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Ball-fitting might be the key to better golf – Sunday – Teed Off

by Robert Bicknell

Ah, another Tết is behind us and, if you spent it here, you’ve had your fill of Bánh Chưng, Johnnie Walker toasts and relatives.

Or if you were smart enough to visit one of the great golf holiday destinations in Việt Nam such as Đà Nẵng, Hồ Tràm, Nha Trang or Phú Quốc and enjoyed nice warm weather and lots of golf with the family. Sigh, YES, Đà Lạt is a fantastic golf holiday getaway too, but there is no beach and when the sun hides behind the clouds its gets really cool.

Also, if my wife and daughter are there, they won’t let me ride my motorcycle with the guys, so it would be a frustrating time. Better for me to keep Đà Lạt as a personal side trip…lol

Personally, my perfect Tết holiday would be a morning of golf, lunch by the pool with my wife and daughter and an afternoon of playing on the beach with my daughter. Repeat daily. Life cannot really get much better than that. Yeah, it would probably be in Hồ Tràm because the hotel is on the beach and the golf course is a short buggy ride away.

Except if some really good friends and their families are there too. I’m surprised nobody has thought of organizing a Tết getaway event like that…Hmm.

Yes, if I wasn’t so cheap, I suppose I could rent a villa at Danang GC, Montgomerie Links or Laguna Lang Co, but I am cheap so forget it. Same thing applies to VinPearl Nha Trang… although my daughter loved the aquarium last time we visited, and I’ve heard great reviews from my friend Brian who just visited VinPearl Phu Quoc.

Oh well, the time is past so I should just file these ideas for next year and get back to the business of business, and the business of golf.

Let’s be honest here… Business is what we do in-between rounds of golf and, even for me, business isn’t playing golf anymore, but working my ass off so everyone else can play golf.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the “Kirkland Signature” golf ball from Costco had been found to be as good as Titleist’s legendary PRO V1, but a hell of a lot cheaper. Naturally, this story went viral (but not because of me) and Costco rapidly sold out of the product.

It now seems that Costco cannot even get anymore because the wholesaler ran out of stock. Wouldn’t it be funny if Acushnet bought the entire shipment just to keep it off the market?

Hell, if I was Acushnet, that’s what I would have done!

Nevertheless, there are still PRO V1’s available in your local pro shop so even if you have to spend more, it’s still worth it. Besides, it’s better to play with a ball that you know will be available, then changing to one which might disappear without notice.

When people, especially pros, talk about performance in a golf ball, we generally talk about performance inside 50 yards. Most golf balls are generally OK off the driver, but it’s the approach shots and especially feel around the green which separates good balls from great balls.

Pro V1’s, TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Bridgestone 330S are all high-performance balls that give better players what they want, both off the tee and around the green.

But this isn’t always the best ball for mid-high handicappers because too much spin gives them trouble. It turns a fade into a slice or a draw into a hook. In many cases, a nice Pinnacle works best…and it costs less if you lose them. Most of the major manufacturers have an extensive line of balls to fit players of all skill levels and players should take advantage of this.

Also, some balls simply work better with different club brands, believe it or not.

It’s not enough to get custom fitted for woods and irons anymore. Personally, I think players should actually consider getting fitted for golf balls too.

Lower spinning balls also work better in high wind conditions, such as at an ocean-side resort… oops, there I go again. I just cannot seem to get this idea out of my head.

Maybe it’s time for me to take a holiday to recover from the Tết holiday?

It certainly couldn’t hurt…-VNS

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