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MGS Ball Test 2.0: the Ball Lab

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If you haven't already, check out [mention=30]Tony Covey MGS[/mention]'s post on the blog today about the new ball testing lab at the MGS HQ. The focus here isn't ball performance, but ball quality: which OEMs excel at making balls to their stated spec over and over again for predictable performance.
Obviously, last year's ball test had a huge impact on the industry, with Callaway recommitting to quality control on their balls. I can't wait to see what kind of results the guys in HQ find from even more quality testing.

Mannnnnnnnn, can’t wait to see which ball maker is surprised by the results of this one!!! Time to pop some popcorn!


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Very much looking forward to see the work that comes out of this.

I’m hoping to see that Callaway comes out with a higher degree of quality with everything we’ve been told in the past year.

I expect to see some issues for the D2C brands, but maybe we will be surprised!


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Looking forward to the results of my ball.


D  :ping-small: G30

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This is awesome testing! @Tony Covey MGS how did you settle on 3 dozen golf balls as the standard number? And will you be testing different batches of the same ball, or buying three dozen from a retailer and testing them all? 

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I think this will be most interesting. I don't pay much attention to club testing because; One -  I'm not in the market for any golf clubs and; just because someone likes a particular club doesn't mean I will too. I think most clubs - irons particularly are fairly consistently made. (although, my irons heads were each hand selected for weight and quality of forging/casting/finishing) I do think sawing open some drivers and fairway woods could be interesting. Are the faces of these clubs as advertised? Can this even be done correctly? I don't know. But, the reason I'll be interested in this ball testing/examination of quality & construction is... because I play several balls from different mfgs. All urethane covered. Some are retail products and others are DTC brands. I've repeatedly claimed that I can play my best or worst rounds with any of them and on any given day. However, and depending on the results of these tests/examinations I could see myself singing a different tune. We shall see.

Also: Throw in a variety of range balls for this testing. Wilson, Srixon, etc. And some PV1 Practice balls for good measure. I'm interested in these types because we're about to make a rather large purchase later this summer for our range. Besides my own self interest I think we should know as there's more of these hit each day than any retail or DTC ball.

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Super excited to see the results of this. All of the ball tests in the world don't matter if you aren't going to get the same performance out of the dozen that you buy at the store. 

I'd like to see a larger selection of balls tested as well instead of just the Tour balls like last years. It seems like most of the changes to the balls are incremental year to year anyway so if the budget allows for it, maybe they can be tested in alternating years? Tour balls one year and then maybe the next step down the following year?  I'd also love to see the comparison between the two categories to see exactly how much more performance the average golfer really gets by spending $48/dz vs. $35.

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4 hours ago, B.Boston said:

Very much looking forward to see the work that comes out of this.

I’m hoping to see that Callaway comes out with a higher degree of quality with everything we’ve been told in the past year.

I expect to see some issues for the D2C brands, but maybe we will be surprised!


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I'm interested to see what the D2C brands do as well. I'm sure some will have issues, but I'm hoping the majority do not. QA/QC is really an issue that has nothing to do with being a brand name or not, but more to do with how they select their manufacturing facility how much time and money they want to dedicate to producing a consistent product.  Hopefully some of that money they save on marketing/advertising makes it's way back into higher quality facilities and better standards for production.

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Interesting to see some believe this may expose some D2C brands. Snell and OnCore were among the top performing balls last year.

I’d expect to see Cut and Callaway both improve and not much change among some of the leaders.

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I'm interested to see what the D2C brands do as well. I'm sure some will have issues, but I'm hoping the majority do not. QA/QC is really an issue that has nothing to do with being a brand name or not, but more to do with how they select their manufacturing facility how much time and money they want to dedicate to producing a consistent product.  Hopefully some of that money they save on marketing/advertising makes it's way back into higher quality facilities and better standards for production.

I forget which one of the ball articles it was, but a large number of these D2C companies are really using the same generic ball vendor from overseas.

If you think about it, they are really just a marketing company that puts those logo and story on a ball they don’t actually produce or own any of the IP, Design, or Manufacturing.

Not ALL of them are like this, but besides Snell, who owns a lot of IP in the space, I’m not really sure who owns any bit of the design besides the logo.

If they all order from the same factory it will be interesting to see if there are consistency differences between a high volume vs low volume D2C.


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20 minutes ago, B.Boston said:


I forget which one of the ball articles it was, but a large number of these D2C companies are really using the same generic ball vendor from overseas.

If you think about it, they are really just a marketing company that puts those logo and story on a ball they don’t actually produce or own any of the IP, Design, or Manufacturing.

Not ALL of them are like this, but besides Snell, who owns a lot of IP in the space, I’m not really sure who owns any bit of the design besides the logo.

If they all order from the same factory it will be interesting to see if there are consistency differences between a high volume vs low volume D2C.


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From that standpoint it would definitely be interesting then.  Once they start measuring & cutting open a bunch of these we will probably be able to tell which of these companies are ordering the same product from the same factory. Knowing that company x, y & z are all selling the exact same product would be good to know especially since they are probably all charging different amounts....

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From that standpoint it would definitely be interesting then.  Once they start measuring & cutting open a bunch of these we will probably be able to tell which of these companies are ordering the same product from the same factory. Knowing that company x, y & z are all selling the exact same product would be good to know especially since they are probably all charging different amounts....

Here’s a screen shot of an IG video they did... it was part of the NPG podcasts, but I think they had a regular article too. all three of these appear to be the same ball:


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Any idea when results are to be posted? I perused the article but didn’t notice that. Looking forward to the comparisons and rankings.

Also looking forward to how you will measure external looks of a ball if possible as well as individual preferences of a ball.

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On 4/10/2020 at 6:52 AM, GolfSpy MPR said:

If you haven't already, check out @Tony Covey MGS's post on the blog today about the new ball testing lab at the MGS HQ. The focus here isn't ball performance, but ball quality: which OEMs excel at making balls to their stated spec over and over again for predictable performance.

Obviously, last year's ball test had a huge impact on the industry, with Callaway recommitting to quality control on their balls. I can't wait to see what kind of results the guys in HQ find from even more quality testing.

So awesome that MGS keeps pushing boundaries and pulling the curtain back more and more. An educated consumer is a dangerous consumer. Love it!!

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Bridgestone and Titleist #1 and #2... Who would get #3?

I'd be tipping Srixon.

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I can't wait to see the results from the MGS Golf Ball Lab as the next round of the MGS Golf Ball Test is done.  It will certainly be interesting to see:  1.) If any of the manufacturers (are you listening, Callaway?) get their acts together after what was uncovered in last year's ball test,  and 2.) What shows up in terms of rounness (or out-of-roundness), balance, consistency in construction, etc. now that there is an entire battery of new high-tech golf ball measurement equipment in use in MGS's ball testing.

Great job, Tony and the rest of the MGS staff; keep it up!


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I am keenly interested in this test as golf ball manufacturers are always bringing out new balls almost as fast as new clubs but are there really any major changes. Maybe in Callaways situation as they had issues last year with qc, the tests will tell the story...cannot wait.


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I'd love to see a new box of ProV1 2019 vs ProV1 2017 vs ProV1 2015 in the lab tests and the same for Chrome Softs and TP5's, etc.

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when do the results come out? if Calloway struggles in this test again.....they may drop out of the ball making business

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9 hours ago, Tsecor said:

when do the results come out? if Calloway struggles in this test again.....they may drop out of the ball making business

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).

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