The modern “players” golf ball sucks

Yes, I used the offensive word, “sucks.”

It is built to go really far down wind with driver and it is terrible in all other areas.

I never really complained about the ball before because I was having swing issues and not always striking the ball properly, so I didn’t want to blame my problems on a ball that plenty of players shot low with. I then heard Frank voice his displeasure and he made sense with what he told me.

Several weeks ago I played in a mild to intermediate wind and hit the irons as well as I had in a round in a long time.

On one hole I hit a low BB 3-iron into the wind that went 200 yards with a Taylor Made Lethal. A normal full high 3-iron goes 235-240. This ball looked like it came out of the air like it was a clay pigeon taken down by a 12 gauge.

I hit that exact shot on a Trackman with no wind a few weeks ago and it carried 230 and rolled to 245. Shallow AoA with lots of shaft lean.

The next par 3 it was 162 to hole into a stiffer wind. I hit a low bullet 6-iron and it looked like it got yanked by a string and came up short of pin high. With a ProV1 my 195-200 club went 155 frickin yards.

I remember Billy Mayfair telling Frank he goes vertical and swings harder into the wind to get more spin so it is more efficient and cuts trough wind better by staying in the air longer.

So I tried to hit 7-iron putting as much spin as I knew how. Ball was too high for this wind but went past the pin and 10 yards farther than flighted 6.

Now I was mad. I found and old yellow Titleist “Professional” from the 90’s on a range. It was old, yellow and a marshmallow. I hit the same 6-iron that went 155 with the new ProV1 and the old worn out “professional” went past the pin about 170.

These new balls are garbage, don’t spin enough and aren’t efficient for flighting balls in the wind…not working the ball either…because they don’t spin enough and the dimples aren’t deep enough.

Ask a ballistics expert what happens when a bullet that doesn’t spin enough gets shot into the wind.

I am no longer hitting knockdown shots and having to club up 2-3 clubs in a 1/2 club wind.

There is a huge rumor going around the Tour (and its not a small group of conspiracy theorists)…that Nike is making Tiger a ball that mirrors the performance of a Titleist from 10-15 years ago.

Wouldn’t be the first time. For several years he was using a Bridgestone Precept with a Nike swoosh on it and I heard that first hand from a Bridgestone exec. I once got one of his golf balls, matched it up with a Precept and sure enough…I wish I still had it.

Conspiracies aside…other than bombing a knuckle ball with driver down wind, these balls are horrid and you might as well use a Top Flight when chipping and putting.

They need to spin more, have deeper dimples and softer covers.

I told all of these things to a Golf Digest writer last week. they have an article coming out on the Precept Lady IQ. He was disappointed he didn’t know what I told him sooner. A few weeks after Frank was fed up with his ProV’s performance, I told him he should play a Precept Lady IQ.

At first he threw a few choice expletives at me…as he is prone to whenever he doesn’t agree with what I say or thinks I have lost my mind…which is often.

He loves the way it performs in the wind and on chipping and putting. It feels softer and the deeper dimple pattern makes the ball stay in the air longer.

In my opinion, The Precept Lady IQ is the best ball on the market if you don’t mind losing a few yards down wind with driver if you generate over 120 mph of driver speed. Into the wind, it goes 5-10 yards farther than a ProV1 or Taylor Made Lethal with an iron.

I told former commissioner Beman about all this and he was convinced. I dropped balls on a cart path and the Prov and Lethal clicked the same as a Top Flight and the same result happened when I juggled them on the face of an LW. He went out and bought some after our conversation.

In other words, why pay $45-$50 for a ball that doesn’t perform as well as a ball that you can buy at Walmart for $20…or sometimes on sale for $15.

(Disclaimer-None of this is scientific. It is based on my observations of myself and a two time PGA Tour winner.)

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46 Comments

  1. ghpennington

    There are a number of interesting thoughts here.

    1. Bridgestone(Precept) did make Tiger’s ball when he first switched to Nike branding. Essentially, it was an extra firm Precept. They didn’t publicize that fact, but it wasn’t really much of a secret, either.

    2. The golf balls have been too hard for a while now. The original “soft” ball was the Precept Lady ball. This ball took off when an accomplished amateur in Birmingham used the ball to win a number of am events. I can’t remember his name, but I believe he won either the US Am or the Mid-Am with the Precept Lady. It quickly became the best selling ball that Precept made. They made a “Laddie” version so more men would buy it without feeling feminized.

    3. The Lady became so popular and was so cheap that they changed their branding from Precept to Bridgestone so their premium balls wouldn’t be tainted with the Precept label.

    4. The downside to the soft balls is that they don’t spin or check around the greens. Sometimes that’s good, but you’re dead if you’re short sided.

    5. Wilson’s FG TOUR ball is another good soft ball. It has a very soft feel, but it has a urethane cover so it spins a little more.

    Reply
    • jerry

      FG Tour is the best ball I have played in several years. Great distance and control(draw,fade or knockdown)drop & stop performance. On a hard swing it will back up a little.It does have a “stickey” feel off the putter that you have to get use to.

      Reply
  2. tim

    surely a softer ball would spin more around the greens?

    Reply
  3. Bob

    Well played again, Monte.

    Reply
  4. golfercraig

    I sold almost 3,000 dozen Top-Flite gamer in 2 years. It was BY FAR the best ball on the market. My playing buddies laughed at first, but by the end of the first summer, they were all playing it. It spun around the greens, and flew farther, even downwind. Also, importantly, it was quiet off the putter. When they were closed out, and i could buy them from Callaway at 6 bucks a dozen, I bought enough to last me a few years.

    Reply
    • JD

      Important question here: who is the woman in your avatar? πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • golfercraig

        Ashley Greene.

        Best leaked cell phone pics ever.

        Only reason to watch Twilight.

        Reply
  5. golfercraig

    Also, reason #12,000,000 why a launch monitor indoors is 100% useless.

    Reply
  6. David

    This goes along the lines that we, amateurs men, should try to swing like LPGA golfers instead of PGA. Swing like a lady and use a lady ball.

    Humility lesson right there.

    Reply
  7. Eric

    This is why so many Pros use old models…Luke Donald uses a 2005 ProV (8 years old!!!)…Jason Dufner uses a 2008 ProV (just spent 3 days evaluating the 2013 models and stuck with the 2008)…These guys make millions and can afford whatever they want, and they’re refusing to use the most recent models.

    Reply
  8. atyler16

    Why wouldn’t the ball manufactures know this stuff. Are they ignoring pro’s input in an effort to appease the amateur who wants/needs less spin?

    Reply
  9. wderaaf

    I’m confused.. I always thought to play in the wind you needed less spin to prevent the ball from ballooning which costs you distance?

    Reply
    • wderaaf

      Pretty interesting stuff btw..

      Reply
  10. rojoass

    Screw the golf balls at the moment. I’m with JD on this one. The avatar girl almost made me consider suicide……….

    http://rojoass.com/

    Reply
  11. John Short

    Oh yeah…15 bucks a dozen as opposed to 45. My wife will LOVE this. My golf life just got so much easier. Thank you, Monte.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Between the swing info, satire of golf, equipment tips and literary references, why is there a need to read anything else, other than stat info? πŸ˜€

      Reply
  12. Alec Katzman

    Monte, what would you consider the best ball you’ve ever played, for stroke play comp? I’ve always despised all the solid core balls and was the last guy I knew playing the Pro 90 after the ProV came out in ’01. For me at least the ’13 ProVX is the best solid ball I’ve tried, it’s the closest to the flight I actually want. For the last three years I’ve been playing old stock last gen synthetic cover ’00 Maxfli HTs but the X is playable. There’s enough shots with it around the green to get by so I’m just wondering what your ideal ball is. I always thought the first gen Japanese HT pro ball, the ones they only gave to staff players was the best ball I ever played. Thx

    Reply
      • Kevin Hagermann

        I whole heartedly agree with the tour balata 100. A Part of the game died the day production stopped. I would kill for a modern replacement.

        Reply
  13. Joe

    What ball would you recommend us hackers that shoot 95-105 and are trying to get better?

    Reply
  14. northgolf

    Yeah, the modern ball sux. I want to go back to the wound balata balls that I knocked ovate in 4 holes. Let’s bring back the ball ring – you know, the one you carried to demonstrate the ball was no longer round so you could legally replace it.

    Ball spin characteristics are the next USGA/RA ruling that is going to cause a media ruckus. Up the spin and reduce distance – it needs to be done. If the pro’s can only average 280 off the tee, we won’t need 7400 yard courses.

    Reply
  15. vinny

    The wank factor in golf is huge.

    Reply
  16. angga prasetya

    wow never tried a lady ball before. using brigestone ball e-5 right now, but will try the precept lady next round. will report back. great blog Monte!!!

    Reply
  17. Midweston

    Have you played the fg tour, e-series, or the Wilson duo? Thoughts on those? Maybe we can get you an endorsement deal πŸ™‚

    Reply
  18. Michael

    Having played the lady precept ball, it feels like a Wilson 50/50. Beat my prov1x by 15yds off the tee on average. It can spin, but I’m not a high enough spin player so I use height to do it. Wedges land and released about a foot? More than satisfied.

    42 with the x on the front
    36 on the back with the lady ball

    Reply
    • Michael

      Come to think of it Monte, was that the ball Frank MQ’ed with for the Travelers? I thought it was.

      Reply
  19. Jason

    Hey Monte, I just got a sleeve of the Precept Lady IQ to try. My driver SS is around 95 to 100 mph. So that will be fine with these balls? Also, would you say they are kinda like the old balata balls?

    Reply
    • Eric

      How would the precept compare to the callaway Solaire?

      Reply
  20. Gary

    Hi Monte

    Which Lady Precept are you talking about the IQ Plus or the IQ 180

    Reply
  21. webbstar

    I’m one of those crazy people who actually play persimmons and the wilson duo
    is the closest in feel to a balata out there i think. God i miss the professional 90’s.
    Thank u scientists for ruining golf balls for everyone.

    Reply
  22. James

    Read this on Friday. No kidding, I found a Precept Lady on the course today and finished the round with it. Not bad at all! And better yet, when hitting into the slow ass group ahead of you, can always deny it was your ball.

    Reply
  23. Sinclaire

    I am glad I saved old “players” I have at least 6 doz of these ea; TP LDP RED, MAXFLI Black Max and Hogan RED. All of these seem better than the current offerings now available. I’m gonna test them just to see.

    Reply
  24. John O'Leary

    Monte

    I remember the Precept Lady and the fad is generated. I bought into the hype and glad I did. However, it appeared to me that they changed the characteristics of that ball soon after I started playing it. The name remained the same, but the ball felt like utter garbage. Do u know anything about that. Also, is this IQ ball ok for someone who swings driver approx: 95 MPH with smooth transition. Thanks!

    Reply
  25. Ogre41

    I am unsure of my swing speed at the moment, I imagine its right around 110, but I have always gravitated towards the softer ball. I thought they would be easier to compress and thus spin, but it mostly boiled down to feel. I don’t like the clicky rock hard feeling of the multilayer urethane balls. For some reason, the multilayer surlyns feel fine. As for the IQ 180, I did enjoy playing that ball. Pink one and all. My father in law gave me grief about it until I drove the 300 yard 1st hole with it. Putted nicely too, well I didn’t putt nicely, but the feel was great. Thanks for making me think I am as smart as I think I am. I love it when that happens!

    Reply
  26. pcb_duffer

    [snip] It quickly became the best selling ball that Precept made. They made a β€œLaddie” version so more men would buy it without feeling feminized. [snip]

    The Laddie was *NOT* simply a re-badged Lady. I cut a couple of them in half with a hacksaw just to test that theory. Different cover thicknesses, and therefore core diameters too. I checked them with my micrometer just to make sure. And the core compositions were different (it’s been long enough that I can’t remember which was which.) It’s entirely possible that Bridgestone saw how well the Precept Lady was selling and tweaked the idea to make it even better for higher swing speeds, but they did change some things.

    Reply
  27. tonto

    Play lady IQ, I make tour easier?

    Reply
  28. Ryan

    Hey Monte, with the lady IQ being discontinued, any other balls out there you would recommend? I thought I read somewhere you were supposed to meet with Bridgestone to discuss options for a better ball as well, that ever pan out for you?

    Reply

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