Seven Questions – Speed Regime Golf Balls

Let’s start nice and easy. What are the basics details for the new Speed Regime golf balls, and when can I try them?

The golf ball R&D team has cooked up some beauties for 2014. Speed Regime is a new series of tour golf balls from Callaway Golf. There are three unique golf balls: SR 1, SR 2 and SR 3, and get this: each has been developed for optimal performance based on a golfer’s swing speed. More on that later.

As for trying them, we HIGHLY encourage trial on-course because, well, our testing shows that these balls flat-out fly farther. They will be available at golf retailers nationwide and on www.CallawayGolf.com starting January 24, 2014.

Excellent. Can’t wait. But let’s take a step back. Talk to me about designing golf balls based on a golfer’s swing speed?

Aha, yes. You’re paying attention – good. There will be three Speed Regime golf balls available: SR 1, SR 2 and SR 3.

SR 1 is for swing speeds of 90 and below

SR 2 is for swing speeds between 90 and 105

SR 3 is for swing speeds of 105 and above

Golfers that swing 85mph need different performance characteristics from a tour level ball than a golfer that swings 108mph. So Callaway has designed a unique HEX Aerodynamics package for each Speed Regime ball, and we’ve constructed each ball to perform best based on a defined range of swing speed. And it’s awesome.

You guys spend a lot of time thinking about golf balls! This is great, but tell me more. How is the SR 3 – for golfers with a swing speed of 105mph or higher — different from the others?

We designed a HEX Aero profile for SR 3 to reduce drag at high speeds. At the start of a golf ball’s flight — just off the tee when it is experiencing its highest speed — drag forces dominate at those ball speeds. So we wanted to minimize the drag as much as possible during that time and designed the aero profile to do that. That is critical for the 105mph and above player, but that emphasis on minimizing drag in the first stages of ball flight is not as meaningful to swing speeds below 105mph.   As cool as this is, we managed to do so in the SR 3 without sacrificing the low speed lift that is needed later on in the ball flight (after the apex). So, yeah, the SR 3 flies longer.

Holy Smokes! And the SR 2 (for golfers with swing speeds between 90 – 105)?

Aerodynamically we designed this ball to have the best balance of low drag at high speeds (at the very start of the flight when the ball is going the fastest), and good lift at low speeds (at the end of the flight when the ball is descending). Together, if you balance that right, which we were able to do in SR 2, you get longer distance and an incredible overall ball.

A somewhat predictable follow up question: but then how is SR 1 – for golfers with swing speeds of 90 and below – different from the others?

Because at this range of swing speed the golf ball doesn’t achieve very high speeds so the need to design specifically for low drag goes away.  Instead we focused the aero package on lift at lower speeds toward the end of the flight when the ball is descending. With SR 1, we want to keep the ball in the air longer to make it fly farther. Got it?

Awesome. What specifically differentiates in each aero package? And part B of that question is how does the underlying construction impact performance of each?

The aerodynamic profile for each of the Speed Regime balls is a function of surface geometry (shape, tube height, and other such scientific things) designed in combination with the cover material.   Speaking of which, the three Speed Regime balls also have different cover materials that contribute to their overall performance.,  All three balls have urethane covers for great spin, but SR 1 has the softest and SR3 the firmest.

When asked about the underlying construction, Callaway’s head of golf ball R&D, Dave Bartels, says: “Each of the Speed Regime balls is designed with a dual core for optimal spin separation and a durable urethane cover for Tour-Level control around the greens. The specific materials and composition that make up these balls are designed to have great feel and overall performance, optimized to provide the longest distance for players within their Speed Regime.”

Does this signal a new golf ball R&D philosophy for Callaway?

We’ve always put the golfer benefit first in our ball designs, but the more custom fit focused approach with the Speed Regime balls has allowed the team to emphasize certain performance benefits to give golfers even more distance and better overall performance.  We also realize how challenging it can be for golfers to find the ball that best suits their game, so we’ve tried to simplify the selection with the Speed Regime lineup.  If a golfer can measure or estimate their swing speed they can be assured that the Speed Regime ball they select will be the best performing ball for them – with great spin around the green, great feel, and LONG!

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