Choosing the right golf ball helps improve your overall game-play. With so many brands to choose from, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. So, how do you find the perfect golf ball that matches your swing speed and club-face?
In the golf world, a lot of factors must be considered before making a decision on which golf ball should you use. The most common things to keep in mind are swing speed, club length, and spin control. You also need to consider your arc putting stroke and driver when choosing a golf ball. Perhaps, you’re thinking that they are just the same. But the truth is, different types of golf balls suit different golfers.
We have laid out the points by which you can easily make a decision on how to choose a golf ball for yourself.
How to Choose a Golf Ball?
To make the right decision its crucial that you understand the science behind the golf balls. What type of golf balls are available in the market and what are these balls made of?
Read on to find all the answers.
Different Types of Golf Balls
According to experts, the handicap isn’t the best factor to consider when choosing which type of golf ball to use. Rather, it depends on your skills and your gameplay. Just like the clubs, having the best golf ball is tremendously important. So, let’s get to know the different types of golf balls available in the market.
Currently, three categories determine each type of golf ball: tour performance, spin control, and distance. If you want to enjoy a complete package, you can go for tour performance golf balls. This type of golf ball gets the yardage you need while providing great spin control so you can take a shot depending on your location in the green.
Distance golf balls, on the other hand, help you hit farther and make your game easier. If you want to eliminate a slice or big hook, a spin control golf ball is the best option for you. To help you understand the different types of golf balls even better, I’ll discuss their unique characteristics in the following:
Tour performance golf ball
This type is used by pro golfers because it is designed with multiple layers for optimum feel, spin, and distance. The layers are activated according to your swing speed and clubface length. This feature enables you to achieve maximum distance and minimum spin based on the club you’re using. In addition, it offers incredible control and maximum spin while hitting the ball in the green.
Spin control golf ball
This type of golf ball is designed to create a straighter direction when hitting the ball. The main purpose is to reduce side spin which often leads to slices and hooks for beginners. If you’re struggling with spin, this golf ball will make your shot much better. Think of this ball as a tool to improve your game play.
Distance golf ball
Distance golf balls have a thinner cover and larger core to increase yardage. This is particularly helpful when you’re hitting from the tee box. The core works like an engine, it makes the golf ball go. With a thinner cover and a larger core, the core is activated by your swing and then allows the ball to react faster once it gets hits by the club. As a result, the golf ball launches at a maximum speed.
Fundamental Parts of a Golf Ball
The best way to find out what type of golf ball you need is to understand the components that make up a golf ball. You might have already seen a video of some YouTuber cutting a golf ball open to show what it’s made of. The core is covered with multiple layers that are enclosed by a cover. Knowing these components will help you understand how a golf ball works and which brand should you invest in.
Here are the fundamental parts of a golf ball:
The core is made up of molded rubber, which takes up the majority of the golf ball. The compressed rubber helps retain the force that the ball receives in order to build launch, speed, and accuracy.
Since the core is the largest element of a golf ball, it is mainly responsible for power. It transfers optimum energy from the club to the ball. Premium golf ball cores are like engines that drive forward energy and power for maximum ball flight.
The multiple layers that are found between the core and the cover are designed for several purposes. The first layer prevents moisture from the core. The second layer helps improve the performance of the golf ball. The third layer creates less or more spin and retains ball speed without making the cover hard.
Generally, golf balls are categorized by the number of layers they have such as one-piece, two-piece, or five-piece golf balls. One-piece golf balls are often used at putt courses or certain driving ranges. However, it has no core because it’s designed as a solid ball. It gives the golf ball a stiff feeling on contact.
Two-piece golf balls are designed to create distance. This is the right option if you don’t have any issue with accuracy and you only want solid yardage. In addition, it’s an ideal choice for controlling spin on the green. Note that if you look for longer distances, you are compromising workability and feel on the golf ball.
Moreover, three-piece golf balls are made with an extra layer to allow more forgiveness and spin. The extra middle layer in a four-piece golf ball is designed for tournament professionals with higher swing speeds. If you’re looking for a high iron spin, four-piece golf balls are the best choice.
Holes or Dimples
The cover has holes or dimples on the surface for smooth navigation. It can adjust the spin and yardage depending on its material and thickness.
Basically, dimples are designed to build a turbulent layer of air in the surface to allow smooth air flow. The air smoothly flows through the surface of the ball a bit farther around the rear side of the golf ball to decrease the wake size. Dimples affect lift and reduce drag unlike a smooth golf ball.
Consider the Cover and Feel
There are two main types of covers used in making golf balls: Urethane and Surlyn.
The urethane is a softer material than surlyn and offers more feedback and feel. It may not be that durable, but urethane is commonly used in making higher-end golf balls with multiple layers. Generally, it creates better control and more spin in typically short rounds. Skilled golfers usually opt for this cover because it provides more feel and performance.
On the other hand, surlyn is a type of ionomer resin that is a common cover material for most golf balls. This is extremely resistant to scratches and more durable than urethane. For the past decades, surlyn has been a common cover for golf balls. It is often found in non-tour balls as it aids in more efficient energy transfer for maximum distance.
Feel and Compression
When it comes to the feel, this is usually about personal preferences. The feel of a golf ball involves the compression it makes after an impact. For instance, the ball deforms after hitting it with your irons or other clubs due to the impact. The temporary deforming or change in the shape of the golf ball is what drives it forward when hit by a club.
If the ball has a low compression, it deforms more when you hit it with your club. Therefore, it allows you to create a spring-like effect to generate more distance and reduce spin. As a result, your shots become straighter with a slower swing speed. Golf balls with lower compression feel softer than balls with high compression.
When you choose a high compression golf ball, you’ll notice that it doesn’t deform easily. This ball requires a faster and harder impact to deform or change shape. Professional golfers often choose this type of feel because they have faster swing speeds. A fast swing speed activates the ball’s inner layers with higher compression.
Through the years, compression ratings continue to change for golf ball manufacturers. However, they no longer emphasize compression ratings and this information is now difficult to find. Due to technology, manufacturers no longer focus on providing an actual rating anymore. With advanced construction and materials, golf balls can be made to feel softer than they actually are.
Let’s say a golf ball has a 75-compression rating, but the advanced construction can make the ball feel softer than its actual rating. Another reason is that there’s no universal testing for compression in golf balls. Manufacturers use different tests to determine the compression rate of their golf balls. Therefore, they may indicate different ratings for a ball with the same compression.
Pick the Ultimate Factor You Want to Focus On
At this point, things get more interesting and personal. More often than not, you pick your golf equipment based on your swing speed. However, this is not necessary when choosing a specific type and brand of golf balls. It only matters when you swing fast like a skilled golfer.
Modern golf balls tend to offer low compression cores as they are as solid as high compression balls. Meaning, you can use any type of golf ball regardless of your swing speed – even if you have a moderate swing speed. If you test out some golf balls and check for greater yardage with different brands, you’ll notice that there is not much difference.
So, what factor should you focus on to find the best golf ball that matches your game?
Personal preferences depend on how you want your game to be. For example, you might want a golf ball that bumps and runs around the green, while other golfers like high-spin shots. Perhaps, you want something that enables you to hit different shots based on your position in the green.
Some additional questions you may ask yourself when choosing the right golf ball include:
- How does the golf ball feel on impact?
- Does it make any sound?
- How does it feel when you hit your shot?
- Do you think that golf ball is too soft or too firm?
The right golf ball will play with your strengths while helping you improve your weaknesses. Gather your top choices and practice with them. Compare the performance of the golf balls to see which one stood out. If there are golf balls that you don’t like, take them to the putting green to experience how they exactly feel. Then choose your top two and try them on the course to know which ball has the overall advantage.
After testing the golf balls, you should now have a choice. It’s best to stick to one brand instead of switching from one golf ball to another. Using the same golf ball while practicing in the short game area will give you consistency and great improvements. Knowing which brand works for you is a worthwhile investment in the long run.
If you’ve gone shopping for a specific golf ball before, you might have been overwhelmed by a wide selection of brands. With different types, claims, and colors, it is confusing to choose from a huge number of options. No matter what you’re looking for, remember that golf balls aren’t created equal. Just like the factors mentioned above, there are a lot of things that certainly affect your game.
Also check out Glow in the Dark Golf Balls if you are obsessed with playing after sundown.
Your Final Choice
When choosing a golf ball, the first thing you should consider is the type of golfer that you are. If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to invest in the most expensive brand because chances are, you’re going to change balls from time to time. Not to mention, beginners tend to lose a lot of golf balls while starting to play in the green.
But if you want to become a pro-golfer, you may spend more money on higher-end balls. High-performance golf balls will help you improve your swing, spin, and shots. However, mid-range golf balls are the best choice for everyone else who wants to enjoy their games. Many brands available today are in the mid-range category, which is more affordable and easier to use.
Manufacturers mostly consider average golfers when creating golf balls. They make sure to create a balance between different components to provide great performance and affordability to every player. So, are you ready to go shopping and choose your ideal golf ball? Make sure to test a few brands out to determine the perfect one for you. You can book a tee time at your local shop to try some golf balls and see which fits your game-play.
Whether you’re looking for a low-spin ball or a premium golf ball, all these tips will help you choose the best golf ball that matches your swing and preference. Know what you need and you will realize that there is a specific type of golf ball for your game.