GOLF; Jumbo ball -- a duffer's delight?

Weekend players who think golf balls are just too small to be hit properly may like a new over-size alternative. Jerry Barber, the 1961 PGA champion, came up with idea for the jumbo ball, now being manufactured on trial basis by Lynx.

Barber explained his innovation to Golf Digest, indicating that the jumbo balls could "get more people into the game and have them attain a level of competent quicker."

There are actually two models, the Lynx Jumbo Jr. measuring 1.74 inches in diameter and the Jumbo 1.80 (the diameter of a regulation USGA ball is 1.68 inches). Though the Jumbo balls are slightly heavier, beginning players can usually get them in the air easily and therefore hit them greater distances. The long hitter might lose some distance, though, because the Jumbo's increased surface are also means more wind resistance.

Those who have tried the balls, which retail for $24 a dozen, have criticized them because of the clunking sound they make an impact. Their biggest drawback, however may be that they do not conform to USGA regulations. Consequently, the Jumbos cannot be used in rounds played to establish a golfer handicap.

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