I’m not a huge country music fan, but there have been many times that I could relate my game off the tee to a certain country song. It’s called Trouble by a guy named Travis Tritt. You’re lucky, because you won’t have to listen to me sing it, but there is a line that goes something like, “I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.” At one point, I could have just skipped my tee shot altogether and walked way off the right and put my ball down behind a tree and in the highest grass I could find and then hacked away from there. Things have smoothed out a bit from those days, but, like almost every golfer, I still have days where I struggle off the tee. Another issue I have struggled with is lack of distance. My swing speed averages around 95 mph on good days, which isn’t bad, but isn’t exactly going to produce that many long drives, especially when combined with a lower launch angle. So, aside from the obvious answers (more lessons, strength conditioning, etc), what else is a guy like me to do? The answer, at least in my mind, is to find equipment that maximizes the good things about my game and minimizes the bad things. Bridgestone Golf has a ball called the e6 that is designed to do just that. I’ve played this ball for about a year now, but Bridgestone has reinvented it for the 2011 season. You can check out some of the changes below.
Technical Info from Bridgestone Golf
- Softest multi-layer golf ball available reduces side spin for increased accuracy. The e6 is a three layer ball with a soft gradational compression core, anti side spin inner layer, and soft surlyn cover.
- New Dual Dimple Technology also provides improved distance performance. The inside dimple works to increase thrust power at launch while the outer dimple promotes a shallow angle a shallow angle of descent for increased roll.
- Also available in Optic Yellow and Orange.
The 2011 e6 certainly has a different look than previous versions. This can be attributed directly to the new Dual Dimple design. Up close, it almost looks like the existing dimples have been filled halfway in with another dimple. In all honesty, it took a bit of time to get used to the new look. I still don’t know if I’m a fan of the new design visually, but I am definitely used to it. The best thing about the looks of the Dual Dimple is that you can’t see them when you are addressing the ball. They just seem to disappear and all of a sudden you are standing over a very normal looking golf ball. Cover hardness seems to be on the firmer side of the spectrum, but typical of most surlyn covered golf balls. The color is very white and the ball features the e6 alignment aid, which is basically an arrow. I’m a big fan of this alignment aid and often use it on the tee to make sure I am set up correctly towards my target.
My initial time with the e6 was spent putting and chipping. I was pleasantly surprised right away when I noticed the sound of the ball off of the putter. The sound is deeper than I remember the previous versions being and I liked it. Some would use the word muted and say that it sounds less ‘clicky’. To me, it is a lower tone that sounds soft off the putter face and I quite liked it. Off of wedges, I found the e6 to be very predictable in the way it reacted to chip shots. I didn’t get much spin around the green with this ball compared to Tour balls, but then again, I’m not sure that I care too much about that. As long as I know what the ball is going to do around the green, I’m happy. The e6 tends to hit the green and start rolling straight and that fits in well with my style of short game. I found that the same tendencies are true when it comes to pitch shots, half swings, etc. You have to plan for the ball to roll a bit, so adjust your stroke accordingly. Ironically, I’ve found that I’m much better at getting the ball close to the hole with this ball than with Tour balls. Again, I’m used to the way the e6 reacts to my short game and I’ve become pretty proficient with it over time.
I think the place that the e6 really starts to shine for me is in the long game. I mentioned a couple of my biggest on-course weaknesses at the beginning of this review and the e6 is designed to help negate both of them. The inner anti-side spin layer has helped me more times than I could tell you. Will it turn your big banana slice or duck hook into a straight ball? Nope. Will it reduce your side spin to the point that a mishit may be playable or even in the fairway? Yes, it will. Since getting fit for this ball, I’ve discovered that I’ve not only found more fairways, but that my misses have been less severe. So, instead of behind a tree and in the tallest grass, I may find myself in the first cut of rough, which makes it much easier to get the ball on its way towards the green. The other feature of the e6 that has helped my game is the softness of the ball. What’s that you say? How can I call this ball soft when I just talked about the cover being on the firm side? Well, softness can mean different things. The core, and compression rating, of the e6 is very soft, which makes it much easier to compress for those of us that don’t have high swing speeds. That, coupled with the Dual Dimple design, has helped bring up my launch angle, resulting in more driver distance. I’m not just guessing on the previous statement either. This was info I learned during a ball fitting last year. I put the e6 head to head against the e5 that I was playing at the time, and for my swing, the results in terms of distance were pretty staggering.
I talked about the feel of this ball off of the putter, but I should also touch on the feel with the other clubs in my bag. I found the sound at impact to be similar to what I experienced with the putter, somewhat lower toned, or soft. With my irons, the ball felt incredibly soft and almost like hitting nothing at all. Off the driver, I swear I feel the ball compressing and just blasting off the face of the driver. In truth, I’m probably imagining all of that, but nonetheless I do enjoy the sound and feel that this ball makes when I hit it cleanly with my driver.
I just can’t say enough good things about the e6. Overall, I haven’t found a ball that works better for my game. Sure, there are some that spin more around the green, but that’s just a tiny piece of what I’m looking for in a golf ball. The first thing I’m looking for is something that helps me get to a position that I can actually get to the green. When I get there, I want something I can control enough to get the ball in the hole and I’m able to do that with the e6 as well.
So, now that I’ve professed my love for this ball, the question remains, would I recommend it to you folks reading this? The answer I would give is ‘maybe’, but I’m not the person you should be asking. What I would definitely recommend is that you take the time to get some professional advice on what ball would work best for you. If the best ball for you is the e6, then I’d say you have a great addition to your bag. Bridgestone is truly the leader when it comes to golf ball fitting and it just makes sense to take advantage of what is out there. You have the option of using a web questionnaire, speaking to a live rep via web chat, or getting on a launch monitor when they come to your area. I’ve done all three and the one that really opened my eyes was the live fitting. Numbers don’t lie and you will have access to the numbers you need to make an informed decision. We all have different needs and wants when it comes to the performance of our golf ball. Fortunately, we live during a time of unbelievable technology and selection.
You can check out more about the e6 and golf ball fitting at Bridgestone Golf’s website – www.bridgestonegolf.com. Or even easier you can click on the Bridgestone Widget to the right and get an online fitting without ever having to leave this site. You can purchase these golf balls in stores and at online retailers such as Blind9Golf. Thanks for reading and best of luck out on the course this year.