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How Much Difference Does the Ball Make for Average Player?


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56 minutes ago, Moniker said:

For short irons, back spin is increased, so the ball flies straighter.

:doh: What makes you think that same logic doesn't apply to a driver with a high spin ball as well?

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I dunno. Seems like anytime I find a nice, shiny ProV1 that sumabitch is going Red October immediately.  

No no no no!!!!! If you use one ball and one ball only, how will you be able to demonstrate superior perception by saying things like: I get about 30 yards roll out with a ProV1 v 25 yards

I have to say every time I hear a 15 - 20 handicap talk about the dynamics of different golf balls and how they affect their game I am forced to shake my head. Perhaps I was different, but when I was

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1 hour ago, Moniker said:

I think the ball doesn't know back spin from side spin. If spin is increased, then all kinds of spin are increased. For short irons, back spin is increased, so the ball flies straighter. For longer clubs, especially the driver, side spin will be increased more.

Kevin…

6 minutes ago, klineka said:

:doh: What makes you think that same logic doesn't apply to a driver with a high spin ball as well?

He's just saying this:

 

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12 minutes ago, iacas said:

Kevin…

He's just saying this:

 

That makes sense. This part is what didn't make sense to me:

3 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

For example, PRO V1's are designed to spin. Good players who can control spin find this an asset, for people like me, who just want the thing to go straight, it is a disadvantage.

Wouldn't a higher spin ball likely go straighter with a driver compared to a lower spin ball, all else equal? Or is it just a myth that increased backspin decreases side spin?

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1 minute ago, klineka said:

That makes sense. This part is what didn't make sense to me:

Wouldn't a higher spin ball likely go straighter with a driver compared to a lower spin ball, all else equal? Or is it just a myth that increased backspin decreases side spin?

Using this logic, shouldn’t balata balls go straighter than modern balls?

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12 minutes ago, klineka said:

That makes sense. This part is what didn't make sense to me:

Wouldn't a higher spin ball likely go straighter with a driver compared to a lower spin ball, all else equal? Or is it just a myth that increased backspin decreases side spin?

You can think of spin in term of axis and rpm. For a wedge, because the face is near horizontal, it can impart massive back spin on the ball, whereas the side spin component is negligible. The "spinning top" effect then keeps the ball fly straight.

For the driver, because the face is near vertical, it is hard to impart a lot of back spin on the ball with it. As it happens, unless you hit the ball relatively straight, the side component of spin usually takes over and makes the ball turn to the side more.

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37 minutes ago, klineka said:

That makes sense. This part is what didn't make sense to me:

Wouldn't a higher spin ball likely go straighter with a driver compared to a lower spin ball, all else equal? Or is it just a myth that increased backspin decreases side spin?

A higher spin ball is more sensitive to any type of spin.  Thus, a mishit shot (face open/closed) will have a more pronounced effect, thus making the higher spin ball fly more off line.  A lower spin ball reacts less in the same scenario.  Thus the lower spin ball goes straighter.

Backspin being spin on a horizontal axis, the close the spin is to 90* then less it is to 0* or 180* and thus the less sidespin.  The definition of backspin in this instance means there must be less sidespin.  For any degree of one you have less of the other.

It's the lack of sidespin that makes it go straighter. The more backspin you have, the less sidespin you have.  Their relationship is inverse.  Actually you could have no spin and it'd go straight with the exception that you'd get a knuckeball effect.  You needs some spin.. I did a science fair project on this and hit smooth balls, balls with a vaseline-coated clubface, etc.  It was interesting. Corkscrews, diving quail, all kinds of interesting flights.

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Interesting discussion and thanks to everyone who gave an opinion.   

A couple of years ago, I bought a whole bunch of those Kirkland 4-piece balls with the Urethane cover.  I played them one whole summer.  Lately I've been using a different cheap ball, the Callaway Tour Soft, and it seems to me that I used to hit that Kirkland ball a lot farther, especially with my driver.  So I was wondering about the difference between a premium ball and a cheap ball for an average hacker like me. 

It seems like nowadays when I take a good hard swing with my driver and hit the ball flush, it takes the same trajectory as it used to, but when I get to where it wound up, it's just not as far as it used to be when I was using the Kirkland ball. 

But based on what I have learned since the original post, if I did hit the Kirklands farther, I'm now thinking it was probably because of warmer weather, or dryer and harder fairways, or some reason that doesn't have to do with what ball I was using.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older.  

I've still got a couple of dozen of those 4-piece Kirklands, so I might pull them back out and see if I can detect any difference.  

 

 

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I have to say every time I hear a 15 - 20 handicap talk about the dynamics of different golf balls and how they affect their game I am forced to shake my head. Perhaps I was different, but when I was first starting out I could have played any ball and it wouldn't have mattered.

People of that skill level do not make consistent enough contact to worry about what ball they are playing. When I was a 15 handicap I was just trying to get the stupid thing off the ground and in the general direction I wanted. Hell, even now I bet playing a distance ball wouldn't affect my scores all that much. 

Look, if someone wants to play a premium ball, go for it. Premium balls do work better, for everyone. But, IMHO the difference for anyone other than the very good player is not worth the cost. 

 

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

Wouldn't a higher spin ball likely go straighter with a driver compared to a lower spin ball, all else equal?

No. The golf ball doesn't know what direction "backspin" is.

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On 2/27/2020 at 11:18 AM, NM Golf said:

I have to say every time I hear a 15 - 20 handicap talk about the dynamics of different golf balls and how they affect their game I am forced to shake my head. Perhaps I was different, but when I was first starting out I could have played any ball and it wouldn't have mattered.

People of that skill level do not make consistent enough contact to worry about what ball they are playing. When I was a 15 handicap I was just trying to get the stupid thing off the ground and in the general direction I wanted. Hell, even now I bet playing a distance ball wouldn't affect my scores all that much. 

Look, if someone wants to play a premium ball, go for it. Premium balls do work better, for everyone. But, IMHO the difference for anyone other than the very good player is not worth the cost. 

 

Agreed. Outside of TopFlights, we call the TopRocks, I don’t think it makes any real difference for me. I usually play either Pinnacle or Calloway, simply because they are a decent price. 

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The average player, Mid handicap, has no business playing the expensive pro balls.  That's my opinion and my experience . If you are a really good scratch golfer you will get some benefit from the balls like ProV.   Every fall I go with a buddy and hunt lost balls in the rough and woods at our local course we play.  Believe me those high $$$ ball go into the wood and the rough. We find lots of them.  We have both been buying and using the mid range softer balls and can't tell any difference.  I like the Kirkland Signature balls and the Callaway soft.   

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28 minutes ago, Larrh7 said:

The average player, Mid handicap, has no business playing the expensive pro balls.  That's my opinion and my experience . If you are a really good scratch golfer you will get some benefit from the balls like ProV.   Every fall I go with a buddy and hunt lost balls in the rough and woods at our local course we play.  Believe me those high $$$ ball go into the wood and the rough. We find lots of them.  We have both been buying and using the mid range softer balls and can't tell any difference.  I like the Kirkland Signature balls and the Callaway soft.   

I The technology in the premium balls keeps them as straight off the tee as the low priced two piece ionomer balls. Yet they offer better greenside spin. Now for a high capper, it probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference what ball they play, but for a mid capper I think they can take advantage of the urethane characteristics. Example: I am a 12.6 cap and had 108 yds into a green, par 5, the other day. I punched a gap wedge that hit 1 yd in front of the pin and stopped 4 ft behind the pin, something a low priced ball really isn't capable of. I made the putt for birdie. Many think just because a ball is high priced, it has a lot more side spin off the tee, and I don't think that is the case. I don't spin the ball that much on the green, so all the help I can get is good for me.

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17 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

The technology in the premium balls keeps them as straight off the tee as the low priced two piece ionomer balls. Yet they offer better greenside spin.

Bingo.

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27 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I The technology in the premium balls keeps them as straight off the tee as the low priced two piece ionomer balls. Yet they offer better greenside spin. Now for a high capper, it probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference what ball they play, but for a mid capper I think they can take advantage of the urethane characteristics. Example: I am a 12.6 cap and had 108 yds into a green, par 5, the other day. I punched a gap wedge that hit 1 yd in front of the pin and stopped 4 ft behind the pin, something a low priced ball really isn't capable of. I made the putt for birdie. Many think just because a ball is high priced, it has a lot more side spin off the tee, and I don't think that is the case. I don't spin the ball that much on the green, so all the help I can get is good for me.

I will quote Harvey Penick. He was the coach for many but two notable were Curtis Strange and Tom Kite  When asked by some guys he was giving lessons to on how to put back spin on the ball.  He said, how often do you hit the ball long and want to bring it back?  Not many could say they did.  He told them why do you want backspin on the ball then.  I got a kick out of that.   He was a proponent of hitting a lower trajectory ball though.  I'm sure they high $$$ balls are better in some respect.  I did say average golfer though.  I've played a lot of golf with average golfers over the years and not many can zip it back like the pros do. 

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8 minutes ago, Larrh7 said:

I will quote Harvey Penick. He was the coach for many but two notable were Curtis Strange and Tom Kite  When asked by some guys he was giving lessons to on how to put back spin on the ball.  He said, how often do you hit the ball long and want to bring it back?  Not many could say they did.  He told them why do you want backspin on the ball then.  I got a kick out of that.   He was a proponent of hitting a lower trajectory ball though.  I'm sure they high $$$ balls are better in some respect.  I did say average golfer though.  I've played a lot of golf with average golfers over the years and not many can zip it back like the pros do. 

Harvey Penick died in 1995. The Pro V1 and other similar balls came out in ~2000.

It's not about "zipping it back."

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Harvey Penick died in 1995. The Pro V1 and other similar balls came out in ~2000.

It's not about "zipping it back."

Yes I remember when he died.  I know what you are saying.  It's more than zipping it back it's stopping the ball and having control.  His question was The Average Golfer. The average golfer has a handicap of around 15.   The average golfer can use a cheaper ball.  Not a junk ball. There is a difference.  Some of the Topflite balls are like hitting a rock.  There are a lot of very good much cheaper balls that you can stop the ball on the green.  I was just saying the average golfer doesn't need a ProV1.  

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24 minutes ago, Larrh7 said:

Yes I remember when he died.  I know what you are saying.  It's more than zipping it back it's stopping the ball and having control.  His question was The Average Golfer. The average golfer has a handicap of around 15.   The average golfer can use a cheaper ball.  Not a junk ball. There is a difference.  Some of the Topflite balls are like hitting a rock.  There are a lot of very good much cheaper balls that you can stop the ball on the green.  I was just saying the average golfer doesn't need a ProV1.  

They’re still giving up performance if they do.

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33 minutes ago, Larrh7 said:

Yes I remember when he died.  I know what you are saying.  It's more than zipping it back it's stopping the ball and having control.  His question was The Average Golfer. The average golfer has a handicap of around 15.   The average golfer can use a cheaper ball.  Not a junk ball. There is a difference.  Some of the Topflite balls are like hitting a rock.  There are a lot of very good much cheaper balls that you can stop the ball on the green.  I was just saying the average golfer doesn't need a ProV1.  

Snell balls are equivalent to Pro V1 and V1X and are a heck of a lot cheaper. What I like about them is if I launch a wedge too low at the green, they spin enough to hold. That’s what I want. Same with chips and pitches.

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