Check-GO Golf Ball Line Markers | Golf Ball Balance Finder | Technasonic Electronics :: Golf Ball Spin Balance
|Golf Ball Spin Balance|
Golf Ball Spin Balance Line Marking
Finds any golf ball's optimal balance point quickly and accurately.Congratulations, you are about to improve your golf game! The New Check-GO PRO sweet spot finder will locate your golf balls sweet spot with scientific precision. Hitting the balls sweet spot will increase the distance and accuracy of your drives and putts will reducing the chance of hooks and slices. Check-GO PRO Features:
High Speed 10,000 RPM Gyroscopic Action
Works with all Brands of Golf Balls
New Ergonomic Design
New Balance Timer (shows the exact moment to mark the ball)
New Built-in Alignment Cup (to create your own partial or bold line)
Quick and Easy to Use
Batteries and Pen Included
Also feel free to checkout our original site Original Golf Ball Marker Line Sweet Spot FinderReprinted from golfclubreview.com/spin_balanced_balls.htmSpin-Balanced Golf Balls12/27/02: We all knew that balance-oriented golf balls flew and rolled better than their non-balancedbrethren. What we did not know was whether their performance improved enough to make all of theinconvenience associated with them worthwhile. We guessed that they did not. We were wrong. Read ourComparison Review.Spin-Balanced Golf Balls - Do they really work better?12/27/02: Weight is distributed in, through and around a golf ball as uniformly as individual manufacturingtechniques allow, but still, no golf ball is perfectly balanced when it leaves the factory. The Wilson Trueballs come close, but even they are not perfect. "Spin balancing", as described in this article, attempts tocompensate for these irregularities in weight distribution. It is a process that does not actually change thebalance of a golf ball. Instead, it is a procedure that adds a line around the equator of a golf ball toindicate that individual ball's optimal flight alignment.This subject originally seemed to be a simple one, but this comparative review turned out to be a lengthyone. Those readers with no pro-brevity biases may wish to begin with a page of Notes and Explanations.This page concerns terminology, testing variables and info on other types of "balanced" golf balls. Thosewho wish to cut to the quick may click here for The Summary of Conclusions. For a review of theTechnasonic Check-Go Sweet Spot Finder device used to spin balance the balls described in thiscomparative review, please click here: Technasonic Check-Go ReviewNow, on with the main review:The Testing Procedure:It can be assumed that properly aligned, balanced-oriented balls will fly and roll more consistently thanrandomly aligned balls that are not balance-oriented. There is no point to arguing otherwise. What can bedebated, however, is whether unbalanced golf balls are so far out of balance that average players canactually notice the performance differences in regular play. After all, balls can be aligned by hand only ontee shots, before putts and when lift, clean and place rules are in effect. The rest of the time, in thefairway or in the rough, balls have to be left as they are. When not aligned by hand, the markings on aball not only become irrelevant; they can actually serve as negative distractions for some players.In order to find out if using spin-balanced balls does result in strokes shaved from the scorecard of theaverage golfer, we used a very simple and very non-scientific approach. We took a mix of forty golf ballsof comparable hitting length - Pinnacle Gold Distance, Wilson Ultra, Top Flite XL and Maxfli Noodle - andwe divided them into two, evenly matched teams of twenty balls each. We then spin-balanced andmarked one batch using the Technasonic Check-Go ball-spinning device. We left the other batch as theyoriginally were - unspun and unmarked.The two teams of balls were then hit head to head in four, different types of comparison sessions: 1.)Putting from 13' on our True Board synthetic surface. 2.) Short/Mid Irons to a 150-yard pin 3.) Long Irons(no specified distance) 4.) Drivers (no specified distance) In all ball-hitting sessions, the balls wereplaced on tees. In total, 440 balls were hit. 64 balls were putted.All input for this review is based upon sessions at the GCR range. There was simply no way for individualplaying rounds to be realistically factored into this review process. The benefit that results from usingbalance-oriented golf balls comes from the accumulation of small, subtlety defined positives. Whether anactual score would have been a stroke or two higher or lower had any round been played with identical,but unbalanced, golf balls instead of balance-aligned balls would have been pure guesswork.Putting Session ResultsThere simply is no doubt about it, balance-oriented balls roll better than randomly aligned balls. We didnot have to putt for long to realize this. On our dead-level, synthetic surface, the differences were readilyapparent to the eye. The balance-aligned balls rarely ever fell off left or right at the end of their roll. Withgood strokes, they always tracked true through to the end of the last rotation. In bocce-ball puttingrounds, it was no contest. Putting was much more precise with the balanced balls.In comparison, the non-aligned balls displayed typical rolling characteristics. Sometimes they stayed true;other times they curled off at the end of their run. When poor balance alignment coincided with a weakstroke, they could curl off, or "bleed", precipitously in their last few rotations. They could veer anywhereup to ninety degrees. Even with a good stroke, they could plop over an inch or so left or right at the veryend. These tracking vagaries occurred to a very, very limited extent with balanced balls.Our GCR testers, just like everyone else, tend to blame all deviant roll behavior on their putting strokes,or on the putting surface’s break, even when no break exists. With the presence of balance-oriented ballsin an alternate-shot rotation, the putting characteristics inherent to the golf balls being used became veryapparent. This reduction in the tendency to curl off at the end of the roll produced dispersion patterns forthe balance-oriented balls that were two to three inches closer to the center of our grid on average thanthose of the non-oriented balls.These seemingly small differences will not make much difference to a lousy putter, but they certainly willto a good one. The poor putter is just as apt to have his putts break towards the hole as they are to breakaway from it. Not so with the player who generates a solid putting stroke and routinely keeps the ballonline. His putts will track truer and roll stronger. He will experience fewer lip-outs, curl offs, near missesand putts that die right in front of the cup.On heavily used greens, or ones that have their cups changed infrequently, slightly elevated “donuts”occur around the cup. It will be here that balance-oriented balls impact putting efficiency most. Thosehorribly annoying putts that seem to “change their mind” at the very last moment will occur less frequently.A player with a poor stroke may never realize much benefit from the use of balanced balls on the green,but a good putter should be able to reduce his handicap by close to a stroke with careful and sustaineduse of balance-oriented balls. If he is also adept at using the alignment lines on the ball to aim his putts,he may save substantially more than a stroke around.Some of our testers had blasé attitudes about balance-orientation, but when the pressure putts came inour bocce-ball putting contests, they all made dead certain that that alignment line was aimed precisely atthe tiny 5-point cup. The fact that comma-shaped putts rarely ever occurred with properly aligned, spinbalancedballs had eluded none of them.How did the spin-balanced balls compare to the saltwater-balanced balls we used in our True Rollersputting comparison earlier this year? We saw even more improvement in roll characteristics using thespin-balanced balls than we did with the saltwater balls. With the saltwater balls, we resorted to rollingthem off of a ramp to ascertain just how effective they were. With the spin-balanced balls we did not haveto. The differences were readily apparent. This is not a totally apt comparison, however. The spinbalancedballs have straight alignment lines on them that assist in aiming. The saltwater balls had just adot on one side.Irons Results - Long Iron SessionsIn our initial range sessions, we allowed testers to use any long iron they wished. Their assignment wasto hit balls straight out over a pattern of measuring stakes that were placed in the middle of the range. Noset end target or distance was specified. Their only assignment was to hit the ball straight. Problemsarose immediately. Most testers were too accustomed to working their irons into a specified target.If a human tester routinely hits a fade or a draw, he is, of course, not aiming directly at the target. Shouldhe align the ball’s marker line at the pin, or on the line down which he intends to swing the club? Shouldhe align the ball with his stance, with his clubface or with his swing path? Everyone had a differentopinion. One of our faders actually aims and aligns a full fifteen to twenty feet to the left of the pin at 150yards. One drawer of the ball hits from a closed stance with a pronounced in to out swing path. Hisclubface aligns to the left of the pin.To end the deliberation, we initially insisted that all testers align the ball’s marker line directly down thecenter at all times. This caused considerable consternation for some testers as they tried to swing downthe line dictated by the ball’s marker line. Their muscle memory and ingrained swing mechanics foughtagainst them. Consequently, three different testers had the results of their first sessions discardedcompletely. Their shot patterns were just too erratic. One could not adjust at all and did not continue totest. The other two did make adjustments, or more accurately, they learned to ignore the marker line andswing normally.Asking our testers to become human Iron Byrons and to mindlessly swing long irons down the center ofthe range turned out to be unproductive. Casual warm-up sessions worked well, but when the scoringbegan, swings became generally stiff and awkward. Testers invariably tried to “stay down the line” toolong in an attempt to hit purely straight shots. Consequently, they became less accurate, not more.(Having a scorekeeper standing behind them making “tsk-tsk” noises and commenting upon their swingmechanics didn’t help, either.)Another problem presented itself. If the alignment line on the ball is not precisely oriented, the entirepurpose of using balanced balls is nullified. Unfortunately, players cannot accurately align the marker linetoward the pin from address position. It must be done from behind the ball, and even then, the playermust step well back from the ball to check on his alignment. Impatient testers had trouble doing this everytime. We are sure that impatient players will not do a good job of this during playing rounds. As one testersaid, “I hate anything that slows the game down.” For him and one other, we placed the nub of red tee inthe ground eighteen inches in front of where they were hitting. They used the tee nub as a quickreference point.The upshot of these initial sessions was that the balanced balls registered marginally tighter left-to-rightdispersion patterns with the longer irons, but overall patterns were too erratic to be realistic. Weabandoned this approach.Short & Mid-Iron SessionsNext, we moved to a standard par-3 distance of 150 yards. This allowed testers to use a comfortableshort to mid-iron, and to maintain a consistent and easy swing. Also, our 150-yard target green is anaturally shaped green of good size and is complete with traps and berms. It simulates on-courseconditions well. If balanced balls are to shave strokes off of a handicap, many of the strokes saved mustcome from birdies that result from shorter first putts on par-3 holes. Par-4 and par-5 approach shots areirrelevant since balls cannot generally be picked up and realigned in the fairway. GeneralFade AlignmentGeneralDraw AlignmentOur testers were much more comfortable with this par-3 approach. They now had a specific target. Wealso allowed them to “cheat” on aligning the marker line on the ball. They could adjust it left or right a bitto suit their swing needs. They soon found that aligning the ball directly at the pin was not the answer formost. Swing path direction was generally the optimum choice – faders to the left and drawers to the right.However, for those with exaggerated motions, a compromise line was best. For example: With apronounced out-to-in swing path and a very open club face, the most desirable alignment direction wasmidway between the target line and the swing path line.In six sessions, results were mixed, but the advantages of using balance-oriented balls began to becomeapparent. Testers generally noticed that their most errant shots seem to come from the unbalanced balls.After all shots were charted and tabulated, the balanced-oriented balls turned out to be four feet closer tothe pin on average than the randomly aligned, unbalanced balls. (Actually, it was 3’ 11 7/8”) In addition,the patterns of the balance-oriented balls were marginally longer, as well.Four feet may not seem like much at first glance, but over a full season, that distance will account for anawful lot of birdie putts holed. A good putter sinks less than fifty percent of their putts from seven feet.From three feet, they sink more than ninety percent of their putts. This gain in accuracy has to impact thescores of better players. Higher handicapped players will see very little advantage, however. A chip fromforty-four feet is not measurably much more difficult than one from forty feet.Driver SessionsIt was during the driver sessions that the balance-oriented balls began to shine in terms of both accuracyand overall length gained. Using the average dispersion variable of 4' seen at 150 yards, we surmisedthat using balance-oriented balls with drivers would produce patterns that were 51/2' to 7' closer to thecenter of the fairway depending upon how far an individual drive carried. That estimate turned out to beconservative. Precise measurements are not possible on our asymmetrically contoured range, but a leftrightdispersion improvement of 6' to 10' was our final estimate. The tightness of dispersion patternsvaried from driver to driver, tester to tester. There are a number of reasons for this: Different drives govarious distances. Different players impart different spin rates. Lateral spin rates increase with lowerlofteddriver heads. Poor balance orientation can exacerbate sidespin and increase inaccuracy to adisproportionate extent for those who hit trajectories with pronounced curvatures – hooks, draws, fadesand slices.Another factor widened the disparity of patterns of Balanced versus Unbalanced in our driver sessions.Randomly aligned balls sometimes happen to set up in proper alignment position. When this occurs, theyperform just as the balance-oriented balls do. To eliminate this variable in the driver sessions, we spinbalancedall of the balls on the Unbalanced Team and then made certain that every unbalanced ball wasteed up completely out of whack. Consequently, variations in the resulting driver patterns wereexaggerated beyond those that the average golfer would see in day-to-day play.During the earlier iron sessions, the differences between the balanced and unbalanced balls were onlyslightly apparent to the eyes of our testers. Some could see no differences at all during their sessions.Until their shots were charted and tallied, they did not feel as though any substantial performancedifferences existed. Such was not the case with drivers. It did not take long to see that the balanceorientedballs were flying stronger and longer. The benefits were surprisingly obvious. The balls carriedbetter, flew straighter and rolled hotter after landing.The balance-oriented balls not only created patterns that were six to ten feet closer to the center of thefairway, they created longer patterns, as well. How much length was gained depended upon the lengthand trajectories of the individuals hitting the drives. The balance-oriented balls easily produced thelongest drives in every session. The longest of all balance-oriented balls hit was more than seven yardslonger than the longest non-balance-oriented ball. The balanced-oriented balls accounted for sixty-fivepercent of the longer half of the balls hit in the driver sessions and conversely, just thirty-five percent ofthe shorter half.In regular ball-testing sessions, we always eliminate weak shots from consideration – it’s not fair to a ballmanufacturer to include the results of bad swings. In this case, however, we eliminated only very, verypoor hits. We counted the weak hits to see if balancing improved the behavior of wayward balls. It did. Ineach session, the shortest drives (the head-shake inducing clunkers) came from the unbalanced balls.Some straight-hitters will see little or no actual yardage gains on average as unbalanced balls can turnsome straight drives into longer draws and some straight drives into shorter fades. That aside, it isrealistic to expect that the typical player will gain an average of at least two yards in distance by usingbalance-oriented balls. Longer hitters will see as much as five yards in gain depending upon the nature oftheir drives. How much straighter and farther will depend upon how much out of balance a ball had been,and upon what type of trajectory and amount of spin was imparted to it. Balance-oriented balls createmore neutral and consistent results for those who work the ball in either direction. The sidespin that cancause a pronounced fade to nose off and die at the end of its flight is substantially reduced. Power fadesland and run hotter. Draws are less apt to become hooks.There turned out to be no physical way for us to measure how much balance orientation influenced theamount of sidespin that occurred in slices and hooks. Visually, the differences were obvious, but therewas no way to ascertain the initial launch direction of the hooks and slices. Where the ball landeddepended greatly upon the tester’s initial stance alignment. Also, our test range is not balanced andsymmetrical, itself. Severe hooks are snagged by a berm covered in heavy rough. Distance deviations tothe far left can only be surmised. In spite of this, it can be safely stated that unbalanced balls doexacerbate slices and hooks off of a driver and that mistakes are noticeably less damaging with balanceorientedballs. While watching alternate-shot sessions, testers could actually see the differences in flightbetween balance-oriented and intentionally misaligned golf balls. Into a head wind or quartering wind, thedifference became even more obvious. GeneralFade AlignmentGeneralDraw AlignmentOne of our shorter fade-hitters was particularly appreciative of the improved flight characteristics ofbalance-oriented balls. He would tag an unbalanced ball well and would be certain that it was destined toend up out there with the best balance-oriented balls. It would appear to be flying strong and long, but atthe very end of its flight it would lose steam and curl off downwards to the right. It would land softer andnot run as the balance-oriented balls would do. He saw substantially better penetration to his high, softtrajectories with the balanced balls.Another tester, one who suffers from the occasionally disastrous hook, pointed out that excessivesidespin from an unbalanced ball is just as apt to help correct a hook (or a slice for that matter) as it is toexaggerate it. A balance-oriented ball will keep a ball from going more to the left by neutralizing sidespin.Consequently, it can never make the hook go more to the right as the unbalanced ball might do. This istrue. However, if the standard hook costs a player about one half of a stroke on average, a hook mademore severe may result in the loss of two strokes since it is more apt to go into the water, the woods oreven out of bounds. A moderated hook is apt to benefit a player less than one made more severe will hurthim. Those catastrophic hooks (and slices) not only cost multiple strokes, they demoralize, as well. Onecan change the nature of an entire round.As with irons and putters, accurate drivers will benefit most from using balance-oriented balls. Thelanding zones on most fairways are anywhere from 100’ to 180’ wide. Left-right deviations in ball flight of7’ or so will often be an irrelevancy for those players who are inaccurate to begin with. For players of allskill levels, however, any number of fairway traps will inevitably be avoided over a full season and farfewer drives will end up nestled just off the fairway in those pesky, first-cut grasses. How these benefitsimpact a player’s handicap will depend upon the individual player.A factor that almost all players cannot dismiss is the added distance advantage gained from driving withbalance-oriented balls. The extra yardage is not to be sniffed at. Best hits will be noticeably better withbalanced balls. This will occasionally mean that a player is hitting one less iron to the green – a 7-iron asopposed to a 6-iron. As stated, our best test drive with the balance-oriented balls was seven yards longerthan our best with the unbalanced balls. And it should be pointed out that we did not use our longest hitterin these sessions. We keep him away from our test balls. He sends too many OB left – way left – off therange and into the neighboring tennis courts. We would extrapolate that he would see best-hit gains in thevicinity of ten yards. We also extrapolate that he would see a reduction in damaged tennis players ofapproximately eight percent. We mention this last factor only in passing. We certainly do not intend tosuggest that any serious golfer should ever factor the welfare of tennis players into his equipmentselection process. That, of course, would be heresy.Summary of Conclusions:Our GCR testers all entered this comparison review thinking that spin-balanced balls would play a bitbetter than unbalanced balls, but that the difference would not be enough to justify the time andaggravation that went with spin balancing. By the end of the review process it had become obvious to allthat balance-oriented golf balls performed decidedly better than their unbalanced counterparts, and thatthese differences were great enough to make balance-oriented balls well worth the effort required inplaying them. Our crew became converts.Spin Balancing manifests its advantages in three regards: 1.) Longer and straighter drives, 2.) Moreaccurate tee shots on par-three holes and 3.) Better-rolling and more accurate putts. Each of these threeindividual factors could, in and of itself, knock a stroke off a player’s round. Conceivably, it is possible thatall three aspects could come into play during the same round. If that happened, multiple strokes could fallfrom a score. A score of 80 might become a score of 78. A score of 71 might become a score of 68. It’snot impossible.In spite of its improved tendencies, a balance-oriented ball can still slice or hook. When pushed or apulled, it will still fly right or left. Balancing does not eliminate these mistakes. No internal homing devicebecomes mysteriously imbued into a ball by the balancing act. It will fly straighter, but it’s still a golf balland will resort to bad behavior if not treated properly. What balancing does do is eliminate some degreeof counterproductive sidespin throughout a ball’s flight. As a result, most hits fly a bit stronger. They golonger and straighter. The severity of mistakes is reduced.There is a downside to using balance-oriented balls. Some players will not have the time and disciplineneeded to mark all of their balls. Others will not have the patience required to align their balls preciselybefore every tee shot and putt. Still others will find the marker lines they place on the ball to be ugly anddistracting.Lastly, ball balancing cannot tell a player how to align his ball. With experimentation, an individual canlearn exactly what alignment variation will work best for his game. If he then follows a routine and alignsthe ball precisely the same way every time, he will see performance that is much more consistent. Thereis absolutely no doubt about that. In our opinion, the consistent use of balance-oriented balls can shave astroke or two off of the handicap of any player who possesses reasonably solid fundamentals.Notes and Explanations:TerminologyIt should be noted that throughout these articles the terms balanced balls and balance-oriented balls areused interchangeably. Neither is really quite accurate. Spin-balancing does not “balance” a ball. Spinbalancingonly provides a visual indication of the axis upon which a golf ball will tend to spin best. Thedistribution of mass in a golf ball is not changed the way that it is in a tire when balancing weights areadded.The term “balance-oriented” is more accurate, but it must be remembered that orienting a ball towards atarget does not make a ball fly in an oriented manner in and of itself. The swingpath of the club and theangle of the face must both be properly oriented, as well. No magic occurs during the spin-balancingprocess. All that the player gets from the procedure is an equatorial line on a golf ball. He’s got to do all ofthe real orienting himself.In reality, the term weight distribution axis-indicated balls would be more appropriate than either of theabove-mentioned terms. For obvious reasons, we have not used that clumsy phrase.Technasonic uses the term, Sweet Spot Finder. This is misleading. The word "sweet" may be applicableto how well an indicated ball might fly or roll, but the dot added to a golf ball by this process is not the spotwhere impact is to be made. No "sweet spot" is defined in the sense generally used in reference to golfclub faces, tennis racquets and baseball bats.Degrees of ImbalanceThe Technasonic Check-Go device (see review) used in this review cannot realistically indicate howmuch a ball might be out of balance. Some balls will benefit greatly from “balancing”. Others will seevirtually no benefit. Degrees of imbalance will vary from one brand of ball to another. No companyintentionally manufactures unbalanced balls, but some degree of imbalance is inevitable. Even balls fromthe same line will vary from ball to ball.For anything close to legitimately balanced golf balls, the only options are the Wilson True balls. WhileWilson’s competitors enthusiastically point out that the Trues certainly are not technically perfect either,they remain the only balls that can claim to be truly “Balanced”.Wilson True BalanceWe included the Wilson True Distance balls in a number of comparative sessions to get an indication ofhow truly balanced balls performed in comparison to balance-aligned balls. The Trues behaved in a veryneutral and accurate manner. They produced consistently good patterns. They did not, however,generate the strong, penetrating types of trajectories we saw in the spin-balanced balls. The explanationfor this is simple: Spin balancing reveals the line upon which the heaviest segments of a golf ball will alignwhile spinning. This creates a straighter and more powerful flight. The Wilson True balls feature veryevenly distributed weight patterns. Hence, they fly in a much more neutral manner. We actually preferredthe flight characteristics of the spin-balanced balls.Note: The use of spin-balanced balls with balance orientation lines drawn on them does not violateUSGA rules. It is perfectly acceptable in all instances. To intentionally manufacture a lopsided ball thatflew best upon an indicated line would be violation of USGA rules.Saltwater Balancing vs. Spin BalancingIt should be pointed out that spin balancing and saltwater balancing are different procedures that yielddifferent indications. Balls tested using each procedure end up with two different top spots – and thedifferences are not always constant from ball to ball. As one astute reader quickly pointed out after ourTrue Rollers putting review last spring, saltwater balancing yields a lightest segment up result. It does notreveal the axis upon which a ball will best spin or roll. It cannot be assumed that a ball’s lightest segmentis the polar opposite of its heaviest segment. Weight and mass can be dispersed in any number of oddlydistributed patterns. For putting purposes, saltwater testing may be a preferred technique, but for hitting(flying) purposes, spin balancing is the obvious choice.Saltwater-balanced balls leave a player with a visible dot on the lightest side of the ball. Spin-balancedballs leave a player with a visible line on the equator of the ball. Some players are going to appreciatethis; others are not. If the use of that line suits a player’s style and mechanics, and if a player is welldisciplinedand takes sufficient time to accurately align the marker line on his ball every time it ispermissible to do so, then immediate benefits will befall him.We did not test saltwater-balanced balls in any regard other than putting. The opinions of most outsidesources validate what common sense dictates: Spin-balanced balls will outperform saltwater-balancedballs when it comes to flying through the air.Testing ProceduresSome of our more analytically minded readers may be tempted to point out to us that a more accuratetesting procedure would have included the placement of phony alignment lines on the unbalanced balls.This would have eliminated the visual input variable caused by the alignment lines on balanced balls. Weconsidered doing just that, but decided that the primary concern of the test was whether a playerbenefited from playing balanced balls, and such balls do, by necessity, have marker lines on them.Unbalanced balls used in play will generally have no marker lines on them. These black alignment linescan exert either a positive or a negative influence on a player depending upon how he is disposed. Theuse of a clean, unmarked ball is a primary factor in deciding which kind of ball to play. A couple of ourGCR regulars have real aversions to any logos or markings on a golf ball. The marker lines on thebalanced balls looked as ugly as sin to them.Some of our more analytically minded readers may also want to point out that this testing procedure mayhave been handled better by an Iron Byron. They may be right on this point. It certainly would have beenless frustrating and time consuming. But again, the test was to see if human beings benefited from usingspin-balanced balls. An Iron Byron would have been oblivious to the visual impact that the alignment lineshad on a human golfer’s game. The nuts and bolts of the primary dilemmas that haunted some of ourtesters would have eluded Mr. Byron’s mechanical psyche completely.Technasonic Check-Go Sweet Spot Finder12/27/02:Technasonic Electronics is located just north of Chicago in Lincolnwood, Illinois. The companyhas been producing the Check-Go Sweet Spot Finder since the late 1980’s. Unfortunately, not that manyplayers knew about it until the release of the Wilson True golf balls. All of the attention (and debate) thatWilson brought to the performance characteristics of balanced balls also brought the Check-Go into thelimelight.The Technasonic Check-Go is a compact, little device that spins golfballs at very high RPM’s. After a period of fifteen to twenty seconds, theball settles into a constant position as it spins within the Check-Go’scradle. At this time, the user takes a small marking pen (included with theCheck-Go) and makes a dot on the top of the ball. He then inserts thepen into a side porthole and creates a thin line around the equator of theball. This equator indicates the weight-distribution axis that will allow theball to carry longest, strongest and straightest.Though the company calls the Check-Go a “Sweet Spot Finder”, thedevice does not actually locate any one sweet spot on a ball’s surface.Instead, it locates a preferred alignment direction upon which the ball willbest fly. The “spot” that is marked on a ball faces the player at addressposition. Impact is supposed to be made at the equatorial marker line.This line points down the desired path of the ball’s upcoming flight. Theequator may be rotated to any position along its 360-degree path.We did not have much doubt at GCR that spin-balanced balls wereeffective to some degree or another. Common sense dictates that theywould be. What we did doubt was whether a simple, little mechanicalgadget such as this one could possibly do a reliable job of spin-balancinggolf balls. It turns out that the Check-Go is, while not perfect, more than up to the task at hand. For aninexpensive device, it manages to do a very fine job. When the spinning process is applied repeatedly tothe same ball, an identical equator is always found. At least the equator is identical in relationship to thecasing of the device. Human hands can tilt the marking pen at slightly different angles to create equatorialmarks that trace a bit off center. An off-center line can be visually annoying, but it does not actually affectperformance in any way. The ball still sets up in the appropriate position.Aside from the leeway allowed by the pen, other problems can occur. Too much pressure applied to thepen point as it presses against the spinning dimples can damage the pen. This happened with our testunit and the pen soon became a little gooey and messy. We recommend that users of the Check-Goexercise a very light touch when making their lines. They can darken the line after they have removed theball from the device.Another small problem arose in that the small cup that holds the ball got a touch out of register. It stillmade the ball spin just fine, but the top mark on the ball (which becomes the side indicator at address)registered a few degrees off kilter. Again, this did not really affect performance.Aside from these minor problems, the Technasonic has managed to spin an awful lot of balls for us, andthere seems to be no indication that it will not continue to do so for a long time to come. The maindrawback to the Check-Go, now and forever, is the planning and discipline required to make certain thatall of a player’s golf balls are properly marked. It takes less than five minutes to spin and mark a sleeve ofgolf balls. The trouble is, the spinning and marking can’t be done properly in a haphazard manner. Solidconcentration has to be maintained. Many players grab a sleeve or two of golf balls at the pro shop beforerushing off to the first tee. Many also cannot resist the temptation of playing golf balls that they gleanduring the round. In either case, the odds are slim that they are going to find a nicely level bench wherethey can conscientiously spin-balance their golf balls, even if they have remembered to pack the Check-Go in their bag in the first place.The Check-Go will always be most productive for those who buy their favorite balls by the dozen, markthem carefully at home, and then make certain that every ball in their bag is a spin-balanced ball. Let’sface it; the average golfer has trouble remembering to check their bags for tees and ball markers. Theyaren’t going to be able to sustain the level of conscientiousness required by the Check-Go. That’s shame,because this little gadget really does work well. It can save anyone a bundle of strokes over a season.Thoroughly cleaning the grooves on all irons and wedges works wonders, as well, but a depressingly lownumber of players manage to do it regularly. Even fewer carry one of those handy, little carbide-tippedgroove cleaners in their bag. Most just use a blunt, wooden tee for the job.Summary:Balance-oriented balls perform noticeably better than randomly aligned balls. We at GCR now swear bythem. (See our Featured Comparison Review) The Technasonic Check-Go is really the only optionavailable for spin-balanced balls. It works very well. It. Every golfer above the level of Hacker will benefitfrom spin-balancing their golf balls. If you are lazy and disorganized, forget it. If you have a modicum ofself-discipline, get a Check-Go right away, and take the time to make certain that all of the balls you playare balance-oriented. A score of 80 shot with randomly aligned balls will almost certainly become a scoreof 79 or 78 with balance-oriented balls.Note: Technasonic’s Check-Go is available to distributors in an unlabeled, unadorned state.Consequently, it may be found with other brand names affixed to it, or it may have no brand name at all.As far as we know, all of the little spin-balancing machines out there are the same item described above.Reprinted from golfclubreview.com/spin_balanced_balls.htm
Just like automobile tires appear to be perfectly round--yet they still need to be spin balanced before being driven at high speeds--the same holds true for golf balls. The inherent lopsidedness of every ball works against you off the tee and on the green.
Ever make a beautiful 10-foot putt on a level green only to notice the ball curve away from the hole at the last second? If you thought there must be something wrong with yor equipment-you were more correct than you know. Believe it or not, a perfectly round golf ball has never been manufacturered!
The Check-Go automatically realigns the balls heaviest areas along its equator, so that the ball no longer has a tendency to wobble, but rather roll more accurately on the green and drive further off the tee with few hooks and slices.
Conforms to USGA Rules and is legal for tournament play!
Place a new golf ball in the Golf Ball Spinner and replace the safety cage (the black piece on the top of the unit).
Press the button for several seconds while the Golf Ball Spinner's high speed gyroscopic action realigns the ball's variance in mass along the equator.
The ball is spun at a high rate inside a plastic cage and within seconds will balance on its axis (the dimples on the golf ball will not be visible).
Now, you mark the top of the axis through the top template by placing a dot on the ball. Then, draw a line around the equator by placing the pen in the hole provided on the protective safety cage. This mark will show the ideal position for striking the ball.
While spinning, use the special pen to permanently mark the ball's unique equator.
When teeing off or on the green, simply line up the ball's equator with your target and swing as usual.
Simply mark each ball's unique sweet spot before you play. You will enjoy more accurate shots, greater distance and lower scores.
Trade Publication Articles.
The Perfectly Balanced Ball
What You Should Know - What You Can Do
By Leonard Finkel
The biggest controversy in golf today is the "perfectly balanced" golf ball. Wilson, with its " Staff True" ball, makes just that claim, its box bearing the words, "Perfectly Balanced". Golf manufacturing hasn't the precision of rocket science and tolerances involved (allowable margin of error), are looser. For instance, Tour players may request as many as twenty drivers with the exact same specifications, only keeping the few that perform best for them. Even though they were made exactly the same, none are exactly the same. Is it realistically possible to consistently make a perfectly balanced golf ball? I didn't think so and decided to do a little research.
I made two important discoveries. First, there is no such thing as a consistently perfect balanced ball. Wilson vice president Luke Reese admitted he would be foolish to make that claim. "I'm not by any stretch saying that every single ball is 100 percent perfectly balanced. The problem with golf balls is, with any product, you have manufacturing variances and that means you can't make all products exactly the same each time. There is no such thing as perfection." He did maintain that perfection to Wilson was that the ball is going to "putt where you put it." The second thing I learned is that there is something you can do to better balance the golf balls you play with, no matter the brand or model. A little known device called the Check-Go is the answer.
Finding Optimum Balance
I came across the Check-Go sometime ago, but didn't give it much consideration. Though it has been around for almost fifteen years, Check-Go has not drawn much attention. The "Ball Wars" brought it into focus. An amazing tool, it spins a golf ball at approximately 10,000 revolutions per minute. As the ball rotates, it spins all directions to find its optimal balance point. After twenty seconds or so, weight deviations cause the ball to settle into a position it will return to time and again. While the ball rotates, a line is drawn to indicate its balance point, a marker positioned to precisely denote the ball's equator (optimal point of balance). A perfectly balanced ball will not come to rest at the same point consistently. Every test would result with a new equator being marked and these lines would eventually cover the ball. I tested more then 100 balls, from every major manufacturer, and each ball returned to its initial equator, every single time!
Experts agree that golf balls today are far superior and better balanced then balls from ten or twenty years ago. As good as they are today, allowable tolerances make it impossible to consistently manufacture a perfectly balanced ball. The bad news is, while most of the balls are well balanced, you don't know which ones they are. The good news is, using the Check-Go, you can determine for yourself the best point of balance for every ball you put into play.
Golf balls were spun for at least 20 seconds for the Check-Go to determine its optimal balance point; enough time to ensure balancing was complete. As the ball continued to spin, a line is drawn along the equator. No matter the brand, no two balls had the same balance point. The balance points were so diverse, as if totally random; meaning where the logo is placed had nothing to do with the balance point of the ball. The common custom of lining up the logo towards the target is therefore irrelevant. Each ball was tested multiple times, confirming that balance points remained in the exact same place, on each test, for every ball. During retesting, it was easy to recognize when the balancing process was completed. Balls were balls randomly positioned before retesting and as they rotated, the previous equator line almost magically appears, the Check-Go once again finding the identical point of balance. This study was not scientific in nature and I draw no conclusions as to which golf balls are better. I only sought to determine if there is such a thing as a golf ball that is consistently, perfectly balanced.
Dave Pelz Speaks
I spoke with putting guru Dave Pelz, who states there are numerous reasons why putts are missed, one of which is an unbalanced ball. When he first began his research, Pelz, a former NASA scientist, found most balls to be poorly balanced. When he asked major manufacturers why they had not strived to achieve a balanced ball, he was told that aerodynamics, not balance, governs distance. Distance is what almost every golfer is seeking, so that is where research dollars went. Today Pelz adds that most of the major brand balls are much better balanced than their predecessors, but consistent perfection is still not a reality.
Pelz pointed out that an unbalanced ball could certainly be the determining factor in a missed putt for Touring pros or better putters, those that hit the ball where they aim. A few days after our conversation I was watching the final round of the PGA Memorial Tournament. Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh were coming down the stretch, both with similar putts. Vijay outside, Furyk had to mark his ball. Singh's putt rolled dead straight, missing the hole. Furyk putted on the same line yet his ball broke left, also missing the hole. I remember wondering at the time if one or both balls not being optimally balanced caused either of those misses. Using the Check-Go will not give you a perfectly balanced ball. What it will do is let you know where the equator, the optimal balance point of that specific ball you are using is. Pelz says he doesn't know how balance affects the flight of the ball. What he does know is it most definitely affects the ball as it rolls on the green. Not finding the balance point surely puts any golfer at a distinct disadvantage!
Guru Gunn…Lehman & Pate
Teaching pro extraordinaire Roger Gunn introduced me to the Check-Go. Roger, who has worked with among others, PGA Tour pros Tom Lehman and Steve Pate says, "I don't get excited about too many things at the PGA Show, but the Check-Go was definitely the product of the year. It's simply the world's greatest golf gizmo. I had to have one myself within 30 seconds of seeing it work. I spin every ball I use prior to putting it in play." Gunn asserts that it is difficult to quantify the results from using the Check-Go, but if even if it is only one shot per round, the accumulated strokes saved is enormous. Virtually every one of his students uses it. "Ask Stuart Cink at the U.S. Open last year if he thinks one stroke on the green makes a difference?" Gunn adds.
Gunn showed the unit to Ryder Cup veterans Tom Lehman and Steve Pate, who were impressed with it and each requested one. Roger related a Lehman story. Tom, who currently plays the Srixon ball, likes to line up the ball logo to the target when putting. "Srixon is a well-balanced ball, but you never know quite where the true equator is going to be," Gunn adds. Tom got in the habit of spinning every ball he used and he would only use the ones where the equator lined up with the logo. According to Check-Go president Kenneth Burnett, he received an urgent call from Gunn. Roger said Lehman needed a Check-Go immediately. Burnett was told to overnight a Check-Go to Lehman in time for the 2002 AT&T Pebble Beach PGA event.
Although not scientific, Gunn has conducted his own tests rolling balls across a hard, flat surface on the equator and also by placing them in a "lopsided" position. He definitely notices a difference. "It's similar to putting mud on the side of a ball. On a 10-footer, it can miss by two and a half feet. A lopsided ball can miss a ten-footer on a perfect surface. How many of us have seen a ball roll perfectly, dead center as it nears the hole, then bleed away at the last second? How many of those were the golf ball after all?"
"Perfect Balance" Dissenters
Wilson's Reese talks about testing performance under "lab conditions" yet Callaway's Larry Dorman and others speak of performance in "real golf situations." They say that golf is not played in a laboratory. Dorman adds that Callaway is very careful to, "Avoid the use of the word perfect, because perfect implies exactly what it says. And there is no such thing in a manufactured consumer product." Srixon's Mike Pai adds, " You see the tests that they (Wilson) run in their commercials and at the PGA Show on something that basically resembles a pool table. I don't know any golfer that putts on a pool table. I think what they've created has come from things that happened a long time ago with golf balls, all the stories about Ben Hogan applying Epsom salt and picking out one or two balls out of a dozen. That was because manufacturing tolerances back in the 40's and 50's aren't anything close to what they are today." While all the other companies seem to focus on aerodynamics (distance), Wilson is hanging its hat on balance. Golfers will cast their votes with their pocketbooks.
Dean Snell of TaylorMade Golf states, "As far as the tolerances go in golf equipment, and it's not just golf balls, it's pretty much all the golf equipment, one of the things you'll find is there's always something wrong, an imperfection. If it's a shaft, if it's a club head, if it's a golf ball, there are a lot of different variables that affect overall distance, overall spin rates, compressions, and velocities. My opinion is that there are a ton of imperfections in golf balls, to have something that is perfect…it is nowhere near perfect. When you make core batches, the core batches have a specific gravity formulation and there's no way that every formulation comes out the same. The compression ranges, when you measure balls that are finished are huge. Within a dozen, you can take golf balls and do core compressions or finished ball compressions and you can be ten to twenty compression units apart, in one dozen that are supposed to be made the same." Snell also confirmed what Pelz said about manufacturers seeking distance, in some cases, actually shifting weight to increase distance. He asserts from testing done at TaylorMade, that "perfect balance" is insignificant in adding distance.
Snell, one of the co-inventors of the Titleist Professional ball adds, "Everybody's launch conditions are not the same and one ball for one person may not be optimum for someone else. That's the benefit to the custom fit line that's going on now. The position that I take on distance is that you should go out and find the ball that you like from the fairway in, find that ball that you're comfortable with the spin, the feel, the overall performance, then go get custom fit for a driver, which will optimize launch conditions. I would add, once you've found a ball you are comfortable with, that performs the way you want getting to the green, use the Check-Go to find it's optimum balance. You will have the best of both worlds…a ball that performs to your swing specifications and the truest roll possible on the greens. Golf balls are available everywhere. Information on the Check-Go is available at 1-800-787-7110 or on the web at www.clubmaker-online.com
Highlighted box Quotes:
"I don't get excited about too many things at the PGA Show, but the Check-Go was definitely the product of the year. It's simply the world's greatest golf gizmo. I had to have one myself within 30 seconds of seeing it work. I spin every ball I use prior to putting it in play."
Teaching pro Roger Gunn, whose students have included Tom Lehman and Steve Pate.
Check-Go, "The World's Greatest Golf Gizmo"
What began as an investigation into the ball balanced ball claims and counter claims, led me to eye-opening discovery. While manufacturers disagree over whether a balanced ball increases accuracy and adds distance to the ball in the air, there is no question balance affects putting. I found the Check-Go by Technasonic to be invaluable in determining the optimal balance point (equator) of every ball tested, including the Wilson True.
The Check-Go has been on the periphery of golf for almost fifteen years. It was even featured in the New York Times in October 1988. The current balanced ball issue has brought it to the forefront. According to Check-Go inventor Ken Burnett, on the second day of the PGA show, he overheard a Wilson rep at his booth comment," Boy, I didn't realize we launched a multi-million dollar campaign to sell the Check-Go."
While spinning a golf ball at 10,000 revolutions per minute, the Check-Go automatically realigns the golf ball's heaviest areas along its equator, so that a less than perfectly balanced ball no longer has a tendency to wobble, but rather roll more accurately on the green. The Check-Go will not make an unbalanced ball perfectly balanced. What it will do is show you the optimal balance point of each and every ball you put in play.
During testing for a balanced ball article, balls from every major manufacturer were tested, including the Wilson True. At least two sleeves of each type were tested (a dozen Wilson True balls) and in every case, the Check-Go found the balance point of each separate golf ball. Each ball was tested multiple times to confirm that the initial point of balance was indeed accurate. Had there been any perfectly balanced balls, each separate test would have produced a different equator, which never happened. Every ball returned to the same balance point time and time and time again.
The world's foremost expert on putting, Dave Pelz attests to the fact that balance definitely affects the ball as it rolls on the green. In The Wire, an Internet news service, a promo for the July issue of Golf Magazine talks about an article titled, Does Balance Matter? It writes, "There's been a lot of talk lately about golf balls and balance, but Dave Pelz has been saying for nearly 20 years that many balls are out of balance, sometimes enough to affect the roll and result of your putt. In research conducted at the Pelz Golf Institute, he calculated that when a ball's center of gravity is off by just a few thousandths of an inch, it can cause a short putt to miss the hole."
Teaching pro extraordinaire Roger Gunn, who has numbered among his students PGA Tour pros Tom Lehman and Steve Pate, says. "I don't get excited about too many things at the PGA Show, but the Check-Go was definitely the product of the year. It is simply the world's greatest golf gizmo. I had to have one myself within 30 seconds of seeing it work. I spin every ball I use prior to putting it in play." In a game where every stroke matters, can any of us afford to give strokes away?
While the Check-Go can't make an unbalanced ball perfect, it will show you its optimal balance point. I now mark the equator on every ball I put into play. To not take advantage of this state of the art technology would almost be a sin.
| ||The Science of the Golf Ball Spinner Sweet Spot Finder |
Upon impact, the ball shoots forward with a velocity of about 50-100 mph. At the same time the loft angle of the clubhead causes the ball to spin at about 2,000-10,000 rpm.
The effect of the back spin imparted generates two newtons of lifting power (5 times the power of gravity). This is called the Bernoulli principal. It is the lifting power which determines the flying distance of the ball. The balck spin also improves stopping on the green with iron shots.
|Includes a permanent marking pen|
|There is a slot on the Golf Ball Spinner Sweet Spot Finder to hold your permenant marking pen|
|Uses 2 AA Batteries (included)|| ||