New and better in '12
For 2012 Bridgestone basically revamped their entire line of balls. These new changes were earlier than I expected since last year the balls were updated. For 2012 Bridgestone now offers dual dimples on every ball. Another new feature is the gradation core which means rather than each layer of the ball being different, the B330 balls have different properties in the core that gradually change to offer improved performance and feel. The last big factor has to be the slightly softened covers of B330 line. In previous versions the B330 ball was very difficult for most players to play; it was just plain too hard. Only the fastest of swing speeds could even consider playing this ball. But with it being 6% softer for 2012 many of the tour staff are switching to this ball. The B330s is now 13% softer and it too will fit even more of the masses of amateur players. While still targeted at the +105mph market, they are now better fitting for the low handicap golfer.
That's what happened on paper, what happened on the course. I started with one of my favorites, the B330s. In previous years I liked the added spin and softer feel. It fit my game much better. The ’12 version was softer and spinnier than previous years. I was really happy with the results again. I seem to be leaning toward softer golf balls in most brands, they just feel better and often fit my needs best. The changes were visible on the outside of this ball with dual dimple pattern. This new cover helped in windy conditions where older B330s sometimes had too much spin, the dual dimple pattern helped keep the ball on-line. Another solid version of this ball from Bridgestone and still one of my favorites.
The biggest shocker though was the B330. While I had moderate success with it in previous versions, the new one really is an excellent ball. The new softer feel was noticeable. While it is only 6% softer which really shouldn’t be much; it felt soooo much better. It was now a firm feel compared to the hard feeling before. The new dimples paired with a lower spinning ball made this a great windy day combo. It is one of the best wind golf balls you can buy. It was still very long off the tee, now a little straighter with the new dimple pattern and even feels good around the green.
Even with the newer softer covers on both balls I found them to be very durable. I've always had good luck with Bridgestone balls and their durability and these held up well. I had a ball go a couple rounds and it still looked great.
While the changes came earlier than expected there are really great improvements on an already good lineup of tour caliber balls. It might be harder to decide now which one to play with the improved feel of the B330. So the same remains true, soft and spin go B330s; firm and long go B330. If you still can’t make up your mind, get fit by Bridgestone, they are leading the industry in ball fittings.
It was great seeing Matt Kuchar win the Players Championship using the B330s ball.