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Balanced golf balls?


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I'm new to Mygolfspy, and after following a few threads and going down a rabbit hole on youtube golf videos I came across the topic of balanced golf balls. Something I heard of years ago, but never gave much thought to. So, I turned to MGS to see what they had to say on the topic.

Only thing I found was an article by Adam from 2008 "Are your golf balls balanced properly?". In it he links to a video from Ralph Maltby who explains why it is important and how to check for it. A simple solution of Epsom salt and water to get the balls to float and see if a certain spot rises to the top each time.

So, I got curious and wanted to test some of mine. I didn't buy a kit, just took some of my wife's bath/Epsom salt and poured a couple tbs in water until the ball would float.

17* of 18 ProV1x that I had were balanced, while 4 of the 6 (new) Vice ProPlus balls I had were not balanced. Granted, it isn't the same sample size since I don't have as many Vice balls to test, but I still think it is telling. I'm guessing the cheaper balls don't go through the same rigor and quality control standards put in place at the larger manufacturers...but have no idea.

I've played a couple rounds with the Vice balls, and I have to say I was very impressed. Couldn't tell the difference between them and a ProV1x. Now, after this testing, I know I need to take a closer look at them and see if the balls I actually used on the course were balanced or not. Even still, I think it is too late to tell for that. I imagine playing with a ball can knock it off balance...but not sure.

*The one ProV that came out not balanced was one that had at least one round played on it. So, I think I have to exclude that from the results and just test new balls.

Next, I need to see how they roll.

So, question to all of you. Does anyone test for balanced balls? What do you see, how many are not balanced? Do unbalanced balls really matter on the course?

 

Thanks,

Brian

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I never have but I am intrigued to see if there is a meaningful difference between the 2

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Brandon, welcome to the forum. I'm coming at this topic as someone who doesn't balance the ball, but I know a few guys who do with the Check-Go. I think it's a relic from the old wound core days of balata. With the tighter tolerances of manufacturing now, I don't really see the need. However, if it gives you piece of mind that you're playing a "good" ball, I say continue to do it. Don't change something just because data shows it might not be giving the benefit you think it is, do what is best for you and anything to give you piece of mind should be at the top of that list.

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I don't check for balance.  I'm sure there are balls today that vary a little, but balls manufactured even 10 years ago were likely subject to more variability than today's golf balls.  Prior to 2008 there was a lot of variability and checking was routine for the best players.  

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I agree that today's standards have most likely improved upon those 10+years ago, especially given the results I had testing the ProV1s. However, my biggest question is, should that be included in professional testing of Vice, Snell, Kirkland, etc..? When 4 of the 6 Vice balls I tested weren't balanced, that tells me something. Just not sure what exactly it is telling me and how much to take away from that.

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Brian, maybe I didn't make this point clearly in the original post and for that I apologize. In my opinion, your findings can lead you to whatever result you want there to be. To my knowledge, there are no empirical studies of whether or not a balanced golf ball performs any different than an unbalanced golf ball, and with most of us never swinging on perfect plan making perfect contact every single time, I don't think it matters. Perhaps this is perfect fodder for a MGS GolfBusters test?

 

However, throughout time people have used the epsom salt and have sworn by it, and the creation of the Check-Go device was supposed to do the same thing. If you believe your tests show that perhaps the direct to consumer tour balls are a step behind their mass production brothers, that's great. The good news for you is that there are balls you've tested that you believe meet your tolerances. Continue to buy those balls and use them.

 

The problem is your'e looking for an absolute answer to a question where there is no absolute answer. Therefore, my advice continues to be, if you feel it makes a difference, observe that and go with the balls that meet your tolerances through the epsom salt test and avoid those that don't. That's the best I think any of us are going to be able to answer for you.

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I am one that did this for a few months and found seldom found a ball out of balance and even when they were it wasn't enough to see a difference on the course including putting

 

 

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This topic came up before so I ran out to CVS and bought some epsom salt and tested a bunch of balls from higher end Bridgestones to low cost Wilson and Top Flite balls and a few brands in between. My unscientific results were all new balls tested were in balance and all balls that I had used were out of balance. Still played all the balls and played the same regardless.

 

 

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I just did some "testing" to see how the out of balance balls rolled vs the balanced ones. Couldn't come to any conclusions. My rug doesn't roll as true as I had thought. One ball which I know was balanced would be off by and inch or two on a 10 foot roll. I say roll since I just rolled them down a piece of angle iron...didn't want to influence any results with my amateur putting stroke.

So, after all that, i'll have to wait until someone does some actual scientific testing at a lab or something before I go down the road of testing all my balls for balance.

Really didn't want to start doing it anyway.

Thanks for all the responses.

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I've seen Maltby do this before. Kind of interesting. I don't balance golf balls. I just pull them from the sleeve and get with it.

I do have a Check-Go a friends gave me many years ago. I've tried it a few times and I guess it works.

 

But like Bryans test seems to imply, once a golf ball is hit a few times or for a round it's out of balance.? Personally I don't think I could notice either way. I'll tell you what is out of balance.... yellow range balls. LOL I've seen those things move all over the place. I think I once hit a cut-fade-draw-hook-knock down with one.

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