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Temperature of a golf ball vs performance?

Heating a ball

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#1 Rockminer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

This thread has spawned from a thread in the rules section about hand warmers being against the rules as far as keeping, or warming, a ball during a round. The rules state that you can heat golf balls to whatever temp you wish before the round starts. The discussion, in the rules forum, was about what one could use to keep them warm once the round started. Different devices were mentioned and we got to a point where we needed some clarification as to what was legal. This was posted in that thread by Dukedsp;

I just emailed the USGA about this question ad recieved an answer within 6 minutes. He did not post the exact answer but the jist was;

1. They reference decision 14-3 /13.5
2. They go on to say a ball warmed, prior to a round, can be kept warm by the following means; by placing them in an insulated fabric container or in a rigid vacuume-insulated container such as a thermos bottle, or by placing them in a special pocket intended to make the best use of the persons body heat provided that such a pocket did not amplify the effect.

With this information in mind, I would like to have a discussion about the validity of golf ball temp vs. performance.

I did some minor searching and found this;
http://search.yahoo....worth/index.htm

I am no math wizard and I'm hoping that someone can run the numbers and see if there is an advantage to heating a golf ball, to a certain point, to achieve maximum performance. It seems clear to me that if one could gain an advantage by heating the ball that there are ways, within the rules, to keep said golf balls at a pretty constant temp throughout the round.

For the record I have never heated a ball before. I don't know that I would in the future. Just found an article that seemed to prove that there was difference. I just don't know how to run the numbers to relate it to a ball being struck vs dropped from 7 feet.

Seems like a fun subject and I have not seen it discussed on here. ( I'm fairly new so I could be wrong )

EDIT: the link I originaly posted was wrong. I have corrected it. I'm not very good at links so it says that yahoo doesn't support it. I clicked to go ahead and see it, and it worked. If someone wants to post it another way so it works better thats ok.

Edited by Rockminer, 19 November 2012 - 12:52 PM.


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#2 drbonesvt

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:35 PM

Not what your looking for on direct heating, ive read a piece that cited titleist research below 60* F every 10* your losing 8-10 yds. What's been explained to me previously that even using hand warmers violates the rules.  It was further explained to me I was best using a 2 piece ball in colder sub 50 conditions. Like a Wilson 2 piece.

#3 nbg352

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.
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#4 Rockminer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.

I edited my link (as it was wrong the fist time ) not sure if you saw it or the old one. He seems to get some different results from heating and cooling but i'm not sure how to interprate the results. You may very well be right about performance.

#5 nbg352

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

In the days of wound golf balls with balata covers and liquid centers, it was necessary to keep balls indoors prior to playing them and to keep them warm during play.. Otherwise they became quite hard as the liquid centre froze and the windings tightened. Today's ball requires no such pampering.

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#6 drbonesvt

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostRockminer, on 19 November 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.

I edited my link (as it was wrong the fist time ) not sure if you saw it or the old one. He seems to get some different results from heating and cooling but i'm not sure how to interprate the results. You may very well be right about performance.

http://www.titleist..../5/t/18563.aspx


#7 Rockminer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:32 PM

In the experiment he says that he achieved the best bounce results at 45-55 celcius ( 113-131 fahrenheit ) I don't know how to crunch the numbers to compare it to a golf shot. He also didn't use a variety of golf balls. I'm not saying this article is law, just wondering if there is something to it. I have not seen any definitive studies on the subject. This person got different results with different temps. I'm just wondering if it's something that can be equated to an advantage in cold or even warm weather. ( as far as a golf shot )

With the weather getting colder, seems like a good time for an experiment. Maybe a + handicapper can heat up some balls and play them against some normal or colder temp balls, And see if there is a difference. If there is any advantage at all, to be had, it would be a virtually free way to get such an advantage.

#8 nbg352

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:38 PM

View Postdrbonesvt, on 19 November 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

View PostRockminer, on 19 November 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.

I edited my link (as it was wrong the fist time ) not sure if you saw it or the old one. He seems to get some different results from heating and cooling but i'm not sure how to interprate the results. You may very well be right about performance.

http://www.titleist..../5/t/18563.aspx
If you read their prior R&D you will see that ball temperature is a very minor factor. Even this link suggests that other factors such as clothing affect distance. The prinmary enemy of distance is air density. Period.
R11S 8* square; Stock stiff
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RBZ 25* hb; RBZstage 2 19* hb
R7 Draw 5 - AW stock stiff graphite
GM Never Compromise GM2 putter
54*, 58* Callaway X series Jaws 4* flat

#9 nbg352

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 01:38 PM, said:

View Postdrbonesvt, on 19 November 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

View PostRockminer, on 19 November 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.

I edited my link (as it was wrong the fist time ) not sure if you saw it or the old one. He seems to get some different results from heating and cooling but i'm not sure how to interprate the results. You may very well be right about performance.

http://www.titleist..../5/t/18563.aspx
If you read their prior R&D you will see that ball temperature is a very minor factor. Even this link suggests that other factors such as clothing affect distance. The prinmary enemy of distance is air density. Period.

R11S 8* square; Stock stiff
R7 3w stock stiff
RBZ 25* hb; RBZstage 2 19* hb
R7 Draw 5 - AW stock stiff graphite
GM Never Compromise GM2 putter
54*, 58* Callaway X series Jaws 4* flat

#10 matchavez

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:41 PM

Exposure with those materials and that size... whatever advantage you get is gone by shot 3 in your round.

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#11 drbonesvt

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 01:40 PM, said:

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 01:38 PM, said:

View Postdrbonesvt, on 19 November 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

View PostRockminer, on 19 November 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.

I edited my link (as it was wrong the fist time ) not sure if you saw it or the old one. He seems to get some different results from heating and cooling but i'm not sure how to interprate the results. You may very well be right about performance.

http://www.titleist..../5/t/18563.aspx
If you read their prior R&D you will see that ball temperature is a very minor factor. Even this link suggests that other factors such as clothing affect distance. The prinmary enemy of distance is air density. Period.

I agree , I was just trying to give the OP the info.  I've read a plethora of different theories  on temperature vs performance of a golf ball. My intention wasn't a debate your position nor to challenge it.

#12 Rockminer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 01:38 PM, said:

View Postdrbonesvt, on 19 November 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

View PostRockminer, on 19 November 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postnbg352, on 19 November 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Temperature has very little effect on the resiliency or performance of a modern golf ball. Rather, as air temperature declines, the air becomes denser. This dense air increases friction and affects the distance a golf ball travels, not the temperature of the ball itself.
There are several threads on this for your convenience.
Suffice to say that distance is affected by approximately 1% for each 10* difference below 90*F......due to increasing air density.
Ball warmers, even if legal would not improve the performance of a modern golf ball. Using a low compression ball will create better feel, but no improvement in distance, unless the ball in question was already better suited to the user than his usual ball.

I edited my link (as it was wrong the fist time ) not sure if you saw it or the old one. He seems to get some different results from heating and cooling but i'm not sure how to interprate the results. You may very well be right about performance.

http://www.titleist..../5/t/18563.aspx
If you read their prior R&D you will see that ball temperature is a very minor factor. Even this link suggests that other factors such as clothing affect distance. The prinmary enemy of distance is air density. Period.

I don't know if it is a minor factor or not. in the answer he clearly stated that a cold ball will lose distance. he never said how much.( let's take the clothing theory out of the equation and concentrate on the ball ) He said they recommend using a ball at Room Temp. Did they try to heat one to see if it would perform better? Also, in that link, someone responds that he placed a sleeve on his dash and slightly heated them and had a precieved difference in the "feel" of the ball. I don't know how many "feel" threads i've come across, on this site, but it is a lot. ( balls,clubs grips etc.) What if this achieves nothing more than the ability to play your premium ball in the winter and not have to play a winter ball?

And unless you keep your golf balls in the garage or outside, in the winter,  you are effectively "warming" your ball. I'm just wondering what the optimum temp is?  

Also I don't know how long a core in a golf ball will remain at a certain temp, but I could change the ball to a fresh one. ( i usually give my ball to the throng of fans that follow me when i play :D  )

Once again i have never heated a ball, other that leaving the balls in the house before going. I just haven't seen any concrete scientific evidence that temp has no factor on the performance or feel of a ball. We can all experiment for ourselves;

Before going golfing in cold weather;
1. Place a couple sleeves in the freezer
2. Place a few on a heater vent or heat them up before you go.
3. It's perfectly within the rules to place the warmed balls in a thermos container or any other container to retain as much heat as possible. Play with different degrees of heat.
4. Play and see if there is a difference.

#13 Rockminer

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

I would encourage anyone interested in this subject to visit  the thread " Hand warmers can be a no no" for additional info. The subject was started there and has had more interaction than this one ( as of this post )




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