Q&A With R&D: The Many Benefits of Soft, Low Compression Golf Balls

Q&A With R&D: The Benefits of Soft, Low Compression Golf Balls

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The hosts of The Fitting Room (Callaway Podcast and Sirius XM PGA TOUR Radio every Monday 8 p.m. EST) AJ Voelpel and Nate Adelman recently sat down with Rock Ishii, Senior Director Advanced Golf Ball Research at Callaway and 30-year Golf Ball Industry veteran who has been a part of the design of golf balls that have won 24 majors on the PGA Tour. The Fitting Room and Rock discuss the benefits of soft, low compression balls and the impact they can have on your game.

The Fitting Room: Rock, tell us a little bit about our evaluation process for golf balls.

Rock Ishii: A substantial effort is required to fully capture the performance of a golf ball in parameters relevant to the way golfers actually play the game. Limiting your evaluation to one process will limit the true evaluation of the product. The full process must include Lab Testing, Robot Testing and most importantly testing with golfers of all abilities in the environment in which the game is played… on the golf course. Similar to what you would see in other high performance categories like racecars, they are not just built with simulations and in a lab, they are built and perfected on the race track.

TFR: Why do you think the Chrome Soft golf ball has had so much success with golfers of all abilities?

Rock: The Chrome Soft golf ball is an incredible golf ball for so many golfers because lower compression, low spin balls are going to be better for 99% of players. It helps to provide a straighter ball flight, better feel, and most importantly, more forgiveness.

TFR: Why is a lower compression golf ball more forgiving?

Rock: A low compression golf ball is better for more golfers because as we see when we test with players they do not hit the center of the face every time. A low compression ball helps to reduce the amount of ball speed lost on mis-hits and provides performance through the bag to help golfers get the most out of every shot they encounter on the course. Softer golf balls also allow the golfers to hit the ball higher which is beneficial to most golfers.

TFR: In your work with Tour players what is one of the key things you have learned?

Rock: We have done some work recently to profile Tour Players and everyday golfers to better help us profile different types of golfers. One of the most interesting things to come from this work is that there are large differences in the launch conditions even with the best players in the world. This highlights how important not only ball fitting is but the evaluation of products needing to be very comprehensive and cover not only a variety of conditions but with golfers on the golf course. Amateur golfer data has shown they are far from optimum launch conditions and Chrome Soft allows them to not only improve launch conditions but also reduce excess spin on all shots.

TFR: From the research we have done what do golfers tell us is important to them when selecting a golf ball?

Rock: The primary things we always hear from golfers that is important to them are consistency, feel, and distance. All of these areas are covered in the Chrome Soft golf ball with its low compression design and this is why golfers have really enjoyed this ball and continue to play it.

TFR: Thanks for your time today Rock and insight into the evaluation of golf ball performance and benefits of Chrome Soft specifically.


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