Which Bridgestone e series ball do I play?

Does a golf ball really make that much difference in my score? Yes it does and I will tell you why. Over the years I have played many hundreds of different balls. For a long time it did not matter which one I pulled out as long as it was round and was not smiling at me. Well that is unless it was the last one in my bag. A few years ago I decided that I would get a little serious about which golf ball I played. I was just looking for a ball that would not go as far in the woods as other balls. That ruled out any used ball because there is a reason they are used. It also ruled out the much harder to hit balls that you have to swing a million miles per hour in order to compress them. What I was left with was a wide variety of balls that made stupid claims. Even if I found one that was good they would stop making it in order to get me to buy the new and improved version. These days I have settled on one brand and type of ball. Now I must say that I do not get any money from Bridgestone nor am I looking for any. There are other brands that I like such as Callaway and Nike but I chose to hit the Bridgestone e series balls. When the e-5 first came out I really liked it. This was a ball that not only stays closer to the fairway but I can stop it on the green. The only drawback is that you lose a bit of distance. This was resolved with the e-6 ball. I got back the lost yardage however I have a much harder time getting them to stop on the green. Now they have introduced the e-7 which is crazy long and forget about it even stopping anywhere near where you want it to stop. My game in the past few years has been very simple. Well at least in theory. The philosophy starts off with getting the ball off the tee and into a position where I can hit it again. If it is a par3 I don’t mind missing the green as long as it is in a place where I can try to get it close and make par. On the Par 4’s I use the same concept. I don’t mind missing the green and in some cases, well most, I try to get around the green where I can chip or pitch close and get a par. Par 5s, I try something a bit different. My goal is to turn every par 5 into a par 3. Get the ball within an iron shot with my second. This way I don’t feel the pressure of having to pull out the big gun and try to make the impossible shot. With the e-5 ball I can play this strategy on most courses and play a decent round. With the e-6 it gets a bit dicey around the greens but makes for an interesting game. The e-7 ball makes this strategy basically useless. If you decide to play this ball, do it on a day where size matters. Where everyone is showing their ego’s as if anyone cared. Your iron play will suffer because you never know which club to use. Your driver will ruin your day. A couple of weeks ago we were playing a very long course so naturally I wanted to get the extra distance. I brought a couple of sleeves of the e-7’s and began to use them. Normally if I am hitting my drives straight they go anywhere between 220 and 230. Not bad for me. That day I was hitting the ball (when straight) distances over 250 with one about 290 and another over 300 yards. In fairness I have to give a lot of credit to my Callaway Razar driver but this ball is crazy long so the two together are mind numbing. All day long I watched my partners pull out 6 irons and I was pulling out 9’s and 8’s and in some cases a wedge was too much club. As the day went on it was getting very windy. You play a ball like that and you never know what you are going to get. One particular par 3 we had a crossing wind from right to left at about 20mph. This was a very scary hole because again the wind can take your ball anywhere it wants. Normally when I have any wind blowing across the green my natural (instructor given) swing takes the ball on a right to left trajectory so I have to be very careful. I stepped up on the tee box, the hole was about 165 yards and had a 6 iron. My goal was to aim to the right of the green and keep it as low as possible in order to duck under some of the wind. I have a very good punch shot that I play so I was hoping it would not be a problem. When I hit the ball, it went slightly higher than I wanted to so I expected the wind to take over and throw it left of the green. Well it didn’t. Instead the ball just cut through the air and landed on the right side of the green. THE BALL NEVER TURNED!!!!! This was nothing new to me because I have had many shots that didn’t turn out like I had planned on but this one was very unusual because it SHOULD HAVE TURNED!!!!! It was not until later that week that I found out that the e-7 was also designed to bore through the wind adding another wrinkle to finding out how to play this ball. I love this series of balls however with the e-5 I can play a fair round and expect a decent score but that is boring and it gives me a ceiling. With the e-6 I sacrifice the expectation of a good round but get the possibility that I can go very low for my standards and even break 80. The e-7 presents the biggest problem for me. I can attack the course and in some cases over power it from the white tees but it is very hard to score with this ball. It presents a very good time playing as long as I do not care about how many balls I hit through the fairway and into the water that I previously thought was unreachable. No matter which ball I decide to play on any given week, they are all good balls in that they are not only durable but stay in bounds more than any other brand I have played.

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Starter, Ranger or Cart Girl. Who do you hate most.

Which person do you hate more, the starter, ranger or cart girl?  It’s amazing how pushy and ignorant these people tend to be. 

For the most part starters and rangers are only there for the free golf.  The cart girl (and I know this is going to sound sexist but it’s the truth) is usually hired for their good looks and not for their brains.

Here is the scenario.  You have a 9:32am tee time and you pull up to greet the starter right on time.  As you pull up you look forward at the tee and there are eight people and four carts in front of you. 

You see all eight golfers but you don’t think much of it.  You just think they are running a bit behind and there are only two groups in front. 

You inquire to the starter and he confirms your suspicions that they are running slightly behind. 

Ok then you witness three golfers walk up on the tee and tee off.  Ok kind of strange you think because now there are five golfers left and you know your club does not allow fivesomes on Sundays.

Next two golfers get up on the tee and suddenly your math skills from the third grade return.  Instead of two groups you now have three groups in front of you. 

Now you are getting a bit steamed.  You walk over to the starter and he gives you some story about singles showing up and he had to work them in and one guy was on the way and should be here any minute. 


After everyone is gone and it is your turn, you finally tee off swearing that you will never return to this stupid golf course again.

Play is beginning to back up and things are going really slow.  You don’t think anything could get worse than that idiot starter who can’t do basic math.  By the way the other guy never showed up so that is how it ended up at three twosomes. 

At any rate, your nerves have just calmed down to the point that you can make a putt and then you look back at a steady stream of more twosomes and threesomes.  You’re like ”WTF these guys are just going to have to wait.” 

Just in your back swing on the tee, ranger rick appears from nowhere speeding up in the middle of your shot.  Your ball goes left or right or you don’t even know where because this latest idiot starts yammering with the other members of your group. 

Then you make the mistake of trying to be rational with this idiot.  You explain basic math skills to him and he tells you that his hands are tied and he can’t join up the groups in front to play faster. 

To add insult to injury he asks you to please let the faster groups play through as if they had some place to go. 

The idiots behind you are now hitting in to you in an attempt to get you to speed things up.  Things are out of control because the starter and ranger have no sense or power to run the golf course.  They are basically useless.

Remember they are only employed for the free golf!!

Ok now that you have the first hole out of the way and are underway on the second hole, you think things can’t get worse but it continues with something so outrageous that you are in total disbelief. 

The dreaded cart girl rolls down the middle of the fairway bearing down in your intended path.  Suddenly as if she has a GPS that has tracked exactly where you want to hit your shot, she stops dead in her tracks and waits.

Shaking your head, you give a polite wave to ask her to move out of the fairway.  She is ignoring you because evidently the text message from her boyfriend is more important than her job or safety. 

After several moments of yelling, screaming and violent waving you have had enough.  You line up your shot and hit it ten feet in anger.

You have just about had it.  Finally she pulls away and goes on to the next hole because she is sure you do not want what she is selling. 

Finally you are somehow able to finish the hole and are on the third tee.  Again in your backswing, ranger rick appears out of nowhere for another round of chitter chatter with everyone who will listen. 

This time you are able to stop your swing and you are now peering at him as if one more word and he eats the driver. 

Finally composed (or so you think) you are able to get everyone quiet and you whip your club back and hook it into the water.  Just then ranger rick has the quote of the day as he is driving off.  “Sorry if I messed you up hit another”

Again you are able to recover and you get to the green.  It’s your turn.  You look left then right and see nothing.  No cart girl, no ranger no one to mess with your putt.

Now you are all lined up and suddenly as you are pulling the putter back you hear the slamming of the door on the drink box from the cart girl.  You look down and she is without permission filling cups of ice in your golf cart. 

The cherry on top is that she is now expecting a tip.

The story I just told is true.  It has repeated itself over and over several times over the years.  It does not matter if you are playing a muni or the most expensive golf course in the country.  Universally starters, rangers and cart girls are the most amazingly stupid people around. 

Oh wait that is you for putting up with these people.

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17th Hole at Sawgrass not that tough.

In honor of next weeks TPC I thought I would share a video of my one and only attempt to make the 17th green.  This was about two weeks before the tournament began.  If you notice to my right the “Pro Tee” was covered.  We did not get any breaks on distance, just angle of attack.

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