Hot List Balls: What about swing speed?
Our Hot List ball review
generated quite a bit of mail, mostly from people far more knowledgeable about golf ball technology than I. Here are two letters, along with a response from Golf World Equipment Editor and Hot List judge Mike Johnson.
Next time, how about a section on recommended driver swing speeds for each golf ball? As the companies begin to tailor-fit ball models to swing speeds, this becomes pertinent information. The Bridgestone line comes to mind. I understand your exclusion of a driver launch/spin chart (like last year's) to match your wedge one, but I think it's safe to say that your hardcore readers miss it. The Golf Ball Hot List is the section I look forward to the most all year, so I hope it keeps evolving and improving each year.
Krischer, Mount Pleasant, SC
I'm 83 my wife is 70 and we'd appreciate an easily accessible listing of golf balls more suitable for our slower swing speeds. I was able laboriously to pick out a few but you no doubt had that info already in a database.
Evans Harrell, Marietta, GA
Mike Johnson on swing speeds and ball testing:
When presenting our writeups for golf balls, we tend not to focus on balls for a specific swing speed because that's a generalization that tends not to hold water as much as one would think. In other words, juts because you have a high swing speed doesn't mean you need a ball with a firmer cover and/or core. And vice versa. Some high swingers need more spin, others don't. Some want more control around the greens while others could care less. So instead we focus on the attributes of the ball in an effort to let individuals narrow their choices to a manageable number then do their own testing. As for why we don't include slower swingers in our testing, actually, we do. Not many, but we did have a pair of testers who, while possessing low handicaps, did not swing all that fast. For ball testing, we feel it is important to have players who display a consistency of strike, therefore making evaluations more meaningful. Players who tend to hit the ball all across the face would have a difficult time making meaningful evaluations and may be prone to providing good scores based solely on the quality of their shot rather than the full experience (including feel, spin, trajectory) of the ball.
That's a goal for us all: A "consistency of strike."