MIZUNO RB TOUR AND TOURX BALLS
We all know there are three, perhaps four “main” golf ball brands, and one truly dominant brand, so every time a new one hits the market, I’m both hopeful and skeptical, if that makes sense. I mean, what else new can be done under the supercharged golf ball sun?
In the case of Mizuno’s first foray into this product space, the answer is, “a lot, apparently.”
Not that the RB Tour looks much different from any classic, gloss-white ball, until you peer at its dimple structure more closely. Yeah, as with other modern balls they arrayed as close together as, in various diameters, as possible, but at the bottom of each crater is a faint raised are that completes what Mizuno called the “C-Dimple.” They look like a complete circle to me, but perhaps “C” refers to something else.
Whatever: After years of wind tunnel testing, they were found to keep drag at a minimum and, says the company’s website, “keep fast-flowing air close to the ball’s surface for longer,” which also helps optimize trajectory.
Combined with both balls’ four-piece construction — either soft (TourX) or very soft (Tour) urethane cover, Ionomer mantle and “graduated firmness” Butadiene rubber dual core — they are as responsive and pleasingly solid at impact as any top-tier orb out there.
The proof is in the real-world testing, so off I went with the RB TourX model — whose characteristics better fit my mid- to high- driver spin rate to the first tee of my favorite local muni, with the fairway some 50-feet below. I was above the treetops and exposed to a solid left-to-right breeze. I pulled driver, aimed straight over those trees, gave it my best low, slow takeaway, and turned through it. With more of a crack! report at impact than I’m used to off a soft four-piece ball, the RB TourX took off with the slightest of draws, cleared the trees easily and settled somewhere out there on the left side of the fairway. The trees blocked my view of its landing, but I knew it was good.
Indeed: My longest drive on that shortish par 4 in memory, with a scant 80 yards left to the green.
Then came a wedge shot that bit as I wanted it to, followed by a putt that I hit too hard, realizing how live this ball is off every club face the instant I sent it toward the hole. I made the comebacker, and off I went, nutting 3-metals, irons and drivers off tee box after tee box, pounding fairway metals and hybrids with next to no effort and watching mid-iron shots go a good seven to eight yards farther than I was used to.
This was fun.
I had plenty of short game work to do while missing green after green, but luckily the Mizuno ball responded well to “touch” shots, too, yielding several tap-in putts, several recoveries that sincerely surprised me and, in the end, my first sub-80 round in over a year.
I know a lot of it was the fact that I was “on” that day — relaxed, unhurried, free. But man, did that ball perform.
In fact, I’d put it up there with the “big boys” on the market, including the always-reliable Tour favorite we see so often on TV close-ups.
Welcome, Mizuno. There’s room in the golf ball firmament for you, after all.