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


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What launch monitor did you use?

How man shots with each ball did you take?

How did you measure club input data such as club path, angle of attack, face closure and strike location?

There’s a reason that MGS did their ball testing with a swing robot, and that is because you need to neutralize the input parameters to eliminate variables.

Cool little test you did here, but the science you used to crunch your numbers is compromised by how you collected your data inputs.

 

 

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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

First off as a data analyst in my day job I love this thread, right up my alley. As it relates to this I had the same idea. Not to speak for @BMart519but I think his idea is that distance STD DEV is o

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

1 minute ago, jlukes said:

What launch monitor did you use?

How man shots with each ball did you take?

How did you measure club input data such as club path, angle of attack, face closure and strike location?

There’s a reason that MGS did their ball testing with a swing robot, and that is because you need to neutralize the input parameters to eliminate variables.

Cool little test you did here, but the science you used to crunch your numbers is compromised by how you collected your data inputs.

 

 

Fairly certain he pulled the data from the MGS tableau...

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Now do one ignoring shot area completely and only looking at offline/distance!

Or leave shot area in on wedges, since proximity is key from that distance. If you are taking the STD DEV of carry distance, that would give you a good reflection of hitting your target distance. Coupled with STD DEV of offline, you should have a good idea whether that ball hits the green regardless of area. 

Based on the graphs, the centerline for driver dispersion was @ -5 or -6 yards (left) for driver at 115 MPH. Personally, I would build that into your offline formula as it was the center of the sample data. 7 iron appears to be centered at +5 yards (right) and wedge appears to be centered on 0. This was the bias of the testing apparatus not the balls and should be accounted for.

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9 minutes ago, jlukes said:

What launch monitor did you use?

How man shots with each ball did you take?

How did you measure club input data such as club path, angle of attack, face closure and strike location?

There’s a reason that MGS did their ball testing with a swing robot, and that is because you need to neutralize the input parameters to eliminate variables.

Cool little test you did here, but the science you used to crunch your numbers is compromised by how you collected your data inputs.

 

 

The data is from the MGS ball test ... posted here.

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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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45 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. 

With the pricing of the Cut balls they are going to win unless the "bad ball" rate is around 50%, similar idea with Vice except their failure rate would be around 20-30%. 

It would be nice to see the sum of the Z score values @vamosjackets to see if there are large jumps from 1 ball to the next as opposed to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

Now do one ignoring shot area completely and only looking at offline/distance!

Or leave shot area in on wedges, since proximity is key from that distance. If you are taking the STD DEV of carry distance, that would give you a good reflection of hitting your target distance. Coupled with STD DEV of offline, you should have a good idea whether that ball hits the green regardless of area. 

Based on the graphs, the centerline for driver dispersion was @ -5 or -6 yards (left) for driver at 115 MPH. Personally, I would build that into your offline formula as it was the center of the sample data. 7 iron appears to be centered at +5 yards (right) and wedge appears to be centered on 0. This was the bias of the testing apparatus not the balls and should be accounted for.

I think you make a good argument for accounting for the centerline (slight draw-biased robot).  But a lower Z-Score for offline, even with a draw-biased robot, probably means that the ball doesn't curve as much (ie draws don't draw as much, fades don't fade as much).  I could be wrong on that, but I think that's probably what it means.  That actually appeals to me.  I'd like to play a ball that will curve less horizontally whether I hit a draw or a fade.  

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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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6 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

With the pricing of the Cut balls they are going to win unless the "bad ball" rate is around 50%, similar idea with Vice except their failure rate would be around 20-30%. 

It would be nice to see the sum of the Z score values @vamosjackets to see if there are large jumps from 1 ball to the next as opposed to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. 

Sure!  If you click on the link at the bottom of the original post, that is a link to the excel file where the calculations are done.  You'll see the Z-score values and overall Z-score sums in that file.  

 

Here's the link again:  Golf Ball Selection Data Excel File

Edited by vamosjackets
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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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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3 minutes ago, vamosjackets said:

I think you make a good argument for accounting for the centerline (slight draw-biased robot).  But a lower Z-Score for offline, even with a draw-biased robot, probably means that the ball doesn't curve as much (ie draws don't draw as much, fades don't fade as much).  I could be wrong on that, but I think that's probably what it means.  That actually appeals to me.  I'd like to play a ball that will curve less horizontally whether I hit a draw or a fade.  

You're correct, STD DEV should wash out that offset... I was still thinking in terms of average (absolute) values. I still think Shot Area should be removed for at least driver, and possibly 7 iron. 

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2 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

You're correct, STD DEV should wash out that offset... I was still thinking in terms of average (absolute) values. I still think Shot Area should be removed for at least driver, and possibly 7 iron. 

Can you explain again why you think Shot Area should be removed?  Maybe you did and I just didn't understand it.  Shot area seems like something I should care about for driver and 7-iron shots ... for consistency and control.

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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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I just fixed the Rankings in post 13 to show ties (something I was careless to not notice before).

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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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32 minutes ago, vamosjackets said:

Can you explain again why you think Shot Area should be removed?  Maybe you did and I just didn't understand it.  Shot area seems like something I should care about for driver and 7-iron shots ... for consistency and control.


First off as a data analyst in my day job I love this thread, right up my alley. As it relates to this I had the same idea. Not to speak for @BMart519but I think his idea is that distance STD DEV is one width of the oval and STD DEV is the other width. So using both of these values will speak to the relative shape of the shot area. If the numbers are similar its more like a circle, if one is much larger its an oval. Using these two numbers is a way to get at this without using that area metric and will account for those larger dispersions that could bring OB into play or fliers. Also I really enjoyed your use of z-scores, a statistical favorite. I also think some on course testing throughout the year, tracking stokes gained in each round with the balls would be a great next step. Really enjoyed the analysis.

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2 hours ago, vamosjackets said:

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. 

Yeah, I thought about this too, and that's something that's really hard (for me) to wrap my head around without a table of all individual shots. What if the balls were right-biased through off-center cores or cover defects but the draw of the robot counter-acted it? Or if the ball had a large variance of dispersion and some were wildly right and some were wildly left and the mean were "centered"? If we know that an off-center core, for example, is going to change the spin axis but our summary data only represents the average of all shots, I think it's a logical leap to say "this ball is straighter" unless we also know that all other quality metrics were accounted for. I suppose the individual ball's standard deviation accounts for this? (I'm a qualitative researcher, so anything quant is just vague memories for me...)

Another thought -- I wonder if Ionomer balls could be used as a pseudo-control? We know these are supposed to spin less, as a category, so we should be able to compare them to urethane balls? But then the issue of quality comes up and, as we saw with the Q-Star Tour, lower price point may very well mean more defects.

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4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
2i: :srixon-small: ZX with SteelFiber i95cw Stiff
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2 hours ago, ejgaudette said:


First off as a data analyst in my day job I love this thread, right up my alley. As it relates to this I had the same idea. Not to speak for @BMart519but I think his idea is that distance STD DEV is one width of the oval and STD DEV is the other width. So using both of these values will speak to the relative shape of the shot area. If the numbers are similar its more like a circle, if one is much larger its an oval. Using these two numbers is a way to get at this without using that area metric and will account for those larger dispersions that could bring OB into play or fliers. Also I really enjoyed your use of z-scores, a statistical favorite. I also think some on course testing throughout the year, tracking stokes gained in each round with the balls would be a great next step. Really enjoyed the analysis.

This is exactly what I meant, but with better English 😆

If you are a handicap golfer, a 7 iron approach shot is far from an assumed GIR and your focus is likely more along the lines of "let's get this on the green," vs a wedge where you may start to target certain halves or quadrants of a green and hitting GIR >50%. Especially a wedge at 80yds vs 197yds for a 7 iron in this test (or 132 at low speed). 

If you were aiming away from a hazard or sand trap on the side of the green, you would more often think "my 7 iron goes XX yards offline on a bad shot" so I am going to aim that far away from the hazard at a minimum. As opposed to "my 7 iron has a shot area of 150 sq. ft.", so I should center that area at point Z on the green to have as much of the shot area on the as possible.

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1 minute ago, BMart519 said:

This is exactly what I meant, but with better English 😆

If you are a handicap golfer, a 7 iron approach shot is far from an assumed GIR and your focus is likely more along the lines of "let's get this on the green," vs a wedge where you may start to target certain halves or quadrants of a green and hitting GIR >50%. Especially a wedge at 80yds vs 197yds for a 7 iron in this test (or 132 at low speed). 

If you were aiming away from a hazard or sand trap on the side of the green, you would more often think "my 7 iron goes XX yards offline on a bad shot" so I am going to aim that far away from the hazard at a minimum. As opposed to "my 7 iron has a shot area of 150 sq. ft.", so I should center that area at point Z on the green to have as much of the shot area on the as possible.

Right from a logical on course perspective that make sense, though we have entered the world of formulas so lets have reality un necessarily hold us back 😜😜

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:titelist-small: 816 H1 18° Fujikura Speeder HB 8.8 Stiff | :titelist-small: 816 H1 21° Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Blue 70 Stiff

:ping-small:  I500 5 - UW Red Dot Dynamic Gold S300 | :Hogan: Equalizer 52° / 56° KBS Tour V 110 Stiff

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10 hours ago, vamosjackets said:

The data is from the MGS ball test ... posted here.

My mistake. I read your original post incorrectly and thought you did your own test. 

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:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X
:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 Tour AD 95X
:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW Oban CT 115 X(-)
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On 12/16/2020 at 11:55 AM, ejgaudette said:


First off as a data analyst in my day job I love this thread, right up my alley. As it relates to this I had the same idea. Not to speak for @BMart519but I think his idea is that distance STD DEV is one width of the oval and STD DEV is the other width. So using both of these values will speak to the relative shape of the shot area. If the numbers are similar its more like a circle, if one is much larger its an oval. Using these two numbers is a way to get at this without using that area metric and will account for those larger dispersions that could bring OB into play or fliers. Also I really enjoyed your use of z-scores, a statistical favorite. I also think some on course testing throughout the year, tracking stokes gained in each round with the balls would be a great next step. Really enjoyed the analysis.

 

I THINK I understand where you and @BMart519are coming from now with your explanation.  However, I don't think what I'm doing with the Z-Scores for distance and offline is going to be able to determine anything about the width or depth of the oval (ie shape of the shot area).  I'm not using the actual standard deviation for the ball itself anywhere in the formulas (the standard deviations for the individual balls isn't given anywhere in the MGS data, as far as I can tell/remember).  I'm using the standard deviation for the entire set of balls.  So, it's like this:

Distance Z-Score for Ball X = [(Mean Distance of Ball X) - (Mean of Mean distances of all balls)] / (Standard Deviation of mean distances of all balls).

So, if Ball X has a distance Z-Score of 2.00, that means that the mean distance for Ball X was 2 standard deviations above the mean of the mean distances of all balls.

(I can imagine the confusion because of the way that had to be written to be accurately stated.)

That Z-Score doesn't tell us anything about the variation (standard deviation) of the distances for Ball X, just how Ball X's mean distance compares to all of the other balls' mean distances.  

And, the same goes for the offline stat as well.  If Ball X had an offline Z-Score of -2.00, then that means that the mean offline-distance of Ball X was 2 standard deviations less than the mean of the mean offline-distances of all of the balls.  It doesn't tell us anything about the variance of the offline-distance of Ball X.  

So, I think, then, that Shot Area is a necessary component for the overall formula to take into account.  That is the only stat that would punish a ball that had a wide variation in distances or offline-distances.  

Let's say Ball X had some balls go 350 and other balls go 250, obviously its mean distance would be 300.  And, Ball Y had some balls go 305 and other balls go 295, so that it also has the same mean distance of 300.  But, both balls then would have the same distance Z-Score.  Same for Offline.  If Ball X had some balls go 50 yards to the right and other balls go 50 yards to the left, then it would have a mean offline-distance of 0.  And, then if Ball Y had some balls go 3 yards right and other balls go 3 yards left, then it too would have a mean offline-distance of 0.  But, both balls would then have the same offline Z-Score.  

Shot Area would then be the only stat which would differentiate Ball X from Ball Y.  Ball Y would have a much lower shot area than Ball X (due to variation in distance and variation in offline-distance).  And, so Ball Y would then have a better overall score and thus a better overall rank than Ball X in the Driver or 7-iron or Wedge Category (whichever is the case in this hypothetical scenario).  

Does this make sense, or am I misunderstanding you (or maybe I'm just off in general)?

Edited by vamosjackets

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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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On 12/16/2020 at 12:14 PM, greggarner said:

Yeah, I thought about this too, and that's something that's really hard (for me) to wrap my head around without a table of all individual shots. What if the balls were right-biased through off-center cores or cover defects but the draw of the robot counter-acted it? Or if the ball had a large variance of dispersion and some were wildly right and some were wildly left and the mean were "centered"? If we know that an off-center core, for example, is going to change the spin axis but our summary data only represents the average of all shots, I think it's a logical leap to say "this ball is straighter" unless we also know that all other quality metrics were accounted for. I suppose the individual ball's standard deviation accounts for this? (I'm a qualitative researcher, so anything quant is just vague memories for me...)

Another thought -- I wonder if Ionomer balls could be used as a pseudo-control? We know these are supposed to spin less, as a category, so we should be able to compare them to urethane balls? But then the issue of quality comes up and, as we saw with the Q-Star Tour, lower price point may very well mean more defects.

 
 
 
 
 
 

You're right about the average "offline" stat being possibly flawed, IF the balls flew with "balanced"-inconsistency.  But, I would think that if the ball had a nice "offline" stat due to some flying more right and others flying more left, then that same ball would also have a significantly higher "shot area" stat, which would then negatively affect its overall score in the analysis.  

Without a doubt, this analysis is not perfect.  But, I have certainly found it interesting, and I do believe that, if nothing else, I have learned that I was playing the wrong ball.  I feel pretty confident in saying that.  I don't need to play the Tour B X nor the MTB X.  An extra few yards on a drive is not going to help my scores nearly as much as a more punished shot would hurt my scores - not to mention perhaps slightly closer vicinity to the hole on approaches. ,I think I'll very likely do just a tad bit better with one of those top 5 balls. ... I'll probably save a few dollars as well by going with the Vice or the Cut options.  

Edited by vamosjackets
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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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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You won’t be able to add shot area values  to distance and offline z-scores since the units will be different. And there is no standard deviation for shot area. 

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1 hour ago, BMart519 said:

You won’t be able to add shot area values  to distance and offline z-scores since the units will be different. And there is no standard deviation for shot area. 

 

I don't understand.  I have a Z-Score for Shot Area as well, which is part of the formula.  And, when you're dealing with Z-Scores, everything is in the same units.  The units would be "Standard Deviations above/below the Mean".  

Overall Driver Score for Ball X = Z-Distance - Z-Offline - Z-Area.  Same for 7-Iron Score.  Wedge Score replaces Distance with Backspin.  So, if Ball X (for a driver) has a mean distance that is 2 standard deviations above the mean of mean distances of all balls, and a mean offline-distance that is 2 standard deviations below the mean of mean offline-distances of all balls, and a mean shot area that is 2 standard deviations below the man of mean shot-areas of all balls, then it will have these scores (for the driver):
Z-Distance = 2 ... Z-Offline = -2 ... Z-Area = -2 ... Overall Driver Score = 2 - -2 - -2 = 6.  
(Hypothetically speaking) That would give ball X the top Driver Score, so it would be ranked #1 for Driver Score.

 

I'm thinking more about your statement about the Z-Scores being in different units for area than for distance and offline.  Am I right in thinking that the Z-Score actually puts each of these sets into the same units, because, I think, the Z-Score is actually "unitless" ... like for distance it would be meters/meters and for area it would be meters^2/meters^2 and so both would actually end up "unitless", and what it ends up telling us is "# of standard deviations above/below the mean" which would kind of be the pseudo-unit for the Z-Score.  

Edited by vamosjackets
Added thoughts about Z-Score being "unitless"
  • 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.
51*, 55*: Edison Forged Wedges, KBS Tour Stiff.
60*: Titleist Vokey SM4, 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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