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GOLF BALL REVIEW! – Bridgestone B330 Line-Up

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bridgestone golf ball review

Introduction

When I first heard about the Bridgestone B330-RX golf ball, I shook my head.  As a fitter and an instructor, people lie to my face every single day and tell me they drive the ball “250…275 on a good hit.”  I didn’t think there was any way in hell that golfers were going to admit that they didn’t have tour-level club head speed.  But I was wrong: the B330-RX line was a hit.  Somehow, golfers have found a way to accept that they don’t have tour level club head speed while still thinking that they hit the ball tour distances.  Amazing.

Golfers’ leaps of logics aside, Bridegstone has put together a family of tour level balls that is unlike anything else out there: they offer a higher spinning and lower spinning model to both high swing speed players and low swing speed players.

The big question I wanted answered is: does it make a difference?  Is this the same ball in four different colored boxes or would golfers really benefit from being fit for the best ball?  Read on to see what I found.

bridgestone b330 reviews

Feel

It didn’t take long to determine that, at least with regard to feel, there is a difference between the different balls.  As you would expect, the B330 is the firmest ball in the group and the B330-RXS is the softest.  The other two, the B330-S and the B330-RX, are very similar to one another, in my opinion.  Overall, these balls are pretty much in the middle of the “feel” continuum: not the softest, not the firmest.

The test group was pretty much in accord with me on feel.  The testers rated the balls anywhere from “Average” to “Soft” with most people not differentiating too much between the different models.  The couple who did rated the RX and RXS to be a notch or two softer than the B330 and the B330S.

Durability

I feel like I’ve been a bit redundant in this space, but I’ll go ahead and say it again: the durability of these golf balls is quite good across the board.  Through all of the launch monitor testing, as well as some on-course work, there were very few noticeable marks on any of the balls and nothing that would have forced me to take a ball out of play.  While it’s probably the least sexy category (though very important for the budget-conscious), it seems that all the major golf ball manufacturers have really stepped up their game when it comes to durability.

Again, the test group came to the same conclusions I did.  There were no strong remarks for or against the durability of the ball, and the scores came out slightly above average.

Data

Driver Performance

I will state up front that I might not be the perfect judge of how different these balls are simply because I am right on the cut off line between the B330 and the RX – 105MPH swing speed with the driver.  That said, I did find some noticeable differences with driver spin.  The B330 spun the least by a considerable margin, and the B330-RXS spun the most.  My averages with the B330-S and the B330-RX were nearly identical.

In our test group, we had two players who felt that there was a noticeable difference between the 330 and the RX.  One felt that he was longer with the 330, the other (a slower swing), got more from the RX and felt that the B330 was meant for a higher swing speed player.  The overall “perceived distance” scores from the group show the B330 series to be about average for distance, which I would agree with: nothing in the data tells me that these balls should be longer or shorter than any other premium ball.

4I & 7I Performance

As we have seen time and again, there is not a lot of difference in the spin numbers in the middle of the set.  The biggest difference that I found was between the B330 and the B330-RX with a 7I: it was a 2% gap.

Our testers seemed to agree, noting that all the balls were roughly average in terms of iron distance.

PW & 60* Half-Swing Performance

When we move closer to the green, the differences between these balls becomes noticeable again.  The B330 and the B330-RX performed identically off a wedge (full swing PW or half swing 60*).  The B330-S and the B330-RXS were also identical for me, both having about 500 RPMs more spin than their lower-spinning counterparts.  As compared to other balls that we have tested this year, the Bridgestone is slightly above average when it comes to wedge spin.

Our testers had a very mixed bag of feelings about the greenside spin that these balls offered.  We had everything from “Each ball performed flawlessly” to one tester rating the B330-RXS a 4/10 for spin.  Without any data, it’s hard to speak to the validity of these impressions, but it does indicate, once again, that everyone is different and should try a couple different models before they buy a case.

Value

All of the Bridgestone balls in the B330 family retail for about $45/dozen, which is the standard price for any tour level ball that doesn’t say “Titleist.”  We saw that the performance of these balls is right up there with any other tour ball, so the value is average.

Player Profile

The thing that really separates the Bridgestone line from others is the chance to pick exactly the ball that you want.  As I mentioned before, whether you have low or high swing speed, you can pick a low or high spin ball.  Also, Bridgestone puts a major emphasis on ball fitting and offers them for free all over the country, so you can easily have a Bridgestone rep fit you into the longest ball for your swing.

Final Thoughts

If nothing else, you have to admire the stones (haha, a pun) required to market a golf ball to “people with less than tour-level club head speed.”  I never thought it would work, but it did, and I think that golfers are better for it.  Check out the Bridgestone website to see when there will be a free ball fitting near you.  At worst, you leave with a free sleeve of quality golf balls.  At best, you might gain some insight into your swing and find some more yardage off the tee.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Nevin Wilson October 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

While I am sure that there is plenty of golfers out there that exagerate how far they hit a ball, I am far from sure that is universal. Anyone on these websites who says he or she hits it 300 yards is almost always mocked for saying it. However, my club had a long driving contest as part of it’s final event of the season. There were at least 25 guys who hit their shots > 290 verified by a rangefinder. The guy who won: we don’t really know how far he hit it as his ball ran into a creek that crosses the fairway about 365 from the tee. Bottom line is that at least where I play, there are plenty of guys who hit the #@$%^$ out of the ball and can play the B330 if they want.

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mygolfspy October 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

This article we did might be of interest to you Nevin:
http://www.mygolfspy.com/mygolfspy-labs-your-distance-reality-check/

MyGolfSpy Labs – Your Distance Reality Check!

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GolfSpy Matt October 16, 2012 at 11:38 am

Nevin,

I’m not suggesting that every single golfer lies about their distance…just the vast majority. :)

For my part, if someone on here says they hit it 300, I have no reason not to believe them.

What I was referring to in my intro is the fact that over the last few years I’ve interacted with hundreds and hundreds of golfers in lessons and fittings, and most of them are “14 handicaps” who hit it “250, maybe 270″ and, most of the time, neither of these things prove to be true.

All that said, anyone can play any ball they want. I’m just here trying to provide what information I can so that people can make the best decision for their game.

Best,

Matt

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RP Jacobs II October 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Not to start a Donneybrook, but what the hell, I’ve had a long day, but Nevin you must play out of a club with some serious muscle! I play with some decent players and I’d say that we might have 8-10 who can routinely hit it 290. And there are 30-32 of us. And everyone’s a 4 hdcp or below.And 4-6 are pros(actually assts.). Another 6-8 are plus players. My brother’s one of the 8-10. It’s funny when we play with a new member who talks about his new RBZ and how he’s puttin it out there 280-290 and then my brother actually hits one 280-290 and the guy is 45-55 yds behind him. Hell, he’s 25-30 yds behind me..lol

Anyway, great review Matt, as always! I play the 330-S & it’s a great ball. If you’re not gettin paid to play the Titleist, try ‘em, the whole line’s excellent, as are the “e” series.

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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billb April 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Not sure I can chew this one. I play with a bunch of low handicappers and a few with plus,and none of them can carry 290. Me,I am 62,with a 4 playing senior tees. My driver carry on a good swing is 240/250 range. Bad swing 220 ish.

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manbearpig October 16, 2012 at 11:57 am

Nice write up. May have to put some on my Christmas wish list.

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David W October 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Absolutely there are guys that can hit it 300+. There is an 18+ handicapper that goes on our golf trips that can fly it well over our heads while we are standing at our tee shots waiting to hit. However, the majority of golfers honestly don’t know how far their average is and the guy I’m talking about only hits the fairway about 20% of the time (huge slice when he misses) which means that even though he can hit it that far his average is FAR shorter.

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cdvillasenor October 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I like the Bridgestone golf ball offering. I’ve also tried some of their “value” offerings in the e5 and e6. The e6 is the “slice killer” so it doesn’t spin so much… the e5, to me, compares very favorably to the NXT. Some of us don’t like to spend too much on our ammo… Great write-up. Thanks.

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Matt v October 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’ve tried the rx and rxs. My driver swing speed is usually 98-100. I can reach 105 if I go all out, but I just about never do that on the course. The balls feel softer than some of the others I’ve used this year (hex black (really hard, but great) and the original penta). But I didn’t notice any distance gains or increased spin. Accuracy was also uneffected. I don’t believe the “you have to compress it to boom it.”

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Matt October 17, 2012 at 4:58 am

Bridgestone is my ball of choice. I normally play the e5 but sometimes lash out and get a box of the B330-RX as was recommended by ball fitting I did a couple of years ago.

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Rev Kev October 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

Nice review. No comment on the distance thing because we’ve beat it to death – just not worth it for me anymore. It is what it is and the truth is that most golfers over estimate how far they hit the ball. If you’re not a part of the most – bully for you.

As for the balls I did an informal test on all four because I won 6 dozen of any bridgestone I wanted through the tour staff contest. Regardless of how far I don’t hit the ball my lower handicap game greatly depends upon what happens around the green. I’ve consistently found results with all types of balls that were reported here – longest ball to shortest ball off the driver is about 10 yards and there is normally very little difference in spin in the middle part of the bag – most golfers can stop most full shots into the green under ordinary course conditions.

It’s 50 yards and in then that make the difference and frankly for my game there’s a balance to be found between too much spin and just right. I liked the middle two possibilities the best for – I did in fact spin the RX and 330 S about the same and a bit more than the B330. I ended up choosing the RX because I was marginally longer than I was with the 330 S or the RX S – so I took the best combo of spin and distance that I could find and will be playing it for the next two years.

I’ve been using the RX for a bit over a month now and am very satisfied with its performance.

Thanks Matt!

Rev

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Drew October 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Nothing really objective here…”seemed” and “felt” doeskin really give me anything of substance. No spin rates, distance, etc. I read this as more of an opinion rehashing some of the marketing information.

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Golfspy Matt October 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Drew,

Shame on us for not linking back to an explanation of how these ball reviews work.

All of the graphics in the performance section are based launch monitor testing. We couple that with a test group who plays the ball but does not test it on a monitor. The “seems like” comes from their perceptions. The rest comes from my LM testing.

Best,

Matt

Edit – Just went back and reread the performance section. What review were you reading? There are spin numbers in every section.

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Cobra nut October 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

I have hit the E6 this year to help reduce side spin and it helped a little bit only because I was failing to close my club face on impact so the ball never had a chance to help me lol, how does the E series compare to the B330 series? I am getting more control now and am hitting it nice and long but I would like to get more spin out of a ball with my wedges to stop the ball or put a slight back spin on it any suggestions?

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GolfSpy Matt October 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

C.N,,

The E series doesn’t have a urethane cover like the B330 series, so you lose the soft feel and iron and wedge spin.

Try a sleeve of the B330-S and see how different it is for your game. I would guess that you’ll see much more spin with your wedges.

Best,

Matt

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Cobra nut October 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm

tHANK YOU FOR THE TIP, WILL DO JUST AS YOU ADVISED :)

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Perry August 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm

The Bridgestone e-5 is the only 2-piece ball on the market with a urethane cover.

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Augustine Fan October 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

I’ve played both the E7 and B330S, two very different balls.

I used the E7 when my drives were shorter – mainly due to poor ball contact, too steep of a swing with over the top move creating too much back and slice spin, so i wanted a ball that spin less and hopefully didn’t balloon on me as much given the amount of spin created as a result of my swing faults.

As i improved my ball striking with better swing mechanics, I no longer needed the E7 and preferred to let the ball react more to how i worked the ball, especially for approach shots and chips around the greens where i need better feel and feedback from my ball so I can control shot trajectory and placement. I now use the B330S.

I totally agree with Bridgestone’s marketing and science between finding the right ball that you can compress and identify which aspect of your game needs help (distance vs control). I do not buy these new Titleist ProV1 commercials recently that claims that their balls will work for every player at every level – I mean if that’s true why the hell do they have so many model lines for golf balls? Titleist must be loosing sales to bridgestone me thinks!

I used to play Pro V1 when i was still a mid handicapper with poor ball striking and the ball would just exagerrate the sidespin and back spin that i was already putting on the ball due to my swing faults, definately not helping. I should really be using a lower end ball like a 2-pc Titleis DT Solo, velocity, etc.. but only Bridgestone is willing to be honest about ball fitting and brave enough to challenge the average golfers ego to ask them be honest with themselves when selecting a golf ball that matches their ability….

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jagaznh November 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I agree wit you BilB. I am a former Tour Professional. Yes I am 66, a 3.1 index now due to surgeries and age, but I play with every age and there are extremely few people out there that hit it by me including my son who is a 6 handicap. I played with a young club pro last year who everyone was impressing the group with as how far he was hitting it. So on one of his drives I asked him if he got it. He said yes and I reached back and hit it 20 years past him. (Ok I got that one…LOL). But I am lucky to average 240 to 250. Now I am playing in Florida with humidity and wetter fairways. Hey, I hit one 15 years ago down wind on rock hard fairways 400! But let’s be real. That was a fluke and anything but average. When I played pro I was averaging 270 to 280! Yes I hit some over 300, but I sure did not average it. I suggest checking the drives with a range finder. I lot of holes out there the tee markers are wrong. Or tee up a few balls that has to fly 275 to carry water and see how balls actually are on the other side. Buy a lot of balls that day fellows!

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