Ball tested: Pinnacle Bling
Tested for golfers with average driving distance of: 125 yards or less (carry + roll) / 126 to 195 yards (carry + roll) / 196 to 245 (carry + roll)
Specs: Construction – Two-piece; Cover – Ionomer; Core – High velocity, low compression; Dimples / Pattern – 332 in “spherical icosahedral” design
Some manufacturers do not reveal or emphasize the compression ratings of new golf balls. Some models are now designed and marketed to fit and appeal to a golfers preferences for price, distance, spin, feel and control.
Price as tested (new): $24 per dozen
Ball notes: First things first—the Pinnacle Bling is not specifically geared toward women. That’s a common misperception since each package of a dozen comes in four “High Optix” colors, including pink and violet, plus the more masculine orange and yellow. (Pinnacle does make a women’s ball, called Ribbon.)
There’s little question, however, that the color range is key to Bling’s appeal. The ball is not only a head-turning conversation starter, it’s made to be easier to spot than traditional white against the green and blue hues of a golf course.
For golfers who tend to stray from the fairway, that’s a nice feature indeed.
On the clubface: It’s a Pinnacle circa 2013, which means two things. 1) It’s softer than the Pinnacles of old (pre-2000), and 2) It’s still pretty firm. Few golfers interested in this particular model are likely to complain about that, however, and they may even appreciate the modest cushion supplied on impact.
Off the tee: It’s a Pinnacle, so it’s long. We were pleased with the high trajectory, excellent roll-out and, best of all, the accuracy of the Bling. There was little curve on tee shots and a noticeable lack of backspin or sidespin. Nothing wrong with long and straight.
From the fairway / rough: High Optix, indeed. Shining brightly in the rough or trees, these balls are easier to find than a salesman on a used car lot. Once located, the Bling performs about as expected. Good height compensates for low spin, and it’s a terrific choice for golfers who play a lot of run-up shots.
Around the green: The touch of softness is a definite plus when chipping and pitching. That said, we noticed little if any difference in performance from the flagship Pinnacle Gold model. Bling won’t impress anyone with its action, but it does fine on basic, straightforward shots.
Bottom line: Looking to make a splash on the course? Pinnacle’s Bling golf ball will get you noticed. It will also deliver plenty of distance and good accuracy off the tee, without the harsh, rock-like feel of the brand’s bygone models.
Value/Recreational/Distance – Designed for mid- to high-handicap golfers with swing speeds below 90 mph; typically feature two-piece construction and firm covers; promote greater distance over high spin rates. Examples: Pinnacle Gold, Slazenger RAW Distance
Premium – Designed for low- to mid-handicap golfers with swing speeds of 90-99 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and medium-soft covers; happy medium between Value/Recreational and Tour categories for distance and spin qualities. Examples: Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HEX Diablo
Tour/Advanced/Performance – Designed for low-handicap and professional golfers with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and soft covers; promote greater spin rates and enhanced feel over distance. Examples: Titleist ProV1, Bridgestone Tour B330