Bridgestone 2014 Tour B330 golf balls
ORLANDO – As long as the game of golf has been played, golfers have tried to avoid the water, but now Bridgestone has announced that water is at the heart of the updated Tour B330 ball line.
Bridgestone's Japanese research and development teams create prototype balls that are sent to the United States for testing. According to Cory Consuegra, Bridgestone's manager for ball fittings and golf clubs, one batch of prototypes had water mixed in with the other liquids that are added to a dry mixture that activates the rubber in the ball's core.
Consuegra said that of all the prototypes his team tested, the balls with water in the core mixture performed best. The addition of water made the inner portion of the core softer and the outer portion firmer.
Previous versions of Bridgestone's Tour B330 balls were designed with cores that gradually got firmer toward the edges also, but Consuegra said the graduation is now much greater, meaning the inner core is much softer than before and the outer section is much firmer.
"The 30 percent increase in gradation means two things," he said. "It's going to reduce more spin than prior generations, and it's going to travel faster than prior generations as a result of this firmer outer region."
Each of the four updated balls—the Tour B330, Tour B330-S, Tour B330-RX and Tour B330-RXS—have cores designed with Hydro Core technology.
All four balls also have a dimple-within-a-dimple design that also is found in the company's e-Series balls. Bridgestone says the inner dimple helps the ball rise more quickly on tee shots and maintain its peak trajectory longer. The outer dimple promotes a more shallow descent angle, which should create more run in the fairway for added yards.
Here's what you need to know about each of Bridgestone's new balls (all $44.99).
• Tour B330: This four-piece ball is designed for players who have a driver clubhead speed over 105 mph. Its inner mantle layer is slightly firmer, so it should reduce spin off the tee more effectively. At the same time, the urethane cover has also been made about 6 percent softer than its predecessor for more control around the greens. This is the ball that Brandt Snedeker played at the 2013 Presidents Cup in October.
• Tour B330S: Like the Tour B330, this ball is for golfers with a driver clubhead speed over 105 mph, but this one is for players who don't create a lot of spin. This four-piece ball spins more than the B330 and has the softest urethane cover Bridgestone makes, giving it the most greenside spin. Bridgestone says this ball is about 4 yards longer than its predecessor because of a firmer inner-mantle layer and the effects of the new core. Matt Kuchar switched to this ball at the 2013 Presidents Cup.
• Tour B330-RX: This three-piece ball was optimized for players who swing their driver less than 105 mph but create too much spin off the tee. Its urethane cover is 20 percent thinner than the last Tour B330-RX, which results in lower spin off the tee for increased distance. While this ball spins less around the green than other B330 balls, for many amateurs, Bridgestone believes that having shorter clubs into the greens outweighs the need for more spin on chips and pitch shots.
• Tour B330-RXS: This three-piece ball spins more than the B330-RX for golfers who have a driver swing speed below 105 mph. This year, Bridgestone made its mantle layer firmer. The result is less spin off the tee for more distance, but a little more greenside spin. The B330-RXS' cover has not been changed.