comment to range balls, with how the paint always ends up on your club face.  Now I gave it some points because I think part of the durability issue is more cosmetic then actual performance based.  I felt all the paint coming off was the glossy “whiter” coat coming off and it did not seem to falsely affect ball flight, distance or roll.

Sound & Feel (10 out of 15 points)

Sound (6/7) – I thought the sound was great with the driver, had the audible pop that makes it feel like you smoked a ball.  The sound was actually best with the irons, even bad strikes had a flushed sound to them.  With the putter is where it lost a point, it came off the putter face with almost a dead “tick” sound.

Feel (4/8) – Was not a fan of the feel off the driver, felt it was very hard even on center of the face hits.  Feel off the irons was great though, good shots with the irons you knew immediately just by how it felt at impact.  Feel with the putter was hard because I felt it had no feel, really struggled with distance control when putting with the e12.

On-Course Performance (35 out of 50 points)

Putter (7/13) – I thought the ball was hard to control off the putter in terms of distance control.  It’s roll was perfectly adequate but as someone would relies a lot on distance control it increased my average number of putts by at least 4 to 6 per round.

Wedges (8/12) – Full wedges were great, solid strikes hit their distances and stuck relatively close to where they landed.  Any wedge shot that was not full however was difficult to control due to the amount of runout.  This was not much of a problem for the lower lofted clubs that run out was normal for but for higher lofted clubs it proved to be an issue.

Irons (10/12) – Iron shots were great, the ball flight was very tight. If trying to draw or fade the ball it proved to have a tight ball flight and didn’t spin off much. The only place where the iron shots were problematic was into wind, they had a tendency to balloon very badly which highly decreased the distance.

Driver (11/12) - Driver shots were easily the best of any club in the bag.  Distance off the driver was greater compared to other balls.  It also had a tight ball flight which led to a greater percentage of fairways hit. 

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

There are a couple of factors that go into whether or not the e12 is a gamer.  For me it comes down to the specific course and the weather conditions.  As for the course if there are soft greens it would be safe to play the e12 because it would cut down on the roll out on the greens.  If it’s dry then it’ll be very difficult to leave this in the bag.  When it comes to weather conditions it all depends on wind, if there is windier conditions this will not be the ball that’ll go in play. 

Conclusion

I think the e12 is great for someone who has a high swing speed but is not someone who needs a lot of feel around the green.  I feel it did what Bridgestone said it would do, had more distance and was straighter.  I would purchase the ball but would most likely not use it in a competitive capacity.  I think using this over the summer it would not be an option but during the fall and spring it would be a viable option.  All of this I wrote before reading the MyGolfSpy Ball Review which now has me thinking I need to play one specific ball at all times, so this might not be the ball for my game.

Final Score: 66 out of 100

Edited by tchat07
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There’s no ball that can make up for a horrible swing.  I know, because I’ve tried a bunch of different balls and I’ve made more than my share of horrible swings.

I go all the way back to playing anything I could find in the woods when I was somewhere around 12:  balata “eggs” with smiles on them, the hardest Top-Flite you can imagine, every off-brand with a weird dimple pattern and the Golden Bear that I loved and played for probably 5 rounds before I lost.  I’ve hit a ton of golf balls.

0327192056-01.jpeg.7ed2b29a30e8a40c8be24eee23ed7b53.jpegBridgestone e12 soft in matte yellow for me to test.

 

I used to be able to hit them decently.  I was a three-sport athlete in high school and always found time to swing my sticks.  I was fortunate to grow up in a town in central Maine that didn’t have a high school.  The local district paid tuition for all the public students to attend the local independent school, where both of my parents worked.  The local 9-hole course was owned by the school (one of the math teachers was also a PGA pro and ran the course) and one of the benefits for my parents was a free family membership.  Let’s just say I made sure it got used.  I was never a scratch player but I did pull off the round of my life, a 75, in the pouring rain with my track coach after practice my senior year.

College, marriage and kids (all at almost the same time) slowed the golf game down to a crawl.  For nearly 30 years, my golf schedule consisted of a few rounds per year with a benefit scramble or two thrown in.  I wanted to play more, I just couldn’t justify the time or the expense during that period. 

A few years ago, I began to get a chance to play more regularly, and have gotten to the point where I’ve played 35+ rounds each year for the last couple of years. Even getting to play more regularly my game is ugly.  I’m 40 years older than I was when I started, I’m way too many pounds heavier and quite a bit stiffer.  I very often forget all of that and try to do things that I shouldn’t, which is one of the reasons I carry an ego-scarring 26 handicap at the moment.  I’ve been playing a lot of tight courses with trouble everywhere, houses to hit, and too many opportunities to use my favorite expression: “you know I’ve got to try this.”

Even with all of that, I can occasionally do some things well.  My game shows the type of inconsistency that you would probably expect from someone who doesn’t really get to work on it.  If I want to work on something, it’s usually in the middle of a round.  As of the moment I type this, the driver is working well.  Mid-irons can be decent but are inconsistent and as long as I’m 100+ yards out the wedges are OK.  I stink around the green, and putting is inconsistent but improving.  I tend to have mid-high flight with the driver, but my iron flight tends to be low. 

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The balls I tried before settling on the Wilson Duo Soft Optix, with the e12s in the mix.

 

I did finally figure out that playing the same ball consistently allows me to make adjustments that are related to my ball striking and not related to reacting to the difference in ball characteristics.  I tried a few different balls to try to settle on one, and instead of playing whatever I could scrounge I started buying balls so I could play the same ball regularly.  My first consistent ball was the Wilson Zip.:  $19.99 for two dozen at Wal-Mart.  This is a surprisingly good ball for the price and very soft, which I like.  It has one significant drawback for me, and that is that it’s white.  For some reason, I have a really hard time seeing white balls in flight against the Florida sky.

I tried the ChromeSoft Truvis but didn’t see that one very well, and it’s unlikely that I would consistently spend the money on those at this point.  I ended up with the Wilson Duo Soft Optix, in matte orange.  This ball has been my go-to for the last year or so.  I like the visual, I like the feel, and I hit it as far as any ball I’ve ever used.  It’s a two-piece, 29 compression ball and I’ve had about as much luck with it as I could, given my current game. 

Enter the Bridgestone e12 soft.  The Bridgestone e12  is a three-piece ball with a polymer blend Active Acceleration mantle sandwiched between a Surlyn cover and a Gradational Compression Core.  The Active Acceleration Mantle is supposed to provide more energy and greater velocity at impact, while allowing for a softer core without sacrificing speed and distance.  The ball is rated at 50 compression.  Bridgestone has also gone with a “Delta Wing” dimple pattern which is supposed to cut down on drag and improve aerodynamics.  It is recommended by Bridgestone for players with driver swing speeds of less than 105 mph.  Last year when I was fitted for a driver I was consistently between 100 and 110 and since I like a softer feel, it made sense for me to try this ball. 

Some initial impressions:

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  • Upon arrival I was excited that the box was labeled “logo balls.”  I know Bridgestone has shipped balls with the MyGolfSpy logo on them previously.  Alas, it was not to be.

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  • The matte yellow finish is extremely bright.  This is important to me for the visual reasons listed previously.

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  • The finish is also less sticky than the finish on the Wilson Duo Soft Optix.  This may help in keeping them clean and extending the life of the balls.

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  • The Bridgestone logo is not too large or distracting.  They are printed with <e12 Soft> as an alignment aid.

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  • Nowhere on the package does it give a number for compression.  I know this is somewhat subjective anyway, but I was still a little surprised.

 

I’m anxious to give them a workout and see what they can do.  Can they provide straighter distance?  Will I have better luck around the greens?  What do the spin numbers actually say?  I’m hoping to find the answers to all of these questions and more.  My plan includes playing several rounds with them, doing a head to head comparison with some of the other balls I’ve played, and getting to the launch monitor to pull some real numbers.  I’ve already invited some of my friends to have a go with them and provide feedback.

 

As with almost everything else golf related, the ultimate question is whether or not they improve my game. This is the question I really want an answer to.  Stay tuned to find out.

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Bridgestone e12 soft   Official MGS Forum Review by 00sportsman

Introduction

I’ve now had the opportunity to test the Bridgestone e12 soft for several weeks and in various situations.  Putting drills, chipping practice (at which I still stink) and regular play have allowed me to gather information about how the ball performed for me.  I wanted in the worst way to get to the launch monitor but I just couldn’t make it happen, so those numbers are not available.  As much as I’d like to have the numbers the real question, as always, is whether or not the ball is better for my game than the Wilson Duo Soft Optix that I currently play.

 

Looks & Durability

The balls arrived in a plain cardboard carton, just big enough for the retail box to fit in.  The retail box is pretty typical, a little flashy with a cut-out to be able to see one of the balls and some technical information on the back.  I requested the matte yellow, as I have more trouble following a white ball against the sky here in Florida.  I’ve found the orange Wilson is the one that shows up best for me but besides white, the e12 only comes in matte red, yellow or green. 

The ball itself is pretty bright, with a shinier finish than the Wilson.  The Wilson is also a little tackier than the Bridgestone and as the picture shows, it makes the e12 easier to keep clean.  The picture is of a Wilson with one round on it, and a Bridgestone with two.  New balls are placed beside them for comparison.

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The “B” logo isn’t too big and intrusive.  For those that like a clean looking ball, I don’t think you’d find this to be a problem.  I generally use the manufacturer’s alignment aid when putting, and this one struck me as no better or worse than the ones on other balls that I’ve played.  Overall, I would consider this a pretty clean ball.

Bridgestone also applied the “Delta Wing Dimple” pattern which is supposed to provide aerodynamic efficiency.  These dimples are fairly shallow and more hexagonal than round.

While I know some of the other reviewers were looking at durability issues with their test balls, I didn’t find this to be an issue.  The picture above of a ball with two full rounds on it is evidence of how they held up for me.  I will acknowledge that the course I played those rounds on is pretty open without a lot of the types of obstructions that mark up a ball, but we’re still looking at a ball that has roughly 100 - 120 strikes on it, not including putts.  Knowing this, I took a ball outside and bounced it off the concrete about 20 times trying to mark it up.  I put it in my bag with the others and when I tried to grab it to take some pictures, I had trouble picking it out.  I think the picture below is of that ball.  I can only find one little mark, and if you look carefully you'll see it towards the left.

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Overall, I can’t think of much that I don’t like about the looks and durability.  I’d love to see what Bridgestone might come up with for an orange, as I still see the orange Wilson better than the yellow.  That said, the ball did what I needed it to in terms of appearance and it seemed very durable for me.

The Official 00sportsman Looks & Durability Rating:  13/15


Sound & Feel

By far the hardest category for me to rate.  Overall, I’d say the e12 soft is pretty much that.  While the feel is not as soft as the Wilson Duo that I’ve been playing and it isn’t a marshmallow, it certainly doesn’t feel hard.  It probably does not provide the feedback that a lot of players are looking for but if you want a soft feel, this ball would satisfy you.

The cover itself is harder than the Wilson cover and as I mentioned above, it makes it that much easier to clean.  I would say that the cover feels harder than the covers on other matte balls that I’ve used, but it doesn’t translate to feeling harder off the face.

When it comes to sound, I would say it’s very comparable to about every other surlyn covered ball I’ve struck.  It didn’t stand out to me as either loud or quiet, good or bad.  It’s louder off my driver than irons, which you would expect.  It seems snappier off my Ping i20’s than my Wilson C200’s.  Make of that what you will. 

I currently play a G400 Max driver.  With the driver, the sound and feel are pretty similar to what I’m used to with the Wilson ball.  A really well struck shot gives almost no physical feedback and a fairly loud thud.  When I get off the toe a little it lets me know, but not harshly.  I have a pretty good idea of where my ball is headed, just from the feedback.

With the irons and wedges, it’s a little more clicky.  I played both the i20’s and C200’s, and found that it was a little snappier off the Pings.  I haven’t had that experience with the Wilson ball but I haven’t been consciously paying attention to it, either.  As with the driver, a really well struck ball gives little physical feedback and a solid thwack.  Mis-hits with the irons won’t rattle your hands the way a high compression ball will, but there’s definitely some feedback.

As far as putting is concerned, I really can’t say that the feel is any different than what I’m used to.  I’m currently gaming a Guerin Rife 2-Bar mallet that I’ve loaded some extra weight on, and I generally don’t feel much of anything off the face.  The e12 is soft enough that I don’t get too much of a click off the putter 

Overall, I’m pretty much indifferent to the sound and feel of this ball.  I don’t dislike it, but there’s nothing about it that makes me think I’ve found a better sound and feel than I have in other balls.

The Official 00sportsman Sound & Feel Rating:  12/15

 

On-Course Performance

Here’s where the rubber meets the road (Bridgestone, get it?)  Looks are important, sound and feel are important, but they take a back seat to performance.  I got a chance to play 5 full rounds with the e12 soft, and any stats and numbers I use are comparing those 5 rounds to the 5 rounds I played previous to my testing.  The 5 previous rounds were all played with the Wilson Duo Soft Optix.

Starting at the green, I will say that the putting performance is satisfactory.  I had the opportunity to practice on the putting green several times and did a couple of different drills, as well as putting the e12 during regular rounds.  When practicing lag putts, I was able to depend on the distance being consistent.  The balls all seemed to respond to the putter face the same, with no unusual jumping or bouncing.  I don’t know if it’s all about the ball but my average putts per round went from 36.2 average pre-e12, to 33.6 with the e12.  A lot of other factors come into play when considering putts per round but I’m confident in saying that the ball rolled consistently and true, and it certainly didn’t cost me any strokes on the green.

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The consistency I felt I was getting on the green, I also seemed to get around the green.  My wedge play has been horrific recently and I’ve gone to a lot of pitch and run play with my 9-iron.  The e12 came off the face cleanly, flew consistent distances and rolled out about the same.  For the sake of testing I took a bunch of shots with both my 56 and 60 degree wedges.  I can provide two pieces of information with full assurance: 1) if you want to stop the ball or spin it back this ball is definitely not the one, and 2) I can’t hit either of those clubs with anything less than a full swing right now.  For general use around the green and on approach, the ball performed pretty much exactly the way you’d expect a surlyn covered ball to perform.

As far as iron play is concerned, the e12 held its own.  The ball flight was consistent with what I usually experience, and the ball seemed to hold up well in the wind.  An increase or decrease in distance wasn’t really discernable.  I clubbed myself using the same distances I had been with the Wilson, and found I was in the general area I expected to be after the stroke.  On off-center strikes, the ball tended to be less off-target than the Wilson has been.  When I miss, I miss on the toe and as a lefty I end up pushing it left.  The e12 stayed on a line closer to the target line than the Wilson tends to.  There was certainly nothing to complain about with the irons.

The driver is where I would say the e12 stood out.  I hit both the Wilson and the e12 off the same tee as often as I could.  The e12 is straight.  My typical miss is a slice and I can put a bad swing on the ball with the best of them, but even when I did the ball traveled in a straight line.  The Wilson seemed to regularly out-distance the e12 by a few yards, but the e12 was significantly straighter.  I’d gladly give up 4 or 5 yards from the tee to be in the fairway consistently.  My last 5 rounds with the Wilson, my average for fairways hit was 34% (23/68).  The 5 rounds with the e12 saw an average of 53% (35/66).  Even with the misses, I hit a number of very playable drives that weren’t technically in the fairway.

This is a very playable ball for someone with my type of game.  It would be unfair to expect a surlyn covered ball to perform around the green like a urethane covered ball.  What it does, it does well.  I would like to have seen a little more distance with the driver, but it gets huge props for how straight it is 

The Official 00sportsman On-Course Performance Rating:  34/40

 

Miscellaneous

There’s very little about my experience with the Bridgestone e12 soft that hasn’t been covered in the previous sections.  I gave a couple away to friends to try and got these responses. 

“Boy, that felt good off the driver!”  -  My buddy David after hitting it on the 1st tee.

“Well, we know it won’t last a full round.”  -  A fellow spy, after losing his on the 18th hole.

"At least it gave me a reason to get a camo Bridgestone hat."  -  Me

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The Official 00sportsman Miscellaneous Rating:  9/10

 

Game Bag or Shag Bag?

If those are the only two choices, it would definitely be game bag.  That does not mean it’s the best ball I’ve played.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to spend $30/dozen for them.  It does mean that it’s far from a range ball.  There’s a lot to like about the Bridgestone e12 soft.  It has a soft feel, decent distance and is extremely straight.  Other testers encountered durability problems, but I just didn’t experience that at all.  The matte finish is harder than other matte finishes, which makes it easier to keep clean.  It’s probably not a ball that I’m going to invest in, with several urethane covered tour balls in the same price range or cheaper.  However, it definitely is a solid ball for what it is.

The Official 00sportsman Game Bag or Shag Bag Rating:  16/20

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Conclusion:  Overall Score:  85/100 

The Bridgestone e12 soft is a surlyn covered ball that provides decent distance and very good accuracy.  While it doesn’t have the characteristics of a tour ball that a lot of low handicap players would require, it’s a solid ball.  While it’s more expensive than many other options in its category, it certainly isn’t over-priced for the performance it offers.  It would be a solid option for players with a higher handicap who don't necessarily lose to many balls.

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Bridgestone e12 SOFFFFFFT

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Well howdy! Ok, so that’s not really what we say here in Arizona but it would be cool if we still did. For those of you who already know a little about me, thanks for tuning in and hopefully whatever it is that I have to say, in whatever way I have to say it, at minimum brings some kind of entertainment value to you.

Before we really jump in here, I would be remiss if I didn’t give MGS and Bridgestone a huge thanks for allowing me to be part of another awesome review opportunity! I just can’t stress enough how awesome this MGS community is and what it’s doing for the golf world!

 

As you know from the heading of this thread, this is a review of the Bridgestone e12 Soft. There’s a good chance that you’ve seen the goofy commercials with Tiger and Bryson and their banter about feel v.s. distance.

 

 

Great ads with some clever marketing.. but let’s be honest.. Bridgestone couldn’t pay either of these guys enough money to actually play these. They’re just not targeted for that level of play. Well if it’s not something that the pro’s would use, which market is the ball for? Lets get the party started by dipping into some of the marketing jazz straight from Bridgestone:

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Now here’s where I think my input might be interesting. As an OEM, I’ve really grown to appreciate Bridgestone. Why’s that? As fate would have it, I was one of the very fortunate candidates in 2018 that were chosen to test Bridgestone’s Tour B XW-1 wedges. They still hold a mantle position as some of the most cherished clubs in my lineup. Honestly my honeymoon phase never ended with these wedges. I’m just as goofy for them today as I was a year ago and I’m sure that’s the feeling that Bridgestone strives to relinquish with all of their equipment. Through that process, I came to learn that Bridgestone’s true objective is to make available the highest quality, best looking equipment, not so much for general consumers, but for the real enthusiasts. Just take a quick peak at their club offerings and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Nothing cheap or gimmicky. Bridgestone Clubs

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And now the plot thickens..

Just like with all of the MGS testing opportunities, when it happens to be an item of personal interest (let’s be honest.. most of the equipment is), I’ll first do some light research to truly determine if I’ll be a good candidate for that testing group. Is it an item that I feel like my opinion, and testing research would matter? Could I truly put everything that I have into the process of making a valid statement?
 

When I looked up the general specs for the e12, the first thing I thought was.. nah.. not for me. I’ve used the original e6 speed and soft on occasion and it seemed OK.. but just not what I’m after. For starters, my average driver swing speed is 112 mph. While I love the feel of a softer ball, I also want a ball that won’t stiff me on distance… Lower compression balls aren’t really made to get along with higher swing speeds. Not to mention, trying to accomplish all of that in a budget-friendly package to boot. This is why I game the Taylormade Project(a). It just checks all those boxes.


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I’ve dabbled with what may be classified as the “same category” ball or 2 (Callaway Supersoft, Wilson 50 elite, Wilson Zip, Wilson Duo, Srixon Soft, and Bridgestone e6 Soft just to name a few) and just can’t seem to get along with any of them. Either they’re almost too soft and the feeling just gets lost, or they feel good but end up being too mushy off the tee box and lose a bit of distance. Another perceivable negative is that the covers are not urethane but surlyn or some other variation of a flexible plastic. Yes, I said it.. urethane makes a difference.
 

That said, I didn’t want to turn my back on Bridgestone just yet. Something deep inside of me said, “maybe it would be interesting to see if Bridgestone can prove me wrong”. Maybe, just maybe, their marketing banner is actually telling the truth. Are soft feel AND distance attainable in a mid-range ball? Can a lower compression core (50) play nice with a higher swing speed given some manner of voodoo-like innards comprised of “active acceleration hooziewhatsits” and “high-performance polymiracles” be combined to work some serious magic? And to up the ante, I opted for the lower compression of the 2 to really bring the marketing claims to task. So there you have it, I decided to apply with expectations that the e12 ball will only let me down like the others, but with hopes that I’ll be further impressed by Bridgestone once again.
 

It's all about ME!

So a little about me and my game: I’ve been playing this wonderful game since about the age of 12. I’m completely self-taught with only the help of the University of YouTube to both help and screw me up all at the same time. That said, I’ve got a nearly savant-like obsession with all things golf. Before I got married and started a family, my attention was divided between multiple extreme sports and semi-dangerous hobbies. I’ve pretty much packed all of those things up and golf is it! I would say that my game may be above average for someone who’s never had so much as a driving range pro stop to give a teaser tip. Most days I’ll shoot mid to low 80’s on most of my par 72 home courses (I live in AZ where it’s not uncommon to have a good 10 home courses in regular circulation).
 

I’m not really horrible at any particular golf skill.. but I’m not particularly great at any of them either. I’m definitely not content with my game and probably never will be. It’s just how I am. If I were forced to say that I have a strength, it would probably be my wedge play from about 110 yds on in. Additionally I do feel that when my driver’s firing, I’m pretty OK there too. Obviously, these are 2 functions that require the golf ball to react in a completely different way. If there’s any weakness to either the feel/control or distance aspect of the golf ball, I’ll definitely be able to exploit it.
 

If any of you happened to read my bio from the Bridgestone wedges, I mentioned that I’m a logic-driven problem-solver by nature and by profession. I work as a Mortgage Underwriter. My day to day tasks are to take large quantities of information about individuals, dissect them, analyze them, and then formulate a risk-based decision within a relatively short period of time. That’s exactly what we (or at least I) do on the golf course. I look at each hole as a large picture that’s full of smaller details that I get to dissect and eventually work to formulate a final conclusion. Does it sound like I’m overthinking things? Exactly!

WIMB

  • Driver: Cobra F8+ with / UST Proforce VTS 7X Black
  • UDI: Dynacraft 18* / UST Proforce V2 
  • Hybrid: Maltby KE4 tour 21*
  • Irons 4 - GW: Maltby DBM / Nippon N.S. Pro 950GH (S)
  • Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 52*, 56*, 60*
  • Putter: Cleveland HB #11 / Superstroke Flatso 3.0

 

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My driver in this picture unfortunately died.. But because Cobra is so ridiculously awesome, they sent me this in its place...

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First Impressions

Well as you can tell from the photos, It’s a golf ball. Not much to it. I opted for the OG white as I just don’t have an eye for the funky colors. (And if you were wondering, I do mark my ball with a pink flower pattern). The feel of the ball in my hand is definitely not the urethane feel but it’s not a rock by any means. Going back to the specs, Bridgestone has opted for a more shallow, hexagon shaped dimple that’s supposed to help with drag reduction, which in turn helps with directional control and distance. We'll have to see about that..

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Plans of mice and men (get it? My name’s Stuart.. like Stuart Little.. he’s a … nevermind.. )

I’m really curious to see how the ball performs in both the feel and club reaction departments and all through my lineup. Each club demands something different from the ball. Questions that I have are:

DRIVER: does the ball blast off the face or does it feel soft and mushy.. perhaps better suited between 2 graham crackers accompanied by a piece of melty chocolate? Am I going to lose distance? Exactly how straight is straight?
IRONS: Is the feeling bouncy like a lot of other low-comp offerings? How will my approaches from 150+ yds hold well or skip right off the green? Does the surlyn cover feel clicky?
WEDGES: Similar to the irons, will they hold from 120 yds on in? How controllable are they from 50 yds to greenside?
PUTTER: Goldilocks data (Too hard? Too soft? Or just right?). Does the ball grab the putter face for an even roll or does it bounce and skip?  

Testing mediums: Live play, launch monitor, chipping green, putting practice green, 3rd party feedback.

Additionally I’d like to see how this ball stacks up against my current gamer (TM Project(a)), a competing ball, and a Christmas ball (ProV1, Chrome, TP5, etc).

 

TTFN

So as you can see, I’m going into this review with pre-determined reservations only based on past experience and industry expectations for this type of golf ball. Don’t let my reservations however convince you that I’m going into this with a closed mind. I really do want these balls to exceed rather than meet my expectations. I expect them to feel soft, maybe too soft. I also expect to lose distance off the tee and not hold the green very well. Please Bridgestone e12, don’t meet my expectations.

Edited by azstu324
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Bridgestone e12 Soft Official MGS Forum Review by Stuart Marler

After nearly a month now with the e12 Softs, we’re back in the room to talk about our thoughts and feelings in this golf ball therapy session. As mentioned in stage 1, I wanted to use a variety of testing mediums which included both live play and controlled indoor sessions with a launch monitor. Ultimately my goal was to determine where the e12 Soft, or just the e12, in general fits into the golf ball market. Does it conform to 1 specific group i.e. performance, budget-class, high or low handicap, specific swing speed, etc.? Or does it reach across multiple platforms? Or is it blazing its own trail in what MGS’s recent golf ball test uncovered as a rather complex but quite possibly overly saturated, over “marketed” equipment sector of the golf industry? Noting that this is a “soft” category ball which did not get the warmest reception in the MGS review so it was interesting to see how this particular ball faired with those results.

Through all of my testing, I set out with 3 very specific performance-related objectives. Namely how do the balls react with the driver, irons and wedges, and with the putter.

Additionally, I wanted to compare them to my current gamer (TM Project(a)), similarly priced and marketed balls, and a higher end tour quality offering.

Throughout the past few weeks, we’ve been engaged with comments, updates, individual experiences, opinions, changes of opinions, etc. I really tried to make a conscious effort in maintaining my engagement with the forum/thread as to really strive to provide some meaningful content. I plan to resurrect some of my previous statements and/or observations as part of this conclusion process.

Looks & Durability  (8 out of 15 points)

Appearance/graphics/packaging: This is really the only area in this category that held up to expectations. I chose the most boring option available and went with the bright white. The box is attractive and appears high-quality. Out of the box, the ball is a glossy bright white. You know when you have the options when buying light bulbs? There’s the soft white, the cool white, and the daylight white that almost has a tinge of blue to it because it’s just that bright? Well that’s the kind of white which looks pretty nice and is highly visible from dusk to dawn settings. The logos aren’t overdone or overly busy and the ball in general looks clean and classic.

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Short term/long term durability: As was discussed multiple times throughout the thread, this is the part where the ball fell absolutely flat on its face. In one of my posts, I had come to the conclusion that these balls are really only good for about 1 round each and 2 rounds absolute max before the ball just looked like the victim of a Freddie Krueger film. With the ball being a surlyn cover construction, you would expect some bit of durability in comparison to the urethane balls. Compared to both my gamer (TM P(a)) and the Tiger Woods ball of choice (Bridgestone Tour B XS) I found that both the Project(a) and the Tour B XS were both easily up for the 3+ round challenge while the likelihood of the e12’s even making it through 2 full rounds before finding their way to the trash was slim to nil.  Balls relative to the e12 “Soft” marketing group such as the Callaway SuperSoft, and the Wilson Staff Duo held up far better as well. The e12’s durability, or lack thereof, was just embarrassing.
 

Other unique details (ie. dimple pattern, alignment aid, etc): There was nothing outstanding in regards to uniqueness. It did have a hexagon shaped dimple but that’s been done by a few others. Nothing like the dimple in dimple pattern found on its more famous 3rd cousin twice removed, the Tour B XS (I'm really not even sure if they're related). 

How does it compare to other balls, beyond being round and white?: As was previously mentioned, this one just fell miles behind in the durability category when compared to various others, which is a pretty big setback, and disappointment to say the least. As far as ball performance, keep reading as there is more on that subject further down.

Describe (and show) the condition after hitting cart path, hitting an obstruction (tree, etc), a full wedge/iron shots, and a full round: Bellow is from a hitting bay session at the PGATSS in a very controlled environment. The lines that you see cutting through the cover aren’t from bladed or miss hit shots. Those are from regular shots with my USGA conforming irons that have not been modified in any way.

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Sound & Feel (12 out of 15 points)

This is where I thought the ball showed up to fight. Did it claim any victories? No..  but it definitely showed some heart. Overall, I think the ball did well in the “sound is feel, feel is sound” category. It wasn’t clicky or harsh in any way. Off the tee it provided a good solid crack that really let you know if and when the ball was struck well or poorly. Unlike other “soft” feeling balls that can lose that lovin feeling off the tee. Additionally, when hit well on iron shots and wedges it provided a similar powerful crack that meshed well with the feel of the ball. Sometimes you get a ball or a club whose audio doesn’t match the feel and it can throw you off when looking for feedback. Additionally, in the “soft” category, other balls become too bouncy off the irons. Off the putter face, the feel is firm with a slight bit of damping and is favorable.

When compared to what I would call “direct competitors” the feel and sound of the e12 soft was the clear leader. Overall however when compared to the TM P(a), it was still a few steps behind.

On-Course Performance (30 out of 40 points) 

Note that in the performance category, I feel that the ball should cover 3 separate demands in equal parts. While the demands may oppose each other, I know it’s possible to achieve because other companies are able to do it.

1.     Off the tee: The ball needs to be consistent. It needs to work well with the clubs when shot shaping is required and produce low to moderate back and side spin off the driver face.

2.     Approach/wedges: The ball needs to be equally controllable and consistent but produce adequate spin and height when approaching the green. Shot shaping ability is also a must. 

3.     Putting: The ball needs to feel soft and firm at the same time. If a ball is just soft, it tends to be bouncy off the putter face and is hard to control distance. Too firm and the ball gets clicky and has a tendency jump and skip instead of roll smoothly. A good ball will grab the putter face and transition into a smooth and even roll.

Off the Tee – In the honeymoon phase of the ball, It seemed like there wasn’t a fairway that this ball couldn’t find. It appeared to be laser straight and longer than expected off the tee and quite contrary from what I had known of “soft” core, lower compression balls. What I had found in the past, when using softer core balls, and as was so eloquently stated in the MGS ball test, softer core = slower ball. When compared to my gamer and some of the higher-end balls, the e12 Soft seems to hold its own in distance and direction. Not a leader by any stretch.. but clearly not in any way the little kid saying “hey guys wait for me”.

The graphics below are 10 consecutive shots with my driver set at 8.5* taken with the e12 and my TM Project(a) to compare how 2 similarly priced balls react to the driver. When collecting these comparisons, my swing was a tad spinny that day. I purposely backed off the throttle to produce a more consistent and controlled trajectory. While the direction results were good, the distance and spin suffered a little. Playable shots nonetheless.

e12

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TM P(a)
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You can see that while the e12 edged out the TM P(a) by 1 MPH in ball speed (very surprised), it really only resulted in in about an extra yard in carry and roll out. What was surprising was the disbursement results. What I thought would be a runaway victory for the e12 was actually the opposite. The e12 appeared to have a more pronounced side spin which resulted in a more spread out scattering of shots. All things being equal, I’d take a tighter disbursement any day over 1 extra yard. So the TM Project(a) wins the driver test.

Approach – In AZ, the approach is really a shot that takes some understanding of the surroundings before you can just go at it. Unless you happen to be playing a very high-dollar course.. which I mostly never am, chances are that the greens are hard and don’t give a damn how many rev’s you put on that ball. A very steep descent will sometimes serve you better than a high-spinning flat approach. That’s not to say that higher RPM’s won’t go unrewarded but the optimal result comes from an even mix of both height and spin.

Shots from 160 yds out had some difficulty holding. Due to the flatter nature and lower spin, you really have to be mindful of your approach. In most cases, playing a club shorter had a better chance of landing within putting distance. The downside to that strategy is that you lose consistency and control across the board. 

Shorter shots or full wedge approaches were much more controllable as you have a better ability to get the ball higher with more spin and steeper drop.

 Ball Flight – The graphics below are 10 consecutive shots of both the e12 and my TM Project(a) hit with my 50* Gap Wedge. I really wanted to capture the performance differences from a closer range as this is the part of my game that I feel is the strongest. As you can see, the e12 gets up in the air a bit more which definitely plays to its strengths because its spin capabilities are on the weaker side. I’ve distance tested my Gap to carry around 125 yds. As  you can see from the graphics, the e12 actually averaged a shorter carry distance but a much longer roll-out and total distance. To me this is a negative because regardless of green and climate conditions, this means that the e12 isn’t as dependable. Compared to the TM P(a), the e12 took nearly 8 yds to come to a stop when the P(a) took half that distance at 4 yds. Peak height was about 2 yds higher with e12 but spin was nearly 2,000 rpm higher with the P(a). Perhaps the most interesting piece of data is the Standard Deviation figures for each. The e12 standard deviation in most categories is much higher. What this means is that the e12 shows the potential for less consistency over all when compared to the P(a). I'm sure that even higher quality balls would likely yield even better results. The clear winner of the ball flight test is the TM P(a).. again.

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TM P(a) Gap Wedge
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Around the Green – I didn’t see any real issues with the e12 in close proximity execution. The one thing that the ball doesn’t do well from 50 yds all the way up to greenside is bounce and check. One of my favorite shots from outside the green is a bump and run with my 9 iron and the e12 did well with that because stopping power isn't really required. One of my other personal favorite and probably most used clubs is my 60* from various lies. Off the club face the ball has a nice pop which puts the ball into play nicely but you have too account for roll out even on flop and higher spin shots. Again, not a major issue but something  to always be mindful of. I still prefer the feel and short game performance of the P(a)

Putting – At first, the ball seemed to feel really good off of the putter face. Eventually after a few rounds and many putts, I came to realize that the ball was inconsistent off the putter face. It rolled nicely but it seemed almost too hot and would rocket past the hole. I’ve got a very specific putting routine that typically results in a good pace to put me within a foot or 2 on most long putts. I was finding that the e12 just didn’t jive very well with my formula and either left me way short or way long. I began to become frustrated on the green with the lack of consistency. A 3rd victory for the TM P(a) as this ball works perfectly with my specific technique.

Bottom line: did it help improve your scores? Unfortunately this is a NO. With the wider disbursement off the tee, the inconsistencies and lower spin on the approach shots as well as pace issues on the green, this ball was not helpful in improving my overall game and score.

Miscellaneous (6 out of 10 points)

So one of the things that I mentioned when this test began was that I wanted to get the feedback from a few 3rd parties of different skill levels. I gave a couple to my father who has been my long-time playing buddy. He got me interested in golf at about the age of 12 and knows just enough to be dangerous. The other person that I gave a couple to were a friend who is just getting started. The 3rd person is another friend who happens to play off of a 3 index and is way better than I could ever hope to be.
 

These are the basic things that I asked them to evaluate and comment on:

  • Feel
  • Looks
  • Performance
  • Would you consider switching to the e12 from your current ball? Why?
     

These are their comments:

Father: “The ball feels good and on good hits it feels like I can hit it a mile. The results were positive. The ball looks good at address and is easy to see because it’s very bright white. I was taken back by how quickly the balls became worn and would probably consider changing if they were more durable” 

Friend 1 (New Golfer): “these balls feel awesome and play even better. Bridgestone is supposed to make good golf balls so I’m sure these are really good quality. Considering I don’t have an actual “game ball” I would use these in a heartbeat”

Friend 2 (low handicap): "The balls felt decent from driver to irons, wedges, and was ok off the putter. Overall performance though was just not something that interests me. My TPX5 is just a far superior ball in all of the categories listed and I wouldn’t consider switching to this ball. It would be a huge step backward if I did." 
 

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

This is where I will reach back into the comment section about something that I called “cost per play”. I came up with a formula that compared the e12 with other balls in the market based on price and cost per use of each ball. It was being commented regularly how the e12 just didn’t have a stellar lifespan. The results concluded that while a box of ProV’s cost around $45, you could easily get 3+ rounds out of 1 ball. With the e12’s only having enough life for maybe 1.5 rounds, the cost per ball was actually less for the premium balls. The TM Project(a) costs roughly the same price ($30) for a box and you could also easily get 3+ rounds out of a ball. Winning pretty much all of the performance categories, the TM P(a) is a far better value. Overall, when I’ve got $30 or $45 to spend on a box of balls, my hard-earned cash will not be spent on a box of e12’s simply for the fact that that they're just not economical. 

Conclusion

When I signed up for this testing opportunity, I came in with some bias and some predetermined notions about this type of ball. I was however willing to look past those things and at least jump in with an open mind. Bridgestone has been slowly building itself as a premium golf equipment brand. I really like what they’re about. I play their Tour B XW-1 wedges and haven’t a negative thing to say about them. I really wanted to be put in my place by Bridgestone and hoped that maybe their marketing wasn’t just hype and that maybe they had unlocked the magic formula to break the stereotype for this type of ball. Am I shocked, disappointed, let down? Absolutely not. What I do have is confidence that Bridgestone will take the results from this testing and make improvements for next year and the year after that. I also feel that the e12 has a great potential to be a leader in its category (whatever that category happens to be). 

Final Score: 66/100

Edited by azstu324
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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone! I’m a 58 year old that’s been playing (and loving) the game of golf since I was around 15. There’s been a lot of starts and stops in my “golf journey” due to my military career (Army 24 years) and family/ job requirements ever since retiring from the Army in 2007. About five years ago we moved to South Carolina and I was able to put in the time again to improve and enjoy the game. The area is great for courses open all year round and quality courses that won’t break the bank.

   My love of the golf comes from the game’s ability to make me forget about everything except what I’m doing on the course. I haven’t found any other activity that’s brings relaxation and concentration together (for me) to the point I don’t think of anything else. No, my swing isn’t exactly pretty and my score won’t ever qualify me for a tournament with money at the end, but both keep me chasing my own version of perfection.

I’m a 16 handicap (finally trending downwards this year) and I play at least once a week November to March and at least twice a week March to October. I’m a member of a league (Charleston area “Hackers League) that keeps me motivated to improve. I’m “shorter stature” so I don’t normally chase the big distance numbers out of my equipment or the ball. I look for accuracy to keep me out of trouble. It seems like I’ve played every “soft feel” version of every manufacturers’ ball. The latest flavor has been the Titleist DT TruSoft. It gives me a nice combination of distance off the tee with a soft controlled feel around and on the green. I’ve taken lessons that have mostly gotten rid of my typical ball flight (slice) so now I hit drives that are low(ish) and straight with great run at landing. Iron shots are mostly high due to the Callaway Steelhead XR irons and hybrids I started playing last year.

IMG_0271.jpg

Usually if I’m going to miss (GIR average about 15% so….yes) its left or right. I have my clubs dialed in for distance pretty well, but more about that later (teaser). Like I said, distance or approaches are definitely not the strength of my game. My short game is where I’ve put the most time and effort at this stage and it shows. My work around the green (chipping and pitching) is my strong suit.

First Impressions

  When I signed up for the MGS review of the Bridgestone e12 Soft  I had played Bridgestone’s e6 version and liked them but, they really didn’t have any advantage over the Titleists which were a bit less expensive to a (at the time) 20+ handicapper that was losing a few every round. I was excited to get picked and feel like I’m holding up the banner for the high mid handicappers.

The packaging looks similar to the previous model:

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I’m not one to typically gush over marketing or hype of a product so….ok. The packaging at least comes off easily and makes them identifiable on the shelf? The ball has a clean look that’s much simpler than the e6 version. Similar to the classic looking Titleist, if not cleaner, at address.

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I did my typical practice session before my first round with them which included chipping and putting on the practice green. The first thing that I saw was that they come off my club on chips a little higher but strangely, they seem to roll out just as far. I’m not quite sure how that is since I skipped a lot of my high school physics classes and it’ll be something to keep an eye on as I work with them. I liked the feel just as much as my Titleists. Putting was a good roll that sounded very similar to my gamers. Once I hit the course I saw, for me, the biggest difference. I’ll be getting into it a lot more I’m sure but with one round under my belt I shot very well and the distance was exceptional. Remember I said I’m not one to gush about a product? I like these, so far, very very much. They left me wondering about the tipping point of ball performance versus confidence in my ball striking due to their performance. Obviously I’m a fan so far but that’s for the coming weeks to see if it continues.

Edited by Low Country Golfer
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Posted (edited)

So here we go (finally) with my Stage 1 feedback!

First off, I’d like to thank MGS for giving me the chance to take part in the testing and supplying us testers with a case of fresh new balls to work with. Also, thank you to Bridgestone for partnering with MGS to making this possible. I was really excited to get picked to be an ‘official’ tester and to be a part of what MGS does for all of us in the community.

My name is Conor, originally from the East Coast but have lived in the Indianapolis area for the last 6 years after moving for work reasons. I started taking a more serious interest in golf 2 years ago which has become my major hobby. I get to the range when possible (closest one is about a mile away which is nice) and try to get on the course a few times a month. However, the most important thing to me is our growing family (a toddler almost 3 and twins under 1) so I try to find a nice balance. I will say though, my daughter does love going to the “golf ball store” which makes any golfing dad happy!

About My Game

Like I said I have been playing for 2 solid years, so this will be my 3rd year season into the game. I started with some of the usual issues as any beginner does but had a major slice. After lots of practice, adjusting grip and working a bit with my father-in-law (long time golfer) on my swing mechanics learning to relax, I was able to straighten things out pretty well. Yes, I still have the occasional slice but they are less frequent. Getting my ball straight consistently has been my major focus in the past but now I am looking to get more distance (something I have been pretty happy with since the start but want to improve).

What’s In The Bag:

Driver- TaylorMade M2 D-Type Stiff at 9.5* /GP MCC+4 Mid-size

3-4 FW Cobra F6 at 14.5* draw / KURO KAGE Black Graphite Stiff shaft / GP MCC+4 Mid-size

4H Callaway Rogue Stiff (stock grip)

Irons- 4-AW Callaway Steelhead XRs Stiff

SW- Callaway X S-grind 56* (stock grip)

Putter- Odyssey White Hot RX V-Line Fang (stock grip)

Check out my WITB to see my setup: https://forum.mygolfspy.com/applications/tapatalk/index.php?/topic/30808-Ronoc’s-WITB-2019-Setup

Ball choice – Currently I game the Callaway SuperSofts mostly due to cost and having been gifted a few sets of them; both all white cases and the multi-colored/yellow sets too. I actually enjoyed using the yellow/orange colored balls since I had a bad habit of losing a lot of balls for a while so the colored helped finding them. However, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am looking to change my ‘official ball of choice’ this year. I feel like the SS have left me wanting more in the ball. As my swing has been a bit more controlled and speed is getting better, they just seem too soft. I want a soft ball, but not like these marshmallows (as some consider them). Since I am still learning and adjusting more of my game I am not looking to shell out $40+ for a case of balls that I could lose faster than I’d like to.

I actually tried out the e6 Softs about a year ago so I am really excited to see how the e12s compare. I bought 2 cases when they were on sale at DSG as a promo if you bought two. I actually went with the yellows and thought they were OK overall. Didn’t find them anymore durable than my usual SS and wasn’t a fan of the feel off my driver.

First Impressions

Compared to the old e6s, this initial appearance of the packaging and balls were a major upgrade. The e6 Softs were in a unappealing orange and black look that I wasn’t a fan of. The e12s are now in a nice gold look with the color of the ball filling out the ‘e12’ logo. (Pics to come of packaging)

The balls themselves are a sweet matte finish. I selected to go with the “alien green’ as some called it, but officially called “Matte Green.” You can press your nail into the ball and has a little give, but nothing as squishy compared to the SS. (Pics of balls to come)

Once the weather improves, I will totally be hitting up my home course’s new short game setup they put in to judge wedge and chipping play along with putting. My first round will be within the next week most likely and will be sure to put these in play!

Hoping that these will give me something to upgrade to but also as an option that won’t break the bank (retails around $29.99). 

Edited by Ronoc
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