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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