Few golf ball OEMs (if any) have put as much time and energy into expanding their brand than Bridgestone Golf. By now every golfer from the casual weekend player to the die-hard fanatics, like us at The Hackers Paradise, has heard a lot about Bridgestone’s industry changing ball fitting. Since 2007 Bridgestone has basically taken the technology and knowledge we thought was only available to a very select few and made it accessible to everyone. The Bridgestone Ball Fitting is a game changer for golfers everywhere. What this has done beyond the most important thing, which is getting you fit for the right ball for your game, is put Bridgestone Golf right up there with the biggest names in the golf ball industry. Without a doubt those companies are taking notice.
Regardless of the golfer’s need there is golf ball for them in Bridgestone’s lineup. New in 2011 is a technology that you may have seen before but definitely never quite like this. Bridgestone Golf has taken their new Dual Dimple Technology and with it they have revamped their e Series line to offer even more distance than ever. The inside dimple works to increase thrust power at launch while the outer dimple promotes a shallow angle of decent for increased roll. The e5 ball not only has the technological benefits of the dual dimple technology, but according to Bridgestone Golf is the only 2-piece golf ball on the market with a urethane cover. What does that mean you ask? Urethane is the same material used in tour caliber golf balls across the market. With the e5 Bridgestone is providing the power of a large core with the control of tour proven urethane.
All combined the technology of the e5 is made up of three unique characteristics:
1. Core: Large gradational compression core
2. Cover: Tour caliber urethane cover
3. Dimple: 330 seamless dimple design with New Dual Dimple Technology
Bridgestone Golf’s e Series balls each offer something different for the golfer to be able to take advantage of this technology. The e5 is designed to offer Distance & Control, a combination that would benefit just about everyone out there in my opinion. I know I could not wait to get started with my testing as soon as the balls arrived. Before I talk about performance I wanted to talk a little bit about the looks of the ball. First the usual seamless dimple design which I have really come to love about Bridgestone’s golf ball is again present, but look a little closer at the e5 and you’ll see their new Dual Dimple Technology. By just looking at the ball you don’t really get the sense of just what this technology can do for the golf ball’s performance. Holding the ball in hand it’s not hard to see the dual dimples, but that is just about it. From address the dual dimples seem to just disappear, which for me was really a good thing. I did not want to be distracted while looking down at a different type of golf ball all together and I am 100% happy to report that this is not the case.
Upon arrival, unfortunately for me, I was unable to run straight to the course with the e5 in hand, living in the Midwest did not allow that luxury. Instead what occurred was the ability for me to get very acquainted with the feel of the e5 off the putter. In the winter months I spend a lot of time putting with my indoor putting green, this allowed me to test this ball in a slightly different manner than my usual testing process. Typically I’ll first focus on the distance and performance off the tee, but having a chance to spend some time putting first made me even more excited to get out on the course with this golf ball. The e5 putts exactly how you would expect from a tour caliber golf ball; the urethane cover just feels simply brilliant off the putter. I rolled a lot of putts with the e5, many times switching over to using a B330-S which is one of Bridgestone Golf’s tour balls and the feeling off the putter between the two balls was identical, so far so good.
Finally able to get on the golf course I could not have been more anxious to see if the e5 would perform as well as I have seen thus far. With the driver in hand the claims of Distance & Control are tested right away. As I mentioned earlier, the dual dimples are completely undetectable at address with the driver for me. By now I’ve hit a lot of distance balls in my life and each time I get pretty much the same exact thing, a ball that feels hard and when hit hard it goes far. The e5 definitely has the goes far part, but the thing is the feel of the golf ball is still there. On good swings I was treated to a nice mid trajectory flight that carried a long way and offered plenty of roll. Conditions here have been a little on the soft side for obvious reasons so the roll that I will be seeing as the season continues wasn’t quite there for me yet. I know it’s coming though because of the flight the ball has, it carries but it’s not a real high carry that comes straight down and stops like an iron shot. This is a direct benefit from that outer dimple to get that shallower angle of decent. As I said, the shallow decent was definitely there which has me confident that roll out in summer conditions will absolutely come. I played a round in California with the e5 in March and in perfect conditions the ball performed exactly as advertised off the tee. Carry and roll is a great combination for any golf ball.
A while back I reviewed Bridgestone’s B330-S golf ball and in that review I was absolutely amazed at a couple of things, but one thing in particular was how the ball could offer more distance off the tee yet be the same as I was always used to with my irons. Bridgestone has done it again with the e5. Iron play is such a fickle piece of the game of golf, once you have those distances dialed in the last thing any golfer wants is a ball that will change what they had worked so hard to precisely define. Iron play with the e5 reminded me a lot of the B330 tour caliber that Bridgestone has seen so much success with out on the various professional tours. Here again the urethane cover is there to offer that soft feel that many golfers like so much, me included. Spin with the irons is another area that I like what I see with the e5. I’ve never been a player who can put enough spin on a shot to back it up on the green, maybe a tiny bit but more than anything I’ve come to look for my golf ball to stop as closely as possible to the spot in which I land the ball on the green. The e5 stops, maybe not quite as quickly as I’d really like with anything with less loft than say an 8 iron or so but the ball is not like the distance balls you might be stuck playing with today.
Scoring irons do great on the greens, especially full shots with a wedge. I kept on expecting the e5 to show me something that resembled characteristics of a 2-piece distance ball, I found myself looking for things at times actually. Sure when compared directly beside a tour ball real good players will likely notice differences, but they are not that oblivious and to me that says a lot about this ball. Green side is where that urethane cover really continues to keep this ball performing great. I still get my one bounce, check and minimal roll out when hitting chip and pitch shots with the e5. Longer pitch shots, 50 yards or so a good wedge player will really not miss much with this ball compared to the much more expensive tour balls. As mentioned above, the e5 ball feels great off the putter and on the course was no different than what I found in my basement on the putting green. Many of us are familiar with that harsh sound and feel of putting a distance ball; there is none of that here, simple as that. So getting the ball to stop near the hole, then rolling it in with the putter performs great and feels great at the same time.
The last thing I think is extremely important in a golf ball is durability. Even using a non-tour ball nobody wants to spend their money on a golf ball that will have to be replaced after 3 holes because their irons shred the cover. Bridgestone Golf has impressed me with the durability of all of their balls before and the e5 is no different in that category. Actually if it’s even possible the e5 offered more durability for me. I still use wedges with non-conforming grooves and they are known as golf ball killers, especially when hitting a full shot with them. While those full wedge shots definitely leave their mark, they definitely don’t leave the knockout blow like I’ve seen them leave on so many golf balls in the last couple of years. I’ve got 3 different e5s in my bag now that have been through 18 holes and I’ll have absolutely no issues with putting them right back in play for another time around.
Overall there is one phrase that continues to come to mind as I think about and use the Bridgestone e5 and that is “Best bang for your buck”. A dozen of the e5 ball sells for under $27 and is available at online golf shops such as Blind9Golf and in stores everywhere. For someone who has the game and is used to a tour caliber golf ball I am sure they’ll see some characteristics about the e5 that may lead them back to that tour ball. But the large population of players that play a tour caliber ball without really having the game can rejoice, there is now a ball out there that gives you a lot of those characteristics without costing almost $5 a ball. To find out if the e5 is the right choice for you please do yourself a favor and get to a Bridgestone Ball Fitting, you can find out when and where a Ball Fitting will be near you go to their website at www.bridgestonegolf.com or you can do your fitting online and even chat with a knowledgeable Bridgestone Ball Fitting Specialist without having to leave this page by clicking on the widget to the right of this review or you can visit their website at www.bridgestonegolf.com/bfit.