DISTANCE DEBATE Robot testing old balata golf balls with modern equipment

Professional golfers are hitting the golf ball much further now than ever before.

The result of which means golf courses now have to occupy more land than ever before and we don’t get to see the skill of proper ball-striking anymore with the majority of approach shots coming from the shortest irons in the bad.

But what fraction of the increase in distance is due to the modern golf ball?

To get some sort of answer, Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall reported on some tests on a robot used by golf equipment manufacturers to test their golf clubs.

Wall does a great job of quickly summarizing a few stats that puts into perspective just how ridiculously far the modern-day tour player is hitting the golf ball.

Daly also happened to be the only player who averaged more than 300 yards for the 2001 season. Compared to the 70 players averaging 300-plus this season on Tour, it’s fair to say we’re living in the age of “bomb and gouge.”

These ran a series of experiments at different swing speeds to determine what was the extra distance gained when using a modern urethane golf ball compared to an old balata golf ball.

The results including spin rate, are fascinating with the biggest distance reduction coming from the driver with high swings speeds.

A couple of the takeaways were intriguing and indicate rolling back the golf ball to ones with high spin rates would be a good place to start.

  • 6-iron distance loss is roughly 1 club shorter when comparing the two balls
  • If you were to combine the modern-day Tour driver with a Tour-level balata at mid or mid-high spin, a distance loss of 40-plus yards is possible.

Read the full, fascinating article over at Golf.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.