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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

Forum Thread of the Day: “Deep faced fairway woods?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Mainehacker21 who is in the market for a deep faced fairway wood to primarily use off the tee. Our members give their recommendations to Mainehacker21, with a range of deep faced fairway woods getting a mention.

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.

  • VNutz: “5Deep has been my go to for this. Great deep face for tee shots, extra loft making it more playable off the deck. Such a good club.”
  • ML413: “I bought the G400 Stretch searching for the exact same thing and have been really happy with it.”
  • cardoustie: “x2 hot 3 deep, I carry one for tee shots that require a low shot or a fade, tough off the deck unless you have a perfect lie.”
  • manima1: “If you can find a 2016 M2 “tour issue deep face” that is the best out there. Very low spin so even in 3HL they are bombers, but still elevate easily off the deck. You can find them on eBay. FYI – you know it’s a “deep face” if it has a paint break on the hosel. Another decent option is the 2017 M2 tour head.”

Entire Thread: “Deep faced fairway woods?”

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

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.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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