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Club or Ball Technology - what do you think has had the biggest impact.


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Ball.  Most people dont realize just how good the modern golf ball is in how it is very low spin off the driver but very high spin off of the wedges.

IMO, most people who are a single digit cap could put a set of persimmon woods and blades in their bag and still shoot a very respectable score.  Id be willing to bet that if those same people used the latest and greatest clubs but had to use a wound ball, they would struggle to score because the ball would spin like crazy off the driver and they would spend all day looking for their ball in the rough, not to mention it would be shorter off of all clubs.

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Whats in my Sun Mountain 2.5+ stand bag?

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* and Cobra Speedzone 3H

Irons: Cobra Pro CB 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Cobra King 54*

Putter: Titleist Bullseye

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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No piece of equipment made me go “what is that?” like a 3 piece urethane ball. It was a 2-day tournament my junior year of college. Day 1, I played my Titleist Professional 90 and played ok. Day 2 o

Surprised no one posted this TXG video. Seems like the ball has a pretty big impact

... Good to see when MB's or Balata balls are mentioned you are still like a dog with a bone Ed! 🤣  I know better than to debate these issues with you. 👍

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Ball.  The advancements in ball technology allowed club manufacturers to do more with drivers in terms of forgiveness.  Like someone else said, we all used to play 6.5* Great Big Berthas.  Now we can have a higher lofted driver and not add any spin, but I think this is because the ball technology not the club.  The club helps but the ball is the reason.  Hit todays driver and a balata ball and it will have spin rates that are through the roof.

Ping G400 LST 10* - Rogue silver 110

Callaway Rogue 15* - Even Flow Blue

Callaway Apex 18* & 23*  Kuro Kage

Ping i500 (reg spec) Steelfiber 110CW

Ping i210 6-UW Steelfiber 110CW

Ping Glide 54* & 58* Dynamic Gold X100 SoftStepped

Ping Nome TR

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21 hours ago, storm319 said:

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). 

Again, we all know there haven’t been discrete changes. Interesting you choose to attack the one attempt at data but all the anecdotal answers are just fine, most happen to agree with the answer the chart suggests. Do you have better objective information?

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  • Mizuno CLK 3H 19°, JPX900 Forged 4-GW, S18 56.10, S18 60.06
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27 minutes ago, Middler said:

Again, we all know there haven’t been discrete changes. Interesting you choose to attack the one attempt at data but all the anecdotal answers are just fine, most happen to agree with the answer the chart suggests. Do you have better objective information?


Your data may be objective, but you've attached assumptions to the data that are rather less objective.  His observations are no less valid due to his not having "objective data" than the assumptions added to the data.

Unless we strip it down to testing each factor independently, it all fits the same category.  Even the 5.6 yards change in the Driving Distance stat from 1999 to 2002 for those players who played in both seasons that I like to mention has noise in play.  

Speaking to the thread topic....  I find the clubs to be the biggest change.  For me, spin rate changes are not enough to outweigh the considerable changes in MOI, shaft tech, etc.  The actual ball speed difference between wound balls and solid core is not nearly as profound as some suggest, when you compare new to new.  Dean Snell mentions this in his video discussing the distance thing, and early ball tests show the difference between the Strata and Pro V1 and balls like the Elite or Professional to be surprisingly minor.

I managed to luck into a couple dozen Asian market, and surprisingly new, Maxfli HT-100s several years ago.  I was able to take them out on the course and compare them side by side with newer golfballs.  In terms of carry, the differences were not that large.  I still have a sleeve of those balls, and now six to eight years later, they're a considerably shorter than the solid core balls I'm using.

It's all very anecdotal, of course, but at this point, can't do more than that, considering the manufacturing truths in the modern golfball world.  😉

Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Matrix 8m3 X, 42"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1-PW Golden Ram TW282 or Vibration Matched Golden Rams, RIP Tour 115 R (coin flipping for the reshaft project); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, DGS300; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; Golden Ram TW276, DGS; Golden Ram TW282, DGS; Ram Troon Grind 56*, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60*, 1.05 sole, DGS; Maltby Design 60* 1.05 sole, NV105
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, or TM TP5

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2 hours ago, NRJyzr said:


Your data may be objective, but you've attached assumptions to the data that are rather less objective.  His observations are no less valid due to his not having "objective data" than the assumptions added to the data.

Unless we strip it down to testing each factor independently, it all fits the same category.  Even the 5.6 yards change in the Driving Distance stat from 1999 to 2002 for those players who played in both seasons that I like to mention has noise in play.  

Speaking to the thread topic....  I find the clubs to be the biggest change.  For me, spin rate changes are not enough to outweigh the considerable changes in MOI, shaft tech, etc.  The actual ball speed difference between wound balls and solid core is not nearly as profound as some suggest, when you compare new to new.  Dean Snell mentions this in his video discussing the distance thing, and early ball tests show the difference between the Strata and Pro V1 and balls like the Elite or Professional to be surprisingly minor.

I managed to luck into a couple dozen Asian market, and surprisingly new, Maxfli HT-100s several years ago.  I was able to take them out on the course and compare them side by side with newer golfballs.  In terms of carry, the differences were not that large.  I still have a sleeve of those balls, and now six to eight years later, they're a considerably shorter than the solid core balls I'm using.

It's all very anecdotal, of course, but at this point, can't do more than that, considering the manufacturing truths in the modern golfball world.  😉

You missed the point but carry on...

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  • Mizuno CLK 3H 19°, JPX900 Forged 4-GW, S18 56.10, S18 60.06
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Well, this is definitely anecdotal, I had the opportunity to try an old Big Bertha 9.5 (maybe from 1993) on a local range and I couldn't hit the thing.  Every one of them low and left.

Clearly had much better success with the current driver, 1.5" longer,  lighter shaft, larger head, etc.    

Who has data on performance of the range ball over the years?

 

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On 5/8/2020 at 8:06 AM, Middler said:

Again, we all know there haven’t been discrete changes. Interesting you choose to attack the one attempt at data but all the anecdotal answers are just fine, most happen to agree with the answer the chart suggests. Do you have better objective information?

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).

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I have mixed feelings on this topic.  I have a friend that plays with hickory shaft clubs and ProV1’s.  He hits the ball father than most due using modern clubs.  In his case, it looks like the ball until he pulls out an old ball from the 60’s and does the same thing. (he is good)

For me, a slow swing player, I find it is a combination of balls and clubs.  Balls are much better than 20 years ago and the clubs are too.  It is a combination of the chicken and the egg.  Take better balls and clubs, throw in a launch monitor, swing coaches and physical fitness and they are all part of the formula. 

Ping G400 Max driver | Ping G410 3 & 5 fairway woods | Titleist 818 H1 4 & 5 hybrids | Titleist 718 AP1 irons | Titleist SM6 52 F & 56M wedges | Rife Mid Mallet 400 putter | Bushnell NEO Ghost GPS | Snell MTB-X yellow / Srixon Q Star Tour yellow ball | GHIN hcp floats between 10 & 14

"Never bet against an old man with old clubs that have new grips"

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Balls if you're comparing older technology (i.e. balata, wound or liquid center balls) with newer technology (solid core).  But, if you solely look at today's technology, I'd give the nod more towards equipment, although the difference between a tour level ball and a 2 piece ball is pretty big IMO.

Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree Alta CB55 Stiff shaft 

Hybrids: :taylormade-small: M6 --- 3 (19 degrees), 4 (22 degrees), and 5 (25 degrees) Atmos shaft R

Irons: :callaway-small:Apex CF19 6-9, PW, AW KBS Tour Graphite  70g shafts R

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX-2 52*, 56*, 60* wedges.  Stock shafts.

Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7S

Ball: :Snell: MTB-X

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For me I feel the ball is the major contributing factor. I tested a 50 deg pitching wedge from circa 1960's iron set against one of my modern gap wedges (50 deg) with near "like" reg flex TT steel shaft, identical lengths. Hit new urethane balls with both, no appreciable distance loss or accuracy issues. Did same test with Titleist balata balls. Major loss or lack of distance control w/both wedges, much higher ball flight. But I did prefer balata feel better than urethane ProV1. I realize my little test was not scientific or large enough sample size (only attempted 100 and 75 yard shots). In conclusion at this moment I think I could game old irons w/new ball but not new or old clubs w/balata ball) .

Sent from my SM-N960U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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13 hours ago, aerospace_ray said:

For me I feel the ball is the major contributing factor. I tested a 50 deg pitching wedge from circa 1960's iron set against one of my modern gap wedges (50 deg) with near "like" reg flex TT steel shaft, identical lengths. Hit new urethane balls with both, no appreciable distance loss or accuracy issues. Did same test with Titleist balata balls. Major loss or lack of distance control w/both wedges, much higher ball flight. But I did prefer balata feel better than urethane ProV1. I realize my little test was not scientific or large enough sample size (only attempted 100 and 75 yard shots). In conclusion at this moment I think I could game old irons w/new ball but not new or old clubs w/balata ball) .

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I mean no offense, but it's not a good comparison, even if it's anecdotal.  The balata balls you've got are 20 years old or more (unless you lucked into Asian market product manufactured this century), and in that time, they've lost significant performance.  

So, of course they're squirrelly compared to a new ball.

I managed to be lucky several years ago and find a small stash of relatively recently manufactured HT-100s that appeared to have been made in Japan.  When I put these closer to new balls in play, I found there to be surprisingly little difference.  I mixed and matched both types of balls with wood and Ti with very similar results.

Had a sleeve left of those HT-100s that I put in play earlier this year, and saw some of the "squirrelliness" (is that a word?) you describe.  Only 6-8 years later.  I can imagine what another dozen-plus years would add, or subtract, depending on how you look at it.

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Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Matrix 8m3 X, 42"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1-PW Golden Ram TW282 or Vibration Matched Golden Rams, RIP Tour 115 R (coin flipping for the reshaft project); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, DGS300; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; Golden Ram TW276, DGS; Golden Ram TW282, DGS; Ram Troon Grind 56*, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60*, 1.05 sole, DGS; Maltby Design 60* 1.05 sole, NV105
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, or TM TP5

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4 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

 

I mean no offense, but it's not a good comparison, even if it's anecdotal.  The balata balls you've got are 20 years old or more (unless you lucked into Asian market product manufactured this century), and in that time, they've lost significant performance.  

So, of course they're squirrelly compared to a new ball.

I managed to be lucky several years ago and find a small stash of relatively recently manufactured HT-100s that appeared to have been made in Japan.  When I put these closer to new balls in play, I found there to be surprisingly little difference.  I mixed and matched both types of balls with wood and Ti with very similar results.

Had a sleeve left of those HT-100s that I put in play earlier this year, and saw some of the "squirrelliness" (is that a word?) you describe.  Only 6-8 years later.  I can imagine what another dozen-plus years would add, or subtract, depending on how you look at it.

Totally agree with you. My little personal experiment was just see what would happen for me with combo's of old and new.

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Surprised no one posted this TXG video. Seems like the ball has a pretty big impact


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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  :odyssey-small: Ten S      Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330,   :EVNROLL: ER2.2,  

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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On 8/27/2020 at 12:37 PM, cnosil said:

Surprised no one posted this TXG video. Seems like the ball has a pretty big impact

 

 

How old is the ball?  A 20 year old wound ball is going to be so degraded the test isn't really worth doing.

Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Matrix 8m3 X, 42"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1-PW Golden Ram TW282 or Vibration Matched Golden Rams, RIP Tour 115 R (coin flipping for the reshaft project); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, DGS300; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; Golden Ram TW276, DGS; Golden Ram TW282, DGS; Ram Troon Grind 56*, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60*, 1.05 sole, DGS; Maltby Design 60* 1.05 sole, NV105
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, or TM TP5

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3 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

 

How old is the ball?  A 20 year old wound ball is going to be so degraded the test isn't really worth doing.

Show me the proof.

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  :odyssey-small: Ten S      Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330,   :EVNROLL: ER2.2,  

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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Brief mention in this, for a start.

 

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Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Matrix 8m3 X, 42"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1-PW Golden Ram TW282 or Vibration Matched Golden Rams, RIP Tour 115 R (coin flipping for the reshaft project); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, DGS300; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; Golden Ram TW276, DGS; Golden Ram TW282, DGS; Ram Troon Grind 56*, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60*, 1.05 sole, DGS; Maltby Design 60* 1.05 sole, NV105
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, or TM TP5

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On 8/29/2020 at 9:19 AM, NRJyzr said:

How old is the ball?  A 20 year old wound ball is going to be so degraded the test isn't really worth doing.

 

... Good to see when MB's or Balata balls are mentioned you are still like a dog with a bone Ed! 🤣  I know better than to debate these issues with you. 👍

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Driver:   TaylorMade SIM Max ... Diamana Limited 55R
Utility:   Callaway Super Hybrid 17*   ... Diamana Limited 65R
               TaylorMade DHy 19* ... Diamana Limited 65R
Irons:    4-Pw Cobra King Tour MIM ... Nippon 950gh r-flex
Wedges:  SM6 52* F Grind ... Steelfiber 95 r-flex
                 SM7D & SM8M 58* ... Steelfiber 95 r-flex
Putter:  Newport 2.5 at 33.5"
Ball:  TaylorMade TP5

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I'm going with Clubs.  Technology has made clubs with more feel and forgiveness, is amazing.  the stronger lofts have also assisted in the game.  The golf shafts today are so much better than just 10 yrs ago.  The golf ball certainly flies further today, but you still have to make proper contact.  The guys on tour are killing it, however for them it's a combination of physical fitness, great equipment and the golf ball design, have made the pro's unbelievably good players. For us amateurs, I believe the equipment technology has helped we amateurs more.   

Callaway Maverick Pro - Std Length, 5-PW & A Wedge - Elevate 105 stiff Steel Shafts-

 Callaway EPIC 9.0 Subzero - set at 10.0 Draw bias - 6.0 Stiff Flex

Fairway Woods:  Callaway 3W & 5W RazrX Black - Stiff Flex

Rescue:  Bobby Jones 21 degree - stiff flex

Wedges: Titleist SM5 - 54 bent wedge flex; SM5 60 wedge flex

Putter: Scotty Cameron - Select Newport 2

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

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