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Balata ball

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I was cleaning out my closet due to the Corona Virus stay at home mandate and found a dozen Titanium Balata golf balls that have to be at least 22 years old. I gave a few away to friends of mine but wonder how much this type of ball loses in speed and performance due to age? Any ideas?

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They would lose a significant amount... those rubber windings are lonnnnnnnnnnnng past their use-by date.  I still have a few that are fun to putt with, but that is about it.

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On 4/19/2020 at 12:32 PM, Jeb3 said:

I was cleaning out my closet due to the Corona Virus stay at home mandate and found a dozen Titanium Balata golf balls that have to be at least 22 years old. I gave a few away to friends of mine but wonder how much this type of ball loses in speed and performance due to age? Any ideas?

Try it on the next par 3 you play. Just be sure to aim for the back of the green number. 

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I tell the story from a few years back, I was at a garage sale and they had a box with three sleeves of the Top Flight Z-Balata balls for $5.  Had to take them as I used to play them. When we were on spring break with our kids, I took them to a par three course and I used the Z-balata balls.  MAN now I remember why they were fun to play with all the spin you could get on them.   During a regular round during the trip I took one out to play, for one hole. As fun as it was on the par 3 course to see the spin with wedges, the ball went no where with a regular shot, probably about only 80% of regular distance off the driver. Balls were probably 15years old or so.

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20 hours ago, rlpolo said:

WOW .. those are collectors items now !!

Here is my latest driver that should be home tomorrow.  Probably now the crown jewel of my collection.  I also have another M85W, a 693 set and M09 LFF that were also restored by Dave Wood.  The other M85W has a 2 and 3 wood not refinished with neck numbers.  I have a two 945W drivers and the fairway woods (2-4) of one of those drivers to be restored by Dave Wood next season.  I have a set of M43T (1-4) and a set of Toney Penna TP Specials (1-4) refinished by another club restorer.  Add a M75W driver, a Wood Brothers Texan (made for Gene Sauers), my old Cleveland Classic DG43 gamer from 1990-1992 and a custom made driver made by my former club craftsman.  Years ago I couldn't afford these true cream of the crop classics but they are readily available now.  However, to make them fully restored in the condition of this M85W driver pictured here is not inexpensive.  Dave told me this is one of the best M85Ws he's ever worked on, possibly one of the best ever to come out of MacGregor.  He also said this particular driver is a different level than Ben Crenshaw's gamer of the 80s (the one he won the Masters with in 84) and that this would have been in Ben's bag had he owned it in the early 80s.

To say I am pleased with my small collection is a small understatement. 

 

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Edited by RobotDoctor
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I found my old golf go bag and in it was 3 dozen Titleist Pro 100 so I gave a dozen to my mate who was at the time on a 2 handicap and asked him play a few round with them and compare them to the Pro V1 he usually hits. Not sure if they had lost any compression but he found that the distances was down 15-18% and spin was up allot particularly with driver. He did love the way the felt though.

 

Trent Rommann Golf - Titleist Golf Ball Review - Tour Balata ...TITLEIST Professional 90 * NOS * 3 dozen * NEW | #75072735

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Callaway Epic Flash 9 Degree

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion 3 wood 15 Degree

Callaway Epic Hybrid 18 Degree

Callaway Steelhead Pro 4-AW Irons

Cleveland 48 and 54 Degree Wedges Steel Shaft

Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway Clubs

Callaway Big Bertha Putter - for when it is wet

La Jolla Putter with Flat Car Grip.

Preferred ball - Currently Costco Kirkland Performance 3 Piece but Seed 001 is preferred.

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1 hour ago, Firebird said:

I found my old golf go bag and in it was 3 dozen Titleist Pro 100 so I gave a dozen to my mate who was at the time on a 2 handicap and asked him play a few round with them and compare them to the Pro V1 he usually hits. Not sure if they had lost any compression but he found that the distances was down 15-18% and spin was up allot particularly with driver. He did love the way the felt though.

 

Trent Rommann Golf - Titleist Golf Ball Review - Tour Balata ...TITLEIST Professional 90 * NOS * 3 dozen * NEW | #75072735

It all depends on how and where they were stored as to what the playing condition is. And yes with a modern metal driver they will spin like heck. Also they are not as long as a modern ball. When I play my vintage golf I usually use a modern ball off the tee. From 7 iron in on approach I will use a Balata and putt with them also. Yep I love the feel and spin

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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I keep a Titleist Professional 100 in my bag as that was my dads ball in his prime.

Take Dead Aim

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On 7/10/2020 at 10:30 AM, BIG STU said:

It all depends on how and where they were stored as to what the playing condition is. And yes with a modern metal driver they will spin like heck. Also they are not as long as a modern ball. When I play my vintage golf I usually use a modern ball off the tee. From 7 iron in on approach I will use a Balata and putt with them also. Yep I love the feel and spin

They were actually kept in a nice cool place so I am guessing they are still in good condition. Hitting them they feel really soft and do not seem to launch of the club or putter face.

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Callaway Epic Flash 9 Degree

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion 3 wood 15 Degree

Callaway Epic Hybrid 18 Degree

Callaway Steelhead Pro 4-AW Irons

Cleveland 48 and 54 Degree Wedges Steel Shaft

Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway Clubs

Callaway Big Bertha Putter - for when it is wet

La Jolla Putter with Flat Car Grip.

Preferred ball - Currently Costco Kirkland Performance 3 Piece but Seed 001 is preferred.

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9 hours ago, Firebird said:

They were actually kept in a nice cool place so I am guessing they are still in good condition. Hitting them they feel really soft and do not seem to launch of the club or putter face.

Yep if you are not used to them they have the marshmallow effect especially a modern putter with a insert. They compress more too and do not pop hot off a face like modern balls do 

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Those balata balls come with a built in 20 yards less distance off the tee, guaranteed!  It's what we had to play with up until about 15 years ago so we did and we enjoyed it.  We were also 15 years younger then. 🙂

 

I loved the vintage woods -  I was a Tommy Armor PGA wood guy -  it was just a different game - If you could hit one 250 you were a bomber - I think the average drive on tour was under 250 with that equipment quite honestly.  And yet Jack Nicklaus hit one 340 with that equipment on the PGA tournament long driving hole.

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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,56,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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10 hours ago, BIG STU said:

Yep if you are not used to them they have the marshmallow effect especially a modern putter with a insert. They compress more too and do not pop hot off a face like modern balls do 

Yep I forgot I showed John that lesson first hand---- We were playing at my home club then and John found a real balata ball. This other kid was playing with us and on 17 I showed them about a balata ball. I was putting with a bare balls 68 Tommy Armour Ironmaster that day. I let them putt some with my putter and they both saw what I was talking about. Even though John is a lefty he could hit my putter good enough to understand the feel aspect.

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, revkev said:

Those balata balls come with a built in 20 yards less distance off the tee, guaranteed!  It's what we had to play with up until about 15 years ago so we did and we enjoyed it.  We were also 15 years younger then. 🙂

 

I loved the vintage woods -  I was a Tommy Armor PGA wood guy -  it was just a different game - If you could hit one 250 you were a bomber - I think the average drive on tour was under 250 with that equipment quite honestly.  And yet Jack Nicklaus hit one 340 with that equipment on the PGA tournament long driving hole.

Believe it or not I was a Power Bilt and Toney Penna man. And you are dead on about the yardage. I was a bomber in those days hit it about 270 or so but---- There was no telling what direction it was going though. Now the 1 iron I could hit further than most guys could a Driver. I remember my old man saying one time " If I could hit a 1 iron as straight and long as you do there would not be a driver in my bag" Back then with roll out I hit a 1 iron about 250.  Now days with modern balls and metal drivers I still get the driver out there about 245 or so. I tell people all the time folks my age are not supposed to do that. I tell them if they want a dose of reality let me go to the car and get one of my persimmon drivers and balata ball out.  No takers at my club. With my persimmon and balata I hit it about 215  220. With a modern ball around 230. I remembered one of the guys on my dog fight team ran up on me one day and I was playing vintage. He remarked I was not that much shorter with the persimmon. But for me on hard dry fairways I can get the persimmon to run like it stole something with a modern ball. I told him as much told him let me get out here when it is wet and you will see.  Now irons are a different matter since I play older blades my 150 club is the 6 iron at sea level. Trust me I have that 6 iron set up to hit high and float. Oh yeah I have several sets of hot faced CBs but can absolutely not control them. Yes equipment has changed the game but I do not care I take pleasure in playing my way

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Here is my latest driver that should be home tomorrow.  Probably now the crown jewel of my collection.  I also have another M85W, a 693 set and M09 LFF that were also restored by Dave Wood.  The other M85W has a 2 and 3 wood not refinished with neck numbers.  I have a two 945W drivers and the fairway woods (2-4) of one of those drivers to be restored by Dave Wood next season.  I have a set of M43T (1-4) and a set of Toney Penna TP Specials (1-4) refinished by another club restorer.  Add a M75W driver, a Wood Brothers Texan (made for Gene Sauers), my old Cleveland Classic DG43 gamer from 1990-1992 and a custom made driver made by my former club craftsman.  Years ago I couldn't afford these true cream of the crop classics but they are readily available now.  However, to make them fully restored in the condition of this M85W driver pictured here is not inexpensive.  Dave told me this is one of the best M85Ws he's ever worked on, possibly one of the best ever to come out of MacGregor.  He also said this particular driver is a different level than Ben Crenshaw's gamer of the 80s (the one he won the Masters with in 84) and that this would have been in Ben's bag had he owned it in the early 80s.
To say I am pleased with my small collection is a small understatement. 
 
1095691423_Brandoface.jpg.667dbfbdd02ca6583e675a3eaba7c614.jpg
2125267387_Brandosoul.jpg.abc8fb1578c7c2eee31f434361451fa5.jpg
2089742174_Brandocrown.jpg.3bef499f5f6c8bdc057ec12aa1a8afc2.jpg

That’s really nice condition!


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
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Rick

 

 

Left Hand, 

Driver; Ping G410 Plus

5 Wood; Cally Steelhead 

5 Hybrid; Cally Steelhead

Irons; Ping G410 5-SW & Mizno 919 Hot Metal 5-SW

Putter; Waaay too many to list

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47 minutes ago, Rickp said:


That’s really nice condition!


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

Yep Robot has some top notch stuff

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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I like how when you hit one good and straight with the drive how they would climb up, and just drop out of the sky.

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:cobra-small: Driver F9                     

:cobra-small: 5 wood 18 TS2 

:mizuno-small:  Irons 4i / 9i MP-20 HMB   
:mizuno-small: wedge T20 46* 50*                                                           

:callaway-small: Wedges MD5 Jaws  58/x

:mizuno-small: Putter M-Craft II black

:taylormade-small: Tour Response 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Miboy62 said:

I like how when you hit one good and straight with the drive how they would climb up, and just drop out of the sky.

Definitely looks cool but this flight is a distance killer. 


:titelist-small:  915D3

:titelist-small:  909F2

:titelist-small:  690.CB

:titelist-small:  Vokey SM5

:ping-small:  iWi D66

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20 hours ago, storm319 said:

Definitely looks cool but this flight is a distance killer. 

Back in the day (1988 into the late 90s/2000) the lack of distance from balata balls was not even a concern.  The reason I played them was control.  If I wanted distance I could have played Pinnacle balls or Top "Rocks".  Back then I worked every iron shot into the greens depending on what the shot needed.  I also worked tee shots to hold fairways.  Distance was sacrificed for absolute ball control and performance.  Of course I had to put a great swing on the ball to accomplish what I wanted.  I went from a 12-14 handicap in 1988 to a 7 or 8 in 1988.  My handicap rose to 12-14 in 1989 due to major swing changes when I played on my college team my last semester in college.  This was to lay down a foundation to become scratch.  I went back to 6-8 handicap into 1990.  I dropped to scratch between 1991 and 1992 due to playing with a group of guys who were really good.  I got tired of losing the Nassaus and skins we played.  Really tired of it.  I also was playing around 100 rounds a year and practicing a lot.  Long story short, the spin and control of a balata ball allowed me to fire at a lot of pins that I would never have tried for with a distance ball.  Back then I did not need a distance boost since I was young and strong.

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