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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator


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July PGI Contest

Congratulations to Jim Tenney of Georgia for winning $50 towards any product sold from my site.

To register for July/August's contest worth $50, all you need to do is visit this page and enter your name and email. Refer friends to my newsletter, and you'll be entered as many times as the number of friends you refer.

Just submit the name(s) of your friend(s) on the registration page.

Download any of my PGI Golf Tips or Reports. Buy a copy of the CD, Hit Down Dammit!, a supply of CaddyPatch Impressions, Swing Machine Golf, or Swing Speed Detector or anything else, and you'll be entered once for every dollar value of your purchase.

You owe it to your game to make the best of your abilities; become " Master of Your Own Game". Stand out and improve, even without hitting any balls!!

Here's to a long lasting life of great golf!

A Brief Message  July 18/05

  • Congratulations to Tiger Woods for winning The Open.
  • My last newsletter explained how temperature and humidity affects golf ball distance. View the previous newsletter here.
  • Do you buy and play used balls? Do new balls go farther than used balls? Are they more accurate? What about dirty or scuffed balls? This newsletter will address these questions.
  • The "Dream Swing" is a swing training tool that will teach you what "your" best swing feels like. It will enable you to swing on plane and hit more consistent, solid shots. Click here to learn more.

    View the left hand side of this page for some other great golf gift ideas. Get some great golf books from amazon.com. View my recommended golf science books.

    Read your putts more accurately by measuring the slope of the green using "BreakMaster", a digital slope reader.

    Check out my latest calculator. It calculates your handicap index. You can use it whenever you like ensure you're using the right index. Click here.

Golf Game Management VIII: Dirty Balls, Scuffed Balls, Used Balls

Read other Parts from the Technology & Distance series, Short Game series and Off Season Golf series here, Archives.

Check out my new Golf Handicap Calculator

Send me any suggestions you have for the next or future newsletters. Just submit your ideas using this simple form. Now on to this week's topic.

VIII. Is ball distance affected by the condition of the ball?

    The topic of this this series is Golf Game Management. Can you shoot lower scores without physical improvement? The answer is a resounding, YES! Not that I'm advocating not improving your ball striking and short game skill level.

  Golf Digest did an interesting study which it announced in its May issue. They had Golf Laboratories test several balls with their launch monitor and computer-controlled robot using a
10-degree Callaway driver and Titleist NXT golf balls. The balls varied in condition, though.

   In the table below are the results for the different conditioned balls. All distances are in yards. Dispersion is the yardage off-line, left or right of the target.

One Round

You may have purchased my statistical analysis study on the "Longest Golf Ball." In it, I compare different golf ball distances (when hit by a mechanical hitting machine; Iron Byron) statistically. Golf Digest did not provide the number of balls hit and the individual distances of each trial, so one cannot determine the statistical significance of the difference between balls.

For instance, the total distance for a New ball is 250.3 yards while a Scuffed ball is 244.5 yards, a difference of 5.8 yards (or 2.3%). How much that distance is by chance (not all balls are the same and conditions vary) and how much is due to the "scuffs" on the ball, cannot be determined with confidence.

From my experience with golf ball testing, typically a difference of at least 3% is required before one can declare some likelihood in there being a signficant difference. None of the ball distances in the above table are significantly different from one another by more than 3%. These differences could be due just to chance. See my page on the  "Longest Golf Ball" for more detail on what is meant by significant difference due to chance.                                                                                           

  The long and short of the Golf Digest test is that no one ball (brand new or used and scuffed) is significantly longer than the other. If there is any significant difference, it's between the amounts of dispersion. The "Grass" and "Mud" balls tended to have significantly more dispersion than the others. Balls that have significant grass or mud on them would have non-symmetric dimple patterns and weightings (one side of the ball is slightly heavier than the other). Such asymmetry would cause the ball to "wobble" and go offline more.

  So, just make sure you keep your golf balls clean whenever possible. There is really no significant advantage to playing a new ball over a used ball, as long as you're aware of how used it is. The Golf Digest tests only tested one round old balls. Over the course of many rounds, a golf ball will lose its ability to compress and expand efficiently and will go less far. Most golfers don't need to worry about that because they lose their balls before they get too old.

If you find a ball or by used balls, beware that they may not be as long for the following reasons:

† The ball may have spent a significant time in water. The covers of golf balls are pourous and will absorb water; this changes the viscoelasticity of the cover and the golf ball will fly significantly less far.
† The ball may have spent a winter while "lost." Large temperature changes can alter the elasticity of the golf ball.
† The ball may be significantly used (many rounds) even if it doesn't have a lot of scuffs. Well used balls will likely travel shorter distances (although, Golf Digest did not test this).

Learn your perfect swing while attached to the "Dream Swing."
Learn when your swing goes off plane and correct it.


   As I also recommend in my "Longest Golf Ball" study, a golfer should play a golf ball that feels good to him/her. One golf ball doesn't go significantly farther than any other (even though ball manufacturers would lead you to believe otherwise). The most important quality of a golf ball is its feel for the short game, which is where golfers use the most of their shots. If your budget permits you, you should use a ball like the Titleist Pro V1 because it is soft which means you can judge short shots (putting and chips) better and it provides more backspin, while at the same time provideing the same distance as a hard ball.

   In my opinion, playing a Titleist Pro V1 that you found (as long as it looks relatively new and has likely been recently lost) is better than a new hard golf ball, like a Top-Flite.

   The wind changes the distance the ball flies more when hitting into the wind than with the wind. How much more? I have calculated that with my computer projectile model and reveal the amount in my paper on Wind Speed Effects. You can purchase your copy for only $5.99. Click here.

Order your "Altitude Club Print" now and have greater confidence in your club selection when you travel to different courses. The cost is only $9.99, less than a sleeve of golf balls.

Get more info here.

Take a look below the suggestion box for some more ideas on how you can improve your game.

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If you are more interested in finding out which golf ball is best for you and your game, consider the following:

Longest Golf Ball Report -- a statistical analysis of different golf balls hit by an
                                    Iron Byron Robot machine.


A list of resources that have been used to produce this newsletter can be found on my web site here.

The focus of my site is to utilize science and math to lower your score. New technology is one way to achieve this, but to be honest, the technology is one small piece of the puzzle.

To actually improve significantly, we all need to:

1. Improve our swings using CD Interactive, Hit Down Dammit!

2. Learn how to swing simpler like the Iron Byron with the great coffee table book, Swing Machine Golf!

3. Improve our physical fitness and strength.
The Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô
and Ultimate Golf Fitness Ebook

4. Improve our mental games. Golf Mind Software

5. Improve our Probable Golf games. Learn how to make better choices on the course through knowing how shot patterns and reading the elements and course better.

Click on the links above to take a look at ways that I personally use myself and recommend you try as well.

Hope I provided some useful ways for to become better prepared for you best golf season ever.

Ken Tannar

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