The golf ball

I thought you would find this interesting. PGA Tour players HATE the current golf balls. They think the computer and robot testing has skewed the results and they can’t stand how hard the ball is to work and they believe the low spin rates actually make the ball not perform optimally, especially when wind is involved.

I heard two separate conversations that involved 7 different players. Each conversation included one guy who said he had spoken to a ballistics expert and they said that golf ball testing is done improperly.

It makes sense to me that you would get a ballistics expert to design golf balls, because what is a golf ball if it isn’t a bullet.

To further the analogy, there is rifling inside the barrel of guns to make the bullet spin optimally to fly straight. If a bullet doesn’t spin enough, it tumbles.

I know a ball is round and a bullet is…well bullet shaped, but I believe there is merit to the theory that a ball that has too low of a spin rate won’t perform optimally. I also talked to a ballistics expert and his answer to me was this.

A ball not spinning enough will be more affected by the wind.

This may be a poor analogy, but fastballs spin more than knuckle balls by pitchers. I know there are other factors like arm speed.

I am being very thesis driven here, as I have hated the golf balls for a long time and when I heard tour players hating the ball, it added fuel to the fire.

Since most things in the golf swing are counter intuitive, I am prone to believe that spin rates on balls might also have an intangible factor not being considered.

I can barely tell the difference between a Top Flight and a ProV1 or Taylor Made Penta. I could tell a huge difference between a Balata and a Top Flight.

There is something very wrong with that.

I am honestly considering play a Precept Lady. That ball feels better to me than all the “pro level” balls.

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18 Comments

  1. Ron

    So to work on your thesis, you will play a Lady Precept and report your feelings.

    Reply
  2. Jason

    Actually playing with Ladie’s balls (sounds wrong LOL) is good in cold weather. I think the biggest difference in modern golf balls is around the greens. May favourite ball is the ProV1x. It feels so much better than the ProV1. I tend to compress it better for whatever reasons. Most people say I should not be playing that ball as I shoot in the high 80s/ low 90s but my best scores are with that ball, period. Monte, try the Srixon Soft Feel Ladies (That sounded great too LOL). I know of a few men that have played it and loved it.

    Reply
  3. Calvin

    Can you still buy balata? If you can would you?

    Reply
  4. BernardP

    I am playing a softer ball (Noodle) and I like it a lot. There is certainly no distance penalty and it feels smoother around the green.

    In addition, as 2 out or 3 people at my club seem to be playing the the Pro V1, being the only one on the foursome with the Noodle eliminates the risk of my ball being confused with another one.

    Reply
  5. Christian

    Here’s an interesting article that that talks about how much R&D (by aerospace engineers, PhDs, and various other really smart people) that goes into a golf ball – http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.05/golf.html. I think the problem isn’t lack of knowledge of spin rates and flight characteristics but maybe that the ball companies are optimizing on things other than what those pros want (like pure distance vs. workability or playability in wind). I am surprised, though, that the ball companies wouldn’t listen more to the tour players considering what a marketing boon it would be if a bunch of guys playing the same ball started winning a bunch.

    I’ve always been curious about what exactly makes a ladies ball different than a men’s ball. But if you play better with it, why not? Especially if you use the pink one :-).

    Reply
  6. banner12

    Generally, a ladies ball has a lower compression, hence a softer feel. Also, easier to work in colder weather and a softer feel around the greens. It might feel a bit mushy to faster swing speeds, but should go about the same distance (a bit higher ball flight, a little less roll).

    Reply
  7. CM

    Ladies with a soft feel huh. Sign me up! 😛

    Reply
  8. Wally

    I play Noodles ’cause the’re cheap and you can buy them at Walmart, shot an 85 with them today from the back tees

    Reply
  9. Jason

    I always though tour players had huge input into golf ball design as well. Looks like I’m wrong about that. I used to play RAM tour Balata when I 1st got into golf before my 10 year break from it. For a Balata it still had great distance, even compared to todays balls and great spin on the greens. When I got back into playing, everything had changed, almost beyond recognition, so much had passed me by lol. The RAM Tour balata probably to this day is the best ball I ever played. On a side note, I have a back-up driver that has 14* loft. In theory this would impart more spin on the ball going by the ballistics theories. So maybe I should use it on windy days. I use it on cold or humid days for carry.

    Reply
  10. HoldTheLag

    For some reason I read the last part as “I’m considering Playing with a Precept Lady”

    Of course my mind was not in the gutter in any way.

    Reply
  11. hackgolfer

    Isn’t the Precept Laddie the same ball?

    Reply
  12. Jason

    I did a bit of research on this and apparently a lot of male pro golfers on the nationwide tour were using the Precept Lady ball around the years 2000/2001. A lot of amatures were using it as well. The sale of the ball skyrocked without any advertisment. That’s when Precept rebadeged the ball as the Laddie. I’ve hit a few Srixon Soft Feel Lady balls at the range and they feel and go pretty good. Maybe Monte’s onto something. Monte, can you try the Percept Lady and report back to us?

    Reply
  13. Christian

    This is crazy. Pros playing lady’s golf balls. Who wants to start a golf ball company with me? We’ll actually listen to what the pros want and get a bunch of them to play our ball without having to sponsor them. From the sounds of it, we’ll end up with a low compression ball that we’ll brand as a men’s “soft” ball or something like that. We can probably outsource production to the same factory in China that make all the rest of the balls…

    Reply
  14. Jabrch (Jason)

    How about something like the Zip50 or the new Wison Duo? Might be a good combination of softness and still spin? The FG Tour gets a lot of love too and might be what you are wanting in a lady’s ball. (Lady’s Balls – how’s that for an oxymoron?)

    Reply
  15. pcb_duffer

    The Precept Laddie isn’t the same ball as the Lady. I cut a couple of them in half just to examine them. Different core compositions, core diameters, and cover thicknesses.

    Reply
  16. Attack and Release

    Best ball ever made of the Maxfli Revolution. Wound ball, soft feel, and would spin like crazy. It was really long compared to a lot of other balls too. What I have found about low compression balls (Noodle, etc.) is they spin a lot less for me and I lose distance. They feel really good of the club though. If I could find a ball that spun like a Pro V1 and felt like a Noodle I would play it. Specially if it could be bought for half the price.

    Reply

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