Modern balls with vintage gear?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Balata balls are hard to come by here in Sweden, except if I order them from the web. Is there any modern balls that would suite the persimmon wood? What balls do people here use?

And, another question, although not connected to this topic, but, I’m playing with Hogan Precision irons and Speed slots persimmon woods, mahogany, both made by Slazenger for Hogan, don’t know which year they were made. Does anyone have any information, or I’ll just put up a picture of them and hopefully one of you might be able to identify them.

Thanks Lag and everyone here for making golf once again interesting in this otherwise gloomy state that the game is in!!!

I read in a thread on here somewhere that the Srixon Soft Feel were recommended. Haven’t tried them myself yet.

Hi Demaret,

Welcome to the site! The issue of which modern balls to use with persimmon woods has come up a few times. Others may have their favourites but my experience from experimenting with the modern mid price range lower compression balls like the Srixon soft feel is that they don’t do much for me. To me they tend to feel “dull and heavy” rather than “soft”. So I either play some old original Maxfli Revolutions (the ones with the blue writing) that I picked up of ebay which are multilayer, 90 compression and closer to balata than a modern ball but are still more durable than balata. Or if I go modern I will play a the softer of the Srixson Zstars (black writing I think) which I think is just slightly better with persmmon than the pro v1 or Bridgstone B330s. Others have recommended the following to try:

Wilson Zip
Bridgstone B330-RX
Wilson Luxe
Precept Ladies
Callaway Solaire Ladies
Maxfli Tour Fire (I tried it, liked it more than the Soft Feel but less than the Zstar)

So all worth a try but I wouldn’t expect a miracle. Let me know if you find anything out when you experiment.

Cheers, Arnie

Thanks Arnie, I’ll do that

Hi Demaret and welcome to the forum!

Many here use Srixon Soft Feel, readily available everywhere in OZ, don’t know in Sweden…

Hey Two or Lag or hell, anyone :laughing:

Didn’t Titleist used to make all their 90 compression products with black lettering and red numbers, and the 100’s in black lettering and black numbers. That’s how I kind of recall them doing it.

Which ball is softer…ProV1x with black letters and red numbers, or ProV1 with black/black. I’ve been using ProV1x when I do play thinking it was the softer of the two…which ball is the 90 compression equivalent? :smiley: RR

Hi RR,

The Pro V1 is certainly softer and spins more than the Pro V1x though neither really performs or feels anything like a Tour Balata or Titleist Professional.

Cheers, Arnie

yep the Old Titleists were 90 compression (red number) and 100 compression (black number)

Like Arnie said…the ProV1 is meant to feel softer for around the greens control.
They try to say the ProV1X launches higher

FWIW…I can’t notice a difference between the two in playability at all… but may be blinded by the red number/black number thingy as that was the compression difference marking in the ‘old days’ like you said and I still have that ‘idea’ in my head
I think compression wise they make them the same these days…it’s cover thickness that affects the spin or feel on that model as far as I can remember from what they told me

there’s your comparison…pretty much same everything…more dimples on one of them and more dimple patterns looks like the only difference…core/cover thickness/material SAME

Two and Arnie…

The rat bows in appreciation…we are close to the ground however, so it may not look like one :laughing: RR

I have a story for you about this one…

Titleist Golf balls… Balata.

In 1984 I was invited to play in the prestigious Northwest Amateur… and part of our invitation included a tour of the Titleist Factory in Acushnet Mass.

We learned inside the factory that all the golf balls 90 and 100 compression came off the same winding machine… then once the covers were on… the balls rolled down a slope, then flew off a ledge and hit a hard base surface. Once the balls hit that surface, they bounced forward and either carried a thin divider or not. It was like a two compartment funnel, so the balls either fell into the closer part, or carried farther across the second divider into the second funnel.

This is how they distinguished between 90 and 100 compression…

This is the honest truth… I saw it with my own two eyes!

Then the balls would roll onto a conveyor belt, and there was a lady that would put a small dot on each ball which would signal where on the ball the logo would be stamped…

They said she had been at the factory since it opened, and other than a few sick days, she touched every Titleist ball that ever went through there…

I also got to see this guy…

Mr Iron Byron… the master of holding shaft flex!


What could be cooler than Iron Byron hitting Persimmon? :sunglasses:

That’s a great story Lag. Thanks for sharing.

I don’t understand why this would be ball-of-choice for modern balata. Is this because it has a soft core (yet there are softer like Wilson Fifty/Zip & Noodle+ series)? Yet; A) a balata was not 70-80 compression and B) a balata spun WAY more than any modern 2-piece “distance” ball could dream.

I would think there are much better choices in balls as a modern balata replacement, closer to same characteristics, among the upper end high-spinning urethane balls. For example, these three are soft ProV1 alternatives:

  1. Bridgestone new B330 RXS series is softest Urethane ball available. Or the B330 RX series (2nd softest available but is designed for less spin premium ball)

  2. Srixon Z-Star (as mentioned already)

  3. Wilson FG Tour, the BEST choice to come out among premium balls is Wilsons relatively new offering. It is a low-90’s compression, soft cover, high spinning ball. Wilson even took time to mention it as a balata alternative on their website:

I read that Lag used a Srixon Soft Feel during his US Open qualifying stint. A few places he mentioned the course design flaw of him hitting a green and ball rolled off back. I was amazed he chose a low-spin 2-piece ball, as that is to be expected result with these type balls, rather than one of the softer premium balls listed.

I have been using this for a week or so now, and they are just fantastic balls. Spin like a top, fairly inexpensive…the cover even cuts like a Balata!


I hadn’t played in 13 years so I had nothing to compare it to. All the balls I have played since returning to golf feel horrible.
Srixon Soft Feel included. I blame Vic Wilk for introducing the Srixon into the TRGA event. I suspect he was looking for a ball that wouldn’t fly as far to give the course back some of it’s teeth.

I’ll try this Wilson ball soon. (FG Tour) Does anyone play it on tour actually?

There must be a solution somewhere… but I don’t have time to try all the balls out there so I’ll have to take someone’s word for it. Then give it a try.

I know Padraig who is a Wilson Staff guy, still has a ball contract with Titleist…don’t know about anybody else. It’s a great ball, definately better than the Soft Feel. In fact I was thumbing through a ball review in a recent golf digest that said the soft feel Srixon had some of the lowest spin rates of what they tested.


I just bought 3 dozen for 20 bucks a dozen on Fleabay.

I love the ball myself…i golfed a lot up until 97…then took over 10 years off…when i came back every ball was a Top Flite…

This FG Tour is friggin awesome in my mind. You can feel the squish on good hits…and it is verrrryyy workable.

Just my two penneth / cents / euros :wink: on the Wilson FG Tour and use with persimmon. In my experience it does feel like it compresses nicely compared to other modern balls but its quite a ‘hot’ ball with almost trampoline like qualities. If hitting a balata is like hitting a marshmallow the FG Tour is more like a one of the those bouncy rubber balls we used to play with as kids. You know the ones that you bounce on a hard floor and it goes as high as a house :slight_smile: So distance is certainly good but I am not sure about the control side of the picture. But its only my opinion based on limited usage. The suggestions on the Bridgestones tally with my experience and the Z-Star / Pro V1 play ok. But I still feel the best hybrid ball between the balata and modern era is the Maxfli Revolution Multilayer 90/100. Relatively easy to find on ebay in the UK I am not sure about the US or other countries I’m afraid. I would also be interested in trying some of the older Hogan Apex Tour balls from the same period as well.

Cheers, Arnie

FWIW, I went to Golfsmith and Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy some of the Wilson FG Tours and neither store carried them…I couldn’t believe it…

They dont carry them for some reason…

Buy them on ebay, a lot cheaper there.