Bridgestone e12 Soft & e12 Speed Golf Ball Review

50 Words or Less

The Bridgestone e12 Speed and e12 Soft golf balls deliver the straight distance they promise.  Clear differences in the feel of the two balls.  Fairly low short game spin.

Introduction

“Straight distance” is something every golfer desires, and it’s been the calling card of the Bridgestone Golf e Series golf balls for several generations.  The new e12 golf balls seek to enhance the brand’s reputation with a three-piece design optimized for players who swing over 105 MPH (e12 Speed) or under 105 MPH (e12 Soft).  I tested both models to see how their performance compares to the highly regarded Tour B series (review HERE) and previous e Series golf balls.

Feel

When testing two golf balls in the same family, finding differences in feel can be difficult.  That’s not the case with the two e12 golf balls.

The e12 Soft is appropriately named – it’s marshmallow-y off the putter or wedge.  On the green, it produces a dull “tock.”  With a good forged wedge, the sound is muted without any “click” at all.  This ball feels like it melts into the club face.

By contrast, the e12 Speed feels similar to your average Tour ball.  Off the putter, it produces a crisp “click.”  With a wedge, there’s a similar, responsive “click” that accompanies a good strike.

Short Game

While the e12 Soft and e12 Speed have dramatically different feel, their performance in the short game is very similar.  Both e12 models have spin that is typical for a non-urethane covered golf ball.  For me, that meant the e12 was more appropriate for pitch-and-run shots than those that land and check or back up.

Long Game

The focus of the e Series golf balls has always been the long game: providing low spin, straight flight, and plenty of ball speed.  On all those counts, the e12 Speed and e12 Soft deliver.

Off the driver, both these balls are very low spin.  For me, with a swing speed right around 105 MPH, I found that they performed similarly.  In testing with other players, I found that Bridgestone’s recommendation was smart: the e12 Soft produced a bit more ball speed and slightly more spin for the slower swingers.  For the faster players, the e12 Speed maximized their speed and lowered the spin a bit.  The differences I saw weren’t huge, but who wouldn’t take every bit of ball speed they can get?

In the iron game, I found that the spin and ball speed of both e12 balls were similar to the Tour balls I typically play.  Ball speed was slightly better with the e12 Speed, but spin was nearly identical.  I will give my standard caveat: I’m fairly low spin, and higher spin players may see more noticeable differences.

Conclusion

Most people now understand that the driver is the moneymaker, not the putter.  With that in mind, get fit for a ball that can optimize your distance – and keep you in the fairway – like the Bridgestone e12 Soft and e12 Speed.  As with any equipment decision, fitting is important, and no one does ball fitting better than Bridgestone.  Find a ball fitting event HERE or use their on-line fitting tool HERE.

Matt Saternus
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22 Comments

  1. I have really enjoyed the e12 Spft. The distance for me is good and it performs well around the green. It is a nice feeling ball.

  2. Despite the price, what’s the difference between e6 and e12? both them are 3-piece ball.

    • Matt Saternus

      Charlie,

      The e6 is a two piece ball and there’s currently only one model (excluding the Lady’s version). The e12 is a three piece and it offers the ability to fit for swing speed.

      Best,

      Matt

    • e6 “was” 3 piece but they essentially made the old 3 piece e6 into the new e12, where the e6 name took over for the extra soft named balls from Bridgestone … sneaky sneaky …

  3. John Solian

    I participated in a Bridgestone ball fitting at a demo day and was surprised to find how much better my numbers were with the e12 soft over other balls. I am now playing it consistently and feel my game has improved. I recommend a Bridgestone ball fitting to anyone unsure about what ball they should be playing. Definitely eye opening to me. The e12 soft is a good ball.

  4. Hi Matt.

    I currently play the e6 speed (until I run out!) I get great distance with it and love it. My swing speed is in the mid-90s, and the new e12 speed is said to be for golfer’s with 105 mph+ swing speed. Would I be better served going with the e12 soft?

  5. What’s the difference between how the e12 soft and the Tour B RX performs with a relatively slow (90mph and under) swing speed?

  6. Nate Crawford

    I love the E6 and E12 softs and cant tell a big difference in performance. Which would you recommend I play?

  7. would you switch between the e12 “soft” and “speed” when playing in an area where the temp is 40-55 degrees one day and then 65-75 another day? I ask because by happenstance I played the other day starting w/ a TP5x for 7 holes and then switched to a e12 “soft” for the last 11 holes. I felt like the driver distance went up 20 yards on shots with equal “feel” for the e12 “soft”. The curve seemed blunted as well. My “fade” for off-center strikes was still in the “short stuff”. Is that just Bro Science or is there a smiggin of fact/truth in that experience? I’m a 7.8 index, 57 years old and hit a driver on the launch monitor 230-260 yards…occasionally a bit longer and, of course, a bit shorter.

    • Matt Saternus

      Pete,

      To your first question, I probably would not change balls based on temperature unless you really prefer the feel of one in the cold. To your second point, it sounds like you benefitted a lot from lower spin with the e12 versus the TP5X.

      -Matt

  8. Pete again … on that day in question the temp was 41-50 degrees throughout the round.

  9. Been a couple rounds … for what it’s worth (maybe a 6″ gimme?) here’s the Bro Science findings from 36 holes played with the e12 soft, e12 speed and Tour B RX.

    My stats: Age 56, 155lbs, played golf since age 9, minor accomplishments in college/Am … Index 7.4.
    Driver ball launch speed is 105-120 mph at a Puetz golf fitting studio. Prior ball was the Pro V1x (5+ years).

    Rounds: Washington National G.C., Seattle WA … measures ~6300 from mixed tees
    Weather: Ground was soaked, Temp range 40F-55F, Cloudy, Winds 1-10 mph, Very playable

    Driver:
    – e12 soft is easily ~20 yards longer than the Tour BRX.
    – e12 speed is comparable to the e12 soft … lets say it lost by a couple steps
    – e12 soft/speed launched up and “leveled” off really noticeably well
    Irons:
    – e12 soft killed the BRX by 10-15 yards
    – normal 8i in soaked 40F-50F temp is 140yds
    – all the mid irons (9i-4i) were launched higher and flew farther
    – e12 speed was again close but definitely a bit shorter
    Spin:
    – very hard to make any call here as it is just too soaking wet to matter
    – e12 soft, speed and Tour BRX all hit and pulled back 5-10 feet w/ wedge thru 7i
    – hitting the 6i-4i was infrequent, but they all hit and rolled out a couple feet
    Putting:
    – nothing noticeable w/ putting feel for me
    Sound:
    – Tour BRX and e12 speed have the familiar Pro V1x crisp click.
    – e12 soft is muted for sure

    I suspect that playing down south in 70+ degree temps on firm greens and fairways will favor the Tour BRX. I plan to test this out in January as we will be doing the drive to CA and quarantine for 14 days. Then we’ll settle in for some sun and golf for 2 months.

  10. Last follow-up … been down south in La Quinta for the past 14 days. We’ve played 10 rounds which allowed me to play the e12 Soft, e12 Speed and Tour BRX on several courses. For this 7.2 index, 57 year old guy it’s simple:
    – e12 Soft kills both the e12 Speed and Tour BRX
    e12 Soft consistently provides me 260-280 yards off the tee. The other 2 balls never get beyond 250. There’s a range of difference for SW thru 1 iron and 3 metal. SW thru 8i consistently provides 5 yards more distance. 7i thru 4i is about 10 yards more distance. I don’t hit the 1i and 3w often enough to have solid numbers.

  11. Richard Stephen Gruber

    What is the best ball for swing speeds of 87-90 mph, the e12 soft or the new e12 contact ball.

  12. I am 84 yrs old swing speed about50 I have been using e6 soft and speed. How would they compare to e12 soft or speed?

  13. Patrick Kuss

    Hello. What is the difference between the e12 soft and the e12 contact? Thanks.

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