My new best friends (Sorry, Sam!) at Titleist dropped a sleeve of "test balls" in the mail to me and they arrived 2 days ago. My mission, if I so chose, was to play one of these golf balls along with the golf ball I usually play and then rate the performance from all parts of the golf course.
The golf balls came in a plain white sleeve, they were stamped with the Titliest logo (a #1 ball) and where you usually see the type (Pro-V1, NXT, So/Lo) it just said TEST. The cover seemed similar to a ProV 1x, but the dimple pattern was different.
So for the first test day I played a 2 ball scramble with my friend Dan, and I decided to give him one of the test balls so he could see how it compares, too. On this day I took a Titleist So-Lo (2010 model). I hit the So-Lo first and then the test ball...as I usually do, I hit them almost in the same spot, so it was hard to know which one I hit better. When we got to our drives, both Dan and I hit our other balls farther than the test balls. I was disappointed! Our approach shots were all on but short, but the ball felt like it came off the face nicely. It's unfortunate that all of our greens were recently aerated so getting any realistic reaction on the greens isn't possible.
I did like the feel as it came off my putter, though!
Hole after hole, both Dan and I didn't get as much distance as our other ball when we hit them the same. But I did feel like they held a little better on the greens, although none of them "stuck" for me. Dan tanked the test ball in a pond, and I gave him hard time for losing the precious research ball (but I suppose that's why they send you 3!). I kept playing mine the whole round and overall I liked the feel, but playing it side by side with another ball, it was clear that I was not hitting it as far.
I tried to talk myself into believing that it was because it was October and a little cooler that the So-Lo was getting more roll because it was a harder ball...but I have no idea if that is true. What I did know was I was going to take it out again against a different ball.
Wednesday we played again and this time I took the test ball against a Bridgestone 330 - I'm not normally a Bridgestone player (although Matt Kuchar is!) but I won a sleeve a few weeks ago so I took one out. What I found out was that I didn't hit either ball as far as I hit the So-Lo. I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty square, but I didn't play or score as well as I had the day before. In fact, I will go on record now by saying Dan beat me in the 2 ball scramble 1up. He putted lights out when he needed to and I loved this enthusiasm the entire round...I think he also played better because he didn't have the pressure of the Test Ball!! I only had 2 birdies, and I just never put any approach shots close to the hole...the day before I had 5 birdies.
But I wasn't giving up on the Test Ball! Today I played a quick 9 after work by myself - this time I took the Test Ball against a Nike One. The feel of the Test ball was definitely softer coming off the club, and again, the Nike One consistantly went farther. On one hole, which was into the wind, I crunched the Test Ball - it looked so good in the air that I firgured for sure it would be the long ball - I hit the Nike a little lower, but it didn't feel as solid...and it still went 20 yards farther.
The test ball has played 27 holes and it's still in good condition though! No cuts or peeling of the cover.
I have now handed off the test ball to another guy at our club - he's going to use it with his 8-iron to see how it feels to him.
I wll be turning in my survey at Titliest.com tomorrow - I can't wait to find out what kind of golf ball it really is!
I've got a lot a love for Titleist since my one and only hole in one was with a Titeist So/Lo (#1) in 2008.
Thanks, Titliest for putting me on the Team!!
Filed under: October, Nike, Research & Development, Bridgestone, So/Lo, Titliest