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MGS Golf Ball Test - My Own Data Analysis - SURPRISING RESULTS!!


vamosjackets
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I did my own data analysis for the MGS Ball Test.   (****Please see the 13th post in this thread, for a significantly improved analysis compared to the quickly thrown together analysis described below****)

Backstory:  I'm a math/physics guy.  I'm around a 10-handicap with a 105-110 mph driver swing speed and a below average short game.  I first got into MGS toward the beginning of 2020, as I was getting more into golf, after being a 5X per year player for most of my life.  Coming across the ball test, I was intrigued.  It made me change from my old favorite of Callaway Chromesoft X to Bridgestone Tour B X.  I liked the Tour B X from the test because it seemed to be the longest ball that still had a lot of performance in other areas, like spin and accuracy, etc ... but, TBH, it was mostly about distance - Distance has always been my strength, impresses my playing partners, and was the most enjoyable part of the game for me.  But, now I'm more focused on lowering my scores/handicap (I'm probably around a 10'ish handicap).  So, I also went back to the Ball data and took another look at all of it.  I decided to try to come up with a formula that would prioritize accuracy/control over everything else but that would also take distance into account in a small way.  Accuracy would be taken into account through the "offline" stat, and control would be taken into account with the "shot area" stat.  I used the "high swing speed" numbers because that is what's more relevant to me.  And, I actually didn't end up doing every ball because it was obvious some balls were going to be the worst, so they were left out.  I only did balls that I thought would be contenders in some way.  Here's what I came up with (hope it's not too complicated):

  1. I got a "Driver Ratio":  Driver Distance / (Shot Area + Offline^2).  Greater Distance = higher ratio.  Lower Shot Area and/or Lower Offline = higher ratio.  So, the higher the ratio value, the better. 
  2. I did a 7-Iron Ratio with the same formula as the Driver Ratio.
  3. I did 2 different Wedge Ratios.  One that took Backspin into account and another that did not.  Here's the one with backspin: Backspin / (Shot Area + Offline^2).  And, the one without backspin:  1 / Shot Area + 1 / Offline.  (Lower shot area and/or lower offline = higher ratio.) So again, the higher the ratio the better.  I then took an average of these two wedge ratios to get an overall wedge ratio.  
  4. I then ranked all of the balls on all of these ratios.  
  5. I then got an Average Rank for all of the balls, which was just (Driver Ratio Rank + 7-Iron Ratio Rank + Wedge Ratio Rank) / 3.  
  6. Aside:  I didn't take spin into account with the Driver or 7-Iron because I don't have trouble holding greens and the spin should be accounted for in the most meaningful ways from its affect on the shot area, offline, and distance stats.
  7. I decided to base my ball decision solely on the Average Rank, which would be an objective way to select the best overall ball that would have the best chance of actually helping me shoot lower scores based on the priorities that seem most important. 

The results TOTALLY surprised me.  Completely not what I expected, and in many ways was the exact opposite of what I expected.  Here's what I came out with:

Driver Ratio Rank:  1.Z*;  2. ERC Soft;  3. Inesis 900;  4. TP5;  5. CutBlue;  6. V1X;  7. V1;  8. Vice pro soft;  9. Vice pro;  10. B RX;  11. B XS;  12. MTB Black;  13. B X;  14. Maxfli Tour X;  15. ONCore Elxr;  16. Z*XV;  17. Maxfli Tour;  18. MTB X;  19. TP5X;  20. Chromesoft X;  21. AVX;

7-Iron Ratio Rank:  1. Z*XV;  2. B XS;  3. Cutblue;  4. vice pro soft;  5. Chromesoft x;  6. V1X;  7. TP5;  8. TP5X;  9. Z*;  10. Inesis 900;  11. vice pro;  12. mxfli tr x;  13. Mxfli tr;  14. ONCore Elxr;  15. mtb x;  16. V1;  17. mtb b;  18. B RX;  19. B X;  20. avx;  21. ERC Soft; 

Wedge Ratio Rank:  1. Mxfli tr;  2. vice pro soft;  3. TP5;  4. mtbb;  5. cutblue;  6. Inesis 900;  7. mxfli tr x;  8. B X;  9. B XS;  10. Chromesoft x;  11. B RX;  12. avx;  13. vice pro;  14. TP5X;  15. V1;  16. V1X;  17. ERC Soft;  18. ONCore Elxr;  19. mtbx;  20. Z*15;  21. Z*

And, here are the overall rankings (based on average rank of all 3 ratios):

  1. Cut Blue - AVG Rank: 5.17
  2. TP5 (Tied for second with Vice Pro Soft) - AVG Rank: 5.67
  3. Vice pro soft (Tied for second with TP5) - AVG Rank: 5.67
  4. Inesis 900 - AVG Rank: 7.00
  5. Tour B XS - AVG Rank: 7.33
  6. V1X - AVG Rank: 8.17
  7. Z* - AVG Rank: 8.5
  8. Vice pro - AVG Rank: 10.17
  9. Z*XV - AVG Rank: 10.83
  10. Mxfli tr x - AVG Rank: 11.33 (tied with Mxfli Tr and Chromesoft)
  11. Mxfli tr - AVG Rank: 11.33 (tied with Mxfli Tr x and Chromesoft)
  12. Chromesoft x - AVG Rank: 11.33 (tied with Mxfli Tr and Mxfli Tr x)
  13. V1 - AVG Rank: 11.50
  14. MTB Black - AVG Rank: 11.83
  15. ERC Soft - AVG Rank: 12.17
  16. Tour B RX - AVG Rank: 12.33
  17. TP5X - AVG Rank: 12.67
  18. Tour B X - AVG Rank: 13.50
  19. ONCore Elxr - AVG Rank: 14.33
  20. MTB X - AVG Rank: 15.67
  21. AVX - AVG Rank: 17.00

 

Takeaways: 

  1. I was definitely playing the wrong ball!!  The Tour B X may be near the top for Driver Distance, but it is near the bottom if I care about actually playing better golf - at least as far as what I think will affect my game most!  I also ordered a box of MTB X back when I first viewed the data earlier in the year - again the exact wrong choice when it comes to actual golf scores.  I suppose I should caveat that I'm thinking about my game - distance is not a problem - control and accuracy are more important to me.  If a golfer knows he's going to be accurate with the driver no matter what and just wants to get the extra yards, then maybe those balls are the best for him/her.  
  2. Can you believe that the Cut Blue came out on top???  That is hard to believe, but that's what happened.  I read somewhere that they are very poor when it comes to durability.  Perhaps if you tend to lose balls more often, that won't really matter as much anyway.  Or, perhaps just keep an eye on the wear of the ball during the round and just toss it and grab a new one when it's noticeable.  With the very low price point, you probably still come out better.  I think I read somewhere that they may have come out with a more durable cover due to the durability issue - but then that probably invalidates their data and ranking if this test is based on a different cover.
  3. If my analysis is worth a crap, then Cut Blue would be the best darn bargain in golf.  $20/dozen from Target.  Buy 2 boxes and you get free shipping.  
  4. If you prefer a softer feeling ball, the Vice Pro Soft would be a great option.  AVX would be a terrible option.  
  5.  I ordered a box of Cut Blue and a box of TP5 (I decided to try the Pix) to try out.  I may try to grab Vice Pro Soft as well.  It may take a month or two to get an impression of effects on my game/scores, but I'll try to come back and give an update.
  6. I may lose 2 or 3, maybe even 4 or 5 yards off the tee.  So. What.  - That's the more mature golfer in me typing ... and me preaching to myself.  

 

I would love to hear thoughts on this analysis!  I'm SURE it could be improved!

Here is a link to an online excel file with my calculations:  Golf Ball Selection Data.xlsx

Edited by vamosjackets
Pointed viewers to improved analysis later in the thread.
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Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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Question:

 

Why did you include both shot area and offline in your calculations? I'd be interested in hearing your thinking. My initial thoughts would be that you're including offline in both elements, and then you square the offline, perhaps giving excess value to offline.

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:mizuno-small:                    T20 55°, 9° (KBS $ Taper 120S)

:mizuno-small:                    T20 59°, 9° (KBS $ Taper 120S)

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3 hours ago, Blueberry_Squishie said:

Question:

 

Why did you include both shot area and offline in your calculations? I'd be interested in hearing your thinking. My initial thoughts would be that you're including offline in both elements, and then you square the offline, perhaps giving excess value to offline.

Agreed. I am also not sure that the offline metric has much merit for the wedges at all.

Additionally I would figure out a way to incorporate the standard deviation of each metric.

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16 hours ago, Blueberry_Squishie said:

Question:

 

Why did you include both shot area and offline in your calculations? I'd be interested in hearing your thinking. My initial thoughts would be that you're including offline in both elements, and then you square the offline, perhaps giving excess value to offline.

Good question.  I think the metrics of area and offline can be related but are not necessarily so.  It may be that a particular ball tends to fly/spin in such a way as to draw it more offline but create a tighter dispersion than another ball that has a flight/spin characteristics that cause it to fly more down the line but go on both sides of the line so as to have a higher dispersion.  So, both of those characteristics seem important to me.  One ball may be more offline when hit by a machine, but is very "predictable" in its flight characteristics and ultimate landing spot ... this is what I might call "control" ... Kind of like a guy who hits a fade, but hits that fade the same way every time ... his ball would not be "down the line", but it would have a very tight dispersion.  Another ball may be less "predictable" but tends to fly more straight than the aforementioned ball, so that it ends up nearer to the line, but it could be on either side of that line ... This might be called "accuracy".  At any rate, the point is that both of those characteristics seem important to me and beneficial to my game.  I would prefer a ball that is closer to the line than a ball that is farther from the line, all else being equal (offline stat).  I would prefer a ball that has a tighter dispersion than a ball with a wider dispersion, all else being equal (shot area stat).  And, I don't think those stats are equivalent stats.  And, that bears out in the data.  Balls that rank best in "shot area" often aren't the same balls that rank best in "offline".  And, I wanted control and accuracy "kinds" of stats to count more than distance, so I didn't mind having two stats in the formula for those characteristics versus just one for distance.

The reason I squared the offline is just because the actual numerical values for offline were a MUCH smaller than the numerical values for shot area.  Think 7 versus 700.  So, squaring the offline was one way of helping it to count more, just so that the magnitude of the shot area values wouldn't dominate the result as much.  Again, there are CERTAINLY better ways to account for that.  One way, now that I'm thinking about it more, would be to get a Z-Score for each value rather than a raw number.  That would normalize those values so that the numbers in the formula would be comparable to one another.  Really, I was just messing around one day at work and trying to do something quick without a ton of thought going into it.  I am a super busy person, so I may not be able to take the time to do it, but that Z-Score approach has me excited.  

Thanks for the question!

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Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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13 hours ago, storm319 said:

Agreed. I am also not sure that the offline metric has much merit for the wedges at all.

Additionally I would figure out a way to incorporate the standard deviation of each metric.

I agree, it would be better to incorporate the standard deviations for each metric ... so I'm thinking a Z-score for each stat would be better rather than a raw number (see my previous post just above this one).  Now, I'm just thinking to myself:  How labor intensive will calculating a Z-score be for each one?  Do I even have the info I need to calculate the z-scores.  Obviously I need the Average and Standard Deviation for each stat.  I don't think MGS supplied those in the numbers they gave, but I suppose I can calculate Avg and Std Dev for the sets by using the raw data given by MGS.  Hmmm... Do I have time to do it???  We'll see.  

I still think the numbers I came up with are valuable even as they are, and the rankings would come out similar.  I'm really just looking for a ball that will minimize "punishment" (be a little straighter, a little more predictable on the dispersion, not go off the desired path as much on an "overcooked" swing or a "over-compensation" swing).  

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Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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18 hours ago, vamosjackets said:

I agree, it would be better to incorporate the standard deviations for each metric ... so I'm thinking a Z-score for each stat would be better rather than a raw number (see my previous post just above this one).  Now, I'm just thinking to myself:  How labor intensive will calculating a Z-score be for each one?  Do I even have the info I need to calculate the z-scores.  Obviously I need the Average and Standard Deviation for each stat.  I don't think MGS supplied those in the numbers they gave, but I suppose I can calculate Avg and Std Dev for the sets by using the raw data given by MGS.  Hmmm... Do I have time to do it???  We'll see.  

I still think the numbers I came up with are valuable even as they are, and the rankings would come out similar.  I'm really just looking for a ball that will minimize "punishment" (be a little straighter, a little more predictable on the dispersion, not go off the desired path as much on an "overcooked" swing or a "over-compensation" swing).  

Std Dev values are on a second tab with the raw data at the bottom of the website after the averages, so you shouldn't need to calculate anything. 

- If you look at the graphs, you will see a bias offline to one side which the article mentions and attributes to the machine. You would need to quantify this offset and apply it to all of the offline results as opposed to just using the measured values. I seem to recall it was around 3-4 yards left with driver...

- Taking shot area is problematic since you don't know the shape of the area and you would have different "ideal" shapes for each club. For example:

Ideally, the ball with a long skinny oval would be great for driver to have less lateral dispersion and chance of hitting the ball OB. I think a lot of people would be willing to take on an extra 10-20 yards of variation in distance if it greatly reduced hitting a ball off the planet. (Sounds like a Bridgestone E6...)

You wouldn't want a ball with a shot area that was 100 yards wide and 5 yards deep with driver even if it was the smallest shot area by 50% because you would be bringing hazards into play unless the course was wide open. Wedge would be the opposite, you would generally like your shot area to be 5 yards deep so you could always land close to pin high or whatever your target was. The loft helps to minimize offline due to spin as well as shorter, controlled swings. You could argue beyond a certain level, high spin becomes a problem if balls are sucking back too far and you cannot control them. Balls above that level could be penalized, most would agree "one hop stop" or minimal check is the easiest to control. 

7 iron would be somewhere in the middle between a perfect circle and a wide oval that isn't very deep for approach shots. 

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4 hours ago, BMart519 said:

Std Dev values are on a second tab with the raw data at the bottom of the website after the averages, so you shouldn't need to calculate anything. 

- If you look at the graphs, you will see a bias offline to one side which the article mentions and attributes to the machine. You would need to quantify this offset and apply it to all of the offline results as opposed to just using the measured values. I seem to recall it was around 3-4 yards left with driver...

- Taking shot area is problematic since you don't know the shape of the area and you would have different "ideal" shapes for each club. For example:

Ideally, the ball with a long skinny oval would be great for driver to have less lateral dispersion and chance of hitting the ball OB. I think a lot of people would be willing to take on an extra 10-20 yards of variation in distance if it greatly reduced hitting a ball off the planet. (Sounds like a Bridgestone E6...)

You wouldn't want a ball with a shot area that was 100 yards wide and 5 yards deep with driver even if it was the smallest shot area by 50% because you would be bringing hazards into play unless the course was wide open. Wedge would be the opposite, you would generally like your shot area to be 5 yards deep so you could always land close to pin high or whatever your target was. The loft helps to minimize offline due to spin as well as shorter, controlled swings. You could argue beyond a certain level, high spin becomes a problem if balls are sucking back too far and you cannot control them. Balls above that level could be penalized, most would agree "one hop stop" or minimal check is the easiest to control. 

7 iron would be somewhere in the middle between a perfect circle and a wide oval that isn't very deep for approach shots. 

That's a great point about the shape of the area that I admit I had not considered.  That would explain a lot about some of the questions many of the commenters have had about why a particular Driver or Iron is considered the "Most Wanted" when it appeared to have worse "shot area" than one ranked lower.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  

I would still think that a lower shot area is an overall positive stat that corresponds to the consistency of the ball (or club).  In other words, even though it may not be a perfect stat, I would still think that the actual consistency/control of the ball and the "shot area" stat would have a significant positive correlation.  

I intend to take a look again at the stats to see if I can chart a more effective course.  Of course, it seems like the MGS powers that be would be the most knowledegable and able to make meaningful inferences from the data since they know how the data was calculated.  But, I don't think they actually did a "Most Wanted" ball list nor a "strokes gained" stat for the balls/categories.  Hopefully I'll have time to look soon.  I will say this.  I played a round with the Cut Blue balls I ordered and played a very good round by my standards.  I have nothing bad to say about those balls.  I did feel more in control and straighter overall - like it just wasn't as easy for it to get away from me as it normally has been with the Tour B X and MTB X.  ie, The "overcooks" weren't quite as overcooked, the best ones maybe weren't quite as great, but the worst ones weren't as bad.  This could very well be confirmation bias on my part, so take it with a grain of salt.  

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Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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11 hours ago, vamosjackets said:

That's a great point about the shape of the area that I admit I had not considered.  That would explain a lot about some of the questions many of the commenters have had about why a particular Driver or Iron is considered the "Most Wanted" when it appeared to have worse "shot area" than one ranked lower.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  

I would still think that a lower shot area is an overall positive stat that corresponds to the consistency of the ball (or club).  In other words, even though it may not be a perfect stat, I would still think that the actual consistency/control of the ball and the "shot area" stat would have a significant positive correlation.  

I intend to take a look again at the stats to see if I can chart a more effective course.  Of course, it seems like the MGS powers that be would be the most knowledegable and able to make meaningful inferences from the data since they know how the data was calculated.  But, I don't think they actually did a "Most Wanted" ball list nor a "strokes gained" stat for the balls/categories.  Hopefully I'll have time to look soon.  I will say this.  I played a round with the Cut Blue balls I ordered and played a very good round by my standards.  I have nothing bad to say about those balls.  I did feel more in control and straighter overall - like it just wasn't as easy for it to get away from me as it normally has been with the Tour B X and MTB X.  ie, The "overcooks" weren't quite as overcooked, the best ones maybe weren't quite as great, but the worst ones weren't as bad.  This could very well be confirmation bias on my part, so take it with a grain of salt.  

I'm pretty sure Cut balls are some of the highest spinning on the market based on some tests where TXG did some comparisons. The high spin is likely going to help some people with misses. The high spin should help offset spin axis tilt on some of the poor strikes where a high compression low spin ball will have those big hooks and slices. 

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16 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

The high spin should help offset spin axis tilt on some of the poor strikes where a high compression low spin ball will have those big hooks and slices. 

If I understand ball flight, large draws and slices are a function of the horizontal component of spin.  If a ball spins more, its going to curve more.  Again as I understand it, spin is a function of clubhead speed, and the relationship between path and face (both horizontal and vertical).  Assuming the path/face relationship is unchanged, I can't see any reason to expect the spin axis tilt to be changed based on the spin characteristics of the ball.  If backspin increases, sidespin will also increase.

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2 hours ago, BMart519 said:

I'm pretty sure Cut balls are some of the highest spinning on the market based on some tests where TXG did some comparisons. The high spin is likely going to help some people with misses. The high spin should help offset spin axis tilt on some of the poor strikes where a high compression low spin ball will have those big hooks and slices. 

 

1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

If I understand ball flight, large draws and slices are a function of the horizontal component of spin.  If a ball spins more, its going to curve more.  Again as I understand it, spin is a function of clubhead speed, and the relationship between path and face (both horizontal and vertical).  Assuming the path/face relationship is unchanged, I can't see any reason to expect the spin axis tilt to be changed based on the spin characteristics of the ball.  If backspin increases, sidespin will also increase.

 

That's always been hard to figure out to me.  I've heard both arguments and both make sense (but only one is right).  Does higher backspin actually help "stablize" the flight or does it just partner up with higher sidespin so that it curves just as much?  Maybe it's not a linear relationship ... I would think it would have some sort of "Pythagorean" relationship - with horizontal and vertical components of force/impact based on the angle of the force/impact.  The horizontal part would be Overall force times cosine of some angle, and the vertical part would be Overall force times sine of some angle.   

The Cut ball was by no means in the short category for Driver distance, so I'm not sure it has an overabundance of spin off the driver (compared to the other balls in the test), which would probably hinder its driver distance.  

Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

If I understand ball flight, large draws and slices are a function of the horizontal component of spin.  If a ball spins more, its going to curve more.  Again as I understand it, spin is a function of clubhead speed, and the relationship between path and face (both horizontal and vertical).  Assuming the path/face relationship is unchanged, I can't see any reason to expect the spin axis tilt to be changed based on the spin characteristics of the ball.  If backspin increases, sidespin will also increase.

My understanding is increasing backspin stabilizes the spin axis from tilting to cause curve. Think gyroscope. Why a low spin driver is good for distance, but more susceptible to curving offline. Is why it’s hard to curve  a wedge compared to driver

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9 hours ago, Rchang said:

My understanding is increasing backspin stabilizes the spin axis from tilting to cause curve. Think gyroscope. Why a low spin driver is good for distance, but more susceptible to curving offline. Is why it’s hard to curve  a wedge compared to driver

Makes a lot of sense @Rchang

Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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OK, so I redid the analysis based on Z-Scores rather than raw numbers.  The way I did this was to find the overall average for driver distance, the overall standard deviation for driver distance, and then I found a Z-Distance stat which equals (Distance of Ball X - Overall Average of Distance) / (Overall Standard Deviation for Distance).  So, for driver distance, the higher the Z-Score the better.  I followed the same approach to get Z-Scores for each ball on Shot Area and Offline stats for the Driver.  I then created an overall driver score for each ball which follows this formula:  Z-Distance - Z-Area - Z-Offline.  (Higher Z-Distance is better.  Lower Z-Area is better.  Lower Z-Offline is better).  So, the higher the overall driver score for the ball the better.  I then ranked all of the balls based on this new driver score. 

I did the same thing for the 7-Iron as described above for the driver.  So, for both the driver and 7 iron score and rank, you have two stats that take control and accuracy into account versus one stat for distance.  This prioritizes accuracy/control while still rewarding distance.

I also did a Wedge Score and ranking based on Backspin (rather than distance), Shot Area, and Offline.  For this formula, higher backspin is better, lower shot area is better, and lower offline is better.  .Again, this prioritizes accuracy/control while still rewarding backspin.

 

Each ball then received 3 ranks:  Driver rank, 7-Iron rank, and Wedge rank.  And, finally each ball received an overall rank which is the average of the 3 individual club rankings.  I also did an overall rank that was just based on driver and 7-iron and did not account for the wedge ranking - this is simply because I'm more skeptical that the wedge ranking actually tells us anything significant about ball performance.  All of the wedge stats were so close anyway, so there just may be no value in those rankings.  Here are the new results!!

Driver Rankings:  BX, Z*, vice pro, cutblue, V1X, V1, BXS, TP5, ERC Soft, mtbb, vice pro soft, BRX, Inesis 900, mtbx, ONCore Elxr, mxfli tr x, Mxfli tr, Z*15, TP5X, avx, chrsftx

7-Iron Rankings:  TP5X, Z*15, chrsftx, vice pro soft, TP5, V1X, BRX, BXS, mxfli tr x, vice pro, avx, Mxfli tr, cutblue, ONCore Elxr, Z*, Inesis 900, mtbb, V1, BX, mtbx, ERC Soft

Wedge Rankings:  TP5, BX, Mxfli tr, vice pro soft, mxfli tr x, mtbb, V1, BXS, cutblue, Inesis 900, V1X, mtbx, TP5X, vice pro, ONCore Elxr, chrsftx, Z*, BRX, avx, Z*15, ERC Soft

Overall Ranking Based on Driver and 7-Iron Only (No Wedge Data Included):

  1. V1X
  2. TP5 & Vice Pro
  3. vice pro soft & BXS
  4. cutblue & Z*
  5. BRX
  6. BX & TP5X & Z*15
  7. V1 & chrsftx
  8. mxfli tr x
  9. mtbb
  10. Mxfli tr & Inesis 900 & ONCore Elxr
  11. ERC Soft
  12. avx
  13. mtbx

 

Overall Ranking Based On Driver, 7-Iron, & Wedge:

  1. TP5
  2. vice pro soft
  3. BX & V1X
  4. BXS
  5. cutblue
  6. vice pro
  7. mxfli tr x
  8. V1
  9. Mxfli tr
  10. mtbb & TP5X
  11. Z*
  12. BRX
  13. Inesis 900
  14. Z*15 & chrsftx
  15. ONCore Elxr
  16. mtbx
  17. avx
  18. ERC Soft

My Takeaways:

  1. This is a much better analysis than my original quickly done analysis.  This normalizes the numbers so that they're all in the same units, all in the same order of magnitude, etc.  Still, the original analysis did identify most of the same top balls.  
  2. Cubtlue is still a great option, ranked number 6 either way you slice it and at $20/dozen, there's a strong case that it's the best ball $ for $.  I've played it for two rounds now and am overall impressed with it.  
  3. The Vice ball company is kicking butt, with its Vice Pro and Vice Pro Soft offerings, both ranked near the top.  These are fantastic options, especially when price is taken into account.
  4. TP5 looks like the best overall ball to my eyes based on this analysis.  I really like the concept of the Pix graphics options (especially as it relates to putt alignment and putt roll feedback), but I wonder if the Pix balls are manufactured differently than the standard TP5.  Anyone have any idea about that?
  5. Pro V1x is a strong contender, and may in fact be the best overall ball, depending on whether the Wedge data is actually valuable to us here.
  6. My previous favorite ball, the Tour B X, came out much better with this analysis than my previous (flawed) analysis, ranking 3 or 9 depending on Wedge data.    It is the top ball for the Driver, but is near the bottom for the 7-Iron.  With the Wedge, it's near the top again.  Approach shots are where it's at for scoring, and so ... (channeling my inner shark tank) ... for that reason, I'm out.  But, I may keep one in the bag for a scramble format.
  7. The Tiger ball (Tour B XS) made a strong showing, ranking in the top 5 either way.  The man knows what he's doing with a golf ball.
  8. MTB X is great on driver distance and wedge spin, but it is not the ball to help shoot lower scores and could very well contribute to higher scores with its inconsistency and tendency to make the bad ones worse.  Might be a great ball to have in a scramble though if your partner is already safely in the fairway.  
  9. The SHAPE of the Shot Area is not taken into account, which would obviously be helpful (as @BMart519 pointed out).  Nothing I can do about that since I'm just not privy to that info.  However, putting the "shot area" stat and "offline" stat both into the formula should help take the "shape" into account somewhat, and most importantly, should give us a good idea as to the control, accuracy, and consistency of the ball.
  10. I want to reiterate again that I only did the balls that seemed like they could contend in some way or were in some way unique or maybe I had personal interest in - so I didn't quite do every ball.  I left out balls that seemed to be obviously worse in numbers.  So, these are probably the "top 21" balls from the MGS test.  
  11. I also want to reiterate that this was done for the "fast" swing speed data.  I would like to do the same analysis for the slower swing speed data - that would be relevant to my main playing partner, my dad.  It should be easy to do now that I've already got the formulas done.  Just plug in the other numbers, and it's done.  

 

Again, here is a link to an online excel file with my calculations:  Golf Ball Selection Data

@Rchang@DaveP043 @BMart519 @storm319 @Blueberry_Squishie

Edited by vamosjackets
Fixed the Rankings to Show Ties
  • Like 4

Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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21 minutes ago, vamosjackets said:

OK, so I redid the analysis based on Z-Scores rather than raw numbers.  The way I did this was to find the overall average for driver distance, the overall standard deviation for driver distance, and the I found a Z-Distance stat which equals (Distance of Ball X - Overall Average of Distance) / (Overall Standard Deviation for Distance).  So, for driver distance, the higher the Z-Score the better.  I followed the same approach to get Z-Scores for each ball on Shot Area and Offline stats for the Driver.  I then created an overall driver score for each ball which follows this formula:  Z-Distance - Z-Area - Z-Offline.  (Higher Z-Distance is better.  Lower Z-Area is better.  Lower Z-Offline is better).  So, the higher the overall driver score for the ball the better.  I then ranked all of the balls based on this new driver score. 

I did the same thing for the 7-Iron as described above for the driver.  So, for both the driver and 7 iron score and rank, you have two stats that take control and accuracy into account versus one stat for distance.  This prioritizes accuracy/control while still rewarding distance.

I also did a Wedge Score and ranking based on Backspin (rather than distance), Shot Area, and Offline.  For this formula, higher backspin is better, lower shot area is better, and lower offline is better.  .Again, this prioritizes accuracy/control while still rewarding backspin.

 

Each ball then received 3 ranks:  Driver rank, 7-Iron rank, and Wedge rank.  And, finally each ball received an overall rank which is the average of the 3 individual club rankings.  I also did an overall rank that was just based on driver and 7-iron and did not account for the wedge ranking - this is simply because I'm more skeptical that the wedge ranking actually tells us anything significant about ball performance.  All of the wedge stats were so close anyway, so there just may be no value in those rankings.  Here are the new results!!

Driver Rankings:  BX, Z*, vice pro, cutblue, V1X, V1, BXS, TP5, ERC Soft, mtbb, vice pro soft, BRX, Inesis 900, mtbx, ONCore Elxr, mxfli tr x, Mxfli tr, Z*15, TP5X, avx, chrsftx

7-Iron Rankings:  TP5X, Z*15, chrsftx, vice pro soft, TP5, V1X, BRX, BXS, mxfli tr x, vice pro, avx, Mxfli tr, cutblue, ONCore Elxr, Z*, Inesis 900, mtbb, V1, BX, mtbx, ERC Soft

Wedge Rankings:  TP5, BX, Mxfli tr, vice pro soft, mxfli tr x, mtbb, V1, BXS, cutblue, Inesis 900, V1X, mtbx, TP5X, vice pro, ONCore Elxr, chrsftx, Z*, BRX, avx, Z*15, ERC Soft

Overall Ranking Based on Driver and 7-Iron Only (No Wedge Data Included):

  1. V1X
  2. TP5
  3. vice pro
  4. vice pro soft
  5. BXS
  6. cutblue
  7. Z*
  8. BRX
  9. BX
  10. TP5X
  11. Z*15
  12. V1
  13. chrsftx
  14. mxfli tr x
  15. mtbb
  16. Mxfli tr
  17. Inesis 900
  18. ONCore Elxr
  19. ERC Soft
  20. avx
  21. mtbx

 

Overall Ranking Based On Driver, 7-Iron, & Wedge:

  1. TP5
  2. vice pro soft
  3. BX
  4. V1X
  5. BXS
  6. cutblue
  7. vice pro
  8. mxfli tr x
  9. V1
  10. Mxfli tr
  11. mtbb
  12. TP5X
  13. Z*
  14. BRX
  15. Inesis 900
  16. Z*15
  17. chrsftx
  18. ONCore Elxr
  19. mtbx
  20. avx
  21. ERC Soft

My Takeaways:

  1. This is a much better analysis than my original quickly done analysis.  This normalizes the numbers so that they're all in the same units, all in the same order of magnitude, etc.  Still, the original analysis did identify most of the same top balls.  
  2. Cubtlue is still a great option, ranked number 6 either way you slice it and at $20/dozen, there's a strong case that it's the best ball $ for $.  I've played it for two rounds now and am overall impressed with it.  
  3. The Vice ball company is kicking butt, with its Vice Pro and Vice Pro Soft offerings, both ranked near the top.  These are fantastic options, especially when price is taken into account.
  4. TP5 looks like the best overall ball to my eyes based on this analysis.  I really like the concept of the Pix graphics options (especially as it relates to putt alignment and putt roll feedback), but I wonder if the Pix balls are manufactured differently than the standard TP5.  Anyone have any idea about that?
  5. Pro V1x is a strong contender, and may in fact be the best overall ball, depending on whether the Wedge data is actually valuable to us here.
  6. My previous favorite ball, the Tour B X, came out much better with this analysis than my previous (flawed) analysis, ranking 3 or 9 depending on Wedge data.    
  7. The Tiger ball (Tour B XS) made a strong showing, ranking in the top 5 either way.  The man knows what he's doing with a golf ball.
  8. MTB X is great on driver distance and wedge spin, but it is not the ball to help shoot lower scores and could very well contribute to higher scores with its inconsistency and tendency to make the bad ones worse.  Might be a great ball to have in a scramble though if your partner is already safely in the fairway.  
  9. I want to reiterate again that I only did the balls that seemed like they could contend in some way or were in some way unique or maybe I had personal interest in - so I didn't quite do every ball.  I left out balls that seemed to be obviously worse in numbers.  So, these are probably the "top 21" balls from the MGS test.  

@Rchang@DaveP043 @BMart519 @storm319 @Blueberry_Squishie

Dude. This is awesome. Well done!

  • Like 1

Taylormade M5 Driver

Cobra F9 3 Wood

Srixon ZX5 4-6 Iron

Srixon ZX7 7-PW

Taylormade MG2 Wedges 50/55/60

Taylormade Spider X Putter

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5 minutes ago, jddaigneault said:

Dude. This is awesome. Well done!

Thank you sir!  Gotta let the inner nerd out to do his thing sometimes.  🙂  

Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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Love this, super well done. One thing I'm thinking about, and maybe it's controlled for a bit by using Z-scores vs raw numbers, but in the tests it's stated that the robot would have a slight natural draw. If this is true, then a "perfectly straight" ball would end up offline and a ball that ends up dead-center would actually be right biased ("right-handed" robot). To this end, the 'offline' stat seems to really be looking for egregious offenders to the left while actually biasing if a ball ended up with a spin-axis tilt that is slightly more right-biased than neutral.

The other thing that comes to mind, which can't be done on the full sample yet, but could there be a coefficient for quality? i.e. if you have a 4% chance of picking a bad ball, can the shot data be controlled to show what happens on a bad ball vs a good ball (I don't think we have enough of the raw data/individual shots to do that?) - I would be very interested in cross-referencing these new priorities with Tony's quality control tests.

  • Like 1

Driver: :cobra-small: RADspeed 9* with Motore X F1 60S
4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
2i: :srixon-small: ZX with SteelFiber i95 Stiff
Wet/Soft: 3i-PW
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged, KBS Tour-V 110S
Hard/Fast: 4i-7i :srixon-small: ZX7, 8i-PW Z-Forged, Modus3 Tour 120 S

52*, 58* :cleveland-small: RTX ZipCore Modus3 Tour 115
Putter: :cleveland-small: HB Soft Premier 11s

Ball: :srixon-small: Z STAR/XV (but I'm not just going to leave a perfectly good ProV1 laying around...)
Bag: :ping-small: Hoofer (2018) in black/white/copper

Using :Arccos: to keep track of my shots
:SuperSpeed:

All clubs RH

Tested:
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 3i-PW, KBS Tour-V 110S - Official Review
:titelist-small: Blind Ball Test (Ball #3 vs Ball #4) - Unofficial Review

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23 minutes ago, greggarner said:

Love this, super well done. One thing I'm thinking about, and maybe it's controlled for a bit by using Z-scores vs raw numbers, but in the tests it's stated that the robot would have a slight natural draw. If this is true, then a "perfectly straight" ball would end up offline and a ball that ends up dead-center would actually be right biased ("right-handed" robot). To this end, the 'offline' stat seems to really be looking for egregious offenders to the left while actually biasing if a ball ended up with a spin-axis tilt that is slightly more right-biased than neutral.

The other thing that comes to mind, which can't be done on the full sample yet, but could there be a coefficient for quality? i.e. if you have a 4% chance of picking a bad ball, can the shot data be controlled to show what happens on a bad ball vs a good ball (I don't think we have enough of the raw data/individual shots to do that?) - I would be very interested in cross-referencing these new priorities with Tony's quality control tests.

Thanks.  Excellent points.  

For your first point about the robot having a very slight draw ... hmmm ... Does a ball that is less offline than another mean that the ball is "right biased" or does it mean that the ball is simply doesn't curve as much (or put another way, when you hit a draw, it won't draw as much and when you hit a fade, it won't fade as much)???  I can't answer this question, but my suspicion is that it would be the latter (less curve rather than right-biased).  So, if someone WANTS to be able to work the ball more horizontally, then that would be a negative.  But, for someone who just wants the ball to be a straighter ball (one that doesn't punish the bad shots (hooks/slices) as much), that would be a positive.  
If my suspicion is wrong, and there are balls that really do have a "right-bias", then that's a major flaw in the analysis.  

For your second point, I completely agree, it would be great to add the quality aspect as a factor in the overall rankings.  And, I'd also be interested to know more about what a "bad" ball (as defined by MGS) actually DOES in flight/result versus a "good" ball, all else being equal. 

Edited by vamosjackets
  • Like 1

Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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55 minutes ago, vamosjackets said:

Thanks.  Excellent points.  

For your first point about the robot having a very slight draw ... hmmm ... Does a ball that is less offline than another mean that the ball is "right biased" or does it mean that the ball is simply doesn't curve as much (or put another way, when you hit a draw, it won't draw as much and when you hit a fade, it won't fade as much)???  I can't answer this question, but my suspicion is that it would be the latter (less curve rather than right-biased).  So, if someone WANTS to be able to work the ball more horizontally, then that would be a negative.  But, for someone who just wants the ball to be a straighter ball (one that doesn't punish the bad shots (hooks/slices) as much), that would be a positive.  
If my suspicion is wrong, and there are balls that really do have a "right-bias", then that's a major flaw in the analysis.  

For your second point, I completely agree, it would be great to add the quality aspect as a factor in the overall rankings.  And, I'd also be interested to know more about what a "bad" ball (as defined by MGS) actually DOES in flight/result versus a "good" ball, all else being equal. 

It depends on what the imperfection is. An off center core promotes more horizontal spin. Damage to the cover drops backspin and cause ball flight issues. 

  • Like 1

Taylormade M5 Driver

Cobra F9 3 Wood

Srixon ZX5 4-6 Iron

Srixon ZX7 7-PW

Taylormade MG2 Wedges 50/55/60

Taylormade Spider X Putter

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Could you take whatever metric you ended up with, and divide it by the MGS “True Price” to determine value? That would factor in the odds of getting a bad ball I’m guessing. 

Taylormade M5 Driver

Cobra F9 3 Wood

Srixon ZX5 4-6 Iron

Srixon ZX7 7-PW

Taylormade MG2 Wedges 50/55/60

Taylormade Spider X Putter

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19 minutes ago, jddaigneault said:

Could you take whatever metric you ended up with, and divide it by the MGS “True Price” to determine value? That would factor in the odds of getting a bad ball I’m guessing. 

I think something like that would be a good approach.  I don't want to get into it yet because I think MGS isn't done putting out that content.  I'd want to wait until it's all finished and summarized.  I think MGS also plans to do another complete ball test in 2021 since the last one was done in 2019.  I remember them saying something about doing that kind of test every two years.

  • Like 1

Driver: Titleist TS2, Accra FX 2.0 250 M3.
3W: Taylormade Sim Max, Accra FX 2.0 200 M3.
3H: Taylormade Sim, Stock Stiff.
3/4-PW: Miura CB57, TT DG S300 Stiff.
50*, 55*, 60*:  Titleist Vokey SM6/8/4 (respectively), DG Spinner.
Putter: P&SI-EGOS  (considering L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1).
Ball: TM TP5 Pix OR Pro V1x OR Vice Pro Soft OR Cut Blue ... (See Why!)
Bag: MNML.
Cart: Old Used ClickGear something or other.

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