A few years back Bridgestone released a golf ball called the e5 that we really enjoyed quite a bit. It was phenomenal off the tee, comparable to any premium ball out at the time, but lacked a little feel and spin around the green. The 2nd generation of that golf ball was the Bridgestone e5+ and myself and the other readers of THP really took a liking to it. It had a very high ball flight and increased the spin from the previous generation around the green quite a bit. We were contacted by Bridgestone to take a look at the new e Series line of golf balls and over the course of the next two weeks will also have the e6 & e7 review for everybody to take a look at.
Before we get into the review it is important to discuss a little about the Bridgestone e Series and why THP believes that it can help most golfers out there struggling to find an identity with their golf ball. For years I have played “premium, tour level” golf balls, as have the majority of the testers that were involved in this review. This article is not a knock on those lines, they are great balls that are made to outperform most others on the marketplace. However in many cases, they are not made for the amateur golfer. Choosing the right golf ball can be a daunting task and most base it on little more than the marketing they read. What we have learned while doing ball reviews in the past, is that choosing the wrong ball for your game can hurt far more than choosing the wrong clubs. With so many choices out there in the marketplace, we strongly urge people to find a ball that fits their game and they will see their game improve rather quickly.
How does one go about it? If possible, get a ball fitting done. Bridgestone has been doing ball fittings for quite some time and we have gone through it on multiple occasions. Each time it is more educational than the last and because they let you try other brands as well, you know you are getting fit properly each and every time. At the bottom of this review there is a link to their website and you can check to see if a fitting truck is coming to your area anytime soon. During my last fitting, the statistics showed that the ball I was playing was still the perfect fit for my game, but that two of our testers were playing the wrong ball by a wide margin. Both have been fit properly (one to a Bridgestone e7+ and the other to a different brand) and their games have never been better.
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From the company:
After 40,000 ball-fittings and innumerable encounters with golfing consumersâ€”on golf courses, at trade shows and through the webâ€”Bridgestone Golf has collected a vast resource of data on average amateursâ€™ golf swings and has developed a product line that maximizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknessesâ€”that makes the game more enjoyable and, most importantly, that helps players score better! Targeting the average amateur player, Bridgestone is bringing updates to its award winning e Series line focused on optimizing trajectory to improve distance and accuracy.
One group of golfers that needs help are those who struggle with hitting their shots too low and need a higher ball flight for added carry. The new e5 golf ball uses its unique 2-piece urethane cover construction to help golfers who have a desire to add more height to their shot trajectory. For the 2010 model, Bridgestone Golf has incorporated a 326 dimple pattern with shallower and larger dimples, producing a higher trajectory than its predecessor. In addition, the new e5 has a large gradational compression core and soft TOUR caliber urethane cover. The result â€“ longer distance off the tee with exceptional spin control on and around the greens.
When the package arrived, the first thing that you notice about the new e5 golf balls is the sharp packaging. Bridgestone seems as though they are really working to try and help golfers find the right ball for them if a ball fitting is not available. The front of the package features the e5 and then in smaller letters “= High Flight”. The back of the package contains words and diagrams to help the golfer find the ball that is right for them. The box as a whole really stands out and does a great job of portraying exactly the information a golfer needs and should want. My personal opinion has always been that I do not care if a golf ball has won 900 times on tour if it does not work for my game. The approach that Bridgestone took with the e Series seems to dictate that I am not alone in those thoughts. The alignment arrow on the side of the ball has changed slightly (more in color than anything), but we still feel as though it is the best on the market hands down.
Short Game Testing
We took five golfers out to the practice facility at our local club for some short game testing. We told them nothing about the golf ball and told each one to give us their thoughts after a series of tests. Short game testing for the e5 golf balls included putting, chipping, bunker shots, and 20 yard pitches. Each of the testers spent a good hour on the short game tests and came away with a nice feedback list for everybody.
Feedback – The ball feels and sounds perfect off the putter. No “clicky” type sound you get sometimes that sounds a little too much like plastic
The spin out of the bunkers was simply as good as anything else they played.
Pitching gave nice feel and the performance was truly great.
Chipping gave solid spin. 3 of the testers really thought the spin was perfect, while 2 of them would have liked to see a little more spin on the chips.
The first testing that took place was by yours truly and I was looking forward to it. I have played 5 rounds of golf with the e5 golf ball and can say without a shadow of a doubt that it does exactly what it says it will do. It seems rare in this day of marketing to have a product perform as advertised, but the e5 does just that. Off the tee we saw towering tee shots that flew significantly higher than my normal trajectory. In one of the rounds the ground was extremely wet and the extra carry through the air helped quite a bit. Approach shots were extremely high as well and what that did was help me get away with a slightly less “spinny” golf ball because of the trajectory I was getting. Around the green the e5 performed beautifully for me. While I did notice a little less spin than with some of the Tour level balls, it was not enough for most people to take notice of. Chips were still checking up just fine and the ball felt soft and responsive.
Over the course of the next two weeks we tested the ball out in 3 different foursomes of golfers. The amazing part was that almost every single golfer that got to try out the e5 golf ball had the same thoughts. Even more amazing was that it was the same as mine and the same as the marketing indicates. Both off the tee and again with approach shots, the ball soars high and lands softly. Spin, while not at the highest we have seen, is quite good and will be perfect for most players that this ball fits. Overall it is hard to point out negatives about a ball that works exactly as advertised.
THP is all about detailed testing and we decided we wanted to do something a little different for the e5 golf ball. We scouted our club for extreme low ball hitters over the next two weeks and came up with 7 golfers that off the tee struggle to get good carry and hang time. All were decent golfers, but they hit it lower than most. The course being used in this testing has very small and fast greens and we noted that all 7 golfers said they struggled to keep the approach shots on the green due to ball flight. We asked them to take the THP challenge and play a round with their ball and a round with the e5 and we wanted to know the results.
After the rounds were finished the results were tallied and 6 out of the 7 golfers wanted to make the switch immediately. They were noting a higher ball flight just by switching golf balls and while it was not going from low to extremely high, all felt as though the ball launched higher and landed softer for them. This allowed them to hit more greens in regulation and in turn brought the scoring average down 1.6 strokes on average for the test. 24% more greens in regulation were hit with the e5 than their previous round and while that could be chalked up to just playing better, it did not seem to be the case in the testers’ minds. Another thing to note was that not 1 single person involved in any of the testing reported back ballooning off of the tee. This was one of the small issues a few testers had with the previous version.
The new line of e Series golf balls from Bridgestone seem to be a big hit so far. The e5 works as advertised and most of the people involved with this review came away impressed with what they were using. Stay tuned over the next two weeks and THP will have reviews out on the other 2 balls in the line.
The e5 = High Flight
The e6 = Straight Flight
The e7 = Piercing Flight
Bridgestone has taken the next step towards fine tuning the golf ball market for the amateur golfer and after reviewing the e5 I can tell you that it is not just hype. They perform as advertised. If you struggle with getting the ball up, the e5 may in fact be the perfect ball for your game. We still strongly recommend getting a ball fitting if you have the opportunity. Bridgestone Golf offers free ball fittings, check this schedule to see if they are coming to an area near you. The entire e Series of golf balls are hitting store shelves now and the price is $26.99. For more information on these or any other Bridgestone Golf products, check out their website at www.bridgestonegolf.com.
Till Next Time