Ball Test / 2011
GolfTest USA would like to thank golfers from around the world for their patience for waiting until we completed another comprehensive ball test. As we have mentioned in the past the logistics involved in getting ball companies to send the balls is always tenuous. This year we expanded the group of testers who played a round of golf with each ball in the test to 90 golfers of all skill levels. Out of the 90 testers we picked the 80 golfers who we felt evaluated each ball in a fair and unbaised manner. This gives us a better base from which to evaluate each ball and offers more statistically sound ratings.
In the past two years many new balls have been introduced. In this test we had 14 balls from 8 manufacturers. Once again we were not able to get Titleist to participate. We sent Titleist many emails and left several phone messages at their ball division and finally we were able to speak to a representative who told us someone would get back to us with a response but in the end as in past years no one from Titleist ever contacted us. We spoke to Callaway and they declined again which is surprising because their balls did so well in previous tests. Srixon said they would participate and when it came time to send the balls for testing they indicated they didn’t have enough balls to sends us for testing and they would send them at a later date. Two months have gone by and we have not heard back from them but we are holding out hope as we have gotten so many requests from golfers all over the world as the result of Srixon’s heavy promotion of their new balls. Should we finally receive them we will add them to the test results as we have already gone through the expense of printing the test forms.
While all the golf balls in the test met our minimum standards to be awarded our GolfTest USA “Seal of Excellence” we are including a 5 star rating format to help golfers distinguish which golf balls we felt performed the best.
An 8.5 and above rating received 5 Stars
An 8.4 rating received 4 Stars
An 8.3 rating received 3 Stars
An 8.2 rating received 2 Stars
An 8.1 rating received 1 Star
We hope that golfers will find the information and results to be helpful to them in determining which balls they should consider when they are looking to improve their game. Please send us your feedback on how you like the new format as that helps us to improve the information we provide to golfers.
Ball Test Format
We asked each golfer to play one round with each ball and to be as fair and consistent as they could be in evaluating each of the balls. They promised to do their best and to put aside any preconceived biases they may have had regarding the balls in the test. We understand that golfers can have good days and bad days but we are confident that by compiling the ratings from 80 golfers that the final average results are a good indication of how each ball is perceived by golfers.
Here are the balls that were included in the test:
TaylorMade Burner Tour
Volvik Crystal White
Nike One Vapor Speed
Volvik Crystal Yellow
Volvik Crystal Orange
Noodle Long and Easy+
TaylorMade Penta TP
Following are some ratings; conclusions and observations GolfTest USA made using the results obtained from the test.
Distance: For the first time in several years a ball other than Bridgestone rated on top in Distance. That ball is the TaylorMade Penta TP. Also making a strong showing was the Innovex E-Motion, Zero Friction and TaylorMade Burner Tour.
Control: The top balls in this catergory were the TaylorMade Penta TP, Bridgestone B330-RX & TaylorMade Burner Tour.
Accuracy: The top balls in Accuracy were the TaylorMade Penta TP & Bridgestone B330-RX. Also highly rated was the Bridgestone e6+.
Putting: The top putting honors go to the TaylorMade Penta TP followed closely by the Bridgestone B330-RX, Nike One Vapor Speed, Volvik Crystal Yellow & TaylorMade Burner Tour..
Short Game: The best rated ball for Short Game was the TaylorMade Penta TP followed by the Bridgestone B330-RX & TaylorMade Burner Tour.
Feel: The top rated balls for Feel were the TaylorMade Penta TP & Bridgestone B330-RX.
Appearance: The top rated balls in Appearance are the Volvik Crystal Yellow and the TaylorMade Penta TP.
Durability: The Volvik Crystal Yellow also proved to be the “toughest” followed closely by its sister balls, the Volvik White and Volvik Orange.
Trajectory: The TaylorMade Penta TP & Bridgestone B330-RX rated best for Trajectory.
Overall: The top rated ball was the TaylorMade Penta TP. (This rating is not an accumulation or average of the other categories. We asked the testers to take into account everything they look for and feel is important to them in a ball and give an overall rating.)
The ball that accumulated the best average of the 10 catergories rated was the TaylorMade Penta TP. The TaylorMade Penta TP rated the best at 8.7 which is the first time in many years that a Bridgestone model ball was not the top rated ball in the test. TaylorMade has made a giant leap forward in the performance of their golf balls and can now be considered to be a serious player in the very competitive golf ball market.
We are leaving it up to golfers to draw their own conclusions as to how the price of the balls relates to how each ball performed in this test. We welcome your thoughts regarding the results of this ball test. Please feel free to post your comments on our “Message Boards”.
To see how each ball is stack ranked in each criteria click on the top of that column in the ratings chart below.