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New Equipment

Here’s how Bridgestone’s new e12 Contact balls aims to help you make better impact

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The second iteration of the e12 Contact employs a “Contact Force” dimple that features a raised area in the center that results in more contact with the clubface at impact than traditional dimples. That brings a more efficient transfer of energy and an ability to activate the core better for faster ball speeds while reducing sidespin off the longer clubs. An impact modifier is used to further enhance the contact leading to more dwell time on the face so grooves can engage more and provide more spin.

AVAILABILITY/PRICE: The e12 Contact is at retail in March at a cost of $35 per dozen. In addition to white, the ball will be available in matte green, matte red and matte yellow.

3 COOL THINGS

Creating better contact

The second version of the e12 ball maintains the same “contact force” dimple as the original. The dimple features a raised area in the center that the company says results in more contact with the clubface at impact than traditional dimples. That brings a more efficient transfer of energy and an ability to activate the core better for faster ball speeds while reducing sidespin off the longer clubs.

The “Contact” in the ball’s name refers to “contact science,” or the science of what happens when ball meets club. “Contact science is about the moment of impact,” said Elliot Mellow, golf ball marketing manager for Bridgestone Golf. “It’s about how rubber reacts in a high heat, high friction interaction much like the rubber on a tire meeting the road. We have some expertise in that area.”

The size of the dimple also took some time to arrive at. “As we went through the prototype process the performance was fine from an aero standpoint, but with consumers in higher spin situations we saw some issues with the ball ballooning a little bit,” he said. “We made some modifications to the depth and the outer portion of the dimple to flatten the flight a little bit.”

The secret sauce

While the USGA limits performance with the driver there are opportunities beyond that, so Bridgestone focused on how to optimize the approach shots and wedge shots while maintaining the performance off the tee.

In the new e12 the raised contact dimple. Is just part of the contact science equation. That was a structural change. The new ball also features the company’s flexible cover technology where an impact modifier is added to the Surlyn cover.

“This does two things,” said Mellow. It makes the ball firmer on high impact collisions like a driver for more distance, while being softer on other shots. The impact modifier leads to more dwell time on the face so the grooves can engage more and provide more spin. In layman’s terms the cover is stickier so there is more contact time with the face so on short shots the spin increases about 10 percent from the previous e12 Contact. By no means are we touting that this plays like a tour ball, but it’s a step up from where we were.”

Colorful options

In addition to the standard white model, the new e12 Contact is available in three additional colors: matte red, green and yellow.