2013 Buyer's Guide Balls

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DROP THE BOX
By Barry Goldstein, PGA

Along with a poor and weak grip, one of the biggest mistakes I see many of my students make is having bad posture at address. This means they're in a slumped, slouched and unathletic position from their neck down. Odds are, these students have wrongly been told to keep their head down through the swing, which means they bury their chin into their chest, and the back is rounded, and the shoulders are squeezed together. As a result, this makes swinging the club properly much more difficult, and the likely result is excessive lifting and dropping of the arms and hands. And in many cases, because the body can't make a good turn and shift away from the ball on the backswing, a reverse pivot occurs.

When I see this, I immediately make my students aware of their bad setup. Sometimes, if it's severe enough, I'll place a sleeve of balls or a golf glove on their upper back and neck. In no way do we want that to be able to sit there! I often joke with students who mimic this position that I could place a pizza on their upper back, and it would stay in place. That's no good either! We want to be more upright so the sleeve of balls can't stay in place on your upper back.

The goal in your setup (with virtually any club) is to feel tall, upright and athletic. You should feel as though you're looking at the ball with a tall, proud chin. Or, think of it this way: I like to encourage my students to "see the ball with the bottom of their eyes." This helps you keep your head in alignment with your spine.

As for your knees, they ought to be slightly flexed, and any lean forward toward the ball should be a tilt from the hips. It's always better to miss too upright with your posture than too slumped and slouched. Your weight should be over your shoelaces, not hung out on your tippy toes. Lastly, feel as though you have a grapefruit under your chin at address. This will help you avoid slouching your back and chin. Just remember, don't squeeze the grapefruit and make juice!
Try this, and I bet your drives will be longer and straighter, and your irons more precise, too.

2013 looks to keep going where 2012 left off, as far as golf balls are concerned. Colored models are still gaining popularity, as are a slew of soft-core/soft-cover models that not only feel great, but fly a long way. In addition, some popular models got tweaked and fine-tuned to perform even better than before. That said, golf ball fitting has become popular, as it not only helps Tour players find the right ball, but all abilities, as well.

Bridgestone
B330 & B330-S
Key Feature: The B330 features a larger core and softer cover, not to mention Dual Dimple Technology, which offers superior aerodynamics and enhanced performance in the wind. The softer B330-S spins a little more.
Who It's For: Pro-swinging golfers with speeds over 105 mph. Players who like to bust shots through the wind.
Specs: 330 Dual Dimple Technology, Urethane cover, dual-mantle design for reduced spin and higher launch with driver and irons.
bridgestonegolf.com | $45
Bridgestone
eSeries
Key Feature: Each of the three balls (e5, e6 and e7) caters specifically to certain players. The two-piece e5 is a distance ball at heart, but has a high-spin Urethane cover for short shots. The three-piece e6 is a super-soft multilayer ball with a durable Surlyn cover, and the three-piece e7 is a distance ball for every type of player.
Who It's For: Bridgestone is making great strides in golf ball fitting. There's an eSeries ball for just about everyone.
Specs: e5 is a two-piece, Urethane cover; e6 and e7 are both three-piece designs with Surlyn covers.
bridgestonegolf.com | $27
Bridgestone
B330-RX & B330-RXS
Key Feature: Features a mantle layer and Dual Dimple Technology for longer distance, better accuracy and optimized greenside performance. The softer Urethane cover allows slower-swinging players to achieve great greenside spin, and the newly formulated mantle layer reduces spin for longer drives. The RXS model has even higher spin for those who need more control around the green.
Who It's For: Golfers who swing less than 105 mph.
Specs: Three-piece, Urethane cover. The RXS is the softer of the two.
bridgestonegolf.com | $45



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