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Equipment

Bridgestone New Releases (2023)

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New colors for e9 golf balls: Bridgestone’s e9 ball, a distance-focused two-piece model that was developed with input from the World Long Drive Tour, is debuting three new colors to its line (pink, yellow and orange joining white) that are more than just a line expansion. With the e9 being chosen as the official ball of the World Long Drive Tour, and the tour's competitions featuring knockout events that pit as many as four players hitting shots at the same time, the four colors will be used to make it more clear which player’s tee shots are going the farthest. The balls will be part of World Long Drive majors being held in Kingsport, Tenn.; Oceanside, Calif.; and the WLD Championship at the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta in October. Former World Long Drive champion Kyle Berkshire used the e9 when he set a record in 2022 for the fastest ball speed ever recorded outdoors at 234 miles per hour. (Note: The fastest ball speed recorded on the PGA Tour this year was 198 miles per hour by Kyle Westmoreland.) While the e9 is one of the highest compression balls in the company’s lineup, it uses a marginally softer compression that produces less spin and better accuracy. Bridgestone’s Elliott Mellow says because World Long Drive competitors are swinging at full tilt all the time, they are not making dead center contact, so a slightly softer compression improves off-center hit consistency. According to Mellow, when the e9 was used in last year's World Long Drive Championship, the results showed a 50-percent increase in the number of balls that finished within the grid. The e9 is designed to fly higher with a revised dimple pattern for a more efficient trajectory through the air. Said Mellow, “The ratio of soft to firm is more aggressive on this ball. We were seeking to push the envelope of velocity. Additionally, the gradational core allows the ball to work for a wide range of swing types.” $30 per dozen.