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Bridgestone’s new Tour B golf balls were designed with the player in mind

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Bridgestone’s new Tour B Series of golf balls are set to improve on the company’s Tour B330 line, and there are plenty of details to share about the specifics of the four new models: the Tour B X, the Tour B XS, the Tour B RX, and the Tour B RXS. However, it’s just as important to take a step back from this launch and appreciate how Bridgestone, with their emphasis on ball fitting, arrived at this new four-ball offering, because it represents a departure from what we’re used to seeing in the industry.

Bridgestone_Tour_B_2017_feat_2

Eliot Mellow, Bridgestone Golf Marketing Manager, told GolfWRX that instead of starting with the B330 series and figuring out how to improve upon the offering in the lab, the company instead started in a very different place: with the massive amount of data collected from the company’s ball-fitting program. Beginning with the launch-monitor data from the more than 2.5 million unique swings the company has collected, Bridgestone drilled down on the “tour-ball user” player profile.

“We didn’t sit down to make four balls…a master ball…or eight balls.” Mellow said. “The first thing was just analyzing launch monitor data.”

In addition to this, Bridgestone conducted a massive player survey initiative and began organizing the findings. “Eventually, we filled four buckets that became the Tour B golf balls,” he said, indicating the company then cross-referenced its findings with information from Golf Datatech and other third-party sources to make sure it jived with the larger marketplace.

Bridgestone_Tour_B_RX_Yellow_Solo

With the four player profiles identified, the company then tasked the R&D team with developing a quartet of appropriate offerings, leading ultimately to the Tour B X, XS, RX, and RXS models. Fortunately, Mellow said, R&D succeeded. So, let’s dive a little deeper into the four balls and the associated player profiles. A first point of note: The X and XS are built for players who place feel first and foremost. The RX and RXS are for those who place distance ahead of everything else.

TOUR B X and Tour B XS

Designed for low-handicap golfers, the Tour B X is engineered for low-handicap players seeking feel plus accuracy. It replaces the Tour B330 model.

Bridgestone_Tour_B-X

Features include:

  • Firmer urethane cover than XS, reduces driver spin for increased accuracy of the tee
  • Core compression = 85
  • Construction: Three-piece urethane

Bridgestone_Tour_BXs

Tour B XS is designed for the low-handicapper concerned with feel and distance.

  • Slightly softer urethane cover than the X, creates added friction for enhanced feel and control
  • Core compression = 75
  • Construction: Three-piece urethane 

Bridgestone makes some bold claims about how the B X and B XS stack up against the B330 and B330-S. Pretty much better at everything! The company claims: higher initial ball speed, better flight in the wind, more consistent trajectory, and softer feel.

TOUR B RX and Tour B RXS 

Designed for low-to-mid handicap golfers. The Tour B RX is engineered to help low/mid handicappers primarily concerned with distance and accuracy.

Tour_B_RX_White

  • Slightly firmer urethane cover than the RXS reduces spin and increases accuracy off the tee
  • Core compression = 66
  • Construction: Three-piece urethane

Tour_B_RX_Yellow

Tour B RXS is for low/mid handicappers who value distance and feel.

  • Slightly softer urethane cover than the RX creates added friction for superior feel and greenside control
  • Core compression = 64
  • Construction: Three-piece urethane

In addition to a new dimple pattern, the company touts the following features of the Tour B Series: a Gradational Core for optimal energy transfer, and SlipRes cover technology, which increases friction by creating more stability between the ball and club for enhanced control with irons and wedges.

The line will officially be available at retailers nationwide and on bridgestonegolf.com beginning Oct. 2 for $44.99 per dozen. 

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. The Dude2

    Aug 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Cool. I look forward to playing this ball in a year or two when I buy it from one of the used golf ball sites.

  2. Steve Cantwell

    Aug 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Maybe a good ball, but more likely just a money grab. especially when Costco/Kirkland is trying to offer a similar quality ball for 1/2 the price.

  3. Aaron

    Aug 23, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Interesting how Bridgestone is competing with its highest profile pro in releasing their balls at the same time

  4. MAGA

    Aug 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    He got ballz

  5. Brewdawg

    Aug 23, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Make sure it “jives” with the larger marketplace… 🙂
    I love a ball that listens to me, but hate one that jives with me. Now jibing is a different story.

  6. Tom54

    Aug 23, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Let’s see…another new golf ball that will be better than last model huh? The only good thing about new golf balls coming out yearly is that you can get current ones for about $10 cheaper per dz. once the pro-v came out years ago, has any new ball really improved? All pro line balls play well in my opinion. Since the modern ball supposedly lasts around 5 yrs there are always deals to be had.

  7. Rich Douglas

    Aug 22, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    S
    O
    S

  8. Peter S

    Aug 22, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Somehow I feel they designed the ball….with profits in mind!

  9. The Dude

    Aug 22, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Love when golf ball companies create a ball with the players in mind…..”for those seeking feel and distance”……oh reeeeaaally…..

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 @13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 @ 18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (54-10SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

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GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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