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Blackjack Don

It's all about the ball--and ego

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16 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

 

I mentioned that if this had been discussed elsewhere I apologize to avoid this.

 Anyway, I hope you're not saying that I suggested changing the rules for players who are too lazy to learn them or who don't feel like following them.  I'll assume you're amused by others who have had that idea at some point and it wasn't directed at me.  My question for debate was if making the rules/game easier to help grow the game would help. I used enlarging the size of the hole as an example, which doesn't apply to someone who doesn't play by the current rules. If you feel it's off topic that's cool...we don't have to discuss it.

Maybe this is further off topic and maybe it's been discussed elsewhere, but I want to ask, since there's always a lot of talk about growing the game, why do we want to grow the game? 

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48 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

Sure, a 20 handicapper can play a Pro V1x, and I've seen many do it.  But I've never seen one who didn't have noticeably better results with a different model.  It's not always about swing speed either...there are plenty of 20+ handicappers who have pretty high clubhead speeds.  It's about controlling the spin.  Players who can control their distance with trajectory, or who are able to fade or draw the ball as needed and who can play a bump and run or a shot that hits once and checks are who golf balls like that are made for.  Can a 16 year old drive a Ferrari?  Sure.  Can he control it?  Probably not.  And if going 30 mph is the only way he can drive it to keep it on the road, then there is a whole lot of performance that was paid for and not being used.

Well . .I think here we are primarily talking about distance - the OP suggesting that ProV1x could cost him 100 yards on his drive. 

 

The content of this video is a little dry but the jist is - there's pretty much no difference between a DT Solo vs a ProV1 except stopping power on greens.  The increased spin doesn't make that much of a difference in slicing/hooking or hitting farther or not. 

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52 minutes ago, Rainmaker said:

Well . .I think here we are primarily talking about distance - the OP suggesting that ProV1x could cost him 100 yards on his drive.

That's not even conceivable?

 

52 minutes ago, Rainmaker said:

The content of this video is a little dry but the jist is - there's pretty much no difference between a DT Solo vs a ProV1 except stopping power on greens.  The increased spin doesn't make that much of a difference in slicing/hooking or hitting farther or not. 

Sometimes, I can make the ball go "thud", usually not when I want. . . :-D

 

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On 1/6/2017 at 10:50 AM, CarlSpackler said:

Should pro basketball players have a higher rim and larger ball? 

 

Ha, that's great. My buddy's grandpa used to say that ("raise the rim, make it a game again").

At first I was also annoyed by watching wedge after wedge after wedge... 3/4 wedge, 1/2, full, whatever. I wasn't learning anything because I was looking for the stuff I wanted to see (confirmation bias). So I just quit trying to learn anything from televised golf. Now I just watch it to see the guys compete. I enjoy watching them handle the pressure.  Watching Reed and McIlroy in the Ryder Cup last year was especially fun.

Re: golf balls, I don't want to see any changes to the game or the equipment. Personally, I will play a ball made by K-Mart and I will wear a K-Mart if it would help me hit my driver reliably. I don't care what the Pro's play or do.

 

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7 hours ago, Marty2019 said:

Maybe this is further off topic and maybe it's been discussed elsewhere, but I want to ask, since there's always a lot of talk about growing the game, why do we want to grow the game? 

Well, think about it...for the game to flourish and remain healthy, we constantly need new people to start playing,  Currently, there are more people who are quitting golf or dying than there are new players taking up the game.  If this trend continues, the number of rounds played will keep declining which will result in courses having to close down, less equipment will be purchased which as we've seen recently (Nike, Hogan) will cause manufacturers to go out of business.

The Washington Post wrote:

"The number of Americans who said they played golf at least once last year has fallen to one of its lowest point in years, Sports & Fitness Industry Association data show. Even worse for the sport's future: The number of young people, aged 18 to 30, playing the game has sagged nearly 35 percent over the last decade.  That drop-off has hit America's greens and links hard. More golf courses closed than opened in 2013 for the eighth straight year, according to the National Golf Foundation. And the number of course closures has sped up, averaging 137 closings every year since 2011, data from golf-industry researcher Pellucid show."

In the video game/high tech interactive world we now live in, golf has a lot of competition when it comes to getting kids interested in playing.  If the younger generations don't choose to play golf, eventually it will die.

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8 hours ago, Rainmaker said:

Well . .I think here we are primarily talking about distance - the OP suggesting that ProV1x could cost him 100 yards on his drive. 

 

The content of this video is a little dry but the jist is - there's pretty much no difference between a DT Solo vs a ProV1 except stopping power on greens.  The increased spin doesn't make that much of a difference in slicing/hooking or hitting farther or not. 

I watched this video...watched the whole thing. I'm familiar with Mark's videos and I think he generally does a really good job. I see the result of his test, and it was interesting.  I happen to have extensive first-hand experience with launch data and have literally tested thousands of players over the course of 18 years, 10 of those when I was with a major golf ball manufacturer, and although I like Mark, I don't know another way to say this other than just about everything he said is wrong.

Think about it logically...how can a low compression, 2-piece, Surlyn covered ball perform virtually the same as a high compression, 3 or 4-piece, urethane covered ball with different dimple patterns?  They claim the difference is in the feel and performance with wedges?  That would mean if my spin rate was too high with my driver, moving to a different model ball will have no effect in reducing it.  This is flat-out incorrect.

The fact is distance balls do go further than high spin "tour" balls for most players, and playing a lower spinning ball will help reduce your hook or slice.  I'm not just spouting off something I read somewhere or giving you my opinion...I have worked with players of all abilities, watched them hit several shots with a certain ball, analyzed their launch numbers for areas that need improving and asked them to hit a different ball and compared the data.  There is a difference.  For some players it might be more dramatic than others, but it's nonsense to think all balls are within a few yards of each other or all balls curve the same amount.  Here is an example:

58b11f5cbe4c2_photo22_b.thumb.jpg.36c02d78c1ce2f7f418563230142fac5.jpg

For this player, there is 15 yards difference between these two models, and the longer ball curves less too (although it's not a lot).  And these two models are closer in design than the Pro V1 and DT Solo.  I'm not sure why the results in the video example didn't show any difference, but working with 20-25 players per day, 5 days a week for many years I have seen the difference with my own eyes.  Will everyone gain 20-25 yards or reduce their slice by 35%?  No...but I've seen it happen.  Average is closer to 9 yards and 30%.  

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16 hours ago, Rainmaker said:

Well . .I think here we are primarily talking about distance - the OP suggesting that ProV1x could cost him 100 yards on his drive. 

 

The content of this video is a little dry but the jist is - there's pretty much no difference between a DT Solo vs a ProV1 except stopping power on greens.  The increased spin doesn't make that much of a difference in slicing/hooking or hitting farther or not. 

That is exactly what Titleist states. They claim the distance difference between their longest and shortest ball is 4 yards.

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No raising of the rim in basketball.  Makes for unfair advantage for taller players as Red Auerbach argued many times.  Have you seen it change as other venues have?

Developed poker skill.  I'd like to use my marked cards against experts.  Don't think it's allowed.  Point, skill takes precedence, even with the ball strike in any sport.  Separates the two.

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@1badbadger was the ball alone responsible for 2 degrees higher launch? That seems excessive to me to attribute to just the ball.

I thought the RX spun more with driver too.

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9 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

I watched this video...watched the whole thing. I'm familiar with Mark's videos and I think he generally does a really good job. I see the result of his test, and it was interesting.  I happen to have extensive first-hand experience with launch data and have literally tested thousands of players over the course of 18 years, 10 of those when I was with a major golf ball manufacturer, and although I like Mark, I don't know another way to say this other than just about everything he said is wrong.

Think about it logically...how can a low compression, 2-piece, Surlyn covered ball perform virtually the same as a high compression, 3 or 4-piece, urethane covered ball with different dimple patterns?  They claim the difference is in the feel and performance with wedges?  That would mean if my spin rate was too high with my driver, moving to a different model ball will have no effect in reducing it.  This is flat-out incorrect.

The fact is distance balls do go further than high spin "tour" balls for most players, and playing a lower spinning ball will help reduce your hook or slice.  I'm not just spouting off something I read somewhere or giving you my opinion...I have worked with players of all abilities, watched them hit several shots with a certain ball, analyzed their launch numbers for areas that need improving and asked them to hit a different ball and compared the data.  There is a difference.  For some players it might be more dramatic than others, but it's nonsense to think all balls are within a few yards of each other or all balls curve the same amount.  Here is an example:

58b11f5cbe4c2_photo22_b.thumb.jpg.36c02d78c1ce2f7f418563230142fac5.jpg

For this player, there is 15 yards difference between these two models, and the longer ball curves less too (although it's not a lot).  And these two models are closer in design than the Pro V1 and DT Solo.  I'm not sure why the results in the video example didn't show any difference, but working with 20-25 players per day, 5 days a week for many years I have seen the difference with my own eyes.  Will everyone gain 20-25 yards or reduce their slice by 35%?  No...but I've seen it happen.  Average is closer to 9 yards and 30%.  

Interestingly, this data relates closely to my own game/experience.

I played a Prov1 for years, and loved it.  Still do, it's a great ball.  When asked/challenged about my choice in balls, I always said that I only use it because I found it to be the best ball for my game, and would switch immediately if I found something that worked better.  

A couple of years ago, I was given the chance to review a box of Bridgestone B330's by TST.  Based on my love of the ProV1, I tested the B330-S and liked it a lot, but found that I lost some distance from my ProV.  I was intrigued enough to try the RX and RXS, that Bridgestone recommends for us normal schmucks with a swing speed under 105 mph.  I landed on the RX by a wide margin.  I found that I probably gained 15 yards on my drives, and noticed less spin off the driver and thus side to side dispersion as a result.  A little less spinny around the green, but even that led to a little better consistency in judging how shorter chips and pitches would react.  

I switched to the RX from the ProV and have been very happy.  Maybe a lesson to those that think that players who choose the ProV are nothing but fanboys trying to emulate their favorite Tour player without regard to actual performance. ;-) 

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

@1badbadger was the ball alone responsible for 2 degrees higher launch? That seems excessive to me to attribute to just the ball.

I thought the RX spun more with driver too.

Actually, the RX is the lowest spinning model in the B Series.  In order of spin from highest to lowest:

B330-S
B330-RXS
B330
B330-RX

I know you know there are many things that can affect the launch angle, but for those who don't I'm talking about tee height, loft of club, ball position, swing path, face angle, the golf ball, etc, so there are some variables involved when player testing.  But a ball with a softer core will launch higher than a ball with a firmer core, so I would attribute at least some of that difference to the ball.

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58 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

I know you know there are many things that can affect the launch angle, but for those who don't I'm talking about tee height, loft of club, ball position, swing path, face angle, the golf ball, etc, so there are some variables involved when player testing.  But a ball with a softer core will launch higher than a ball with a firmer core, so I would attribute at least some of that difference to the ball.

Yeah, I've seen up to about a degree (for similar classes of balls - I've seen more if you're comparing a cheap distance surlyn ball versus a softer premium urethane ball), which is why I asked about the 2° difference. If they could have achieved higher launch with the original ball it may have gone a good bit farther too. I got them to be about one or two yards different just by increasing the launch to 11.8 and keeping the first ball's parameters the same.

It's a topic for another discussion, but I'm curious how well the average golfer produces consistent enough swings to really do a fairly quick ball test.

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23 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

I watched this video...watched the whole thing. I'm familiar with Mark's videos and I think he generally does a really good job. I see the result of his test, and it was interesting.  I happen to have extensive first-hand experience with launch data and have literally tested thousands of players over the course of 18 years, 10 of those when I was with a major golf ball manufacturer, and although I like Mark, I don't know another way to say this other than just about everything he said is wrong.

Think about it logically...how can a low compression, 2-piece, Surlyn covered ball perform virtually the same as a high compression, 3 or 4-piece, urethane covered ball with different dimple patterns?  They claim the difference is in the feel and performance with wedges?  That would mean if my spin rate was too high with my driver, moving to a different model ball will have no effect in reducing it.  This is flat-out incorrect.

The fact is distance balls do go further than high spin "tour" balls for most players, and playing a lower spinning ball will help reduce your hook or slice.  I'm not just spouting off something I read somewhere or giving you my opinion...I have worked with players of all abilities, watched them hit several shots with a certain ball, analyzed their launch numbers for areas that need improving and asked them to hit a different ball and compared the data.  There is a difference.  For some players it might be more dramatic than others, but it's nonsense to think all balls are within a few yards of each other or all balls curve the same amount.  Here is an example:

58b11f5cbe4c2_photo22_b.thumb.jpg.36c02d78c1ce2f7f418563230142fac5.jpg

For this player, there is 15 yards difference between these two models, and the longer ball curves less too (although it's not a lot).  And these two models are closer in design than the Pro V1 and DT Solo.  I'm not sure why the results in the video example didn't show any difference, but working with 20-25 players per day, 5 days a week for many years I have seen the difference with my own eyes.  Will everyone gain 20-25 yards or reduce their slice by 35%?  No...but I've seen it happen.  Average is closer to 9 yards and 30%.  

 

Perhaps, Mark doesn't spin the ball that much with his really good swing? I noticed that spin was almost the same between the DT Solo and the Pro-V1. To resolve the difference in your data versus Mark's, is it possible that we amateurs put a lot more spin because our launch conditions are not optimized as well as his?

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On 1/6/2017 at 0:02 PM, Blackjack Don said:

But being the best putter--A. is a woosy thing, and B. evokes an image of the feminine--women can putt as well as men. So driving is manly, so butch! 

At the top level the men may still be much better than the women at putting. Paige McKenzie once talked about how she played against some college guys who destroyed her on putting and she thought she was pretty good relative to her peers.

I expect the best pro women ballstrikers have to work even less on putting to compete successfully than the guys where every edge is crucial just to get a card and make cuts.

I love to watch Rory and DJ crank it out there. But I also get a kick out of Jim Furyk and Mo Martin's precision oriented play. It's all good. If they want to make accuracy more important for PGA players, all they have to do is grow the average event rough up a bit more so there's more of a penalty on every errant shot on the loss of spin and swing/ball speed reduction.

On 1/6/2017 at 0:31 PM, Blackjack Don said:

Nicklaus has been saying that lengthening golf courses is suicide. Real estate is expensive. Maintenance is not only expensive, but causes non-golfers to think of wasting water.

Those are real issues for the sport...at least for facilities that don't cater to higher income golfers.

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As someone said, the golfers who can hit it longer than everybody else will always have an advantage. Just like tall guys in basketball and fast guys in the 100 meter dash! Let's face it, pros and better amateurs have always been longer than the herd.

And the public will always love the big bombers. Why do you think John Daly got so popular?

And, If you want to hit a PW 150 yards, just get your clubhead speed to about 110 MPH and you can do that. If you can't, well I guess that just sucks for you!

But Blackjack Don's and Natureboy's last comment are still valid. We now routinely see courses on Tour that are 7,400, 7,500 yards long. And isn't there that otherwordly looking course in French Lick, Indiana that is 8,000 yards from the tips? Heck, I have a 7,500+ yard course right here in my back yard not a 15 minute drive away.

And just last Spring I read a "Letter to the Editor" in the local paper where some environmentalist nutlog referred to the local Metroparks course (36 holes of Donald Ross design) as a toxic waste dump, and a waste of water!

Edited by Buckeyebowman

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After reading through a lot if these posts, one valid point is that, for the pros, there is little penalty for not hitting straight on most courses.  Many times landing in the "groomed" rough is still more of an advantage than hitting shorter and landing in the fairway.  But, long drives and low scores bring more viewers, in the same way more scoring does for other sports.  So the PGA really has little interest in promoting par golf.

As for amateurs, golf is no different than other sports where they have evolved to a power game where player size, speed, and power will dominate.  If you can hit 120mph tennis serves, you'll probably do well in a rec league even if you can only hit a slice backhand.

One phenomenon that I also see is an exodus from some sports that are deemed too difficult, or disproportionate, between players.  Can't compete at tennis play pickleball.  Need help keeping up cycling, buy an e-bike.  Etc...

In my opinion, where golf has the potential of putting itself out of business is the absolute ingrained element that distance is golf and anything else is not.  With the continuing obliteration of Par 3 and shorter executive courses which are currently viewed as not real golf, the sport is setting itself up as "go long or go home."  Unfortunately the latter may be the selection.

It is funny that no one cares about length or equipment when the pros have to hit into a tough Par 3.  I seem to recall the 12th at Augusta has had some make or break history over the years.

John

Edited by 70sSanO

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4 hours ago, 70sSanO said:

After reading through a lot if these posts, one valid point is that, for the pros, there is little penalty for not hitting straight on most courses.  Many times landing in the "groomed" rough is still more of an advantage than hitting shorter and landing in the fairway.  But, long drives and low scores bring more viewers, in the same way more scoring does for other sports.  So the PGA really has little interest in promoting par golf.

As for amateurs, golf is no different than other sports where they have evolved to a power game where player size, speed, and power will dominate.  If you can hit 120mph tennis serves, you'll probably do well in a rec league even if you can only hit a slice backhand.

One phenomenon that I also see is an exodus from some sports that are deemed too difficult, or disproportionate, between players.  Can't compete at tennis play pickleball.  Need help keeping up cycling, buy an e-bike.  Etc...

In my opinion, where golf has the potential of putting itself out of business is the absolute ingrained element that distance is golf and anything else is not.  With the continuing obliteration of Par 3 and shorter executive courses which are currently viewed as not real golf, the sport is setting itself up as "go long or go home."  Unfortunately the latter may be the selection.

It is funny that no one cares about length or equipment when the pros have to hit into a tough Par 3.  I seem to recall the 12th at Augusta has had some make or break history over the years.

John

Golf is enjoyed by many people who may have to move up to the shorter tees. Your weekend warrior will never be able to compete with a scratch player without a handicap, but two players of similar skill can still compete against each other. Most people seem to be competing against themselves for the most part. Don't write this game off yet. I believe it's just going through a lull in popularity. 

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3 hours ago, CarlSpackler said:

Golf is enjoyed by many people who may have to move up to the shorter tees. Your weekend warrior will never be able to compete with a scratch player without a handicap, but two players of similar skill can still compete against each other. Most people seem to be competing against themselves for the most part. Don't write this game off yet. I believe it's just going through a lull in popularity. 

I'm not writing it off, but I see a trend in other sports to "dumb down" aspects of the sport to make it easier for the casual recreational player.  I'll pick on tennis because a relative of mine 20 years my younger talking about pickleball because there was less running.

It just seems that a lot of younger people are not willing to put in the time to improve if they don't do well fairly quickly in a lot of activities.  My only point about golf is that since distance is king, and there is an ego involved, lack of distance, and shanks, rollers, etc., might make someone feel... what's the point?  The game has a humbling effect without having to endure Shooter for 18 holes.

As far as shorter tees, they are only a benefit on the first shot because even if you are lying the same, the shorter hitter is using a longer iron or hybrid.

John

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Note: This thread is 913 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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