Rickie Fowler turned back the clock and hit a persimmon driver while instructor Claude Harmon III caught it on video. The cool part is that they also used a Trackman to get the club head speed, ball speed, carry distance, total distance, spin rate, and smash factor.
For one, Rickie’s club head speed is great, but the ball speed is remarkably impressive and that is more than likely due to the ball itself. On the downside, the spin rate is way too high.
So even though the stats are impressive considering the driver, the ball takes away a little bit of the fun in knowing exactly how far a modern golfer could legitimately hit a persimmon driver with a ball from that era.
For comparison, here are some PGA Tour averages put together by Trackman from 2014. As you can clearly see, the ball speed and smash factor are basically the same as Rickie’s with the persimmon.
So when people discuss the changes in club technology being a major issue with driving distance, maybe mention to them that even though drivers have come a very long way, the golf ball has come even farther.