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Golf Magazine Tests Balata Versus Modern Ball Using Robot

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Pretty obvious as we all known, balata will spin more. Distance loss more pronounced for driver vs irons. But a lot of subtle differences mentioned in the piece. And lots of data.


What happens when you test modern equipment with a balata ball? GOLF.com linked up with an industry leader in the independent testing...


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Interesting study. Wish they would have talked about horizontal dispersion as well. The one table with data shows the balata ball being more accurate than the modern ball. I want to explore that more.

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A good test and just shows how much technology has moved the game to "bomb and gouge" as the article stated.  I have a large quantity of older wound balls - some solid core, some liquid core (they are fun to cut open).  I love hitting them around the yard when practicing pitches and chips. Maybe one day I will take some to the course just for fun - but on that day I will also bring my "real" wood driver, 3 & 4 fairways, the old blade irons just to have fun and see what kind of round I would shoot using vintage everything.....

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I had a friend that played on the Tour a few years while this was all going on. His driving average increased from 270 to 285+ overnight with the change in balls and second gen metal woods. 

I remember watching Freddy hitting irons low and then peak and drop from the spin. Today's balls are just so much better. 

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I went out a few years ago When I was playing my Ping Eye2 irons and took a few balata Titleists.  I wanted to see if ball and club tech went hand in hand to see the improvements.

i had been using the eye2 irons but with prov1 balls.  I wondered why I hit them shorter than I did with balata.  I hit them side by side and off the eye2 irons balata was longer, spun  more and had a lower launch angle and ball flight.  Also angle of decent was good.


The pro v1 spun less, launched too high, had an overall higher flight and a steep decent angle.  It all added up to lost distance.  

Now the prov1 with a modern iron like my Ping ie-1 irons was much better than a balata with these irons.  Gotta keep your ball and club tech together.

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Also, it wasn’t a huge distance difference... 5 yards max.  The balata would land, take a hop forward and then spin back.  The pro v would just drop and stop.  Decent angle.

i remember when I hit the balata and said to myself, “there it is”.... that was the launch and height window I’d been looking for.

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