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Lies, Damned Lies, and Golf Statistics


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Although Mark Twain never uttered our sport's most famous quote about “a good walk, spoiled”, he did write the equally famous line about statistics.   Twain actually liked to play golf in his old age and one of the last things he did before his death was tee it up with Woodrow Wilson in Bermuda.   No doubt he would have been baffled by some of the numbers being thrown around in golf these days.

 

So too are we, it seems, so I thought I'd open a thread where we could discuss some of the misconceptions and downright voodoo number-crunching that goes on in the golf world.   I'm not a statistician, but I have taken a few stats courses in college.   Hopefully a real stats gearhead will chime in and help out with the math.  In the meantime, I'll start by tossing out a couple of the cases that irk me most.   Feel free to add your own questions, answers and topics.

  

Sample Sizes  & Test “results” -  You see all sorts of down-n- dirty “tests” these days.   One British Youtube poster compares clubs head to head based on only 5 on-camera swings with each club, where he throws out the “bad” swings (if he wants to) and keeps in other aberrant “good” swings (if he wants to).   As a statistically valid measuring device, this guy's 5-swing tests are absolute rubbish because his sample size is simply too small by about ten-fold.

 

In stats, the accuracy of your predictive abilities increases in direct proportion to the size and randomness of your sample pool.   Using a bigger pool is easy, but tiresome, so most lazy testers skip it.   Randomness is harder to achieve because an tester must strive to eliminate his bias and he usually doesn't want to do this.

 

What is a valid sample pool?   The very minimum acceptable sample pool that a statistician will accept as having any validity would be about 40 randomly selected datapoints.    Therefore when you test your next shaft head combo on a launch monitor you should have at least 40 swings (more like 400) you should keep the bad swings in your sample pool.   The bad swings are valid data points too.  If you only take a half dozen cuts, you throw out the two foozles, and think you've learned anything, you are fooling yourself.

 

Torque and Variance -    9 out of 10 golfers can't tell you what the torque of their driver shaft is, yet it is a very important number.   It's measured in degrees and so most golfers think it's like the degrees of face loft -- 1 degree either way shouldn't matter much, right?   Not so.  Shaft torque is a variance off of an average, meaning how far off line your drives might go due to the natural twisty-ness of the shaft itself.   Golf shaft torques run from around 1 degree (in stiff steel shafts) to over 5 degrees (in a whippy ladies shafts).  This difference might seem small, but it can translate into a huge margin of error for a 250 driver shot.    Consider this graphic, bearing in mind that I'm simplifying the math and rounding quite a bit.

 

torque graphic.jpg

 

Suddenly this torque number takes on greater meaning when you realize it is telling you how far off line you may end up.   Now you know why some pros choose very heavy and stiff shafts in order to tame the torque to keep their drives going where they want them to go.   BTW, it's always the flexier Reg and M and L shafts that spray more, so we poor slobs who don't hit it straight to begin with are the ones gaming the torqueiest noodles!

 

What's even scarier is the fact that many independent testers have found that many manufacturers LIE ABOUT THEIR TORQUE NUMBERS!   Google these studies and you'll see that some shafts which spec'ed at 4 to 5 actually measured out a 7 to 9.   Trust me, you don't want to see the 250 yard spray cone of a 9 degree shaft.

 

So Variance is a “vary” important calculation for golf in many ways.   If you have a pitching wedge that has a springy face that goes 125 on average, but has a 10 yard variance, is that better than another wedge that only goes 120, but varies by only 2 yards?   Most of us would chose the shorter wedge.   What about a driver manufacturer whose stated loft spec's can vary by as much as 1.5 degrees off of what they actually measure and they'll still stamp a rounded number on them?  Should you care?   I think so.

 

These are just a couple of important golf stats to consider.   I look forward to reading about some of your others.

bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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I disagree about PPR and will continue to do so. I agree it's meaningless short term, one round, but it reveals all sorts of things when placed in context with greens hit, up and downs and score over

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Good idea for a thread.

 

Actually the torque rating on a shaft is how many degrees the shaft will twist with one end clamped and a force rotating the other end.

 

A low torque shaft for a smooth swing or casting motion swinger will cost them distance compared to a more flexible higher torque shaft. The low torque fits a fast transition, late release better.

 

The torque rating is not how much offline the shot can go though. If that were the case everyone would need a low torque shaft.

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Agree totally about the statistics.  All statistics, no matter the topic, are based on assumptions and these assumptions must be clearly stated (and understood) before results based on statistics are meaningful.  

 

Big hitters usually need a low torque shaft; less powerful swingers need a higher torque shaft.  It's one of the fitting variables.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Good idea for a thread.

 

Actually the torque rating on a shaft is how many degrees the shaft will twist with one end clamped and a force rotating the other end.

 

A low torque shaft for a smooth swing or casting motion swinger will cost them distance compared to a more flexible higher torque shaft. The low torque fits a fast transition, late release better.

 

The torque rating is not how much offline the shot can go though. If that were the case everyone would need a low torque shaft.

 

Yes they do test how much torque a shaft has by applying a force and twisting.  This is to approximate the twisting forces that may be encountered in a golf swing which can push a drive off line.   That's the variance off of true and it represents the "potential" for variance in the golf swing.  It does not mean that all swings will deviate that much.  And the independent testers who've gone back and repeated the tests are the ones who find that 4.0 is often really an 8.0 etc.  BTW, there is also a torque component to the grip you choose, but we'll leave that for another time.

 

I would argue that while big hitters must have low torque, no one "needs" a higher torque shaft.  That's the misconception that comes along with the fact that there is a cost to be paid in weight and stiffness for getting low torque.  Lately shaft manufacturers have been focusing all their efforts on low weight, which means fewer layers of stiffening carbon fiber.   They feel (and the public seems to agree) that slower swingers can tolerate 50 gram shafts that torques up to 5 degrees, instead of 70-80 gram shafts that torques 2.5 to 3.0, because they apply less force anyway.   They may be right, but I think that whippy combined with torquey is a tough beast to tame, especially if you are following the maxim of "use the softest flex you can handle" with driver shafts.   If you aim for low torque, you can handle a lot softer flex shaft.

 

The torque argument is why for years better players have resisted graphite shafts in irons.   "Just too torquey, we need accuracy."   Only recently with graphites like Aerotechs has it been possible to get good graphite iron shafts in stiff and regular flexes that had torque numbers of like 1.3 or close to steel levels.

bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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Don't most shaft manufacturers factor in the torque of shafts with the flex rating?  I wouldn't expect any manufacturer to make an S or X flex shaft with high torque; likewise, slower swing speeds don't really exert much force on a shaft, so higher torque is not really an issue.  Certainly not when considering advantages of low shaft weight; but that now becomes a fitting issue.  It's what feels good to the golfer.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I enjoy Mark and Mmmmmmbuddy so much that I'm trying to figure out a way to travel west sometime soon just to meet and play with them. Mom why did you have to die too soon?

 

And the there's Westy across that silly pond. This is a very enjoyable community.

Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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I enjoy Mark and Mmmmmmbuddy so much that I'm trying to figure out a way to travel west sometime soon just to meet and play with them. Mom why did you have to die too soon?

 

And the there's Westy across that silly pond. This is a very enjoyable community.

Agreed on the community.

 

As a person whose spent large amount of times researching and having to numerical analysis... 100 times should be the minimum anyone does anything to mathematically prove something. At that time, it should just about be alright to run through principles. At least, that's what my thesis advisor said.

 

Also : I guess I'd say this: there's nothing worse than hearing about certain stats in the golf game. Good you hit 8 GIR's... great... but you 3 putted 8 holes for a 90m, so that doesn't matter. Vice Versa, you had only 20 putts, but took 6 shot a hole to get there... those kind of stats don't tell you a tale. A 70 or 90 does.

 Driver:   :callaway-small:  Epic Flash 12 Degree

Wood: :callaway-small:  GBB 3 Wood
Hybrid: :callaway-small: Razr 4 hybriid stiff stock shaft.
Irons: :callaway-small: X2 Hot 4 iron (pro version) 5 iron - Gap Wedge (non pro version).  KBS 120g Shaft stiff cut 1/2  inch bent 1°upright
Wedges: :vokey-small: 52° 56° and 60°.
All grips are Golf pride grips midsized
Putter (lefty):  Odyssey Metal-X #8 34", stock shaft bent 2° Superstroke grip
Golf Balls:   :titelist-small: 2018-9 Pro-V1x and Prov1s
Shoes:  :footjoy-small:  Dryjoy tours

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True sports fan but it is important to know what went into the 90 if you want to improve or the 70 if you want to do it again (or break it.)

 

Here's where the large statistical base matters beyond a doubt. I can have a round where I hit 3 greens , take 25 putts and shoot even. I've probably done it. However if I have a large data base I will find that 3 greens hit, 6 under my average, yields an expected score of 81 or 82. Additionally I'm more likely to shoot 85 while hitting 3 greens than 72.

 

The more data that's available the more accurate the predictability of the event and also the result of an outlier. I'm not a mathematicians but I am a pretty good observer of life and how the universe around it works or doesn't.

 

So this is one from me. People don't like the putts per round stat. They also don't seem to like the RBI stat in baseball anymore or W's for a pitcher. I say putts per round is a great stat within the confine's of an individual's game so long as that individual is aware that it is a product of the other parts of his game. So if I can continue my straight driving, hitting 9 greens and lower my putts per round 2 strokes over the course of a 50 round season I will have done something that is extremely significant for my game.

 

BTW I love the saber metrics in baseball but they shouldn't blind us as they I have. David Price or CC Sabbathia should have won the CY young when King Felix did. He won 12 games under low stress circumstances. They won 19 and 22 leading their respective teams in the heat of a penant race.

 

As you said the result has to matter at some point particularly in professional sports.

Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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True sports fan but it is important to know what went into the 90 if you want to improve or the 70 if you want to do it again (or break it.)

 

Here's where the large statistical base matters beyond a doubt. I can have a round where I hit 3 greens , take 25 putts and shoot even. I've probably done it. However if I have a large data base I will find that 3 greens hit, 6 under my average, yields an expected score of 81 or 82. Additionally I'm more likely to shoot 85 while hitting 3 greens than 72.

 

The more data that's available the more accurate the predictability of the event and also the result of an outlier. I'm not a mathematicians but I am a pretty good observer of life and how the universe around it works or doesn't.

 

So this is one from me. People don't like the putts per round stat. They also don't seem to like the RBI stat in baseball anymore or W's for a pitcher. I say putts per round is a great stat within the confine's of an individual's game so long as that individual is aware that it is a product of the other parts of his game. So if I can continue my straight driving, hitting 9 greens and lower my putts per round 2 strokes over the course of a 50 round season I will have done something that is extremely significant for my game.

 

BTW I love the saber metrics in baseball but they shouldn't blind us as they I have. David Price or CC Sabbathia should have won the CY young when King Felix did. He won 12 games under low stress circumstances. They won 19 and 22 leading their respective teams in the heat of a penant race.

 

As you said the result has to matter at some point particularly in professional sports.

 

Rev,

From what I hear you are a short game wizard, so I would fully expect that you have shot even par hitting 3 greens and 25 putts; probably more than once.  

 

While I track putts per round, I am one of those people that don't like the stat.  I don't 3-putt very often, except when I travel and play unfamiliar courses with large fast undulating greens.  However, I do tend to miss greens on the longer courses.  I prefer to track scrambling %.  The putt per round stat only tells a story if you have a lot of other data to go with it.  If I can get up-and-down ("everyone likes a good up-and-down"), the putts per round stat looks pretty good.  Hitting all the greens and making par; not so much.  I agree that the score is how you measure yourself against other golfers (not by height  :) ) but you have to know what got you the score.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Yes to both so I track fairways hit, GIR, up and downs and putts per round. From those numbers I get a very good picture of how I'm playing in the long run. On a given day, not necessarily, but over the course of time, yes.

 

Of late I'm averaging 80 percent of fairways hit BTW. I'm at that point where I'm looking at the part of the fairway I want rather than just the fairway. For me the SLDR. Is point and shoot.

Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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One Iron I will add to the fire so to speak. On graphite shafts the manufacturer does reccomend how much to tip it to acheive their paticular advertised numbers for that shaft for the club you are putting it in. you can modify torque numbers some by the way you tip a shaft. On the other hand if you want to create more torque you can tip the shaft less. I learned this by experimenting with take out shafts and bargain shafts using my friends frequency machine.

Driver --- Honma G1-X Stock R Flex----  3W Callaway Steelhead UST Pro Force Gold 65 stiff--- 2 iron 1980 Macgregor VIP Nike R flex-------- Irons 3 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex shafts--- SW Cleveland 588 Sensicore S-400-- Putter Rusty Santa Fe Bulls Eye Fluted shaft-- Bag Old School Hoofer I had in the stash--- Goes along with my raggety persona

 

 

 

 

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That putts per round stat is an interesting one because it does not directly correlate to improvement in your golf score. When you start, your PPR will be high, then it will dip a bit as you start to barely miss greens and chip and one putt. Then as your iron play improves, you will hit more greens but you will have long first putts. Your PPR will shoot up as you have more 3 and 2 putts. Then as your iron play further improves, and you get closer to the hole, the PPR drops again.

 

bag - sunmountain.jpg Synch with Microcart
driver - callaway.jpg Optiforce 440, Fujikura ZCom TW74 regular, +1 3/4"
fwoods - taylormade.jpg Rocketballz Stage 2, 3HL, 5HL, regular
irons - taylormade.jpg Speedblades 3-PW, 85g stiff steel
wedges - Scorgolf.jpg 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - ping.jpg Ketsch 35", superstroke.png 2.0
ball - wilsonstaff.jpg FG Tour

bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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That putts per round stat is an interesting one because it does not directly correlate to improvement in your golf score. When you start, your PPR will be high, then it will dip a bit as you start to barely miss greens and chip and one putt. Then as your iron play improves, you will hit more greens but you will have long first putts. Your PPR will shoot up as you have more 3 and 2 putts. Then as your iron play further improves, and you get closer to the hole, the PPR drops again.

is 44 PPR good???  cause that is what I am averaging over the past 17 years...

Driver -   :srixon-small: ZX 7 9.5° Ventus VeloCore Blue S
Fairway -  Tour Edge Exotics CB2 15° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

Fairway - Tour Edge Exotics CB2 18° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

Hybrid - :srixon-small: ZX 18° GD Tour IZ S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: ZX7  Aerotech SteelFiber 110icw  4-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX Zipcore Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Cameron Phantom 5x/Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black/Ping Anser F/Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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One thing that the testing protocols preferred by my golf spy is to have human testers try out the clubs then obtain the numbers based on limited numbers of shots played on the clubs being tested.

 

However, if we are to be really scientific about it, we all know that the human golf is the most unreliable golf testing machine there is. The human golf testing "machine is also subject to fatigue which influence how the club perform in his hand. And that is assuming other factors like bias & prejudices doesn't in some way affect the outcome of the shot played with a particular club.

 

I have always voiced out the need for machine testing of a golf club's performance under a certain fixed test parameters - like club head speed, launch angles etc.

 

But noooo......! Some experts voiced their opinion that machine testing has very limited benefits because golf is played by humans, therefore human tester feedbacks are more valid.

 

I remember there was a discussion in the blogs quite sometime back, and I gave up trying to put my point across after a while. It's useless mooting a point when others are so set in their ways. For me I just take whatever testing reviews with a pinch of salt. To me it's just a fun day for the lucky testers with very limited benefit to me as a consumer.

 

Bottom line - human testing - the sample size is too small, and the testers are not consistent, therefore the test outcome is of limited value.

Now in my bag:

TM SLDR 10.5 Deg with Matrix Ozik 6Q3 S flex

TM VSteel 15 deg 3 wood

Cleveland Launcher Hybrid 18 deg Diamana Red Board Stiff

Titleist ZB Forged Iron 3-PW DG S200 Steel Shaft

Cleveland CG15 46, 52, 56, 60 Wedges

Scotty Cameron California Del Mar

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True sports fan but it is important to know what went into the 90 if you want to improve or the 70 if you want to do it again (or break it.)

 

Here's where the large statistical base matters beyond a doubt. I can have a round where I hit 3 greens , take 25 putts and shoot even. I've probably done it. However if I have a large data base I will find that 3 greens hit, 6 under my average, yields an expected score of 81 or 82. Additionally I'm more likely to shoot 85 while hitting 3 greens than 72.

 

The more data that's available the more accurate the predictability of the event and also the result of an outlier. I'm not a mathematicians but I am a pretty good observer of life and how the universe around it works or doesn't.

 

So this is one from me. People don't like the putts per round stat. They also don't seem to like the RBI stat in baseball anymore or W's for a pitcher. I say putts per round is a great stat within the confine's of an individual's game so long as that individual is aware that it is a product of the other parts of his game. So if I can continue my straight driving, hitting 9 greens and lower my putts per round 2 strokes over the course of a 50 round season I will have done something that is extremely significant for my game.

 

BTW I love the saber metrics in baseball but they shouldn't blind us as they I have. David Price or CC Sabbathia should have won the CY young when King Felix did. He won 12 games under low stress circumstances. They won 19 and 22 leading their respective teams in the heat of a penant race.

 

As you said the result has to matter at some point particularly in professional sports.

My point is putts per round is useless without knowing what else is going on. I agree with your point, if you know why you shot 90 rather than 70 there's a lot of help. A lot of times, the stats aren't as good as sitting in the car and going through the round. One of the best driving days I had statistically according to FIR I shot horrible because my drives were going 40 yards shorter. 

I think in golf in general stats can tell you numbers, but the old sit in the car and think about your round works just as well. I want to say 3-4 times, I was surprised I shot as well as I did and the stats had something there I hadn't thought about. EX. I had 28 putts once. Still shot mid 80's because my chipping was spot on that day but my irons were awful.

 

Again, not attacking anything you said, just trying to expand upon why I don't like some golf stats.

 Driver:   :callaway-small:  Epic Flash 12 Degree

Wood: :callaway-small:  GBB 3 Wood
Hybrid: :callaway-small: Razr 4 hybriid stiff stock shaft.
Irons: :callaway-small: X2 Hot 4 iron (pro version) 5 iron - Gap Wedge (non pro version).  KBS 120g Shaft stiff cut 1/2  inch bent 1°upright
Wedges: :vokey-small: 52° 56° and 60°.
All grips are Golf pride grips midsized
Putter (lefty):  Odyssey Metal-X #8 34", stock shaft bent 2° Superstroke grip
Golf Balls:   :titelist-small: 2018-9 Pro-V1x and Prov1s
Shoes:  :footjoy-small:  Dryjoy tours

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One thing that the testing protocols preferred by my golf spy is to have human testers try out the clubs then obtain the numbers based on limited numbers of shots played on the clubs being tested.

 

However, if we are to be really scientific about it, we all know that the human golf is the most unreliable golf testing machine there is. The human golf testing "machine is also subject to fatigue which influence how the club perform in his hand. And that is assuming other factors like bias & prejudices doesn't in some way affect the outcome of the shot played with a particular club.

 

I have always voiced out the need for machine testing of a golf club's performance under a certain fixed test parameters - like club head speed, launch angles etc.

 

But noooo......! Some experts voiced their opinion that machine testing has very limited benefits because golf is played by humans, therefore human tester feedbacks are more valid.

 

I remember there was a discussion in the blogs quite sometime back, and I gave up trying to put my point across after a while. It's useless mooting a point when others are so set in their ways. For me I just take whatever testing reviews with a pinch of salt. To me it's just a fun day for the lucky testers with very limited benefit to me as a consumer.

 

Bottom line - human testing - the sample size is too small, and the testers are not consistent, therefore the test outcome is of limited value.

Even club manufacturers agree robot data doesn't cross over to real people swinging the club for review purposes. They definitely use them in their R&D, very helpful there. But when it's time to see what a club does for real, they want third party, real golfers doing it. A robot has no feel, can't tell you what to expect if you hit a shot toward the toe or give you dispersion patterns based on how people make contact. A robot doesn't release the club the same as a human. There are countless dynamics to a person's swing that a robot can't get feedback on.

 

Sure having a pool of 100 testers over 50 rounds with each club would be great. That's not realistic obviously, and doing it with a robot instead would be pointless because the results wouldn't translate to you when you swung the same club.

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One area where I like to see machine testing is with golf balls.  When you are attempting to build a valid test, you have to eliminate as many outside variables as you can.  Different wedges and different swingers will impart different spins on the ball and I'd rather narrow things down to just the ball.   Maybe that's why we'll have to wait for an MGS Most Wanted Ball.   Without machine testing facilities for driver, iron and wedge testing to get spin and carry numbers, you had might as well not do it.

bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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One area where I like to see machine testing is with golf balls.  When you are attempting to build a valid test, you have to eliminate as many outside variables as you can.  Different wedges and different swingers will impart different spins on the ball and I'd rather narrow things down to just the ball.   Maybe that's why we'll have to wait for an MGS Most Wanted Ball.   Without machine testing facilities for driver, iron and wedge testing to get spin and carry numbers, you had might as well not do it.

I hate to say it but I think it's the same with balls as clubs. Unless you intend to set that robot at exactly my swing speed, angle of attack, etc. and it's using my clubs the test on a particular ball is only valid as a starting point. That's also true for tests by people.

 

I would love to see a most wanted ball test but in the end I need to test balls for myself from among the group that should work best for my swing.

 

Back to SpOrtsfan we don't disagree other than I like the putts per round stat and you don't. I totally agree that by itself it means nothing. Same with any stat except score. But in context all the stats equal the score and when a pattern of very good or not so good scores surface it helps to know why. I'm thinking macro, several rounds, you're thinking micro, today's round.

 

There's nothing wrong with either approach or concern IMO.

Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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