Ball Performance Testing Methods
GBT Technologies LLC, a joint venture between Max Out Golf and Equip2Golf, conducts continuous testing of leading golf balls sold – mainly in the United States. Our initial testing database contains 74 leading balls produced by manufacturers including: Bridgestone, Callaway, Maxfli, Nike, Pinnacle, Srixon, Titleist, Top Flite, and Wilson Staff. The database is updated as new balls are released and evaluated, and we expect to cover all of the leading brands and ball types in the future.
We use Equip2Golf's patent-pending golf ball rating method called the MPI™ to create a performance index grading the qualities of the golf balls. Utilizing swing robots and real golfers, each ball is tested using a driver, 6-Iron and Sand Wedge. Distance, spin and accuracy data is captured using Max Out Golf's patented IGMS system to measure actual launch conditions. The human testing is conducted not with one "optimum" or "average" swing but by golfers of varying skill levels. Additionally, compression, cover hardness, and "hotness" are measured for each golf ball to access overall feel. All test results are validated by Max Out Golf in their facilities using real golfers.
We conducted a series of robotic and human putter tests in developing our proprietary "feel" algorithms and index. Factors such as a ball's "hotness" of the clubface; cover hardness and acoustical signature are evaluated.
The 6 iron used to conduct the tests is a Mizuno MP 60 at a 37.5" length with a lie angle of 61 degrees and a loft of 30 degrees. The shaft is a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 from True Temper. The Sand Wedge used in all tests is a Callaway Forged 56 degree wedge set at 56 degrees with a lie angle of 63 degrees. The shaft is also a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 steel at 35". Each player used his own driver to in order to insure appropriate shaft flexes, load profiles, lofts, and centers of gravity on the driver utilized. The robot struck a 9.5 Titleist 905R with a Graphite Design YS 6 S shaft at 45" length.
The protocol called for 5 "representative" shots to be struck with each ball for each of the clubs. Once a baseline was established for each of the players, extreme care was taken to cull out any shots that deviated significantly due to miss-hits, etc. As a practical matter, only players consistent enough to deliver a steady stream of solid shots were utilized in the testing. The ball speeds ranged from an average men's length (133 mph ball speed) to near tour caliber performance (150 mph and above). The robot was dialed in to hit drives at 150 – 160 + miles per hour. A total of five players were used for each of the clubs and balls as well as shots hit by the Miya 5 Robot and the Max Out Iron Max Robot.
Skill levels ranged from a 10 handicap to a former US Amateur Champion and included PGA teaching professionals. The Max Out Iron Max Robot was used to simulate lower ball speed golfer profiles – to ensure a consistent set of data could be harvested for this lower end of the ball speed range. Actual lower ball speed testing with real golfers produces more variation in launch angle and spin rate than was deemed appropriate in creating our datasets.
Our Compression Bench Testing
Compression is a measurement of how much a golf ball deforms (compresses) when a load is applied to it. It is an indication of how a golf ball feels at impact. The lower the rating the more the ball deforms and feels softer, the higher the rating the less the ball deforms and feels firmer.
Manufacturers often address the golf ball's core compression when talking about its construction and design. The core is typically referred to as the inner most part of the golf ball in a two- or three- piece construction. Our testing addresses the golf ball's overall compression. We do not test the golf ball's internal core compression. We utilize ATTI and Majestix compression testers to conduct our overall golf ball compression test.
Hardness is a measurement of how much the golf ball's surface indents when a constant load is applied to it. It is an indication of how a golf ball feels around the green. The lower the rating the more the ball indents and feels softer, the higher the rating the less the ball indents and feels firmer.
Manufacturers often address the hardness of the various layers within a multilayer golf ball construction and design. Our testing addresses the golf ball's surface hardness. We utilize a TECLOCK Type C hardness tester to conduct our hardness test.
Our durability ratings are based upon subjective comparative analysis and our price ratings are based upon averaging of consumer pricing within the United States.