Golf Equipment

Last week I was invited to the launch of the Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1X golf balls.

Mike Mahoney The Director of Golf Ball Product Management for Titleist shared with me some amazing facts.

Titleist are responsible for every piece of the manufacturing process of the golf ball. They don’t outsource anything. The do their own research and development, they make their own components including the urethane cover (every other ball manufacturer purchases theirĀ  urethane from a company like DuPont).

A Pro V1 golf ball has to pass 91 quality control checks before it makes it into the box and is good enough to be sold.

A Pro V1 X has to pass 124 checks.

Golf balls made using the exact same formula at different times of the year eg. summer and winter perform very differently. If they are not careful this would lead to a golf ball being made that exceeds the speed limit and would get Titleist struck off the approved ball register. A very bad outcome.

Titleist can change the recipe slightly for the different times of the year so that no matter when the ball is made it will perform identically. Titleist are right on the legal speed testing limit and this process allows them to stay there.

Last year Titleist made close to 1.35 million Pro V1 & Pro V1X golf balls.

The total number of golf balls returned world wide were 15 golf balls.

What this means is they have great quality control and we the consumer get the best ball on the market. It made me think “I would be crazy to use another brand of golf ball”.

Just a footnote. I am not contracted with Titleist and other than the odd sample here and there I actually buy my own golf balls from Titleist. I have been doing this since 1985.

So do you know how far you hit the ball?

I am not talking about your driver. Although it is handy to know how far you can carry the driver so you can determine whether you can comfortably carry that lurking fairway bunker or not.

You really need to know how far you hit the ball with each club on average. Most people think they know but they totally overestimate how far they hit the ball. The result is less greens in regulation. Either because they are coming up short of the green or they are trying to hit it too hard.

I use a Flightscope Launch Monitor at Morack to measure the distances of each club in what I call a Gapping Session. I then make up a little card with the distances written on them so you take the guesswork out of choosing the right club. Many people to go to the trouble of using a GPS device to measure the distance they have to the flag but they are letting themselves down by not knowing how far they hit the ball.

If you only hit 3 more greens in regulation in your next round (by hitting the right club) that is going to at least save you 3 strokes a round (probably more) for little effort.

 











Back in 1983 when I was a 2nd year trainee golf professional I had my golf club construction theory exam. To this day I can still remember the standard lofts of golf clubs. I have created a table below showing the different lofts of the same clubs 31 years apart. It makes interested reading.

 

CLUB 1983 2014
1 iron 18 degrees Hybrid
2 iron 20 degrees Hybrid
3 iron 24 degrees 20 degrees
4 iron 28 degrees 23 degrees
5 iron 32 degrees 26 degrees
6 iron 36 degrees 29 degrees
7 iron 40 degrees 32 degrees
8 iron 44 degrees 36 degrees
9 iron 48 degrees 40 degrees
PW 52 degrees 45 degrees
SW 56 degrees 54 degrees

From the table above. A Ping G25 7 iron is the equivalent of a 5 iron from 1983. So if we allow a 10 m difference per club, we are looking at a modern 7 iron going some 20m difference in distance to that of one from 1983.

As you can see down the bottom of the table there is a 9 degree difference in loft between the present day PW and the SW. This gap is difficult to cover and requires a great deal of skill touch and feel.between these clubs. So the golf club manufacturers have created new clubs called things like a Gap wedge, U Wedge, A wedge etc to fit in between this gap.