To the naked eye, Phil Mickelson's driver is a blur when he hits tee shots. Often most people hear club/ball contact more clearly than they can see it. Since few golfers possess Mickelson-esque clubhead speed, it's not surprising that many would be wise to play a different ball than the five-time major winner.
With the release of the new Speed Regime family of golf balls, Callaway is trying to make it easy for players to find a ball that is optimized for their swing.
“Looking at all the data we have on golf-ball fittings, well, club fittings really, and taking those speed and launch conditions, our R&D guys were able to identify patterns for every speed ‘regime,’ “ said Greg Sabella, Callaway's director of golf ball marketing. “They were then able to design a golf ball to maximize performance at each one of those speeds.”
Each of the three balls – Speed Regime 1, Speed Regime 2 and Speed Regime 3 – are designed with different players in mind and with slightly different features. Here’s what you need to know:
• Speed Regime 1 (SR1): Designed for players with driver clubhead speed below 90 mph, the four-piece SR1 has been given the softest urethane cover material within the Speed Regime family. That should make it especially good around the greens, but an additional benefit is more low-speed lift. That should translate to increased hang time, which for slower-swing players means more carry distance. The SR1 also has the lowest compression, which should help low and moderate swing speed players create more ball speed.
• Speed Regime 2 (SR2): The name of the game here is versatility. This ball is designed to fit golfers with driver clubhead speed between 90-105 mph. Callaway engineers designed the SR2 to have less drag for more initial velocity off the tee, but includes some of the low-speed lift of the SR1 to boost carry distance. The five-piece SR2 has a dual-core design and two mantle layers under its urethane cover. That cover material is slightly firmer than the SR1’s, so it should feel a little firmer off the tee, but Callaway says that it should still provide green-grabbing spin on chips, pitches and wedge shots.
• Speed Regime 3 (SR3): This ball is optimized for driver clubhead speed more than 105 mph. Aerodynamically, Callaway designed the five-piece SR3 to have minimal drag immediately after impact so energy can efficiently transfer from a player's swing into the shot for maximum distance. Players in this swing-speed range need to avoid creating too much spin, so Callaway designed the SR3 to have a lower, more-boring trajectory than the SR1 or SR2. Look for this to be the ball that PGA Tour players experiment with and potentially put into play.