124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Hot List: Where are the Balls?

January 23, 2009

In a letter entitled, "Hot List has been Neutered", Dan Studebaker asks, where are the golf balls in this year's Hot List?


Dear Editor:


I was disappointed to find there was not a mention of any golf ball tests on this year's Hot List. Considering all the talk from leading and famous people in the golf industry blaming today's golf balls as being the real culprit in the war against yardage gain. The way the manufacturers keep changing and coming up with new models every year, even when you find a golf ball you like, you know you will be having to look for another one soon. I, being the average hack, am always interested in what's new because they're still not going far enough for me. Is there a good answer as to why balls were not included?

Dan S. Studebaker

San Rafael, CA

Dan, I surprised we didn't get more letters on this. The fact is, as I write this, our judges are in Florida evaluating golf balls for an extensive review in the May issue. As you suggest, there is a lot that's new this year--some great balls that combine spin and distance--and you'll have a lot to choose from, at several price points. Whether there's a ball that will deliver the distance you require, I'm not sure. Here's a tip, though: given the number of shots you hit round the green versus those off the tee, test golf balls for how they perform pitching, chipping and putting and then sort by distance. In other words, first things first....

--Bob Carney