More than 1,300 different balls were submitted to the USGA for approval in 2013, so simply launching a new ball might be seen as a drop in the ocean. However, for Bridgestone, it is a drop of water that has made their new range of B330 golf balls better for 2014.
In testing different compounds for the core of their new balls, Bridgestone found that the prototype that contained a drop of water in its formulation performed best. Thanks to this new Hydro Core, Bridgestone's B-series range now have 30% more graduation in the formulation around the inner and outer areas of the core.
Now, if you are anything like us, you are probably thinking "what does that really mean?"
To understand the benefits of the new Hydro Core you need to first understand how a Tour-level golf ball works. Bridgestone, like many ball manufacturers, strive to make a soft core that gives the ball its spin and control and combine it with a hard outer region that delivers fast ball speeds, especially off the tee.
With the new Hydro Core, Bridgestone have been able to improve that graduation from between the soft core and firm outer portion, by up to 30%, meaning the new B-Series produces less spin and higher ball speeds.
Bridgestone's two highest profile Tour players, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar, put the new Hydro Core in play at last year's Presidents Cup. “When Kuch and I began hitting these balls during Presidents Cup practice rounds we noticed immediately how hot they were off the driver” Snedeker said.
The full B-Series range includes two pro-level balls, the B330 and B300S, designed for players with swing speeds over 105mph and two amateur-level balls, B330RX and B330RXS, for those players who swing their driver at less than 105mph. Here's a look at the features and benefits of each model:
Bridgestone Tour B330 Ball
The B330 is a four-piece ball designed to deliver "Tour proven distance" is the ball Brandt Snedeker puts into play. Compared the previous version of the B330, the new design has a 6% softer cover, meaning it should be easier to control around the green. Furthermore, the inner mantle layer is firmer than before, which should help reduce spin off the tee for players with swing speeds of 105mph+.
Bridgestone Tour B330S Ball
Like the B330, the Tour B330S is a Tour-level ball for players with higher swing speeds such as Matt Kuchar. It offers a slightly softer feel than the standard model for players that perhaps don't produce as much spin, or prefer more control around the greens.
Like all the B-Series balls, the Tour B330S features Bridgestone's Dual Dimple technology, where each dimple contains a smaller dimple within it. Bridgestone say the outer dimple promotes a shallower angle of descent producing more run-out, whilst the inner dimple gets the ball in the air quickly and maintains its peak trajectory longer.
Bridgestone Tour B330 Ball
The Bridgestone Tour B330RX range is for the majority of golfers, with slower, non-Tour level swing speeds. The three-piece B330RX ball is for those looking for more distance off the tee. The cover of the 2014 version is 20% thinner than before, which Bridgestone say is to thank for its lower spin rates on tee shots. The B330RX is the only ball in the B-Series range that is available in either white or yellow.
Bridgestone Tour B330 RXS Ball
Last, but not least, is the Bridgestone Tour B330RXS. Very similar in construction to the standard B330RX, the S-version offers more greenside spin. The cover on this ball hasn't changed from before, but the mantle layer underneath has been made firmer for 2014, which should reduce tee shot spin.