New ball, same low cost: Srixon's Soft Feel golf ball tweaked for 2017

It has been 10 years since Srixon introduced the Soft Feel golf ball, and the low-cost, low-compression ball has been a major player in the market ever since.

For decades prior to the advent of soft yet long golf balls, low-cost balls were rock-hard, with no spin or feel around the greens.

Once new durable, yet soft, materials were combined in premium golf balls to produce both low spin rates off the driver and high spin off irons and wedges, companies figured out how to engineer the same sort of performance in lower-priced balls.

And the Soft Feel is arguably at the top of the class in this category.

For 2017, Srixon has tweaked the recipe of its best-selling Soft Feel and Soft Feel Lady golf balls ($20/dozen) to produce more distance in a lower-compression, softer-feeling package.

The 2017 Soft Feel is a 60-compression ball, which is 12 compression points softer than previous models.

This means more spring off the driver for prodigious distance.

The ionomer cover is 11 percent thinner than on previous models and 5 percent softer. This feature produces more "grab" when struck by lofted clubs and consequently more spin around the greens.

Finally, Srixon claims that a new 324-dimple pattern results in better surface coverage and a more aerodynamic, slightly more piercing ball flight.

The difference between the Soft Feel and Soft Feel Lady balls is that the latter has a slightly higher ball flight. In addition, whereas both models come in "Soft White," the Soft Feel comes in "Tour Yellow," the Lady comes in "Passion Pink."

Playing the Srixon Soft Feel and Soft Feel Lady

Low-compression golf balls such as the Soft Feel are marketed towards golfers with lower swing speeds. To be honest, I've never really understood this. My swing speed is pretty fast -- ill advisedly fast, according to some of the guys I play with -- yet I love playing these balls.

The Soft Feel is one of my favorites. I also play the Lady and really can't tell any difference between the two (aside from the colors).

Pairing the Soft Feel with the new Srixon drivers has produced my longest drives of the year. Nothing against $50-plus premium balls, but frankly, for most golfers, it's difficult to justify spending the extra money, no matter what your swing speed is.

For more information, visit srixon.com.

Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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New ball, same low cost: Srixon's Soft Feel golf ball tweaked for 2017