Golfmagic gets the Bridgestone ball fitting experience

The importance of being custom fit for a golf ball

Andy Roberts's picture
Andy Roberts
Thu, 21 Mar 2013

If there is one aspect of your game you can improve without burning too much of a hole in the wallet, it’s choosing the correct golf ball.

While you cannot improve your game tremendously without an element of practice, patience and skill, on top of lessons and being custom-fit throughout the bag, teeing up with the correct dimples to match your game will certainly help speed up the process.

And when you consider the latest balls cost around £35 to £50 per dozen, you want to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

Welcome to Bridgestone Golf’s custom ball-fitting process - the Bridgestone Golf Challenge - that promises to find the perfect ball for every type of golfer, ranging from those requiring better control on the greens to those craving extra fire with their drives.

Bridgestone Golf has risen to second spot in the US golf ball market in recent years through a successful nationwide ball-fitting campaign and has now committed itself to building a similar share in Europe’s biggest golf ball market.

Just seven years since the brand switched from the famous Precept ball that captured tournament titles around the world for nearly two decades, Bridgestone Golf is taking its new range of B-Series and E-Series balls forward with live custom fitting sessions across golf clubs in the UK and Ireland.

A recent survey among regular players discovered that 70% of golfers in the UK & Ireland, Germany, France and Sweden - the four main European markets, didn’t know the composition of their golf ball. The number is smaller in the UK but around 40% still don’t know if they’re sporting a one-piece or multi-layer ball.

As many as 77% of golfers partaking in Bridgestone’s custom fit sessions have a confirmed swing speed of less than 105mph with the driver, yet 56% of them have commonly selected a Tour level ball (high compression) designed for the faster swing speeds of elite professionals - a quite staggering figure that just goes to show how many people are not getting the most from their golf ball. 

The undisputed leader in custom ball-fitting has quickly reached a conclusion that many golfers play with a particular ball more because of brand recognition or the price they paid rather than it being an informed choice about the ball best suited to their game.

All of this data suggests a certain amount of golfers, including myself, aren’t quite as familiar with the only piece of equipment used on every shot as they are with clubs in the bag. Yet following a recent trip to West Hill Golf Club in Surrey, where I was met by Bridgestone’s ball fitting expert Danny Osborne and his black and yellow van, the benefits of identifying the correct ball to suit my game suddenly became abundantely clear. 

Ball fitting has been around a long time for Tour professionals with the likes of Sir Nick Faldo and Nick Price testing different compressions in the 90’s, but Bridgestone is now bringing the same level of service to grass roots level and educating golfers about their equipment.

Given ball flight has changed from low launch, high spin to high launch, low spin, it is now the job of the Bridgestone technician to fit a player to a ball that brings launch and spin as close to ideal as possible. And as I quickly found out, the main objective was to maximise my potential ball flight.

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