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On Course Ball Testing


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I am currently trying to decide between balls.  When testing on course is it better to use one ball for an entire round and then the other ball the next round, or bounce back and forth between balls during the same round?  I have been bouncing back and forth and hitting a shot with each ball on short-mid shots when time allows.  I have already determined that there is not a lot of difference off the tee, plus I always see that testing a ball should start on the green and move back towards the tee.

In my bag (for now):

Driver: :titelist-small: TS2 9.5 deg- HZRDUS Smoke 60G Stiff

3-wood: :titelist-small: TS3 15 deg- HZRDUS Smoke 70G Stiff

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 818 H1 19 deg- Atmos HB Tour Spec- 85G

Irons: :callaway-small: Rogue Pro CF18 5iron - AW- True Temper XP105 Stiff

Wedge #1: :callaway-small: MD5 Jaws - 54-10S- Dynamic Gold 115

Wedge #2 :callaway-small: MD5 Jaws - 58.08C- Dynamic Gold 115

Putter: :odyssey-small: Triple Track Ten - 34.5 inch Stroke Lab

Bag: :callaway-small: 2020 Org 14

Ball: still being settled on, but most likely the Bridgestone B-X, also testing 2020 Chrome Soft and Titleist ProV1x (my go to for several years)

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I've been doing some ball testing myself lately. I'm definitely not an expert on this subject, but here are my thoughts:

  • What I've been doing:
    • I've been deciding between the Pro V1, Tour BX, and TP5X. I know I like the Pro V1, so I've been focusing on the other two
    • I take a few sleeves of each (I still have a nasty tendency to lose balls) to each round
    • Play the same ball for the front 9 (e.g. Tour BX), then the other for the back 9
    • I find that this helps me get some idea of the consistency of each ball over a longer stretch of play, but then lets me compare the overall performance of the ball (feel, flight, green spin, etc.)
  • Probably a more scientific method:
    • Play one ball for an entire round, then switch to another ball for the next round
    • Try playing the same course for the stretch in which you compare balls
    • This would give you a comparison based on golf performance on the same course

Just my two cents 🙂

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I'm playing srixon z-stars and I'm going to play Snell MTB-X.  I track all my driver and iron shots with a gps shot tracker so that should give me a good idea on the yardage differences.  I figure a few rounds gives me enough data with several clubs.

:ping-small:  G410+  9° Stiff
:cobra-small:  F9 3W
:ping-small:  i210 4-Pw Stiff
:ping-small:  3H
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 52, 56, 60
:ping-small: Sigma
:srixon-small: Zstar

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm lucky enough to play a private course. Never crowded. I will play the first couple of holes to warm up. Then I will play two different balls that I am deciding between at the same time.  Playing both balls from tee to green on several holes. This gives me side by side comparison.

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:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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When I was testing balls I used the SC300 to get some data and see what ball worked best for me. I know not everyone can do that so I believe I've heard to get fit 150 yards and in because that is where you are scoring. So I would limit the ball selection to about 2 balls from that distance in based on feel with irons, wedges, and off the putter. Also how much does the ball spin on the green and do you want more spin or less spin? Then maybe take those two selections and see what one you like better off the tee as well and then there is your ball. The ball you like best may not be the best off the tee, but as long as you like the feel of it around the green and can score with it, that should be your ball. Maybe on a slow day at the course hit two or three shots from your drive on a par 4 with all the balls to see the results. Do this a couple times if you can and maybe you will get a good idea of what ball you want.

Driver:  :taylormade-small: 2016 9.5º M2 w/ Diamana Kai'li 70X

3W: :cobra-small: Radspeed w/ Fujikura Motore F1 7X

3H: :callaway-small: X2 Hot 20º Pro w/ Aldila Tour Green 85S

DI: :nike-small: Vapor Fly Pro 2 iron with Fujikura Pro 95S

4i: :srixon-small: ZX 4 utility w/ recoil 95S

Irons:  :srixon-small: ZX7 5-P w/ PX LZ 6.0

Wedges:  :vokey-small: Raw SM7 52.08 F bent to 50º, :cleveland-small: 54º Mid bent to 55, 58º Mid bent to 60 w/ DG TI Spinner

Putter:   Compass Golf Co Custom Face Balanced Blade

Ball:  :taylormade-small: TP5X

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The best way is to test them on the course you play most often over a few rounds so you are accustomed to green speeds for putting and short game shots but also how approach shots react whether they stick or roll out. If you are playing both balls the same day, there's always some psychological effects when you are hitting the second ball so I prefer play one ball as much as possible and compare scores/stats/GPS distances from different days. 

Doing it on different days help to see any differences when you don't have your A-game, GPS tracking also simplifies things for tee shots. 

:cobra-small: F9 Driver 9*

:cobra-small: Baffler 2H/4H

:ping-small: G700 4i, G410 6-UW, Glide 2.0 54, 60*


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