By Dave Mills
For about the last 5 years I’ve started taking golf more seriously. I have seen my handicap go from the high teens down my current handicap of a 7.7. I’ve used probably every golf ball on the market. In 2013 I made the Titleist ProV1x my main ball. In April of that year I started reading about a company called I Need The Ball. I was intrigued enough to contact them via Twitter and they sent me a sleeve to try. My expectations were not overly high for the ball. I’ve tried a lot of different small business golf products are usually found them to be subpar compared to the larger OEM products.
I Need The Ball was started by 3 guys who saw a spot in the market for high quality ball at a sub $40 price. They call their product The Ball.
Here are some specs:
- Slow cure ensures strongest chemical bonds, increasing durability and performance.
- Soft Feel & Good Spin with Wedges and Short irons.
- Cast Urethane Cover produces more “grab” on an iron clubface resulting in more spin and fewer flyers.
- Promotes high initial velocity and low launch angle generating lower spin for longer distance off driver.
- Large Core with just the right compression to get the most out of the ball.
- Tungsten in the core to add length without giving up feel and overall ball performance.
The 3 ball sleeve arrived in a nice matte black box and the balls had an alignment arrow and a graphic of an Ouroboros (symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail). I thought It’s a pretty cool and bold design. There is no number on the ball but the color of the graphic is different for each sleeve. The ball had a good feel to the cover and the paint was flawless. The ball passes the visual test.
My first round out I decided to put it head to head with the ProV1x. I just did iron shots from the middle of the fairway so I wouldn’t lose the balls. Once again, my expectations weren’t too high. My first shot with The Ball was from 155 yards. I hit it to about 5 ft. It landed soft with virtually no roll out. I hit the ProV1x next and hit it well but it rolled out to about 10ft. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too soon. So during the day I alternated between the two balls. To my surprise, I was liking the feel of “The Ball” better than the ProV1x. The Ball felt soft off all my clubs and still had that little click with the putter I liked.
So over the month of May and June I compared the ball to the Callaway Hex Black and Chrome +, Bridgestone B330 and RX(S), and of course the ProV1 and ProV1x. Time after time I preferred the feel and performance from “The Ball”. So I decided I would use The Ball for my Club Championship. I struck it very well over the two day tournament and ended up losing in a playoff. It was the best I had ever done in that tournament. I had confidence that I could hit any shot that was needed. I also putted very well.
After my club championship I continued to try out different balls but I kept going back to The Ball. In October of 2013 we had a golf outing in Georgia with other members of the Bunkers Paradise forum. I decided to buy 4 dozen balls and give everyone a sleeve to try out and let me know what they think of them. Honestly they did not think The Ball would live up to the hype. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Everyone really like the feel and performance from The Ball. They said they would definitely consider gaming it for their next ball.
After testing the ball throughout 2013 I have decided to make “The Ball” my main 2014 golf ball. I kept wanting to make the ProV1x my ball but The Ball just performed better for me.
- Putting: The Ball really shines here. It is probably the best ball I have ever putted. I like that I can feel The Ball on the face without it being too “grabby”. I also like hearing the little click sound with I hit the putt.
- Consistent distance: The Ball performs in hot and cold temperatures. I don’t seem to lose as much distance compared to other balls in the cold. In normal conditions The Ball is long and very predictable.
- Spin/Stopping ability: I am not a high spin player but I am able to spin The Ball back if needed. One of my favorite attributes is there isn’t a ton of roll out with the longer iron shots. I am able to hit more greens with The Ball.
- Design: I like the choice of the graphic on the ball instead of a number. It makes it easy to identify your ball. The arrow alignment aid is also a nice bonus.
- Durability: Coming from the 2013 ProV1 I am a little spoiled but The Ball does scuff up a little more easily.
- Availability: Being online only means you need to order more ahead of time. You can’t just run to the store before the round to buy more. Also, they use FedEx SmartPost which seems to be a little slower at shipping then regular Priority Mail.