WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: For close to 20 years Bridgestone’s e6 ball has served as the bellwether of the e-series family of golf balls, promising a straighter flight and coming at a more palatable price point. The original was a three-piece construction, but four years ago the company went to a two-piece model with a softer core. It continues down that path with its latest iteration of the e6, with a softer core and cover designed to enhance the distance and straightness characteristics of the existing model.
AVAILABILITY/PRICE: In stores in March, the new Bridgestone e6 will be offered in white and optic yellow. Price is $25 per dozen.
1. Do no harm. The longest running, best selling ball in the Bridgestone lineup for almost two decades, the new e6 is more of a tweak than an overhaul.
“The e6 consumer likes the ball as it is, but we felt it could use a little refresh,” said Elliot Mellow, marketing manager of golf balls for Bridgestone. “We gave it a slightly softer cover and a slightly softer core. Some of that was an extension of the sound testing we were doing. We were trying to eliminate some of the clickiness and deliver on a softer sound to produce a better sensation at impact. “
2. Core beliefs. The ball also boasts a gradational core, which is softer in the center for forgiveness and firmer on the outside for speed. “That was what allowed us to make it softer but not lose any speed,” Mellow said. “We’re trying to get as much as we can out of a two-piece construction at an entry-level price point.”
The core is also larger than Bridgestone’s tour-caliber balls, which means a thinner cover. That’s important for moderate to slower swingers because the core is the fastest part of the ball and the cover the slowest. Having a larger core gives slower swingers a speed boost they desperately need.
3. What’s in it for me? Although the seamless Surlyn cover helps promote durability (a desirable trait for the cost-conscious consumer), a key characteristic of the e6 is reduced spin for a straighter flight, in addition to the soft feel.
The low compression produces less spin on mis-hits, and Bridgestone firmly believes the benefit for those who hit it offline more often than not will see reduced curve on their shots, meaning less slice or hook spin. That leads to better accuracy, resulting in better overall distance for average golfers because straight shots typically go farther than wayward ones.