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Bridgestone Tour B golf balls: What you need to know

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What you need to know: Bridgestone’s latest version of its Tour B line of golf balls offers four versions: the X, XS, RX and RXS. The X and XS target players with driver speeds faster than 105 miles per hour, and the RX and RXS aim for those swinging slower than that. Each uses what the company refers to as “Reactiv X,” which combines impact modifiers the company refers to as “Reactiv iQ” with a denser mid-layer to alter the performance attributes of each ball.

Availability/Price: The new Bridgestone Tour B line will be in stores Feb. 16 at a price of $50 per dozen.

3 Cool Things

1. Add the XCLRNT. In its last iteration of its Tour B line of golf balls, Bridgestone revamped its use of impact modifiers with what it referred to as Reactiv iQ.

Now that technology adds a denser “XCLRNT” mid-layer that acts as a backboard at impact to create even more spin around the greens. “This layer provides greatly improved resilience,” said Elliot Mellow, marketing manager for Bridgestone Golf. “That leads to more repulsion off the tee with the longer clubs but produces plenty of spin on the short shots. We’re optimizing for each of the four individual models.”

Mellow likes to talk about the new balls in the sense of “contact science”—a concept borrowed from the tire division. “Tires are performance products and so are golf balls,” Mellow said. “It’s all about how we can get the most from the moment of impact on each shot.”

2. R&D from multiple sources. Bridgestone is part of a company that has 900 engineers and specializes in rubber products. Having a guy named Tiger Woods chiming in, however, doesn’t hurt, either.

“Any time you have Tiger Woods contributing to a golf ball design you’ve got a major advantage over the competition,” said Mellow. “Tiger’s insights give our engineers feedback that allows them to push the design envelope beyond what we originally thought was possible.”

According to Bridgestone, Woods played a significant role in developing the new Tour B balls, particularly the Tour B X, which he switched to from the XS model after ongoing sessions with Bridgestone ball fitters. His desire for a bit more distance off the tee led him to make the permanent switch.

3. Balls made for mere mortals. Sure, a lot of folks want to play the same ball as Tiger Woods. But you’re not Tiger Woods. While the Tour B XS and the Tour B X are for players with swings north of 105 mph, Bridgestone continues its heritage of also offering a pair of balls for those who swing a little more leisurely.

The RX is designed to for distance with more than enough greenside control, while the RXS offers more greenside control with a quieter sound and perceived softer feel.