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Does compression matter?


Tsecor
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The difference between tour balls off the driver at high swing speeds is generally pretty negligible, when comparing like models (i.e. ZStar vs ProV1 and ZStar XV vs ProV1x, Vice Pro vs ProV1 and Vice Pro Plus vs ProV1x, etc) and in general, the slower the swing speed, the less difference there is. Now, you mention Supersoft, which is an interesting wrinkle. Since many ionomer balls spin less than urethane balls (all Tour balls are urethane), high launch/low spin is a recipe for distance off the tee.

In this paradigm, I'd be really interested to see ionomer/low spin balls vs Tour-level low spin balls (TP5x, ProV1x Left Dash, etc). I don't know of many of these comparisons, but TXG did test the TaylorMade lineup (albeit at 120 mph) and found the Tour Response to be longer in the irons than either of the TP5 models. Off the tee, 120mph was too much juice, but at 85-90mph? I bet you could pickup a few yards...

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1 hour ago, tony@CIC said:

How did they compare? 

Pretty close really.  Off the tee the Tour was a little longer and I liked the feel of the Tour off the irons ... not as hard. I think the Tour compression is better suited to my swing speed.

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with modern balls, compression really doesnt matter when it comes to overall performance. Scoring has no correlation to compression....mainly just feel

Edited by Tsecor
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've never noticed any measurable difference between any balls on the market other than durability and spin off wedges. As a 8 handicap I'm not consistent enough to know if one ball is longer than another. 

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43 minutes ago, braincramp said:

I've never noticed any measurable difference between any balls on the market other than durability and spin off wedges. As a 8 handicap I'm not consistent enough to know if one ball is longer than another. 

I find this hard to believe. Im a 12 handicap and i hit snell mtbx and Bridgestone tour brx 15 yards farther than Kirkland signature 3 piece. Bridgetone Tour BX somewhere in between. Its noticeable in the course for sure.   

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On 6/26/2021 at 9:25 AM, Tyler86 said:

I find this hard to believe. Im a 12 handicap and i hit snell mtbx and Bridgestone tour brx 15 yards farther than Kirkland signature 3 piece. Bridgetone Tour BX somewhere in between. Its noticeable in the course for sure.   

Tour BRX is longer than the Tour BX for you? Whats your driver ss?

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1 hour ago, jroot327 said:

Tour BRX is longer than the Tour BX for you? Whats your driver ss?

Yeah. Depends. 90-96 playing, push into 100 when im in a groove and its nice out. Havent played the BRX since spring though and i was wearing layers (MN spring is cold as heck). Now ya got me thinking…. 😖

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1 hour ago, Tyler86 said:

Yeah. Depends. 90-96 playing, push into 100 when im in a groove and its nice out. Havent played the BRX since spring though and i was wearing layers (MN spring is cold as heck). Now ya got me thinking…. 😖

Depending on how much you care, it might be worth finding a launch monitor and doing some testing. The combo of ball speed/launch/spin is the biggest 'tell' when it comes to the difference in distances. I don't swing hard enough (~105-110) to really get much difference from most tour-level balls because they're all engineered for pretty comparable speed/spin/launch windows, but as soon as I drop down to balls marketed as "soft" I start seeing a difference. I was hoping I'd get along with the Tour Response, since it's a urethane cover but $10-15/dozen cheaper than Tour-level offerings, but the ball speed is significantly slower (for me, it was ~5 mph less on average with driver and the general consensus is you lose about 2 yards for every 1 mph). And while it did launch about a degree higher, I could not get above 2000 rpm, including a few that were closer to 1000 rpm and just falling out of the computerized sky. My on-course testing confirmed what the launch monitor showed: The Tour Response was fine on irons (longer, actually, because it's significantly lower spin) but as I got up to 2i, 4w, and driver, I started noticing the distance drop-off.

All of that to say, while 'compression' may not matter, ball speed, launch, and spin do. If a ball is going to get less ball speed, it has to make up the distance somehow, so it's (probably) engineered to launch higher and spin less. And as the face has less loft, less spin on long clubs = less carry. (You can get away with a low-spin ball on irons, since they already impart relatively more spin and are going to launch higher/land steeper. Good luck around the greens though.)

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1 hour ago, greggarner said:

Depending on how much you care, it might be worth finding a launch monitor and doing some testing. The combo of ball speed/launch/spin is the biggest 'tell' when it comes to the difference in distances. I don't swing hard enough (~105-110) to really get much difference from most tour-level balls because they're all engineered for pretty comparable speed/spin/launch windows, but as soon as I drop down to balls marketed as "soft" I start seeing a difference. I was hoping I'd get along with the Tour Response, since it's a urethane cover but $10-15/dozen cheaper than Tour-level offerings, but the ball speed is significantly slower (for me, it was ~5 mph less on average with driver and the general consensus is you lose about 2 yards for every 1 mph). And while it did launch about a degree higher, I could not get above 2000 rpm, including a few that were closer to 1000 rpm and just falling out of the computerized sky. My on-course testing confirmed what the launch monitor showed: The Tour Response was fine on irons (longer, actually, because it's significantly lower spin) but as I got up to 2i, 4w, and driver, I started noticing the distance drop-off.

All of that to say, while 'compression' may not matter, ball speed, launch, and spin do. If a ball is going to get less ball speed, it has to make up the distance somehow, so it's (probably) engineered to launch higher and spin less. And as the face has less loft, less spin on long clubs = less carry. (You can get away with a low-spin ball on irons, since they already impart relatively more spin and are going to launch higher/land steeper. Good luck around the greens though.)

When I switched to the Tour BX from the BRX it seemed to play shorter, and hold a little better. After a few rounds Arcoss agreed. Im not sure what part of it makes that so as i havent hit either on a DECENT monitor. I just know that the difference was noticeable. The differences over the 3 balls i mentioned is small and my consistencies are much less. But over a round or so the tendencies or trends are definitely noticeable.  

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never trust an indoor launch monitor off a synthetic mat.......find an outdoor range where you can hit off grass....you will see the monitor results are much different for you.

gameability (is that a word) and lunch monitor data really do not have too much correlation in how you score.....especially for us 8+ hdcp players....

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/16/2021 at 8:29 PM, greggarner said:

The difference between tour balls off the driver at high swing speeds is generally pretty negligible, when comparing like models (i.e. ZStar vs ProV1 and ZStar XV vs ProV1x, Vice Pro vs ProV1 and Vice Pro Plus vs ProV1x, etc) and in general, the slower the swing speed, the less difference there is. Now, you mention Supersoft, which is an interesting wrinkle. Since many ionomer balls spin less than urethane balls (all Tour balls are urethane), high launch/low spin is a recipe for distance off the tee.

In this paradigm, I'd be really interested to see ionomer/low spin balls vs Tour-level low spin balls (TP5x, ProV1x Left Dash, etc). I don't know of many of these comparisons, but TXG did test the TaylorMade lineup (albeit at 120 mph) and found the Tour Response to be longer in the irons than either of the TP5 models. Off the tee, 120mph was too much juice, but at 85-90mph? I bet you could pickup a few yards...

Never played the TP5's, but recently tried the Tour Response, as I have never played a urethane covered ball. Played a couple of rounds with it, and on a couple holes played both TR and Supersoft, alternating each off the tee. The SS was always longer, if even only 2 yards. The TR just did not feel like I was making good contact, even though the ball was getting out there 210+. Can't say I really liked the feel of the TR, and short game off the wedges was just ok to me. Not any better than a 2 piece ball. With that being said, I will take a pass on the Tour Response...

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For a perspective that hasn't been discussed yet: If you're starting out or very new to the game, compression doesn't matter enough for it to be a thought in your game.  Regardless of what your swing speed is, your technique is more than likely not consistent enough that you're consistently striking the ball and certainly not enough that you're consistently compression your irons and wedges. So instead of adding one more thought to the plate, I'd rather the newbie just be focusing on a nice, smooth swing. 

So early on, it doesn't matter whether you have a harder or softer two-piece ball or even a tour ball. Instead, find a ball that is cheap enough that you're okay losing it but still feels good enough for you to not hate hitting it. 

Once you've put in the time, then yeah, find the ball that feels good to you. I like to walk the tougher courses in Salt Lake, so I tend to pick up various balls that are lost along the side and test them out. I've hit some that now feel like pebbles and some that feel like marshmallows, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. Since I prefer maximizing my distance off the tee and just having the ball check up instead of spin back, I tend to still lean towards firmer balls.

Tl;dr - Early on, compression doesn't matter. Later on, it matters for preference and feel. 

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On 7/16/2021 at 10:18 PM, drb1956 said:

Never played the TP5's, but recently tried the Tour Response, as I have never played a urethane covered ball. Played a couple of rounds with it, and on a couple holes played both TR and Supersoft, alternating each off the tee. The SS was always longer, if even only 2 yards. The TR just did not feel like I was making good contact, even though the ball was getting out there 210+. Can't say I really liked the feel of the TR, and short game off the wedges was just ok to me. Not any better than a 2 piece ball. With that being said, I will take a pass on the Tour Response...

TP5 is so much better than the TR IMO.....i played both and wanted to toss the TR into the lake.....TP5 has always been really good for me....hit the longest drive of my career with a TP5.  I made the perfect swing and the ball ended up at 325....i am usually a 275 type guy, not hitting the center of the face each time, but this ONE TIME, i did everything perfect it seems, and the TP5 flew a mile and landed perfectly and rolled about 20 yards......if only i could do that a few times a round.....

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27 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

ball ended up at 325

Nice!

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44 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

Nice!

once in my life.....never did it again....it was like the golf gods cut me a break

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12 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

once in my life.....never did it again....it was like the golf gods cut me a break

haha.. yes... sounds like we have similar love/hate relationships with the golf gods... they love to hate us!!  

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I’ve actually been wondering this. In my return to the game after a few years away, I’ve been looking for something to replace the B330S I used to game. Bridgestone has the BX and BXS for higher swing speeds and BRX and BRXS for slower. I haven’t seen a test online (at least from my search) of someone hitting the Tour B R series with greater than the recommended swing speed or the Non-R series at lower the recommended swing speed. In my non-scientific tests, I didn’t see a difference but again, this was testing as a 1 man scramble across 5 rounds. Landed on the XS as it reminded me of the Titleist Tour Professional days, with its “heavier” feel off the putter and “stickiness” off the irons and wedges. 

On the range I’m at about 112 with my driver, but on course, I’m sure i vary from 100 to 115.

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1 hour ago, Gavwlee said:

I’ve actually been wondering this. In my return to the game after a few years away, I’ve been looking for something to replace the B330S I used to game. Bridgestone has the BX and BXS for higher swing speeds and BRX and BRXS for slower. I haven’t seen a test online (at least from my search) of someone hitting the Tour B R series with greater than the recommended swing speed or the Non-R series at lower the recommended swing speed. In my non-scientific tests, I didn’t see a difference but again, this was testing as a 1 man scramble across 5 rounds. Landed on the XS as it reminded me of the Titleist Tour Professional days, with its “heavier” feel off the putter and “stickiness” off the irons and wedges. 

On the range I’m at about 112 with my driver, but on course, I’m sure i vary from 100 to 115.

Freddie Couples plays the R series. I have a friend who went to Bridgestone for a ball fitting and his over 110 and got fit to the RXS. 
 

Those with slower speeds who need spin can benefit from the BX or BXS

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1 minute ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Freddie Couples plays the R series. I have a friend who went to Bridgestone for a ball fitting and his over 110 and got fit to the RXS. 
 

Those with slower speeds who need spin can benefit from the BX or BXS

Is spin the biggest difference between the 2? Where the R series will provide less spin when compared to the non-R?

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2 minutes ago, Gavwlee said:

Is spin the biggest difference between the 2? Where the R series will provide less spin when compared to the non-R?

In my ball fittings with bridgestone that’s been the main difference. I was borderline 105 and the RX was the better ball and if I wanted softer feel the RXS. I’ve played the BX last year and didn’t really care for it off the tee especially compared to prov and tp5 and 5x

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