My Winter Love

The weather is cooling down and my thoughts are turning to decorating the house, protecting the pipes, and finding the perfect softer golf ball. In the heat of a Texas summer a high compression ball feels fine, but when the temperature tops out in the sixties or below I like a little squish at the bottom of my swing.

I’m a hopeless ball tinkerer. I settle on one ball for a while, but my love always fades and I begin to get restless. Maybe I can squeeze a few more yards out of my random-shot-generating swing with a different ball. Who knows? Somewhere in the back of my mind, that song from Pinocchio about how “the grass is always greener in the other fellow’s yard” just won’t stop.

Last year the Bridgestone ball fitting guy happened to be at my local Edwin Watts store when I dropped by to get a new glove, so I went through the fitting process. I’d been playing the E6, and their data suggested I was overcompressing the E6 and would do better with the B330RX. I gave it a try, and I like the B330RX most of the time. However, the fitter made the off-hand comment that the E6 might be a good cold weather ball for me, and that had the unfortunate effect of reinforcing my tinkering gene.

So it’s getting cool again, and here I go. I could just go get a few E6’s, but that goes against my nature. I’m in the ball accumulating phase of life (I find a lot more balls than I lose) so I get regular free test drives of a wide variety of balls.

Parenthetically, I seem to find an inordinate percentage of Nike balls in the nether reaches of the course. I wonder if the “just do it” style of ad attracts the bold, hard swinging risk takers of golf, so Nike balls more often go deeply astray?

I found a Srixon Soft Feel recently, and loved it for a round or two. I found it at the start of my best recent round and put it into play immediately, but who knows how much of my good performance was ball related? The ball felt good, but everything felt good that day. The next round wasn’t as good, but wasn’t bad, and the ball made the acquaintance of a cart path and a tree, so it suffered a bit and had to be retired.

The weather’s swinging wildly from warm to cool and back right now, complicating my ball choice. I’m looking for that feel of a soft cover with a firm base, kind of like what I look for when I pick out limes at the grocery store. The sensation in my memory is from a Pro V1 on a rare June day where the temperature was warm and my swing was perfect. What ball gives me that feel seems to change from year to year, maybe from day to day and swing to swing, so I’ll be searching the rough for audition candidates for a few more weeks.

Either that, or I’ll just do what I usually do. Give up the search and buy what looks good to me on the day I lose patience and the weather finally turns cold enough. Then I can try to fall deeply enough in love for a passionate but short winter fling.

As Mickey Gilley famously said, “the girls always get prettier at closing time.”

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