Archive for the ‘R&D’ Category
Is a Tour level ball really right for a 12 handicapper? If much of your spin is side spin, why do you want more of it? What benefits does a 3 piece ball have that a 2 piece ball not have for my game?
Have you asked yourself all these questions? If you have not, you should. Odds are, if you are above a 10 handicap, a Tour caliber or 3 piece ball can actually hurt your game. The average 10 handicapper produces more side spin than he/she produces backspin, which is not necessarily a good thing if you cannot control your ball flight. So why would you look for a ball that increases that spin? The Q-STAR is engineered for less spin off the driver, but developed to keep that soft feel around the greens. It also was given a bigger core to increase distance.
In addition to asking yourself these questions, we thought we would develop site for you to find out the answers to all your golf ball related questions. Visit www.questionyourball.com for a Q&A list, a list of common misconceptions, technical features, and a live chat feature. The live chat is available M-F from 8-5 PST.
Hello again readers,
Yesterday we officially launched the Srixon Weather Fit Application on the iTunes Store, and we couldn’t be more excited! The app allows users to check the forecast at their favorite courses around the country up to four days in advance.
The Weather Fit App show users how to best change the settings of their Srixon ZStar driver, depending on weather conditions and desired ball flight. The ZStar driver features front and rear weighting, with the options of 3, 7 and 11 grams in each weight. It also has an adjustable hosel that allows for 96 different settings in one driver.
“The Srixon WeatherFit App brings adjustable fitting into a whole new arena. Knowing the weather is essential to all aspects of golf, there is now an app that address this. This app truly allows users to play the driver settings that will suit them best on that particular day.” –Chris Beck, Srixon Brand Manager
For more information, check out the app here.
The color itself is not a new thing, it has been around for as long as any of us remember, and about 5 billion years before that. However, the use of yellow in popular culture seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. Ranging from small smilie faces in commercials, to beloved, yet dopey cartoon characters, all the way to a brick road, leading a girl to salvation. Yes, yellow has had a massive emerging roll in the last 75 years of media. If you think of paintings previous to moving pictures, there was a painstaking lack of yellow and an overabundance of blues, and reds. While this blogger loves his national colors, there was a definite lack of TOUR YELLOW in pop culture!
In steps Srixon. Our R&D Department realized that yellow, while visually appealing, can also have its benefits. As you readers know, Srixon is the front runner in Visual Technology. Our studies show that, at a distance of 225 yards, the Tour Yellow ball is twice as easy to see compared to a white golf ball.
Soccer balls, much like golf balls, began as white but innovation has brought them into the world of Yellow, along with other colorful designs. Recently it was brought to our attention that the English Premier League has begun to use balls that bare a striking resemblance to Tour Yellow Technology. The ball is designed for players to have an easier time tracking the ball as it flies.
Along with leading the visual performance in golf balls, we thought we would venture into bags as well. Graeme McDowell was recently seen sporting the Tour Yellow bag after a practice round at Augusta.
So readers, have you made the switch to Tour Yellow Visual Performance?
So, the USGA just held a forum on rulemaking last week and I thought you might be interested to hear a little bit about it. This is the first time representatives of all the major manufacturers, as well as the USGA and R&A, have gotten together in a room to discuss the rulemaking process. Hopefully, it won’t be the last time.
With the confusing, complicated, convoluted process that the groove rule change has turned out to be, the USGA/R&A thought it would be a good idea to try to work with manufacturers a little closer on rule changes in the future. Before holding this summit, representatives from the USGA visited several manufacturers to discuss their concerns. Coming out of these visits, the USGA realized that a group discussion would make sense and compiled a list of nine topics for that discussion. Here is a list of the nine topics
Topic 1: Should the USGA/R&A publicize the equipment research projects that are being worked on?
Topic 2: Once a Notice and Comment for a new rule has been published, should the USGA/R&A publicize all comments received?
Topic 3: Should the USGA/R&A publicize the details of individual submission rulings?
Topic 4: Should there be provisions implemented by the USGA/R&A to facilitate the changeover to clubs with new rules? (for example, “sell-by” provisions)
Topic 5: What improvements could be made to the rule change implementation process? Timing, communication, other aspects.
Topic 6: What is the preferred USGA/R&A test equipment change process?
Topic 7: How can sources outside the USGA/R&A recommend rule changes for consideration? This could include new rules, tightened rules, relaxed rules, and rule removal.
Topic 8: Should the impact of one rule change be documented and understood before another rule change is introduced?
Topic 9: Under what circumstances is it appropriate for the governing bodies to exercise the authority granted by the following provisions of the Rules of Golf?
· “The USGA/R&A reserve the right, at any time, to change the Rules relating to clubs and balls and make or change the interpretations relating to these Rules.”
· “Any design in a club or ball which is not covered by the Rules, which is contrary to the purpose and intent of the Rules or which might significantly change the nature of the game, will be ruled on by the USGA/R&A.”
Within the US golf industry, there is a council consisting of members from all the major manufacturers. This council is named the United States Golf Manufacturers Council and they meet several times a year to discuss issues related to golf equipment manufacturers such as counterfeit products coming from China and USGA legislation. As a council, they crafted a specific response to each of these topic questions and at the forum, they were the first to speak after each topic was introduced.
To give you a little background, there were 4 representatives from the R&A and 5 representatives from the USGA at this forum. On top of that, I counted roughly 50 attendees with representatives from Acushnet, Bridgestone, Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon, Henry Griffiths, Mizuno, Nike, Ping, Taylor Made, and Wilson. I might have missed some brands since it was a pretty big room.
With some of the attendees being native Japanese speakers, a real time translation service was also provided. It kind of felt like a United Nations meeting with half the room wearing head phones to hear the translation.
This forum was a one day event, but it definitely brought the entire industry together and gave us all a chance to voice our opinions on mistakes the USGA/R&A has made and ways to improve the process in the future. Hopefully, this will lead to better communication, better rulemaking, and a growth in the game going forward. I will let you know if I hear any follow-up from the meeting, that is unless I get cancelled…
So, it has definitely been a while since I wrote a blog posting. I bet you didn’t miss me. I don’t feel bad though, because I know someone out there likes me. My mom says I’m cool so that is all that really matters. Anyway, the real reason I haven’t posted in a while comes back to things being super-busy over here at Srixon.
In the past 3-4 weeks, we have had our sales meeting (which pretty much kills productivity for the 3 weeks prior), a visit from the editors of the Hot List to discuss product submissions for the 2011 Hotlist (I will give you the sneak peak as the launch date for the products actually gets closer), and I squeezed in a 2 day rush trip to Florida to meet with Jim Furyk and discuss golf balls. Needless to say, I had trouble finding some free time write a post or two.
On top of all those other things, the main time sink has been a project that I might have mentioned in passing in some past blog posts. We are putting together a program called Srixon University, and I have been swamped trying to manage the logistics of it. Not exactly an R&D task, but in a smaller group like we have here you do whatever you can to help.
Srixon University is a training initiative that we are undertaking for 2011. In 2010 we had the only comprehensive ball fitting system on the web. Since we launched it, several companies have come out with their own fitting systems. Next year, we think that everyone will have a fitting system and all you will hear is fitting, fitting, fitting. I am in total agreement that fitting is important, but we are taking a slightly different approach.
Instead of just creating a black box that takes in your answers to a few questions and spits out a golf ball, we are going to open up that box and teach you about golf balls. We want you to get an understanding of how the golf balls work and be able to make educated decisions on what ball is right for you. To do that, you will be seeing some significant additions to our website that provide much more technical data, but more relevant to this post we are creating this Srixon University program.
Srixon U. will serve as the more detailed education on golf balls. It will include videos on several different topics. It will include educational presentations to PGA professionals. It will include in-store presentations to consumers, and in-store presentations to floor staff. The goal of all of this is to give you the information so you can make the right decision for you (just a hint… the right answer is Srixon).
Anyway, I have been filming, reviewing footage, working with graphic designers to make images, working with editors to cut together videos, and complaining about how I look in HD non stop for the past month or two. Here is a 30 second look at how it is coming together. This is from an early rough draft for the section about the history of golf balls.
It won’t be up there for long so check it out while you can. Feel free to post in the comments section about how of an idiot I am in this video. Upcoming videos will include the History of Srixon, Golf Ball Performance, Golf Ball Aerodynamics, The Golf Ball Market, and the Srixon Lineup. It looks like I might be heading back to Florida to visit Fed Ex Champion Jim Furyk next week, so I will take some pictures and try to give you a post next week, that is unless I make an ill-timed alarm clock joke and Jim gets me cancelled…
So I know it seems like all we ever talk about is the tour. Tour players… Tour golf balls… Tour, tour, tour, tour, tour… Though we may talk tour a lot, it isn’t all we think about. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Recently, my excitement has revolved around the farthest thing from a tour player golf ball: The SoftFeel.
So the final day of testing didn’t go quite as well as the first day, hence the late post. It all started well. We got there early and waited, and waited, and waited. I watched Vijay work with his caddie and swing coach (I think). He is definitely a different animal when he is working on his game. I laughed at the herd that followed Phil Mickelson around, and I got to see Tiger hit 6 or 8 shots before being done for the day.
So, the first day of testing is under way and it is going exactly as expected… Hurry up and wait. We made our way over to the course by 7:30 and had a meeting with all of the tour reps. In that meeting, I talked about the new balls we were going to be testing and made sure everyone was on the same page.
So the first day of my visit to the PGA tour has concluded without incident. I suppose that is a pretty good start knowing me, but I haven’t had to interact with any tour players so how big of an incident can I truly cause.
The Cleveland Golf/Srixon VP of Tour Operations and myself left the office at 7am this morning and headed to the airport. I need to be on the range tomorrow at 7:30 (4:30 in California time) so I have been getting up early the last few days trying to acclimate a little bit.