For our Titleist Golf Ball R&D team, the goal is always the same: Design and develop the most consistent and best performing golf balls to help golfers shoot lower scores. It's a process focused on continuous improvement, fostered by many talented individuals working tirelessly behind the scenes.
Of course, there's also some really cool (and extremely sophisticated) test equipment that plays a role in continually making the best golf balls in the game even better.
Case in point: The Titleist R&D team recently fired up one of their mechanical robots to film golf ball impact footage, using a high-speed camera, at 22,000 frames per second.
The second we heard this was happening, we were inspired to bring you an exclusive insider’s view. So we grabbed our cameras, headed to the Manchester Lane Testing facility and met up with Paul Furze, Manager of Product Test Methods.
Paul's plan was to run through a series of tests and capture the moment of impact of different Titleist golf ball models across various ball speeds. Using the high-speed footage, the team could then analyze how the golf ball reacts to the force being applied and show the actual compression upon impact.
One result, as you will see in the video: "If you compare the 120 mph driver [ball] speed to the 175 mph driver [ball] speed, you'll see that the compression on the ball is really quite similar," said Furze. In other words, every player, no matter their swing speed, compresses the golf ball.
Check out the video for a closer look at this step in our R&D process and to see what happens to a golf ball at impact – and a few micro-seconds after impact... (Yes, we said micro-seconds.)
Just in case you were wondering, "What exactly is Product Test Methods Development?" Well, this team develops and maintains all of the test equipment used throughout the various stages of the process. From robotic swing machines and air canons to wind tunnels and advanced simulators, they’ve got it covered.
Pretty cool gig if you ask us.