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sebsmash

Difference between range balls and actual balls

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Hey everyone, I have a question about balls.

I play Nike RZN or 20XI balls usually. My last time on the course I noticed that drives go much further and my mid-short irons and wedges shorter than they do on the range. I assume this is because the rocks we use at the range are shorter off the tee and don't spin as much which gives them more distance on irons.

Anyone else notice this?

I figure that the iron shorts being shorter also has to do with hitting off of mats versus hitting off looser grass.

-Seb

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Not really, but range balls also vary quite a bit.

I tend to hit the ones in really bad condition with my wedges and mid irons so I'm not surprised that some of them go shorter. For the most part they are pretty true to my course distance. The flights are possibly a bit higher, but that's probably because I'm partially chunking them. On the course they go kind of lower while the mats on a range really add a lot of bounce. You can hit an inch or two behind the ball and it makes only a little difference.

The good balls in 72F conditions are nearly the same as regular balls. I get roughly the same distance on the range and the course. The only time it makes a huge difference is when the temperatures are below 50F. At 30F range balls are literally like light rocks.

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We just got all new range balls at our course and they only travel 75% of the normal golf ball.  There Callaway balls.  Not sure if its a reduction in compression or what makes it only go 75% but thats all they go. I can only hit my drives 200 yds at the range. 

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The balls on the range tend to spin excessively on irons. If you want to get your distances figured out I suggest a few options. On the par threes pace out your shots and write then down. After a few rounds you should have most your distances. The other route is to go to a golf store with a launch monitor and measure all your iron distances. Hope this helps.

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Range balls are designed to be durable first and foremost, whereas pro-line balls are designed to perform a certain way.  Some range balls are "limited flight" for situations where the range isn't very deep.  It allows players to warm up even if their shots are not the normal distance.

Range balls tend to be lower spinning off of all clubs, especially compared to urethane covered "tour" type balls.  They usually have a pretty high compression rating, because lower compression balls won't stand up to the type of action that range balls are subjected to.

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In the ghetto, the difference between actual balls and range balls is whether we've lost them yet.

They let the rough go for a week or so, harvest our balls, paint a big black stripe and bang, you've got a range ball.

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At my range, I sometimes hit in the stall next to the owner right as it opens up on weekdays. He tells me that the ball flight there is 90% of what he gets on the course. Like folks have said, I'd imagine every range decides for itself which type of balls to purchase, so there would be quite a variance.

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Also keep in mind that a 10-20% shorter ball flight is more noticeable on the longer irons/woods/drivers that on the shorter clubs, probably something to do with how much the ball is compressed by the lower lofted clubs. 

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24 minutes ago, Single Length Irons Guy said:

Also keep in mind that a 10-20% shorter ball flight is more noticeable on the longer irons/woods/drivers that on the shorter clubs, probably something to do with how much the ball is compressed by the lower lofted clubs. 

Could also be limited flight balls.

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3 hours ago, freshmanUTA said:

Could also be limited flight balls.

Yeah, I get that -- I wasn't really clear -- what I was trying to say is that it seems like the longer irons end up 20% shorter and the shorter irons end up 10% shorter, maybe due to the difference in compression that different lofted clubs cause in the range limited balls.

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1 hour ago, Single Length Irons Guy said:

Yeah, I get that -- I wasn't really clear -- what I was trying to say is that it seems like the longer irons end up 20% shorter and the shorter irons end up 10% shorter, maybe due to the difference in compression that different lofted clubs cause in the range limited balls.

Gotcha.

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14 hours ago, freshmanUTA said:

Could also be limited flight balls.

You would KNOW if they were Cayman balls. A Driver might only go 125 yds. 

At my range, they use Srixon range balls. And the LAST thing I look for at the range is distance control. Ball striking and general flight properties are priorities. I hand pick the balls as I go, using the most "used" ones first (cuts, scars, scrapes, etc...) for warming up and the short game. The better balls and the odd "real" ball are saved til the end.

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Most ranges use limited flight balls...whether they be 75%, 85% or 90% flight would depend on the range and how much room they have I would imagine.  As the pro shop, they would most likely know.  I don't tend to go to the range to find out distances, but rather ball flight and that stuff.  If I want to dial in distance, I usually pick a hole when its not busy out at the course, go to the side of the fairway so I don't chew up the middle of it, and hit 10 balls from 140, 150, 160, etc to find out how far I am hitting each club on average.

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Yeah we have 'floater balls' at my place as we hit into a lake. It's stated they have 20% loss in distance. Some of the older balls are almost completely smooth which can give some hilarious ball flights. 

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On 5/11/2017 at 10:37 AM, Vinsk said:

Yeah we have 'floater balls' at my place as we hit into a lake. It's stated they have 20% loss in distance. Some of the older balls are almost completely smooth which can give some hilarious ball flights. 

Hah! Found a ball like that in a bucket at a local range. It was hard to see even the suggestion of a dimple on it! It fell out of the sky like a shot duck!

A few years back I hit a bucket of balls at a local range, and wanted to steal a bunch of them and put them in my bag! They felt great and flew like bullets. This is a deep range and you'd have to be DJ or JD to hit one out. For the life of me I can't remember who made them.

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Just asked one of the teaching pro's at the range this morning. They ARE reduced flight- but he sees about a 15-20 yd reduction for the average players drives (like me), not so much on the shorter irons.

He sees about 25/30yd reduction overall on his driver

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I've hit most on a range that uses range balls marked soft core.  The match my distances perfect to whatever I play.

i really don't see the big deal about golf balls.

I only use high spin golf balls on certain courses-ones with small firm greens.   My favorite ball for typical use on soft  conditions  is Pinnacle gold.

Edited by Jack Watson

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