9 HOURS AGO
It’s kind of a shame that the previous commenter has the same name, but I swear I’m not posting twice. I’m not going to throw rocks at TXG because ultimately I respect what they do. Their stuff is generally top-tier. The fact is that their setup couldn’t have been much more different from ours. Any reasonable person would expect a different result. Anybody with knowledge of testing (specifically ball testing) and basic critical thinking skills should be able to understand as much.
We tested with a robot Why? Because it ensures consistent contact from swing to swing. A golf ball is round. Short of laying the blade into the upper half, you don’t hit it the ball off-center. Anything else that happens…high face, low face, heel, toe, the force is applied proportionally and will impact every golf ball mostly the same.
Not to get sidetracked – all of a sudden, the forgiveness benefits of low compression balls are being promoted largely because they lose less speed when you miss the sweet spot. This is true, but it’s mostly a clever use of math meant to confuse golfers. Consider this scenario: Your ball speed is 150 with a high compression ball and 148 with a lower compression ball. An off-center club strike costs you 5% of ball speed. With the high compression ball you’re now at 142.5 having lost 7.5 mph. At 148, that same 5% only costs you 7.4 mph. YOU’VE SAVED BALL SPEED (.1 mph in this scenario – because of the softer ball). Granted, you’re still almost 2 mph slower, but you’ve lost less speed – you’re a tick closer than you were before. Now, it is true that because of the low spin properties of soft balls, the relationship is not exactly 1:1, but according to one golf ball expert I spoke with about “forgiveness”, soft balls do retain ever-so-slightly more speed, but not to any degree that he would feel comfortable telling golfers that a soft ball is more forgiving.
Back on topic…we tested with a robot, outdoors, full flight. Why? Because it’s what every expert we talked to (+/- half a dozen over the last 5 years) told us was the right way to do it. It’s almost certainly the methodology any ball company would have recommended before the test. The full flight aspect is critically important for ball testing as dimple design can have a significant impact on downrange performance (the number we’ve been given is “up to 8 yards” due to dimples alone). Again, this is what everybody in the ball industry knows (just like everyone in the ball industry already knew that softer is slower). It’s exactly why, despite having the means to do an indoor ball test for the last 5 years, we waited until we could use what the industry says are the right tools.
Everything else other Tony said is true. The overwhelming majority of Callaway PGA tour pros have never played the retail ball. Callaway has had AT LEAST 2 players that I know of break contract to play a competitor’s ball. Two members of Callaway’s ball team confirmed that fact for me during the Epic Flash launch event. It’s also true that the new CSX Triple Track is a different golf ball. It’s not the same as the CSX white, CSX Truvis, etc.. While Callaway hasn’t hidden that fact it changed the CSX, it hasn’t exactly shouted it from the rooftops. The CSX TT wasn’t available at the time we tested, but sources have told us that it’s ~7% higher compression. I don’t know it for a fact, but I’m also told it’s the ball that the majority of Callaway’s Tour Players use.
Point being, while the benefits of soft are being promoted on one side, on the other the balls are already starting to get firmer.