QA Ball Storage Sticky Problem

By Frank ThomasDecember 12, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is the latest in a weekly Q&A feature from GOLF CHANNEL's Chief Technical Advisor Frank Thomas. To submit a question for possible use in this column, email
I appreciate your knowledge and expertise. My question is about storing my golf balls over the winter. I leave my golf clubs and balls in my unheated garage. Since I live in Minnesota and the temperature often falls below zero, I'm wondering if my golf balls will be damaged by the cold. Does long-term exposure to below freezing and below zero temperatures during the winter have a noticeable impact golf ball performance the next spring or summer?

First let me commiserate with you about the weather conditions, which are only conducive to thinking about, and not really getting out and playing golf. I hope my Q&As help a little while you are reviewing and trying to memorize your swing thoughts in the living room. Please be sure to sign up as a Frankly Friend by clicking here so at least you can read about golf every week.
It is not a good idea to leave your golf balls or your clubs in sub-zero temperatures if you have an option not to do so. Move them into your basement or the den if your wife will let you.
These very cold conditions should not have a detrimental affect on the long-term performance properties of the balls as long as you bring them back to room temperature slowly.
It is certainly not a good idea to hit a ball when it is at freezing temperatures, because this will not only cause damage to the ball but probably the club as well, never mind the potential damage to your body if you are not warmed up properly.
Dont try to warm these balls quickly by using any method that exposes the surface of the ball to higher temperatures than you can personally stand. High temperatures will affect the covers of golf balls which in many cases are made of an ionomer which is a thermoplastic which starts melting and deforming at temperatures above about 170 Degrees F. The softening of the cover will potentially deform the dimple shape and significantly affect the aerodynamics of a ball.
The dimple shape, size, number, and configuration on the surface of the ball are what make the ball fly as far as it does. Without dimples or badly distorted dimples, the ball will not perform very well at all.A smooth ball will only fly about 130 yards compared to 260 yards for a ball with dimples hit with the same launch conditions. So dont expose your golf balls to high temperatures similar to those in the trunk of a car in Phoenix Ariz., in mid summer (150 degrees F or so) and dont hit a frozen ball.
Storing your equipment at really cold temperatures will not make it very happy and you know what unhappy equipment does.
Hope it warms up soon in Minnesota.
--Frank (Orlando Fla.)
Dear Frank,
I always enjoy your column, but this is the first time I have had occasion to ask a question.If I bend a 54 degree wedge (forged) with 10 degrees of bounce to 55 degrees, or bend a 52 degree wedge with 8 degrees of bounce to 51 degrees, how will it affect the bounce? Is there a rule of thumb? Thanks.

You have asked the question about bounce and the effect that bending the head to increase or decrease the loft will have on this property.The answer is relatively simple to figure out if you understand how bounce angle is measured.
Lets try to explain this as follows:
If the shaft of the club is in the vertical plane (normal address position) but tilted toward the golfer the angle the shaft makes with the ground toward the golfer is the lie angle. This is when the leading edge, and generally the score lines on the face are horizontal.
The angle the face plane makes with the vertical plane when the club is in this position is the loft angle. In your example, this is 54 degrees. In this same position, the angle the sole makes with the ground (horizontal plane) is the bounce angle. In your case, you say this bounce angle is 10 degrees. This means that the back of the sole is lower to the ground than the front at an angle of 10 degrees.
As you can see changing the loft angle will directly affect the bounce angle because it is part of the head design configuration. So if you bend the club head to have more loft by 2 degrees, you will be changing the angle the sole makes with the ground by the same amount, i.e. two degrees more.
A question often asked is, If I want a 55 degree wedge, would I be better off to bend my a 54 degree wedge to 55 or should I bend my 56 to a 55?
As you now know bending the 54 to a 55 will increase the bounce by one degree and a 56 to a 55 would decrease the bounce. One degree change in bounce angle is not significant but 4 or 5 degrees does make a difference to the way the club performs. So now the decision is up to you. Hope this helps.
Last Week's Sticky Problem: Reader Suggestions
Your question last week about removing the price tags from the shaft of new clubs, and my response about using a hairdryer has caused a flurry of e-mails with alternative suggestions. I thought mentioning these may be of some help to our readers with the same problem.
I have NOT tried, nor do I endorse these remedies but I will list only the substance suggested not the precise and sometimes lengthy application methods. If you have the same sticky problem and want to be adventurous, you may want to consider the following:
  • Smear a stout layer of peanut butter on the tag.
  • The heat gun at the pro shop is the best way, but I also use a product called Goo-Gone, which works very well.
  • A paper towel moistened with mineral spirits will take off that sticky stuff.
  • I leave the tag on my putter just to remind the instrument how easy it is to replace it if it fails to perform.
  • Using WD-40 will usually remove the most stubborn of stickers. Doesn't smell great but it works for me.
  • For papery labels a bit of the remover 'Goo-Gone' works well.
  • Use a product like 'Goo-Gone' or 'Disolve-it' and soak the sticker completely.
  • Golfers are an impatient breed. I don't use hair dryers. I use fingernails and....WD-40. Spray a little on a cloth and it will get those pesky tags off.
  • Spray a LITTLE, a VERY little bit of WD-40 on the glue, and wipe with a rough soft rag.
  • Put some grip solvent on a paper towel and rub until the obnoxious substance is removed.
  • Use a little Oil, any type of oil (cooking oil or machine oil). The oil breaks down the glue and then you can just wash it off.
  • I recently played with a guy who said he paid so much for his new driver he wanted everyone to know. Let me tell you, the way he hit that driver he should have kept the money.
    I believe that WD-40 is the winner with Goo-Gone a close second. Not too sure about the peanut butter though!
    Thanks for the suggestions to solve a sticky issue.
    On a more serious note, I will have more reader feedback for you next week on our Two Sets of Rules reader comments. Fifty-one-thousand words of feedback is a lot to get through, and I want to be sure that I do justice to your very considered comments.
    -- Frank
    Hoppy HolidaysFrank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email
  • Getty Images

    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

    Getty Images

    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

    Getty Images

    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.