Tuesday, November 22

How the Golf Ball Affects Foursomes Play

THE GOLF BALL CAN BE the most crucial piece of equipment at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. As Jennifer Gardner of Tour Van reported, “Some players struggle to use a ball other than their own.” For others, it’s no big deal.

At the recent Presidents Cup in Melbourne, partners on both the U.S. and International teams had to decide which ball to play in foursomes matches. In foursomes, of course, partners play alternate shots, hitting and putting the same golf ball until it’s holed.

Of the 22 foursome partnerships at the Presidents Cup, only five pair played the same golf ball. Those 10 players who already played the same ball fared well in foursomes competition, earning 3½ points.

Tiger Woods was among the group seemingly unaffected by the golf ball choice. “Now all of the golf balls are all hard and all going a long way,” Woods said. He noted that there wasn’t much difference between balls. With Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson as partners, Tiger posted a 1-1 record in foursomes.

Charl Schwartzel, Geoff Ogilvy’s partner, said he didn’t notice much difference between his Nike ball and Ogilvy’s Titleist. The two International team players experimented with both golf balls, and since Ogilvy struggled somewhat with his irons, Schwartzel said they would use Ogilvy’s ball. The pair halved their Thursday foursomes match against Americans Bill Haas and Nick Watney.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Photo credit: turbotoddi, Flickr, Creative Commons license)


Average Golfer said...

Would have been tough for me to adjust from my Top Flite XL X-outs.

The Armchair Golfer said...

My biggest problem would have been Royal Melbourne.

Charles Prokop said...

I'd like to see everybody play with those Top Flite XL X-outs. I have no idea what we'd learn, but it'd be interesting.

I can see it now: The X-out Open, played at Goat Track Municipal Links. Winter rules allowed. I'd rearrange my schedule to watch that.

Cam said...

I get that the golf ball has an effect on the players in foursomes. But if you truly are one of the best players in the world you should be able to play a different ball. They are all top level balls.

Average Golfer said...

Please accept my early entry for the X-Out Open. Helmets optional?

Brad said...

People get used to a certain ball. Some spin more than others. The cores of some balls are harder than others. If you use one type of golf ball and you are forced to use a different one, then yeah it's going to affect your game. It may be all in your head, but it will affect your game.

Mark said...

I'm not so sure Tiger thinks all balls are the same. Have you guys heard about him having his speicla nike balls brought in for tournament range warm up. A Nike ball that was not on the market? I have heard this story from some caddies and people close to the Bay Hill tournament.

Florida_Golf said...

I can see how using a different ball can affect game play - we are creatures of habit. Perhaps it is just a headgame, would be interesting to know if golfers played different with their normal ball and when it was unknowingly changed if it affected their golf game or not.