“How do you test a golf ball?”

It’s a fairly straightforward question but as you can imagine, when your focus is designing and developing the #1 ball in golf there are countless paths and roads that the journey to finding the answer will take. However, the one constant is that this journey always starts with the golfer.

And our player research team is on the front lines of this mission each and every day. From traveling around the globe to test prototypes with golfers of every skill level to hitting thousands of golf balls to record launch conditions, this team plays a critical role in the golf ball R&D process.

Collecting the launch condition data and working with golfers to understand how they are approaching impact is essential to developing the tests that will help guide product development.

“Whatever launch condition we achieved with the players we want to try and replicate that with a robot,” said Product Testing Manager Rich Daprato.

“Because of the repeatability of the robot we can test large amounts of samples and get real tight data groups.”

Armed with the data, the robots get to work on specific tests but then the journey comes back full circle as product validation is only achieved after extensive player testing.

“We want to know who you are and why you love the game and how we can make products that perform best for you,” said Player Research Supervisor Karen Gray.

So how do you a test a golf ball?

It’s a long process that involves a lot of people and best-in-class technology but most importantly, it begins and ends with the golfer.

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The “low checker,” the “skipper” or the “one hop and stop shot” – it has many names and it’s one shot that just about every golfer would love to add to their short game arsenal.

Seeing a ball stop on a dime next to the pin is a thrill every golfer wants to experience, and with the help of Titleist Staff Professional James Sieckmann, we can all learn how to hit this shot. 

James' keys to keeping the ball low, with a lot of spin in order to maximize control. 

>> Keep the hands close to the body with a lot of hinge on the take-away.

>> Stay on top of the ball during the backswing.

>> Shift your weight towards the target on the down swing. 

Take these tips to the practice range and check out the entire collection of 18 Shots videos by clicking on the image below. 

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We continue our exploration of the new technology and benefits featured in the 915 family of metals with a closer look at the Radial Speed Face design. We went behind the scenes to ask the experts and here is what they had to say… 

Working in combination with the Active Recoil Channel, the Radial Speed Face increases ball speed on off-center hits for more distance and more consistent speeds across the clubface.

The high-speed, variable thickness face insert has a central thick portion, but is thinner and organically tapered as you move out from center. During the development of 915, Titleist R&D identified specific areas on the face insert, particularly in the heel and toe, which could be thinned further to increase performance on off-center hits.

“Active Recoil Channel and the Radial Speed Face are two technologies that really work well together,” said Dan Stone, Vice President of Research and Development, Titleist Golf Clubs. “ARC does an excellent job increasing ball speeds overall, however, its biggest effect happens low on the club face where the channel is positioned. As you move off center and mishit heel or toe, that’s where the Radial Speed Face insert kicks in –you’re getting more flex in those areas which helps generate more speed.

“The speed consistency on heel and toe hits is one of the first things Tour players are noticing. They don’t hit it off-center too often, but when they do it’s often a pressure situation when they need forgiveness the most.”

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