Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

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Steve H

Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby Steve H » Wed Jun 22, 2016

Side by side: New pearly white and the "Q500" after 126 holes.

A follow up to the recent article Hickory Golf balls - Why, a McIntyre Ouimet golf ball attempts to defy all odds and survive for 500 holes!

This article exists because I was eager to put the cracking issue experienced with the previous generation mesh ball (The Victor) to a full test. That first go around with the earlier McIntyre ball ended in disappointment when the covers cracked unexpectedly. The problem was widely reported and eventually diagnosed as due to the first generation Wilson Duo covers being too hard for the ultra low compression core. This was a flaw that originated with Wilson's R&D and had nothing to do with the secondary process of creating a hickory ball.

The McIntyre Golf Company didn't wait for Wilson to rectify its cover issue (the Duo has since been re-engineered) and used an entirely different ball for their 2nd generation mesh ball labeled "The Ouimet".

I have been anxious to hit the links with the classic looking ball once again and finally got my chance. After 8 rounds and 144 holes of banging around the same ball, I am happy to report, that the cracking issue is history. ;)

But then why stop here? The idea to see just how long one golf ball can survive seemed like a fun experiment and goofy Don Quixote like quest to try. So the following is an ongoing account of the trials and tribulations of one McIntyre Ouimet golf ball. I tried to add a little humor to the journey, but it's probably best to keep my day job. :lol:

When and where will the final whack lead to an eternal resting place? What sorts of highs and lows will be recounted? What will the ball look like towards the end? Can it survive for 500 holes? ...Updates and pictures to follow.

Weed Golf Course - Mt. Shasta California

The Q500 Diary
First Round - Sharp Park - Pacifica
1st Par - Sharp Park - #1 Par 4.
A Bob Hope swing and the first whack of adventure left about 140 yards. Ball sitting down a bit in an old divot was a sign of the challenge that lie ahead. Missed green, but a good chip left a formality of a tap-in and a promising start.

1st Bogey - Sharp Park - #4 Par 5.
A 3 putt from 6' above hole... oops!

1st Birdie - Sharp Park #5 Par 3.
A nice bounce back after 1st bogey.

Pajaro Valley GC - Watsonville
Manged to shoot one under par for 18 holes = 71. Good times! 8-)
Total = 36 holes.

The Q500 after 28 holes and a crisp logo. :)

Santa Teresa GC - San Jose with Michael and Jimmy
1st Double Bogey - #13 Par 4 - golf is hard!
1st Eagle - #17 Par 5 - a "chip in" from just off the green. - golf is fun!
Total = 54 Holes.

A toast to surviving 54 holes and to a chip-in eagle! The McIntyre logo is sadly showing signs of fading away. :cry:

Dairy Creek GC - San Luis Obispo
This course is not very suited for hickory play with extreme slopes on blind shots that roll into junk after a well struck shot. The ball was "lost" and then found at least a half dozen times on the narrow hazard lined corridors, but somehow it survived. :o Not a single birdie on this day from the entire group. This little course ate my lunch. :lol:

I took on a few daring shots with danger lurking everywhere that had me holding my breath and on the edge of my seat. Fun to feel so much pressure when it's just a casual round. This challenge might be a newly discovered practice drill to sharpen one's focus. More likely, it's a good way to ingrain the complete conservative wuss approach every time a mildly risky challenge presents itself.
Total = 72 Holes.

Spring Hills GC - Watsonville
Another dubious hickory course. A close call on the wacky #12. Was giving up and about to pull the plug, when a faint off-white speck caught the corner of my eye, signaling a sign of hope from the abyss.

"We are here, we are here, we are here!" ... Horton hears a Who.

The McIntyre Logo on the cover has almost completely vanished.
Total = 90 Holes.

Pacific Grove GL - Pacific Grove
A rare solo twilight round at the links makes you appreciate the many fantastic options to choose from in the greater Monterey Bay. Started at 5:30 pm and dove across the finish line at 8:45 on a routinely crowded course! Was waved through on #6 and #10. Joined a 2some for last 3 holes.

Was caught off guard when a niblick from 80 yards disappeared into the hole for an eagle on #11 and can't help but let out an exhilarated, but yet somewhat subdued cheer. The chatter from a young group on the nearby 15th green is being carried by the wind. I can hear one of them retorting my celebration with a chuckle and the familiar "nice par, dude".

The off-white faded ball is clearly distinguished from my playing partner's pearly whites. The "Quest for 500" idea is born. :)

Total = 108 Holes.

... to be continued as replies/comments below.

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Steve H

Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby Steve H » Wed Jul 06, 2016

First generation Wilson Duo and the faulty cover

Here's a picture of the first generation Wilson Duo that has lived on a shelf in my garage for the past year waiting for this article to be written. This shows the cracking problem that was widely reported with the OEM ball. The cover was just too hard for the low compression core. .

The original McIntyre "Victor" mesh ball was remolded from this faulty ball. The cracking problem had nothing to do with the process used by the McIntyre company in producing their replica golf balls, but rather the core ball it was remolded from.

Q500 - Update
Pajaro Valley GC - Watsonville
A cold heavy marine layer shrouded this "summer" day. The ball is not going very far on this day.
Total = 126 holes.

Pajaro Valley GC - Watsonville
A close call on the short par4 5th. This errant driving iron resulted in a double bogey on the shortest par 4 on the course.
Total = 144 holes.

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Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby ebeer » Thu Jul 07, 2016

I don't know many people who possess the skills to even conduct this experiment. I would to try the same thing, but I think 36 holes without a lost ball is about a far as I go. Congrats, both on the review and the straight shots.

I just received a dozen Classics from Brian Shuman. I wasn't able to get out of him what this ball started as, only that if feels a lot like Callaway Supersoft and if I like those I will like the Classic. No word on compression either. The dimple pattern is from an old 1908 press. Field test coming soon, for now find some information here.


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Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby stixman » Fri Jul 08, 2016

The Musselburgh Challenge will be played this weekend on the oldest remaining golf course in the world. St Andrews is known as the Home of Golf, Musselburgh is known as 'The Cradle of Golf'. Golf at Musselburgh predates golf at St Andrews, (Guinness Book of Records).


The ball being used is 'The Old Links Gutty', supplied by Old Links Golf of Morecambe, Lancashire.

It was formerly used with a different label by Oakhurst GC in West Virginia in their erliest days as a 'hickory only' course.

Commissioned by the Kellers from Penfold UK, they required a ball that looked like a gutty, and the 1.62 mesh patterned ball certainly looked the part, and flew like a gutty. It goes about 2/3rds the distance of a regular ball. It fell out of use when Penfold UK were taken over by Seoul Nassau who were unable to provide the necessary quality control.

The ball was injection molded thermoplastic using a genuine 1927 Bromford mold in two halves. Seoul Nassau couldn't get the the halves paired up and the last balls made had a nasty seam.

I have a useful supply of the Penfold balls!

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Steve H

Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby Steve H » Fri Jul 08, 2016

Thanks for sharing this information Erik and Welcome back. Hope you had a wonderful vacation! :)

After reading the article linked, it appears this Classic ball never "started" as anything or is remolded. I'm not a manufacturing engineer, so this is just speculation as to the process, but It appears Brian has gone directly to a ball manufacturer and supplied them with these "ATTI" molds. The ball has no secondary process other than just boxing them up and shipping to you. This has obvious benefits such as it should be cheaper to produce, be seamless, and capable of making large quantities upon demand. So the next question might be who is the ball manufacturer and what recipe of materials are they using? Maybe it is the same company that makes the Callaway, but I imagine that wouldn't be very cost productive.

The McIntyre process is much more labor intensive requiring the ball to be heated up and then restamped/remolded in a pneumatic press of sorts. A small amount of residue material that is squeezed out of the mold is then hand trimmed. At least that is what I gather from the process demonstrated in the feature video in this Omaha news article.

Trimming the McIntyre ball

This extra process has the disadvantage of a seam, extra costs (labor), and production limited to available worker/labor. This would also suggest there's a benefit too, of more ball options being available seeing that all ball brands such as Titleist, Callaway, Wislon, etc, could be potential candidates for "remolding" covers. A high level of production quality control and materials would be expected of balls coming from these large brand name manufacturers as opposed to some unknown ball maker.

floridahickorygolfers.org - classic ball article wrote:In 2013, the U.S. Hickory Players Club received the rights to the original ATTI molds
One thing that is confusing with the Classic Ball is this claim that it is created using original molds. I'm no golf historian, but do the dimples on that ball, while of the correct orientation of rings, just seem more "modern" looking than that of old original balls we see on ebay and from collectors? The original antique balls seem to have sharper dimples with a clear edge that appear as if they were "drilled" into the ball rather than this smooth transition seen in the Classic?


Maybe more curious to me, is why anyone would want to play with a hickory ball that looks almost identical to a modern ball? Same goes for the McIntyre "RTJ", tho it appears to be more authentic to the older dimple style. I get that there were "dimple" balls as far back as the early 1900's, but for me, I'd rather go for the full experience of the mesh pattern or just play my modern $12 a dozen Wilson 50 elite ball? Seems odd to spend a bunch of money for something that doesn't even "look" that old?

An "older" dimple pattern ball. Looks similar to the Classic.

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Steve H

Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby Steve H » Fri Jul 08, 2016

Stix -
Someday I'm going to play REAL golf on those courses across the pond! Someday! :D

stixman wrote:433
That ball display pedestal is creative. We're definitely going to be borrowing that unique idea for some future awards/trophies. Maybe the sand base could be made of Styrofoam and sand glued/sprinkled as they do with kid glitter projects? Can't wait to get started building it. :)

Thnx for sharing all of this.

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Location: South Carolina

Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby karlnagy » Sat Jul 09, 2016

Solely based on personal preference, the only two balls I play are the McIntyre Ouimet and McIntyre Park (gutty) balls.

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Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby ebeer » Sun Jul 10, 2016

I was somewhat inspired by Steve's post on the McIntyre ball, enough so that I thought I'd try some period appropriate reproduction balls. In looking around to what's out there (in addition to the McIntyre's I'm familiar with) I stumbled across the Classic. After reading Steve's analysis and some other off-line information, I have to say I'm more than a little disappointed. I don't blindly believe everything I read, especially on the interwebs. If I see an add for the latest Ginsu knife collection using the exact same methods employed by ancient Samurai warriors I would be pretty skeptical. However if a SoHG member advertises a ball made in the spirit of period hickory play, and claims authenticity of molds, I'm inclined to trust first. I'm disappointed to see controversy over this ball, in fact it is this exact controversy I was wanting to avoid by experimenting with a period correct ball rather than off-the-shelf modern ball. I don't know who to believe, and am starting not to care. Feel like I was trying to do the right thing, frustrated with the situation, and pissed at a $46 expense on potentially misrepresented golf balls.

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Steve H

Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby Steve H » Thu Aug 11, 2016

Erik, sorry to make it sound as tho Brian's ball wasn't legit. I only suggested that it didn't "look that old" based on my own personal observations. I would send a personal inquiry to Brian and Classic Golf to find out more.

Updated Q500:
Though I have somewhat lost count of how many holes it has played, am excited to report it is still alive! :)

On the recent road trip to Gearhart, it played 18 at Weed Golf Course in Mt. Shasta. While in Oregon it survived the dunes of Sand Pines in Florence, East Moorland in Portland, a practice round at Gearhart, the Home Course in Washington, and back again to Weed in beautiful Mt. Shasta, California.

Q500 - Weed Golf Course, Mt. Shasta, California

The ball was darn near lost in the glare of a setting sun at Sand Pines. I could only go by how I felt I hit it... which wasn't very good, a hook into trouble. As was about to give up, I saw it in a sand dune! Wow close call.

A watery grave for Q500

At Weed golf course however, the ball finally met a watery grave... or so I thought! :) On the par3 4th hole, I hit a bit fat and landed in the middle of a hazard fronting the green. This water hole happened to be a man made pond that was a mere 2 feet deep. A pair of old sneakers just happen to be sitting on the far side of the waters edge that I assume are used by the greenskeeper to fish out balls. Hey, "If the shoe fits..."

Water slippers!

Q500 rescued to see another day!

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Re: Q500 - 500 holes with one hickory golf ball.

Postby jquicks » Fri Dec 02, 2016

Steve, just found your article and I grinned all the way through it!
Eric, let's continue exchanging emails and I hope you can end up with a successful remold.
I have been remolding for about a year and have lots of interesting results that I thought I could share here for a wider audience.
Some results so far:
1) I have been remolding Srixon Soft-Feel balls as they are cheap. The Nike PD Soft remolds OK too. I am going to try some Pro-V's next (see the next point).
2) I tested some original Soft-Feels and remolded ones with a 7-iron and a driver (modern clubs). On solid strikes the remolded balls flew the same distance as the original (in-remolded) balls. On mis-hits, the original balls flew about 3-5 yards farther. This was true for both the 7-iron and driver.
Original Pro-Vs are 5 yards farther on 7-irons and 10 yards farther with the driver. I have not weighed the original balls and the remolded balls. However, some cover material is extruded after remolding. Therefore the remolded balls must be lighter, but it is not noticeable in your hand or in play. I don't have a digital scale that could detect the difference.
3) I have played remolded balls in hickory events (the last one was Gamble Sands). The balls played fine and I couldn't tell any difference between an original ball and remolded ball.

I have given remolded balls to several people in the NW Hickory Players group to try playing. So far here is what I have learned:
1) Remolding and playing the ball is very satisfying, especially knowing that you can always make more if you lose one or it gets really beat up (the balls are soft after all).
2) The history of the golf ball is very interesting. The golf ball has always driven changes in club technology.
3) Ball molds are rare and chasing them is fun. Two days ago I bought three molds on ebay that no one else bid on. Very surprising since no other hickory-era molds have come up on ebay between early 2015 and late 2016. How many people in SOHG might be interested in remolding balls?
4) Personally, I like playing with the dimple ball. It just stays cleaner! BUT, I love the look of the mesh ball. It really enhances my hickory golf experience as it flies exactly the same as the dimple ball. Until it gets dirty.

I'll continue to post to this thread as I continue to experiment with remolding. Next up, using a toaster oven!

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