2002 Golf Ball Report|
Within the last year, there has been a tremendous number of new golf balls introduced to the market. While some manufacturers have reduced the number of golf balls in their lineup, we have seen others increase their number. New manufacturing methods and processes have brought the end of the wound balata balls and open the door for innovative two and three piece designs. Trying to understand the differences in the vast number of models in pro shops today has become overwelming at best. This report is intended to provide some additional data to assist in the selection of your next golf ball. We have grouped the golf balls into three categories: Premium, Mid-Level, and Value. The Premium category consists of golf balls that typically are over $30 in cost and represent the upper end of performance in spin, distance, and feel. The Mid-Level category consists of golf balls that are generally priced in the $20-30 range and represent a combination of spin and distance. The Value category consists of golf balls that are less than $20 per dozen and are characterized as distance balls with little to moderate spin. Over the next couple of months, we will add our results to each category data as it is compiled and provide our observations and conclusions.
This study was performed by an Equip2Golf evaluator on the Swing Dynamics Ball Flight Monitor using brand new golf balls. Golf balls were selected at random one at a time and hit on the monitor. Only shots hit in the "sweet area" were tabulated; mishits were re-tried until a solid shot occured. Therefore, in some cases it took 2 or 3 shots to get one to count. After all 20 brands were hit, the procedure was repeated until 20 solid shots were recorded for each golf ball brand. Trimmed averages were computed by eliminating the lowest two and highest two values and then computing the mean of the middle 16 values. The trimmed averages mitigate the effects of extraneous values which can skew the mean.
Testing was performed by Equip2Golf Staff, Bob Vislocky of Charlottesville, VA, who has been playing golf for 26 years, has a USGA index of +0.6, and holds a PhD in Meteorology with emphasis on statistical applications. Neither Bob nor any member of the Equip2Golf staff are affiliated with nor have any personal interest in any golf company. As with any testing, however, it is important to note that "your mileage may vary", and that the results presented within this report may differ based on golfer, swing type, weather, or other factors.
Cross Category Comparisons
While the testing procedures are the same for each category, when comparing one golf ball from one category to another, a word of caution is warranted. Since tests were conducted on different days there are a couple of items that influence the results for that particular test. Specifically, the ambient temperature at the test location and inconsistencies in the evaluator's swing. To mitigate that effect in each category test, we have included two balls from another category to serve as benchmarks. Using the results of these benchmark golf balls, comparisons can be made via inference. For example, to compare the Precept Tour Advantage (Mid-Level Category) and a Nike Tour Accuracy (Premium Category): the Precept Tour Advantage spin rate on a wedge was 989 rpms less than the Wilson True Tour (Benchmark Golf Ball) in the Mid-Level Category and the Nike Tour Accuracy was 251 rpms greater than the Wilson True Tour in the Premium Category thus the Nike Tour Accuracy is 1240 rpms greater than the Precept Tour Advantage. When comparing golf balls across categories, this type of inference will be more accurate than comparing the results directly between ball categories.
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