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Polynikes

Erratic Golf Balls

11 posts in this topic

I had a little look around the site to see if anything similar had ever been discussed and couldn't find anything, but apologise if it has. I was playing in my normal 4 ball on Saturday afternoon and at some point on the front 9 lost my ball, so pulled out another and went on with my business. I always use Titleist velocity's, but this one particular ball was a complete freak. On the 9th, 10th and 11th I hit approach shots over each green by quite considerably long distances, for example my 50 degree wedge which is usually 115 yards went about 135, my 9 iron which should be about 135 went uphill and 170 yards and then my 8 iron hit it well over the normal 150 to about 185 yards. It was a calm and mild day so the weather certainly didn't play any factor in this strange occurrence. So I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else.
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The old adage is "When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras....."  Towards that end, I'd suspect that the results were a response to something else.  Maybe an inconsistency in your swing and inadvertently hooding and/or delofting the club, or just a couple of hard bounces off a firm green or even catching a sprinkler-head.

To answer your question though, no.  I've never found an individual ball of the same type to be that dramatically different.  I can't imagine any variance in the manufacturing process of the ball itself that would cause an increase in distance that dramatically.

If there were, I bet Titleist would love to know about it so they could replicate it though! :-)

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The old adage is "When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras....."  Towards that end, I'd suspect that the results were a response to something else.  Maybe an inconsistency in your swing and inadvertently hooding and/or delofting the club, or just a couple of hard bounces off a firm green or even catching a sprinkler-head.

To answer your question though, no.  I've never found an individual ball of the same type to be that dramatically different.  I can't imagine any variance in the manufacturing process of the ball itself that would cause an increase in distance that dramatically.

If there were, I bet Titleist would love to know about it so they could replicate it though!

Agreed on this one. Never had one ball perform that significant than any other. I might ask if you were actually clubbing yourself right. Maybe the yardages on the course was wrong?

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Never ran across a ball that went farther but I have airmailed plenty of greens that had nothing to do with the golf ball.

Usually it was a flyer lie and/or that I was changing something about my swing at the time and had inconsistent distances (sometimes to ridiculous extremes).

BTW. I remember Tiger Woods airmailing a whole bunch of greens with short irons a couple of years ago when he was trying to change his swing.

(So it happens to those guys too).

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I always use Titleist velocity's, but this one particular ball was a complete freak. On the 9th, 10th and 11th I hit approach shots over each green by quite considerably long distances, for example my 50 degree wedge which is usually 115 yards went about 135, my 9 iron which should be about 135 went uphill and 170 yards and then my 8 iron hit it well over the normal 150 to about 185 yards.

In a past career, I had a job in the golf industry, and got some insight into some pretty objective ball testing - but keep in mind this is about 20 years old. Even then, the discrepancy in distance was not that great (and we had balatas included in that testing). Given the USGA distance standard, it is pretty crowded near the ceiling. To give some idea as to the gap between balls, air temperature difference appeared to be a more consistent factor than manufacturer - hey there may be some benefit to that noon tee time vs. being first out in the morning! Again this is dated by a couple of decades, but I can only assume the difference between first and last has gotten tighter in terms of distance. That said, sure grab a sleeve of whatever seemed to flying for you. See if they are consistent. Assuming you didn't have one "hot" ball that snuck by quality control (and it is in fact a USGA conforming ball), maybe its characteristics just fit your swing. I also am assuming no flyer lies involved in these numbers and you know the yardages to be correct.

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Hi, thanks for reading and commenting on this thread. I'm sure you guys are spot on, this was all at my home course on holes I've played countless times, so I know the yardages weren't the problem. I have been having lessons and working hard on my swing recently, and each shot felt like I'd connected beautify so I'll put it down to finding my swing working at it's optimum. I'll have to monitor my new distances now so I can ensure I select the correct club. Thanks again for all your inputs.

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I would ask what it did off the tee. Did it you hit it longer with the driver? I think the responses here have it dialed in though. Just curious.

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I would ask what it did off the tee. Did it you hit it longer with the driver? I think the responses here have it dialed in though. Just curious.

Should of thought of this earlier, but the ball behaved quite normally on drives! Which is more evidence that I haven't discovered some magical golf ball that I could sell on eBay for a small fortune!

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Hi, thanks for reading and commenting on this thread. I'm sure you guys are spot on, this was all at my home course on holes I've played countless times, so I know the yardages weren't the problem. I have been having lessons and working hard on my swing recently, and each shot felt like I'd connected beautify so I'll put it down to finding my swing working at it's optimum. I'll have to monitor my new distances now so I can ensure I select the correct club. Thanks again for all your inputs.


I stumbled on a "swing" one time that was actually a terrible golf swing but one thing it would do was absolutely knock the crap out of a short iron (without any effort at all). Problem was that with the same "swing" my driver would start digging a trench about 6 inches before the ball. :-D

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Happens to me all the time. My reason the majority of my swings though similar are bad. Meaning where the face makes contact with the ball is rarely on the sweet spot. Not talking huge misses but if I use a marker on the face to see where the contact is made it varies in an area about the size of a fifty cent coin. It's the ones that hit the sweet spot that fly further and in the intended direction for me. Maybe one of every ten is dead nuts for me. Easier to see on the range where a succession of balls are hit in a relatively short time. On the course might happen once every couple of holes and may not be an approach shot so not as noticeable. Point being the "bad" shots are probably what your averages are based on, bad not being terrible just not perfect. I hit some real WTF stuff here and there. Couple of weeks ago I got home in two on a 542 yard par 5 hitting driver and 4i, winter conditions and plays downhill so major roll but still not something I usually do with those two clubs, not even close. Wasn't even trying to hit it close, I thought I was laying up because there were people on the green.

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Happens to me all the time. My reason the majority of my swings though similar are bad. Meaning where the face makes contact with the ball is rarely on the sweet spot. Not talking huge misses but if I use a marker on the face to see where the contact is made it varies in an area about the size of a fifty cent coin. It's the ones that hit the sweet spot that fly further and in the intended direction for me. Maybe one of every ten is dead nuts for me. Easier to see on the range where a succession of balls are hit in a relatively short time. On the course might happen once every couple of holes and may not be an approach shot so not as noticeable. Point being the "bad" shots are probably what your averages are based on, bad not being terrible just not perfect. I hit some real WTF stuff here and there. Couple of weeks ago I got home in two on a 542 yard par 5 hitting driver and 4i, winter conditions and plays downhill so major roll but still not something I usually do with those two clubs, not even close. Wasn't even trying to hit it close, I thought I was laying up because there were people on the green.

Yeah really good point, you may well be on to something with this as your experiences sound similar to shots I play. Thanks for your input.

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