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Is a Urethane Ball Hurting Me?

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  • Golf4liferGolf4lifer Members Posts: 553 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 28, 2019 11:44pm #152

    @agolf1 said:

    @Golf4lifer said:
    Do you feel like you have control when chipping with the surlyn ball? What happens when you have a lie or are short sided and cannot use your base shot?

    The urethane ball is truly not going to hurt you as much as you think.

    At my skill level, you only have so much control (of anything). Here's another way to ask the question - do I believe someone shooting mostly in the 80s can control anything real well? The answer is no. In someways, it's the same issue with double digit handicaps saying they can work their iron shots in 4 different ways (up, down, left, right). Sure, every now and then there is someone that can do it consistently. Most players at that level can't but a lot of them believe they can. And my short game isn't bad -- it's just nothing to brag about either.

    I have one higher lofted wedge (currently 57 but often 58 or 60 degrees) that I can use when you have less green to work with or a bad lie. I've also learned over the years that many times it's better to just hit it 10, 20, 30 feet whatever past the hole, try to two-putt, and accept that the bogey was the result of a bad iron shot.

    I don't think the urethane will hurt me much once I got accustomed to chipping/pitching with it and using less loft in certain situations (although munichop may be right). But I just don't think it adds much either (I laid out my numbers above). I've asked many people to quantify what the benefit is in strokes saved and very few "pro urethane" guys can actually do it (you may have been one of them). Everyone just tells the stories about the good rounds and shots that they pulled off, and then blames a low conversion rate on a "bad day" (it's all skill when it works and all bad luck when it doesn't, right?)

    This is where we disagree. We are about the same level of golfer and I would say I have full control over my chips/pitches. Do I hit bad shots, of course, but who doesn’t? I will say this, I feel my misses with a urethane ball are not a severe around the greens.

    Now you want numbers to support that a urethane ball is better, but that is hard to quantify. Let’s take my last round last night (9 holes) as an example. I shot a 40 so +5 on this course. I hit 3 girs and 2 of those were par 3’s. On the other 6 holes I was on the fringe 3 times. I hit a tee shot ob for a double bogey, 1 in a bunker = bogey, and the other was in the rough (another bogey). On this hole I hit my chip to 4 feet that left me a very makable par putt, but I pulled the putt. Did the urethane ball help or hurt on this hole? If you look at the up and down stat, you would say it hurt because I missed the putt, but I’ll take that putt every time because it gives me a chance at par.

    I haven’t played much of late due to moving my daughter to college, but my two 18 hole rounds that are fresh in my mind I was 5 of 8 and 3 of 7 in up and downs. Did I miss due to a bad chip/pitch or a bad putt? I was say 90% was because of the putt and 10% because of my short game. Maybe I’m delusional but, my short game improved from practice and switching to a urethane ball.

  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,612 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Golf4lifer said:

    @agolf1 said:

    @Golf4lifer said:
    Do you feel like you have control when chipping with the surlyn ball? What happens when you have a lie or are short sided and cannot use your base shot?

    The urethane ball is truly not going to hurt you as much as you think.

    At my skill level, you only have so much control (of anything). Here's another way to ask the question - do I believe someone shooting mostly in the 80s can control anything real well? The answer is no. In someways, it's the same issue with double digit handicaps saying they can work their iron shots in 4 different ways (up, down, left, right). Sure, every now and then there is someone that can do it consistently. Most players at that level can't but a lot of them believe they can. And my short game isn't bad -- it's just nothing to brag about either.

    I have one higher lofted wedge (currently 57 but often 58 or 60 degrees) that I can use when you have less green to work with or a bad lie. I've also learned over the years that many times it's better to just hit it 10, 20, 30 feet whatever past the hole, try to two-putt, and accept that the bogey was the result of a bad iron shot.

    I don't think the urethane will hurt me much once I got accustomed to chipping/pitching with it and using less loft in certain situations (although munichop may be right). But I just don't think it adds much either (I laid out my numbers above). I've asked many people to quantify what the benefit is in strokes saved and very few "pro urethane" guys can actually do it (you may have been one of them). Everyone just tells the stories about the good rounds and shots that they pulled off, and then blames a low conversion rate on a "bad day" (it's all skill when it works and all bad luck when it doesn't, right?)

    This is where we disagree. We are about the same level of golfer and I would say I have full control over my chips/pitches. Do I hit bad shots, of course, but who doesn’t? I will say this, I feel my misses with a urethane ball are not a severe around the greens.

    Now you want numbers to support that a urethane ball is better, but that is hard to quantify. Let’s take my last round last night (9 holes) as an example. I shot a 40 so +5 on this course. I hit 3 girs and 2 of those were par 3’s. On the other 6 holes I was on the fringe 3 times. I hit a tee shot ob for a double bogey, 1 in a bunker = bogey, and the other was in the rough (another bogey). On this hole I hit my chip to 4 feet that left me a very makable par putt, but I pulled the putt. Did the urethane ball help or hurt on this hole? If you look at the up and down stat, you would say it hurt because I missed the putt, but I’ll take that putt every time because it gives me a chance at par.

    I haven’t played much of late due to moving my daughter to college, but my two 18 hole rounds that are fresh in my mind I was 5 of 8 and 3 of 7 in up and downs. Did I miss due to a bad chip/pitch or a bad putt? I was say 90% was because of the putt and 10% because of my short game. Maybe I’m delusional but, my short game improved from practice and switching to a urethane ball.

    Fair enough. I'd say your short game is probably better than mine so you may actually see more of the benefits. I don't average 8/15 over an extended period of time (I also don't include putts from the fringe as an up/down as long as the starting point was within a foot of the green - not sure what you are doing here but it's probably not the main issue). You are correct that the stats are hard to pin down in the short-run. But in the long-run they are fairly accurate. There's also the 15 footer for par that you make where you could have got there with a ProV1 or a range ball.

    I've assumed a can hold my up/down% the same as it is now on the basic shots (70%-80% of greenside opportunities) once I am familiar with using less loft. So no worse (which may be wrong). It's just that I don't see much benefit on average from the higher spin on the other 20%-30% of opportunities. Even at 50%, this is 1-1.5 shots per round, and there's no way it's 50% from these spots even with a better ball for me. One could respond with it's still a benefit though and maybe that's true.

    As I've mentioned, I will probably give the urethanes a decent try once my SuperSofts are gone. But I won't be surprised if I end up back with the surlyns.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I've been reading over my last several posts in this thread. At some point I switched from making what I thought were a couple good points to sounding like a broken record and just nagging anyone who has a different point of view.

    Sorry guys. I'm not sure why I went all argumentative and repetitive. I'll try to do better in future.

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  • Golf4liferGolf4lifer Members Posts: 553 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 29, 2019 12:34am #155

    @agolf1 said:

    @Golf4lifer said:

    @agolf1 said:

    @Golf4lifer said:
    Do you feel like you have control when chipping with the surlyn ball? What happens when you have a lie or are short sided and cannot use your base shot?

    The urethane ball is truly not going to hurt you as much as you think.

    At my skill level, you only have so much control (of anything). Here's another way to ask the question - do I believe someone shooting mostly in the 80s can control anything real well? The answer is no. In someways, it's the same issue with double digit handicaps saying they can work their iron shots in 4 different ways (up, down, left, right). Sure, every now and then there is someone that can do it consistently. Most players at that level can't but a lot of them believe they can. And my short game isn't bad -- it's just nothing to brag about either.

    I have one higher lofted wedge (currently 57 but often 58 or 60 degrees) that I can use when you have less green to work with or a bad lie. I've also learned over the years that many times it's better to just hit it 10, 20, 30 feet whatever past the hole, try to two-putt, and accept that the bogey was the result of a bad iron shot.

    I don't think the urethane will hurt me much once I got accustomed to chipping/pitching with it and using less loft in certain situations (although munichop may be right). But I just don't think it adds much either (I laid out my numbers above). I've asked many people to quantify what the benefit is in strokes saved and very few "pro urethane" guys can actually do it (you may have been one of them). Everyone just tells the stories about the good rounds and shots that they pulled off, and then blames a low conversion rate on a "bad day" (it's all skill when it works and all bad luck when it doesn't, right?)

    This is where we disagree. We are about the same level of golfer and I would say I have full control over my chips/pitches. Do I hit bad shots, of course, but who doesn’t? I will say this, I feel my misses with a urethane ball are not a severe around the greens.

    Now you want numbers to support that a urethane ball is better, but that is hard to quantify. Let’s take my last round last night (9 holes) as an example. I shot a 40 so +5 on this course. I hit 3 girs and 2 of those were par 3’s. On the other 6 holes I was on the fringe 3 times. I hit a tee shot ob for a double bogey, 1 in a bunker = bogey, and the other was in the rough (another bogey). On this hole I hit my chip to 4 feet that left me a very makable par putt, but I pulled the putt. Did the urethane ball help or hurt on this hole? If you look at the up and down stat, you would say it hurt because I missed the putt, but I’ll take that putt every time because it gives me a chance at par.

    I haven’t played much of late due to moving my daughter to college, but my two 18 hole rounds that are fresh in my mind I was 5 of 8 and 3 of 7 in up and downs. Did I miss due to a bad chip/pitch or a bad putt? I was say 90% was because of the putt and 10% because of my short game. Maybe I’m delusional but, my short game improved from practice and switching to a urethane ball.

    Fair enough. I'd say your short game is probably better than mine so you may actually see more of the benefits. I don't average 8/15 over an extended period of time (I also don't include putts from the fringe as an up/down as long as the starting point was within a foot of the green - not sure what you are doing here but it's probably not the main issue). You are correct that the stats are hard to pin down in the short-run. But in the long-run they are fairly accurate. There's also the 15 footer for par that you make where you could have got there with a ProV1 or a range ball.

    I've assumed a can hold my up/down% the same as it is now on the basic shots (70%-80% of greenside opportunities) once I am familiar with using less loft. So no worse (which may be wrong). It's just that I don't see much benefit on average from the higher spin on the other 20%-30% of opportunities. Even at 50%, this is 1-1.5 shots per round, and there's no way it's 50% from these spots even with a better ball for me. One could respond with it's still a benefit though and maybe that's true.

    As I've mentioned, I will probably give the urethanes a decent try once my SuperSofts are gone. But I won't be surprised if I end up back with the surlyns.

    I don’t count my shots from the fringe in my up and downs as I am putting those the majority of the time. Maybe I should as it might improve that stat.

    If I were you I’d stick with what’s working for you. I wasn’t getting the results I wanting around the greens with a surlyn ball and that’s why I switched.

  • erock9174erock9174 North Canton, OHMembers Posts: 4,014 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    This thread is pretty timely for me.

    From when I took up golf until the end of 2017 I always gamed a surlyn ball. My rationale was that it was ‘straighter’ off the tee and higher launching and that in the other parts of my game I wasn’t good enough to warrant a urethane ball.
    In 2018, I felt my game was pretty consistent and trending upward (got to around a 12 cap) so I wanted to commit to a urethane ball and switched to the Chrome Soft. Often times I would hit a Supersoft and Superhot Bold and all 3 balls would have a similar flight and on similar strikes were within a yard or 2 of each other. I did feel that the urethane gave me better chipping control. There is always that slight bit of check that I could count on (not a high spin player) and seem to control decently.

    Switch to this year. Admittedly after the ‘Ball Test’ I got away from the Chrome Soft and have been trying other urethane balls. On bad driving days I was guilty of switching back to a surlyn ball. Probably just as a placebo effect that it will maybe fly higher and straighter… which I don’t believe they really do off the driver.
    Which brings me to my ‘ah-ha’ moment.

    I was playing Saturday morning and had a decent round going with a chance to shoot in the 70’s which is good for me (Avg an 84). Needed to par #18.
    From the fairway I hit my 135 yd approach with a beauty of a 9i; nice high and struck as well as I could. Pitch mark is 2” from the cup (up front) on an level green and the surlyn Supersoft I was playing rolled out 50’ to the back and I 3 putted the hole for an 80.

    I am convinced had that shot been with a urethane ball it either stops dead or rolls out maybe 5-10’ and I have a look at birdie. All I can think of is maybe it hit a small pebble or something causing it to lose spin but the ball did not appear to take any weird bounces and the pitch mark was pretty deep. My playing partner said, that has to be the worst beat I have ever seen……Thanks Bro

    So for me I will venture back into using urethane balls. Don’t get me wrong I think surlyn offers decent playability but simply put for a low spin/low launch player like myself I think the urethane is worth it to help with a bit of stopping power and chipping control.

    I know we all seemed to get off the OP’s subject here but it's worthwhile conversation.
    One thing I noticed is we haven’t really discussed everyone’s ball flight, spin rates, and descent angles. Some claim to stop balls with even low lofted irons and such.
    I can totally believe this. I have golfed with high swing speed guys (I only swing about 89-92 with driver) that hit their 4i higher than I seem to hit my PW. They can stop anything because their angle of decent is probably 50+ and spinning the crap out of the ball. To where my descent angle with a 6i is only 32 (off the deck). I have a better chance stopping a hybrid which averages about 38* for me. Just some food for thought that there are other factors to consider when choosing a ball.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @erock9174 said:
    One thing I noticed is we haven’t really discussed everyone’s ball flight, spin rates, and descent angles. Some claim to stop balls with even low lofted irons and such.
    I can totally believe this. I have golfed with high swing speed guys (I only swing about 89-92 with driver) that hit their 4i higher than I seem to hit my PW. They can stop anything because their angle of decent is probably 50+ and spinning the crap out of the ball. To where my descent angle with a 6i is only 32 (off the deck). I have a better chance stopping a hybrid which averages about 38* for me. Just some food for thought that there are other factors to consider when choosing a ball.

    There is also the fact that the irons most of us play nowadays have the hot faces which are designed to take a bit of spin off our iron shots. So for something like your bad-bounce 9-iron shot it might be a perfect storm. You have a low ballflight, you're using the G700 hot-faced irons and you were hitting a Surlyn ball. Just too much of a good thing.

    “1lb beefstak, with
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    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
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  • tsecortsecor Loading........ Members Posts: 4,385 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I am a believer the ball can help quite a bit in certain situations but play whatever ball works for you......if you are shooting mid 80's and above, who really cares about how low the ball comes off the club and how much it spins.....and all the other marketing crap you hear all day long...how do you score with X ball? that's all that really matters. When you start scoring below 80 and are really trying to reach that 75 and below range, maybe start analyzing the ball a bit more....but use what works for you. If its a $.50 ball, go for it.....
    I am a 10-13 HDCP depending on how much i play and i love the prov1 and use it a lot....BUT i used the much maligned chromesoft last year and played very well with it..... the only ball i cant seem to hit well is the TP5/TP5X.....when i mishit the TP5, it flies very far off course....its actually weird to see it act in this manner

  • sshadow2sshadow2 Members Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 29, 2019 5:08pm #159

    @tsecor said:
    I am a believer the ball can help quite a bit in certain situations but play whatever ball works for you......if you are shooting mid 80's and above, who really cares about how low the ball comes off the club and how much it spins.....and all the other marketing crap you hear all day long...how do you score with X ball? that's all that really matters. When you start scoring below 80 and are really trying to reach that 75 and below range, maybe start analyzing the ball a bit more....but use what works for you. If its a $.50 ball, go for it.....

    You sound like someone who doesn't believe in high handicappers getting fitted for their equipment. I beg to differ. In getting fit, I have more optimal ball flight characteristics and can somewhat plan my approach shots better, and actually hit them more consistently. I typically play to 100 yds and gap wedge into the green. With my high ball flight, I can stop surlyn balls (e6 soft, supersoft, MT Tourney this season) to within 6' of the pitch mark on a level green. (With my Lob, I can stop within 2'-3') This is fine for me.

    Do I notice more check with a urethane ball? Absolutely. Its fun around the greens with one. But, for me, getting to the green can take longer. Straighter off the tee has been better for my game. Less stress.

    Different balls do different things for me at my level, and I can see it for myself. I care how the ball comes off my clubs, how much it spins, etc. I shoot generally in the upper 90s.

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  • arbeckarbeck SeattleMembers Posts: 484 ✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:

    There is also the fact that the irons most of us play nowadays have the hot faces which are designed to take a bit of spin off our iron shots. So for something like your bad-bounce 9-iron shot it might be a perfect storm. You have a low ballflight, you're using the G700 hot-faced irons and you were hitting a Surlyn ball. Just too much of a good thing.

    The hotness of a club face has next to zero effect on spin. Spin is almost entirely created by spin loft and speed. A 39* G700 and a 39* blade swung with the same delivery numbers are going to spin nearly the same. A little bit of spin can be generated by pulling the CG away from the face (that's why a driver with the CG forward spins less than one with the CG back). So you might even see a G700 spin MORE than a blade at the same loft.

    All that being said, most of us need as much spin as we can get. Most of us are swinging slower so we aren't generating as much spin. The lower ball speed makes the peak height lower which lowers our descent angle. And using lower lofted clubs only increases this. Combine that with the fact that almost everything that happens on the golf course takes spin (wet ball, rough, etc.) and almost nothing gives us more; and we need all the spin we can get to start with. If your 9i spins 5000RPM under ideal conditions and the rough knocks 500RPM off, that's far worse than losing 500RPM when you're spinning at 7000RPM. The higher your starting spin is (within reason) the more consistent your ball flight will be. That's why I would advise most amateurs to play the ball with the most spin they can stand the feel of. Very few off us really need spin reduction. The issue is that all things being equal, the harder the ball, the more spin you get. And the slower you swing the worse a firm ball tends to feel.

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  • erock9174erock9174 North Canton, OHMembers Posts: 4,014 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:

    @erock9174 said:
    One thing I noticed is we haven’t really discussed everyone’s ball flight, spin rates, and descent angles. Some claim to stop balls with even low lofted irons and such.
    I can totally believe this. I have golfed with high swing speed guys (I only swing about 89-92 with driver) that hit their 4i higher than I seem to hit my PW. They can stop anything because their angle of decent is probably 50+ and spinning the crap out of the ball. To where my descent angle with a 6i is only 32 (off the deck). I have a better chance stopping a hybrid which averages about 38* for me. Just some food for thought that there are other factors to consider when choosing a ball.

    There is also the fact that the irons most of us play nowadays have the hot faces which are designed to take a bit of spin off our iron shots. So for something like your bad-bounce 9-iron shot it might be a perfect storm. You have a low ballflight, you're using the G700 hot-faced irons and you were hitting a Surlyn ball. Just too much of a good thing.

    In the sake of transparency the shot was with my old gamer 588 Altitude 9i which flies a little higher I think than my G700, but may actually spin less (at my fitting the G700 7i spun more than my Altitude 7i).
    Nonetheless I have had my fair share of OTT pull hooks that fly very low left and long and nothing is going to stop them if by some chance they catch part of the green.
    So I get where you are coming from.

    But as arbeck mentioned it may not be the design of the club causing the lowerish spin its probably more to do with the modern lofts of today's SGI/distance oriented clubs.
    So I guess really my 6i is more like a 5i and I have never had any business gaming a 5i as low as I hit them.

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    Handicap: 10.8


  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,612 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @erock9174 said:
    I was playing Saturday morning and had a decent round going with a chance to shoot in the 70’s which is good for me (Avg an 84). Needed to par #18.
    From the fairway I hit my 135 yd approach with a beauty of a 9i; nice high and struck as well as I could. Pitch mark is 2” from the cup (up front) on an level green and the surlyn Supersoft I was playing rolled out 50’ to the back and I 3 putted the hole for an 80.

    I am convinced had that shot been with a urethane ball it either stops dead or rolls out maybe 5-10’ and I have a look at birdie. All I can think of is maybe it hit a small pebble or something causing it to lose spin but the ball did not appear to take any weird bounces and the pitch mark was pretty deep. My playing partner said, that has to be the worst beat I have ever seen……Thanks Bro

    One thing I noticed is we haven’t really discussed everyone’s ball flight, spin rates, and descent angles. Some claim to stop balls with even low lofted irons and such.
    I can totally believe this. I have golfed with high swing speed guys (I only swing about 89-92 with driver) that hit their 4i higher than I seem to hit my PW. They can stop anything because their angle of decent is probably 50+ and spinning the crap out of the ball. To where my descent angle with a 6i is only 32 (off the deck). I have a better chance stopping a hybrid which averages about 38* for me. Just some food for thought that there are other factors to consider when choosing a ball.

    Nice round and hopefully you can break the 80 mark again soon.

    I've "discussed" this with @North Butte quite a bit before. As you note, I acknowledge that we all hit the ball different, but I really wonder how reasonable it is to say one ball rolls out 10 feet and another 50 feet under the same conditions (wind, green firmness, upslope/downslope on the green, strike, etc)? The difference in spin-rates on full iron shots that I've seen is often 500 - 1000 rpms between the urethane balls and the non-max distance surlyns. That's the difference in 1-2 clubs (i.e. do you think your 8-iron/7-iron with a urethane would have rolled out the same 50 feet?). Dean Snell has also said 1000 rpms with a wedge is like 5 feet. I'm not sure what the difference is with a lower lofted club.

    I don't swing a ton faster than you do (mid-90s with the driver) and also would probably have hit a 9-iron (40 degrees) from 135 yards if no wind. I do hit down on the ball a fair amount and I'd say that my flight is reasonably high for my swingspeed (there's only so high you can hit it at this speed). On full-swing 8-iron - SW, I'd say the urethanes are usually within ~6 feet of the pitch mark (often right on top of it), and the surlyns are within ~12 feet (often within 5 feet or so). For the 5-iron through 7-iron, I've found that the higher flight of the surlyns seems to keep the stopping distance fairly close. Although with these clubs there also seems to be more variance in the ball flight even on pretty good shots due to inherent strike differences.

    I play on fairly receptive greens (they can be fast but they do hold shots well), which of course could be part of it. But I have also played a lot where it is 100 degrees plus / bermuda greens that are rock hard in the summer, and I don't think the DIFFERENCE between the two balls is that much. I'm not disputing that your ball released 50 feet, but to think that a different ball would have kept it to 10 feet seems a bit like the argument that the surlyn will keep you out of the trees while the urethanes won't off the tee. There's a marginal difference there (probably even smaller than what we are talking about) but that big of an end result doesn't seem to be justified based on how the balls behave in a controlled environment.

    I'm all for playing the urethane but I struggle to see this type of difference on full shots with the same strike and same conditions.

    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
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    PING Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
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  • deepreddeepred Members Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭

    A well struck 9i rolled 50’? That’s a lot of roll for a 70’s TopFlight hit with a 4iron. Did any other irons roll like that?

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  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,376 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 30, 2019 11:21am #164

    I can't believe one scores that differently between surlyn and urethane. I think there's other real factors that come into play, cost and feel. For me, that's the bottom line. As said, above, slow and fast swingers both feel (need) different balls.

  • erock9174erock9174 North Canton, OHMembers Posts: 4,014 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @deepred said:
    A well struck 9i rolled 50’? That’s a lot of roll for a 70’s TopFlight hit with a 4iron. Did any other irons roll like that?

    No issues that day other than that last hole. My playing partner who played college golf looked at me and said that’s the worst beat he’s ever seen on the course. All I can figure is it hit a tiny stone or something.

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  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,612 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @erock9174 said:

    @deepred said:
    A well struck 9i rolled 50’? That’s a lot of roll for a 70’s TopFlight hit with a 4iron. Did any other irons roll like that?

    No issues that day other than that last hole. My playing partner who played college golf looked at me and said that’s the worst beat he’s ever seen on the course. All I can figure is it hit a tiny stone or something.

    Seems like a bad break at the wrong time. But if this was the case (tiny stone), how would the urethane have stopped dead or only rolled out 5-10 feet?

    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
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  • nlinneman20nlinneman20 Saint LouisMembers Posts: 209 ✭✭✭

    @Golf4lifer said:

    @agolf1 said:

    @Golf4lifer said:

    @agolf1 said:

    @Golf4lifer said:
    Do you feel like you have control when chipping with the surlyn ball? What happens when you have a lie or are short sided and cannot use your base shot?

    The urethane ball is truly not going to hurt you as much as you think.

    At my skill level, you only have so much control (of anything). Here's another way to ask the question - do I believe someone shooting mostly in the 80s can control anything real well? The answer is no. In someways, it's the same issue with double digit handicaps saying they can work their iron shots in 4 different ways (up, down, left, right). Sure, every now and then there is someone that can do it consistently. Most players at that level can't but a lot of them believe they can. And my short game isn't bad -- it's just nothing to brag about either.

    I have one higher lofted wedge (currently 57 but often 58 or 60 degrees) that I can use when you have less green to work with or a bad lie. I've also learned over the years that many times it's better to just hit it 10, 20, 30 feet whatever past the hole, try to two-putt, and accept that the bogey was the result of a bad iron shot.

    I don't think the urethane will hurt me much once I got accustomed to chipping/pitching with it and using less loft in certain situations (although munichop may be right). But I just don't think it adds much either (I laid out my numbers above). I've asked many people to quantify what the benefit is in strokes saved and very few "pro urethane" guys can actually do it (you may have been one of them). Everyone just tells the stories about the good rounds and shots that they pulled off, and then blames a low conversion rate on a "bad day" (it's all skill when it works and all bad luck when it doesn't, right?)

    This is where we disagree. We are about the same level of golfer and I would say I have full control over my chips/pitches. Do I hit bad shots, of course, but who doesn’t? I will say this, I feel my misses with a urethane ball are not a severe around the greens.

    Now you want numbers to support that a urethane ball is better, but that is hard to quantify. Let’s take my last round last night (9 holes) as an example. I shot a 40 so +5 on this course. I hit 3 girs and 2 of those were par 3’s. On the other 6 holes I was on the fringe 3 times. I hit a tee shot ob for a double bogey, 1 in a bunker = bogey, and the other was in the rough (another bogey). On this hole I hit my chip to 4 feet that left me a very makable par putt, but I pulled the putt. Did the urethane ball help or hurt on this hole? If you look at the up and down stat, you would say it hurt because I missed the putt, but I’ll take that putt every time because it gives me a chance at par.

    I haven’t played much of late due to moving my daughter to college, but my two 18 hole rounds that are fresh in my mind I was 5 of 8 and 3 of 7 in up and downs. Did I miss due to a bad chip/pitch or a bad putt? I was say 90% was because of the putt and 10% because of my short game. Maybe I’m delusional but, my short game improved from practice and switching to a urethane ball.

    Fair enough. I'd say your short game is probably better than mine so you may actually see more of the benefits. I don't average 8/15 over an extended period of time (I also don't include putts from the fringe as an up/down as long as the starting point was within a foot of the green - not sure what you are doing here but it's probably not the main issue). You are correct that the stats are hard to pin down in the short-run. But in the long-run they are fairly accurate. There's also the 15 footer for par that you make where you could have got there with a ProV1 or a range ball.

    I've assumed a can hold my up/down% the same as it is now on the basic shots (70%-80% of greenside opportunities) once I am familiar with using less loft. So no worse (which may be wrong). It's just that I don't see much benefit on average from the higher spin on the other 20%-30% of opportunities. Even at 50%, this is 1-1.5 shots per round, and there's no way it's 50% from these spots even with a better ball for me. One could respond with it's still a benefit though and maybe that's true.

    As I've mentioned, I will probably give the urethanes a decent try once my SuperSofts are gone. But I won't be surprised if I end up back with the surlyns.

    I don’t count my shots from the fringe in my up and downs as I am putting those the majority of the time. Maybe I should as it might improve that stat.

    If I were you I’d stick with what’s working for you. I wasn’t getting the results I wanting around the greens with a surlyn ball and that’s why I switched.

    I think you should, anything your putting off the green isn't considered a putt. So if you putt from the 1st cut, knock it close and putt it in, its considered a 'chip' and a 1 putt i believe as you could have just as easily chipped it from the 1st cut.

  • lenman73lenman73 Members Posts: 824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think their are too many variables to make an absolute statement on what's better. Feel, personal ball flight, geographic location (constant dried baked out greens), funds available for balls, practice time etc.

    My playing partner only buys 2 piece balls and never practices. It is what it is for him. I usually see him chip through a green at least 3 times a round. I am a midcap that loves to practice the short game. And I take into consideration what course I'm playing as to what ball I will put into play. If it's a course near my house that opened in the 70's then a non urethane ball will work fine. And from a good lie, I can spin chips just fine onto these greens. Most of the newer courses around here have firmer conditions and then I use a tour ball. I can get away with this in southwest michigan, I do not know what conditions in Arizona would be like or playing at elevation.

    As I said , i think there is just too much to consider to be firm in saying one is better than the other period. If I only played one course near me, i would never need a tour ball, if I played the other one four miles away, I would never play a nontour. You gotta do you and figure out what is best in your situation.

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