2014 Buyer's Guide Balls

The best balls for 2014

Labels: Buyers GuideBalls
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Tour-Ready
Bridgestone
B330 & B330-S
Key Features: Four-piece construction that, yes, incorporates water into the core formulation, which somehow (it's way over our heads, too) makes this ball's core softer and the outer regions firmer. That means big distance, folks.
Wow Factor: These balls are more apt for golfers with faster swing speeds (over 105 mph). The B330 is for the player who already generates enough spin and wants more distance, and the B330S is for those who want a higher-spinning Tour-level ball. Either way, we like 'em both and, frankly, the B330 is as low-spinning with a driver as any Tour-level ball we've tried this year.
Specs: Four-piece construction, with a Urethane cover.
bridgestonegolf.com | $45/doz.
Callaway Golf
Speed Regime(1, 2 & 3)
Key Features: Enhanced HEX aerodynamics, dual-core construction, a Urethane cover, a soft feel and a categorization that's as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Wow Factor: No, really, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Speed Regime 1 is for slower swing speeds below 90; Speed Regime 2 is for the 90-105 mph sect; and Speed Regime 3 is for fast swings over 105 mph. But how do they perform? Better than any Tour-level Callaway ball that we've ever tried. And they feel really, really soft. Each category has its own set of aerodynamics for that particular swing speed range.
Specs: Five-piece construction, with a Urethane cover (different aerodynamics based on each model).
callawaygolf.com | $48/doz.
Nike
RZN Black & Platinum
Key Features: Designed to be 10% softer than 2013's 20IX balls, the new RZN Black and Platinum retain four-piece construction for more distance with a driver and touch with the shorter clubs. The Black is a lower-
spinning ball, and the Platinum is a moderate spinner. Both have a new Speedlock core design, which means the core is bonded to the compression layer via a waffle-like design. This, according to Nike, promotes enhanced performance as far as distance and control.
Wow Factor: Nike staff players say this ball feels softer, not just with the driver and irons, but on the greens, too. That's a good thing, since a softer feel tends to help you accelerate the putter more through the golf ball. Or, so we say.
Specs: Four-piece construction, with a Urethane cover.
nikegolf.com | $46/doz.
Srixon
Z-Star & Z-Star XV
Key Features: A soft Urethane cover for added control and a multilayer construction for spin when you want it and distance when you need it? Sign us up! The Z-Star is a great for swing speeds between 90 and 105 mph, and the Z-Star XV is more suited for fast swing speeds over 100 mph. Both balls are stellar performers in our book, and we really appreciate how durable they are, too. They just keep going and going and going....
Wow Factor: The SpinSkin coating increases friction between the ball and clubhead, helping to increase spin on shorter shots. Comes in white and Tour Yellow, which happens to be our favorite.
Specs: The Z-Star is a three-piece golf ball with a Urethane cover. The Z-Star XV is similar, only with a dual core.
srixon.com | $45/doz.
Titleist
Pro V1 & Pro V1x
Key Features: Is there a ball that has influenced the game more than the Pro V1? Probably not. Both balls are the same as last year, with a retooled formula for a softer feel and more distance.
The three-piece Pro V1 is the ideal combo for players who want distance off the tee and added stopping power on the greens. The four-piece Pro V1x promotes less spin off the tee than the Pro V1 and has a slightly firmer feel (both are still soft).
Wow Factor: The Pro V1 is still the #1 ball in the universe. Okay, maybe not the universe, but certainly in the professional ranks. It does what a Tour player needs it to—spins less off the tee, but spins like crazy around the green.
Specs: The Pro V1 has a three-piece construction and the Pro V1x has a four-piece construction; both have Urethane covers.
titleist.com | $45/doz.

Taylormade
Tour Preferred
Key Features: Designed with input from TaylorMade's huge Tour staff, the new Tour Preferred (and Tour Preferred X) balls have five layers (like the Lethal does) that allow better players to achieve low-spin drives and high-spin wedge shots. (The X spins a little less.)
Wow Factor: The new React Core is formulated for serious distance. Oh, and this ball has four covers over that core, each designed to maximum or minimize spin, depending on what club you're using. Trust is, there's some serious innovation in there.
Specs: Five-piece construction, with a Urethane cover.
taylormadegolf.com | $36/doz.
Volvik
Vista iS
Key Features: What colored ball is tearing up the professional ranks? This one! The Vista iS from Volvik features a four-piece multilayer design for, you guessed it, outstanding performance off the tee (lower spin) while allowing for more control on short shots (higher spin).
Wow Factor: The iS feels a lot softer than last year's Vista iV, and we love the orange color! Shots off the tee flew high and far, and we were blown away by the Zirconium cover, which produced plenty of stopping power on shorter shots. It's only a matter of time until we see it on the PGA Tour.
Specs: Four-piece construction, with a Zirconium HZ-III cover.
volvik.com | $45/doz.



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