Do Softer Golf Balls Help On Fast Greens?

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Orikoru

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Disclaimer: sorry, another boring golf ball advice topic, if you've come here to say that the ball makes no difference and I'm a marketing sheep then please save yourself the effort and move along. 😁

End of last year I decided to make the step to using 'premium' balls as I really don't lose many at all these days. The one I went for is the Bridgestone RX - purely as it's meant to maximise distance for those with slower swing speed, and it's at a decent price. May be imagination, or maybe I'm swinging better, but I believe I have noticed a bit more distance, and it seems a good ball. But, the greens at my new club are all on slopes and absolutely rapid. Very often shots into the green will run off the back. Or putts will go 6 feet and more past the hole if you put a fraction too much on it.

Was having a chat with a playing partner yesterday who said he might switch to a softer ball, and I wondered if that might be a good idea. Obviously the RXS is the softer version of the exact same ball - presumably the distance might not be quite the same, but would it potentially spin more and help with stopping power? And the extra softness help with putting on what is basically a kitchen floor? Just wanted to get people's thoughts on whether softer balls are better for faster greens or whether I should just stick with the distance I'm getting. (My course is not overly long, but I would categorise myself as a medium-hitter so extra distance is always nice.)
 

Canary_Yellow

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Isn’t the RX a premium ball? Should give you plenty of stopping power with a well struck iron.

How heavy is your putter head? If very heavy, that might be making things harder. Otherwise it’s just practice required, isn’t it?
 

Pants

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Disclaimer: sorry, another boring golf ball advice topic, if you've come here to say that the ball makes no difference and I'm a marketing sheep then please save yourself the effort and move along. 😁

End of last year I decided to make the step to using 'premium' balls as I really don't lose many at all these days. The one I went for is the Bridgestone RX - purely as it's meant to maximise distance for those with slower swing speed, and it's at a decent price. May be imagination, or maybe I'm swinging better, but I believe I have noticed a bit more distance, and it seems a good ball. But, the greens at my new club are all on slopes and absolutely rapid. Very often shots into the green will run off the back. Or putts will go 6 feet and more past the hole if you put a fraction too much on it.

Was having a chat with a playing partner yesterday who said he might switch to a softer ball, and I wondered if that might be a good idea. Obviously the RXS is the softer version of the exact same ball - presumably the distance might not be quite the same, but would it potentially spin more and help with stopping power? And the extra softness help with putting on what is basically a kitchen floor? Just wanted to get people's thoughts on whether softer balls are better for faster greens or whether I should just stick with the distance I'm getting. (My course is not overly long, but I would categorise myself as a medium-hitter so extra distance is always nice.)

Not expecting many replies then :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

My view is (and I'm a pants golfer so you can take it with a pinch of salt) that the main difference between "soft" and harder balls is feel and sound. What suits one person would be an anathema to another. In general the balls will react fairly similarly off the putter. Not all soft balls produce a lot of spin and it is the shots into the green where some golfers want more/less spin and that of course is also down to the quality of the strike. As for losing distance with a soft ball, I read somewhere that there is/was only about 7yds difference within the whole Titlist range. That's probably over about 250/260 yds so about 2.5 - 3% difference. Relate that to how far you hit your driver - so maybe 5/6 yds? Feel and how your ball reacts is more important I would suggest.

IMHO of course.
 

harpo_72

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My opinion is more based on spin rates, a softer ball gives better compression for certain swing speeds, not sure if it would develop more spin. I use a softer compression ball in the winter because I don’t want huge amounts of spin (greens are receptive and the ball lands and stops) and i need to maximise compression due to lower temperature.
Perhaps have a look at the ball report and look at your current ball and see if you can find one that offers higher spin. Also look at the state of you club faces and makes sure they are clean .. then there is all the strike stuff as well, oh and 40 degrees or less of descent angle means the ball will roll on
 
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Sats

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I honestly don't know. I would imagine that the softness of a ball relates more to hitting driver/fairway/hybrid/iron/wedge shots rather than putting. Mind you if it helps with putting, even if it's a mental thing then does it matter.
 

saving_par

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Disclaimer: sorry, another boring golf ball advice topic, if you've come here to say that the ball makes no difference and I'm a marketing sheep then please save yourself the effort and move along. 😁

End of last year I decided to make the step to using 'premium' balls as I really don't lose many at all these days. The one I went for is the Bridgestone RX - purely as it's meant to maximise distance for those with slower swing speed, and it's at a decent price. May be imagination, or maybe I'm swinging better, but I believe I have noticed a bit more distance, and it seems a good ball. But, the greens at my new club are all on slopes and absolutely rapid. Very often shots into the green will run off the back. Or putts will go 6 feet and more past the hole if you put a fraction too much on it.

Was having a chat with a playing partner yesterday who said he might switch to a softer ball, and I wondered if that might be a good idea. Obviously the RXS is the softer version of the exact same ball - presumably the distance might not be quite the same, but would it potentially spin more and help with stopping power? And the extra softness help with putting on what is basically a kitchen floor? Just wanted to get people's thoughts on whether softer balls are better for faster greens or whether I should just stick with the distance I'm getting. (My course is not overly long, but I would categorise myself as a medium-hitter so extra distance is always nice.)
Whether its a 7 iron approach or 30 yard pitch your best chance of stopping the ball is through quality of strike generating spin, better quality of strike will help with more consistant distance control as well.

Above the hole on fast greens no ball is going to help you, its just a matter of what your prefer feel wise off the putter then its a case of hoping the hole gets in the way.....
 
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I'm no scientist so I may be shot down in flames - but I really don't think a harder / softer ball will make any difference to putting on quicker greens.

Balls are all about distance and spin. You are not spinning the ball with the putter, so you can discount spin rates. And softness is partly to do with compression which again you are not doing with the putter and partly about spin - by using different mantle layers and materials. So as above - spin isn't a factor in putting.

However it is fair to say that subject to your ball striking ability you should in theory get more stopping power with a premium ball. Giving you more shorter and therefore makeable putts

So if you've found a ball that suits the rest of your game (and I am a big fan of Bridgestone RX balls) - I would stick with it and work on controlling your putting speed by improving your putter head control or as already suggested - perhaps a lighter putter.

And to answer the question about marketing sheep - I am not aware of any mainstream ball manufacturer who looks to sell more balls based on their "puttability" - that in itself tells you something.

Just my 2p
 

Lord Tyrion

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Every so often I'll find a ProV1 and use it but it reminds me that I'm not a fan. Why? Too soft off the putter face so I end up having to whack them. I don't generally play on fast greens so it doesn't work for me.

I get the theory behind what okiroku is saying, give it a try.
 

hairball_89

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As far as I can tell the only thing to consistently stop a ball on a fast green is skill. And that is something I do not have! Yes, I did do it yesterday with a 5 iron, but that was into a 2+ club wind and dropping like a stone!

My understanding is it mostly about clubhead speed and spin generated. More spin = more "drop and stop".
 

Voyager EMH

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I see no need for the disclaimer at the start. I'm willing to talk balls as much as anyone here, of that I am fairly certain.
As for "high spinning" balls, whenever I see people playing with these, I hardly ever see them spinning towards the hole.
I like ProVs, but they do not seem very durable to me; look well used after one round. Only play with them when greens are good, no wind or rain and no dampness on ground. Any of those factors seem to negate the benefits of that ball.
A Srixon soft feel still seems playable to me after 2 rounds and starts to acquire some sentimental attachment if good scores are done - and why so cheap comparatively? I don't get it.
December to February - anything round will do.
 

Tinkerman

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No ball expert here, just going on what I experienced last year. My course has very slow greens. I used Titleist Tour Soft last year and found it was faster off the putter and on chips than the Pro V1. I get the idea that your mate has about softer ball being slower on the green but that may not be the case. Best to get a sleeve of RXS and try them yourself. I also found delofting my Scotty putter helped to get the ball rolling out more on our slow greens. Maybe you could try the opposite i.e. adding loft, to see if that helps.
 

jim8flog

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Disclaimer: sorry, another boring golf ball advice topic, if you've come here to say that the ball makes no difference and I'm a marketing sheep then please save yourself the effort and move along. 😁

End of last year I decided to make the step to using 'premium' balls as I really don't lose many at all these days. The one I went for is the Bridgestone RX - purely as it's meant to maximise distance for those with slower swing speed, and it's at a decent price. May be imagination, or maybe I'm swinging better, but I believe I have noticed a bit more distance, and it seems a good ball. But, the greens at my new club are all on slopes and absolutely rapid. Very often shots into the green will run off the back. Or putts will go 6 feet and more past the hole if you put a fraction too much on it.

Was having a chat with a playing partner yesterday who said he might switch to a softer ball, and I wondered if that might be a good idea. Obviously the RXS is the softer version of the exact same ball - presumably the distance might not be quite the same, but would it potentially spin more and help with stopping power? And the extra softness help with putting on what is basically a kitchen floor? Just wanted to get people's thoughts on whether softer balls are better for faster greens or whether I should just stick with the distance I'm getting. (My course is not overly long, but I would categorise myself as a medium-hitter so extra distance is always nice.)
My own is experience of older 330RX and 330RXS (played them for over 3 years) is that the RX goes a bit further then the RXS with the same putting stroke . I previously used RX when the greens are on the slow side and the RXS when the greens are running well , this generally meant for me RX in winter and RXS in summer. The RXS tends to spin more with better greenside spin

As someone else said they are premium balls (3 piece urethane)
 

IainP

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You can lose yourself here for a while
https://mygolfspy.com/most-wanted-golf-ball/

Note point (opinion) 3
Soft & spin don't necessarily go together.

I received a box of RX and RXS a couple of years back (previous model), assuming I'd prefer the RXS but was the other way around - although in truth I'm probably not good/consistent/skilled enough to really tell.

Some people prefer putters with inserts on fast greens.
 

Voyager EMH

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But, the greens at my new club are all on slopes and absolutely rapid. Very often shots into the green will run off the back. Or putts will go 6 feet and more past the hole if you put a fraction too much on it.

Ah, that's the bit that I did not pay enough attention to, sorry. What you describe is just like many holes on my course. Miss the green on wrong side and getting over a bunker and staying on the green, never mind close to the hole, very difficult. In my experience, any perceived advantage from one ball to another for these shots is minimal. I found great advantage in using a 64 degree wedge for these shots. And I have put in a hell of an amount of practice with it. As for putting, I might be deluding myself, but I think I can putt with almost any reasonable golf ball if I practice with it for a bit. Like I said, I might be deluding myself, but even that might be more of a benefit in terms of confidence, rather than having doubts that I'm not using the "right" ball today.
I've always had a healthy disrespect for a view that - Expensive Ball = Good Ball that will improve my scores.
But you will have to make your own choice and decision in the end for your own reasons. All I can do is explain my thinking for making my choices and decisions.
 

JamesR

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No
Pro V’s are very hard, and PGA tour players use them on the fastest greens.
So they’re fine on U.K. (comparatively) slow greens
 
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Orikoru

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My own is experience of older 330RX and 330RXS (played them for over 3 years) is that the RX goes a bit further then the RXS with the same putting stroke . I previously used RX when the greens are on the slow side and the RXS when the greens are running well , this generally meant for me RX in winter and RXS in summer. The RXS tends to spin more with better greenside spin

As someone else said they are premium balls (3 piece urethane)
That's good knowledge, cheers for that. In Bridgestone's own descriptions they do suggest the RXS spins a bit more than the RX. I think I will have to try them at some point and see if I notice any difference at all.

Thanks all.
 
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