50 Words or Less
The new Bridgestone e6 Speed and e6 Soft golf balls are great off the tee with improved feel and performance in the short game.
Buying golf balls can be incredibly confusing. Every box, from the $10/dozen house brand to the balls you pay an arm and a leg for, says roughly the same thing. Bridgestone’s e Series golf balls have always been wonderfully different. This year brings a change to make the choice even easier: do you want a softer feel or longer tee shots?
Both versions of the new e6 golf balls are among the best-feeling e Series golf balls that Bridgestone has made. As you would expect, the e6 Soft is the softer of the two, and the difference is significant. With the e6 Speed, the feel is firmer throughout the bag.
If you prefer a ball that lets you feel like you’re compressing it, opt for the e6 Soft. If you like a firmer ball that provides more feedback off the club face, choose the e6 Speed.
Short game spin is the one area where the Bridgestone e6 golf balls make an objective concession to the more expensive balls, though the difference is not as big as you might think. In my testing, I found a gap of roughly 10% when comparing the spin of a tour-caliber ball to the e6 Soft. The e6 Speed was slightly lower spin, but not much.
For the average or high handicap golfer, I would stress two things. First, the spin gap that we’re talking about is NOT the difference between a shot sticking to the green and a shot that runs off the putting surface. It’s more likely that we’re talking about the difference between a shot taking two hops and stopping versus one hop and stopping. Second, higher handicap players should be much more concerned about making consistent contact with their short shots than a ball that maximizes spin on the occasional pure strike.
Bridgestone’s golf ball fitting has always focused on driving, so it’s logical that the main thrust behind the new e6 golf balls connects to the tee shot. The company is promoting a pair of bold claims: golfers will be 9 yards longer and 31% straighter with the e6.
What I appreciate is that Bridgestone is willing to put their money where their mouth is. Along with the new e6 golf balls, they sent sleeves of the Titleist ProV1 and ProV1X. In head-to-head testing on the course and the launch monitor, I found the e6 Speed was the longest and straightest for me. The results may be even better for players with slower swing speeds – a major part of Bridgestone’s message is that most players don’t generate enough speed to maximize a tour-style ball.
Once in the fairway, I found both e6 balls to be quite good. I preferred the feel of the e6 Soft, but both were long, controllable, and produced enough spin to hold the green.
The Bridgestone e6 Speed and e6 Soft golf balls are the first to be developed with the data Bridgestone has gathered from millions of ball fittings, and the results are excellent. For many golfers, these balls will perform better than their more expensive counterparts in the facet of the game that is most important: driving.