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  1. The perceived difference was all in your head based on confirmation from Don Brown himself, but if the HC stamp gives you a higher level of confidence carry on. Also, I do not believe that Fujikura nor MItsubishi Rayon have ever done anything like True Temper’s HC approach (USTs TPX program was similar).
  2. Per Don Brown, the HC shafts were produced by a handful of employees in San Diego while production of the non-HC was outsourced to China. Materials and design were 100% the same (minus the HC stamp and paint) in those examples with the cost savings being realized in labor, volume efficiency, and possibly a bit more relaxed post-production qc (aka wider tolerances to reduce scrap waste). Ultimately some OEMs produce all shafts in the same facility with material / volume / R&D recoup being the primary cost factors while some OEMs additionally outsource production to another location to reduce on labor costs / increase capacity for their OEM offerings. Also when it comes to quality, many people mistake higher modulus/tensile strength materials as higher quality which is not necessarily the case. Quality really is the relative consistency to spec for a component or final product. Ultimately Adam’s statement in the last episode was spot on that the shaft OEMs tend to benefit more from consumer confusion than clarity around this subject.
  3. I can’t imagine the sight or smell of a glove that has been used for 50x 18 hole rounds...#yuck
  4. There is no comparison of resumes here. The person in the Quantix marketing is Lauro (Larry) Cadorniga who has not been employed by a major golf OEM since 1995 according to his LinkedIn resume and whose only ball patents are related to RF tracking of a golf ball (there are also 6 other names on those patents). Also the CEO of Quantix is fresh out of college and apparently has just rebranded the remnants of one of his Dad’s former companies (Larry and his dad apparently worked together in the past). Dean Snell on the other hand was leading TaylorMade ball R&D as recently as 2015 (won’t even mention his time at Acushnet since that was over 20 years ago). During his time there he helped establish the Nassau factory in South Korea where the MTB models are produced which TaylorMade also uses for core/mantle assemblies to this day. Dean’s name is on over 70 granted or pending patents related to golf balls and the majority are still active (1-2 other names on each patent). His reputation absolutely helps sell balls, but much of the hype for the MTB balls minus the MTB Red is legit (MTB X is the only X type ball that I have been able to tolerate the feel of). Are these likely a generic white label model? Quite possible that the MTB Red was given that it was a different factory and TPU cover but the Nassau MTBs don’t follow suit especially considering that Nassau has stopped that practice for USDM DTCs due to legal threat (Costco really caused that but Dean is able to continue given that his names are on the patents in question not to mention his past relationship with TaylorMade). I have no idea if Dean actually has employees in South Korea but I’ll take him at his word (if you think pics/video somehow legitimizes this in someway keep in mind that Vice put together a video of Vice balls coming off the line at the Foremost factory even though they do not directly employ any of those people, have any stake in the factory beyond customer, not have much/if any involvement in the actual design).
  5. The purpose is to make sure that environmental variables are as consistent as possible to accurately isolate what is being measured without contamination. Keeping balls in a climate controlled room giving the balls time to properly acclimate is likely good enough, but the incubator approach is the next level in consistency that reinforces MGS’ commitment to testing.
  6. What matters beyond club head speed is the delivery of the club (face angle, dynamic loft, impact location on face). I am not sure if there is a noticeable trend in how seniors deliver the club vs younger players assuming that club head speed remains equal (there is likely a huge variance at both age groups depending on the handicap range being considered). Ultimately last years test was likely a ridiculous amount of work even with limiting the swing variables down to two swing speeds with consistent delivery so adding more variables is likely not plausible.
  7. Please don’t misunderstand, there is no problem with the USGAs tracking of tour distance trends, but the assumptive overlay of equipment trends in an attempt at isolated correlation to the distance increases is not only inaccurate but disingenuous (IMHO all of the USGAs distance studies have been attempts at finding a problem to fit their desire to rollback the golf ball, not an objective attempt at determining if their is actually a problem). As mentioned earlier, there were multiple variables that contributed to the above average distance gains during that time period and it is impossible to objectively isolate any single variable’s impact in that situation unless you had a sizable sample of tour players whose only change during that period was the ball (which is highly unlikely).
  8. The point is that there was too much change going on during the period of 1998-2004 to be able to attribute gains to any one variable so the graph is a bit disingenuous to imply that the gains from 2000-2004 were attributed to the ball (basically there is no reliable data that will show a single variable's isolated impact on distance during that time). Keep in mind that while pros do adopt new equipment from their sponsored OEM fairly quickly today, many OEMs at the time were not early adopters to new trends. One example of this is with the multilayer urethane ball that was first put into play on tour in either late 1997 or early 1998, but Titleist staffers who were the overwhelming majority were stuck with a wound ball due to contractual obligations until October 2000 when the ProV1 was made available. Another example is driver head size. Ping was the first in 1998 with the TISI to release a 300+ cc driver head as well as being the instigator for the implementation of the USGA's COR limit. Callaway and Taylormade did not cross this threshold until 2000, Titleist in 2001, and Cobra in 2002 which is factor in the jump in distance on tour during that time (along with weight reduction via composite shafts).
  9. This graph attempts to isolate introductions of key technological advancements but that is not really possible from 1998-2004 as there was a lot of overlapping change occurring during that time (mass adoption of multilayer ball, larger driver heads, weight reduction via composite shafts, and the largest increases in COR to date). From an equipment standpoint, all of these factors saw the largest advancements/increases in adoption during this period even though the some of the technology had been available in for many years prior.
  10. I believe @2puttbogey was using mid range as a reference to lower priced urethane offerings, not ionomer. I also believe that the MGS comments were more of a reference to cover material rather than price (especially considering the fact that the Kirkland 3-piece ball was included). The only exceptions really were the Titleist Tour Soft and Callaway ERC Soft that were likely only included due to the fact that they are very overpriced (my guess is that they would not have been included if they had been priced under $30). Relative to past construction paradigms, the solid multilayer era have a relatively small variance in spin, launch, and ball speed off the tee (larger variances in spin will be seen on lower speed shots which is where the cover has the primary impact).
  11. Based on Tony’s blog post, it appears that this new ball lab initiative is going to be limited to physical measurements of the actual ball, not robotic swing testing. Due to the fact that MGS does not have the equipment to support a robotic swing test at their own facility along with the current public health situation and the fact that only a few companies have released new urethane models for 2020 thus far, it may be a while before we see a follow up to last year’s buyers guide. Also, based on their IP investment over the past 20+ years it is unlikely that Callaway would ever stop selling balls (regardless of the influence people may think that a single 3rd party test has).
  12. Just for reference: Z Star 5 = 2017 Z Star 6 = 2019
  13. I think they were referring to the cosmetics more than anything (the sole weights do look very similar to those that were in Odyssey's Metal-X Milled line).
  14. The above posted Billy Madison meme also applies to your terribly exaggerated and mismatched analogy. Different transmissions may have been closer to this situation. So you aren’t buying Fuji’s response on the differences yet you are on board with their primary marketing?
  15. I would agree if not for that quote or if they had given a typical ambiguous response, but someone at Fujikura literally stated that the only difference is with the material of a single layup the orientation of which is a factor in torque, not stiffness. If it had been the 0 degree orientation that is a factor in stiffness, a material change would result in a completely different profile, but the bias orientation not so much. Also, a shaft is a sum of all parts, not just a single layer (regardless of what the OEM chooses to focus their marketing on).
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