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What golf ball goes the furthest.... really

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

So I have a basic question.  If there is a machine that is calibrated to hit at different speeds.  It should be easy to say which ball flies the furthers for someone with a swing speed of 80, 90, and 100.  ( This is not to say anything about feel... just distance ).  If this is true, why can't anyone tell me which ball flies the furthest for my swing speed of 90.

post #2 of 27
Because there are numerous other coefficients that affect distance, not the least of which is launch angle, wind resistance, humidity, etc.
post #3 of 27

This is from a golf magazine test in 2008, with a robot at 90mph swing speed.

 

 

Golf Balls by Distance : balls

         

.

Ball Distance Spin Hardness (Shore D Durometer)

.

TP Black 259.1 12,062 56.6

.

Noodle+ 259 7,789 NA

.

TP Red 258.6 11,872 NA

.

Titleist NXT Extreme 257.5 6,824 64.8

.

Noodle+ Lady 257.1 7,453 NA

.

Precept Laddie X 256 6,242 67

.

Precept Distance iQ180 255.9 7,790 NA

.

Nike PD Soft 255.9 8,888 NA

.

Taylor Made Burner TP 255.4 10,894 NA

.

Taylor Made Burner 255.4 9,242 NA

.

Bridgestone Tour B330-S 255.2 11,866 57.2

.

Precept Lady iQ180 255.2 8,185 NA

.

Topflight Freak 254.5 5,310 68.8

.

Nike Juice 312 254.5 7,192 NA

.

Titleist NXT Tour 254.2 10,612 57.2

.

Pinnacle Gold FX Long 254.1 5,629 65.4

.

Bridgestone Tour B330 253.9 12,137 NA

.

Callaway HX Hot 253.9 6,963 67

.

Callaway Tour i 253.7 10,473 NA

.

Callaway Tour ix 253.4 9,990 NA

.

Callaway Big Bertha 252.8 7,951 64.8

.

Wilson Zip 252.7 10,518 NA

.

Wilson Tx4 252.6 12,454 NA

.

Bridgestone E5+ 252 12,140 NA

.

Callaway Warbird 251.9 6,111 66.4

.

Wilson Staff Fifty 251.8 9,546 NA

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Bridgestone E6+ 251.7 7,651 NA

.

Srixon Trispeed 251.3 7,814 NA

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Pinnacle Gold FX Soft 251 5,154 65.6

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Topflight Gamer 250.6 10,087 56.4

.

Titelist ProV1x 250.4 12,299 55.8

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Nike Karma 250 9,256 NA

.

Srixon AD 333 249.9 8,407 55.4

.

Titleist DT Solo (2007) 249.6 7,758 NA

.

Callaway HX Hot Bite 249.3 11,331 54.4

.

Nike Ignite 249.1 7,071 NA

.

Titelist ProV1 249 11,914 57.2

.

Nike One Black 249 12,431 56.8

.

Topflight XL Distance 248.6 7,667 65.6

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Volvik Crystal 248.5 5,986 64.6

.

Topflight D2 Feel 248.4 8,808 NA

.

Srixon Z-URS 247.5 12,137 NA

.

Srixon Z-URC 247.2 12,250 NA

.

Nike One Platinum 239.1 13,451 46.8
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

THIS is what I have been looking for .  THX!

post #5 of 27

That chart is crazy, those spin numbers are off the scale BAD!!!! That alone puts into question the results right there. 

 

I went to flight scope, plugged in a very good struck ball from a 90 mph swing speed, the 12000 RPM top number would only go 173 yards. 

 

Even with optimal flight numbers your looking at 210-215 MAX, not 259. 

 

How ever they decided to do this test, it was flawed, or the machine used to measure the distance and spin was horribly off. 

 

To go 259 yards, you would need a swing speed of near 105 mph. 

post #6 of 27

Not a great comparison IMHO. Many brands were left off and 90 mph will not compress a higher compression ball as effectively.

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoul31 View Post
 

This is from a golf magazine test in 2008

 

 

Even if the test was accurate at the time, I imagine that a number of those balls have changed in the last 5 years.

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

I think there must be a conspiracy by the leading golf ball companies to NOT publish this kind of information.  Why isn't there more information since 2008.  The test should be easy.  They have a robot that hits 80, 90, and 100mph.  All things being equal, they normalize for temperature, humidity, grass, trajectory, etc.  They should be able to knock this test out in a day!!  I am not talking about how the ball spins or feels... simply how far does the ball go?  

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjchangmd View Post
 

I think there must be a conspiracy by the leading golf ball companies to NOT publish this kind of information.  Why isn't there more information since 2008.  The test should be easy.  They have a robot that hits 80, 90, and 100mph.  All things being equal, they normalize for temperature, humidity, grass, trajectory, etc.  They should be able to knock this test out in a day!!  I am not talking about how the ball spins or feels... simply how far does the ball go?  

 

Because it doesn't take into account a lot of variables by THE GOLFER who ultimately uses the ball. Sure a robot can consistently hit the ball at the same, but name any golfer that can do that. 

post #10 of 27

Ever if they posted numbers, would you expect them to be fair and accurate?  Its just like cars and, "estimated" fuel economy.

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Understood.  But it is the baseline number.  This should be the distance that perfect golfer would hit every time if he hits it on the screws.  Anything less than that, obviously it wouldn't go as far.  But now he knows which ball would go the furthest if he swung perfectly.   Obviously, there are other parts of the game; he still needs to chip and putt.  But that was not the question.  The question is simply.  Which ball flies the furthest under perfect controlled conditions.

post #12 of 27
Bandit. Nuff said. lol
post #13 of 27

Definitely something odd with those numbers. Or something missing in the explanation. The spin #s are more reminiscent of being hit by a PW - is that what they were?

post #14 of 27

1.) The driver distances were determined by using a robot swinging a Taylormade R7 Super Quad 10.5* driver with 45” regular flex Accra T50 M4 graphite shaft & 59* lie angle. Launch conditions were set at – 90 mph swing, 137 mph ball speed, 13.75* launch angle and 2,900 RPMs.
DISTANCES ARE CARRY + ROLL (i.e. total distance)

2.) The spin rate of the balls were tested by a robot swinging a Titleist Vokey Spin Milled (Oil Can) 56* sand wedge, 35 ¼” True Temper Dynamic Gold wedge flex steel shaft with a 64* lie angle. Launch conditions were 76mph swing speed, 80 mph ball speed and 38.5* launch angle.

3.) Ball cover hardness was measured with a Shore D Durometer after averaging 5 measurements on each ball. “The Shore D hardness scale is commonly used to gauge the hardness of plastics and rubbers. (A lower Shore D number equates to softer.)” Measurements ranged from the industry’s softest cover 46.8 (Nike One Platinum) to hardest 68.8 (Top-Flite Freak).

Shore D listings were divided into two groups. The "softest" group were balls with measurements between 46.8 and 57.2. The "hardest" group were balls with measurements between 64.6 and 68.8. Thus I would assume (although I have no proof) that balls not listed in either group were Shore D rated between 57.2 and 64.6. Although I have no proof of that, balls that were not listed in either group have been listed as "NA" because their ratings were not available.

post #15 of 27

Keep in mind, the USGA has pretty much put a "speed limit" (and distance limit) on golf balls.  And they actually test at simulated swing speeds of 100 mph (for the initial velocity test) and 120 mph (for the maximum distance test).  With todays technology, manufacturers could easily blow past those limits, especially with higher compression balls.  But then they would be making non-conforming balls. 

 

So the reason you don't see much published data comparing distances, is that they are pretty much all the same for 90-120 mph swing speeds, especially for higher compression balls.  Some of the lower compression balls, designed for slower swing speeds, may fall just a bit shorter, but even there some of the more recent designs are performing near the limits.  

 

Also, these tests are all at a particular launch angle and trajectory.  If the results are close, most within about 5 yards, they may be different with your swing.  If you experience more than a 10 yard difference between two balls though, I think that would likely be due to either a compression mismatch, an older ball design, or a really low end ball. 

 

So I think most players today are choosing balls based more on spin and feel, since the short game differences will usually mean more than maybe 5 yards difference off the tee. 

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acerimusdux View Post
 

Keep in mind, the USGA has pretty much put a "speed limit" (and distance limit) on golf balls.  And they actually test at simulated swing speeds of 100 mph (for the initial velocity test) and 120 mph (for the maximum distance test).  With todays technology, manufacturers could easily blow past those limits, especially with higher compression balls.  But then they would be making non-conforming balls. 

 

So the reason you don't see much published data comparing distances, is that they are pretty much all the same for 90-120 mph swing speeds, especially for higher compression balls.  Some of the lower compression balls, designed for slower swing speeds, may fall just a bit shorter, but even there some of the more recent designs are performing near the limits.  

 

Also, these tests are all at a particular launch angle and trajectory.  If the results are close, most within about 5 yards, they may be different with your swing.  If you experience more than a 10 yard difference between two balls though, I think that would likely be due to either a compression mismatch, an older ball design, or a really low end ball. 

 

So I think most players today are choosing balls based more on spin and feel, since the short game differences will usually mean more than maybe 5 yards difference off the tee. 

 

That is probably the BEST and most reasonable answer I have ever gotten to this question!  Again, in a competative business, you would think that companies would be publishing exactly why their golf balls are better than their competition; instead, you find superlatives and adjectives but no numbers.  So your answer makes perfect sense.  They are all basically the same in terms of distance for most people... most of us should therefore care more about feel, spin, looks. and don't forget durability

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjchangmd View Post
 

 

That is probably the BEST and most reasonable answer I have ever gotten to this question!  Again, in a competative business, you would think that companies would be publishing exactly why their golf balls are better than their competition; instead, you find superlatives and adjectives but no numbers.  So your answer makes perfect sense.  They are all basically the same in terms of distance for most people... most of us should therefore care more about feel, spin, looks. and don't forget durability

 

Not to mention COST. 

 

This thread is 8 months old, but I thought it was interesting, this guy went for one of these ball fittings, compared 5 different balls off his driver, and as far as I can tell the results are exactly the same for all 5.  The only differences in distance can be attributed to his different swing speeds.  The 89 mph swings were 208-209 yard carry, 230-231 yards total, the 90 mph swings both exactly 215 carry, 238 yards total, and one 91 mph swing at 216 carry, 238 total.  Can't be more than a few yards yardage difference actually attributable to any of those balls.   Differences are mostly going to be from different swings, even with a very consistent swing.

 

Thing is, I often see it recommended that beginning to intermediate players don't need, or may not even benefit from, the top end tour balls, but then I see the $20 a dozen intermediate balls usually recommended.  But I'm wondering if there's really much benefit even there over some of the $5-$10 a dozen cheapies.  It seems to me no one even tests the cheapest balls.  But maybe that's because they aren't making much money selling them, either.

 

Also, for putting, I guess it comes down to individual preference, and I know some prefer the feel of the softer more expensive balls putting, but I don't see any objective reason to think they are better.  The softer ball creates more spin off the wedge due to more friction, and holds the green better due to more friction, but for putting, wouldn't less friction actually mean a truer roll?  In my experiece so far, I actually prefer the way some of the harder, cheaper balls put. 
 

I don't want to dismiss "ball fitting" altogether, but to some degree I think it is being overhyped and sometimes used by manufacturers to direct consumers to their more expensive balls.  In general, the ball has little impact on your score.  Even for really good golfers, who demand fine spin control, that additional capability from the ball probably only gains them 2-3 strokes a round.  For myself, I should probably worry about getting to where I can get it within several feet most of the time from anywhere within 75 yards, before I worry about the stopping capabilities of the ball on those chip shots. 

 

I suppose though that when you are at the stage where you aren't losing balls anymore, and you're accurate enough to get the ball to land close, at that point it's worth spending a little more for balls that you can control better around the green.  But even then, choosing between the various similar urethane covered balls probably comes down to individual preference.  And at that stage, a "ball fitting" probably isn't going to tell you much that you don't already know.

 

Probably all that's really needed for a good "ball fitting" is to ask golfers, a) their handicap, b)how far they hit a driver, and c) how many balls they lose a round.  That's enough to narrow it down to a general category, at which point, it's really going to be subjective, and come down to what feels best to you for putting, chipping, and pitches, for the cost.  I'm not sure "feel" on drives really even matters that much. 

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by acerimusdux View Post
 

 

I don't want to dismiss "ball fitting" altogether, but to some degree I think it is being overhyped and sometimes used by manufacturers to direct consumers to their more expensive balls.  In general, the ball has little impact on your score.  Even for really good golfers, who demand fine spin control, that additional capability from the ball probably only gains them 2-3 strokes a round.  For myself, I should probably worry about getting to where I can get it within several feet most of the time from anywhere within 75 yards, before I worry about the stopping capabilities of the ball on those chip shots. 

 

Not in the case of Bridgestone.  Ive been to a few ball fittings and they usually suggest the E6, which is far from their most expensive ball.  Even in my case, they usually suggest the E6, the E5 is the secondary recommendation and 3rd is the B330-RX.  I still game the B330-RX because I was the spin to get the ball to stop on the green on pitches and chips.

One thing to consider about golf balls is that the more expensive, 3-piece balls are designed to have low spin off the driver and high spin with the wedges, so are those cheaper balls really any more accurate off the tee?  Golf Digest recently did a ball test and claimed that the difference from the cheaper balls to the tour balls was about 4 yards.  I'll gladly give up those 4 yards if it means I can get the ball to stop on the green even when Im hitting 1/2 pitch shots.  IMO, it all comes down to how much you are willing to spend.  Better performance is going to cost more.

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