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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

SPOTTED: A PXG “XXF prototype” driver in Charles Howell III’s bag

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In December, we spotted a PXG XXF driver, along with two other PXG drivers, on the USGA conforming clubs list. Flash forward to Monday at the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge, we spotted an XXF prototype driver in person in the bag of PXG staffer and club-tinkerer Charles Howell III.

We are told the XXF driver in CHII’s bag is only a prototype, and that it may never actually be released to the public.

As we originally postulated, it seems from the layout of the weights, or screws, that the XXF prototype is a fade-biased driver; that’s because there are three screws out on the toe portion of the sole, but none on the heel portion. We also guessed that the PXG ZZ has a neutral bias and the PXG XX is a draw-biased driver.

The last official driver release from PXG was a line of 0811X drivers that introduced thermoplastic elastomer inserts into the soles of the drivers to help lower center of gravity — making the drivers more forgiving and spin less — and to dampen vibrations, enhancing sound and feel. Since we haven’t cut open the XXF prototype driver we spotted in CHIII’s bag, we don’t know whether it also has a TPE insert in the sole. But, if the material lowered CG in the 0811X drivers, it’s likely the material would make it’s way into the XXF prototype driver in some capacity to achieve similar results.

From the photos, CHIII is testing the XXF prototype driver with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue shaft. We’ll keep an eye out to see whether he puts the driver into play this week, and we’ll update you with more information on the XXF driver if it becomes available.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the PXG XXF driver in our forums

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Callaway launches new Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw drivers, and fairway woods

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With its Jailbreak technology, Callaway’s GBB Epic drivers were the No. 1-selling drivers in the United States in 2017; actually, according to Callaway, they were the No. 1-selling drivers every month in the U.S. in 2017.

How do you back that up? How do you replace a driver that’s been so successful?

Well, apparently you don’t.

Callaway’s new Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw drivers, as Callaway says, do not replace its GBB Epic and GBB Epic Sub Zero drivers of last year. Instead, Rogue is an all-new line that improves on the Epic technologies, but the company will continue to sell its Epic drivers.

Actually, if you follow Callaway’s trends over recent years, you may realize that the company should be coming out with an XR 18 line of drivers and fairway woods. That’s not the case, however. In this sense, Callaway is “going rogue.” Company representatives say that with the new Rogue drivers and fairway woods, the company is “doing what the industry is not expecting us to do.” This means that instead of coming out with an XR 18 driver at a price point of say $379, it is launching the Rogue drivers at $499.99 and packing them with improved-upon technologies than were in the Epic drivers, for more forgiveness and better aerodynamics. Callaway also says “the XR line is done for us.”

The original Jailbreak technology in the Epic drivers consisted of two titanium bars that sat behind the face; the idea is that the bars gave the structure more strength, or stiffened the crown and sole, to allow the faces to be made thinner, and therefore faster, without sacrificing durability. But with the Rogue drivers, Callaway wanted to save weight from these bars in order to displace the weight elsewhere (re: lower and more rearward in the head for more forgiveness). So Callaway’s engineers designed new hourglass-shaped Jailbreak bars, which are thinner in the middle portions of the titanium bars, and thicker near the crown and sole. This allowed the company to save 25 percent of the weight from the Jailbreak design without sacrificing the benefits of higher ball speeds across the face. You’ll notice from address (in the photo below) that the body looks a bit more stretched out than the Epic drivers; that’s to drive CG (center of gravity) more rearward to raise MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness). The new hourglass design allowed that to be possible, as well getting rid of the weight-shifting track in the rear of the sole, as seen on the Epic drivers.

Callaway’s Rogue drivers, unlike the GBB Epic drivers, use the Boeing aero package — equipped with speed trips on the crown and an overall more aerodynamic shape — that the company introduced in the XR 16 drivers. The Rogue drivers also use a new X Face VFT technology that uses variable face thicknesses across the face to boost ball speeds on off-center strikes. The triaxial carbon crowns of the Rogue, which Callaway calls it’s largest carbon crowns ever, also save weight from the top of the club that is displaced lower in the heads to drive CG lower and more rearward.

The overall result is 0.6 mph more club head speed from the Rogue drivers compared to the GBB Epic, according to Callaway, and a 16 percent tighter dispersion.

There are three different models in the Rogue driver series: Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw. The relationship between the Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero is the same as it was between the GBB Epic and the GBB Epic Sub Zero, with the standard version having a larger profile and more shallow face, while the Sub Zero is a bit lower-spinning with a more compact look and a deeper face. The Rogue Sub Zero has two interchangeable weights (2 grams and 14 grams) that produces about 200 rpm of change between the two settings, according to Callaway.

The new Rogue Draw, with a 5-gram screw in the sole toward the heel, and with additional internal heel wighting, is for those golfers who want to fix their slice. The GBB Epic driver, with the 17-gram weight all the way in heel, hit the golf ball 11 yards left of center, according to Callaway’s testing. The Rogue Draw hits it 18 yards left of center. That means the Rogue Draw will draw the ball 7 yards farther than a GBB Epic set to draw.

The Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw drivers will be available at retail on February 9 for $499.99 each. Callaway Customs will also be available on each of the drivers in March. See below for more information on stock shafts, and keep reading for info on the fairway woods.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Rogue drivers and fairways in our forums

Callaway Rogue driver

Stock shafts for the standard Rogue range from 40-70 gram options, including Aldila’s Synergy and Quaranta shafts, and Project X’s EvenFlow and HZRDUS Yellow shafts.

Callaway Rogue Sub Zero driver

Stock shafts for the Rogue Sub Zero range from 50-70 gram options, including Aldila’s Synergy, Project X’s EvenFlow, and Project X’s HZRDUS Yellow.

Callaway Rogue Draw driver

The Rogue Draw is available in 9, 10.5 and 13 degree lofts. Stock shafts include the same offerings as the standard Rogue model, which include Aldila’s Synergy and Quaranta shafts, and Project X’s EvenFlow and HZRDUS Yellow shafts.

Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero fairway woods

Callaway’s Epic fairway woods did not have Jailbreak technology, but the Rogue fairways do. Also, unlike the hourglass-Jailbreak that’s in the Rogue drivers, the Rogue fairway woods do not have the hourglass shape, and they’re made from steel instead of titanium. According to Callaway, while it wanted to make the Jailbreak technology lighter in the drivers, it actually wanted to make it heavier in the fairways, thus they’re made from steel and do not have the weight-saving hourglass shape.

Jailbreak in the Rogue fairway woods combines with Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology. The Rogue fairway woods faces are made from “ultra-thin” Carpenter 455 steel, and the Face Cup is designed to boost ball speeds on off-center hits. Additionally, the Rogue fairways use Callaway’s Internal Standing Wave to position CG low-and-forward for high launch and low spin, they use triaxial carbon crowns to save weight from the top portions of the club to also shift CG lower, and they use the Boeing aero package for more club head speed.

The Rogue Sub Zero fairway woods, which have more compact shapes and deeper faces, also have a 5-gram weight in the forward portion of their soles in order to driver CG even more forward. This design will help high-spin golfers lower spin for more distance.

The Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero fairway woods will sell for $299.99 each starting on February 9. See below for shaft details.

Callaway Rogue fairway wood

Callaway says the Rogue fairways (13.5, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23 and 25 degrees) are available in multiple premium shafts and weights ranging from 40-80 grams.

Callaway Rogue Sub Zero fairway wood

Callaway says the Rogue Sub Zero fairways (13.5, 15 and 18 degrees) are available in multiple premium shaft brands ranging from 60-80 grams.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Rogue drivers and fairways in our forums

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Ping’s new Glide 2.0 “Stealth” wedges, and Vault 2.0 putters

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Today, in addition to the G400 Max driver and the G700 irons, Ping also launched Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges, and the Vault 2.0 putters that we first spotted at the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii. Each of the products are currently available for pre-order. See below for tech info, photos and more about the offerings.

Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges

Unlike the original Glide 2.0 wedges, which were made from 431 stainless steel, the Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges are made from 8620 carbon steel for a softer feel. More obviously, they have a different, darker finish that reduces glare and “makes the wedges seem smaller,” according to Ping. The finish is applied using something called a Quench Polish Quench process for greater durability.

The wedges also have a milled, wheel-cut “half-groove” near the leading edge of the higher-lofted wedges (56, 58 and 60 degrees) to increase spin on shots hit low on the face.

Like the Glide 2.0 wedges, the Stealth versions also have progressive groove designs, which means the grooves in the lower-lofted wedges (46, 50 and 52 degrees) have a larger edge radius than the higher-lofted wedges. Therefore, the lower-lofted wedges will perform a bit more like irons, while the higher-lofted wedges will have additional spin for more control around the greens.

The Stealth wedges come in 17 loft-grind combinations, as listed below:

  • SS Grind (46-12, 50-12, 52-12, 54-12, 56-12, 58-10 and 60-10)
  • WS Grind (54-14, 56-14, 58-14 and 60-14)
  • TS Grind (58-06 and 60-06)
  • ES Grind (54-08, 56-08, 58-08 and 60-08)

They come stock with either Ping’s AWT 2.0 steel shaft ($150) or Ping’s CFS graphite shaft ($175). Additional shafts are also available at no upcharge.

Click here for discussion and more photos of the wedges

Vault 2.0 putters

Ping’s new Vault 2.0 putters have a greater focus than ever on fitting. Using a new custom-weighting system, the putters are available with either steel sole plates, tungsten sole plates that are 15-grams heavier than steel, or aluminum sole plates that are 15 grams lighter than steel. Putters between 34 and 36 inches use steel, putters 36 and longer use aluminum, and putters 34 inches and shorter use tungsten. This allows golfers to have a putter with the correct feel and balance no matter the length.

The 100-percent-milled putters also use Ping’s True Roll technology in their faces, evident by the pattern of cross-hatched grooves that are varied in depth across the face to increase speed on off-center hits. The goal with this face design is to get the speed the golfer needs on longer putts, even if the contact is on the heel or toe.

Five of the putter models (aside from the Ketsch) are made from 303 stainless steel and are available in three finishes: Stealth, Platinum and Copper. The Ketsch mallet is available in two finishes, Stealth or Slate, and combines a 6061 Aluminum body with a stainless steel sole plate. Grip options for the putters include the PP60 (a midsize design with foam under-listing), the PP61 (an “exaggerated pistol” with a rubber under-listing), the PP62 (over-sized with a rounded profile) or the CB60 (the standard counterbalanced grip).

Get the specs for each of the new Vault 2.0 putters below, which sell for $325 apiece.

Vault 2.0 Dale Anser

The new Dale Anser is “inspired by one of the original Anser putter molds created by Allan Dale Solheim and detailed by his father, Karsten Solheim,” according to Ping.

  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Standard length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 Voss

  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth finish (Copper or Platinum available on special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degree
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 B60

  • Weight: 355 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth or Copper finish (Platinum available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 ZB

  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Finish: Available in Platinum (Copper or Stealth available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 Piper (Mid-Mallet)

  • Weight: 360 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth finish (Copper or Platinum available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc or Straight
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 2 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 Ketsch (Mallet)

  • Weight: 365 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth finish (Slate finish available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc or Straight
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 2 degrees

Click here for discussion and more photos of the putters.

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