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Posted: October 24, 2013
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.
Hi Vincent A.,
Just to clarify, the speeds reference in the video are ball speeds and not swing speed.
As Patirck H., mentioned above, the USGA sets the speed limit on clubs and balls, and the ratio is a maximum 1.5 ball speed (when hit perfectly) for each mph of club speed, ie:
80 mph of club speed= 120 mph of ball speed
90 mph of club speed= 135 mph of ball speed
100 mph of club speed= 150 ball speed
110 mph of club speed= 165 ball speed
As you can see, the team was testing across a wide range of swing speeds and ball speeds. Hope this helps clarify.
Team Titleist Manager
Mike D., Team Titleist Manager
wrote on November 11, 2013
Tried the test ball . Feedback is
- hit the ball very straight
- clipped well onto the greens
- putting ok
wrote on November 27, 2013
I received a sleeve of Titleist balls to test and I expected a email survey. Being that I didn't get the survey I would like to know what I was trying. I had the black 1.
and I would play these balls if I knew what they were. I still have and I am still playing one of these balls. Thanks for letting me test.
wrote on January 22, 2014
Question: I play my Titleist golf balls until I either lose it or take up the cart path once or twice. Do the Pro V 1x and Pro V 1 lose their compression characteristics after 18, 36 or more holes played? My current Pro V 1x has 54 holes on it and seems to have lost no distance, stopping power on greens or feel around the greens. I play well over 100 rounds per year and I can't afford to use a new ball each round.
wrote on September 4, 2014
Great video by Titleist R&D. Its no wonder its the best ball ever!
wrote on September 22, 2014
Pretty cool, did he make a speaking error when he used club head speed instead of ball speed off the club head (since that was what the four frames of impact showed)...So what does my 119 mph driver club head speed equate to roughly in ball speed with a proV1 using a 913 D3 9.5 driver on the D1 setting (8.75 degrees of loft?)? or can you tell me that?
wrote on September 26, 2014