Is a Urethane Ball Hurting Me?

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    So let's say I can stop my 7-iron in an acceptable distance with a urethane ball but a 6-iron rolls out too far.

    And let's say with a Surlyn ball the 8-iron stops OK but the 7-iron rolls out too far.

    Why the heck would I want to play the Surlyn ball and let my 7-iron release to the back of the green? I usually hit 2 or 3 7-iron approach shots a round. Being able to club for the middle of the green instead of aiming short and trying to just the rollout is just plain better.

    That's what I don't get about this discussion. There's only a slight advantage in certain situations for a high handicapper to use a urethane ball instead of Surlyn. I'll agree with that. But why not have that slight advantage in certain situations? If I can get the best possible ball performance for $20-$25/dozen why would I want to pay nearly that much for a ball that doesn't perform

    It's only if you believe a Surlyn ball will straighten out your driver slices and hooks (which is nigh impossible given that driver spin rates on modern urethane balls are as low as Surlyn) that there's any advantage. I'll take stopping those 7-irons 20 feet closer to the hole twice a round over maybe kinda sorta reducing a 35-yard sliced drive to a 32-yard sliced drive.

    I carry a lob wedge in my bag (one of my 13 clubs) that in many rounds never gets pulled out. It's basically for when I short-side myself in a bunker or maybe for hacking out of the thickest, most brutal kinds of rough. Probably average one hit per round and I could get by with my sand wedge if I had to. But it's the same thing, why not carry that club that works beautifully in certain situations?

    As mentioned in the other thread, I can see the argument that there is really no disadvantage to the urethane ball, and therefore play it since it may give you some advantage at some point in the round (much like your lob wedge example). Maybe still a minor cost difference if you playing the cheaper urethane balls. I don't want to say the cost difference doesn't matter because it may to some people but I'll agree that this really seems like splitting hairs relative to the total cost of the game.

    What I disagree with strongly is the impact the two different balls have one's 7-iron shots. It's 500 - 1000 rpms. Your examples above aren't as extreme and are worded in a way that is hard to directly refute. What is OK and too far? In my experience, I can stop a well-struck 5 iron in less than 10 yards (probably half of that on average). Does that make attacking a tucked pin more difficult? Yes, but quite frankly at my level a) I probably can't attack that pin successfully with a 5 iron even if you cut the roll-out in half and b) there is more variance in how far my ball carries in the air due to strike quality than the difference in roll-out caused by the different balls (at least the differences that I see).

    Maybe you play different green conditions (I've played plenty on Bermuda where its 100-110 degrees in the summer and my viewpoint would still be the same for these conditions) or have a different iron shot trajectory. But even so, I just don't see how 500-1000 rpms is going to make shots with 1 club different great and basically unplayable.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There are shots that stop quickly, shots that release a little farther than you want but still end up OK and shots that roll into trouble. I can't tell you such-and-such percent of such-and-such club will release such-and-such feet with one ball or the other.

    But I have played many rounds with all kinds of balls. And after just a couple of rounds with a SuperSoft, e6, DT Solo or Srixon Soft Feel (that's the ones I've given good tryouts to over the years) it's immediately obvious that more balls with middle to short irons are rolling to the back of the green.

    One more per round? Two more? Couldn't say for sure. Something like a couple times a round. But when I switch to a Surlyn ball those shots become more frequent. Switch back to urethane and they mostly quit happening.

    I used to experiment like that 5-10 years ago when you had to be really scour eBay to get new, name-brand urethane balls for less than $30-$35 a dozen. I really wanted to find that magic Surlyn ball that was close enough to Pro V1 performance that I could save $10/dozen. Never found it. I won't be looking again because the cost difference has gone away now.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    All this reminds me of a guy I knew and played golf a few times with years ago. Dude HATED rangefinders. Just hated them.

    He was constantly nagging me and anyone else within earshot to quit lasering distances and just eyeball it. His argument was, "You're going to mishit the ball anyway, what good does it do you to know whether it's a fat 6-iron from 155 vs. a fat 5-iron from 165?". I mean yeah, he's right. The majority of shots I hit do NOT go the intended distance and direction. And I can play a perfectly cromulent round of golf while guessing at every single distance.

    But the argument just doesn't make sense. Why bother to carry a whole set of clubs? Why bother to read putts? Why bother to buy new golf balls instead of fishing them out of ponds? None of those things guarantee that every shot will turn out perfect so might as well just go out and hit a rock with a bent stick for all the good it will do, right?

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    There are shots that stop quickly, shots that release a little farther than you want but still end up OK and shots that roll into trouble. I can't tell you such-and-such percent of such-and-such club will release such-and-such feet with one ball or the other.

    But I have played many rounds with all kinds of balls. And after just a couple of rounds with a SuperSoft, e6, DT Solo or Srixon Soft Feel (that's the ones I've given good tryouts to over the years) it's immediately obvious that more balls with middle to short irons are rolling to the back of the green.

    One more per round? Two more? Couldn't say for sure. Something like a couple times a round. But when I switch to a Surlyn ball those shots become more frequent. Switch back to urethane and they mostly quit happening.

    I used to experiment like that 5-10 years ago when you had to be really scour eBay to get new, name-brand urethane balls for less than $30-$35 a dozen. I really wanted to find that magic Surlyn ball that was close enough to Pro V1 performance that I could save $10/dozen. Never found it. I won't be looking again because the cost difference has gone away now.

    I get if your view is there's no reason to ponder changing back now with the costs as close as they are. But I'd bet that the quality of the strike impacted how much the ball rolled out or exactly where it hit on the green (slight upslope/downslope, hard/soft spot, etc) more than the 500-1,000 rpms. You'll probably claim that you hit enough balls in different rounds, etc that the sample is large enough. That may be true. My guess is that you also have a preconceived notion that the difference is substantial and vividly remember the surlyn balls running out further and more often than they actually did. People (on both sides) have the same justifications for blades/GI, hybrids, etc. It just doesn't make sense for 500-1000 rpms.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 31, 2019 3:09pm #36

    So you're not saying that a Surlyn ball stops as quickly and consistently as a urethane one. But you are saying that I am not able to tell the difference.

    So you know there's a difference. I know there's a difference. Everyone knows it, the manufacturers say it and even a bunch of testers on YouTube demonstrate it (hence the 500-1000rpm number you're fond of).

    But I'm supposed to ignore the difference that everyone accepts is there because I haven't gone out and done some sort of randomized controlled trial to demonstrate the difference with a p-value of less than 0.05?

    I can't prove for absolute certain that a 150-yard shot over a pond will work better with my 6-iron than it would with my 8-iron. I might chunk it in the water with a 6-iron and I might blade one over the green with my 8-iron. But none the less, it makes a lot of sense to hit my 150-yard club in that situation instead of my 160-yard or 140-yard clubs. Over time, the right club will pay off.

    Same for the better golf ball. And by any objective measure, a urethane cover golf ball performs better than a Surlyn cover one. Definitely spins a lot more in the short game, definitely spins at least a little more on approach shots, has similar spin and distance off the driver. Just plain better. So that's what in my opinion anyone who cares about golf ball performance ought to usee.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    So you're not saying that a Surlyn ball stops as quickly and consistently as a urethane one. But you are saying that I am not able to tell the difference.

    So you know there's a difference. I know there's a difference. Everyone knows it, the manufacturers say it and even a bunch of testers on YouTube demonstrate it (hence the 500-1000rpm number you're fond of).

    But I'm supposed to ignore the difference that everyone accepts is there because I haven't gone out and done some sort of randomized controlled trial to demonstrate the difference with a p-value of less than 0.05?

    I can't prove for absolute certain that a 150-yard shot over a pond will work better with my 6-iron than it would with my 8-iron. I might chunk it in the water with a 6-iron and I might blade one over the green with my 8-iron. But none the less, it makes a lot of sense to hit my 150-yard club in that situation instead of my 160-yard or 140-yard clubs. Over time, the right club will pay off.

    Same for the better golf ball. And by any objective measure, a urethane cover golf ball performs better than a Surlyn cover one. Definitely spins a lot more in the short game, definitely spins at least a little more on approach shots, has similar spin and distance off the driver. Just plain better. So that's what in my opinion anyone who cares about golf ball performance ought to usee.

    I've always said there's a difference. I said minimal on full shots (driver and irons) and substantial on wedges.

    Your claim is basically that a non-urethane is unplayable with a 7-iron. ProV lands in middle and stops quickly and a SoftFeel is over the green. Sorry, that doesn't happen on well struck shots.

    And go re-read your post about your buddy that plays the two piece and kicks your butt.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    That guy could kick my butt hitting a tennis ball with a shovel. If I had to land approach shots 20 yards short of the green and bounce them on I couldn't break 100 one time out of ten. He's good enough to figure out a way to do it.

    I am not claiming that a SuperSoft is "unplayable" with any club (possible exception being some sort of ridiculously difficult high-spin wedge shot). It works just fine. You could play that ball the rest of your life and be very happy.

    But a Pro V1 will make playing 7-irons to firm greens easier. Not guaranteed every single shot will turn out better but on average the ball will stay closer to where it lands. In my experience, it will stay a good bit closer to where it lands. Any time I can get closer on average to the hole with less luck and judgement involved AT NO COST WHATSOEVER, well that's an advantage I will take.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Remember the original question, "Is a Urethane Ball Hurting Me?". Nobody has yet (to my satisfaction) given any affirmative answer to that question. Maybe if someone has a truly awful slice problem with irons (not driver) the higher spin will make the awful slices slightly more awful. Maybe. But that's about it for the "hurting" part.

    We're sitting here quibbling over whether the ADVANTAGES of a urethane ball are small but significant versus so small that nobody (allegedly) could possibly notice them. Arguing about exactly how much better a urethane ball might be for what type of player pretty much answers the "hurting" question. With a definite no.

    “1lb beefstak, with
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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    All this reminds me of a guy I knew and played golf a few times with years ago. Dude HATED rangefinders. Just hated them.

    He was constantly nagging me and anyone else within earshot to quit lasering distances and just eyeball it. His argument was, "You're going to mishit the ball anyway, what good does it do you to know whether it's a fat 6-iron from 155 vs. a fat 5-iron from 165?". I mean yeah, he's right. The majority of shots I hit do NOT go the intended distance and direction. And I can play a perfectly cromulent round of golf while guessing at every single distance.

    But the argument just doesn't make sense. Why bother to carry a whole set of clubs? Why bother to read putts? Why bother to buy new golf balls instead of fishing them out of ponds? None of those things guarantee that every shot will turn out perfect so might as well just go out and hit a rock with a bent stick for all the good it will do, right?

    Funny, I don't have a rangefinder either. I actually think they'd be useful when playing new courses. Regular courses that I've played to every pin and in every wind I can play by feel and recalling past shots. But I'd also say it's not that hard to get within ~5 yards just eye-balling it if you have the depth of green given to you. And judging the lie, wind, and strike are much bigger than the amount I may be off on my distance estimate.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Many of don't have calibrated eyeballs. I can't tell the difference in 150 and 170 to the flag to save my life.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    Remember the original question, "Is a Urethane Ball Hurting Me?". Nobody has yet (to my satisfaction) given any affirmative answer to that question. Maybe if someone has a truly awful slice problem with irons (not driver) the higher spin will make the awful slices slightly more awful. Maybe. But that's about it for the "hurting" part.

    We're sitting here quibbling over whether the ADVANTAGES of a urethane ball are small but significant versus so small that nobody (allegedly) could possibly notice them. Arguing about exactly how much better a urethane ball might be for what type of player pretty much answers the "hurting" question. With a definite no.

    Fair enough. I would be hard pressed to believe it's hurting him with his driver issues.

    I do find the lower spin ball better in the wind. I like it but not clear to me it hurts people net-net.

    But I did say not much difference on full shots. Then you went into the grass type and talked a 7 iron landing in the middle and going off the back. Which is what we've been debating.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    Many of don't have calibrated eyeballs. I can't tell the difference in 150 and 170 to the flag to save my life.

    Can't recall ever playing a course without at least 100/150/200 stakes or plates. Not to mention sprinkler heads with yardages that you walk by (many but not all courses).

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  • Twism86Twism86 Members Posts: 421 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for everyone's replies! I know the cause of my misses is my inconstant, and sometimes very poor, swing. I wasn not looking for a cure by changing balls but rather wondering if that urethane ball is hurting for than helping other areas of my game. My short wedge game is actually quite good for my HC so a return to a urethane ball may be in order, since you all have indicated that the slight extra spin on the driver wont exacerbate my misses by much, that ball is still going in the woods no matter the cover. I have a decent supply of the SuperHots right now so I will work through those, as playing one ball for multiple rounds is best so I can figure out how to make all my shots work with that ball. Thanks again!

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  • kingofkingskingofkings Members Posts: 40 ✭✭

    @North Butte said:
    All this reminds me of a guy I knew and played golf a few times with years ago. Dude HATED rangefinders. Just hated them.

    He was constantly nagging me and anyone else within earshot to quit lasering distances and just eyeball it. His argument was, "You're going to mishit the ball anyway, what good does it do you to know whether it's a fat 6-iron from 155 vs. a fat 5-iron from 165?". I mean yeah, he's right. The majority of shots I hit do NOT go the intended distance and direction. And I can play a perfectly cromulent round of golf while guessing at every single distance.

    But the argument just doesn't make sense. Why bother to carry a whole set of clubs? Why bother to read putts? Why bother to buy new golf balls instead of fishing them out of ponds? None of those things guarantee that every shot will turn out perfect so might as well just go out and hit a rock with a bent stick for all the good it will do, right?

    I have a gps watch, I play at different courses, it makes my playing go faster, less guessing. Glance at watch, pick a club and just go.
    Like someone else said here, I honestly can't judge distances very well by eye.

  • Twism86Twism86 Members Posts: 421 ✭✭✭✭

    @kingofkings said:

    @North Butte said:
    All this reminds me of a guy I knew and played golf a few times with years ago. Dude HATED rangefinders. Just hated them.

    He was constantly nagging me and anyone else within earshot to quit lasering distances and just eyeball it. His argument was, "You're going to mishit the ball anyway, what good does it do you to know whether it's a fat 6-iron from 155 vs. a fat 5-iron from 165?". I mean yeah, he's right. The majority of shots I hit do NOT go the intended distance and direction. And I can play a perfectly cromulent round of golf while guessing at every single distance.

    But the argument just doesn't make sense. Why bother to carry a whole set of clubs? Why bother to read putts? Why bother to buy new golf balls instead of fishing them out of ponds? None of those things guarantee that every shot will turn out perfect so might as well just go out and hit a rock with a bent stick for all the good it will do, right?

    I have a gps watch, I play at different courses, it makes my playing go faster, less guessing. Glance at watch, pick a club and just go.
    Like someone else said here, I honestly can't judge distances very well by eye.

    I use a GPS golf app on my phone, its not totally accurate, maybe 2-3 yards off. However, that is close enough for my game and gets me the right club 90% of the time.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I played 27 yesterday. Would have been nice to be using a urethane ball twice (same hole actually).

    First shot was a partial SW from 75 yards. Hole was downwind and the pin was in the back on a top tier. Ball landed on the top tier and ended up in the fringe (back of green runs away).

    The second time was a 3/4 GW from about 95-100 in a waste area. Needed to keep the ball down under some trees. Shot literally ended up in the same spot.

    In both cases, the ball only ran out 15-20 feet. Honestly, in the first case I just carried it way too far. I was hoping to land it just on the lower tier and have it run up. On the second one, I can't really complain. In that situation I am just hoping for clean contact.
    Luckily, I made two pars.

    But it was more work and I could have had a reasonable look at birdie with a ball that stopped faster. Pros for the urethane ball.

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  • arbeckarbeck SeattleMembers Posts: 438 ✭✭✭✭

    Spin isn't necessarily as important for stopping the ball as descent angle. A surlyn ball might run out 10-20 feet while the urethane ball might stop quickly or run out a few feet. That being said, how many golfers who aren't low handicaps are hitting the ball that close to the target to begin with?
    What spin is more important for is distance control. As spin drops offs the ball goes further. Most everything that happens on the golf course reduces spin. Combine that with jacked iron lofts and the spin can get low enough to create fliers from anywhere on the course.

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  • NJpatbeeNJpatbee Ocean County, NJMembers Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I am a fellow high handicapper (16) and can say that for my swing not all urethene balls perform the same. I played well with the discontinued Maxfli U/3 and RBZ U - I am not sure why but I got some roll in fairways with these balls which I need. I haven't played a Pro V1 in a couple of years but it would roll very little on long approach shots leaving me short of the green (line drive hitter). I bought some Ksig 4 piece balls and gave most of them away for the same reason so this is not a cost issue. If you are throwing darts into the green a urethene ball should help you but for me at 160+ I am playing bocce ball instead and count on some roll. I am doing fine with the 2 piece Surlyn DT Trusoft which rolls out well on the fairway but holds the green very well. If you are not wishing for some additional roll on drives and long approach shots I doubt if a urethene ball is going to hurt you, and they are great right around the green.

  • Lancj1Lancj1 Members Posts: 916 ✭✭✭✭✭

    im an 18 handicap and have hit that point in my development where control around the green is getting important. id suggest that shot for shot, a surlyn ball will roll and roll leaving a much longer putt. i don't mean balls zipping back and dancing around, i mean short pitches and chips being predictable. I've noticed no difference off the tee. BTW the nicest "feeling" ball is the DX2....i kid you not

  • lchanglchang Members Posts: 608 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 4, 2019 2:29pm #51

    A 10.5 index here (under 100 mph SS) who has been playing soft-feeling 3-piece surlyn balls (Bridgestone e6) for a long time. My limited experimentation with urethane balls made me feel more uncertain with them. Let me explain: with, say, a full gap wedge, a perfect strike with urethane spun back. A mediocre strike rolled out a lot. With surlyn, the difference between well-struck (some roll out) and mediocre (a lot of roll out just as with urethane) seemed smaller. The same for a 40 yard pitch: the surlyn was more predictable. I just play for roll out all the time. In other words, my oh-so-common mediocre-strike full and partial wedge shots had what seemed like the same (lots) of roll out with both balls. But the urethane balls when struck well stopped short. So the variance was bigger with urethane. Of course, I can’t hit spinny short game shots with surlyn, but trying to do so with urethane balls would (at least in my mind) introduce more uncertainty.

    So I’ve stuck with these e6’s that feel fine for me off wedge and putter .... and maybe a touch straighter off the driver (though I do believe all of you when you say that advantage is now gone).

    Anyone else in this camp?

  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,337 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @lchang said:
    A 10.5 index here (under 100 mph SS) who has been playing soft-feeling 3-piece surlyn balls (Bridgestone e6) for a long time. My limited experimentation with urethane balls made me feel more uncertain with them. Let me explain: with, say, a full gap wedge, a perfect strike with urethane spun back. A mediocre strike rolled out a lot. With surlyn, the difference between well-struck (some roll out) and mediocre (a lot of roll out just as with urethane) seemed smaller. The same for a 40 yard pitch: the surlyn was more predictable. I just play for roll out all the time. In other words, my oh-so-common mediocre-strike full and partial wedge shots had what seemed like the same (lots) of roll out with both balls. But the urethane balls when struck well stopped short. So the variance was bigger with urethane. Of course, I can’t hit spinny short game shots with surlyn, but trying to do so with urethane balls would (at least in my mind) introduce more uncertainty.

    So I’ve stuck with these e6’s that feel fine for me off wedge and putter .... and maybe a touch straighter off the driver (though I do believe all of you when you say that advantage is now gone).

    Anyone else in this camp?

    Sounds good. Have you tried the new E6's?

  • JustsomeguyJustsomeguy Members Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    The practical difference is < the cost difference. If you're still losing balls regularly and are unsure about spin, take the variable out and save a few bucks.
    Buy the cheapest decent surlyn ball. It doesn't have to be the cheapest 15 pack on the market, but if you're paying much more than $1/ball, it's not necessary at this point, and you might be better off focusing on another part of the game.

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    Cleveland Smart Square Blade
  • lchanglchang Members Posts: 608 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tanner25 said:

    @lchang said:
    A 10.5 index here (under 100 mph SS) who has been playing soft-feeling 3-piece surlyn balls (Bridgestone e6) for a long time. My limited experimentation with urethane balls made me feel more uncertain with them. Let me explain: with, say, a full gap wedge, a perfect strike with urethane spun back. A mediocre strike rolled out a lot. With surlyn, the difference between well-struck (some roll out) and mediocre (a lot of roll out just as with urethane) seemed smaller. The same for a 40 yard pitch: the surlyn was more predictable. I just play for roll out all the time. In other words, my oh-so-common mediocre-strike full and partial wedge shots had what seemed like the same (lots) of roll out with both balls. But the urethane balls when struck well stopped short. So the variance was bigger with urethane. Of course, I can’t hit spinny short game shots with surlyn, but trying to do so with urethane balls would (at least in my mind) introduce more uncertainty.

    So I’ve stuck with these e6’s that feel fine for me off wedge and putter .... and maybe a touch straighter off the driver (though I do believe all of you when you say that advantage is now gone).

    Anyone else in this camp?

    Sounds good. Have you tried the new E6's?

    If you're referring to the new 2-piece e6's, no, I haven't. I have some old 2015 e6's and 2017 e6 Soft's to get through first. I imagine I'll move to the e12 Soft's after that.

  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,337 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, the 2 piece.

  • msgmsg Members Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    I usually shoot in the mid 80s to high 70s. Not sure why but I never liked urethane golf balls. My best scores were done with a Callaway Supersoft. lol

    I tried almost all the big name urethane golf balls, even the K Sig three piece. I always go back to my Supersoft. Sometimes I play the DT Trusoft or the Srixon Soft Feel. Maybe it has something to do with me playing surylyn golf balls when I was young, when I started playing golf back in the late 90's?

    Also, one thing I noticed with urethane golf balls is when I hit my approach shots, I need to take one club more because they spin so much for me that when they hit the green, no roll out happens so I also end up short. I guess that is a given and I just got used to surylyn golf balls that have significant roll out.

    Maybe it's all mental with me?

  • arbeckarbeck SeattleMembers Posts: 438 ✭✭✭✭

    @lchang said:
    A 10.5 index here (under 100 mph SS) who has been playing soft-feeling 3-piece surlyn balls (Bridgestone e6) for a long time. My limited experimentation with urethane balls made me feel more uncertain with them. Let me explain: with, say, a full gap wedge, a perfect strike with urethane spun back. A mediocre strike rolled out a lot. With surlyn, the difference between well-struck (some roll out) and mediocre (a lot of roll out just as with urethane) seemed smaller. The same for a 40 yard pitch: the surlyn was more predictable. I just play for roll out all the time. In other words, my oh-so-common mediocre-strike full and partial wedge shots had what seemed like the same (lots) of roll out with both balls. But the urethane balls when struck well stopped short. So the variance was bigger with urethane. Of course, I can’t hit spinny short game shots with surlyn, but trying to do so with urethane balls would (at least in my mind) introduce more uncertainty.

    So I’ve stuck with these e6’s that feel fine for me off wedge and putter .... and maybe a touch straighter off the driver (though I do believe all of you when you say that advantage is now gone).

    Anyone else in this camp?

    It's not actually the stopping power that urethane is most going to help you with. The biggest difference is going to be the spin off full iron shots. You could be loosing 1000 RPM or more of spin per club off your irons. If you're a typical player who's spinning their low lofted GI 7i 5500 RPM with a urethane ball, it could drop to 4500 RPM with surlyn. Now hit it out of the rough and a little high on the face and you lose another 500 RPM. The flyer you start getting from the surlyn ball spinning at only 4000 RPM is much worse than the flyer still spinning at 5000. This is also something that is really hard to see on the golf course without keeping a lot of stats.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @lchang said:
    A 10.5 index here (under 100 mph SS) who has been playing soft-feeling 3-piece surlyn balls (Bridgestone e6) for a long time. My limited experimentation with urethane balls made me feel more uncertain with them. Let me explain: with, say, a full gap wedge, a perfect strike with urethane spun back. A mediocre strike rolled out a lot. With surlyn, the difference between well-struck (some roll out) and mediocre (a lot of roll out just as with urethane) seemed smaller. The same for a 40 yard pitch: the surlyn was more predictable. I just play for roll out all the time. In other words, my oh-so-common mediocre-strike full and partial wedge shots had what seemed like the same (lots) of roll out with both balls. But the urethane balls when struck well stopped short. So the variance was bigger with urethane. Of course, I can’t hit spinny short game shots with surlyn, but trying to do so with urethane balls would (at least in my mind) introduce more uncertainty.

    So I’ve stuck with these e6’s that feel fine for me off wedge and putter .... and maybe a touch straighter off the driver (though I do believe all of you when you say that advantage is now gone).

    Anyone else in this camp?

    I'm similar to you (bouncing around between 8 and 10 index, driver swing speed is about 95 mph), and typically play two or three piece surlyn balls (SuperSoft/SuperHot or SoftFeel most recently). As noted above, I don't believe there's a material difference on full iron shots in ability to stop the ball on a well struck shot. On full wedge shots, I don't believe the difference is that large either. Every shot is different (wind, where it hits on the green, etc) but I would say that the surlyn balls stop where they hit or run-out at most 10 feet while the urethane balls are half of the run-out and may spin back a foot or two.

    I've never thought about the variance between the two as you describe it above. On the well struck shots wedge shots I think the urethane does have a slightly tighter circle vs. where it lands. Although at our skill level I'd argue that you mishit (somehow, someway) more than half your full swings anyways, so maybe the average of all shots is better to look at.

    The partial wedges and short game are definitely where it shows up. That being said, I believe there's only a handful (1-5) of shots per round where the difference in spin on these shots makes a difference. Most of the shots you can play with the surlyn ball as long as you know what it is going to do. On the difficult shots, I've learned somewhat to take on the high risk shot less often, so I probably don't notice it as much as some others may. Yeah, you make less pars from great saves, but you also make fewer doubles when things don't turn out well.

    All that being said, I'm not sure that I can say a urethane ball would hurt me. You have some add'l options around the greens every now and then, and the rest of things are pretty comparable. I do think some of the surlyn balls fly higher (some of the stopping power is coming from trajectory vs. spin), and I do find them a bit more stable in the wind on the slight mishits. Not sure if those two factors are a net benefit though.

    I did play with some ProVs and TP5s recently but didn't notice much in terms of score/shots and will probably stick with the cheap hacker balls for now.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jul 5, 2019 3:17pm #59

    @arbeck said:
    If you're a typical player who's spinning their low lofted GI 7i 5500 RPM with a urethane ball, it could drop to 4500 RPM with surlyn. Now hit it out of the rough and a little high on the face and you lose another 500 RPM. The flyer you start getting from the surlyn ball spinning at only 4000 RPM is much worse than the flyer still spinning at 5000. This is also something that is really hard to see on the golf course without keeping a lot of stats.

    That's exactly what I eventually sussed out after a year and a half playing the Titleist AVX (which I really, really liked a lot). My spring face Ping G or Mizuno Hot Metal 7-iron probably don't get anywhere near 5,500rpm with even a Pro V1x. And the AVX was knocking that down a fair bit, something like midway between the spin of a Pro V1x and the spin of a Supersoft or similar.

    Catch one out of light rough or a bit low and toward the toe or just simply don't make clean contact and I'd get the decent looking shots that wouldn't even come close to stopping normally on a firm green. Even 9-iron or PW could unexpectedly run out an extra 20 feet or more instead of stopping dead. There's just no percentage in living right on the edge of too little spin with middle and short irons. Catch 'em perfect and they stop 6" from the ball mark, middling-poor contact or less than clean lie and they run off the back of the green.

    But as you say, it's hard to tell that thing no matter how carefully you try to evaluate a ball over a 5-10 round tryout. Too much variability and lies and contact for that kind of problem to jump right out at you. Give it a couple hundred rounds, playing almost entirely (in my case) at the same course, and it eventually gets undeniable. I'm still a little gun shy about those shots and my playing partners will poke fun at me for occasionally saying, "****, that's over the green" when I hit an 8-iron all the way to a back pin and the contact isn't crisp. Now that I'm back with Pro V1x those shots invariably will end up sitting 10 feet past where a good shot would have been instead of long-and-dead like a AVX.

    Post edited by North Butte on
    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • lchanglchang Members Posts: 608 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @agolf1 said:

    @lchang said:
    A 10.5 index here (under 100 mph SS) who has been playing soft-feeling 3-piece surlyn balls (Bridgestone e6) for a long time. My limited experimentation with urethane balls made me feel more uncertain with them. Let me explain: with, say, a full gap wedge, a perfect strike with urethane spun back. A mediocre strike rolled out a lot. With surlyn, the difference between well-struck (some roll out) and mediocre (a lot of roll out just as with urethane) seemed smaller. The same for a 40 yard pitch: the surlyn was more predictable. I just play for roll out all the time. In other words, my oh-so-common mediocre-strike full and partial wedge shots had what seemed like the same (lots) of roll out with both balls. But the urethane balls when struck well stopped short. So the variance was bigger with urethane. Of course, I can’t hit spinny short game shots with surlyn, but trying to do so with urethane balls would (at least in my mind) introduce more uncertainty.

    So I’ve stuck with these e6’s that feel fine for me off wedge and putter .... and maybe a touch straighter off the driver (though I do believe all of you when you say that advantage is now gone).

    Anyone else in this camp?

    I'm similar to you (bouncing around between 8 and 10 index, driver swing speed is about 95 mph), and typically play two or three piece surlyn balls (SuperSoft/SuperHot or SoftFeel most recently). As noted above, I don't believe there's a material difference on full iron shots in ability to stop the ball on a well struck shot. On full wedge shots, I don't believe the difference is that large either. Every shot is different (wind, where it hits on the green, etc) but I would say that the surlyn balls stop where they hit or run-out at most 10 feet while the urethane balls are half of the run-out and may spin back a foot or two.

    I've never thought about the variance between the two as you describe it above. On the well struck shots wedge shots I think the urethane does have a slightly tighter circle vs. where it lands. Although at our skill level I'd argue that you mishit (somehow, someway) more than half your full swings anyways, so maybe the average of all shots is better to look at.

    The partial wedges and short game are definitely where it shows up. That being said, I believe there's only a handful (1-5) of shots per round where the difference in spin on these shots makes a difference. Most of the shots you can play with the surlyn ball as long as you know what it is going to do. On the difficult shots, I've learned somewhat to take on the high risk shot less often, so I probably don't notice it as much as some others may. Yeah, you make less pars from great saves, but you also make fewer doubles when things don't turn out well.

    All that being said, I'm not sure that I can say a urethane ball would hurt me. You have some add'l options around the greens every now and then, and the rest of things are pretty comparable. I do think some of the surlyn balls fly higher (some of the stopping power is coming from trajectory vs. spin), and I do find them a bit more stable in the wind on the slight mishits. Not sure if those two factors are a net benefit though.

    I did play with some ProVs and TP5s recently but didn't notice much in terms of score/shots and will probably stick with the cheap hacker balls for now.

    When you say you think some surlyn balls fly higher, do you mean compared to urethane? I’d think urethane would go higher because of the extra backspin.

    Increased stability in the wind for surlyn makes sense to me, because they’d be lower with less spin and less ballooning.

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,963 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Some of the low compression balls like Supersoft or Duo are designed to fly as high as it's possible to make a ball fly. The dimples are configured so for a given amount of spin they go much, much higher than a Pro V1 would with the same spin. In fact, the ProV1 and some other urethane balls are specifically designed for a "controlled" or "boring" trajectory, meaning the designers take extra pains to keep the trajectory down because they do spin a lot.

    The guys who buy a Supersoft want it to feel/sound as soft as possible and they want to see the ball fly high and hang in the air a long time. Also the highest possible trajectory helps a low-spin ball still stop quickly due to steep descent. Those guys are not looking to control their trajectory or play low spinning shots.

    So it's not about "ballooning" due to high spin like you might worry about with some urethane balls (K3 for instance). It's just a ball designed to fly really high and if the wind affects it, so be it.

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 

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