Choosing the Right Golf Ball

Some ama­teurs use golf balls they may have found on the course or what­ev­er might have been on sale at their local sport­ing goods store. Oth­ers use the same balls of they see pro­fes­sion­als use on TV. These balls are known as tour balls and the Titleist Pro V1 is an exam­ple. While using pro­fes­sion­al equip­ment can improve an amateur’s per­for­mance in many sports, includ­ing golf, it can also have lit­tle impact or even hurt your per­for­mance if your skills do not match the equip­ment.

Golf ball man­u­fac­tur­ers uti­lize today’s tech­nol­o­gy to cre­ate a wide vari­ety of balls. Golf balls vary from one piece con­struc­tion to five piece con­struc­tion. Dif­fer­ent mate­ri­als can be used for each lay­er depend­ing on the man­u­fac­tur­er. The dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of con­struc­tion and mate­ri­als allow man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce golf balls tar­get­ed to many dif­fer­ent skill lev­els and swing speeds.

It is impor­tant to match up your golf game with a golf ball that match­es your skill lev­el and play that ball exclu­sive­ly. While pro­fes­sion­als can detect the most sub­tle dif­fer­ences in the per­for­mance and feel between dif­fer­ent balls, even high hand­i­cap golfers will notice dif­fer­ences on some lev­el. Play­ing the same ball is an easy way to pro­vide more con­sis­ten­cy to your game. I’ll grant you it may be a small thing in the grand scheme of your golf game, but know­ing your ball will per­form con­sis­tent­ly will improve your game. Though play­ing a tour ball may seem like the best thing, they pro­vide a large amount of spin. The spin is par­tial­ly achieved with the soft cov­er of these balls which also pro­vides a great deal of feel around the green. This spin is cru­cial for a professional’s or low hand­i­cap golfer’s short game but can adverse­ly affect the high hand­i­cap golfer by exag­ger­at­ing slices off the tee. This is one rea­son it is impor­tant to match up your skills with the ball that is right for you.

Let’s break down the main types of golf balls to find the best one for you.

(Dis­claimer: The fol­low­ing prod­uct links are affil­i­ate links. Shoot­ing 90 receives a small com­mis­sion to help sup­port the site on pur­chas­es made through the links.)

Two Piece Con­struc­tion Golf Balls

Most ama­teurs use a two piece golf ball and it should be the ball every begin­ner uses. These balls usu­al­ly have a sol­id core cov­ered with a hard, durable cov­er. With a low com­pres­sion and hard cov­er, the two piece ball deliv­ers more dis­tance and less spin than oth­er balls. Many high hand­i­cap golfers have low­er swing speeds that will ben­e­fit from the added dis­tance. High hand­i­cap golfers also have the ten­den­cy to slice the ball off the tee. The low­er spin of the two piece ball will help min­i­mize the sever­i­ty of slices.

Anoth­er advan­tage of two piece golf balls is that they are less expen­sive than oth­er types of balls. You will feel less pain in the pock­et­book when they go into the woods or water.

Some two piece golf balls are:


Titleist DT Tru­Soft

Call­away Super­soft

 

Bridge­stone FIX Golf Balls

Tour Golf Balls

Tour balls are just that, balls that are used by pro­fes­sion­al golfers on tour. Unlike two piece balls, they have three, four or even five lay­ers of con­struc­tion. The mul­ti-lay­er con­struc­tion along with a very soft cov­er give tour balls a large amount of spin and feel around the green. The high amount of spin allows pro­fes­sion­als and low hand­i­cap golfers to more eas­i­ly draw or fade their shots along with stop­ping the ball quick­ly on the green. Both require golf skills that almost all high hand­i­cap golfers do not pos­sess. For this rea­son, high hand­i­cap golfers will not see a return on their invest­ment of the high price tag of tour balls. Some exam­ples of tour balls are the Titleist Pro V1, the Call­away HEX Black Tour and the Bridge­stone Tour B330.

Advanced Two Piece / Three Piece Balls

Some­where between basic two piece balls and tour balls, there are advanced two piece balls and three piece balls designed for the mid hand­i­cap golfer. An advanced two piece ball’s core still has low com­pres­sion for dis­tance off the tee but it usu­al­ly has a soft­er mate­r­i­al for the cov­er than ionomer to give more spin and feel around the green. Three piece balls in this cat­e­go­ry uti­lize the mid­dle, or man­tle lay­er, to increase spin and feel around the green while the core mate­r­i­al still gives the ball low spin off the tee for added dis­tance. Depend­ing on the con­struc­tion, these three piece balls can either have a hard­er ionomer cov­er or a soft­er cov­er made from ure­thane or oth­er mate­ri­als. As a high hand­i­cap golfer builds more con­sis­ten­cy and speed into their swing, approach­ing bogey golf, they should begin play­ing an advanced two piece or three piece ball to take advan­tage of the added spin and feel around the green.

Some advanced two piece golf balls are:

Titleist NXT Tour S Golf Balls

Titleist NXT Tour S Golf Balls

Bridge­stone e5 Golf Balls

Some three piece golf balls are:

Wil­son DUO Spin


Titleist NXT Tour Golf Balls

Whether you are a high hand­i­cap or begin­ner golfer, or an improv­ing golfer clos­ing in on con­sis­tent bogey golf, it is impor­tant to match your game with the cor­rect type of ball. What brand and mod­el ball you choose from the cor­rect type comes down to per­son­al pref­er­ence. I sug­gest you try sev­er­al side-by-side and choose the ball you like best.

Comments

  1. I am a 20 Hand­i­cap, swing speed around 94–96 using a stiff shaft for dri­ver and then reg­u­lar shaft for irons ( I like the feel). Hit­ting my PW about 110–115. Been just using what­ev­er balls but would like to nar­row it down to be more con­sis­tent. I hit a dri­ver about 265 on aver­age with a slight slice although I do lose some off the T to the right and out of bounds. Would like to keep the dis­tance and be able to stop the ball on the green with a lit­tle back­spin at most. Thanks for any sug­ges­tions.

  2. Sim­i­lar to the com­ment above, about a 30 hand­i­cap, with swingspeed 95–101. Lose a lot off to the right, start­ed using stiffer shafts for driver/woods and notic­ing its help­ing keep em straight.
    I think I’m look­ing for a 2-piece, low spin ball like the (TMaG Aer­oburn­er Pro or Soft or Bridge­stone e6), does that seem accu­rate?

    • Hi Jor­dan,

      That seems about right. I would go with an inex­pen­sive 2 piece ball until you are find­ing more fair­ways.

  3. Great arti­cle, I’ve been buy­ing what­ev­er the cheap­est or just above the cheap­est ball I can find at Tar­get or Wal­mart. Late­ly though I’m close to play­ing sol­id bogey golf or slight­ly under bogey golf. I play a stiff shaft dri­ver, aver­age around 270 off the tee. What do you think I should be using for a ball? Don’t want to break the bank.

    • Hi Greg,

      I’ll assume you have a rel­a­tive­ly fast swing speed since you’re using a stiff shaft. If you’re hit­ting them where you want to off the tee I’d go with a three or more piece ball that feels best for you around the greens. Tour lev­el balls will break your bank. The Titleist NXT Tour is a three piece that is cheap­er, around $30 a dozen.

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