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How much shorter do range balls fly?


MBAndrews21

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Is there a good rule of thumb with range balls and distance?

 

These are the range balls at the course I play at. I typically add 5% to every shot. So for example, if a flag is 200 yards away, I play a shot that would go 210 normally.

 

I’m kinda thinking 5% isn’t enough, but most of the balls are in decent condition.

 

Is it even worth worrying about distances with range balls?

 

 

00C1A6FD-A233-45B2-90E4-57AE5F56B62F.jpeg

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Gapping or practicing short game with range balls is pretty pointless. 

 

You're practicing impact, and there is value to that. 

 

With a Tour ball, you can expect lower flight and higher spin around the greens pretty much across the board.

 

Long-game difference is a bit more difficult to apply across the board. For example, Ball speed gains with a Tour Ball may be negated by the lack of spin on a Range ball (or a Top Flite).  

 

That said, the practice you're employing of adding distance to a yardage on your shots is good from a course management perspective. The vast majority of misses are short. So, it is better statistically to play shots a bit longer than lasered yardage in many situations. 

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Not all Range balls are equal, typically low compression, not designed for distance.  I guesstimate 15+yds short of my Dash-ProV1x

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I wish the range I went to had balls that nice, some are so worn that you can barely see dimples, and there are at least 2 cracked in every bucket, but they still manage to charge $15 a bucket ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

With that being said, range balls are useless for distance, they are only good for warming up before you play, or getting some reps in, to work on your swing. 
 

 

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I did a comparison of that range ball vs my TP5X in an indoor simulator using GC quad and the difference was very small.....for driver it was 1-2% and on irons as much as 3%

 

* this is using the Strata range ball and the Wilson range ball, not a beat up range ball but one that looks relatively new and shiny and only looks to have been hit a few times

Edited by puresurfr
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Depends on the ball. Many are reduced flight that can 20-30-%

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44 minutes ago, MBAndrews21 said:

Is there a good rule of thumb with range balls and distance?

 

These are the range balls at the course I play at. I typically add 5% to every shot. So for example, if a flag is 200 yards away, I play a shot that would go 210 normally.

 

I’m kinda thinking 5% isn’t enough, but most of the balls are in decent condition.

 

Is it even worth worrying about distances with range balls?

 

 

00C1A6FD-A233-45B2-90E4-57AE5F56B62F.jpeg

You think that's bad, try to do a top quality fitting where all you can use is balls like that. Makes a tricky job that much more difficult.

 

The Strata range ball pictured actually isn't THAT bad, but of course there are going to be discrepancies. They don't spin as much as a urethane covered ball off wedges and short irons so actually tend to go further than they should off those clubs. In the mid irons, I've found that it actually spins slightly MORE than typical Tour-type ball (weird, I know, but it does) which can cause it to be shorter. On long irons and woods, I see about a .02 drop in efficiency and no discernable pattern in spin other than extremely wild variations.

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16 minutes ago, puresurfr said:

 

I really dont like the results much myself....it tells me that im ridiculously short !  I was hoping to see a 5% difference and a 10% would have been awesome !

 

Take into consideration the indoor measurements are taking only ball speed and spin into account, not ball weight and aero.

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11 minutes ago, bcflyguy1 said:

The Strata range ball pictured actually isn't THAT bad, but of course there are going to be discrepancies. They don't spin as much as a urethane covered ball off wedges and short irons so actually tend to go further than they should off those clubs.

I went to a TopTracer range that had them, and I found that I was about 1 club longer with my GW and one club shorter with my 3i (back when I carried one) I also would see a big jump/drop off in distance depending on the loft setting with my driver, If I left my driver set at 7.5°, I’d carry the ball 20 yards less than I would if I lofted up to 10° 

 

The range balls where I’m at now are absolutely beat to 💩 Pinnacles …. So bad, I should post some pics 😂 

Edited by Drivingrangehero
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1 hour ago, puresurfr said:

I did a comparison of that range ball vs my TP5X in an indoor simulator using GC quad and the difference was very small.....for driver it was 1-2% and on irons as much as 3%

 

* this is using the Strata range ball and the Wilson range ball, not a beat up range ball but one that looks relatively new and shiny and only looks to have been hit a few times

 

The problem with your test is that the distance results are based on a ball trajectory model which is dependent on the ball aerodynamics and the initial launch conditions (speed, launch angle, spin).  If launch conditions are similar then the model will return similar results.

 

The real world difference between the range ball and the TP5X could be a lot different.

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1 hour ago, puresurfr said:

I did a comparison of that range ball vs my TP5X in an indoor simulator using GC quad and the difference was very small.....for driver it was 1-2% and on irons as much as 3%

 

* this is using the Strata range ball and the Wilson range ball, not a beat up range ball but one that looks relatively new and shiny and only looks to have been hit a few times

That’s awesome, exactly what I was looking for.

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22 minutes ago, jvincent said:

 

The problem with your test is that the distance results are based on a ball trajectory model which is dependent on the ball aerodynamics and the initial launch conditions (speed, launch angle, spin).  If launch conditions are similar then the model will return similar results.

 

The real world difference between the range ball and the TP5X could be a lot different.

 

So basically you are saying that indoor measurements with GC Quad are crap ....LOL

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I find they go the same distance LW to PW (weird high knuckleball flight though), and then gradually up to 10-12% shorter by the time you go to driver.

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9 minutes ago, puresurfr said:

 

So basically you are saying that indoor measurements with GC Quad are crap ....LOL

 

No, I'm saying that they can't give an exact comparison because the ball model is "generic". 

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A lot of this could depend what your daily driver golf ball is on the course.  I personally wouldn't rely on range balls for trying to figure out your yardages, I don't really think the QC tolerances on range balls are that great.  Even in a single bucket I've seen a variety.  Between that and potentially being on mats, the amount of useful data may or may not be good.  Also depending how precise you want to get, you're guessing where the ball actually land in relation to the target.

 

If I want to work on my wedge distances, there's a par 3 course near me I'll go hit up at the end of the day, if I want to work on figuring out distances on longer shots I'll go do the same but on a regular course. 

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The one thing I miss about my private club I dropped is that every year, the range fee was $150 per membership, but they got brand new Titleist AVX balls every year.

 

I googled the range balls at my public course and I think they were like 93%-95% balls.  But like others have said, I mostly focus on strike at the range, I focus on distance control on the simulator with the data readily available and with the balls I play day to day.

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5 hours ago, Drivingrangehero said:

I wish the range I went to had balls that nice, some are so worn that you can barely see dimples, and there are at least 2 cracked in every bucket, but they still manage to charge $15 a bucket ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

 

I'd ask if we go to the same range, but I'm in SoCal so ours are $20/bucket...

 

Yeah, I've had range balls there that both draw AND fade... Flight starts as my typical draw and then start fading... I'm assuming the aero properties of the ball have just gotten so asymmetrical that the ball's aero overwhelms the spin I put on it... 

 

Long story short--I don't trust the range balls for basically anything other than honing contact. MOST of them fly consistently, so unless I get some weird crazy flight like the above I at least trust that the ballflight largely is due to what strike I put on the ball. 

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Varys depending on the ball.

 

Titleist or taylormade range balls fly within a half a club of a premium ball for me.

 

srixon/marathon balls - both white and yellow fly much higher and shorter for me than a premium ball.   Ball speed with driver is about 7-10 mph lower than a premium balls.  Wind also tends to effect these much more.

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I don't notice much distance difference at my range until I get to longer irons and woods, which I think may be spin related as much as anything.

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Range time is for trajectory with less emphasis on exact yardage. Trying to use a possibly well worn and beaten range ball as an analogy to a hardly used golf ball on the course can lead to disappointment in either setting. 😄 

As for the sim test; taking the monitor outdoors would be the best idea. Indoor sims have 10-12ft which is a small 4yd snapshot of the entire distance. With a range ball that's well worn, the spin is going to generate different results over the length of the shot, but the Sim won't know that if you're telling it you're just hitting ProV1 balls.

 

Go play with your balls on the course and observe the results......

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Luckily the range I go to has very nice Pinnacle range balls. At least the flight is very true even though they are probably 5% short. I only work on strike at the range but it is nice to not have the ball wavering all over every shot 

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On 2/29/2024 at 1:56 PM, Drivingrangehero said:

I wish the range I went to had balls that nice, some are so worn that you can barely see dimples, and there are at least 2 cracked in every bucket, but they still manage to charge $15 a bucket ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

With that being said, range balls are useless for distance, they are only good for warming up before you play, or getting some reps in, to work on your swing. 
 

 

Where are playing around here that are expensive? San Lan?

 

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