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Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance - Page 2

post #19 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by luckyluke699 View Post
Not sure about the US, but in the UK I definitely notice a difference which is very visible on the range. On average I would say my shots are 20 yards shorter in cold weather (e.g 40 farenheit versus 60 farenheit).

I think most of this is due to the extra humidity and the range balls though!
No, it is not. It is due to lower temperature and thus lower compression/elasticity of the ball resulting to a lower smash factor. Sheer physics.
post #20 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Im a long hitter and I played 4 rounds in the past 2 weeks in temps of 40f' to 60f' (dont know the celsius temps) I notice a decrease in my drive by as much as 20%! The are several factors; First playing in the morning in the northeast usa most of us experience a dew or melted frost(after delay) that basically turns fairways into a sponge. This is where I see a %20 loss on drives and sometimes this extends into the noon hour of the day if the sun fails to dry out the fairway.

By afternoon once the temp gets to 60 degrees, the loss of distance lowers to %10 due to ball temp and fairways that are still relatively soft. The only times I have ever had "great" drives in cold temps was due to hitting patches of frozen fairway with a stinger drive(basically hitting concrete)

With Irons I have noticed the same loss of distance, but the higher the iron the less noticeable, lob wedge maybe 8% and a 6iron maybe 10 % depending on firmness of fairways. Lately when I land in the rough off a drive the ball goes further since the rough still seems to play hard and not spongy,,,,I have had 5 mudballs a round in two weeks UGGGHHH
post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Today it was approx. 65* when I started playing and I had all of my distance back as I remember it from a month or so ago. What was interesting is that as the day progressed, the temperatures began to drop and I would estimate it in the high 40s or low 50s by the end of the day. I noticed a definite distance loss in the driver by that time. Not so much in the irons, but probably 10% in the driver/woods.

These crazy temp swings in the fall certainly add in a new variable to deal with.

I noticed someone commenting on using harder than normal balls this time of the year and noting that their distance was retained somewhat. I've always heard of using softer than normal balls. Has anyone else had success using the harder ones? It seems the colder temps would actually increase the compression of the ball which I would think would cause harder balls to go even shorter than the softer ones, but I've never tried it.
post #22 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

I've read a lot about this. Not only does it get to 40's and 50's where I play, the ground becomes very soft, so little to no roll. My understanding is that most balls reach their peak distance at around 80 degrees, I've read that you should loose a yard off the drive for every degree the temp drops. Divide the yardage loss due to temp into your driver carry distance and you'll have a percentage to apply to the rest of your clubs...seems to work for me.

I've been heating up my balls to 85 and alternating every shot (3 balls in play and 2 in my pocket at all times). I've noticed very little carry distance lost. Hit my 7 iron 165 yards on hole 7 a few days ago (50 degrees), which is about right. Yes, it's against the rules, but with lift, clean and place in effect for every shot and the fact that it's winter...who cares...it's practice season...
post #23 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Not only does the temp affect distance, barometric pressure will as well.
Where I live fronts move through fairly rapidly and if there is low pressure, regardless of temp, the ball just doesn't go.
I had notice the discrepency in distances before, but is wasn't until and older guy who'd been living here along time told me he checks the barometer, saying there can be as mush as 2 clubs diff.
post #24 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

It won't be long before I'm practising in sub 30 degree temperatures (fareinheit) when swinging my golf club! :P
post #25 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

This is all part of the great game that we play outdoors. I play at any temp as long as there is no snow and the course is open. The temps are all part of the strategy and fun of it. It's hard to game plan against the weather. I just love getting out there and seeing what I can do.
post #26 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by limoric View Post
I've read a lot about this. Not only does it get to 40's and 50's where I play, the ground becomes very soft, so little to no roll. My understanding is that most balls reach their peak distance at around 80 degrees, I've read that you should loose a yard off the drive for every degree the temp drops. Divide the yardage loss due to temp into your driver carry distance and you'll have a percentage to apply to the rest of your clubs...seems to work for me.

I've been heating up my balls to 85 and alternating every shot (3 balls in play and 2 in my pocket at all times). I've noticed very little carry distance lost. Hit my 7 iron 165 yards on hole 7 a few days ago (50 degrees), which is about right. Yes, it's against the rules, but with lift, clean and place in effect for every shot and the fact that it's winter...who cares...it's practice season...
how much distance are we talking here? 5-10 yards? or 30-40? How cold was it in England during the Ryder Cup? It didn't seem like their distance was affected.
post #27 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by snowsurfer View Post
Not only does the temp affect distance, barometric pressure will as well.
Where I live fronts move through fairly rapidly and if there is low pressure, regardless of temp, the ball just doesn't go.
I had notice the discrepency in distances before, but is wasn't until and older guy who'd been living here along time told me he checks the barometer, saying there can be as mush as 2 clubs diff.
This view is extremely interesting.

Have you ever thought what phrase ‘low pressure’ or ‘high pressure’ actually means? Now, the atmospheric pressure is created by the air above us. The amount of air in the atmosphere is quite constant but it’s density varies. Low pressure means that the pillar of air above us weighs less (i.e. its density is lower) than at high pressure.

So, how on earth a golf ball would travel a shorter distance when air is less dense and thus resists the flight of that ball less than when air is more dense? I don’t get it.
post #28 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

I went out to the range this weekend and it was about 52* out. I hadn't been out in a while and wasn't making good contact, but it felt like I was hitting everything one to two clubs shorter. I'm using to seeing well-hit 8-irons go about 125 or 130 yards according to the range distance markers, but this time I was hitting them about 100 to 110 yards. I knew cold weather would dampen ball flight, but I didn't expect it to be so drastic. (Granted part of it was poor ball contact.)
post #29 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by jgreen85 View Post
how much distance are we talking here? 5-10 yards? or 30-40? How cold was it in England during the Ryder Cup? It didn't seem like their distance was affected.
Well if you normally drive the ball 250 and now it's only going 200 (carry), you are about 20% short of normal...so you might hit a 7 iron 120 instead of 150. This would be an extreme example, say 30 degrees weather. The guys in England might have been playing in weather that reduced distance only 5 or 10%, of course sea level and air pressure will make a difference too. I think the temp rule would mostly apply to playing in the same neck of the woods. It's 40's and 50's where I am right now, my 5 iron is only going about 150-160 vs 185 on a warm day (I do rotate warm balls in my pocket though, so I'm not seeing a big difference in this case)

I read in the same research article that it takes a ball 2 hours to acclimate to new temps...so you could play most of a round rotating balls in your pocket without much difference. I've also heard touring pro's say their caddies keep balls in their pocket on cold days...
post #30 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Hmm I dunno if its as drastic as its being made out to be here, I played in 45 about a week ago, the ball didnt go far more due to me rather than the conditions even though I wouldnt admit it at the time, 2 days ago played in 40 degrees and hit the ball as far as I ever do, driving distance is affected but I think 2 extra clubs is an overexaggeration imo
post #31 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by whatwhatwhat View Post
Hmm I dunno if its as drastic as its being made out to be here, I played in 45 about a week ago, the ball didnt go far more due to me rather than the conditions even though I wouldnt admit it at the time, 2 days ago played in 40 degrees and hit the ball as far as I ever do, driving distance is affected but I think 2 extra clubs is an overexaggeration imo
Then you were playing a low or Zero compression ball (like the Wilson zip). Or the ball you played was room temp before you started your round, but it still should have been effected over the round. Temperature effects the compression of a typical 80 compression ball; you cannot change the physics simply because you did not notice...
post #32 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by limoric View Post
Then you were playing a low or Zero compression ball (like the Wilson zip). Or the ball you played was room temp before you started your round, but it still should have been effected over the round. Temperature effects the compression of a typical 80 compression ball; you cannot change the physics simply because you did not notice...
Pro V1 (I dont know), it was in the trunk of my car overnight so not too warm, however that being said I live in Ireland and I dont play in 80 degrees even in mid summer so maybe thats why I dont notice the difference as much as you guys with more extreme weather both hotter and colder
post #33 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Originally Posted by whatwhatwhat View Post
however that being said I live in Ireland and I dont play in 80 degrees even in mid summer so maybe thats why I dont notice the difference as much as you guys with more extreme weather both hotter and colder
That makes sense...my average carry is 250 and I'll see roll out to 270'ish (at about 75-80 degrees). I hit a 325 yard drive in Whistler this summer; it was 90 degrees and of course Whistler quite a bit above sea level compared to Vancouver. I was playing Pro V1x.

From what I understand, 80-90 compression balls reach their peak around 80 degrees...from 70 degrees to 50 degrees, I'm only going to see 15-20 yard difference in drive...5-6 Yard for long iron and not much in the short irons...
post #34 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

I hit a few balls today and it was low 40's at golf galaxy an no kidding the balls lose a ton of distance
post #35 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

In the Seattle area here, 35-45F now that it's winter, I don't really notice a difference in carry. Roll is another story. Restrictive clothing for me makes little or no difference also. I do hit far, and have not-so-good distance control, so that might be a factor. A fat shot is a lot more catastrophic in acres of mud, tho. Also I keep an extra ball in my pocket to warm it up. I hate driving cold balls, it makes me feel like I'm going to hurt it more, like a hammerblow on icy cold fingers. I don't pooh-pooh low compression balls this time of year, and I don't really see any difference between any ball this time of year. Whoops bad grammar there
post #36 of 47

Re: Colder temperatures and the effects on ball distance

Well said ignorant. Pilots know that more humid air is less dense, and that their aircraft require more runway to get airborne - other things being equal. Ditto for landing distance since they're coming in faster (higher stall speed). But it's a minor factor in aviation, nothing like the effect of temperature differences. I assume it's the same for golf.
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