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Is a Urethane Ball Hurting Me?

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  • Golf4liferGolf4lifer Members  610WRX Points: 136Posts: 610 Golden Tee
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    On -, @agolf1 said:

    On -, @Golf4lifer said:

    On -, @agolf1 said:

    Of the 9 or so greens you miss, how many do you think the urethane provides a meaningful advantage? Ie really no hope with the surlyn or shot is much easier with the urethane. I laid out above what I peg the short game benefit for me at but interested in what others thoughts are.

    Everyone is different but I don't really care if the ball rolls 5 feet or 10-15 feet as long as I have that much green to use. My argument is if you can control (to some degree) where you miss then a lot of shots can be played with either type of ball.

    What is your fear of a urethane ball?

    I can slice or pull hook any ball off the tee, when my swing is off. For iron shots, I hit the ball high enough where either ball will stop on most greens. Now for me, surlyn balls tend to roll out more where as urethane balls tend to be within a 3 foot radius. For me the short game is where the urethane ball shines. As my wedge game improves the benefits of the urethane ball outshines the surlyn ball by miles.

    As we discussed previously, my last two rounds I was 4 of 5 and 6 of 6 on up and downs. This number does not include putts from the fringe. I do not believe a urethane ball will hurt your game any more than a surlyn ball will.

    My other point if everyone quotes the 4 of 5 and 6 of 6 days. And then it's all the ball.

    How about the 2 of 10 day? Maybe it's more the golfer and the difficulty of the leaves one has that day.

    Again, i still believe it's better. How much?

    For me, my 2 of 10 days are strickly putting. I had a round a few weeks back where I chipped/pitched fantastically!!! But I could not make a putt. I mean I was missing putts from 2 feet on pretty much flat greens. It started on the practice greens, I missed every putt I hit there.

    I dont think we can say better by how much if that makes sense. It more of a consistency thing. I know I can hit a chip/pitch and know how it will react with a urethane ball. I don't get that consistency with the surlyn ball. For me, tee to green I could play either, I just like the overall performance of urethane balls better.

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    I am going to throw out an idea here to illustrate why surlyn is better for more people than urethane. A lot of the comments mention practice. But for most players they don't have time to master the nuances of the short game with urethane. But you have fewer shots available with surlyn so its limitations can actually help. Last night I practiced chipping. used 2 clubs. My standard chip/pitch shot is a 14 yard shot with varying amounts of green. This is due to a Dave Pelz short game article where that was the most likely miss. After a number of those I get my 52 deg wedge and do bump and runs. In 20 minutes I am done. Here is the real advantage of surlyn for me. All you urethane folks out there I ask you to count how many bump and runs you leave more than 5 ft. short with your urethane balls. I know the surlyn will run. I don't have to try to take spin off it- it already does that. So for every cute hop and stop shot you pull of I'd bet you leave at least 2 routine bump and runs more than 5 ft. short.
    Of course the final measure is the score card. After 50 I have shot my best scores or tied them with the GS- a surlyn ball, including a course record. Golf ego aside the majority of folks would improve with a surlyn ball- they just can't admit it.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11816WRX Points: 1,614Posts: 11,816 Titanium Tees
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    If, as I do, you play bump and runs with a 30-degree 7-iron then it won't matter what kind of ball you're using. If you leave it short, you just didn't hit it hard enough.

    Trying to play "bump and run" with a 52-degree wedge is your problem. Not the type of ball you're using. To get a 52-degree wedge shot with little carry and mostly roll is going to take some kind of manipulation of your stroke.

    I guess it's possible to find a hard-enough cover ball that you could make that work but you wouldn't need a no-spin ball if you just chose a suitable club for the shot.

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    Yes I agree a bump and run is easier done with a 7 iron. I have limited time to practice. I simplify things with my equipment and strategy. The best part is this approach has translated to the course for me in competition. The surlyn ball has been a better choice for me- and I need just the 2 clubs. All short game shots require manipulation. In general that cover type has been more consistent around the greens.
    I hit it lower than a lot of players so I need help hitting the ball higher- advantage surlyn. My swing speed is now less than 100 mph with a driver so most of my distance gains if any are do to roll. The one urethane ball that I have found useful is the QST but it seems more affected by wind. There is enough variety in ball products to find a ball with most of what a player could want. But most golfers use a ball that is capable of more shots than they have or the skill required to pull that shot off. That is why I think surlyn would help. Just like a game improvement iron helps vs a blade.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members  1994WRX Points: 1,150Posts: 1,994 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @munichop said:

    I am going to throw out an idea here to illustrate why surlyn is better for more people than urethane. A lot of the comments mention practice. But for most players they don't have time to master the nuances of the short game with urethane. But you have fewer shots available with surlyn so its limitations can actually help. Last night I practiced chipping. used 2 clubs. My standard chip/pitch shot is a 14 yard shot with varying amounts of green. This is due to a Dave Pelz short game article where that was the most likely miss. After a number of those I get my 52 deg wedge and do bump and runs. In 20 minutes I am done. Here is the real advantage of surlyn for me. All you urethane folks out there I ask you to count how many bump and runs you leave more than 5 ft. short with your urethane balls. I know the surlyn will run. I don't have to try to take spin off it- it already does that. So for every cute hop and stop shot you pull of I'd bet you leave at least 2 routine bump and runs more than 5 ft. short.
    Of course the final measure is the score card. After 50 I have shot my best scores or tied them with the GS- a surlyn ball, including a course record. Golf ego aside the majority of folks would improve with a surlyn ball- they just can't admit it.

    I kind of see what you are saying. I played about 10 rounds with some urethanes. Scores weren't any different, although I wouldnt conclude from that the ball is better or worse.

    The advantage of the urethane every now and then is obvious. I think in one post above I mentioned having trouble with some basic intermediate chip/pitch shots. Mostly when contact wasn't perfect and the ball came up short or came off with no spin. I've always used a 52-54 for as many shots around the green as possible. My conclusion was that sometimes I needed to use less loft. Although like you say, I don't have time to practice that and wasn't comfortable just grabbing a numbered iron on the fly.

    Even if one can practice, there's only so much skill an average golfer has. Thus, even on basic shots I can see how the urethane may have the best shots and also the worst shots whereas the surlyn is always OK.

    I am back to the surlyn balls right now. Will probably try the QST or Snell Black later this year. But I'm still not sure it really matters much.

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    One thing I do recommend is when you pick a ball stay with it for awhile and make sure you always chip and putt with that ball whatever it is. I see even scratch players chipping with range balls when they warm up. This hurts in 2 ways especially if you use urethane. One it gives you feedback on all these touch shots with a ball that behaves differently than the ball that counts. Two, after you screw up the first few chips or pitches with your regular ball you will have no confidence on the course where it matters. One final thing on surlyn- sometimes you have to accept that 10 or 15 feet is as close as you are going to get. The balls do have limitations.

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  • third-times-a-charmthird-times-a-charm Members  3268WRX Points: 1,391Posts: 3,268 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @munichop said:

    One thing I do recommend is when you pick a ball stay with it for awhile and make sure you always chip and putt with that ball whatever it is. I see even scratch players chipping with range balls when they warm up. This hurts in 2 ways especially if you use urethane. One it gives you feedback on all these touch shots with a ball that behaves differently than the ball that counts. Two, after you screw up the first few chips or pitches with your regular ball you will have no confidence on the course where it matters. One final thing on surlyn- sometimes you have to accept that 10 or 15 feet is as close as you are going to get. The balls do have limitations.

    What if the range balls are urethane...

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    If the range balls are urethane then they should match the ball you play. And congrats on playing at a place where that is the case...

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  • Gary GutfulGary Gutful Members  1250WRX Points: 162Posts: 1,250 Platinum Tees
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    I did some short game practice yesterday. Along the way I have picked up a couple of surlyn balls that others have left behind and put them in my shag bag. I normally only hit long shots with those balls but after reading this thread I thought I'd hit some short shots with them.

    Compared to my Tour B X it was really noticeable how much higher they came out, I could almost feel them climbing up the club face. Looked a lot lower spin as well based on how they rolled out once they pitched. I found it hard to get any control.

    I see a few comments from people suggesting that you need to have a good short game to use urethane. I disagree. In fact, I believe that regularly chipping with urethane balls could actually improve your short game.

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    From a feel standpoint I prefer the mid to low compression surlyn balls. I agree the high compression surlyn balls are difficult ones.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members  1994WRX Points: 1,150Posts: 1,994 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @Gary Gutful said:

    I did some short game practice yesterday. Along the way I have picked up a couple of surlyn balls that others have left behind and put them in my shag bag. I normally only hit long shots with those balls but after reading this thread I thought I'd hit some short shots with them.

    Compared to my Tour B X it was really noticeable how much higher they came out, I could almost feel them climbing up the club face. Looked a lot lower spin as well based on how they rolled out once they pitched. I found it hard to get any control.

    I see a few comments from people suggesting that you need to have a good short game to use urethane. I disagree. In fact, I believe that regularly chipping with urethane balls could actually improve your short game.

    If you can control it, the urethane is world's better. I think the comments for the surlyn were more if you can't practice or are just bad (of course, no one wants to admit this).

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  • Red4282Red4282 Members  974WRX Points: 396Posts: 974 Golden Tee
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    Why would you not want the added benefits of a urethane ball? You can ALWAYS take spin off any ball, but u cant add more spin to a surlyn ball. To the average golfer ball is a relative non factor on which will lower scores. If you are breaking 90 consistently, there is no excuse for u to not play anything but urethane. It comes down to feel (not soft compression feel) and are you willing to pay extra for it. Besides id rather find nice urethane balls in the woods 😊

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  • Gary GutfulGary Gutful Members  1250WRX Points: 162Posts: 1,250 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 3, 2019 #104

    On -, @agolf1 said:

    On -, @Gary Gutful said:

    I did some short game practice yesterday. Along the way I have picked up a couple of surlyn balls that others have left behind and put them in my shag bag. I normally only hit long shots with those balls but after reading this thread I thought I'd hit some short shots with them.

    Compared to my Tour B X it was really noticeable how much higher they came out, I could almost feel them climbing up the club face. Looked a lot lower spin as well based on how they rolled out once they pitched. I found it hard to get any control.

    I see a few comments from people suggesting that you need to have a good short game to use urethane. I disagree. In fact, I believe that regularly chipping with urethane balls could actually improve your short game.

    If you can control it, the urethane is world's better. I think the comments for the surlyn were more if you can't practice or are just bad (of course, no one wants to admit this).

    If you are dreadful around the greens, surlyn wont save your backside.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members  1994WRX Points: 1,150Posts: 1,994 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @Red4282 said:

    Why would you not want the added benefits of a urethane ball? You can ALWAYS take spin off any ball, but u cant add more spin to a surlyn ball.

    I generally agree with this, although it does take practicing more shots.

    I think following the argument by munichop above, it's really a "less is more" that you need to believe in for a certain subset of golfers (probably somewhat but not entirely correlated to skill). I think the point is you need to be able to control the spin/contact consistently (I know, everyone regardless of what they actually shoot, says they can do this).

    I tend to think your statement about ball being a relative non-factor extends to a larger portion of people than would probably admit it. I break 90 consistently and I'm struggling to see how this helps me by more than a shot. But I'll take a shot if that's what it is.

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  • Red4282Red4282 Members  974WRX Points: 396Posts: 974 Golden Tee
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    On -, @agolf1 said:

    On -, @Red4282 said:

    Why would you not want the added benefits of a urethane ball? You can ALWAYS take spin off any ball, but u cant add more spin to a surlyn ball.

    I generally agree with this, although it does take practicing more shots.

    I think following the argument by munichop above, it's really a "less is more" that you need to believe in for a certain subset of golfers (probably somewhat but not entirely correlated to skill). I think the point is you need to be able to control the spin/contact consistently (I know, everyone regardless of what they actually shoot, says they can do this).

    I tend to think your statement about ball being a relative non-factor extends to a larger portion of people than would probably admit it. I break 90 consistently and I'm struggling to see how this helps me by more than a shot. But I'll take a shot if that's what it is.

    I agree somewhat although i would say the less is more guy- if your a 90+ guy ur just as likely to fat or thin a pitch shot, so in my mind you really shouldnt worry much about how its spinning or being “consistent” with what you practiced. To the sub 90 guy, you should be relatively past that point and can have more consistent contact at which is a point where controlling spin can now become a factor.

    As fas as how big of a difference we agree. Its small. Im scratch and i could honestly go play a surlyn and maybe only affect my score by 1-3 shots at most.

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    From a feel standpoint I prefer the mid to low compression surlyn balls.

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  • munichopmunichop Members  381WRX Points: 280Posts: 381 Greens
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    I am +2 currently and in theory can score with any ball. I think I have shot my lowest scores with surlyn because I have accepted my limitations as a golfer. I now have less than 100 mph with my driver, I hit the ball lower than most players, I have limited practice time and I am a streaky putter. The point and shoot surlyn balls help minimize my weaknesses. I am still particular about the ball though. I have tried over 14 different ball models trying to find the Gamer soft replacement. Most of my points in previous comments are really meant in the context of the OP question. And I think if more players would evaluate their games they would also conclude that surlyn can help them.

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  • Mtngolfer1Mtngolfer1 Lefty Boomers  1724WRX Points: 152Handicap: 12Posts: 1,724 Platinum Tees
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    Late to the game here, however I have some recent experience with this topic in general. I was playing with a co worker who is early in his love affair with the game. He is a decent player due to being a natural athlete and hits the ball a long distance, but often off line, he hits a high ball with his irons that could even be described as towering. His frustration comes from routinely needing to recover from a bad tee shot,. Abut 6 holes in I started really paying attention to his drives and it became clear immediately that his ball runs and his draw is in-between a draw and a hook. I am not a instructor so I rarely give swing advise, but I did suggest that he weaken his grip and secondly that he consider a change to his ball He had been playing a e6 straight distance ball to help counter his hook, however I noticed that often his ball was landing in the fairway and running way through into the rough. I gave him a sleeve of Taylormade TP5 balls I had in my bag from a recent company outing and we started lining him up to make sure his draw had room to land and run out. The first thing I noticed with the TP5 was the increase he saw in height off the tee the TP5 was launching much higher than the previous e6 ball My initial thought was that is going to hurt his iron game., but it was evident the added height increased carry and decreased roll with his driver that kept 3 of the next 4 drives in the fairway. Surprisingly his irons weren't ballooning the trajectory was very good possibly even a little lower in his opinion. He had gone with the straight distance ball to cure a problem, I believe it was enhancing his problem, at least it seems somewhat evident from the results after the ball change. The grip and alignment changes influenced the results as well , so this is far from scientific, however I believe the ball is more important than most credit it for. with that I believe play the best ball for your budget that works for your game. Don't be quick to pick a fix it ball, try different balls and analyze your game from different perspectives. I am a big fan a playing lesson on occasion to get a set of professional eyes helping to solve some of these evasive problems on the course. My daughters instructor is adamant about playing instruction.

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  • chippa13chippa13 Members  2607WRX Points: 387Posts: 2,607 Titanium Tees
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    If you fixed the grip and alignment only and let him keep playing the E6 then he would have been fine. The E6 is one of the highest flying balls I have ever played.

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  • Mtngolfer1Mtngolfer1 Lefty Boomers  1724WRX Points: 152Handicap: 12Posts: 1,724 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @chippa13 said:

    If you fixed the grip and alignment only and let him keep playing the E6 then he would have been fine. The E6 is one of the highest flying balls I have ever played.

    Interesting bit of info, thank you. I had heard that about the t the soft being a high launching ball, but hadn't heard this about the straight distance. I play the RX and the straight distance seemed to fly considerably lower than it does. The straight distance really seems to hit the ground running as well.

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  • LumpyPocketsLumpyPockets Members  52WRX Points: 53Posts: 52 Bunkers
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    Played a duo soft spin for a few holes after league. They were a gift so not sure what they cost but they were fine. I holed out a pitch for a bird on a par 3 that I pulled 8 iron about 10 yards left of an elevated green sloping away from me as I was a little past pin hi. Popped right out of the gnarley rough landed right where I wanted and rolled down the slope dead into the hole. Obviously pure luck but best shot I had that day. Also held an elevated green with an 8 iron that I pulled (see the pattern here?) and thought for sure it would roll off the back but it didn't. Looked everywhere and it was up on the green. I think I like the fact that my poor chipping efforts will roll out a bit more and small sample size but I didn't roll through the other green I hit either. I'm going to play these next week in league and see how that goes. Might be onto something. Thanks munichop!

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  • EddieEdwardsEddieEdwards Members  369WRX Points: 79Posts: 369 Greens
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    I shoot about the same with either ball. If you struggle to keep it in play off the tee,
    surlyn is a little straighter. Otherwise, the added stopping power of urethane on approach shots and short game is an advantage.

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    Only when they hit you

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    On -, @EddieEdwards said:

    I shoot about the same with either ball. If you struggle to keep it in play off the tee,
    surlyn is a little straighter. Otherwise, the added stopping power of urethane on approach shots and short game is an advantage.

    I think it's a mixed bag for me. Sometimes the urethane hurts by checking up too soon and sometimes the ball stops near the hole.

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  • jeffrey rjeffrey r Members  2274WRX Points: 267Handicap: 13Posts: 2,274 Platinum Tees
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    I think I am ready to admit that urethane balls have been hurting my game. Been playing B330-RX, Z-Star and Q Star Tour this season, and while I love the results around the green, they can be very punitive for me off the tee.

    Said screw it this past weekend, put some DT Trusoft into the bag, and played my two best rounds of the season. Just much steadier off the tee, and that impacts the entire round for the positive. I would need to dial in some distances with iron shots, but those seemed pretty consistent with urethane balls. And I had a couple of chips with my SW that ran too much, so I figured out what I needed to do on some of those through the weekend. All-in-all, pretty pleased with the check and results around the green with the DT Trusoft—nothing that can’t be dialed in.

    Anyway, I suppose I am likely to play balls like the DT Trusoft now on a more regular basis, while still trying to see if I need/want to go back to some of my um, hundreds of urethane balls at any point...

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11816WRX Points: 1,614Posts: 11,816 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @jeffrey r said:

    I think I am ready to admit that urethane balls have been hurting my game. Been playing B330-RX, Z-Star and Q Star Tour this season, and while I love the results around the green, they can be very punitive for me off the tee.

    Said screw it this past weekend, put some DT Trusoft into the bag, and played my two best rounds of the season. Just much steadier off the tee, and that impacts the entire round for the positive. I would need to dial in some distances with iron shots, but those seemed pretty consistent with urethane balls. And I had a couple of chips with my SW that ran too much, so I figured out what I needed to do on some of those through the weekend. All-in-all, pretty pleased with the check and results around the green with the DT Trusoft—nothing that can’t be dialed in.

    Anyway, I suppose I am likely to play balls like the DT Trusoft now on a more regular basis, while still trying to see if I need/want to go back to some of my um, hundreds of urethane balls at any point...

    Entirely possible you'll have a few crooked-driving rounds with the Trusoft from time to time and eventually lose that confidence in the ball correcting your crooked drives.

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  • jeffrey rjeffrey r Members  2274WRX Points: 267Handicap: 13Posts: 2,274 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @North Butte said:

    Entirely possible you'll have a few crooked-driving rounds with the Trusoft from time to time and eventually lose that confidence in the ball correcting your crooked drives.

    Anything is possible in this crazy game we play. But I know my game pretty well, and what different balls and equipment do and don’t do. That same concept could apply to equipment just as well. A bad round with GI irons doesn’t mean I should switch to players irons or SGI irons. A bad round with my BB Fusion driver doesn’t mean I should switch to a Titleist. Not entirely out of the realm that certain balls and equipment do in fact work better for you than others.

    And yes, as an amateur, husband, father, professional (not golf...), I will hit some crooked drives. Comes with the territory. Doesn’t mean I won’t try to minimize that.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11816WRX Points: 1,614Posts: 11,816 Titanium Tees
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    I shou>

    On -, @jeffrey r said:

    On -, @North Butte said:

    Entirely possible you'll have a few crooked-driving rounds with the Trusoft from time to time and eventually lose that confidence in the ball correcting your crooked drives.

    Anything is possible in this crazy game we play. But I know my game pretty well, and what different balls and equipment do and don’t do. That same concept could apply to equipment just as well. A bad round with GI irons doesn’t mean I should switch to players irons or SGI irons. A bad round with my BB Fusion driver doesn’t mean I should switch to a Titleist. Not entirely out of the realm that certain balls and equipment do in fact work better for you than others.

    And yes, as an amateur, husband, father, professional (not golf...), I will hit some crooked drives. Comes with the territory. Doesn’t mean I won’t try to minimize that.

    I should have qualified that more strongly than saying "entirely possible". I was just trying to say "beware the Honeymoon Effect of any change".

    My advice would be to stick with the non-urethane balls long enough to really know what it's helping and what it's not. Which as you say can be hard to do when you have ten or twenty dozen Tour balls on the shelf (I know that problem very well)!

    Posted:
    “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.” 
  • agolf1agolf1 Members  1994WRX Points: 1,150Posts: 1,994 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #120

    On -, @jeffrey r said:

    Anything is possible in this crazy game we play. But I know my game pretty well, and what different balls and equipment do and don’t do. That same concept could apply to equipment just as well. A bad round with GI irons doesn’t mean I should switch to players irons or SGI irons. A bad round with my BB Fusion driver doesn’t mean I should switch to a Titleist. Not entirely out of the realm that certain balls and equipment do in fact work better for you than others.

    And yes, as an amateur, husband, father, professional (not golf...), I will hit some crooked drives. Comes with the territory. Doesn’t mean I won’t try to minimize that.

    I use surlyn balls, and technically speaking I would agree that they are generally marginally straighter. But the difference in how all of these balls behave off the driver is well within the strike variation of even very good golfers (a fraction of an inch higher or lower on the clubface is going to change spin more than the ball will). I would probably say that it's nearly impossible to tell on any one shot how exactly how much straighter it is, although over the courses of a season there is a small benefit.

    I started playing in the age of balata and did not play when the ProV1 etc was introduced. Out of habit, I've always preferred a lower spinning ball off the tee, but I must admit there isn't much difference today.

    Obviously you know your own game, and may have experienced straighter results with the surlyns. But honestly I would guess that this was also influenced by other factors than just the ball; normal swing variation, more confidence for whatever reason, etc.

    In the end, I don't think you are losing much, if anything, by using the surlyn. I struggle to see how it adds much more than a shot from the short game, and I do think there are other (slight) benefits from the ball.

    Posted:
    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
    PING G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    PING Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    PING Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
    Backup Lob Wedges:  PING Eye 2+ (58*) or PING Eye 2 XG (60*)
7

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