Can a recreational 10+ handicap golfer REALLY tell the difference between golf balls?

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  • jjfcpajjfcpa Driver - Tour Edge EXS 10.5 Omaha, NEMembers Posts: 480 ✭✭✭✭

    Let's ask this a little differently. You've been playing the ProV1 or ProV1X. Now, in a blind test, can you tell the difference between that ball and another premium ball? Substitute your gamer for the ProV1 or ProV1X. Can you tell when you're playing something besides your gamer?

  • munichopmunichop Members Posts: 260 ✭✭✭✭

    This discussion is similar to "is urethane hurting me" thread. If you want to see my extended answers you can read them there. I am +2 and have used the Gamer Soft for 4 and a half years shooting my best scores ever with it. I have watch friends try it and grudgingly shoot better scores with it. But they mostly go back to the pro v's of the world because in their mind's eye they fancy themselves skilled enough to know the difference, regardless what the score card says. So the endless marketing with Jim Nance's voice actually works. The guy who shots mid 80's can tell the difference between golf balls. Understanding that difference and how to translate the difference into lower scores is the problem. And most guys at that level can't or won't devote the time, attention or record keeping (stats) necessary to uncover those nuances.
    All that being said most 80's player would improve if they settled on one ball, whatever it is, and always used it when chipping and putting when practicing.

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,965 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Anyone capable of cleanly striking a 7-iron once in a while can tell the difference in a Gamer Soft and a urethane ball when it lands on a firm green. Difference between a Pro V1 and a Snell MTB? That's going to take some very careful testing over a great many repeated side-by-side shots. But balls that stop versus balls that run out are pretty obvious.

    Unless of course one plays on overwatered summertime Bent grass greens where the ball makes an inch-deep crater every time it hits the putting surface. Spin matters not at all in those conditions.

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  • nlinneman20nlinneman20 Saint LouisMembers Posts: 182 ✭✭✭

    @agolf1 said:

    @zebra2955 said:
    I belive as many have stated it depends on the ball. A 3-4 piece urathane ball compared to a 2 piece surlyn will definetly show a difference.
    I did this the other day, Hit a TP5 and a 2 piece surlyn to a green with a GW. The TP5 backed up , while the 2 piece hit and bounced forward. I know the TP5 is a 5 piece
    Both were from the tee box off a tee. They landed close to each other ( I could tell by the pitch marks) but I probaly had a 8-10 yard difference in putts.
    I plan on trying this with a 3 piece surlyn when I get a chance. Got to figure out what 3 piece surlyn to get.

    Try the HEX Tour Soft from Costco!

    Just curious, how far did you hit your GW and did you see any difference in trajectory between the two balls? On similar shots (strike, wind, green condition, where on the green the ball lands, etc) like what you did, I haven't found the difference in run-out to be that large. For me, I don't think the difference is more than 5 yards for any full swing shot from a GW to a 5-iron. However, others here have said they see a big difference.

    So we played a couple weeks ago, I started out terribly, Doubled the first hole, Hole 2 I lost 2 in the woods (luckily found one), Hole 3 I hit one that I thought got thru the trees but couldnt find it. Long story short, I put the z-stars in the bag and pulled out the Kirklands. I always bring 'lesser' balls in case the round goes bad and I dont feel like losing all my good ones.

    Anywho, I found one of these Hex's on like hole 7 or so. I shot awesome for the remaining holes, I was a whole other player.

    Granted, maybe i just finally found my groove as there was no range session before our round etc. but **** it tempted me to buy some. Unfortunately I have about 6 dozen balls downstairs and if I brought home more i might be divorced.

    Strongly considering getting those when i need more tho

  • nlinneman20nlinneman20 Saint LouisMembers Posts: 182 ✭✭✭

    @agolf1 said:

    @cmagnusson said:
    Can a 10 handicap tell the difference between a TP5 and a Top flight? Yes, a friggen 40-cap can tell the difference there.

    Can a 10-cap tell the difference between a TP5 and a ProV1? Heck no, give me 100 scratch golfers and probably only 3 of them could do so with 90% accuracy though on a blinded test.

    The important question here: Does a 2 piece vs 4 piece ball make a performance difference measured in strokes gained for a mid-cap player?

    That is entirely dependent on their game. Keep in mind a player in the 10-15 cap range is almost always a very good, but very inconsistent golfer that will shoot low-mid eighties with 8 pars and 4 doubles per round. Where does that inconsistency lie dominant, and is there a ball-characteristic that can heal the problem? If I'm a 14 cap mainly due to a horrible short game and inability to always hold greens, so moving from a Pinnacle to a Chrome Soft is absolutely gonna make a 3 shot difference on my round. If I was a 14-cap due to snap-hook related fairway finding problems off the tee and having 3 3-putts a round, a ball isn't gonna make much of a difference for that guy.

    I'd say you are slightly over-estimating how good a 10-15 is. When you factor in slope and that the handicap index is roughly a golfer's 75th percentile score, I'd bet that a 10 averages about 85-86 and a 15 more like ~90 (I'd also say that 8 pars is probably 1-2 too high, 4 doubles is about right). The interesting thing about this class of golfers is that they are good enough to hit perfect shots from difficult shots frequently enough (i.e. more than once a season). But they also screw up a lot of basic things more than most people like to admit.

    I do see your point on how the ball differences may or may not impact score. Personally, I still think 3 shots is quite high, as I just don't thin the conversion rate is going up that much just due to a ball change. A horrible short game is a horrible short game. There are always exceptions but I also think the number of people that have a certain aspect of their game that is more than a few shots away from their overall ability is pretty rare.

    I'm about a 11 or 12 (just started keeping legit cap beginning this year) and I would say i average a 86. I'd say I'm around 6-8 pars a round, couple doubles, and every round I have one inevitable blow up hole where , due to penalties, i'm looking at a triple or quad.

  • Big BenBig Ben Members Posts: 9,151 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Around the greens you sure can. Will the actual ball performance help or hurt? That depends on your game.

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  • irishmike27irishmike27 Members Posts: 154 ✭✭✭

    I think some can tell the difference, some may not be able to. But I believe everyone benefits by finding a ball they like and sticking with it.

  • lawsonmanlawsonman Freeport, IllinoisMembers Posts: 5,560 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I've always played the ball that feels the best around the greens and off the putter. I don't really care about percieved distance off the driver. I've never played a ball that gave a noticable distance advantage off the tee. They all go a long way if you put a good swing on it.

    Welcome to where dumb opinions are better than no opinion. :)

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  • lawsonmanlawsonman Freeport, IllinoisMembers Posts: 5,560 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    For you guys that haven't seen Dean Snell's video.

    Welcome to where dumb opinions are better than no opinion. :)

    Ping G400 9°
    Ping Anser 17,20,23, hybrid
    Ping G410 6-UW
    Ping Glide 54,58ES
    Scotty Cameron Newport 3
    Ping DLX Bag

    Snell MTB Black
  • munichopmunichop Members Posts: 260 ✭✭✭✭

    I agree with Mr Snell about the distance and the notion that scoring is from 100 yards and in. But he mentioned trajectory and feel as well. So I have done these comparisons in my game and the winner going on 5 years now has been a 3 piece surlyn ball. Since golf is a game of misses the balls that help the most are the ones that minimize the damage. In my experience the ball designs that curve less and launch higher have helped me score the most. He is right - distance off the tee is not going to change much. Any distance gains will be roll after landing. So last evening I played an afternoon round with 3 ball types- superhot, hex tour soft and e6 (2 piece). The superhot was the firmest of the 3 , the e6 softest. I hit good and poor tee shots with each ball. If I had to play just one the hex tour soft was the best. I will continue the comparison this weekend at elevation (5000 ft) . Again, the spin advantage a urethane ball offers around the green is only as good as the player's ability to master it. If you don't have the skills and time to practice I argue the urethane balls hurt more than they help from 100 yards and in. For my own game the proof has been the score cards.

  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,268 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Sure! I can tell a difference. I just can't do much about it... hehe...

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  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @munichop said:
    I agree with Mr Snell about the distance and the notion that scoring is from 100 yards and in. But he mentioned trajectory and feel as well. So I have done these comparisons in my game and the winner going on 5 years now has been a 3 piece surlyn ball. Since golf is a game of misses the balls that help the most are the ones that minimize the damage. In my experience the ball designs that curve less and launch higher have helped me score the most. He is right - distance off the tee is not going to change much. Any distance gains will be roll after landing. So last evening I played an afternoon round with 3 ball types- superhot, hex tour soft and e6 (2 piece). The superhot was the firmest of the 3 , the e6 softest. I hit good and poor tee shots with each ball. If I had to play just one the hex tour soft was the best. I will continue the comparison this weekend at elevation (5000 ft) . Again, the spin advantage a urethane ball offers around the green is only as good as the player's ability to master it. If you don't have the skills and time to practice I argue the urethane balls hurt more than they help from 100 yards and in. For my own game the proof has been the score cards.

    So, what is the best ball for you and the replacement for the Gamersoft?

  • munichopmunichop Members Posts: 260 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tanner25
    Currently the QST if the greens are firmer and there is no wind. In Phoenix if it is breezy or receptive greens the e12 soft though the e6 is very close. At elevation I favor the e6. If the hex tour soft performs tomorrow at elevation it may be the default going forward. I would like to settle on one ball but may have to switch depending on conditions. I think I could score ok with any of them but trying to find the next GS has been like Denver trying to find the next Elway...

  • Tanner25Tanner25 Members Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 10, 2019 12:06pm #75

    Lol, agreed on the GS. It's funny, I really liked the GS when it was in production. But, when it was gone, I grew a deeper appreciation. The closest I have seen is the Duo Soft Spin.

  • munichopmunichop Members Posts: 260 ✭✭✭✭

    Tried the hex tour soft today at elevation. I struggled chipping with it. It seemed a little too lively off the face. The super hot did better and was very stable in the wind. So I will likely not try the hex tour soft again. It’s green side manners were just too harsh for me. The hex hot seems a nudge longer off the tee than anything else, regardless of elevation. The e6 is a better feeling ball and will likely be my cold weather ball.

  • Tim SherwoodTim Sherwood Members Posts: 355 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm a 12 (UK) and I can honestly say that I can only really feel the difference on my putter. I have the wedge game of a very good player and I prefer three-piece Surlyn/ionomer balls as I always play for roll out. The weak part of my game is my iron play, and the type of ball I'm hitting makes no difference when I don't make solid contact. At the moment, I'm in love with the Project S ball. Shot my lowest round ever with one last week B)

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