OK, I admit it, marketing works with me sometimes, and the latest advertisement on the Golf Channel during the Bay Hill tournament for the 2016 Bridgestone golf balls got my interest. The reason is their claim of a new cover that is, “self repairing.” Not to mention the ball is supposed to be softer overall. Well, then I had to try them, because I have over the years liked Bridgestone golf balls. I went for the B330S even though, I am rarely in the 105+ range with my driver. The reason is, I have never really liked the B330 RX ball for folks under 105, I feel another review coming on that one. But over the years I have liked the B330 ball, even though it was a bit hard, but hey it was for big hitters, and in the old days that meant harder golf balls.
Thankfully those days are gone and the folks over at Bridgestone are responding. The B330S is definitely firmer than the Callaway Chrome Soft that I love so much, but it is softer feeling then the Srixon Z-Star, for example. It is around the green and approach shots where these balls perform best. They have nice amounts of spin, hop and stop with occasional backups. With driver, I found that the ball is a high flyer for me, but it has good distance, even if I am not swinging fast enough to take full advantage of the ball. With the driver you get a good feeling of compression, and I didn’t feel like it was spinning more than other pro balls I play, and some may really like the higher ball flight. I did seem to loose a few yards, but again, that is likely just that my swing speed is not fast enough to really engage the core of the ball.
The remarkable thing about the ball is it’s durability. I did what I call the double not blind test between a new ball and one that I had played 18 holes with. I played 18 holes on a fairly short course, so lots of wedges and short irons off the tee. Only had a few par 4s and one par 5 to use the driver, or 3 wood. The only difference between the balls was the color of the dot I put on them to identify. I had my wife, who has excellent up close vision, and my 16 year-old daughter, young eyes, look at both balls and tell me which was which. After quite a lot of up-close gazing, they both guessed the right one, but it was not easy by any means. My daughter had to hold both balls close to a florescent lamp, and noticed that the mantle of the ball I played with was slightly less bright white, and my wife found one tiny scuff from a wedge. Wow, that is impressive, considering just a few years ago if you got a couple of rounds in with a pro urethane covered ball, it looked like it had been through a war.
So my overall rating is four of five stars, if they were not such high flyers I might have gone 5 stars. If you liked last years B330S, I think you will like the 2016 version even better.
Pros: Great feel, good spin, and extremely durable. Cons: Not the longest ball I have played, and launches too high for me.