When most people hear the name Bridgestone, they probably think tires. Avid golfers, however, might also associate the tire maker with golf equipment, especially golf balls, although they still might not know much about those golf balls.
Well Bridgestone Golf -- one of the dominant golf equipment companies in Asia -- is seeking to shake up the golf ball market by directly challenging the longtime leader, the Titleist ProV1.
Bridgestone Golf says the company's new e6 Soft and e6 Speed golf balls are the culmination of nine years of work by 900 engineers.
The company claims the e6 balls are 9 yards longer and 31 percent straighter than the leading competitors -- specifically the ProV1 and ProV1x.
If fact, Bridgestone Golf is so confident in its newly designed e6 balls that it has shipped ProV1 and ProV1x sleeves along with its initial samples of the e6. The e6 Soft is targeted at the ProV1 faithful, and the e6 Speed at ProV1x fans. There's even a card included in these shipments that ask questions like "Which ball went straighter?", "Which ball went longer?" and "Which ball had the best feel?"
On the same card, Bridgestone Golf encourages you to head to a launch monitor and record the numbers from a head-to-head comparison.
As far as I know, this is the first time any golf ball company has actually sent out samples of the competition for comparison -- a truly ballsy move (pun intended).
I played several rounds with both of the e6 models as they were being released, i.e., Nov. 1, 2016. Despite the cool weather at my home course, I hit monster drives with both models, including a carry of 270-plus yards into the crisp wind in order to clear the devilish fairway bunker on the 18th hole.
Around the greens, the e6 Soft in particular checked up consistently, whether the greens were soft or hard. The e6 Speed was also well behaved in this regard, though perhaps a bit "hotter" when landing.
Perhaps one of the best features of Bridgestone Golf's e6 balls is the price: Although they are firmly in the category of "premium" golf balls, their standard price of $29/dozen is just slightly higher than most bargain balls -- and well below the price of their main competitors.
With the e6 Soft and e6 Speed, Bridgestone Golf is directly challenging Titleist to a race. Decide for yourself which one is "king of the road."
For more information, see bridgestonegolf.com .