Golfers all know that every year manufacturers bring out new golf balls that are, if we believe the advertising copy, better than anything that's been made before in the history of the universe. Now I'm quite prepared to believe that on properly calibrated test equipment using robots (or modern professional golfers, who often amount to the same thing) there is a statistically significant improvement year on year even if the size of the difference in objective terms is miniscule. But can an average player really notice the difference? Common sense says no. But if you read (which for my sins I occasionally do) the appropriate threads on various golfing equivalents of the HTF, you'd think that the arrival of a new brand of golf balls is on a par with a religious revelation. 'I now drive 30 yards longer' is a typical comment (so far I've resisted the temptation to reply with 'well your drive must have been crap before'). Sorry, but having seen the shots of a typical golfer, most of them wouldn't notice the difference between hitting a golf ball and a round lump of concrete painted white. Maybe that's being a bit harsh, but what I'm wondering is - has anyone ever done a properly conducted blind test in which all identifying marks have been removed from golf balls and players are asked to grade the quality of the balls by their feel alone? My shrewd bet is that all but the very best golfers wouldn't have a blind clue what they were hitting and would be incapable of telling the difference between a premium and a budget brand ball [I don't know the prices in the USA, but in the UK that's a difference between about $6 and 60 cents].