Bridgestone is one of the few companies that is pushing the bounds of providing fitting tools and days. Heck, they even have online chat tools in case you need immediate help! They claim to be the “#1 Ball Fitter in Golf”, and the variety of tools they have available make this credible. For those who still think tires are all that Bridgestone makes, take note that Fred Couples, Matt Kuchar, DLIII, and Brandt Snedeker all play Bridgestone balls.
They offer their Bridgestone Golf Ball Fitting Challenge, which travels around the country (their Bridgestone Golf Ball Fitting Schedule is posted on their site)- and yes, it is free. Players hit a number of shots with their driver under the watchful eye of Bridgestone’s high-speed cameras and their Science Eye Launch Monitor system. Based on your ball flight characteristics, the Bridgestone fitter will select the right Bridgestone (or Precept) ball for your game, and then you’ll hit drivers with the recommended ball and be able to stack the data up against your current ball. We like data! We wish that clubs other than drivers could be used in the fitting challenge…we’ll leave it to our readers to see if they can twist the arm of the Bridgestone technicians to allow them to compare other clubs.
As with some of the competition, they provide an online tool, the Bridgestone Golf Ball Selection Guide, which walks players though a handful of questions and then provides a recommended ball.
If that isn’t enough for you, they actually have live (!) fitting assistance through their B-FIT support service, which is available by phone, via mobile chat/text, or web-based online chat. We’ve tested this chat service and were impressed. The rep was available in about 10 seconds, and recommended another ball that we wouldn’t have selected to test from using the online tool, and provided a link with some additional information. Pretty amazing they have reps standing by to handle these questions. We spent a good 10 minutes answering (and asking) questions. The rep explained how the online tool was fitting me and why, along with an additional ball recommendation. And get this…Bridgestone is starting to roll out their B-FIT Video Chat system, available in in-store kiosks at select locations. Aggressive indeed!!
Breaking down the balls, Bridgestone offers four different balls in their TOUR family (these are their top of the line balls that are marketed most heavily), the B330, B330-S, B330-RX and B330-RXS. These balls have an MSRP of $58 and a street price of around $45. To break these up, the B330 and B330-S are for swing speeds above 105mph (not us!), and the B330-RX and B330-RXS for swing speeds under. The “S” designator in the name (B330-S and B330-RXS) then indicates that the ball is optimized for maximum spin, and provide higher iron spin and softer feel. TOUR balls without the “S” (B330 and B330-RX) are balls that are for those who prefer additional distance, and have correspondingly less iron spin and are not as soft. If you need Optic Yellow to find your ball in the rough, the only TOUR option is the B330-RX.
The “e” Series of balls, the e5, e6 and e7 are offered at lower price points (MSRP $38; street prices around $25) and are either 2 or 3-piece in construction. The e5 (the only 2-piece urethane cover ball on the market, though we aren’t sure what that buys you) claims distance and control, the e6 (3-piece) is focused on less spin (and claims to be the “softest multi-layer golf ball on the market”), and the e7 (3-piece) on maximizing spin. Lastly is the xFIXx, which is their 2-piece “value” ball (aka street prices under $20). Less heavily marketed, this ball is targeted toward players who have slower swing speeds are looking for a less expensive ball. And try as we might, the online tool never recommended the xFIXx ball, regardless of answers provided. This ball is likely provided to target buyers at a specific price point more than anything.