AskMyGolfSpy Vol. 35
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AskMyGolfSpy Vol. 35

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AskMyGolfSpy Vol. 35

AskMyGolfSpy is an opportunity to submit questions to our experts here at MGS. You can pass along your questions to the team on Twitter,Facebook, Instagram or right here in the comments section below!  

Q: Will softer balls land more softly and roll less on the green than harder ones? I struggle with length (slow swing speed) so I end up having to use long clubs to hit the green and therefore almost no spin. Will a soft ball roll out less than a harder one? -richk9holes 

Painting with my usual broad strokes, I’ll start by saying that, generally, a soft ball will roll more on the green than a firmer (higher-compression) ball. The typical design characteristics of low-compression (soft) golf balls are high flight with low spin. The high flight helps increase the landing angle which works to offset the spin loss. 

As you move closer to the green and start hitting partial (less than full height) shots, it becomes more difficult to offset spin with descent angle. 

Once you’re greenside, softer balls are at a significant disadvantage as it relates to stopping power. To generate spin on a shorter shot, the ball needs to have a soft cover and a firm mantle layer. 

In two-piece designs, you have no mantle layer, just a firm cover over a soft core. That’s never going to spin. 

With three-piece soft designs, to maintain the soft feel, the mantle layer needs to be softer than it would be on a high-compression ball. Without the firm backstop for the soft cover to pinch against, greenside spin is lower than it is with most high-compression offerings. 

Q: What’s your favorite golf app and why? – FallenSabber 

Full disclosure: I’m not a huge golf app guy. The golf app I use the most is the Stack System (it’s required for the speed-training program). 

As far as on-course stuff goes, I’ve used Arccos off and on for several years but when I’m playing poorly (as I am right now), it can be frustrating (penalty strokes, missed putts, etc.) to input data accurately. 

As far as GPS stuff goes, we’ve covered both Golf Shot and SwingU recently. Both offer free GPS and a rich set of additional features with their subscription plans. 

The GPS app I’m using these days is from Bushnell. It’s intended to be a complement to Bushnell rangefinders and, if memory serves, you need a Bushnell rangefinder serial number to activate it. 

The app is easy to use and I like the graphics. As you’d expect, it has a scorecard and basic stat tracking. It’s not as robust as some of the others but if you’re looking to keep it simple (and you have a Bushnell rangefinder), it works really well. 

Q: Which club manufacturers are currently used in AI to design their faces and which ones aren’t? – dmack099 

The AI-designed Flash Face of the Callaway Epic Driver

With allowances for the fact that AI is kind of a catch-all … 

I know with certainty that Callaway, COBRA and Titleist are. Given what PING has done in other areas, I’m confident that they’re leveraging AI in some capacity and I’d be shocked (though I’m not positive) if TaylorMade wasn’t as well. 

If asked to put money on it one way or another, I’d bet that PXG is, too. 

After that, it’s harder to say, though I think it’s safe to assume that some of the smaller brands can’t afford the horsepower and don’t have the software engineering expertise in-house to make AI viable. 

From a practical standpoint, if your business is largely single-piece forged clubs, the upside of AI isn’t nearly as high. 

Q: Why hasn’t someone in the industry created a simple comparison chart for shafts? If you have an iron shaft you fit into and love the results, why can’t you find a driver shaft that fits that profile? 

Someone has … kinda. 

It’s not intended for average golfers (it’s mostly licensed to fitters) but the CoolClubs S3 database has profile information for nearly every imaginable shaft. It’s a fantastic tool to do exactly what you’re asking about. 

That said, I’m not sure that finding a driver profile that matches your iron profile is the best approach. Your iron swing likely isn’t the same as your driver swing and many instructors would likely tell you it shouldn’t be. 

Here’s a quick example based on what I’ve been fitted into.  

A CoolClubs S3 shaft profile comparing 3 shafts.

The Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 is a really good iron shaft for me. Well, I hope it is. It’s what I’ve been fitted into in each of my last six full iron fittings. 

EI curves for irons and drivers will never match perfectly because of the shorter length of irons but I would describe the Modus 120 as having a stiff handle section, a soft middle and a slightly firm tip section. 

I could probably dig through the database and find a near-perfect match but the Ventus Blue 6X is reasonably similar to the Modus. At a minimum, the profiles share similar traits: stiff handle, softer mid-section, slightly firm tip.  

As a quick aside, the profile is similar to many Fujikura Speeder offerings as well as nearly everything in the Graphite Design TOUR AD lineup. 

Does this mean the Ventus Blue is the best (or a really good) driver shaft for me? 

I played the Blue when it first launched and it worked well enough but, in my recent fittings, I’ve been consistently fitted into the Ventus Black which has a noticeably flatter EI curve. 

It’s different than what I play in the irons. 

Again, the driver swing isn’t the iron swing and that means that what works really well for one may not work for the other. 

Q: I have always had an issue with a slice. I’ve been playing the PING 410 SFT driver the last few years. It has helped with my slice, however, I now hook it sometimes. I am about to purchase a new PING G430 Driver. Since I’ve seen some improvement with my slice, I’m wondering if I should stick with the SFT model or go with the MAX with the adjustable weight?? Any advice would be appreciated! 

the PING G430 SFT Driver

The simple advice is to try them both and see how it shakes out.  

With the G430 line, PING has tweaked the SFT with an adjustable heel weight. When the weight is in the DRAW+ position, shot-shape correction will be similar to past SFT drivers. In the standard DRAW position, the G430 SFT it’s a bit less draw-biased.

Eyeballing the charts I have from PING, call it 20 yards worth of correction in the DRAW+ position and 13-14 yards in the DRAW position. 

The PING G430 MAX is designed to be entirely neutral when the weight is in the middle. In the DRAW position, you’re looking at about eight yards of help. 

Is eight yards of draw bias enough or do you need more? 

Another consideration is loft. The G430 SFT is only available in 10.5 degrees. If you need less (or more) loft, then the MAX will likely be the better choice. 

Titleist ProV1 and ProV1x golf balls

Despite now being $55 a dozen for everything made at Ball Plant 2, Titleist remains solidly the No. 1 ball on the market so it doesn’t seem like we’ve hit the cap yet. 

There will be new premium balls on the market from Bridgestone, Callaway and TaylorMade next year so it will be interesting to see who raises prices to match Titleist. My hunch is that two of the three will. 

There’s a perception game that gets played with price and not everyone is comfortable getting out-premiumed by the other guys. The objective is to avoid being perceived as a lesser brand and, to an extent, matching price (no matter how high) is one way to do that. 

The upside in all of this is that it opens doors for smaller brands to make inroads at lower price points. 

The downside is that higher prices from big OEMs might allow direct-to-consumer brands to raise prices as well. They can maintain the same value proposition (at least on a dollar-for-dollar basis) with the big guys while increasing revenue. 

Hopefully, that doesn’t happen. If it does, we all know who loses. 

Q: Are y’all testing any of the Seed balls? I’ve always wanted to see how they would perform against the big dogs!!! – Th3JaunAndOnly 

That’s up to you (and our other readers) to decide. 

We’ll be testing 50 models in this year’s test. As it stands now (subject to change), 40 of those spots have been filled. The remaining 10 will be put up for a vote with the readers deciding which golf balls will round out our testing field. 

More Questions?  

As always, if you have any questions for the MGS crew (and they don’t have to be about the golf ball), drop them below for a chance to be featured in next week’s AskMyGolfSpy!  

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      Richard

      8 months ago

      Just seeing this article for the first time – thanks for linking it in today’s must-read stories post.
      On the shaft profile question – There is some shaft info over at the golfworks website in their technical section of the webpage. They rate the shaft flex and give it a four letter code (MPF rating) that you should be able to use to generate a comparable driver shaft based on what you have in your irons.

      Has anyone at MyGolfSpy taken a look at those shaft ‘MPF’ charts, and possibly checked to see if their data is accurate?

      Reply

      Jonathan B

      10 months ago

      Why aren’t the recent npg podcasts not appearing in Google Podcasts app or other podcast apps? Does my question qualify for a headcover. Thanks

      Reply

      DufferE

      12 months ago

      Would MGS undertake a 2-part test? First, do groove sharpeners really work? Maybe find an unused wedge from a couple of years ago and compare it to a used one, then sharpen the used one and compare results. Then, a “Best Groove Sharpener” test.

      Reply

      Matt M

      12 months ago

      When is TaylorMade going to release their next generation of TP5 and TP5x golf balls? Believe the current models came out in early 2021 meaning they are 2+ years old and I thought TM was on a 2 year refresh cycle like the other major golf ball manufacturers.

      Reply

      Mike

      12 months ago

      Those marshmallows in the picture above gave me nightmares. 2 weeks ago, some idiot playing on our course decided to drop a marshmallows in various spots in the fairway on each hole. Imagine how that slowed up play while people went to them and thought it might be their ball. The stupidity of some people.

      Reply

      Greg

      12 months ago

      Quick note that Srixon *is* using AI, at least in (some of) their iron designs. The question didn’t explicitly say driver/woods :D

      Reply

      David VanGelder

      12 months ago

      I cannot find clarification in the official rules of golf on whether or nor it’s legal to have something in your hand as you putt. I discovered the other day that if I hold a golfball in my lower hand (left in my case, being a left handed player) that takes away any wristy or handsy action when I stroke a putt. Is it legal? I bet not..

      Reply

      MarkM

      12 months ago

      That’s a great training aid to get that feel in your hands/wrist, but definitely not legal to use on the course.

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      12 months ago

      Is there a specific rule or interpretation saying so?

      Yaaqob

      12 months ago

      Probably rule 4.3(a)?
      A player may use equipment to help them play during a round, except that a player must not create a potential advantage by:

      Using equipment (other than a club or a ball) that artificially eliminates or reduces the need for a skill or judgment that is essential to the challenge of the game, or

      Using equipment (including a club or a ball) in an abnormal way in making a stroke. “Abnormal way” means a way that is fundamentally different than its intended use and is not normally recognized as part of playing the game.

      Reply

      Da Slammer

      12 months ago

      Rule 4.3 Section A5:
      (5) Gloves and Gripping Agents.
      • Allowed.
      » Using a plain glove that meets the requirements in the Equipment Rules,
      » Using resin, powders and other moisturizing or drying agents, or
      » Wrapping a towel or handkerchief around the grip.
      • Not Allowed.
      » Using a glove that does not meet the requirements in the Equipment Rules, or
      » Using other equipment that gives an unfair advantage with hand position or grip pressure.

      Reply

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