To be perfectly honest, the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando didn’t have as much to offer in the way of new products as previous years. Thankfully, golf ball makers have some great new and updated products for us this season. Here’s a few of the best new golf balls to check out in 2016.
Callaway Chrome Soft
Last season’s king of the hill is still on top this year, but has some stiff competition. When I tested this ball last year I was afraid to over-compress it, but if the ball is good enough for Phil Mickelson, it’s good enough for anybody! The Chrome Soft golf ball is a 4-piece golf ball and combines Callaway’s SoftFast Core and inner mantle layers with a soft urethane cover for spin around the greens without spinning too much off the tee. The Chrome Soft won 5 stars on Golf Digest’s Hot List in 2015 and should make another strong showing in 2016. This ball feels very soft around the greens and really performs well.
Volvik Crystal Vivid
Volvik is known for making colored golf balls, and they’ve taken their signature Crystal ball and given it a matte finish. The result is a very striking finish that’s easy to see and really pops! The three-piece Volvik Crystal Vivid has a very soft feel and a durable Surlyn cover, with a compression rating around 80. Made for slower swing speeds, the Volvik Crystal Vivid are available in orange, pink, green and red.
Bridgestone’s popular B-Series golf balls (which includes the Tour B330, B330S, B330RX and B330RXS) get an update for 2016. The new Tour Core is 6% larger and has a steeper gradient in softness from the inner part of the core to the outer region for faster ball speed and less spin off the driver. The new SlipRes cover took four years to develop and Bridgestone claims it has the highest friction coefficient rating possible, which translates to more spin from shots in the rough and around the green without increasing spin on the driver. I tested the new B330 for 18 holes and was so impressed that I’m buying a case of 12 dozen to use for the 2016 season.
The Amatour Core in the B330RX and B330RXS golf balls is 28% softer than the average tour ball core, making these balls ideal for golfers with swing speeds under 105 MPH. Along with the Callaway Chrome Soft, The Bridgestone B330RX is probably the best option for golfers looking for tour performance, durability and distance from slower swing speeds.
Wilson Duo Urethane
Wilson Golf claims their Duo golf ball is the softest on the market, with a compression rating of 29! Having tried the original Duo several years ago, I can tell you that the ball is a marshmallow. Wilson Golf now offers three models in the Duo line. The original Duo, Duo Spin and the Duo Urethane. The three golf balls offer a very soft feel for golfers seeking more distance with slower swing speeds. (See a pattern emerging in golf ball marketing yet?)
Wilson Duo – 29 Compression – Durability and distance with very soft feel – $20
Wilson Duo Spin – 35 Compression – Durability and distance with more spin and very soft feel – $27
Wilson Duo Urethane – 55 Compression – Softest urethane ball in golf, distance with tour spin and performance – $38
I haven’t tried the new Duo golf balls, but I remember the original Duo feeling a bit like the old Titleist Tour Balata on the putting green. Given the $20 price point for the Duo, these golf balls should be very popular!