2011 Tour Balls-Another Silver Lining To The Great Recession
This is a guide for those who posess an average driver swingspeed of 90+MPH, at least a semi-repeatable swing, a short game that requires greenside spin, and need to save a little moolah. If you are a beginner or high handicapper, you may want to read my guide on picking a good ball for beginners and high handicappers. If you are a mid-capper, and still not ready to put out the dough for tour level balls, you may want to read my guide on how to pick a bargain 3-piece ball. In the meantime, this recession has forced those no longer at the top of their design game to get on the stick and bring about new models, lest the competition finally surpass them. Better yet, the competition is bringing about new designs as well, and are therefor forced to slash prices to closeout levels.
Newer Members of The Luxury Tour Level Line
The Bridgestone B330 and B330 S aren't really that new to the game. When they first came out, they were radically better than any other tour level ball on the market. They were almost single handedly responsible for Titleist's revamping of the Pro V line, as even the Spin Model--B330 S--was an absolute distance monster, in addition to being a spin doctor extraordinaire. After these hit the market, Titleist really began to hustle, and started down the long dangerous road of compromises between the Pro V1 --which now needed more distance---and The Pro V1 X-- which now needed more spin. Fortunately for Titleist, Bridgestone really dropped the ball here and officially turned these 3-piece masterpieces into 4-Piece Techno-Gizmo elitist balls for those in posession of no less than a 105 MPH Average driver swingspeeds. They shut down the very market that they had opened up for themselves, and will more than likely remain a "wannabe" line of tour balls because of it. Still--if you have that kind of Herculean Swing----these balls are hard to beat.
Bargains On Last Year's Also Rans
The Nike One Series- has been around for quite some time. Nike had great success selling these as, "The ball that Tiger Woods plays...". Similar to the Pro V1 series they originally came out as The Nike One Gold and The Nike One Black. Each one had a distinct characteristic, and was very good at what it did. "The Gold", was the spin model, and," The Black", was the distance model.
In the next iteration, Nike really wanted to outdo Titleist, so they had Bridgestone (who builds all of Nike's balls by the way) build a super spinny model called, "The Platinum", while they had, "The Black", built for even more distance. Well the Platinum spun so much more than anything else on the market, that it actually lost distance. This is the ball that caused everyone to start including the selling hype about "...low spin off the driver, but lots of spin for the wedges." Even with the wedges, where spin is desirable, this ball spun so much that even amateurs were watching in dismay as the ball not only backed up, but literally backed up all the way off the green. These two newer models came out to replace The Platinum and The Black. The Tour is the spin model and yes, "D" is for distance. They only hung around in the inventory because people were still scarred by the overly spinny Platinum, and the long, but almost rock-like new One Black. These particular models could be some of the most under-rated balls to hit the market in many moons. Thanks to a design mishap a few years ago on a previous model, these balls are true performers at closeout pricing.
And Still There's More....
The TaylorMade TP LDP is another tour level ball which seems to be filling up the shelves right now. This is a pretty amazing buy as this particular ball truly was a competitor in the Tour Ball department. Back before The Penta came out, TaylorMade had The TP Red and The TP Black. This is that self same TP Black which had notoriously long distance, and a cast urethane cover for incredible spin. Better yet, this newly positioned ball is softer than the original TP Black-- and-- a tad longer. At less than $30 a dozen it is a very good buy.
The Bridgestone Brothers---, already listed next to the new for 2011 Pro V1 and Pro V1X appear here in their very first iteration as 4-piece balls. The B330 S still spins like crazy, and the B330 Tour still flies a country mile, but they are definitely not for the feint of heart. The original Bridgestone B330 S and B330 Tour were actually better than the Pro V models they ran against. To this day, I am uncertain as to why they would take a ball that anyone w/a 95 MPH swing could use to it's fullest potential, and add a layer and jack the price of a ticket to this dance up to a minimal 105 MPH Average Driver Swing Speed. Though I am no longer the big fan I was of these, that has more to do with my 98 MPH Average Driver Swing Speed than it does with this ball's performance for those not feint of heart or roatator cuff.
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