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2000 Prov1 vs 2020 Prov1


Tsecor
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On 6/28/2021 at 10:29 AM, Tony Covey MGS said:

Exactly this. This stuff drives me bonkers, so let me lay it out for everyone.

Anyone who is testing golf balls on a camera based launch monitor and doesn't provide any sort of disclaimer about the fact that downrange numbers are, at best, estimates, either doesn't understand the capabilities of their tools, or isn't vested in providing an accurate picture to their audience.

The more significant the difference in the dimple pattern, the less reliable the info is. 

For my money, the GC Quad is the best launch monitor on the planet. In our indoor test environment, nothing comes close (we can talk about radar's inability to accurately and repeatedly capture spin axis tilt in limited flight environments some other time), but it doesn't mean it's perfect. 

Like anything project around the house, it's important you understand your objective, and choose the right tools accordingly.

When it comes to testing golf balls, Quad remains outstanding for capturing the data that's generated within the first milliseconds of flight. Ball speed, launch angle, azimuth (starting direction/horizontal launch angle), spin rate, and axis tilt are the ones I would be looking at for a ball test. When the ball is the key variable, you need to be really aggressive in how you define outliers, and of course, being really aggressive in what you remove  means that with human testers, you need to hit a significant number of shots to give you enough data to work with.

Peak Height, Carry, Descent Angle, Roll, total distance, and yup...Offline too, WHEN THE BALL IS THE VARIABLE and you're only capturing the initial launch, extrapolating carry, descent, total, roll, etc. differences of two different models with two entirely different dimple patterns, is no more than a semi educated guess (and the less alike the dimple, the less educated it becomes. 

Ball Speed, Launch Angle(s), Spin, and Axis Tilt that's what you get when the balls are different. That's perfect for Most Wanted and our lab testing because the ball isn't the variable. It's fine...even preferable to normalize downrange performance. One of our objectives is to eliminate every variable that we can.

Anyway...

Back to the point at hand...the Quad captures what I suppose is like an initial flight plan. It tells you what the ball happened at launch and provides a normalized view of what *should* happen the rest of the way. What it doesn't do is tweak its algorithms based on specific dimple characteristics, and it sure is hell can't detect when there's a critical defect in that pattern.

There are two primary things to consider at this point, and both are related to the dimple pattern.

First, let's consider the worst case scenario.  Call it uneven dimpling. Whether that's from sloppy paint or where the factory inexplicably pieced together two different cover designs (it happens). In the real world, these problems would likely manifest in the offline number and would be visible over the full flight, but, and this is the important piece of it, there's be nothing in the launch data to provide any evidence of an issue. Since aero issues don't typically manifest at impact, the flight would look normal on a camera-based system.

Now let's simply consider general differences or ENHANCEMENTS in aero performance over a generation or two of balls. There are fundamentally good dimple designs, fundamentally bad ones, and others that are optimized for one ball design but get used on a tons of different designs (the popular foremost dimple is a good example here - works better on 3-piece balls than 4-piece).

Another great example was the original Kirkland 3-piece. In indoor tests its almost indistinguishable from a Pro V1. It spins a bit more, but otherwise...

Test it with a robot, outdoors, and man...the deficiencies of the dimple pattern are glaring. A hint of wind destroys hit. I use this example because it brings the point of this conversation home. Lift (initial launch performance) is similar. Drag (what happens once the ball is in the air) is worlds apart. This is what gets obscured when the wrong tool is chosen for a ball test.

Since the advent of the solid core ball, compression rules haven't much changed. A firmer ball is a faster ball. Any kid who hit both a baseball and a tennis ball with a bat fundamentally understands this...even if he hasn't thought about it in terms of golf ball performance. 

Likewise, the rules of spin haven't changed either. You want more spin, put a soft layer over a hard one. Want less spin, put a harder layer over a soft one. That's your simple explanation of why soft core balls (particularly 2-piece models) don't spin around the green.

That leaves the cover and more specifically the aerodynamics. It's the least understood aspect of ball design, but it's likely where there's been the greatest evolution over the last decade or two, drag coefficients, the Magnus (and reverse Magnus effect), that sort of stuff are likely where the greatest opportunities remain.

Ultimately, what we're talking about is stability of flight

So yeah...comparing a decades old ball against a new ball, I suppose, makes for a fun read, but when you're methodology is fundamentally incapable of capturing the most significant changes over those decades, you're basically just blowing smoke to get clicks.

I'd also add that golf balls have a shelf life and testing anything more than a few years is also dicey.

All this is amazing insight and knowledge we all love to have......but I hve to ask....if the 2000 ball flies 250 yards and the 2020 ball flies 251 yards and off angle shots are minimal, is the millions of dollars of research worth it? Such incremental performance improvemnets over a 20 year period is still shocking.....

Its like saying a BMW has a nicer tail light and infotainment system, but in reality the BMW and a Honda Accord can both go 100 mph and get you to your destination at the same time. 

Everyone wants clicks, including MGS, so thats a cheap shot IMO. You guys are better than that, no?

Everyone knows Titleist has the highest quality product on the market. You guys have sown that over and over but can you determine how a "lower quality" product (chromesoft), affects scoring and potentially stability in flight? 

That would be a great test if you could somehow capture  how a "bad ball" effects scoring

 

Golf is cool

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