An Honest Review of Bridgestone e12 Contact Golf Balls
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on January 3, 2024

Distance golf balls typically feel rock hard, spin low and offer limited control.

In my honest review of the Bridgestone e12 Contact, you’ll learn about a low-spinning, fast, and straight-flying softer golf ball.

I relished its feel, feedback, and acoustics which enhanced my greenside control. Conversely, the e12 Contact highlighted its versatility by rebounding off the clubface rapidly on high-impact shots to lower spin and boost speed.

Why listen to us? Our team has tested dozens and dozens of the top balls on the market (you can read in-depth review of each here). We keep detailed notes and findings about each one to come up with our recommendations for you.

bridgestone e12 contact

Overall Rating and Thoughts

Overall, I can say I like the Bridgestone e12 Contact golf balls. They offer a fair performance from tee to green, delivering stable flight, a consistent launch, and straighter results. The biggest downside is the distance reduction, stemming from the sharp descent and soft landing.

I feel the e12 Contact balls are a suitable option for moderate swing speeds seeking a compressible design, high launch, and greenside control. Overall it’s a consistent and reliable golf ball for mid-handicappers to strike.

Overall Score: 8.3/10

Features

Three-Piece Ball

Contrary to most distance ball designs, the Bridgestone e12 Contact sports a three-layer construction. A Gradational core is the driving force behind the e12, optimizing speed and lowering spin on high-impact strikes.

My speed received a further injection on long shots thanks to the Active Acceleration mantle. The final piece is the Flexativ Cover Tech which adapts to the force of each strike to enhance rebound on long shots and friction around the green.

Gradational Core

The Gradational Core put in a hard shift enhancing rebound off the clubface on metal woods and long iron strikes. Its rapid spring helps me minimize spin and preserve ball speed for a powerful launch and extended carry distance.

I found the core slightly softer than the 2021 e12 Contact, which works well for slow and moderate swing speeds.

Active Acceleration Mantle

Contrary to most distance golf balls, the e12 Contact features an additional material between the core and the cover. An ionomer Active Acceleration Mantle further reduces spin on high-impact strikes while boosting rebound for solid ball speed across the clubface.

I noticed that my overall driver ball speed was 2.5 mph faster than I generated with the two-piece Bridgestone e6. The mantle supported the highly compressible core to generate consistent speed and controlled spin for an impressive long-game distance.

Flexativ Cover Technology

The Bridgestone e12 Contact is covered by a combination of Surlyn and Flexativ technology to enhance its performance from tee to green. I found the cover softer than a traditional ionomer composition and managed to generate superior greenside spin with my wedges.

Besides short-game performance, the Flexativ Cover Technology responds positively to high-impact strikes. The ball leaves the clubface rapidly for a mid-to-high launch and ample carry distance.

Contact Force Dimple

The Contact Force Dimple pattern combines with the Flexativ Cover Technology to increase surface contact by approximately 46%. This results in superb energy transfer and spring off the clubface, accelerating the ball as it ascends to the skies.

I also found the dimples performed optimally on short game shots, as my friction levels surged and produced a superior spin rate for a distance ball. My short iron and full wedge shots flew high and landed very softly. It allowed me to attack the flag on close shots and stop the ball close to the cup.

Colors

Bridgestone finished the e12 Contact range with 4 colors to cater to traditionalists and golfers with visual impairments. I’m personally not a fan of the matte finish as a whole, probably because I’m accustomed to a simple white coat of paint.

The red finish was an eyesore, but I found it easy to track through the air and spot in the cabbage patch. I thought the matte green was ineffective in the air and the rough as the color blended with the turf.

The matte yellow was a breeze to follow in flight and identify on the ground, and the color wasn’t as blinding as its red counterpart.

Alignment Arrow

The e12 alignment arrow is petite compared to the likes of the TaylorMade Distance +. However, it was good enough to help me sync the center of my putter face with the arrow to start my ball on the intended line.

Performance

Price

Although more affordable than a dozen Titleist Pro V1s, the e12 Contact balls are marginally more expensive than similar balls. The TaylorMade Soft Response immediately springs to mind. Its moderate price tag makes it a suitable option for mid-handicappers who lose fewer balls per round and can spend more on a box.

However, the Bridgestone e12 is considerably more expensive than simple 2-piece distance balls like the Callaway Warbird.

Feel

I found the 2023 edition far softer than the 2021 iteration, owing to the enhancements of the updated Flexativ Cover. The feel was somewhere between the firmness of a distance ball and the softness of a urethane-covered tour construction.

The ball came off the clubface smoothly on iron and wedge shots, leading to improved feedback compared to rock-hard distance balls.

High Compression

The Bridgestone e12 Contact proved highly compressible on high-impact shots, resulting in an elevated launch and straighter ball flight. It came off the face of my metal woods and irons rapidly, helping my moderate swing speed gain additional distance on long shots.

My launch received a further boost from the Active Acceleration Mantle, which maximized my energy transfer. It imparted optimal speed and low spin on the ball on high-impact strikes for maximum carry distance off the tee and on approach.

Spin

Driver

I generated low driver spin with the e12 by my standards, touching 2600 rpm, which is about 100 rpm above my average. My metrics read 200 rpm more than my Bridgestone e6 results, but it had minimal impact on my carry and total distance.

I credited my lower spin rate to the high compressibility of the Gradational core. It helped my medium clubhead speed produce optimal rebound at impact to lower the spin, accelerate ball speed and generate impressive distance.

Irons

My irons produced an above-average spin rate with my mid and long irons. I notched up 6200 rpm of backspin, 200 higher than my average. However, I noticed minimal difference in my carry and total distance results.

Despite the moderate spin, I found my ball launching relatively high, which prompted a soft landing. I never had my ball roll more than 2 yards on approach, which I can manage.

Wedges

I was impressed with my spin revolutions on full wedge shots, which exceeded my results with other ionomer golf balls. My full wedge shots conjured up 9800 rpm, making it 1000 rpm more than I produced with the e6. However, it was marginally less than my performance with the TaylorMade Soft Response.

The e12 Contact further impressed around the green, providing outstanding feedback, feel, and spin on chip shots. The ball also checked quickly on pitch shots, improving my distance control compared to other Surlyn-covered balls.

Distance

Driver

Although I enjoyed plenty of carry distance, the high flight and soft landings cost my roll and total length. I generated 253 yards of carry with the driver, and my ball rolled an additional 9 yards, bringing my total to 262 yards.

This is not particularly long for my game, and it even stopped short of the TaylorMade Soft Response, which I also found to be a short golf ball.

Irons

I averaged 147 yards on approach with my 7-iron, which is marginally lower than my average. It was also 2 yards less than my performance with the TaylorMade Soft Response. The higher flight and sharp descent caused the ball to stop rapidly on mid and short iron shots for greater control on approach.

Stable Flight

The e12 Contact produced consistent flight off the tee and on approach. It highlighted the efficiency of the Gradational Core and Contact Force Dimples, which reduced spin and enhanced aerodynamics for straighter ball flight.

I find it handy for mid and high handicappers looking for assistance with keeping the ball on line. It won’t eradicate a slice, but it does a better job and reduces the impact compared to a ball like Noodle Long and Soft. I find the Noodles erratic in the air leading to wayward flight on heel and toe mishits.

Launch

The Bridgestone e12 launched relatively high for my standards,  reaching a driver apex of 104 feet. My 7-iron shots also produced an elevated apex that reached 100 feet before descending. This means the Bridgestone ascended 1 foot higher than the TaylorMade Soft Response on approach.

My mid-to-high launch was aided by the Gradational Core, Active Acceleration Mantle, and the Contact Force Dimples. The three components teamed up to explode the ball off the clubface for a powerful strike for a mid to high apex, consistent carry distance, and a softer landing approach.

Greenside Control

My experience with most Surlyn golf balls has reduced my expectations around the green. However, the Bridgestone e12 Contact impressed on wedge shots, as it felt softer and generated more spin than most of its peers.

The ball checked nicely on pitch shots, stopped rapidly on flops, and provided sufficient topspin on bump and runs. It proved a pleasant golf ball to play around the green.

What I Like About The Bridgestone e12 Contact

Low Driver Spin

I welcomed the low driver spin on the e12 Contact, which aided my ball speed preservation on all strikes for a consistent launch. The highly compressible Gradational Core combined with the Active Acceleration Mantle to keep my driver spin in check to optimize distance off the tee.

Highly Compressible

My moderate swing speed welcomed the high compressibility of the Bridgestone e12. It rendered the ball easy to launch, lowered spin, contained ball pace, and delivered satisfactory carry distance. I also feel slower swing speeds will have no trouble launching the e12.

Stable Flight

The efficiency of the Contact Force Dimples generated stable ball flight and lowered spin on high-impact strikes. I enjoyed the consistency of the ball flight and its resistance to veering off line. Although it doesn’t eradicate hooks and slices, it reduces the outcome compared to other golf balls.

Colors

I wasn’t a fan of all the e12 colors, but I appreciate that Bridgestone provides options for all tastes. If you’re a minimalist and prefer plain white, the e12 Contact has you covered. Conversely, there’s the choice of optic-friendly matte red and matte yellow finishes.

Greenside Feel

For a Surlyn-covered ball, the e12 Contact impressed me around the greens. It offered a delightful feel, sufficient spin, and ample feedback on off-center strikes. The softened sensation and amplified feedback went a long way to boosting my short-game control.

I was further amazed by the feel off the putter face. Bridgestone found a comfortable middle ground where the ball wasn’t squishy nor rock hard. It was pleasant and rolled off the flat stick smoothly.

 

What I Dislike About The Bridgestone e12 Contact

Reduced Workability

The straighter ball flight aided my cause on multiple off-center strikes, limiting the severity of off-center hits. However, this meant it hampered my ability to curve the ball off the tee or on approach, reducing the effectiveness of draws and fades.

Short Distance

Thanks to the mid-to-high flight, a sharp descent, and a soft landing, the Bridgestone e12 Contact wasn’t the longest golf ball I’ve hit. It stopped 7 yards shorter than my average driver distance, likely due to the lack of roll produced on the ground.

Price

I paid $35 for a dozen balls, which is $5 more per box than I spent on the TaylorMade Soft Response range. The 3 piece ball is similar in nature to the Bridgestone e12, both in construction and performance.

In addition, the e12 range is $10 to $15 more than a standard 2-piece distance ball. However, it offers a far better all-around performance compared to the typical distance balls.

 

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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8