#ASKMYGOLFSPY – Golf Balls Part II
Golf Balls

#ASKMYGOLFSPY – Golf Balls Part II

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#ASKMYGOLFSPY – Golf Balls Part II
Welcome back to #ASKMYGOLFSPY where readers like you submit questions week after week to our team here at MyGolfSpy! Today, the topic is golf balls. If you missed Part 1 of the series, take a look here. 
 
How much can the core of a golf ball affect my flight path?

As we saw in our first ball test, off-center cores can be the difference between the middle of the fairway and the wrong side of the white stakes. So, yeah, an off-center core can absolutely affect your flight path. Consistency varies by manufacturer and, while some are historically better than others, nobody is perfect.

How much does a dimple pattern change performance? Does it matter to my spin?

Dimples provide the lift and drag characteristics of the ball. Dimples control the initial launch (though most everything launches about the same), the height of the flight, how far down range a ball reaches that peak height, and how the ball falls from the air.

In a word, dimples are responsible for the trajectory of the ball and, plus or minus some differences due to the spin characteristics, identical dimple patterns (which many brands rely on) will produce an identical trajectory.

The dimples themselves don’t have any significant impact on spin.

Does my golf ball have to be expensive to be good?

A ball doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. It’s certainly true that bigger brands have significantly more R&D horsepower and that allows them to spend on things like aerodynamic research and new dimple pattern development. That certainly can have some impact on performance but the reality is that distance is maxed out so brands are mostly playing with different spin curves to create more robust fitting options.

The quality component is largely a factory metric. Data collected in our Ball Lab suggests Titleist is the best of the big brands (and the best overall) while Foremost, which makes balls for Maxfli, OnCore, Vice, Wilson and others, tends to be the best of the independently owned facilities.

Should I “retire” a ball after a certain number of rounds?

The deciding factor about whether to retire a golf ball is cover damage. Small paint blemishes are no big deal but if the cover is cut or scuffed to the point where there’s an obvious texture, it’s probably best to put it in the shag bag.

Should I avoid balls I find in the woods/pond?

Balls found in the woods should be fine so long as they’re in good condition. The rule of thumb on water balls is that unless you saw it go in, you probably shouldn’t take it out. Golf balls are hygroscopic (they absorb water over time) so if they’ve been submerged for a while, they’re likely not the same as when they went in.

Is Titleist going to bring the Pro V1 Left Dot to retail?
 
Rewinding a bit, Left Dot, which was released in limited quantities last year, is what Titleist calls a CPO (Custom Performance Option). That’s basically Titleist-speak for a Tour-only ball offering. You may remember the Pro V1x Left Dash was originally a CPO before it was made available at retail.

As was the case with Left Dash, the reception for the limited run of Left Dot was likely more positive than Titleist expected. It’s unlikely the company anticipated the kind of demand that would drive golfers to pay more than $100 a dozen on eBay.

With that in mind, my hunch is that Titleist will eventually bring Left Dot to retail but it probably won’t happen this year.

Today’s reality is that, industry-wide, ball factories are running at 100-percent capacity (and then some). For Titleist to do a full product launch of Left Dot, it would have to scale down production of one of the staples in the Titleist lineup (Pro V1, Pro V1x, AVX). That doesn’t make good business sense.

Incidentally, I’d wager other ball manufacturers have seen what happened with Left Dot and would probably like to do a limited run of their own Tour-only offerings. Everyone is in the same boat so it’s unlikely anyone will do that until demand for the mainstream stuff eases a bit.

When can we expect a new Ball Lab? What’s on the list so far?

Over the course of our golf ball performance test, it became abundantly clear that some models were significantly more consistent than others. 

After months of conversations with R&D teams across the industry, spending hours on the phone with Harvey Glantz (the man who holds the patent on our compression gauge which is used in ball factories around the world) and investing more than $20,000 on equipment, Ball Lab became a reality.

We just received our second round of orders for 2022 product. We should have them measured in a week or so and then it won’t be long before we place orders for the final dozens. We’re working on the new Chrome Soft lineup, the 2022 AVX, the latest Tour B line as well as Z-Star Diamond and the Wilson Tritad.

Once we’ve made a dent in that, we’ll start looking at some of the new DTC stuff in the market.

As always, keep the questions coming! Clubs, course management, golf balls … you name it, we’ll answer. 

Use the hashtag #ASKMYGOLFSPY on social platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to submit yours. 

 

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      Jim Daniel

      1 year ago

      I have been using golf balls made by SaintNine. The model use is the Extreme Soft Gold. I was wondering if you have ever tested them or plan to in the future?

      Reply

      Jeremy

      2 years ago

      I’m a 10 handicap, and have been playing pro+ for the last year and a half. Dollar for dollar they’re one of the best balls on the market. They’ll fly as long or longer than prov, and will check up on the green. ProV has a little more bite, but they’re also 2X the price. The only negative I’ve found is they get dirtier and you have to clean your ball off more.

      Reply

      Bob Trevor

      2 years ago

      I found this article some time ago. It’s conclusions vary somewhat from what is stated above. The research method seems valid but using slowish swing speeds, 94. 2016 balls so there may be differences to now. Any comment?

      https://www.golfballdivers.com/pages/why-pre-played-balls

      Reply

      Tony

      2 years ago

      Most folks are weekend golfers treat it like practice and enjoy it

      By that I mean play a cheaper distance ball off the tee and just switch it for a higher performance ball for the short shots. Yes I know rules. That said less chance of losing the expensive ball, get a bit of straight distance, and get to practice trying to stop the ball. on the green.

      It is golf…have fun.

      Reply

      scott

      2 years ago

      I don’t need a test to tell me what ball works for me. In cold damp weather any brand name 30$ a dozen works great. But in the hot summer days when greens get firm and fast Prov or TP5 are a must .. but for most golfers Callaway supersoft is a great buy

      Reply

      Peter

      2 years ago

      Can you please post the compression data for the (tested) golf balls in addition to the quality score when you present the quality rankings.

      Thank you!

      Reply

      Steve

      2 years ago

      Please include Callaway Supersoft. I acknowledge your claim that soft is slow, but there’s a lot of love out there for them from players of all swing speeds.

      Reply

      Pistol

      2 years ago

      Another vote for testing cheap balls. I picked up a pack of Top Flite Bombs on a lark and haven’t noticed a discernible difference from the premium balls I was using.

      Reply

      Mike

      2 years ago

      How do you get “top rocks” to check up on the green?

      On another note, I’ve never seen a website that had so many annoying pop-up ads come up when I’m trying to do input

      Reply

      Dennis Beach

      2 years ago

      Just played a round over the weekend with Top Flite Hammer Control as my ball. Distance was no problem off the tee, or from the fairway. Around the green, this ball is NOT a ProV, but has nice manners. On greenside chips, checks a couple of times, and rolls out. Sometimes no more than 6 feet. It is manageable. From 100 yards and in, with a high launch, checks up a few times, and rolls out about 10 feet, and a couple of times I got this ball to hop and stop. Maybe a foot or so from its pitch mark. Going to play this ball for a few rounds, cause I am still losing a few a round, usually off the tee. Not a rock, but just firm enough. Never understood how these are rocks, but most any tour ball comes in at 90 compression , or even much more, those are not rocks. I know they have layers for spin, but they are really a firm ball. I use CBX2 wedges, 50,54,58… they play well!

      Surlyn player

      2 years ago

      I agree!!! Could you throw in a handful of the top played surlyn cover golf balls? I realize that’s only 20% of your viewer base but some representation would be nice.

      Reply

      Rob Pritts

      2 years ago

      Was an AVX player for a long time and just picked up 2 DZ New TM Tour Response and wondering thoughts o the new version? Playing this weekend to test them out.

      Reply

      Dennis Beach

      2 years ago

      Played a box of these last year, with mixed results. Since I am a high handicapper, I thought playing a better ball would help my game, especially on approach shots, and greenside chipping and pitching. Most approaches, chips and pitches, were of the hop and stop variety, though not always where I wanted it on the green, which is on me. Great ball for all of the above. Off the tee is where I had problems with this ball, as this is where I lost most of them. I would most definetly recommend this ball for someone who has good control off the tee. Distance was just ok, but my SS is only 80 mph. The price increase this year has scared me off this ball, and I have resigned to playing the Pinnacle Rush, or the Maxfli Sofli, or Straightfli. Can’t afford to lose a dozen over 4 rounds. If I start playing better, and not losing many balls, a better ball like this is on my radar…

      Reply

      Rob Pritts

      2 years ago

      First Round with new TM Tour Response yellow…. Best round of the year, low spin off driver, good soft feel off irons and held the greens within 2 feet or less. I’M SOLD

      Reply

      Superpria

      2 years ago

      Always keep an eye on Inesis balls, as Decathlon is growing in the US. In my opinion they do very good value balls (the cheapest ever Distance 100 and the Tour 900)
      Ciao ????????

      Reply

      Thomas

      2 years ago

      Dear Golf Community,

      i was a big fan of the Taylor Made TP5 / TP5x from 2017.

      The versions from 2019 and 2021 i don`t like so much.

      I noticed, that many brands changed the coating or layers material in the last years.

      So i went to Vice Golf and play the lime Pro Soft. For my low swingspeed is it perfect.

      The most golfers don`t make a golf ball fitting. It is very necessary. because every golfer has a different swing style and swing speed.

      Have a good golfing season 2022.

      Thomas.

      Reply

      Dennis Beach

      2 years ago

      You should have a Ball Lab with only the cheap distance balls. There are a lot of us that do not play, or ever intend to purchase any of the golf balls north of $35. Pinnacle, TopFlite, Maxfli Softfli and Straightfli, etc., etc. I believe that there are more of us playing a lot of these vs. the high end offerings. I would incude any found on WalMart shelves as well, except for refurbs, or reconditioned. I would include anything under $35, down to some of the cheapest offerings out there. Lets see if the quality, if any, of these is on par with some of the more expensive orbs out there. You might be surprised how large that audience is… You could do a survey of folks here with 15 plus hdcps., and see what they are using and test those. Me, I been using Callaway SS, Maxfli Softfli, and Pinnacle Rush. Other than the Callaway, have never seen the others I mentioned in your testing. I really think that this group of folks is definetly larger than the lower hdcp. group, that is usually present and blogging here regularly. Some of us will never purchase a ProV ever!!

      Reply

      Jeff

      2 years ago

      Yes yes yes yes yes,

      Reply

      Dave R

      2 years ago

      100% co-sign this.

      Reply

      Bill Stuart

      2 years ago

      What Dennis Beach said!

      Reply

      Jimmy Choo

      2 years ago

      Probably the cheapest ball don’t have fund to provide a box of free ball for MGS to test? :)

      Reply

      Richard Reed

      2 years ago

      Frankly, the amount of effort. time. and money to do a comprehensive ball test on cheap balls isn’t worth it. Sorry if this comes across as eliteist or a gross generalization (I’m sure MGS has actual stats on this), but for most people shopping for cheaper balls, value (ie. price) is placed above performance due to reasons like budget or they’re losing balls throughout the round so they wouldn’t realize the performance benefits of any ball they were playing. Bottom line is, why test a ball if the majority of those target buyers care more about the price of it than the quality/performance?

      Based on results for premium ball tests, I’d suspect those highly regarded brands likely have similar quality in their more budget friendly line of balls. For example the Titleist TruFeel or Velocity would probably be a fine ball for most people needing a relatively inexpensive ball from a brand known for high manufacturing standards.

      There are plenty of DTC 3-piece premium ball options that can compete with budget balls from a price perspective if you buy in bulk.

      Reply

      Harry P

      2 years ago

      I have been playing the Z-Star for the past couple of years and with Srixon’s annual BOGO and/or buy 2 get 1 deals my cost per dzn was $27. No reason to pay more for a “cheap” ball.

      Reply

      Paulo

      2 years ago

      Yellow pro vs are different to white. Titleist say they’re the same but I’ve found they’re different . Look on line, literally NOBODY has tested this which I also find interesting

      Reply

      Greig

      2 years ago

      100% agree Paulo. I use the yellow proV1x and swear that they respond better greenside then their white proV1x brothers. I am usually not very observant, but the difference was startling!
      I have been a strict white ball user in the past but reluctantly moved to the yellow proV1x a couple of years ago and am now never going back.

      Reply

      DrewJ

      2 years ago

      I’ve tested them personally against the prov1 and the difference is so minimal… Ill use Vice Pro Plus daily, and I’ll treat myself to a box of prov1’s when I play a really nice course.

      Reply

      TripleB

      2 years ago

      Curious to see how the new line of Bridgestone lines up against the Titleist options, which are still the gold standard.

      The last few years of tests done here (and a few other sites) have shown how getting fit for the correct golf ball is a critical element in your golf bag setup.

      Reply

      Tom S

      2 years ago

      Perhaps the LeftDash and LeftDot could be included in the next ball test?

      Reply

      John Brown

      2 years ago

      I beg to differ on ball flight/distance between “Premium Vs Cheap” balls. I’ve played 60 years. Your ball labs have established that a long ball is a long ball almost regardless of swing speed. Upon the last ball lab I bought a dozen each of the Maxfli tour and Tour X and they are definitely shorter. For me (and I know I’m not as long as I used to be) The longest and best feel and feedback ball is the Left Dash. And feedback in hitting and putting is OH SO important to my psyche

      Reply

      Morris

      2 years ago

      I’ve tested many balls and yes, tour & premium balls are the best, longest off the tee, well spinning around the green and good feedback with the putter. For me Titleist Pro V1 X and Taylor Made TP5 are the best. But, because of their price I’ve found that Bridgestone Tour BXS are nearly the same, only 5 yards less from the tee and Honma TWX is similar vith ProV1. I choose Honma just for the price, half from ProV1 or TP5.

      P.S. Please include Honma TWX in your next test lab. You will be surprised! ????

      Reply

      Kevin

      2 years ago

      Over the last few years I’ve used Project(a), BRX and AVX. This year I’m using the Honma TW-X as well. Don’t notice any difference compared to the expensive options, and a 3 piece urethane ball for £19 a dozen here in the UK is unheard of. Stocked up on them after using them for 3 rounds to test.

      Reply

      ralph

      2 years ago

      lots of interesting information being published

      Reply

      LOWEBOY

      2 years ago

      Pro V’s are the best to stash away to dunk in the pond. It breaks the hearts of the group when I tell them I am using a pro v water ball on those pesky par 3’s with water. Titleist has not received one penny of mine since 2010, and there are balls that are better than titleist out there, but I don’t get money for promoting titleist, so there’s that. Bridgestone E6, Srixon Soft Feel, and Callaway Superhot are fine golf balls and work best for my game.

      Reply

      Mike

      2 years ago

      Have to disagree about the water ball thing.. I fished hundreds of balls out of water (usually very close to the shoreline) that look as if they went in there that day or at most the day before. Many were absolutely mint condition, indistinguishable from new. And people wonder why I haven’t bought a new box of Pro v’1s in 14 years.

      But if you really want to piss me off, whip out a ball retriever & start fishing for balls when I’m waiting on the tee box & it’s a crowded Saturday afternoon!

      Reply

      Paul

      2 years ago

      In regards to water balls, I think the question is about micro-fractures in the cover of the gall ball. If there are none, then the ball might be fine as it is protected by the paint and cover material.

      However, after the first hit, the golf ball and more specifically the cover has been placed under significant stressors. One or more impacts has likely resulted in imperfections in the cover that might not be visible to the naked eye. These might let water seep into the core affecting the performance. And how much is unknown, until it is hit again (back into the water.)

      Reply

      Golfinnut

      2 years ago

      I was one of the Left Dot lovers! That ball just fits me. I sure hope it comes to retail.

      Reply

      bob

      2 years ago

      Any consideration in adding one of those putt-putt balls to the next ball test? They may not be long off the tee but I suspect they might do well in COR off of orange metal or concrete blocks along with launch angles off of ramps.

      Reply

      Dave R

      2 years ago

      I’d be curious to see how some of the super soft balls (thinking Bridgestone e6) perform relative to the balls tested last year at low-mid swing speeds. As a mid-speed player I don’t know if the evidence bears it out, but I feel like they’re rockets when I play them, particularly off irons.

      Reply

      Nick millar

      2 years ago

      I been using the vice pro plus and vice pro . Don’t know if that’s a good ball or not

      Reply

      Thomas

      2 years ago

      Hello Nick,

      in the last 5 years i have testet very much different ball brands.
      Since last year i play only Vice Pro Soft. and be very happy.

      The only last very good ball is the TM TP5 from 2017.

      Have a nice golf season.

      Greetings from Germany.

      Thomas.

      Reply

      thin2win

      2 years ago

      Tony! You state that dimples effect the trajectory of the ball flight. Can you give any insight as to how generally speaking? I.E. do fewer dimples fly lower with a lower peak height? Or the opposite? If someone is looking for a ball that stays lower in the wind is there a dimple pattern or count that would work better? Or
      -thanks

      Reply

      Brian

      2 years ago

      Thank you for all of the hard work you do. In my opinion this is the most important work you do, and what will benefit the most golfers. Before discovering MGS, I was the guy who played any decent ball I found or was on sale. I’m playing better than I ever have and without changing much other than using the same model ball every round. I don’t think its a coincidence.
      Thank you, keep it up!

      Reply

      Freddy

      2 years ago

      Question about hygroscopic properties of golf balls, is it possible that they can be dried out (even if it takes a longer period of time) back to their original performance or similar state?

      I’ve tried to look around for this but could not find any sort of information about testing that theory out.

      Reply

      JOHN MATULIK

      2 years ago

      This could lead to a new test. Take 2 balls from each MFG. Put one in a jar of water and the other in the open air. After 6 months or so, try to compare the 2 balls for any performance loss.

      Reply

      Steve

      2 years ago

      I say the water ball thing is mostly a myth.

      I’ve played balls that have been submerged in a creek for 20 years and can’t tell the difference. And if water really impacts golf balls to any noticeable degree, why haven’t the manufacturers been telling everyone a long time ago not to play them?

      I cannot find a single study that proves or hints this is real.

      Michael

      2 years ago

      Try baking your water balls at a very low setting for 24 hours. Just make sure to bake at a temp that is below the max temperature of the golf ball materials. If a ball has a method of absorbing water, that same ball will also allow that moisture to evaporate under the right conditions. Just don’t leave them on a metal rack!

      I used to do this with aircraft sensors that had water intrusion and had failed dielectric tests. Worked like a charm!

      Reply

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    First Look
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