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How do you test golf balls?


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#1 Canoe Paddler

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:06 PM

For those of you who have a favorite ball, I am curious to know how you came to your conclusion. Did you get on Trackman, just field test, prioritize certain categories to help correct weaknesses? I would like to settle on one ball, but I honestly can't tell enough of a difference between most of the premium balls.


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#2 nitram

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:13 PM

View PostCanoe Paddler, on 11 January 2018 - 08:06 PM, said:

I would like to settle on one ball, but I honestly can't tell enough of a difference between most of the premium balls.

And neither can 4 out of 5 amateur golfers.


As far as I'm concerned, field testing is the only way to test a ball but that's partially due to the fact I don't have ready access to a monitor anymore. First and foremost I judge by short game spin without hyper spin off the tee and durability.

Edited by nitram, 11 January 2018 - 08:18 PM.

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#3 Guia

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:19 PM

Some balls feel harder/softer than others, basically, as long as they are round they play the same for me.

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#4 Justsomeguy

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:32 PM

People remember their outliers. But it's also subjective feel, and for some, cost.
For instance, I can tell you w certainty that the 2015 Wilson Staff FG Tour Yellow was definitely my longest ever ball. I reached a couple par 5s w it that surprised me, and my dt solos were 50 yards short. But mightve been fluky bc I exercised that summer.
Can tell u Maxfli Ufli Soft is my favorite ball for the price, but I got a good deal around black Friday and played a couple good (for me) rounds. Again, fluky.
Same thing w TF Gamer Tour. Cost makes them great.
Same reason I dislike Bstone and Titleist in general, bc although they're overall good, I haven't had that zing moment w any of them and $45 dozens suck.
TM Tp5 and Tp5x on the other hand, wow what a ball. I feel it's the best out there bc I compare it to ProV, and I feel it exceeds it. But really, I like the Ufli's just as much.
Summation? Arbitrary, subjective, etc..
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#5 kiw1982

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:40 PM

For me,

1. Stock driver shots - if it is not oddly shot, passes.
2. Stock iron shots - if it does not balloon, passes.
3. short game and putts - mostly feel.

simple.

I play Ksig but my favorate is tp5.

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#6 Pigems

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:44 PM

Itís Field test for me. A ball has to have just the right amount of green side spin, not to much or to little. It also has to feel good off the club face on full swings and not overspin/underspin on approach shots. Then the putting, itís gotta come off the putter just right and feel good doing it, itís really hard to find a ball that checks off all the boxes. Good luck, try lots of different balls, itís fun :)

Edited by Pigems, 11 January 2018 - 08:45 PM.

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#7 ago33

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:44 AM

All balls are pretty much the same except for around the greens and putting so that is where I place most of my time to understand how the ball reacta
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Callaway Epic Sub Zero 9............................PX HZRDUS T1100 65 6.5
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#8 Z1ggy16

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:49 AM

With my putter and wedges. Mostly about feel... All tour level balls spin about the same amount give or take maybe 300-400 RPM.
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DR - '16 M2 Speeder Evo II 661 (Srixon Z785 on order)
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#9 MrJones

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:51 AM

I will have to play a ball multiple rounds before I feel like I really have a sense of how it's performing. How they feel is important to me and that usually is pretty easy to judge early on.

I like to go out in the afternoons and do comparisons of balls I "know" vs balls I'm trying out, especially around the green.


Driver and other full shots? Besides feel and sometimes ball flight I rarely see that much overall difference between the majority of balls.
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#10 mjforn

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:54 AM

My test is to play the same course twice. The front nine with one, then the other on the back. Next day play both balls again on the opposite nines.  
Not to scientific but this works for me.


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#11 augustgolf

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:00 AM

How do I test golf balls?

I ask them if they can explain the difference between the radius of a circle, the diameter of a circle, and the circumference of a circle.

Finally, I ask them to determine the area of a circle. *Remember: pies are round, but pi r square(d)"


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Dumb golf balls anyway
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#12 North Butte

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:17 AM

I play the same course several times a week and have done for quite a few years. So I can play a new or unfamiliar golf ball for three rounds, maybe including one round playing my usual ball as a second ball side by side on a few holes, and tell if it's very different than my normal ball of choice.

If it looks like I may want to start playing the new ball, I stop at half a dozen greens and hit the same chip or pitch shot two or three times each with the new ball and my usual ball. After a couple dozen short-game shots with each ball side by side I can tell if it's going to work in my short game.

That's about it. I can tell a longer or shorter distance or higher or lower trajectory fairly quickly since it's on a course I've played 1,000+ times with all sorts of different balls over the years.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#13 Bye

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 06:02 PM

It ball flight and feel.

What is the ball flight with a driver and long iron in to the wind. Can it be flighted down easily with a wedge and how does it feel chipping and putting.

Anything showing signs of ballooning or being too clicky gets dumped. I've played the same make for years now, at a push I will play one other OEM's ball.


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#14 joker2

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:35 PM

  • Look for all the recently discountinued premium/tour balls (softer/spinny version).
  • Test what is the cheapest (including tax and shipping if applicable)
  • Buy in bulk, enough to last through another release cycle.
  • Rinse/repeat.

Current ball is 2016 TM Tour Preferred @ less than $20/dozen.


Edited by joker2, 13 January 2018 - 09:13 PM.

Just say'in...

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#15 sdandrea

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:38 PM

On course over a full round.  Scores don't change much for me with different balls, but feel is critical to me as is chipping and putting response.

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#16 buckeyefl

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:53 PM

Start on the putting green. If everything works there then off to short pitches/chips. Then to full wedges. Then iron shots , preferably with the wind blowing. And last and least driver.

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#17 Radeon962

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:06 PM

Try them in the basement and then take them out for a round. Most of the premium balls are so similar in performance that if it feels similar I'll play it.  I prefer a firmer feeling ball but had no issues switching between Ksig, Nike RZN Pracrice, TM Lethal,  ProV1x and Callaway ChromeSoft this past season.

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#18 Break81

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:10 PM

I have at least 10 varieties of "tour" level urethane balls.  All can be great, and some are better than others at certain things.

   Today, the wind way UP, so I played the Srixon XV.  Probably my favorite ball anyway, but it is 2nd to none in wind performance.

    On baked fast green's, Prov1 , Srixon Z-Star , Nike Tour Plats all play extremely well, great shot game control.

Chrome Soft is a great overall performer. Long off the tee, ok in the wind and good greenside spin.

  Ksig, probably the longest ball in the bag on a good strike.  Price was too good to pass up.

Right now I am tinkering with some Vice product and the Pro is a great ball. Would rank it somewhere between the ProV1 and Prov1x. Going to try Pro+ next week.

    At the end of the day, I would say they are all perfectly suitable to play well, just a personal preference and what type of course / day the golf gods bestow upon you.
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#19 Sean2

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:16 PM

View Postbuckeyefl, on 13 January 2018 - 08:53 PM, said:

Start on the putting green. If everything works there then off to short pitches/chips. Then to full wedges. Then iron shots , preferably with the wind blowing. And last and least driver.

That is what I do as well.
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#20 just plain bill

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:21 PM

I must admit I am getting great results chipping, and really, 50yds in, with cs...dramatically so! Getting to be like target practice...I mean, what passes for target practice in my case...

drivers:    Ping Rapture, 12*,  Nike Sasquatch 16*
fwy:          Ping K15 5wd 19*  
hyb:         Ping G20:27* 31*
irons:       Ping Karsten  6,8,9, pw (ks 401 shafts sr flex)
wedges:   Ping Glide 60*   G20 58* lob, 54* sw, 50* gap. Steel shafts.
putter:      Odyssey Versa Jailbird
ball:          Chrome Soft
bag:          Ping cart
chess:      it's your turn  -  just plain bill

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#21 High Plains Driver

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:51 PM

Most balls give pretty close to the same distance in my experience.
  • First I chip and putt to see if I like the feel.
  • Next I take them to a short game area and hit pitches, chips, and flops to see how much greenside spin I get.
  • Finally, if it is still being considered after the above, I see how it does in the wind.

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#22 Uhit

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:41 AM

View Postbuckeyefl, on 13 January 2018 - 08:53 PM, said:

Start on the putting green. If everything works there then off to short pitches/chips. Then to full wedges. Then iron shots , preferably with the wind blowing. And last and least driver.

Yes, that is pretty much, how I also test different balls.

However, I want to add, that I favorably try real long putts with them ( > 50 feet), to see how distance control works, and the roll looks like.

In this department, I could verify, that the OnCore Elixr, and the Tour B XS, were outstanding for me.

Another interesting test is, how they accumulate dirt (and clean up) in wet conditions.

Durability, and discoloration is also something I look at.

To make it complete, I measure the weight of different units of the same ball,
and I make the floating test in salt water with different units of the same ball, to see, how the manufacturing quality is.

Last, I cut the unit in half, that exhibits the greatest unbalance in the salt water test, to see, what caused the unbalance.

Edited by Uhit, 14 January 2018 - 04:53 AM.


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#23 DivinDave

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:28 AM

For me its a field test
Like lots of hers, how does it feel of the putter face and how does it perform from 100 yds and in.

For the last 3 years the chrome soft has done it for me.

Edited by DivinDave, 14 January 2018 - 09:28 AM.

Experience - What's leaned just after you needed it most

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#24 Canoe Paddler

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:01 PM

It's interesting that so many are focused on the feel off the putter and natural distance control.  That's something I've never considered but really makes sense.

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#25 Break81

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:13 PM

Putter feel is very important.  That being said finding GIR and short game control are more
Important for me.  I can adjust to how a ball putts of a ball gets me from tee to green well.

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