PHOENIX – Continuing its journey to help golfers improve through custom fitting, PING today introduced a virtual ball-fitting experience based on a golfer’s launch conditions and performance preferences. Known as Ballnamic™, the website offers unbiased golf ball brand and model recommendations for golfers of every skill level. The software is powered by PING’s proprietary ball-specific flight models and algorithms developed by its engineers and data scientists. More than 40 ball models are housed inside the app, which is periodically updated to seek to ensure the current designs are considered.
The ball-fitting tool is available direct to consumers for a $39 fee at ballfitting.com and generates a detailed fitting report contrasting the top five best-matched balls. Custom-fitting facilities can license the application through PING and offer it as a service to their customers. Ballnamic is available only in the United States.
“Ballnamic represents our never-ending quest to innovate every variable of the custom-fitting experience,” said John K. Solheim, PING President. “We’ve been studying golf balls since the early days of PING when my grandfather, Karsten Solheim, quickly recognized the ball was the ‘tuning fork’ for golf equipment. Our extensive knowledge library and engineering expertise led us down the ball-fitting path, and we’re excited to bring it to both fitters and consumers. The access golfers have to their data through launch monitors and other tools continues to grow and make advancements like Ballnamic possible. Since we’re not in the golf-ball business, we’re able to conduct independent testing and offer this unbiased tool as another service for golfers to help improve their enjoyment of the game.”
Testing conducted at the PING Proving Grounds has generated anticipated performance characteristics of golf balls. Utilizing the PING Man swing robot, doppler radar and carefully monitored weather conditions, PING’s researchers have measured ball performance across a comprehensive span of driver, iron, and wedge shots – in both wet and dry conditions. The results generated data approximating how golf balls perform across a range of speeds and lofts; a low-spin ball on drivers can generate high spin around the green and vice versa.
“One of the most exciting advancements with Ballnamic is that, for the first time in the golf industry, we decouple and approximate a ball’s initial launch conditions with its aerodynamic performance. It’s counterintuitive, but we’ve seen low-launch, low-spin golf balls that fly high, and high-launch, high-spin balls that fly low,” said Marty Jertson, Vice President of Fitting and Performance, who oversaw the creation and development of Ballnamic. “It does not factor in traditional ball-selection criteria, such as construction and number of layers. Instead, Ballnamic strictly focuses on tested performance characteristics, algorithmic equations and mathematical approximations.”
Once logged into the site, golfers create a profile by completing a questionnaire that guides them to think about aspects of ball performance just like a Tour player. Golfers enter performance preferences for their long game, irons, wedges, short game, and putter. Even without access to a launch monitor, Ballnamic employs a user’s estimated launch conditions based upon a user’s data such as their driver and 7-iron flight. For golfers who have been on a launch monitor recently, they can enter their exact ball speed, launch angle, and spin rate for even more personalized results. Employing the player’s data inputs, Ballnamic recommends the top five balls identified based upon a calculated Overall Match Score, factoring in the ball’s projected initial launch conditions and aerodynamic properties with the intent of closely matching the golfer’s profile.
Users can view approximated ball-flight comparisons for both calm (zero wind) and windy conditions, which are estimated from their trajectory and geographic location, using the Explore feature. Once finished, users can share their top-matched ball through Twitter and Facebook.
“We’ve been using Ballnamic to custom fit our guests at the PING Proving Grounds for the last several months,” said Jertson. “It’s been eye-opening to see the impact that different balls have on dialing in someone’s fitting recommendations. While Ballnamic provides useful information as a stand-alone tool, we’ve also seen the benefits of combining club and ball fitting. For example, using Ballnamic we’ve seen optimization benefits in players achieving greater distance while using a higher-lofted driver with better-matched golf balls. Our goal is to help golfers in working to match the best ball to their game, so they can have the most success on the golf course.”
For more information, contact Pete Samuels (602) 687-5487.
PING and Ballnamic are trademarks of Karsten Manufacturing.
Ballnamic fitting results are based on performance estimates built from user inputs, PING proprietary algorithms, testing, and ball flight modeling, employing data and assumptions developed by PING. Recommendations are neither a guaranty of performance nor an endorsement of any particular ball(s). Estimated performance necessarily includes uncertainty as identified balls may not result in performance as estimated or outperform other balls.