Every once and a while I like to walk around my shop and pretend that I am a customer. I look at how things are merchandised, where racks are positioned, how signs are displayed… things that you don’t really notice every day. I was looking at all the golf balls that we stock and just started to think about how picking the right golf ball can be really tough for a lot of golfers. I started to think of different customers we see and some of their favorite choices. I also thought about all the comments I hear on a day to day basis. I thought I would share some with you because the customer is the best product tester. You can read company websites until you are blue in the face but it usually doesn’t make your choice any easier. Why would they say something bad about one of their products? Let’s break it down into a few different groups… I’m sorry about some of the names but they are what we use at work…
Joe Blow Hack
This guy is more concerned about quantity over quality. Makes sense… I would be too if I lost 10 balls a round. This customer usually wants distance and any spin will only make his slice worse. Remember the rant about 300 yards yesterday? It was loosely based on this guy!
– Look for a very low spin ball. A slice is caused by side spin… so a high spin ball is not the best idea!
– Look for something durable… a miss hit can really scuff a soft ball… a tree can cause some damage too.
– Don’t bother spending a lot of money on a ball… spend it on lessons. A pricey ball will make your game worse, not better.
– Top Three Choices…. Pinnacle Gold, Top Flite XL, Callaway Warbird.
This guy follows golf a bit more. He likes to get out on the weekend but tries to get to the range during the week. He is somewhat serious about his game. A good score might be 90-100. He doesn’t mind dropping a few bucks if the ball is going to help him but he doesn’t want to go overboard. Likes a bit of feel, not too much spin (he still slices) but doesn’t want to give up much distance.
– Try a low compression ball. It will provide soft feel and some spin. Don’t let the low compression name scare you. I see a lot of golfers that figure the DDH 110 compression ball was the longest ball known to man… well it wasn’t… notice how it isn’t around anymore?
– Most of the balls that you should be looking at will be two piece ones. A three piece is not really necessary for you.
– Stay with a relatively inexpensive ball. I see a lot of these customers looking at the Pro V1… don’t bother, it’s not going to be what you are after. Try a sleeve of the expensive ones for fun… see what they do for you!
– Top Three Choices… Titleist DT SoLo, Dunlop LoCo, Nike Mojo… and anything else that ends with an “o” for that matter… I’m kidding.
This guy takes golf seriously… sometimes too seriously! He will quiz employees about different balls and it is obvious that he has done his homework. He usually just needs to be steered in the right direction. He hits the ball fairly straight, has the ability to spin the ball… somewhat… and wants a ball he can control. I would say he is generally a 8-15 handicap.
– Look for a ball in the second tier… put it this way… not the Pro V1 but the ball just below it. You will benefit from a decent ball but might not need a tour ball yet.
– Be prepared to pay a bit more for a good ball. You can play a Pinnacle all you want but don’t come and complain to me when it doesn’t spin enough!
– Get numerous sleeves from different companies. You have enough game that you should be able to tell the difference between balls. Start the year with a few different sleeves and try them all out.
– Top Three Choices… Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HX Hot (Try the Big Bertha Blue if you want more spin and feel though), Maxfli Revolution EXT.
This is the guy that will play the Pro Shop boys for money. He either played a lot as a kid or just has a lot of natural ability. He spends a lot of time on the range. He is a dream customer… he knows exactly what he wants, doesn’t care about price and he doesn’t ask many questions.
– Go for spin… if you know how to spin the ball, it can be one of the most useful aspects of your game.
– Check your swing speed. If you swing hard (100 MPH + with a driver) look at a ball designed for higher swing speeds. Most high end balls need a good swing to get them going.
– Some better players like a ball that flies a bit lower. Look at your game and decide what you need.
– Be prepared to pay… these things aren’t cheap! Nice reward for being a good golfer huh?
– Top Three Choices… Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x, Nike ONE Black, Callaway HX Tour. The Ben Hogan Tour Deep should be in there too!
Do your homework. Find a ball that will help you. Who cares what your golfing buddies think. Let them slice their Pro V1’s into the trees and then whine about how much they cost. Find a ball and stick with it. You don’t switch clubs everyday so why switch golf balls?
A few questions about drivers today. One email asks about prototype drivers that you have probably seen on Ebay. There are tons of prototype golf clubs out there. There are always different versions of retail clubs too… most of which never see store shelves. It’s fun to look through places like Ebay and see what is out there. Remember that most prototypes are made for really good players… they get pros to test new clubs, not 20+ handicaps! A prototype club probably won’t help a high handicapper at all. If you really want to buy one… be careful! There are a lot of fakes out there and they can sometimes be tricky to spot.
I feel bad… I just got an email from a reader that really wants to buy the Titleist 704CB’s but read the bad review we gave them and now he is having second thoughts. If there is one review that we get more email on than any other it is the Titleist 704CB. I have golf professional friends that play the 704’s and they send me hate mail over that review. Well I’m sorry… our testers and customers didn’t like them. Remember that everyone is different. If you like something, then go for it. It wouldn’t be any fun at all if everyone liked the same clubs… we’d look like uniform golfing robots! I will say this… the new Titleist 735 combo set will be worth the wait. I have talked to people that have hit them and they just love them. I will have a chance to see them soon and I will post something ASAP. Until then… I’m sorry we gave them a bad review. Thanks very much for your email though and feel free to write us anytime you like!
Well I think that is all for today. There are a lot more emails that need to be answered so I will keep plugging along tomorrow. Thanks again for all your support and all your emails. It’s fun to open the mailbox everyday!