Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We Tried It: Bridgestone B330 & B330-S
Bridgestone's Latest Balls...Tested
THE TOUR B330
Specs: Four-piece construction, urethane cover, 330 dimples.
Performance: We aren’t sure exactly what’s brewing in the golf ball cauldrons at Bridgestone (and there’s no way they’re telling anyone), but apparently there were a few more secret ingredients added to make the B330 even longer than it was before. Yes, the B330 is in fact ridiculously long, thanks to a penetrating trajectory that, no joke, splits through the air lower and with more forward roll than previous B330 golf balls. Within 150 yards, the new and improved B330 surprised us. We actually felt as though we had more control than with previous models. And even with the rollback in groove sharpness, we had no problem holding the green. Our shots didn’t fly as high as normal, but we aren’t complaining. Control like that is what we want.
Around the greens, with pitches and chips, again, the B330 had more bite than previous B330s, but it’s still not quite as grabby as other models we’ve tested. Some players actually prefer this, since less spin around the greens makes it easier to hit more consistent shots. When putting, the B330 had a solid, firm feeling. We wish every ball felt like that on the greens. When a ball gets too soft and mushy when putting, we feel as though we lose feel and control.
Bottom Line: While our test was anything but scientific, we can say we felt as though the new B330s were longer and flew lower than most golf balls, but a little higher than previous B330s. As for the length, we put the B330 among the longest urethane-covered golf balls we’ve yet to try.
The new Bridgestone B330 and B330-S (yes, the 2011 models are new versions of both golf balls) are an amalgam of distance and spin designed for better players. Before we begin, let’s just say that the B330 and B330-S golf balls already rank high on our list, mostly due to the fact that they perform exactly how the box says they’re supposed to perform. They’re labeled as golf balls more suited for golfers with at least 105 mph driver swing speeds. (Any slower, and Bridgestone steers their players toward the softer B330-RX.) It’s with a faster swing speed that you’ll be able to take advantage of the four-piece construction (more on that in a moment). Second, the B330-S is clearly identified as the ball that has a greater amount of spin and a softer feel, making it a more appealing choice for players who like to finesse the ball a bit. (Remember, although the B330 doesn’t have the highest spin rate we’ve seen around the greens, it still has a urethane cover, meaning it spins more than most non-urethane-covered golf balls on the market. So don’t rule it out as a non-finesse ball.) On the other hand, the B330 is firmer, and a solid choice for players who tend to have a steeper driver angle of decent and wish to keep their trajectory lower and prevent ballooning.
How the components of a golf ball work depend greatly on the type of shot being played. Here’s a look at four pieces of a ball and what they’re designed to do for different types of shots.
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