I haven’t read the issue because I don’t subscribe, but Consumer Reports has apparently rated golf balls in their April 11 issue. According to their press release, they tested 25 balls for distance, spin and feel.
Some of their results:
- When struck by an Iron Byron, every ball went pretty much the same distance. Three of the under $15 a dozen balls went farther than 7 higher priced balls.
- In some cases, the less expensive balls had a softer feel
- All of the balls had a low spin rate off the driver
- The more expensive balls were more accurate, but they discounted that, saying that most players aren’t good enough to take advantage of that.
The best expensive balls were: Nike One Black, Callaway HX Tour, Titleist Pro V1, the Ben Hogan Tour deep and the Top Flite Strata TL-Tour. For most golfers, they recommended the Nike Power Distance Super Soft, the Callaway HX Hot, the Pinnacle Gold Distance and the Pinnacle Exception. For those with slower swings, they recommended the Titleist DT So-Lo, the Precept Lady and the Pinnacle Exception.
All that said, I think that you have to be a bit skeptical of Consumer Reports. These are, after all, the same people that failed to list a single American car in their last auto report.
And before you start making cracks about American cars, consider the flawed Consumer Reports methodology: their system was weighted toward the cars chosen by their subscribers. Then consider who actually subscribes to the magazine rather than going to the library to look at it: upper income, liberal, college educated types—people who would look down their noses at a Chevrolet even if it were proven beyond a doubt to be the best car in the world. That’s the same sort of flawed methodology that sunk the 1936 Literary Digest presidential poll.
So before you can take anything Consumer Reports says seriously, you have to look at their methodology. And there just isn’t enough in the press release to do an analysis. I will say, however, that there is a lot more to rating a ball than individually considering distance, spin and feel. You have to consider thiese things in combination with each other, with sacrificing a little of one for a little of another. And there’s also the ability to shape a shot, launch angle, how long it hangs in the air, etc.
Take the distance rating for example. I would not only like to know how far it went, but how far it carried, and how long it rolled.
Guess I’m going to have to got to the library with all of the other Chevy drivers and take a look at the issue.