What's In The Bag
Senior Tour Pros Talk About the Golf Balls They Play
In our October 1994 issue we surveyed approximately 50 Senior PGA Tour pros, asking them what single development in golf equipment has enabled them to continue to perform at such a high level after reaching the half-century mark. Given all the technological advancements that these players have seen throughout the years (metal woods, titanium woods, cavity-backed and oversized irons, the long putter and graphite shafts are but a few), we were somewhat surprised to find that nearly 40 percent of these players thought that it was new golf ball technology that contributed the most to the maintenance of their games.
All right guys, the time has come to get more specific. What type of ball are you playing now? What about its performance makes it the right ball for you? What have been the most significant improvements to the golf ball that you've noticed throughout your career? These were just some of the topics of conversation for our latest "In the Bag" feature, conducted at last fall's Ralph's Senior Classic, held at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
Jim Colbert: Titleist Professional 90
I'm playing the Titleist Professional 90. It comes off the woods with a little less spin, which is good for distance, but it has plenty of spin with the irons. And we get the, for free.
J.C. Snead: Bridgestone Precept EV
Basically, I think they've played around with the dimples on the balls so much that you can't curve the balls very well anymore. They're self-correcting and fly too straight. It's hard to work or maneuver the ball. The Bridgestone is a little better than the others in terms of working the ball in either direction.
Jay Siegel: Titleist Professional 90
I'm using the Titleist 90 compression. I'm a medium high-ball hitter, and this ball doesn't fly too high; it has a relatively low trajectory. I don't want to put too much spin on the ball either, and because of its slightly harder cover, this one spins less than do some of the others.
Dave Stockton: Maxfli HT 100
I'm playing a Maxfli HT Balata, which I can control really well in the wind. I like this ball a lot. In fact, when we play in any kind of bad weather whatsoever, I feel I have a distinct advantage using this ball.
John Brodie: Titleist Professional 100
I've experimented with different balls for short periods of time, but I've always returned to a Titleist. Right now I'm Playing the Titleist Professional, which I find to be a very consistent ball under all kinds of playing conditions. I'm used to looking at this ball now, and I don't see any reason to change.
Bob Brue: Top-Flite SD 90
It's a bit on the hard side but has the spin of a balata ball. It goes farther for me than other balls.
Don Bies: Titleist HP2
I was hitting the ball too high, so I began looking for a ball that would stay down a bit. For me that ball is the Titleist HP2 100 compression. It's a good ball, and I find it works well for putting and chipping, and of course, on full shots.
Bruce Crampton: Currently experimenting
I'm the wrong person to ask, because I've been experimenting with different golf balls lately. I've been using the Titleist Professional 90 compression, but used a Top-Flite SD 90 for the first time last week. What I'm looking for in my experimentation is an involved story, far too involved to even get into.
Jim Albus: Bridgestone Precept EV
I'm playing the Precept EV from Bridgestone. It's a very consistent ball, which means each one performs just like any other. Also, it never balloons on me or shoots way up in the air. I've never used a two-piece hard ball before. Some people think this type of ball doesn't work well in putting, but I don't see any difference. In fact, my putting statistics improved after I switched to this ball.
Walt Zembriski: Bridgestone Precept EV
It goes farther. You have to have the distance. It doesn't spin that well for me, but I definitely hit it farther than the other balls.
Jimmy Powell: Maxfli HT Balata
The HT is a very consistent ball and it's great in the wind. The ball really holds its line, and I can count on hitting each new ball out of the box the same distance with each club. Some balls will fluctuate in terms of distance on mis-hits or off-center hits, but not this ball. Also, it doesn't curve too much in the wind because, as you know, the more wind that's blowing toward you, the more a ball tends to curve.
Gene Littler: Titleist Professional 90
I look for three things in a golf ball; how it feels, flies and stops. Right now I'm using the Titleist Professional 90 compression. I can't play the hard two-piece ball, it feels too hard and flies off the clubface too fast, which means loss of control. The Titleist Professional has the characteristics of a balata ball. For me it doesn't up-shoot, which is what happened with the Titleist Tour Balata I was using. It doesn't stop as well as the Tour Balata, but its good enough.
John Bland: Titleist Tour Balata 90 or 100
I alternate between the Titleist Tour Balata 90 and 100 compression balls. Back home in England, where its a bit cool, I'll use the 90. Here in Los Angeles, its rather warm, so I'm playing the 100. What can you say about a Titleist? Its a great ball. I like the feel of it.