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How does temperature affect carry distance?


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I just finished my first professional gapping session yesterday on Trackman with a temperature of 85*F and an elevation of 550'. I went to the course today and hit the ball extremely well, but I was 10-15 yards short all day of the yardages determined yesterday. The temperature today was 60*F so I expected 6-8 yards difference but not 10-15. Anyone else had a similar experience? 

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Just now, Ultimate Junior Golfer said:

I just finished my first professional gapping session yesterday on Trackman with a temperature of 85*F and an elevation of 550'. I went to the course today and hit the ball extremely well, but I was 10-15 yards short all day of the yardages determined yesterday. The temperature today was 60*F so I expected 6-8 yards difference but not 10-15. Anyone else had a similar experience? 

Temperature can certainly have an effect.  And the difference between hitting off a mat v. hitting off grass.  Or the effect of grooving a swing repeatedly in a short time period, v. the longer time between shots on the actual golf course. Hopefully your gaps were consistent, even if the actual distance wasn't.

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31 minutes ago, Ultimate Junior Golfer said:

I just finished my first professional gapping session yesterday on Trackman with a temperature of 85*F and an elevation of 550'. I went to the course today and hit the ball extremely well, but I was 10-15 yards short all day of the yardages determined yesterday. The temperature today was 60*F so I expected 6-8 yards difference but not 10-15. Anyone else had a similar experience? 

Barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature all can affect carry yardages. 

Lower humidity, lower pressure, and higher temperatures all help carry because they all contribute to less molecules getting in the way of the ball. 

 

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13 hours ago, Buffly said:

Barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature all can affect carry yardages. 

Lower humidity, lower pressure, and higher temperatures all help carry because they all contribute to less molecules getting in the way of the ball. 

 

Just listen to Bryson try and figure out a yardage on the course and he will mention all of the above and more. He makes it seem like a calculus problem.

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The ball is harder...well doesn't compress as well in cool temps. Even Phil uses a Callaway Supersoft on colder days. 

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Barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature all can affect carry yardages. 
Lower humidity, lower pressure, and higher temperatures all help carry because they all contribute to less molecules getting in the way of the ball. 
 

Also factor in wind. As a former sailor I can tell you that many times the wind at the top of the mast was different in both velocity and direction. That's why sailors have their wind speed/direction indicators at the top of the mast. Most of us launch a ball a lot higher than a typical sailboat mast.


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Here’s your answer:

1-2 yards of distance difference for every 10* of temperature change

 

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There are several videos out there that try to discuss this, but I felt this guy did a fairly thorough job. 

It's the challenge of the equipment's reaction to the temperature which other videos may test better than this one. But the biggest factor to consider.  When you are playing in the winter with 30 layers on and can't feel your hands, air density and compression rates are the least of your distance woes.  And conversely when you could get out in the sauna the air is thinner and your arms, back, and legs turn into rubber which magically translates into gorilla power. 

It's 90% Mental

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I was wondering the same thing. In the summer months in California's central valley where it's a dry heat in the high 90s and even touching triple digits, I was carrying my 54º wedge about 115 yards and averaging about 280 yards total distance with my driver.

I played a round the other day where I started at 7AM, and temperature at the start of the round was 58ºF, humid, and the ground was very dewy. My drives were maxing at about 255 and I was about one club/15 yards shorter than my summer distances all morning. I was not sure if it was just the temperature, just the humidity, or if the ball being wet after rolling in the dew-soaked fairways was causing a distance loss. Glad to learn from this post I could blame things besides myself for once on the course.

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I just had this post and did the research citing articles from golf publications. The short answer someone here already gave- 2 years less per 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

So if you play Pro V1, which is a 90 compression ball as tested by MGS. If you hit the ball 150 yards at 90 degrees, you'll only hit it 140 at 50 degrees.

I posed the question about switching to a softer, lower compression ball in the cool weather, but based on the data it seems like one is only giving up a club of distance, give or take another 1/2, depending on skill and other weather conditions.

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On 10/15/2020 at 11:27 PM, DJ Mico said:

Glad to learn from this post I could blame things besides myself for once on the course.

Well, now you know that temp and humidity and pressure effect distance you can't blame those things anymore. Hehe

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It sure seems like par 5's get reaaal long when is 45 or 50 degrees 😄

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I've never measured it but in winter where I regularly play in 40 -50 F I definitely feel I struggle with getting the carry that I expect in the summer which in Scotland is probably mid 50s to mid 70s. 

Saturday hitting 3w in 50 F, normally carry 210, with wind behind 215 or more and I embedded the shot on the full in the ditch at 205. The Pro also told me once that clothing in the winter can take 5 mph off your swing speed. So I guess we have to live with it.

 

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It's pretty much a wash for me.  Yes, the ball carries less when it gets cold, but our course has stopped irrigating and the fairways are firming up.  Less carry but much more roll, so all in all... about the same distance.  What gets tricky is that when the ground gets harder, the approach shots must land shorter.  When it gets cold, I always aim for Front of green distance for any Middle and Back pin and short of green for a Front pin.

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10 hours ago, Buffly said:

Well, now you know that temp and humidity and pressure effect distance you can't blame those things anymore. Hehe

Don't forget that individual balls can affect distances as well. Maybe the Trackman was off too. 

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Little bit anecdotal evidence here, but played a full round on Sunday in 35-37F temperatures with Snell MTB-X, so a firm to x-firm ball in normal conditions.

Off the tee, I felt like I lost a few yards (<10), but would definitely attribute it to playing in bulkier gear. I wasn't able to generate the normal speed in my driver with the layers as rotating through was more difficult.

Irons/wedges, no yardage difference whatsoever - if I struck it well with the swing length in mind, it was going the number I expected.

What I did notice is less spin on approach shots, which I'm actually going to guess was more from weather impacts on the greens from the overnight snow and cold temps, rather than on the ball.

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