Just Eyeball It: The Science Behind “Triple Track Technology”

Posted on May 9th, 2019 by

Written by Charity Aultman, Mitaya Johnson, Yesenia Hidalgo, and Jennifer Puchuela Morocho

With so many different kinds of golf balls out there, ever wonder what the point of the differences are? Well, we came across one with three lines in an article posted on the website of Golf Digest by Mike Stachura that announced Callaway’s (a golf equipment company) release of a new option of their Chrome Soft X golf ball. This new option consists of a series of three alignment lines and has been given the name “Triple Track Technology.” This feature is meant to improve the way the eyes interpret aim. Phil Mickelson, an American professional golfer, won the AT&T Beach Pro-Am using the Chrome Soft X with Triple Track golf ball (Stachura, 2019). A win such as this one should motivate people to purchase this product. But can a golf ball with three lines really help improve aim and allow golfers a hole-in-one?

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/callaway-rolls-out-mickelsons-pebble-beach-winning-ball-chrome-soft-x-with-tripleTrack

Acuity vs Hyperacuity

The theory behind “Triple Track Technology” is that it can improve one’s acuity. You may have experienced measurement of your own visual acuity at the eye doctor’s office performing the Snellen Chart test (the eye chart with the big E). Visual acuity, in short, is the smallest detail that the human eye can perceive. However, we can surpass the levels of visual acuity by using what is known as hyperacuity. Hyperacuity is any observers ability to transcend beyond the limits of acuity (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 2009). The three lines on the ball can help one be able to utilize hyperacuity. A commonplace example of hyperacuity is taking two pencils and placing them on a table. It is easy to notice when the pencils are even slightly unaligned.

Hyperacuity, the Myth?

Vernier acuity measures the ability to detect whether or not two lines are in alignment (Merriam-Webster).  According to Eric Krotkov from the University of Pennsylvania, “it is difficult to imagine how a hyperacuity threshold can be observed in the absence of detectable contours” (Krotkov, 25).  We cannot imagine or maintain what the actual line would look like, without being able to physically see it.  Our brains require physical presence for accuracy.  Krotkov continues to say, essentially, that when the first line continues to meet the second line, it will appear straight (Krotkov, 25).  So, in the case with the golf ball, line one is the one that is present on the ball, but line two is the one we imagine with our own minds.  Because we are unable to imagine exactly where the second (or imagined) line would be, having both lines physically present is significant in the ability to decipher whether or not they will line up (Krotkov, 25).

You may be wondering if “Triple Track Technology” could work for you.  Because we are unable to correctly imagine the second line, chances are, it will not be an accurate representation.  However, even though the odds are against you, life is all about taking shots.  So, are you willing to take this shot?

References

Eric Paul Krotkov, “Computational Models of Visual Hyperacuity”, . May 1984. hyperacuity. (n.d.) Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. (2009). Retrieved April 18, 2019 from https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/hyperacuity

Stachura, M., & Stachura, M. (2019, February 28). Those aren’t just three lines on Phil Mickelson’s golf ball-they’re science. Retrieved from https://www.golfdigest.com/story/those-arent-just-three-lines-on-phil-mickelsons-golf-balltheyre-science

Skoczenski, A. M., & Norcia, A. M. (2002). Late Maturation of Visual Hyperacuity. Association for Psychological Science,13(6), 537-541. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00494

The Audiopedia. 2017, May 8. What is HYPERACUITY? What does HYPERACUITY mean? HYPERACUITY meaning, definition & explanation. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/QHoK_ZS2dt8

Vernier Acuity Medical Definition. (n.d.).  Retrieved April 22, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/vernier%20acuity

 

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