Ball tested: Slazenger RAW Distance
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 – Surlyn; Core – High energy; Dimples – 428
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): $14.99 per dozen
Ball notes: By serving as the “Official Golf Ball Brand of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship,” Slazenger makes its goal clear: to be known as the game’s premier “distance” ball manufacturer.
Hence, the RAW Distance model – not to be confused with its siblings (RAW Distance Feel, Straight and Xtreme) – is all about bombing it off the tee. It doesn’t pretend to be soft or to deliver exceptional greenside spin. It’s primary promise is gargantuan tee shots… At least compared to your usual.
Is the Slazenger RAW Distance golf ball worth playing? Read on for our opinion.
On the clubface: Good thing the company makes no claims for the RAW Distance model’s feel. To be blunt, it has next to none. This ball is a throwback to the distance balls of yore, a rock-hard pellet that jumps off the clubface with a resounding “whack!”
Off the tee: While we didn’t launch any missiles that would scare the muscle-bound fellas on the long drive tour, the Slazenger RAW Distance produced some (relatively) prodigious blasts. This ball wants to go up, up and away, evidenced by its high launch and sustained carry. It doesn’t mind rolling when it hits, either. Accuracy was about average.
From the fairway / rough: Don’t expect your wedge shots to skip to a quick stop and you won’t be disappointed. The Slazenger RAW Distance offers precious little backspin. On the plus side, trajectory is very high, mitigating the lack of spin.
Around the green: Shot options are limited with this ball, which performs fine as long as you’ve got ample room to work with or the greens are soft and accepting.
Bottom line: We’ll say this for the Slazenger RAW Distance – it’s not out to fool anyone. This ball feels hard, travels far and supplies no backspin to speak of. We prefer the RAW Distance Feel model, but if it’s epic length you’re after, the standard version may be the one for you.
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