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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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Equipment

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged, 919 Forged, and 919 Hot Metal hit USGA’s conforming list

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As alerted by our always investigative GolfWRX Forum Members, three new Mizuno JPX irons have shown up recently on the USGA Conforming Clubs list; JPX 919 Forged (there is no image of the RH version, but there is of the LH), JPX 919 Hot Metal (and LH), and a JPX 919 Tour Forged iron.

Although still unannounced and unreleased by Mizuno, it’s likely these JPX 919 irons will be the replacements for the previous JPX 900 series. If you remember, Brooks Koepka won back-to-back U.S. Opens using JPX 900 Tour irons; now, it seems there may be a replacement for that iron on the way, judging by the USGA Conforming List.

Check out the Mizuno JPX 919 irons below, as listed on the USGA Confirming list.

Mizuno JPX 919 Forged

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the USGA photos.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons

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Photos have recently popped up in our GolfWRX Forums of Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons. It’s been nearly two years since the company released it’s previous Z565, Z765 and Z965 irons, so it’s possible (if not likely), based on nomenclature, these could be the replacements for that series.

The photos in our forums show Z785 short irons (5-PW) and Z785 long irons (4 and 3), but it does not appear that the Z785 irons shown in the photos are driving irons, so it’s likely these photos come from a mixed set.

We do not have any official tech or release information about new irons from Srixon at this time, so we’re left to speculate for the time being. What do you think about the photos of these Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons?

Check out the photos of each below, and click here for more photos and discussion.

Srixon “Z785” irons

 

Srixon “Z585” irons

Click here for more photos and discussion.

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Equipment

Michael Kim on why he switched to a Titleist TS2 driver, and the change he’s making for The Open

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Michael Kim set a tournament scoring record at the John Deere Classic last week, so, needless to say, the UC Berkeley alum was firing on all cylinders.

With respect to one of those cylinders, Kim, historically not a great driver of the golf ball, was 34th in Strokes Gained off the tee and tied for second in driving accuracy with a new Titleist TS2 driver in his bag last week. For reference, he’s 192nd in Strokes Gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy for the season. In other words, while Kim’s incredible putting (+13.51 strokes gained: putting) helped, the Titleist TS2 driver he began experimenting with at the FedEx St. Jude Classic also played a role.

We caught up with Kim by phone from Carnoustie and asked him about the decision to put the new TS2 in play.

“When I hit it, I liked it right away. I noticed the biggest difference on mishits. On my old driver, the ball speed would drop a little bit on a toe or heel hit, but with the new one, you barely saw any [drop in ball speed]. And it was definitely going straighter off the mishits. Straighter and longer, honestly.”

“Generally, I don’t make a switch, especially with the driver mid-year, but I put it right in play. And I’m working on some new things with my swing…I kind of turned the corner at the Quicken Loans…obviously hit it great at the Deere.”

“I tried the TS3, but it was a little too low spin for me. So we kept the same shaft [Aldila Rogue Black 60X] and I think it’s the same setting.”

Kim also mentioned he’s putting a steel-shafted driving iron in play for The Open this week–on the recommendation of a guy who knows a thing or two about playing well at the British Open.

“Zach Johnson told me on the plane ride here that I should maybe try a driving iron. So…I got out here and I asked to try a couple of different driving irons…On Tuesday, I tried out a couple of different T-MBs…2-iron, 3-iron. The 2-iron was going way too far, so I tried the 3-iron on the golf course. The way the course is set up, it’s just so firm…It’ll be great if there’s some wind. Exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll put it in play and I’ll probably use it a decent amount throughout the week.”

With respect to Kim’s wedge setup, Vokey Wedge rep, Aaron Dill, offered this comment

“Michael Kim has a really good short game that shows tremendous confidence. Michael uses a great system with his gap wedge having higher bounce, this help with flight and consistency, his 56 is high bounce for bunker and all shots needing extra bounce, and his 60 is a low bounce L for all tighter conditions and shots that need easy and fast lift. The beauty of this setup is it covers multiple shot window and types.”

We’ll see how it works out for him. Kim is competing in his first Open Championship. He tees off at 9:04 a.m. local time with Ryuko Tokimatsu and Chez Reavie.

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