Have you ever played a simple round of golf where you or your partners played with demo equipment, shared equipment and just experimented? In reality these events happened in more than a single round, but for simplicity I’ve combined the story. It has no bearing on outcome or anything else.
A couple of weeks ago, on one of my normal golf days with my friends Brian and George, we played one of those rounds. Both Brian and George are better golfers than I am (lower handicaps) and hit the ball farther. I’m used to being the short guy in the back. Of course as Zack Johnson has shown, length is not the whole game.
Anyway, Callaway has come out with their Great Big Bertha driver and they had a demo in the Pro shop. Brian decided to try it.
The club was set up somewhat based on his normal driver. Needless to say he spanked it. Brian’s drives seem to go a good 20 yards farther than he usually hit. In addition, George noticed that his off hits were still long and not as sprayed as one might think. Quite forgiving. George and I both hit the demo driver also with varying results. Of course this improvement in distance etc. comes with a nice price. It’s a dilemma.
Next time we played Brian had his new Great Big Bertha driver. He had made his decision. He was still spanking it out there and consistently was outdriving George by perhaps 20 yards. In the past they would take turns on who outdrove who or at least were closer in distance. George started to hit Brian’s driver more and at the turn borrowed the demo from the Pro shop. As the back nine progressed he felt the Great Big Bertha added distance over his TaylorMade SLDR. I still hit my Cobra AMP cell and remained the short guy in the back. I still believe it’s the Indian not the Arrow. Of course, some Indians are better than others and if they are consistent enough an arrow can make an incremental difference. We finished the round all smiles.
The following Tee time, a few days later, George had his Great Big Bertha driver. Now both of my buddies are really knocking it out there when they hit it well. What’s the next step. Perhaps, which ball goes farther with the driver. Is there a ball matched to the driver. Jon, our head pro, suggested maybe the new Callaway Chrome Soft would be a good ball to use. George has liked the Callaway Supersoft as of late. Brian has played the Bridgestone E6 among others. Brian also had a KickX ball he got from a friend. Then there is always the Titleist Pro V1.
Soon, two balls were being hit off the Tee. Hopefully, both swings were good and true so a real comparison could be made. I will say, without a doubt the balls sounded different as they were hit. It was not always easy to say which ball was best. Brian felt that in the end the Pro V1 went a little farther, and it was a beat up ball. George liked his Supersoft but then seemed to find that the Pro V1 went a little farther for him. I’m not sure which ball they will play most of the time and I don’t think they know for sure also. Again, economics comes into play. As an example the Titleist Pro V1 costs quite a bit more that the Callaway Supersoft or the Bridgestone E6. Me, it’s more the consistency of my swing and most of the balls go about the same distance. I like the Bridgestone E6 and the Bridgestone Treosoft. I also use a lot of recycled balls. Economics again. You need a lot of balls to play golf the way I do. Ha! Ha!
One more thing, distance off the tee is one factor. Distance on your second shot is a factor. Spin is a factor. How the ball reacts on chips and pitches is a factor. It’s a simple but difficult game with many subtle nuances. It’s a question we each must answer for ourselves. Is distance off the Tee paramount to you or would you give up some distance for better control on your approach shot. Maybe you can find one ball that does it all for you.
As clichéd as it may sound, “Drive for Show and Putt for Dough” holds true.