Bridgestone says you can now get more distance and more spin out of its Tour B golf balls. But what did our equipment guru make of the four models on offer?
COST: $74.99 (dozen).
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4).
MODELS PLAYED: Tour B RXS, RX, XS and X.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Having enjoyed all of Bridgestone’s premium offerings since the introduction of the B330 line years ago, I was excited to give the second generation of the Tour B range a try.
The company’s new ‘REACTIV’ cover is touted to improve distance and spin rather than needing to favour one or the other in your golf ball choice, and the improvement was noticeable when comparing the new models with their predecessor.
The look of a golf ball isn’t often considered but the large ‘B’ logo is certainly different to other brands and something I for whatever reason enjoyed as a point of difference, while the new cover is noticeably different to previous Bridgestone balls.
The difference between the models remained discernible as in the first Tour B, however, I believe the REACTIV cover has lessened this.
HOW THEY PERFORMED: As a player with a swing speed around the number that decides whether you fall into the RX models (under 105mph) or the X models (over 105) I was interested to see the variation in performance across the four. Using the previous models regularly, I was also intrigued whether a significant improvement had been made on what I found to be a very consistent and well performing line.
The same performance characteristics became instantly clear when hitting multiple shots with every club in the bag early in my testing, with the Tour B X slightly longer, while the XS (Tiger Woods’ ball of choice) offered more spin.
This was true of the RX when compared with RXS, with the two S models also offering a softer feel.
Although there still exists a difference in performance between each model, at my swing speed I found the new cover appeared to lessen the distance difference between each model, which had been more noticeable in the previous model.
The spin of the X models was also far improved, so too the feel, which although firmer wasn’t hard off the face.
Throughout my testing I tended to prefer the Tour B X and XS models over the RX and RXS due to the similarities to the typical golf balls I play. The feel of the RX golf balls is certainly very soft, while they also felt as if they jumped off the face slightly more around the greens and tended to take a slightly bigger first bounce that was easily accounted for due to its consistency.
Picking between the X and the XS models in both the softer RX and firmer X models came down to more a matter of personal preference once I had completed hitting everything from short putts to judge the variance in feel to standing on one tee and hitting multiple drivers with each model to test distance and accuracy.
As mentioned earlier, the X and XS felt more suited to my game than the RX and RXS, however, the new versions of the softer models are without question the most impressive and all-round performing lower compression versions of Bridgestone’s premium offering. And it comes as no surprise that players like Fred Couples have adopted the RXS model.
When picking between the X and XS, I found the increased short game control and added workability of the XS due to its increased spin to be a bonus even though
it came at a slight loss of accuracy on mis-hits. And its increase in distance on the previous iteration meant I didn’t feel the need to opt for the X option as I have done in the past.
Overall, every one of the new Tour B golf balls impressed me. The suite of performance benefits throughout the range, as was the case in previous models from Bridgestone, meant there was a golf ball for every player and even conditions one might encounter. However, it was the improvement across the range in the typically mutually exclusive distance and spin that really stood out and would lead me to recommend golfers find the right model for their game and give the Tour B range a trial.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: The Tour B’s four models are split into two groups, the Tour B X and XS for players with swing speeds above 105mph and the RX models for golfers with driver speeds below the same number. With the S models offering softer feel and more spin compared to the X variants providing greater distance, there is a Tour B for golfers with every preference.
BRIDGESTONE SAYS: We have reinvented the TOUR B range to feature our new REACTIV cover technology.
Until now you had to choose more distance or more spin. With REACTIV you can now get more distance and more spin out of the same golf ball.
Designed to fit golfers with Tour fast swing speeds of over 105mph, the new TOUR B X has higher ball speed for maximum distance while having ‘hit and sit’ performance on approach shots. The TOUR B XS has softer feel and maximum greenside spin, allowing you to stop approach and pitch shots on a dime.
Designed to fit golfers with swing speeds under 105mph, the new TOUR B RX features characteristics similar to the Tour B X, with the softer Tour B RXS offering more spin.
Visit www.bridgestonegolf.com.au for more information.