January 24, 2014
- The company's new B330 line has received a functional upgrade, and it happened by accident. (Courtesy of Bridgestone)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
ORLANDO — Some of the greatest inventions in the world were created by accident. Post-It Notes and artificial sweetener fall into the category of items that came about through happenstance.
Bridgestone's new Tour B330 ball may not go down as one of the greatest inventions ever created, but there's no denying the company's latest ball was created by accident.
As the story goes, Bridgestone's research and development department sent along prototype models to the United States for testing — a common practice the company has done for years. According to Cory Consuegra, Bridgestone's ball fittings and golf clubs manager, one particular model stood out during testing for a particular reason.
The prototype was going 2-3 times further than the other prototypes — or about 4-5 yards — which made Consuegra wonder if R&D had made a mistake during the design process.
What they found was that the prototype had water mixed in with other liquids that were supposed to activate the rubber core. The water — initially added as filler — made the inner region of the core softer and outer region firmer, which in turn made the ball longer while also reducing spin.
"Generally, you can't get the best of both worlds," Consuegra said. "I can give you speed all day by giving you a firmer golf ball, but generally that ball is going to spin more. The same goes for a softer ball that will spin less off the tee, but speed will either stay the same or go down. The fact that we got increased speed and reduced spin was pretty incredible."
All four balls in the Tour B330 line have Hydro Core Technology in the core, as well as the company's proprietary Dual Dimple Technology cover — currently on Bridgestone's e-Series line — that features a deeper inside dimple that increases thrust power at launch, and an exterior dimple that promotes a shallower landing angle for rollout.
Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar tested the Tour B330 and Tour B330S in the days leading up to the Presidents Cup and immediately put both models in play.
"Brandt, who plays the Tour B330, was getting about 4-5 additional yards off the tee and knocked off about 300rpm's of drive backspin," Consuegra said. "Kuchar plays the Tour B330S and benefits from more spin. Not only is it responsive around the greens, it also stays in the air longer. What he saw with the new ball was about 5 yards of carry and maybe an additional yard of roll. For both players the extra distance allowed them to back off and smooth those iron shots that they typically had to force."
The Tour B330 model Snedeker's using is a four-piece ball that's geared for players that have a swing speed over 105 mph. The ball has a firmer inner mantle layer that reduces spin.
Kuchar's Tour B330S is a four-piece ball that spins more than the Tour B330. It also has the softest urethane cover Bridgestone has ever produced.
For amateur swing speeds below 105 mph, Bridgestone has the three-piece B330-RX and B-330RXS. The cover on the B330-RX is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, which leads to reduced spin off the tee for increased distance. The B300-RXS features a firmer mantle layer that offers less spin off the tee but slightly more spin around the green.
All four Bridgestone models will be available Feb. 1 and retail for $45 per dozen.
For more on Bridgestone equipment, check out the PGA TOUR SUPERSTORE.