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the_hammer

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  1. I had the chance to escape to some warmer weather this past week and play 3 different courses. 90% of the time when I play it is on my "home" course where I know every shot I need to hit. This was a rude awakening as I had not played a different course since spring. I only packed a handful of balls so the first day I played the Tour, second day was Tour X, and the last day was a mix. Being that these courses were in TX the grass was different than up here in IL. The more I am able to play with both the Tour and Tour X the more consistent they feel to me. As I said in my first post, I look for a ball that inspires confidence. I would say there are fitting that nicely. I have not found a ball in the box that has given me anything but a consistent performance. I notice the higher ball flight that they claim, however in my “lab” testing the result seem different. More to come on the test results soon. The Hills Flintrock Falls Yapon Over the 3 days one ball did get donated to someone’s backyard. I thought of retrieving it but then noticed someone filming me from the house so thought better of it.
  2. Well today was not a great day for on course testing as we got about 4 inches of snow. It was however a good day to continue the “Lab” test. More to come on the results in the future. This past weekend I got out and tested both balls once again on the course but I am going to focus on the TourX here. For the first free holes I used an old ProV1x that I had in my bag because of the leaves. I did not want to lose one of the test balls under a leaf. When I pulled the TourX out on the 7th, a 386 yard par 4, the ball leapt off the club face. The speed and height of the ball was noticeably greater than the old ProV1x I used on the 6 prior holes. On this shot I did align the CG line as shown on the box. I know others have talked about his feature and I have a lot of doubts about it as well. That being said it might be just a mental thing and that is fine with me. The ball drifted a little right into the rough but the wind did not help this and overall I have been in worse position on this hole many times before. As I continued the round the ball seems to be hot off the driver and I have good control of it around the greens. This being the first time playing the TourX solos I didn’t notice much feel difference as I did when playing the balls side by side. Next phase I am going to start taking a look at the durability now that the test balls have a few rounds on them. As I think about my journey with this test and how I would pick balls in the past a few questions for everyone have come to mind. What is the one thing your current ball has that you feel like you could not live without? How many strokes do you think your ball helps you gain each round? With your current ball are you optimizing for your long or short game?
  3. I have to say I have really been enjoying watching live golf in prime time. It was so crazy last night with no fans around. I think this has the makings of a great finish. I think they are playing 27 holes tonight... should be great to watch. How do you think this one will finish up? Tiger by _____?
  4. Today was another good day of testing. Despite the fact that it was only about 46 degrees out the course was in great shape and primed for testing. I brought the wife along to take some videos and pictures. Today I focused on testing the Tour ball and this was the first day that I did not test the balls side by side. On the first hole I hit my 3rd shot just short left of the green (it's a par 5). Below is the 4th shot, chipping to a deep flag. A bit too far left but still noticing the higher ball flight on shots around the green. As I continue to use these balls I do think I like the Tour ball more than the Tour X. Moving on the next few holes were uneventful and the Tour performed as I would expect. I have talked a lot in some of my past posts about the performance on the putting green. Below are 2 putts from the round today. Putt Putt 2 - I like the control that come with the Tour ball on the greens. For me what I look for out of a ball is to build confidence. I am starting to get that feeling with the Tour ball. I am looking forward to the upcoming days where I will be testing out the TourX for the first time solo.
  5. As I outlined in my initial post, I am taking an approach that blends on course performance and indoor launch monitor analysis to test the balls. Today was a launch monitor day. I am limiting the number of shots that I take in the sessions to remove performance issues due to fatigue. Using SkyTrak and my set up in the garage I added about 30 shots today brining the total so far up to ~300 shots. Once outlier shots are removed I have about 100 shots right now that are in the analysis. Using 4 test groups; Control, ProV1, Tour, and TourX what I am looking for is if the claims of this ball having a higher ball flight are true. I also want to see how both my current ProV1's compare to the test balls and control group. Before I draw any conclusions I do want to increase the population of the analysis dataset. What would you be looking for out of the ball you play when it come to the launch monitor? Total Distance? Amount off line? Apex? Decent angle? Spin rates? Let me know and I will be sure to pull those datapoint into my analysis.
  6. First let me start by saying that I am not a good putter. I found this interesting because I am looking to improve this over the winter up here in the midwest. I have a number of issues with my putting and some of the guys I play with a lot say I just hammer (one of the reasons for the handle) or swat at the ball on the green. I miss left a lot but also have speed issues. I have been looking for drills but also the last round I played while warming up I looked down and asked myself, where should the ball be in my stance? Right now I have it about at my big toe on my left foot. After seeing this post and some of the responses I am going to test out a new position tomorrow when I am out there. Fingers crossed this might help cut a stroke or 2 off the score.
  7. Just to add a bit to this on feel I agree the Tour X has a much harder feel than the Tour. I first noticed this on the practice putting green. Off the putter face the 2 balls felt different. I liked the feel of the Tour better because it was soft but seem to have been getting better results with the Tour X in my putting. I am looking forward to my test data to see how feel translates to performance.
  8. So far overall distance is about the same. I do have to say, as I look back over my notes I keep coming back to the ball flight on my wedge shots. I have noticed that there is a bit more POP from the ball. It is not that I am getting more distance but I am getting more height. This is key for me on some shots like if I need to get over a bunker. See the shot below. This is a 435 par 4 with OB left plus bunker at 250 off the tee. With trees up the right side and a bunked on the right at 100 out I tend to find my self short of this green side bunked a lot. The green is elevated enough where a low chip might go into the bunker or run most the way across the green. The extra height I am getting with both balls has been nice. More testing needed but this has been a nice outcome so far.
  9. I first wanted to thank everyone who made this happen. I am excited to test these golf balls because I have never used them before. Up until this year my golf purchases have been based on brands/advertising more than anything. This is the first year I have started to look at performance more than going with what is said to be the best. Professionally I lead a strategy & analytics team for a major risk management firm as well as being an adjunct professor for both masters level and doctoral programs. I am looking forward to bringing my research, data and strategy skillsets to this testing. My Game- I started golfing as a kid, but never really got into it as an adult, other than social settings. About 5 years ago I decided to get back into the game and played 30 times that year, after probably playing less than that in all years previous combined. I had sold my old clubs, so I was really starting from scratch when I went out to buy everything I needed, not really knowing how to best get fitted for the right gear personally. After a few years of about 30 rounds a year I took a few years off due to a lot happening in my personal life. This year was the year to get back into the game, and I currently have just over 60 rounds in. As I’ve been getting back into it, learning more about the mechanics and adjusting my swing throughout the season, my handicap has averaged out to be high, currently 22. As some of the regulars I play with on the weekends say I am actually a 10 handicap on 1/3 of the holes and a 30 on the other 2/3’s. I’m looking forward to getting more consistent as I work on my swing in the off season to get my handicap average lower and lower. What I look for in a ball is consistency and feel. Since I am not a very consistent player, I need my ball to be, so it takes one variable out of the equation. I am not looking for more yards or a pillow-like soft feel but a ball that feels firm off the clubface and builds confidence with its flight shot after shot. The ball is one thing you can have control of consistency in this game, especially for someone like me who is still getting the mechanics down and getting rid of old habits that feel better but don’t have the accurate follow through. I have played a lot of balls over the years but only this year did I start to focus on one. My wife got me a few dozen ProV1’s this past summer, and it was the first time I had those to play with. I like the feel compared to other, less expensive, balls that I have tried, but I am not sure how much of that is the ball or psychologically knowing it’s a “nicer” ball. My Plan- Being that I am a person who focuses on where strategy meets analytics, I approach most everything at the intersection of art and science. I am approaching this ball test the same way. My overall analysis will be based on both things such as feel, appearance, on course performance, and gut reaction, as well as hard numbers. For the hard numbers this is my plan: using my SkyTrak to test 4 categories of balls; shag bag, current ball, Tour, and Tour X. The shag bag is the control group made up of old practice balls, found balls, my mom’s annual Christmas gift of Top Flights (and other low-cost balls). This group will help identify how both the balls I have been playing and the test balls perform. My current ball is the ProV1 and the other two groups are the test balls. Looking at distance, yards off line, and spin rates will provide a good fact base about how the balls perform. Using statistical analysis and outlier detection will help zero in on the performance of the ball and control for me as a variable. Data collection will span most of the testing window to build a large sample size for this analysis. All shots will be taken with my indoor set up and hit with my practice 6 iron. Stay tuned for how the testing is progressing and let me know if you have any tips or questions.
  10. A bit cloudy but glad to be able to get out today.
  11. Fall golf. A bit cold but the course is still in great shape.
  12. Is it just me or dome something seem off with the recent posts? @Golfspy_CG2 @GolfSpy STUDque
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