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Adjusting Range-Ball Yardages

Scott Golightly

I've always just eye-balled a distance to the flag and picked whatever looks/feels right for that distance. I'm trying to put together a list of proper yardages for each club to try and cut a few shots off my handicap, but have a quick question:

Is there any generally accepted method of adjusting yardages coming from range balls? My local range uses colorful and dimpled rocks, so I'm curious how much those yardages will change when I switch to my DT Trusofts. I've done some looking but can't find any clear answer, so figured I'd run it by yall, thanks!

12 Replies

  1. Don O

    If your range used something like an NXT-Tour-S as it's range ball and replace them with some frequency, Tracman devices can account for differences. The 2 ranges I go to serve up various srxn, Wilson, and the occasional TM, all in various stages of decay. I'm finally following professional advice to calibrate my distances based on consistent swing lengths with all my short irons and wedges. For now, the flight distances appear to be reasonably close from within 100 yards with the pitiful rocks. Roll-out is a different story without some sort of ground maintenance to work with. My goal at the range is simply clean contact on center.
    ..Unfortunately, I have hybrids and fairways already dialed in for low pitches - from under trees.
  2. Rick D

    Sometime when it's slow on the course, grab a handful of each, range balls and Trusoft. Go out on the course to a distance, hit them both side by side with the club you'd hit that distance and compare. You'll notice a big difference in spin, rollout, etc., too. It will give you a little perspective as to what you're feeling/experiencing while on the range, versus real playing conditions. Be careful how much fairway turf you tear up, though. Your super may not take too kindly to a lot of large divots in a small area.

    Warming up before a round, I'm often not hitting my yardages on my irons, then go out on the course and hit them with the ProV1. The feel is so much better, too. Range balls are hard. Then hit the first tee shot and it's "ahhhhh". That first tee shot is a reminder of how nice it is to hit a quality ball.
  3. richard f

    Your maybe better off just going out on the course but just taking your irons , tee off with different irons and calculate your yardages from
    Where they finish !!
  4. RBH

    Rick is spot on with his comments. The only way to gauge your actual distance is with the ball you play with on the course hitting to greens so you know actual carry distance by measuring from your divot to your ballmark. Once you measure two clubs, you will pretty much be able to gauge the rest of your irons. After that it’s just recording any gaps you might have. Good equipment like Titleist is made so you have equal distance gaps between irons. Do not use range balls as a guide without a trackman reading. Have you seen the inside of a range ball? Surprise, it’s the same colour all the way through because the entire ball is made from the same material. There is no core or cover, just one piece.
  5. David

    Yea def go out on the course sometime when it's not busy and hit a dozen balls, picked them up off the green and walk to wedge distance on the next hole...after 9 holes you will be dialed in!
  6. Chuck Z

    Correct me if I am wrong, but don't most driving ranges have yardage flags? I normally check the distance to the flag with my Bushnell and my goal is to hit that landing area. I know that I am not going to find Pro1s on most driving ranges. So I work primarily on tempo and alignment. I heard the guys on Golf Channel talking about golfers getting to scientific about their game today. I think Charlie Rymer said, "see ball, hit ball" and not think so much. They were actually talking about why Phil Blackmar has stopped playing golf. I personally have been putting too much thought into distances, swing speed, etc., etc., etc., trying to find ways to lower my handicap and have actually did the reverse. My handicap has gone the wrong way. I agree with what they are trying to say. I know my distances, just trust my clubs and hit them. That's what my pro told me back in May before my handicap started going up. With respect. Good luck with your research.
  7. Scott Golightly

    Thank you guys very much for the advice.

    Chuck Z: My range has flags, and I have no problem figuring (with relative accuracy) how far I hit each club using those flags, I'm more just interested in how much that number will differ from the number I get with my Trusofts. I'm a physics major but the only science I AM interested in regarding golf, is just figuring out how far I hit each club, don't worry. Won't overdo it !

    Don O: I wish my range had those options... All we have are yellow pebbles with "Soft-Core" (a glaring misnomer) printed on them!

    I appreciate yalls input... think I'll be taking a dozen Trusofts with me next round!

  8. Chuck Z

    Scott Golightly

    Thank you guys very much for the advice.

    Chuck Z: My range has flags, and I have no problem figuring (with relative accuracy) how far I hit each club using those flags, I'm more just interested in how much that number will differ from the number I get with my Trusofts. I'm a physics major but the only science I AM interested in regarding golf, is just figuring out how far I hit each club, don't worry. Won't overdo it !

    Don O: I wish my range had those options... All we have are yellow pebbles with "Soft-Core" (a glaring misnomer) printed on them!

    I appreciate yalls input... think I'll be taking a dozen Trusofts with me next round!

    Great simple solution.
  9. Sam R

    The range balls at my home club fly about 70% of the distance of a normal golf ball, then you have to factor in inconsistencies from the sheer amount of use these balls have - lack of dimples.

    This year I changed from the Pro V1 X to the new Pro V1 and as I was seeing an increase in distance I went to one of my local golf stores and did some testing. I hit 10 balls with each club with my own ball and made a note of the averages for carry distance and total distance, discounting any really bad shots (thins etc).

    I carry a sheet with all these numbers on in my bag to refer to, they were my guide this year and found I was more consistent with my distance control.
  10. David T

    Best advice I've seen for calibrating distance is to take the balls you play to a field and hit 10 balls in a row. Walk out to where they landed and find the average distance and the laser back to your golf bag. This will give you a good starting point for distances that you can fine tune on the course. I used this method to find my partial wedge distances.
  11. Sirhc

    Sam R

    The range balls at my home club fly about 70% of the distance of a normal golf ball, then you have to factor in inconsistencies from the sheer amount of use these balls have - lack of dimples.

    This year I changed from the Pro V1 X to the new Pro V1 and as I was seeing an increase in distance I went to one of my local golf stores and did some testing. I hit 10 balls with each club with my own ball and made a note of the averages for carry distance and total distance, discounting any really bad shots (thins etc).

    I carry a sheet with all these numbers on in my bag to refer to, they were my guide this year and found I was more consistent with my distance control.

    Yeah; unless your club uses real golf balls, most ranges use limited-flight golf balls. Did a distance analysis w/ Trackman a couple of years ago, and the read out even said ball: 2-piece, limited flight. Bummer!
  12. Sirhc

    David T

    Best advice I've seen for calibrating distance is to take the balls you play to a field and hit 10 balls in a row. Walk out to where they landed and find the average distance and the laser back to your golf bag. This will give you a good starting point for distances that you can fine tune on the course. I used this method to find my partial wedge distances.

    David - great advice; thanks for sharing. Will have to try that at my local executive course.

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