Are premium balls worth the money? November 09 2016
Any golfer who follows social media will have noticed that there is something of a ball revolution going on right now. Is the ProV's days numbered?
I think we have to step back from that to fully appreciate the market.
First and foremost most golfers play the wrong ball. Nearly every mid to high handicapper we see is definitely wasting their money on the ProV. Without a shadow of a doubt all the extra spin from that ball does is rob them of distance and make their misses bigger. Its no co-incidence that the long drive specialists use pinnacles. Less spin means less slice and less hook. It also means more carry and more margin for error. On our GC2 machine a ball like the Callaway warbird flies 9-10 yards longer with a driver. In short don't play Pinnacles but do try the Srixon AD333 or the Callaway SR1 balls.
The low handicappers we see can get good value from the ProV. its gives them the ability to spin the ball from 160 and in but many of them don't need to do that given our conditions. Those players would be well suited to a ball like the AD333 or the Titleist NXT Tour. Frankly the Titleist NXT Tour is a superb ball and if the tour players played in our winters I am confident many of them would play these. The NXT Tour on the GC2 covers good distance and spins only 1000 RPM less than a ProV1 with a PW. Its only when your course gets really dry that you would see the difference.
So first off don't automatically reach for the expensive ball.
But that's not the revolution. No the revolution comes from sudden new entrants in the market. Snell golf, Bombtech and Costco have all started to make balls. Meanwhile a German business Vice have started to get known overseas. Four new names in a segment that hasn't seen anything new since the ProV. Now these balls are also cheaper - around £28 a dozen.
We have tested three of these (costco balls are US only) and you know what? They are good. Very good.
All of these balls so far have performed well. But here is the shocking news. They don't spin like the ProV. They perform like the NXT Tour. Which is a very very good ball and like we said earlier well suited to the vast majority of players.
But here is the big news - the NXT Tour is £28 a box already. So you save nothing really.
Perhaps these balls may do enough to make people pull away from the ProV. If they do Titleist only have themselves to blame since they under market the NXT and have never really helped players choose the right ball.
The best advice? Go see your pro and ask him what ball he recommends for your game.