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B-Con

Are non-premium balls getting noticably more spinny?

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I was looking at Golf Digest's Hot List for balls this year (pretty much their only equipment review that's decent) and I noticed something funny on their spin rate chart. This year the Top Flite Gamer v2 was way on the left of the chart on the spin axis, lumped with the bulk of low-end performers. I did a double-take, because just a couple years ago the Gamer v2 was in the middle of the graph, right around average and handily leading the cheaper balls. Here it is, in the 2010 chart below the Gamer v2 is labeled #29. [img]http://www.golfdigest.com/images/equipment/2010-06/eqar02_wedge_spin_chart.jpg[/img] [SIZE=2]([url=http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-equipment/hot-list/2010-06/hotlist2010_golfballs_spinchart]Link to 2010 results page[/url].)[/SIZE] But this year, it was way over to the left. It's #33 on the 2012 graph below. [img]http://i.imgur.com/SoNDt.jpg[/img] [SIZE=2](The 2012 May issue with their ball Hot List isn't online yet, so I had to take a picture of the magazine. Without the key the graph is useless, so I think this won't step on anyone's toes. I can link to their page once they put this issue online.)[/SIZE] This was easily explained with a quick review of the graphs: The data value ranges changed. In 2010 the graph ranged from 3,000 to 7,000 RPM, whereas the 2012 graph ranged from 4,500 to 7,500 RPM. The position of the Gamer v2 on both graphs corresponds to a little over 5,000 RPM. So the Gamer v2 didn't change, but the competition did. The average of the premium balls that were tested didn't really move, although there are a couple outliers a little farther out than before. But the dramatic shift was the low end balls, the bottom offerings increased by about 1,200 RPM (about a 40% increase). The best bargain of the 2010 line-up became a solid low-end offering in 2012. I find this very interesting, assuming that GD's numbers are legit. It's almost hard not to find a half spinny ball any more. The nice finds that held greens well a couple years ago should be a lot closer to common place now. Now, part of this mid-priced spin shift is due to the fact that the medium-priced ball range was invaded by urethane covers this year. The two most spinny balls on the graph in the middle price range (green color code) are both urethane (and that doesn't count the new TM ball that wasn't tested). Since urethane balls are kind of always in a league of their own spin-wise, seeing the upper mid-level balls shift up isn't surprising and doesn't really count as a technology advancement. But the rest of the balls aren't urethane (well, the e5 is but is only two-piece and doesn't spin like a traditional urethane ball), and the mid-level balls still cluster around 6,000 RPM, which is way better than the 2010 offerings. So you should be able to play lawn darts for $30 / doz or less. And < $20 / doz bargain shoppers have multiple options that should actually hold a green. Not too bad.

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I think there are still very, very noticeable differences between, say, a Bridgestone B330 and one of the e-series balls, particularly on short-game shots. But I appreciate the effort of putting this chart together. I've been testing a new ball that to this point performs as well as a Pro V1x and will probably be sold at $35.

Remember, too, that a harder covered ball will launch higher, so that helps it "hold greens" too.

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I was pretty upbeat when I looked at the chart.  I rely on balls that have some spin (but not too much) and a higher trajectory to help hold greens.  The Gamer V2 is my favorite in this category but who knows what's going to happen now that Dicks Sporting Goods owns Top Flite.  It's nice to know that there appear to be a number of alternatives that are very similar in performance although I don't know if the chart can really predict how a ball "feels" when putting or on short chips.

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Good pick up. I understand they do this testing with a half wedge shot. I wonder what type of grooves the 2010 wedge had. I also found it very interesting that the 2012 issue didn't test any Taylormade balls -- there was a note that they weren't available for testing:-D

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Hi B-Con, Would it be possible to list the balls that relate to the numbers in this years chart?

For 2010, the chart code [url=http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-equipment/hot-list/2010-06/hotlist2010_golfballs_spinchart]is here[/url]. For 2012 (which is probably what you want), not yet. That chart is property o' Golf Digest, and I don't want to step on their toes by posting their content online before they want it posted. They usually make all their magazine content available online a month or so after they've released the physical magazines, so I'll try to come back and update it later with links to that. The 2010 chart is linked straight to their website, and I'm sure that they'll post the 2012 results. But they haven't put it online yet because they want to drive magazine sales, and it's not fair for me to side-step their decision. So if you can't wait until they put it online, go buy May's issue. ;-) [quote name="Topper" url="/t/57368/are-non-premium-balls-getting-noticably-more-spinny#post_703730"] I was pretty upbeat when I looked at the chart. I rely on balls that have some spin (but not too much) and a higher trajectory to help hold greens. The Gamer V2 is my favorite in this category but who knows what's going to happen now that Dicks Sporting Goods owns Top Flite. It's nice to know that there appear to be a number of alternatives that are very similar in performance although I don't know if the chart can really predict how a ball "feels" when putting or on short chips. [/quote] MaxFli is owned by Dicks too (the transaction happened about 4 yrs ago), and I think they've done nothing but improve since they were bought. In fact, MaxFli has some balls with solid spin offerings this year. Who knows what Dicks has planned for Top-Flite, but it may be good.

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I think the sleeper offering this year may well be the Srixon Q-star.  I found a brand new Q-star in tour yellow a couple of weeks ago while playing (yes walking has many benefits) and prior to reading the GD article I noticed the ball checked up pretty good compared to it's pricier cousin the Z-star XV.  I've been gaming the tour yellow XV since late last fall and have felt it was a good all around fit for my game, but after my experiences and then seeing them confirmed in the GD review I'm wondering if I shouldn't ought to give the Q-star more serious consideration?

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Hi B-Con,

Thats totally understandable about the legality of posting the list. The only reason I asked is that I live in England and picking up a copy of the May edition will prove tricky ;-)

Cheers

JM33

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Any suggestions as to where to find a May issue of the magazine?  All the local stores, here, have now is the June issue.

I've been looking for a new, reasonably priced, yellow ball with enough spin to satisfy me.  I tried the DT Solo, and Q Star, and didn't like either's spin.  Now, I'm using a NXT Tour S, and it spins just fine, but is about 35 bucks with tax...not too "reasonably priced" in my opinion.  I also tried a D2 Feel, yesterday that was great in distance, and spin, but isn't available in yellow.  Any suggestions?

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If you want a yellow ball that really spins, the premium Z star may be your only option. Nike makes a yellow mid priced ball

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It is interesting to note that ProV1x spins MORE than ProV1, which is exactly what I noticed, despite what Titleist says.

Originally Posted by B-Con

For 2010, the chart code is here.

For 2012 (which is probably what you want), not yet. That chart is property o' Golf Digest, and I don't want to step on their toes by posting their content online before they want it posted. They usually make all their magazine content available online a month or so after they've released the physical magazines, so I'll try to come back and update it later with links to that. The 2010 chart is linked straight to their website, and I'm sure that they'll post the 2012 results. But they haven't put it online yet because they want to drive magazine sales, and it's not fair for me to side-step their decision.

So if you can't wait until they put it online, go buy May's issue.

MaxFli is owned by Dicks too (the transaction happened about 4 yrs ago), and I think they've done nothing but improve since they were bought. In fact, MaxFli has some balls with solid spin offerings this year.

Who knows what Dicks has planned for Top-Flite, but it may be good.

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Quote:
It is interesting to note that ProV1x spins MORE than ProV1, which is exactly what I noticed, despite what Titleist says.

It may not be a significant difference.  The article did not tell us if they ran the stats on the test.  The testers would have stated what the error in the test data was.  For example, if they only ran 10 repeats for each ball, the cluster of 5 balls at the lower right of the graph could be statistically the same.  It is better conclude is that ProV1 and V1x spin more than NXT Tour.

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Originally Posted by hesitantly

Any suggestions as to where to find a May issue of the magazine?  All the local stores, here, have now is the June issue.

I've been looking for a new, reasonably priced, yellow ball with enough spin to satisfy me.  I tried the DT Solo, and Q Star, and didn't like either's spin.  Now, I'm using a NXT Tour S, and it spins just fine, but is about 35 bucks with tax...not too "reasonably priced" in my opinion.  I also tried a D2 Feel, yesterday that was great in distance, and spin, but isn't available in yellow.  Any suggestions?


To answer my own question...I found an old copy of the magazine at a Walmart in a small town that has no golf course. ;-)

Now that I have it, I see that the Q Star and NXT Tour S happen to be almost identical in spin, in their testing.  Maybe my judgement of those two was affected by some kind of bias, etc..  I don't know, but I'd rather spend 25 instead of 35, now that I know that.  Also, found a cheap ball that spins enough to make me reconsider white.

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It would matter what the person's swing speed is to some extent, though I do believe that balls are getting more spinny. I realize that a Noodle or something won't spin nearly as much as a Pro V1/Callaway HEX Black/Bridgestone B330 etc, but it will do more to help the weekend golfer.

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