Despite what you hear during televised professional tournaments, the ball used by the majority of players is not the ball for you. News flash, I repeat, that is not the ball for you.
The reason is simply that most amateurs, including good ones, don’t swing fast enough to compress the ball. If you don’t squeeze the ball on the club face, you loose distance. And, in tight shots around the green, you are essentially hitting a rock that you hope rolls the right direction once on the green.
Enter Wilson, a tried and true sporting goods company that has stood the test of time. So, when they came out with an uber-soft ball that was touted to go farther and feel great around the green, that gets your attention.
At a 29 compression rating, the Wilson DUO is the world’s softest golf ball. Jump up to the DUO Spin with a 35 compression in a multi-layer ball. One notch up is the DUO Urethane at a 55 compression.
Like most golfers, the macho glasses said no way I could crush such a soft golf ball and get better performance than my current ball. So, down I went to the local golf specialty store to investigate the balls for myself. Bag in hand after the visit, I had all the Wilson balls within this range in a variety of colors. For some reason, Wilson does not feel purchasing golf balls should be a felony, so these are between $20 and $38 per dozen.
Let the games begin, and four rounds trying the various golf balls seemed like a fair test. In the first round, I started with a Wilson Staff Duo, a two-piece ball. The first thing I notice is you hit the ball, and there is no granite sensation of club contact. It simply feels good with a feeling that can be described as smooth. What was really surprising was the distance as this ball compressed from the mark on the driver, and went long, as in long gone. Good around the green, not the best stopping ball on crisp wedge shots, yet for all the performance benefits compared to price, you are hard pressed to look further.
The next round I went to the other end of the spectrum in this lineup, the Duo Urethane. Supposedly a firmer cover, so a little more feel like that well-advertised tour ball. At a 55 compression rating, and a $38
per dozen price tag, it is softer than most tour balls, yet the urethane cover gives it a little pop off the long clubs and some extra durability. For the most part, possibly a shade longer off the driver than the regular DUO, but not much. After the round, I concluded this is a good ball if you want that pop off the driver, more durability and can add spin around the green without the ball having to contribute much to that portion of your game.
The third round compared the Wilson DUO Spin, virtually half way between the regular DUO and the DUO Urethane with a 35 compression. Wilson touts this as an ultimate combination of zing with the driver and feel around the green. After 18 holes, the hype matched reality in this is the best $27 a dozen golf ball I have ever played. It did it all, and the feel and roll in putting were nothing short of superb. My only comment is I would like to see this ball in an orange or bright yellow.
I don’t often find golf products that concerning performance match the advertising. However, in the case of Wilson and their lower compression golf balls, they are better than advertised.