Great Lakes Golf Company Golf Balls Review

Great Lakes Golf Company Golf Balls Review

Great Lakes Golf Company Golf Balls
Grade: B
Teachers’ Comments: A solid play

Company Website

It surely is hard to break into the golf ball business, regardless of how small or large the ambition. Over the years, I have received quite a few balls from startups — some of which have thrived; most of which have disappeared. Most deserve (or deserved) a try by weekend golfers.

Great Lakes Golf, based in Frankenmuth, Michigan is a bit different from most in that golf balls are not their only product. The company also has golf bags, club head covers, tees, towels and gloves. I would not be surprised to see them expand into apparel.

This review is about golf balls, however.

Great Lakes Golf has two models of balls: the Tour 3 Distance, and the Tour 3 Soft.

The Tour 3 Soft is a three-piece ball with a urethane cover. Great Lakes Golf says it routinely produces 10,000 RPM wedge shots and has the green-side spin to match top name brand balls.

The Tour 3 Distance is a three-piece ball with a surlyn cover. The company says that in-house testing shows that at a 104 mph swing speed it produces 244 yards of carry with 2, 900 RPM of spin.

Great Lakes Golf Company says that the balls have been thoroughly tested and stack up well against offerings from the big boys.

Both Great Lakes Golf Company balls play well for me. On my home course at Washtenaw Golf Club (course link), I find myself in the usual spots off the tee and selecting the usual clubs on approach. For reference, my game ball right now is a Vice Drive.

In the usual spots and with the usual clubs tells me that

Of the two, I prefer the Distance. It doesn’t feel any less soft to me and I think it might offer a couple more yards off the tee.

I also really don’t swing fast enough to take advantage of a ball with a high spin off the short irons. I’m more of a pitch and roll player.

Therefore, the Tour 3 Distance.

I am also quite price conscious. The Tour 3 Distance retails for $29. The Tour 3 Soft comes in at $39. For my game, I don’t see enough difference between the two to justify the extra $10. If I was a faster swinger, however, I might.

On its website, Great Lakes Golf Company concedes that they are not going to supplant Titleist, Taylor Made or Callaway. That, they say, “but also isn’t our goal. Our goal is to provide a desirable alternative to those companies.”

In that, Great Lakes Golf Company succeeds. Both Tour 3s are nice feeling, capable balls that perform as well as anything else I’m playing.

My only other thought about the balls is that they are perhaps priced a little too high to get a casual observer to give them a try. I think that for the listed price, prospective buyers will likely turn to a more recognizable name.

That said, I think these are worth a try, especially if you are interested in supporting a small startup. You may find that these are the right ball for you.


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