Formally announced by the USGA on March 12, Optimization will be quite a different type of test than the current testing methodology employed by the USGA (the Overall Distance Standard).
Unlike the Overall Distance Standard test, the biggest difference Optimization will imply is that it will be performed indoors.
Optimization will utilize sophisticated computer technology to analyze and measure the performance of golf balls fired in an indoor test range by an air cannon.
Under the current testing procedures of the Overall Distance Standard, a golf ball is hit with a 109 mph swing from an Iron Byron robot. Balls are allowed to travel a maximum total distance of 296.9 yards, including roll.
However, the USGA, for reasons of consistency, wanted to bring the testing to a more controlled environment.
The new method of golf ball testing will be employed on or before Jan. 1, 2002.
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