As the “average player” we can read the information presented by club manufacturers, ball manufacturers, or any other company peddling their golf related items on the open market, but is that really enough information?
Here at Sports Unbiased we do not believe that is enough to warrant spending the high cash prices reflected in golf products today. Sports Unbiased is taking the lead in providing a comprehensive review of golf equipment currently on the market.
Sports Unbiased will be covering woods, irons, balls, shoes or anything else that is considered relevant to the “average golfer.” We will list the handicap of the player reviewing that golf specific item and get their honest opinion of the quality of the item and whether or not you should spend the money on it. We believe in arming the prospective buyer with the information to make a proper decision. With that thought process in mind this article will be reviewing the Bridgestone TOUR B330-S golf ball.
Item: Bridgestone TOUR B330-S
MSRP: $45 per/Doz
Tour Performance optimized for pro level swing speeds over 105 mph with a preference for maximum TOUR SPIN.
The TOUR B330-S features a larger core, softer cover, and Bridgestone’s proprietary Dual Dimple Technology. The Urethane cover, now 13% softer than the previous model, maximizes spin control around the green. The larger Gradational Compression Core increases ball velocity for greater distance, and the Dual Dimple design Dimple offers superior aerodynamics and enhanced wind performance.
Gradational compression core technology for increased ball speed
Dual Mantle design for reduced spin and higher launch off the driver and long irons
Very soft Tour proven Urethane cover for added greenside control
330 dual dimple technology for a consistent flight
Handicap of Tester: 5-8
Bridgestone trails behind Titleist, like every other manufacturer, on all the major tours but the folks at Bridgestone are on to something here. They released a family of balls in the B330 series that are supposed to meet the needs of every level of player. The family includes the TOUR B330, TOUR B330-S, TOUR B330-RX and TOUR B330-RXS. The B330 and B330-S are designed for players with tour level swing speeds (over 105 mph) while the RX and RXS are designed for players with slower than 105 mph swing speeds. I just didn’t believe that amateur players would actually admit they do not swing hard enough. However, I have found a number of RX series balls on the local courses so players are accepting their realities. more importantly I am seeing an increase of Bridgestone balls on the course.
With that in mind I had to find out. My swing speed is right on the 105 cusp so I went with the TOUR B330-S. I sat in the parking lot and removed all my current balls from my bag and put in the dozen B330-S balls I purchased.
On the way to the first tee I swung by the range and the practice area for about 30 minutes. After my normal warm up on the range from SW-8 Iron-5 Iron-Hybrid-Driver I began to think this just might be a nice change. On the practice green I chipped from varying distances and was impressed at the amount of check or roll out I could get seemingly on command. Putting seemed about the same as my previous ball but that is by no means a bad thing.
After 54 holes with the TOUR B330-S I can say I do hit the ball farther but not what people might expect. I averaged 4-6 yards longer off the tee on average with the driver and there was no distance change with a hybrid or long iron off the tee. With that in mind the distance is not a selling point in my opinion. The consistency however is worthy of noting. I found the composition of the new series of balls to limit any erroneous sidespin I used to get with a bad swing. A mishit that previously would miss the fairway in the first cut of rough was instead staying in the fairway. To better explain consider it this way. A mishit in the past would miss target by as much as 20 yards. These errors were now 10 yards off target. This is huge in my book. Now when I “screw one up” I am not “dead” but rather in a reasonable position to still make par or better. Over the course of three rounds I estimate this saved me about 10 strokes.
Iron play with the B330-S was solid. It is definitely a soft ball and I could stop or spin any approach with a 6 iron or lower. With wedges in my hand the ball would stop where it landed or spin back a few feet. Other short irons yielded the same level of check as my wedges minus the backspin. Mid to long irons would check without much more than a small hop forward. This confidence in reaction made me feel like I could attack more pins and in fact I could. Obviously smart golf should always win out but short of being reckless you can afford to take a more direct approach to the hole.
Honestly, on the putting green itself I did not notice much of a change. The TOUR B330-S putted with the same level of trust as my previous ball but then again I was not expecting a large change. It felt soft but did not provide any noticeable change with the flat stick.
Overall, I feel like the TOUR B330-S lives up to the hype. It is slightly longer but not enough to make a noticeable difference. The mishit assistance with the B330-S is a vast upgrade to many balls available at your local pro shop and it will save you a couple of strokes a round easily. The iron play provided quality feel and expected response so no complaints. I have played a few rounds since my 54 hole test with the TOUR B330-S and it is still in my bag. I have no intention of taking it out and I believe I have found a “new weapon.” If the $45 price tag does not scare you off (they tend to run deals where buying more than a dozen to soften the sting) then it is a ball worth putting in your bag. Don’t feel obligated to your Titleist, make the switch and you won’t regret it.
Value for the Money (Out of 10): 8
Overall Rating (Out of 10): 9