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When is it too cold to play high compression balls? After seeing the initial tests from the ball lab, the ones I like to play are 90 compression or higher? At what temp does one start to lose distance or performance with the firm balls?

 

It's close to the end of the season in northern Ohio, but still in the low 70s right now, so I thought good time to pose this question.

 

Also, I know compression is different now than from the wound ball era.

 

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Thanks for the link but I think their conclusion is a false equivalency. They had a ball at 90F and one at 42F but the room is a comfortable 75F. It makes sense that a colder, firmer ball will go further than a super heated ball that the tester admitted to over compressing. I suppose it's difficult to test with all temps, dew point, humidity % and so on.

 

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Found an article on GD from 2013. Here's a screencap of a quote from Dean Snell. My question is now, is 40 degrees the cutoff, or is it a bit higher temp the performance drops? The search continues. 20201009_191544.jpeg

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36 minutes ago, Tsmithjr9 said:

Found a GolfWeek article but no date on it. It says 2 yards less per 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Screenshot_20201009-192010_Chrome.jpeg

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The 10* 2 yards is for air density not due to the ball being cold. 

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I personally don’t change, even when I was living in the tundra.  Playing the V1x at the time, it got down into the 30’s sometimes when I played. 
 

I’ve strayed away from the ProV1 too many times, and every time I do I expect something to be better... but they never are.  But my dad and his buddies all started to use a softer ball when it got into the 50’s.

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I live in Ohio and play in temps ranging from 90 degrees to 40 degrees and I always play the same ball.  I honestly don't notice much difference in distance and Im not convinced that much of that distance difference is more the effect of wearing a polo and sweater/jacket and the effect it has only how easy it is to swing a club more than it is in how a ball somehow compresses and springs off the club face.

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11 hours ago, BadgerGolfer said:

I live in Ohio and play in temps ranging from 90 degrees to 40 degrees and I always play the same ball.  I honestly don't notice much difference in distance and Im not convinced that much of that distance difference is more the effect of wearing a polo and sweater/jacket and the effect it has only how easy it is to swing a club more than it is in how a ball somehow compresses and springs off the club face.

I'm in Massillon, and I change to a cheaper ball starting in the Fall, just because I lose so many in the leaves and glare of the sun. Like you, I really don't see much difference in distance because of the temp. I do notice a difference in swinging freely because of bulkier clothing.

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I live in Ohio and play in temps ranging from 90 degrees to 40 degrees and I always play the same ball.  I honestly don't notice much difference in distance and Im not convinced that much of that distance difference is more the effect of wearing a polo and sweater/jacket and the effect it has only how easy it is to swing a club more than it is in how a ball somehow compresses and springs off the club face.

I am Ohio too. And the articles are talking maybe 10 yards of difference when it's 40 degrees vs. when it's 90 degrees.

 

And I agree with @silver & black play something you don't mind losing in the fall. I just got home from the course today and the leaves are coming down.

 

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If you’re really concerned, use two balls. Not sure where I first heard it but one ball in play and one in your (warm) pocket, and swap balls at each tee. The ball doesn’t get uniformly cold to the core instantly.

I used to buy lower compression balls in winter (Chicago) but I quit worrying about it years ago. Makes little difference for 95% of us.

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I play the same ball regardless. Speed may change, but I still want a quality ball with urethane cover to help around the greens.

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I play the same ball regardless. Speed may change, but I still want a quality ball with urethane cover to help around the greens.
That's a good point. Balls may go the similarly, but the urethane ones sure stop different. Though as seen in the ball lab reports one can find a urethane at 90 compression or higher (Pro V1, Snell) or at 75 (Chrome Soft)

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On 10/10/2020 at 1:30 PM, Tsmithjr9 said:

I am Ohio too. And the articles are talking maybe 10 yards of difference when it's 40 degrees vs. when it's 90 degrees.

 

And I agree with @silver & black play something you don't mind losing in the fall. I just got home from the course today and the leaves are coming down.

 

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Amen.  My bigger concern in the fall is losing expensive balls.  Theres nothing worse than thinking you hit your ball in the fairway, only to not be able to find the darned thing because its under a leaf.

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Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* and Top-Flite Gamer 2020 18*

Irons: Pinemeadow ZR 3.0 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Tommy Armour VCG 56*

Putter: Wilson Augusta

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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4 hours ago, BadgerGolfer said:

Amen.  My bigger concern in the fall is losing expensive balls.  Theres nothing worse than thinking you hit your ball in the fairway, only to not be able to find the darned thing because its under a leaf.

That's when the lake balls come out.  They're still Srixon Z-Star XVs, but they're not brand new.  I'll be honest, I hit the Z-Star and the XV about the same distance at any temperature.  I just like the harder feel of the XV.

 

 

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On 10/10/2020 at 1:37 PM, Middler said:

If you’re really concerned, use two balls. Not sure where I first heard it but one ball in play and one in your (warm) pocket, and swap balls at each tee. The ball doesn’t get uniformly cold to the core instantly.

I used to buy lower compression balls in winter (Chicago) but I quit worrying about it years ago. Makes little difference for 95% of us.

This is the best answer.  Cook a couple in your pocket on the way to the course and then alternate between two or three balls so that you're always playing a warm ball.

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Is there any science behind a softer ball performing better in cold weather? 

I think it is imperative to keep your clubs and balls in the warm house when it is cold out. Hitting frozen balls and frozen clubs will kill your distance. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 11:17 AM, Bohnson said:

Is there any science behind a softer ball performing better in cold weather? 

I think it is imperative to keep your clubs and balls in the warm house when it is cold out. Hitting frozen balls and frozen clubs will kill your distance. 

How do you keep clubs warm while playing? I understand keeping balls in your pocket, but I would think clubs would acclimate within minutes of being exposed?

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I live in Utah and put a little disposable hand warmer in the pouch I keep golf balls in. In years past, once it got a below 50 degrees, I’d switch to Q-star tours, but after Wednesday’s ball lab....

I’ll probably still switch to a lower compression ball, maybe snell Mtb black


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