What is Characteristic Time and Why Should You Care?

Some of the most asked questions to THP as of late have been about Characteristic Time, or CT. How is it measured? What makes it different than COR (which the USGA used previously)? And honestly, why should you care? Rather than give you a long explanation on the subject, here is equipment and manufacturing expert Michael Vrska to explain what it is, how it is measured and more.

Now with an understanding of why it is used and how it is measured by the governing bodies, do you think it matters to you? Should drivers list their CT or would that be something that is overkill since there is much more to actual distance and performance than Characteristic Time?

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11 Comments

  • CT doesn’t matter a whole lot to me, as long as the club is conforming, in the event I play in a tournament that cares, I’m good with it.

  • I have heard the CT term but had no idea what that stood for or what it meant. Great job by Vrska breaking down how they get CT rated and what happens to get there. To answer the question, I think that is too much data for most golfers to know and try to comprehend.

  • This is my first time hearing time hearing the term CT. But, to be fair, I do live in south GA. Sounds like something that I will never have to personally worry about as long as I stick with mainstream OEM clubs.

  • I think CT is an interesting to know on a high level, but for those that like to get into the weeds around driver head design and limits it provides another insight on what OEM’s are up against regarding USGA limits.

  • I can honestly say that I learned something new today. Very interesting, and good that they found a more effective way of measuring face flexibility.

  • Had no idea they even did that with tour players drivers? Very interesting indeed. Great segment there and I now what CT is! Thanks guys!

  • Wow, that’s interesting about how they used to test. He did a great job of breaking it all down, well done!

  • At my level of play, this is more data then I need to know, but interesting.

  • And the knowledge just keeps coming. Had no idea that CT was the new way to measure it. Also didn’t know COr testing was so destructive.

  • I can’t believe this has been the standard since 2004 lol! I thought COR was still what was measured. And I didn’t realize the old way was so destructive.

  • I didn’t realize that you had to take the driver apart to measure CoR. This was the first time that I had ever heard of CT.

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