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Player's Journal

The story of the Sounder golf ball


This is a story that starts more than a decade ago, when Sounder co-founder James Day become a an expert on precision golf ball manufacturing quite by accident.
The story of the Sounder golf ball

At Sounder we take pride in doing things well, and our first golf ball is a prime example. We set out to produce what we call a ‘benchmark ball’, and we’re confident we’ve succeeded. So much so that the Sounder ball is a promise we make to you — golfers to golfer: a really great product at an honest price minus the BS.

We’re building our brand on trust and honesty, so we’re not going to give you marketing speak - just the truth about how the Sounder ball came into being, why we’ve made it the way we have, and how we can offer it to you at this great price.

First, the really important stuff. The Sounder ball is a three-piece ball with a urethane cover that plays as well as, if not better than, any Direct-to-Consumer ball on the market. How we do we know? Because we’ve done the testing.

The story starts some years ago with Sounder co-founder James Day becoming a golf ball expert quite by accident. James was on a quest to find the best ball tracking system for his indoor golf simulator venues, a search that eventually led him to a technology genius named Tim McGann. Among numerous other innovations in golf, Tim had developed the Max Out Golf fitting system, one of the first camera launch monitors, and still the most accurate.

With a partner, Tim then went on to launch Golf Ball Selector, a subscription website that independently tested every golf ball on the market. Not subjective reviews from club golfers, but bench testing: compression tests, cover tests, weight tests and more. Balls were cut open to interrogate their cores; they were analysed using robots as well as with real-life golfers swinging at a wide range of speeds, all of whom were tracked using the most accurate system available – Tim McGann’s Max Out launch monitor.

One of the key findings from Golf Ball Selector’s rigorous testing was that weight consistency might be a successful ball’s single most important attribute. Consistency is reliant on manufacturing processes because, put simply, manufacturing millions of identical golf balls is no simple process. If the processes are not as tight as a drum, even the best designed ball will prove to be inconsistent. It might be argued a golf ball is only as good as the factory it’s made in.

James used the data he’d poured over with Tim when deciding on what Sounder’s first ball should be. Importantly, he knew what we needed to make it: the best factory, with the best processes, using the best materials.

And then there’s the fact the Sounder ball looks great. The understated design — line or no line — comes in four different colours: navy, green, burgundy or gold. The choice is yours. We get it, the relationship with your golf ball is a personal thing.

The ball feels great, too - both on the clubface and in your fingers. We’ve given it a tacky, tactile cover, which doesn’t offer anything in terms of game improvement but does deliver a tiny pang of pleasure with each touch.

And finally, there’s the price. Our premium ball comes at a less than premium price because we don’t waste money on marketing or packaging. We don't pay tour pros to endorse the ball. And rather than a sleeve of three, or a box containing four sleeves of three, our balls are transported loose, and delivered to you in ethically-sourced cotton drawstring bags. Not only is this better for the environment (we can ship more balls in fewer containers), it also means we can pass on the savings to you.

The golf industry constantly preaches the things we all look for in a ball — distance, spin, feel — can only be found in the balls the pros play. More specifically, the balls the pros are paid to play - the balls with premium price tags justified by the promise of marginal gains. But is a theoretical saving 0.2 of a shot per round worth the added expense? And do marginal gains mean more than the experience? At Sounder, the answer to both questions is no.

We don’t promise the Sounder ball will make you hit it further, straighter or generate more or less spin. But we do guarantee you a premium ball for a fraction of the price. A ball to play well.

So, next time you’re pushed a message about needing a premium ball at a premium price, a small reminder…

Ball bags.