the below article???
anyway for the benefit of those who dun have BT... not a bad article to share...If the ball fits
- 3 Jul 2010
A formalised yet simple procedure is now available to help golfers select the best ball for their game. By Justine Moss
FOR decades, golfers have preferred to custom-fit their golf clubs rather than purchase a set off the rack which is built to specifications based on the golfing masses. Custom fitting their clubs and taking into account factors such as height, strength, clubhead speed, swing characteristics and degrees of aptitude helped to revolutionise the game.
Yet, while many are prepared to spend money tinkering and trying to perfect their irons, much less attention has been paid to a small, vital piece of equipment which is, let's face it, the most important, part of the game - the golf ball. 'Selecting the best golf ball for your game is important, because it's the only piece of equipment used for every shot in your round,' says Rick Brown, Acushnet's brand manager for Titleist & Cobra in South-east Asia. 'It is individually based upon the personal performance preferences by each golfer and the most effective place to be fit for a golf ball is on a golf course.'
He adds: 'Golf ball selection should take into account the golfer's entire game tee-through-green and for most golfers, a priority should be placed on scoring performance into and around the green. Many golfers tested are surprised to see and experience how subtle differences in golf ball performance, as well as improved control with scoring shots, can help them to lower their scores.'
Golf ball fitting programmes and tools have been around for a few years, predominantly in the US market, and more recently online software versions have been released for golfers to try out at home. Acushnet (which owns Titleist and FootJoy) has offered the ball fitting concept for about 10 years, and what they recently rolled out globally is a formalised procedure and protocol that allows consumers a simple and effective way to select the best ball for their game.
In May, their free golf ball fitting programmes and sessions for golfers were launched in Singapore. 'Golfers can attend the ball fitting events held in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, which will be ongoing throughout the year,' says Mr Brown. 'Singapore was chosen as the first South-east Asian market because the golf ball fitters were the first to be fully trained and equipped.
'We worked with golf clubs to run the initial golf ball fitting session for regular golfers prior to their golf game. From May, the golf ball fitting sessions have been conducted in Malaysia and Thailand. In the coming months, we will conduct on-course fitting in markets such as Vietnam, India and the Philippines.'
Ball fitting sessions
The purpose of these sessions is to meet consumers and educate them on the importance of finding the best ball for their game. 'We are holding golf ball fitting sessions in partner retail shops, during selected golf tournaments as well as at golf clubs,' says Mr Brown. 'The one-to-one fitting sessions are conducted by the Fitters and are a great platform for golfers to ask questions pertaining to their golf game and the recommended golf ball. But before they head out, it's obviously very important to understand where their game is, where they struggle, and try to identify areas where the wrong golf ball may make an impact.' He adds: 'Golf ball fitting uses a simple piece of software that asks golfers a series of questions about their game. Based on the answers to those questions, recommendations are made.'
Tom Hutton, consumer connection manager with Acushnet Singapore, and also one of their golf ball fitting instructors, says that the job requires a good knowledge of how the golf ball reacts under certain conditions. 'A lot of it has to do with spin,' says Mr Hutton. 'We have to have a very good understanding of five different Titleist balls (the Pro V1, Pro V1x, NXT Tour, NXT and DT Solo) and how they react differently to each other in different scenarios.'
He adds: 'Based around that, we talk to golfers about the characteristics of their game, whether they slice the ball, hook it and so on, and then try to recommend the best ball for them. The aim of the programme is to reduce the number of shots they play. We talk about where they struggle and try and match a ball for their game, which will create more consistency and help them in an area where they've been struggling.'
Golfers are asked a series of questions about their game, focusing on the shots they play into the green. They are asked where they would like to improve and to describe their shot patterns at present. The golfers will then be taken through the Titleist Ball Fitting software which will identify a recommended golf ball and also an alternative recommendation.
Once these have been picked, the golf ball fitter will explain to the golfer why these choices have emerged, and how each ball will affect their game as well as the major differences between the two balls. Golfers then head out to the course with a Golf Ball Fitting Scorecard and the two different types of golf balls to see how they react on the course. The Card allows them to record how each recommendation is reacting to different types of shots, ultimately coming up with a final recommendation.
The feedback from those trying out the programme has been encouraging. Raja Iskandar Raja Mukhtaruddin, an eight handicapper, says: 'The ball-fitting exercise was definitely new and helpful and I think for a low handicapper like myself, the session allowed me to feel the difference between the two models. I completed the survey and the ball recommendations for my game were the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, which didn't surprise me.'
According to Paul Marshall, a three-handicap player: 'The questions in the survey were simple and it didn't take much time. Difficult questions would result in anomalies, so I believe the survey was accurate enough in assessing the needs of amateur golfers.'
In general, consumers' knowledge of the golf ball is far behind their knowledge about clubs and shafts, with the majority not paying much attention to the ball they are using, says Mr Brown. 'Consumers have been very interested in the differences between different golf balls and how those differences can affect their game,' he says.
'Feedback from those who have tested the balls on course has been good, and it has been great to hear people commenting that they have seen the differences first hand and now have a better understanding of how a particular ball will affect their game.'
Interestingly, however, it's not always the case of the Pro V1 which is recommended for low handicappers, with the lower range NXT or DT Solo balls earmarked for higher handicappers. According to Mr Brown, the best golf ball for your game really comes down to the players and where they are looking to improve.
'Better players may not have many directional issues (a higher spinning golf ball will tend to drift more right or left depending on the shape of the players shot) and may want more spin on the green, thus being more suited to the Pro V1 range of golf balls,' he says.
'However, a higher handicapper may also find that they do not have too many issues with direction, but find it difficult to stop the ball close to the pin, also making them a candidate for the Pro V1 range. Ultimately, it is the better players who fall more obviously into the Pro V1 range, but it is not always the case, and it really does come down to the attributes of each individual golfer's game.'