Winter 2019

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Callaway Chrome Soft Truvis As the story goes, Tom Watson nearly lost his balance while stepping over a ball on the floor at Callaway Golf headquarters. The ball was white with vivid red pentagon shapes all over it. Watson put the ball in play, and won the par-3 contest at Augusta National Golf Club in April. It's not just Watson. Other touring pros, including Phil Mickelson, have been using Callaway's Chrome Soft ball – with or without the colorful Truvis design. Some players swear that Chrome Soft is the Holy Grail of balls – low spin on full-swing shots, higher spin on shots around the green, plus an extremely soft feel. Also noted by some players: With all those pentagons on the Truvis ball, it tends to look larger and is easier to follow in flight. MSRP $44.99 | 56 WINTER 2019 | NCGA.ORG E Q U I P M E N T F O R U M F or 2019, the variety of golf balls in the United States marketplace is staggering. Golf ball manufacturers, responding to con- sumer demand, are creating new ball categories that previously didn't even exist. Many of these balls are softer, placing an updated emphasis on feel. Take, for example, the Titleist AVX. It has the same suggested retail price as the Pro V1 ($52 per dozen), yet the AVX is a low-spin, low-trajectory ball designed for distance. And, yes, it also has a softer feel. Another trend: color. Callaway continues to sell a distinctive ball (Chrome Soft Truvis) with large colorful pentagon shapes on the outer urethane cover. According to several golf ball manufacturers, colored balls now account for nearly 20% of golf ball sales in the U.S. In Asia, the percentage is even higher. This is serious business. For the first time, Titleist is selling yellow Pro V1 and Pro V1x models. Gone are the days when colored balls were regarded as playthings or curiosity items. Furthermore, ballmakers have become fond of identifying the number of pieces, or layers, in their balls. We've advanced to TaylorMade's 5-piece TP5/TP5x and Honma's 6-piece TW-G6. Finally, the name Soft seems to be everywhere on the golf ball horizon. In general, low-compression golf balls are softer. Distance and feel? Yes, now we can have our cake and eat it, too. BY JIM ACHENBACH Bridgestone e12 Bridgestone has a ball that sounds like a battleship — the Tour B XS Tiger Woods — but was used by Tiger in his 2018 Tour Championship victory. For everyday amateurs, Bridgestone's new e12 is probably a better fit. It is available in two versions — Soft (46 compression) and Speed (70 compression). Bridgestone says Soft is best for golfers with a driver swing speed less than 105. Speed is designed for players with speeds of 105 and higher. Both models will be sold in white; Soft also will be available in red, yellow and green matte finishes. The e12, with a Surlyn cover, will be earmarked as Bridgestone's "straight distance" ball. MSRP $29.99 | HAVING A BALL

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