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Technology - Golf Balls versus The Clubs Themselves

22 posts in this topic

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn%3A10737949

Long story short: Rory lost 45 yards switching back to the old driver hitting a current golf ball, but only 16 (22 if you count roll) hitting a very old balata golf ball (seriously, the thing was even quite yellowed) with his new driver.

Conclusion: the driver technology matters a LOT more than the golf ball technology. Longer, lighter shafts with bigger clubheads do more to send the ball farther (plus the increased speed at which you can swing, given the added forgiveness due to the size of the clubface) than advances in ball tech.

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Interesting.

273 yards with persimmon and balata.  That's munched!  I remember being pretty happy with anything even approaching 220 yards and hitting long irons or even fairway woods into anything close to a 400 yard par-4.

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How do you explain the 300 yd plus drives from Nicklaus and Palmer in the mid/late 60's? Persimmon or Laminated Drivers and NEW Balata balls. Something wrong with using an old yellowed Balata that's probably lost half it's compression. If some company (Titleist) really wanted to PROVE the advantage of newer clubs and balls, they could re-manufacture near identical 'old style' Balatas for an equal shot.
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That is interesting, does a lot of this relate to high swing speed too? (Meaning would 100mph swing speed still see this big of gap between equipment?
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How do you explain the 300 yd plus drives from Nicklaus and Palmer in the mid/late 60's? Persimmon or Laminated Drivers and NEW Balata balls. Something wrong with using an old yellowed Balata that's probably lost half it's compression. If some company (Titleist) really wanted to PROVE the advantage of newer clubs and balls, they could re-manufacture near identical 'old style' Balatas for an equal shot.

Those 300 yard drives were rare and given the right conditions I'm sure Rory could also hit a persimmon 300.

That is interesting, does a lot of this relate to high swing speed too? (Meaning would 100mph swing speed still see this big of gap between equipment?

The gap would still be pretty significant.

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Hmmm. Pretty much the opposite result of that "test" Andrew Rice did.

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2013/6/28/the-huge-leap-in-distance-off-the-tee-on-the-pga-tour-in-200.html

http://www.hotfrog.com/Companies/Andrew-Rice-Golf/Equipment-Andrew-Rice-Golf-701395

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Hmmm. Pretty much the opposite result of that "test" Andrew Rice did.

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2013/6/28/the-huge-leap-in-distance-off-the-tee-on-the-pga-tour-in-200.html

Not really, in the Rice test they weren't hitting persimmon drivers, just testing the balls. Rice was also looking at distance increases since 2000.

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Not really, in the Rice test they weren't hitting persimmon drivers, just testing the balls. Rice was also looking at distance increases since 2000.


Looked like a lot of difference in Rice's test between the newest ball he tested and the oldest though. 36.8 yards?

If his test was fairly reliable I was surprised at the difference between the older Pro V1 and the newer one.

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Interesting. I play a Taylormade R9 driver (5 years old) - am I losing significant distance off the tee?

I'm thinking of getting fitted for a SLDR when Taylormade introduces their next driver and the price drops.

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Interesting. I play a Taylormade R9 driver (5 years old) - am I losing significant distance off the tee? I'm thinking of getting fitted for a SLDR when Taylormade introduces their next driver and the price drops.

No, unless the R9 isn't giving you optimum launch numbers.

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No, unless the R9 isn't giving you optimum launch numbers.

It probably isn't because it's stock everything. Not custom fit. I think it's had enough wear and tear anyways. Time for a new one.

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If his test was fairly reliable I was surprised at the difference between the older Pro V1 and the newer one.

Yeah that stood out to me as well. The driver the guy was hitting might have been more "optimized" for that ball.

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I'll play devils advocate on this one because I believe that the golf ball is the real reason for the distance gains today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLV6rM1vtrA

The average PGA Tour pro swings 11-13 MPH faster now than they did when they were using balata (depending on what year you measure). ANY ball would go about 30 yards farther with those speed increases.

Clubs are lighter, longer, and have larger club faces. Maybe you want to attribute that to fitness or the emphasis on distance. Either way, 30 yards is explained outside of just the golf ball.

Furthermore, a Pinnacle from 1996 went pretty far too. Pros just didn't use them.

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What about irons? Not game improvement irons, but muscle cavities or muscle backs with steel shafts.
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I'd like to see these tests done with Iron Byron as opposed to an individual golfer.  Rory has put on quite a bit of muscle and may have changed his swing since he last used the older drivers, not sure if they were a good fit, especially the persimmon.

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What about irons? Not game improvement irons, but muscle cavities or muscle backs with steel shafts.

Compared to muscle back irons of the 60's-80's, lofts are stronger, soles have more bounce and camber, hosels are shorter and heads are slightly bigger.

Same kind of thing with cavity back irons, forged or cast, from the 80's/90's.

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The average PGA Tour pro swings 11-13 MPH faster now than they did when they were using balata (depending on what year you measure). ANY ball would go about 30 yards farther with those speed increases.

Clubs are lighter, longer, and have larger club faces. Maybe you want to attribute that to fitness or the emphasis on distance. Either way, 30 yards is explained outside of just the golf ball.

Furthermore, a Pinnacle from 1996 went pretty far too. Pros just didn't use them.


The Pinnacle 384 I remember that ball and yes it was long.
I think PGA pros were averaging right at 108 mph back then with a 43" persimmon headed driver.

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