TOUR B Cup Team Picture

Bridgestone Golf Hosts Consumers in Inaugural TOUR B Cup for Feedback on Future State Technologies

Written by Pete Pappas

The inaugural TOUR B Cup presented by Bridgestone Golf was contested September 18-19 at the acclaimed Harbor Club on Lake Oconee.  Teams of 12 elite amateurs each from Georgia and Florida renewed one of the most intense rivalries in sports, and the entire week was an emotional thrill ride chock-full of unabashed awe.

Harbor Club offers a diverse mix of holes with significant movement, a few drivable par-4’s, some blind shots and severe angles, and A1/A4 bent grass greens (the exact same as Augusta National).  This challenge would deliver a feel-it-in-your gut tension as teams competed to hoist the first ever TOUR B Cup.

Tour B Cup Team Picture

Before the struggle for hearts and minds in competitive matches began however, all the players were greeted by Bridgestone Golf President Dan Murphy and treated to an insider tour of the Bridgestone Golf ball manufacturing factory and R&D facility in Covington.  And they were like kids in a toy store.

Players witnessed Bridgestone’s operational layout in all its glory.  They marveled at the rigorous and comprehensive manufacturing process and very intense quality control testing.  Bridgestone conducts multiple hundreds of checks on weight, diameter, compression, and core centering among other things, and even performs hands on inspections for each and every golf ball.

TOUR B Cup Trophy

Down to the very last player, everyone came away with a greater understanding and appreciation for just how meticulous and high-tech every step of the Bridgestone Golf ball manufacturing process actually is.  And more than a few jaws were dropping in utter amazement.

They saw everything from raw material mixing and cure pressing to core grinding and packaging for delivery, though Bridgestone trade secrets remained as guarded as the nuclear football.

Next up for Team Georgia and Team Florida was a trip to R&D and a ball fitting for the new TOUR B PROTO ball.  Bridgestone uses a cavalry of high-tech R&D toys including multiple high-speed cameras and four different testing robots to make every ball as perfect as possible every single time.

One of the robots, Robo 6B, is a one-plane swing machine that (unlike Iron Byron) removes hinge and load inconsistencies for the most precise ball testing possible.  Ball velocity, carry symmetry, flight time and trajectory uniformity are all tested and analyzed to ensure each ball performs exactly as intended.

Players were fit for the new Bridgestone Tour B PROTO balls using the same technology, the same methodology, and the same Bridgestone Golf fitters Tiger and Bryson use when they’re testing balls.  Both teams put the new balls in play for the TOUR B Cup, and from distance gains to better control and feel players were absolutely thrilled with the performance.

When the dust settled on Sunday evening, Team Florida emerged victorious in the inaugural TOUR B Cup.  But this was a week really where everyone won.  Bridgestone Golf rolled out the red carpet for the competitors in every way imaginable.  And TOUR B Cup week was ultimately an inspiring and extraordinary golf experience that created lasting friendships and memories for all.

2021 TOUR B Cup