Bridgestone Golf has been working on various different types of technologies. Besides taking advantage of its relationship to Bridgestone Corp., Bridgestone Golf takes into account the end user's needs when it is manufacturing golf balls.
While doing ball fitting for tour pros and professional golfers is common, Bridgestone Golf fits balls to a variety of golfers. Consuegra said Bridgestone Golf has fitted 50,000 consumers around the U.S. and learned about what their launch conditions and other needs are, and then send that information to its engineers. This allows them to create different compounds and combine different ingredients to improve the ball.
“We take the end user into account when it comes to engineering the product,” he said. “For us to climb to the position that we are in the market is a direct benefit of listening to the end user's needs.”
Here are some different technologies Bridgestone Golf currently works with:
• Bridgestone Golf's Gradational Core Technology. This technology is much like a cookie, he said, where it is softer on the inside of the core, but is firmer around the edges.
“If you bake a cookie, and you want to have a nice, crispy edge and then a soft center, that's kind of like the core,” Rehberg said. “The core is a soft center, and then the edge is a little bit firmer. That allows for greater ball speed, energy transfer to the core more efficiently.”
• HydroCore Technology is new to the B330, which increases the Gradational Core Technology. With this, Bridgestone Golf took a previous version of the core that had a gradational slope and made that slope even higher. The result made the ball softer in the middle and firmer on the outside than the previous version. This increased ball speed and negated some spin off the drive. To negate driver spin and increase speed without sacrificing the performance of the ball as it approaches in and around the green benefits the golfer.
• Dual Dimple pattern was implemented into the golf balls a few years ago and works exactly as it sounds, as a dual dimple. It's not just visually dual dimpled, Rehberg said, but acts in two separate manners according to how fast the speed is moving around the ball.
When a golf ball is hit, at first the speed of the ball is in the high speed region. During that speed, the dimple acts as a shallow dimple, which increases lift for faster ball speed right off the club.
When the ball starts to slow down during its flight, the airflow is a little bit slower, allowing for the ball to go down into the deeper dimple. When this occurs, the dimple acts as a deep dimple, which maintains lift and increases carry. It also shallows out the angle of descent on the backend of the drive, he said, so that encourages roll and a little bit shallower descent.
Bridgestone Golf also makes a golf ball catered to female golfers. This golf ball features the exact same dimple type pattern as the B330 model, using a 330 dimple construction. However, it does not have the dual dimple. What separates the lady golf balls to tour or men's golf balls is it has a really soft compression core. On average, the lady golfer swings below 85 mph, thus the ideal is to look for a golf ball more easily compressed. Consuegra explained that a softer compression means that it's easier to “deform” the golf ball in the face, which results in a higher launch and more distance. This core is built from fitting more than 15,000 female golfers.
While Rehberg could not reveal all the ingredients inside the core, he did say there is butadiene rubber, zinc acrylate and zinc oxide. Different golf balls have different core components. The soft compression core for the ladies ball would be made up differently than for a tour player that can swing around 120 mph.
Besides the core, the cover of the golf ball is also made from rubber and plastics. Rehberg said there are two different types of covers Bridgestone Golf uses: ionomer and elastomer.
The ionomer cover is used on distance-type golf balls to reduce spin and give a player the max distance they need. This plastic features a high resiliency, Rehberg said, and high degrees of hardness.
The elastomer cover is used as a mid-layer cover for a soft compression golf ball. The elastomer would be used for soft compression golf balls and then the ionomer is used as a cover layer for the high degree of hardness golf balls.
Whether you are baking a cake or constructing a golf ball, ingredients matter.