This article is very interesting to me. I had thought that soft balls go farther. They say:
"FORGET ABOUT SOFT FEEL
Driver, putters, golf balls, it doesn’t matter; golfers are obsessed with feel, and it might be hurting your game. For golfers who swing 85 MPH or more, if your first purchase criteria is feel, you’re setting yourself back from the get-go. The softest balls are typically the best feeling, but they’re also slower and lower spinning. It should be obvious enough, but performance, not feel, should be your primary consideration."
I haven't finished it yet, but they say the longest ball for 85 MPH driver is Pro-V1X. Because of recent experiences, I can accept that. For the final month I was in AZ, I was using Pro-V1 (not X), and then Z-Star. I picked up distance, especially with irons. I did not expect that. Prior to using those, I was playing Wilson Duo Urethane/Professional, and Bridgestone RXS. So I'm saying, those were shorter. edit to add: Now I see that in 7 iron testing, the softer balls rise to the top of the chart. That's what I always thought, but my experience is still as described above.
I think I am now firmly in the camp of playing a "hard" tour ball. FWIW, I didn't notice any hard feeling. I think the ProV's feel great off the club, actually.
Note: Decided to start a new thread rather than continue the Balls! thread of a while back.