What Is the Best Golf Ball For 2017 & 2018
The topic of which golf ball is best for you has been written about ad nauseum, but this one will be different. I promise.
First of all, this review is not going to have one word about the most written about golf ball of the modern era…the Titleist ProV1. Even though this is an odd year which means the ProV1 has gone through its biannual redesign. In addition, I am including a ball that most players might not look at for reasons I will tell you as you read on.
The three balls I am reviewing this year includes two relatively new balls in 2017…the Taylor Made TP5 and TP5X, and the Callaway Chrome Soft X. The third is the Bridgestone E6.
Taylor Made TP5 and TP5X
Taylor Made has been trying for some time to develop a ball that rivaled the performance and popularity of the Titleist ProV1 and ProV1X. Their last attempt (Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X) was, at the time, a ball they thought would do just that.
The TP5 Golf Ball and TP5X Golf Ball are similar to their predecessors in that they are both 5 piece balls. What separates these balls from last year’s is their improved behavior with both the short irons and the driver. The TP5 and TP5X both generate higher spin with the short irons while offering lower spin rates with the driver. This is exactly what golf ball manufacturers have been trying to do ever since the first laid off NASA engineer went to work in the golf ball R & D departments at Callaway, Bridgestone, Titleist and Taylor Made.
The soft urethane cover gets pushed into the grooves of your short irons creating a higher launch angle and a controlled spin rate. Unfortunately, the same cover is not as durable as some of the other balls in its class.
From a dispersion standpoint, the TP5 and TP5X, while flying higher, are less susceptible to deviation due to high winds due to their lower/controlled spin rate. Simply put, they go straighter.
On the short grass, the TP5 and TP5X have a consistent visible seam that makes putting alignment a lot easier.
The TP5 has a compression of 83 while the firmer TP5X is 90 compression. The TP5X has a slightly lower trajectory and spin rate than does the TP5.
The bottom line is that either the TP5 or the TP5X could and should find its way into any players bag. There is nothing about either ball that should frighten you away.
Yes they are more expensive than most, but they are so straight that you will lose them less often.
On a personal note, the only difference I find between the ProV1 and the TP5 is off the tee. The TP5 is less punishing on me when I mishit the ball with an outside in swing.
The lower side spin keeps the ball on the fairway, or at least in the rough and not off the planet to the right. Take either of these balls out for a test round. I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Callaway Chrome Soft X
The Callaway Chrome Soft X was known last year on Tour as the Chrome Soft+. Most Tour players found it too soft for their liking. That meant it was back to the drawing board for Callaway. Ta Da!! They came up with the Chrome Soft X. As with other manufacturers, the X designates firmer. This alone got players attention. Firmer core and cover, combined with controllable spin and explosive distance was exactly what Callaway wanted out of this ball.
It is the same 4 piece construction as the Chrome Soft with a firmer “Dual SoftFast Core” for enhanced ball speed and a proprietary Tri-ionometer mantle that regulates spin. The thinner urethane cover gives this ball a nice soft feel with the irons, yet surprisingly doesn’t affect the driver as other softer balls do.
As with the Taylor Made TP5 and TP5X, this ball offers more spin on the 5 iron down through wedge. It also is able to contribute to reduced spin with the driver, which is undoubtedly first and foremost for most players.
The now familiar hexagonal dimple pattern continues to be the characteristic that keeps the Chrome Soft X straighter…even in the wind.
It is decidedly softer around the greens than either its Titleist or Taylor Made competition. This appeals to players that really aren’t too concerned with distance. They demand a softer feeling ball when chipping and putting.
This ball has seemingly bridged the gap that manufacturers have struggled with for years. That is, a soft golf ball that will appeal to players that are wont to purchase premium golf balls such as the ProV1.
I have used this ball and do like it. However I am one of those players that wants extra distance with my driver, and I believe that I am not alone.
If you fall into that category, one of the other premium balls may be better suited for you. Whatever your handicap, if you like a soft ball, try the Callaway Chrome Soft X. It may just grow on you.
The 2017 Bridgestone E6 Golf Ball has been available in some shape and form for 5 or 6 years now. In 2017 Bridgestone is now marketing both the E6 Soft and the E6 Speed. The Speed is another way of saying “It is longer”. What I like most about the E6, and it has been true since it first came out, is that Bridgestone has a ball here that is good for every player.
With the lower spin rate that the E6 offers with the driver and longer clubs, the ball flight is extremely straight. If and when you mishit the ball, the E6 is less punishing, both distance wise and direction as well.
Its three piece design is used by many manufacturers, but the 50 compression it has makes this one of the softest in its class. The key to the performance of this ball is its mantle, which, according to Bridgestone, reduces sidespin, producing pin seeking missiles like no other ball.
Another characteristic that makes this ball unique is the “dimple within a dimple” concept. The benefits realized through this innovative design feature are; greater ball speed, reduced drag and increased lift.
Is it for you? In my mind the only player who might not like this ball would be the scratch or near scratch player that likes to work the golf ball. And I am not sure that their choice isn’t simply dictated by a bit of peer pressure and TV brand name recognition convincing them that they “NEED” a premium ball.
My word…it will reduce your slice or draw off the tee dramatically…it will go farther than most premium balls…it will straighten out wayward iron shots…and it costs a third off most premium golf balls.
There is absolutely no reason not to try this ball. You will not be disappointed.
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