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Temperature affects golf balls

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    During the FJA Invitational, I mentioned to the guys in my group, a study I did while studying engineering at Texas A&M back in the '70's. Briefly, I talked the golf team into helping me with a study for my kinetics class. Namely, does temperature affect how a golf ball flies. The assumption being that, in cooler weather, the ball would not compress as much and therefore, not fly as high or as far as it might in warmer temperatures. The finding were very enlightening and, given it is winter, perhaps they will help y'all.

    We started on a September day at roughly 95 degrees F. The guys hit drivers, 3 irons, 6 iron and 9 irons. We did this on later dates at various temperatures. What we found was at  65 degrees F, there was almost an 8 yard loss in distance compared to 95 degrees and, at 45 degrees F, there was another 8 yard loss in distance - WITH EVERY CLUB.

    In closing, if you find you are coming up short this winter, it's not you, it's Old Man Winter. I truly hope this helps you play better golf this winter.

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    Good post. True words: I take at least 1 more club when it's less than 50 degrees, there are other factors but if I have to wear a base layer or a jacket I add a club to all shots.

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    And I thought I was the old man. Glad to know it is Old Man Winter.  Thanks for the input.  Do you think the extra clothing makes a difference in how free your swing is?

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    It probably does Bob, but not as much as the temperature does. I also recall a study Tom Watson published 30 years ago abuot wind. He claimed his standard tee shot that carried 250 yards only went 190 into a 30 MPH wind.

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    Not just the compression but cold air is heavier than hot. Plus the fairways are normally much softer meaning less roll. In addition more clothing will restrict your swing.

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    I am not surprised. When the temp. gets down around 40 degrees hitting the  ball is like hitting a rock.

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    The other factor that is harder to measure is how the temperature effects your body. In order to get the maximum efficiency from your golf swing your muscles need to be warm and loose. In the cold both of these are difficult to achieve. This also can have another 1 club effect on your distance. this will of course vary with age and athleticism.

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    Put me in your camp on this one -  winter is also a good time to play it forward.

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    FRED........GOOD POST.  I IMAGINE THAT AT THAT TIME YOU USED WOULD BALLS.  DO YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE KNOW HOW TEMPERATURE AFFECTS THE NEW SOLID BALLS?

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    Since this study was done a while ago and golf ball technology has been changing quickly year by year to some degree or so woud the new technology affect the study results??  Just curious to hear others thoughts...

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    Since this study was done a while ago and golf ball technology has been changing quickly year by year to some degree or so woud the new technology affect the study results??  Just curious to hear others thoughts...

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    Great post Fred and very true.  Some folks even will play a different ball thinking that it will help.  I have pretty much taken your advice and "clubbed up" accounting for the temp drops up here in New England.  My wife has another solution altogether.....put the clubs away for the winter.  Like old man winter I am also too stubborn to put them away!

    Great article from a FJ scientist

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    Temperature does indeed change the modern ball. I know titleist has done quite a bit of experimentation on the temperature effect on the ball but I do not have copies of any of the data.

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    That's one reason I tend to take golf balls with me that I have inside my house for play this time of season (the clubs are normally stored in my vehicle.

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    19hole
    Temperature does indeed change the modern ball. I know titleist has done quite a bit of experimentation on the temperature effect on the ball but I do not have copies of any of the data.

    Rick, do you know where the data they have accumulated can be acquired? I'm told Leupold lasers have a mode that factors in temperature as well - the GX-4i, perhaps.