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CT scores on "tour issue" heads and clubs ???


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#1 Redhill

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 05:36 PM

With the coming release of some new models by many of the OEMs there seem to be a fair number of "tour issue" heads and clubs showing up on Ebay and other sites.  Many of these offerings do not have the CT score listed on the tour department label or the CT scores have been blacked out.

CT is a component measurement of the COR number and below is a link to some simple data on it.  Basically a CT score of 239 = COR score of .83 and a CT score of 257= COR score of .837 which is the maximum allowed upper end.

Many of these "tour issue" club heads and clubs are showing CT scores of 224-238 +- and indicate to me that this tour club is really on the bottom end of performance.  When the labels are present in many cases they are blacked out to make them unreadable ?

My thoughts are that the high CT scores make it into the bags of the PGA players and the low CT scores make it onto the pages of EBay and other sites to be purchased by lads thinking they have scored a high performing club head.  You would have to look long to find a club head with a readable CT score of over 245

Makes you think about the tour departments dumping a lot of the low performing heads and clubs on some uninformed buyers.

http://www.hititlong...hey-affect-you/


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#2 killer21

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 08:56 PM

Yes, that is what I was wondering.  There are also heads dated 2013 with COR test labels on them and the old COR numbers.
I thought they switched to the 3 digit micro second numbers now to measure eg.257, so shouldn't this type of number be on the label?

If the COR numbers are in the .60 to .71 range is that well below the max or are these still good buys?
And is it better or worse than a retail driver? I guess unless you test a retail driver and compare you never really know.
Also why don't the guys write neater on those labels????
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#3 Redhill

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 10:33 PM

 killer21, on 25 September 2015 - 08:56 PM, said:

Yes, that is what I was wondering.  There are also heads dated 2013 with COR test labels on them and the old COR numbers.
I thought they switched to the 3 digit micro second numbers now to measure eg.257, so shouldn't this type of number be on the label?

If the COR numbers are in the .60 to .71 range is that well below the max or are these still good buys?
And is it better or worse than a retail driver? I guess unless you test a retail driver and compare you never really know.
Also why don't the guys write neater on those labels????

I am by far not an expert in this field just a casual observer.  However if you look at the range of CT scores from 239 to 257 and see that only accounting for an additional amount in the COR from .830 to 8.37 my guess is that, by interpolation, a COR score of .60 to .71  would not be a desirable head at all. Very substandard.   Remember that a CT of 239 equals .830 COR which is the standard.

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#4 nova6868

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 11:49 PM

I have also seen these CT numbers posted on all the tour-issue heads.

I was skeptical if E-bay was getting all the "not quite as hot" heads. After reading this thread, I'm still not sure what it means. Haha

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#5 killer21

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 04:15 PM

This is my guess as well, though they are left handed but that reason they are on Ebay is they are not as hot as the ones the tour guys grabbed up.
I was hoping they may be a bit hotter that my retail head but no way of telling unless I tested mine or to buy one and hope!  I guess when the price comes down a bit more there will only be one way to find out!

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#6 Llortamaisey

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 04:34 PM

I'm not sure what model head everyone is referring to but is there a possibility the model head in general is not very hot. Maybe all the heads have a low CT.

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#7 ronsc1985

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 06:08 PM

Befoe you guys get all bent out of shape you might want to compute what the difference in ball speed is between .83 and .837. It's 0.8% which is in the noise level of any ball speed measurement. Remember the COR gets added to 1 so the fraction is 1.837/1.83 not .837/.83 in the elastic collision equation from physics which is used to compute ball speed vs clubhead speed.

COR's in the 0.6-0.7 range are not from any club produced which is not broken. Persimmon drivers were in the .78 region.

Edited by ronsc1985, 26 September 2015 - 06:09 PM.


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#8 killer21

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 08:51 PM

I am trying to find out what the COR is on this ebay  Tour Issue LH SLDR 460 Listing and if it is a decently hot face.
If in fact the numbers on the sticker are COR tests??  Is this a good deal or worth upgrading over my 430 retail head?

fyi....
http://www.ebay.ca/i...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
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#9 LONG&STR8

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 11:36 PM

 killer21, on 25 September 2015 - 08:56 PM, said:

Yes, that is what I was wondering.  There are also heads dated 2013 with COR test labels on them and the old COR numbers.
I thought they switched to the 3 digit micro second numbers now to measure eg.257, so shouldn't this type of number be on the label?

If the COR numbers are in the .60 to .71 range is that well below the max or are these still good buys?
And is it better or worse than a retail driver? I guess unless you test a retail driver and compare you never really know.
Also why don't the guys write neater on those labels????

Retail drivers will have the same variances as all clubs do so it would be no better or worse. The only difference is that you won't find anyone playing a hot head on tour but if a retail head is over the limit no one would know since it isn't measured.

Edited by LONG&STR8 , 26 September 2015 - 11:36 PM.


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#10 TomWishon

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 01:10 PM

 Redhill, on 25 September 2015 - 05:36 PM, said:



CT is a component measurement of the COR number and below is a link to some simple data on it.  Basically a CT score of 239 = COR score of .83 and a CT score of 257= COR score of .837 which is the maximum allowed upper end.



This statement above is not true.   A CT measurement of 257 usecs is equivalent to a 0.830 COR.   A CT measurement of 239 usecs is equivalent to a COR of 0.822.  You can rely on that as fact because I have been designing clubheads since 1986 so I am well aware of this information from the USGA.  

The reason that there is a designation for 239 vs 257 in CT measurements is because the USGA wants club companies to design their high COR clubheads so that the design specs point to a 239 CT when every spec in the production of the head model is achieved perfectly.  They do not want companies to design their faces so that the CT would be 257 if all specs are hit perfectly.  

The USGA is well aware that every clubhead production factory on the planet has +/- tolerances in the production of the heads they make for the golf club companies.   The most critical spec for having an effect on the CT/COR is face thickness.   There are others, but this is the most important.   Most typical +/- tolerance for the face thickness of a high COR model is +/-0.1mm.   The USGA knows that if the companies set their design specs so that 239 CT is the norm, when heads come off the production line at the +/-0.1mm for face thickness, they know that none should be over the 257 CT limit.   It's still possible of course, but policing this by telling the companies to use 239 CT as the spec norm will prevent the problem of there being thousands and thousands of heads being sold at retail that would be over the CT limit.  

While it can vary due to other parameters in the design, basically if a head designed to be 239CT comes out of production with its face -0.1mm thinner than the spec, its CT would be right there at or around 257 CT, which is the upper limit for CT / COR in the rules of golf.  

In fact, when you send high COR models into the USGA for conformity testing, if the driver/wood is found to have a CT over 239 but less than 257, it is ruled provisionally conforming - which means the USGA is warning the company to watch their specs on the heads or to dial down the face specs so as to avoid the possibility of heads coming off the line over the CT/COR limit when the +/- tolerances affecting the CT/COR come into play.   If your test samples are at 239 or lower for the USGA CT test, then you get a fully conforming, no warning, letter from the USGA.  

The reason this USGA recommendation for a 239 CT came about is because some years ago when doing a random spot check of drivers, the USGA discovered drivers for sale that were over the 257CT limit in the rules.   The USGA would go out to a retail golf store and buy drivers to take back to the USGA for CT conformity testing.  They did this as a way for them to check up on what the companies were doing in their actual production of heads that had been submitted to the USGA and ruled to be conforming.   And in this situation from some years ago, they did catch some over the limit drivers which were subsequently ruled to be non conforming - which caused the companies to have to go back and re design the heads with a different cosmetic marking to then be re submitted to the USGA and re checked in the conformity ruling.  

A pain in the neck in other words for the companies, plus a little bit embarrassing as well.   These days I have not heard if the USGA is still conducting random driver checks for the CT.  But this one incident from years ago was so publicized that it did in essence put the "fear of the USGA" into the minds of the companies.  So it's more than likely most companies today will design their high COR heads so that if all specs for the face are hit perfectly, the actual CT would be not higher than 239 so it would be well under the 257 limit in the rules when any of the usual +/- tolerance matters kick in during mass production.  

As to the companies' stickers and all that, the USGA has told all companies that they do not want any company using CT measurements in any form of marketing of the companies' clubs.  Most companies respect this.   Stickers with CT measurements or other spec measurements are commonly used by all companies in checking heads.  Why one would have its CT blacked out I can't say for sure.  Could be that they didn't want to "risk" this credo from the USGA, could be something else.  

Now it will be true that when it comes to the tour players' drivers and high COR clubs, the companies will perform repeated CT measurements to be 100% sure that no club they give a tour player would be over the 257CT limit.   Most will not even get that close to 257 with their tour players' clubs and will keep their clubheads not higher than 250 CT.   Reason is because whoever is putting on the tournament in which the pros are playing, whether that be the USGA, PGA Tour or whoever, does have the right to perform their own CT testing at the tournament - should there be any suspicion that a player might be using a club with a CT over the limit.  

To my knowledge, this has not ever been done.  But it is a possibility the companies are aware of.   I personally know of no tournament since the COR rule went into effect in 1998 in which players' drivers or clubs were measured out of a suspicion of something being non conforming.    Suffice to say that it would be very embarrassing for the player, and very much so for his sponsoring company, were something like this to happen.  Hence the companies do not even want to mess with a risk of this so the clubs they make for the tour players would typically be several points well under the CT limit just to be completely safe and careful.  

And in the end, it really is not much of a deal.   For a clubhead speed of 110mph, which is close to average on the tour, the difference in carry distance between a driver of 0.830 and one at 0.890 for the COR would not be more than 10 yds or so.  So if you are talking a difference between 0.822 (239CT) and 0.830 (257CT), even at 110mph you are talking about a tiny difference.   And as clubhead speed is lower, so too is the distance difference per each increment difference in the CT of the face.  

Hope this info helps a little


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#11 killer21

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 09:59 PM

I guess I missed the point a bit before reading Tom's post: Seems I am just an average guy looking for a high CT score driver when the point of the test is to make sure the drivers are well within the limits as not to break any PGA rules by being over so really the odds are against any really high scores as it could compromise a tour player if the driver gets into his hands, so essentially lower is better to be safe as they don't need any help from a hot driver.
After reading this, I have a better understanding of this test why the scores are what they are.
Probably not going to make a like of difference in my game overall other than the confidence of having CT tested driver that is not a dud.

Definitely making me re-think the whole tour issue driver craving.  Probably saved me some dough too. (who am I kidding, if the price is right, I will do some of my own R&D on the course!)
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#12 Stuart G.

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:11 AM

 Redhill, on 29 September 2015 - 02:17 AM, said:

Did you read the link?   Apparently not.

Are you really trying to convince us that some quote from an undisclosed source, on an undisclosed forum, re-posted by someone with no actual club design or manufacturing experience is more believable or reliable than the information provided here by someone who's been in the business of designing and building clubs for over 35 years and has to deal directly with the usga's testing requirements?

Edited by Stuart G., 29 September 2015 - 06:27 AM.


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#13 nova6868

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:28 AM

Thanks Tom. Very interesting that the manufacturing "goal" is 239 and the actual limit is 257. I understand they have to allow for some variance.

Most of the heads I have seen on EBay were 235-240. You definitely aren't getting a "hot" head here. Average really. It's a tiny difference, but still good to know the facts.



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#14 pinhigh27

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:30 AM

 killer21, on 28 September 2015 - 09:59 PM, said:

I guess I missed the point a bit before reading Tom's post: Seems I am just an average guy looking for a high CT score driver when the point of the test is to make sure the drivers are well within the limits as not to break any PGA rules by being over so really the odds are against any really high scores as it could compromise a tour player if the driver gets into his hands, so essentially lower is better to be safe as they don't need any help from a hot driver.
After reading this, I have a better understanding of this test why the scores are what they are.
Probably not going to make a like of difference in my game overall other than the confidence of having CT tested driver that is not a dud.

Definitely making me re-think the whole tour issue driver craving.  Probably saved me some dough too. (who am I kidding, if the price is right, I will do some of my own R&D on the course!)

A dud?  People on this site always have no frame of reference.  It's less than 1 percent of difference.  If that's the difference between stud or dud then idk what to tell you.  That's gonna be like 2-3 yards if all is equal
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#15 MadGolfer76

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:42 AM

 Redhill, on 29 September 2015 - 02:17 AM, said:


Did you read the link?   Apparently not.

Red, here are two quotes from the link:
http://www.hititlong...hey-affect-you/

"Are your hands weak?  Oops, more energy transfer loss, because you are not strong enough to absorb all of the vibration from the collision of impact."

"Is your driver "loud"?  Oops, even more energy transfer loss, because energy is expelled creating sound..."

Not sure this is worth your time.

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#16 Stuart G.

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 07:05 AM

 MadGolfer76, on 29 September 2015 - 06:42 AM, said:

 Redhill, on 29 September 2015 - 02:17 AM, said:

Did you read the link?   Apparently not.

Red, here are two quotes from the link:
http://www.hititlong...hey-affect-you/

"Are your hands weak?  Oops, more energy transfer loss, because you are not strong enough to absorb all of the vibration from the collision of impact."

"Is your driver "loud"?  Oops, even more energy transfer loss, because energy is expelled creating sound..."

Not sure this is worth your time.

I didn't even get that far.  I stopped paying attention at:

Are you using a very flexible shaft?  Guess what, the more flexible the shaft, the lower the energy transfer to the ball, due to shaft deflection at impact.

Edited by Stuart G., 29 September 2015 - 07:06 AM.


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#17 Llortamaisey

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:14 AM

 Stuart G., on 29 September 2015 - 07:05 AM, said:

 MadGolfer76, on 29 September 2015 - 06:42 AM, said:

 Redhill, on 29 September 2015 - 02:17 AM, said:

Did you read the link?   Apparently not.

Red, here are two quotes from the link:
http://www.hititlong...hey-affect-you/

"Are your hands weak?  Oops, more energy transfer loss, because you are not strong enough to absorb all of the vibration from the collision of impact."

"Is your driver "loud"?  Oops, even more energy transfer loss, because energy is expelled creating sound..."

Not sure this is worth your time.

I didn't even get that far.  I stopped paying attention at:

Are you using a very flexible shaft?  Guess what, the more flexible the shaft, the lower the energy transfer to the ball, due to shaft deflection at impact.

I didn't read the article. Did it say anything about lime green increasing energy transfer by chance?

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#18 Socrates

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:25 AM

 Redhill, on 29 September 2015 - 02:17 AM, said:

Did you read the link?   Apparently not.
I read the link and I know when someone is talking through their hat.  Do you?  Apparently not.

Suffice it to say, the linked article is full of it.
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#19 killer21

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 05:29 PM

 pinhigh27, on 29 September 2015 - 06:30 AM, said:

 killer21, on 28 September 2015 - 09:59 PM, said:

I guess I missed the point a bit before reading Tom's post: Seems I am just an average guy looking for a high CT score driver when the point of the test is to make sure the drivers are well within the limits as not to break any PGA rules by being over so really the odds are against any really high scores as it could compromise a tour player if the driver gets into his hands, so essentially lower is better to be safe as they don't need any help from a hot driver.
After reading this, I have a better understanding of this test why the scores are what they are.
Probably not going to make a like of difference in my game overall other than the confidence of having CT tested driver that is not a dud.

Definitely making me re-think the whole tour issue driver craving.  Probably saved me some dough too. (who am I kidding, if the price is right, I will do some of my own R&D on the course!)

A dud?  People on this site always have no frame of reference.  It's less than 1 percent of difference.  If that's the difference between stud or dud then idk what to tell you.  That's gonna be like 2-3 yards if all is equal

I have  picked up a driver and instantly know after a swing or two when the face isn't as hot as your gamer. In my books that's a dud, maybe I should have clarified not as hot feeling as others.  In my mind, I want what I think is the absolute hottest driver for me to take one veriable out of my mind and erase the doubt that  there is something better out there.  I'm 95% happy with my gamer set up. It's straight but if I can have the same or similar set up and get a couple/few more yards I'm looking for it!  (The tinkering is half the fun).  However this thread minus the Wishon bashing is making me change the way I think about Tour Issue Drivers....so I am happy to have participated in it.  The Holy Grail probably won't be for sale on Ebay.
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#20 GwrxMod

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 09:58 PM

Multiple posts removed.

While debating and discussion are fine, we will not tolerate rudeness, insulting posts, personal attacks, or purposeless inflammatory posts.

OP, this topic will remain open as long as it remains civil. Bashing a WRX sponsor, or any member for that matter, will not be tolerated.


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#21 killer21

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 11:42 PM

 Stuart G., on 29 September 2015 - 07:05 AM, said:

 MadGolfer76, on 29 September 2015 - 06:42 AM, said:

 Redhill, on 29 September 2015 - 02:17 AM, said:

Did you read the link?   Apparently not.

Red, here are two quotes from the link:
http://www.hititlong...hey-affect-you/

"Are your hands weak?  Oops, more energy transfer loss, because you are not strong enough to absorb all of the vibration from the collision of impact."

"Is your driver "loud"?  Oops, even more energy transfer loss, because energy is expelled creating sound..."

Not sure this is worth your time.

I didn't even get that far.  I stopped paying attention at:

Are you using a very flexible shaft?  Guess what, the more flexible the shaft, the lower the energy transfer to the ball, due to shaft deflection at impact.

If you kept reading and took in proper context:...
"Fortunately, most equations that invoke the law of conservation of momentum have variables that are negligible in a practical sense, so they can be thrown out in most cases (i.e. don't worry about the sound of your driver, the energy loss is negligible to it's effects on distance)."
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#22 Stuart G.

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 03:01 AM

 killer21, on 29 September 2015 - 11:42 PM, said:

 Stuart G., on 29 September 2015 - 07:05 AM, said:


I didn't even get that far.  I stopped paying attention at:

Are you using a very flexible shaft?  Guess what, the more flexible the shaft, the lower the energy transfer to the ball, due to shaft deflection at impact.

If you kept reading and took in proper context:...
"Fortunately, most equations that invoke the law of conservation of momentum have variables that are negligible in a practical sense, so they can be thrown out in most cases (i.e. don't worry about the sound of your driver, the energy loss is negligible to it's effects on distance)."

Yes, I did see it.  But those "variables" mentioned (shaft flex, how soft/firm the hands, sound) are not valid variables that just happen to be "negligible" in the context of the swing, they are not actually valid variables to begin with and should never have been mentioned in the first place.

Edited by Stuart G., 30 September 2015 - 03:01 AM.


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#23 Golfrnut

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 07:26 AM

I guess I missed a lot!   :)
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#24 VinceRKG

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 12:16 PM

A high CT head doesnt even mean you will hit it further or better, most companies have not even found the magic CT number to match a players swing speed. Lots of things come into play with a CT migrating higher as you hit it as well, from B&R to thickness of face, as well metal used and the Rockwell hardness. So much, that its very very very very hard for OEM clubs to have a head that will not move up in migration of CT numbers. They will most likely stay stag as they are cast and painted. Its been fun these years on the back side of this info and helping start the foundation of migration issues and working with lots of variable to see what makes what happen.
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#25 jbole267

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:28 AM

So is a 249 CT head extremely difficult to come by? What exactly would I notice here in reality from a regular manufactured head?

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#26 Golfrnut

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:11 AM

 jbole267, on 13 February 2018 - 12:28 AM, said:

So is a 249 CT head extremely difficult to come by? What exactly would I notice here in reality from a regular manufactured head?

You are mostly just paying for a number when you see the "hot" CT tested heads.  The actual difference between one you normally see that is on the low side vs a "hot" head is measured in decimal points of ball speed differences, not whole numbers.  If a half MPH of ball speed is worth the extra cost then go for it.
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#27 TollBros

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:41 PM

As has been stated, most of the Tour heads you will see are in the low to mid 240 range for CT. The difference between that and 257 is basically nothing. Maybe 2-3 yards, which nobody is hitting a driver pure enough 100% of the time to ever really notice that. As long as it's around 240 or better don't even worry about it.
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#28 FlaBoy239

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:01 PM

Tour guys are not playing hot heads. TM would never put a driver in a players hand that is anywhere near that 257 mark. The very minimal gain in distance isn't worth it.

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#29 Valtiel

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:16 PM

 TollBros, on 14 February 2018 - 03:41 PM, said:

As has been stated, most of the Tour heads you will see are in the low to mid 240 range for CT. The difference between that and 257 is basically nothing. Maybe 2-3 yards, which nobody is hitting a driver pure enough 100% of the time to ever really notice that. As long as it's around 240 or better don't even worry about it.

Until you miss that bunker carry by 2-3 yards and curse your underspec'd dead driver. :D
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#30 falken19150

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:23 PM

What's difference between a CTA and CTB score?


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