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I agree with most of the observations on range balls. I work some at my home course which means picking balls on the range. One thing I notice over and over is distance. Our range is between holes 1 & 3 fairways, about a hundred yards wide with a par three (2) running across the far end. There is a couple of large Pine trees 310 yards from the tee's that protect the no.2 green and we pick up very very few balls from this area and our range while not super busy, may have 500/1000 balls hit per day which has always made me realize there are very few that can hit the ball anywhere near 300 yds. day in and day out. It is 360 to a road at the end of range/hole no.2 and we almost never pick any balls across the road. Just a observation.
BTW......the balls do suck for the most part.
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My local club put in pro v1's for range balls a few years ago... it didnt last long, as all the members would pocket them, the owner was pissed but what should he expect?

The course I play at up here in AR (Hardscrabble CC) used to have ProV1s in a bucket around the green for people to use for putting and chipping. They had a Hardscrabble logo on them I guess so people wouldn't pocket them; in reality the balls looked like any other logo ProV1 and would disappear quickly. Now they have a bunch of Bridgestone E5/E6/E7? (the softest one of the three), and no one seems to take those anymore.

On the range they use Titleist NXT Tour balls that have "PRACTICE" stamps on the side of them. THe range borders the right side of #1, and there are usually at least a half dozen range balls on the fairway (shorter than where your drives usually go, but still out there). A guy I usually play with will tee off with one of the ranges balls and then just go to the furthest one in the fairway that has a good lie.
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  • 2 months later...
I have a good friend who reps in the golf industry so other than his ability in getting me last years $900 irons for $175 (new), he is a good source of information. Yes some brands of range balls are a bit lighter, all have a dimple pattern for a low trajectory. Limited flight is the goal, shorter ranges equate to lower upkeep costs. However for those here that have said range balls have low compression are completely wrong. There is no range ball with a compression lower than 98 and most are over 100 to a high of 120. Back in the day when 2 piece balls came out we had two choices 90 or 100 compression. I guess somewhere along the line some average male duffer found a womens 2 piece 80 compression ball and saved it for a water hole. When he finally used it on that water hole it traveled 10 to 15 yards farther than his 90 compression ball. The average amateur male golfer has a Driver swing speed of 84mph , PGA player average is 117mph (Tiger 130?). So very fast 100+mph amateurs will get the most distance out of a range ball not a slow swinger. My range uses Srixon 83 compression one piece balls, 465 dimples. I hit a 5 iron with these balls about 110 yards on the range. On the course using a variety of whatever is on sale cheap,but soft low compression balls, my 5 iron is 160 yards. I have a slow tempo and slow swing speed due to age 62 years old and shoulder surgery. Irons have no trampoline effect like drivers, they just transfer energy and the first factor to distance is compressing the ball and the corresponding rebound of the ball return back to round. I'm pretty sure for most of us slow to medium speed hitters there maybe absolutely little to no compression of the ball and hence no rebound effect. Also the compound used on range balls are much tougher than an average ball, after all range balls get hit more often and are mechanically handled. The other reason for the durability is the secondary market. My range gets new nice shiny yellow Srixon balls every 6 months, they get a trade in price on the current balls to help offset the new purchase. Those balls go right up the road to 2 or 3 other ranges, that have bigger buckets for less money and the mats look like linoleum. Here is a link that compares range balls note the club head speeds for the ranges listed http://www.srixon.com.my/balls.asp?sec=ball&id;=9 . There was a time 20 years ago 150 yards approach was a 8 or soft 9 for me, age and injuries are a bit*h on your game. But I have learned to just go with a higher club and to hell with ego. My 21 handicap will drop as I get my shoulder back to normal, but I now have a very limited turn so I'm learning to use a more vertical plane, tempo is the key to that type of swing. And my mind still has my body trying to keep the tempo when I was 35. All I can say is thank God for Hybrids and the newer shaft technology.
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However for those here that have said range balls have low compression are completely wrong. There is no range ball with a compression lower than 98 and most are over 100 to a high of 120.

Yeah, I was wondering about that. I always thought range balls were much harder than regular balls.

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you ever knock the cover off a range ball with a driver? that happened to me, had a nice mid launch on the mofo and then all of the sudden it went straight up and the cover flew off, looked like someone shot a duck, LOL
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There is no range ball with a compression lower than 98 and most are over 100 to a high of 120...

Wait... what? No range ball with a compression lower than 98... but your range uses an 83 compression ball?

Just kidding. I saw the data in your link, so... I know you're telling the truth - but your post DOES contradict itself. CY
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The grass range I go to uses those Srixon range balls. Most look brand new, not sure if they are or not, but they are some good range balls. Distances seem pretty close to 95-100% with those balls, and they feel surprisingly good when hit.
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In general, range balls are going to be cheaper, inferior versions of what we would play on the course to keep costs down as the range i go to has quite a generous area to keep the ball in play but i will hit a few out into the woods that im sure are never found and Ive seen other people there that are much worse than me so the amount of range balls that are lost per day im sure adds up. Im sure probably at least once a month there are enough balls lost or damaged so much as to be unuable that more have to be purchased. So expect poor quality, cheap balls at the range. I dont seem to notice any noticable amount of lost distance though i dont have an overly high swing speed, i would guess around 90 mph or so. I just use the range to keep my swing sharper and sometimes experiment with different things like varying my grip or stance or things like that. Like was stated earlier, if range balls were nice, many people would pocket them and use them for play.
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I just had a clubfitting and the guy had a full launch moniter set up, measuring ball spin, launch angle etc, the machine was saying that I was hitting my driver 205 carry and my 6i 135 carry, I said that had to be wrong and the guy said it could be the range balls, so I got two balls out of my bag and said lets try these, the driver carried 225 and the 6i carried 148, so there was about a 10-15% difference.
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I just had a clubfitting and the guy had a full launch moniter set up, measuring ball spin, launch angle etc, the machine was saying that I was hitting my driver 205 carry and my 6i 135 carry, I said that had to be wrong and the guy said it could be the range balls, so I got two balls out of my bag and said lets try these, the driver carried 225 and the 6i carried 148, so there was about a 10-15% difference.

Yep, sounds right to me, add +20% more distance max on well struck range balls

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Wait... what? No range ball with a compression lower than 98... but your range uses an 83 compression ball?

Fairway_CY - Good catch on my typo. They say the legs go first,true, then the mind, I'm finding that true also. The good thing about contradicting yourself is you always win both sides of an argument or debate.

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  • 3 years later...

I used to play competitive junior golf and have a fast swing. On the machines at GolfSmith I hit 300-315 and they have told me there that the machine is very accurate. Went to the range yesterday and was perplexed that even when hammering some drives they never went further than 270 or so. The ball will take flight fast but then just kind of float and lose velocity rather than carry. It seems to carry but actually it just floats I suspect. At the end of the range which they claim is 275 yds there is a large fence and then a busy freeway. Makes sense that this place caters to duffers and would want to avoid a lawsuit. No way even Jamie Sadlowski hits it over that fence which is 75 ft. high.

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That's funny, my Golfsmith readings are 20% shorter than the distances I hit at all four ranges I go to. My range distances are yet another 10% shorter than the GPS readings on the course.
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Note: This thread is 2745 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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