Does the Golf Ball You Use Really Make a Big Difference? Well yes it can, although choosing the right one will greatly depend on your skill level and physical attributes.

The most accomplished golfer will benefit from a high-end standard golf ball, as it is designed to help the best ball attackers with faster swings. Good players should always use the best ball they can afford, because when you’re shooting low scores consistently, the improvement comes down to marginal gains and a higher quality ball can help you achieve that. This is why the best professionals are so meticulous about the brand of ball they use. For us mere mortals, choosing the best golf ball for your style of play – and your skill level – is no less important.

If you are new to the game or have a high handicap, the type of ball you use will not affect your score too much. Still, having the right ball for your game will help you improve over time and give you the best chance of maximizing your best shots while limiting damage to your poorest ones.

Ultimately, a bad swing is a bad swing and a top quality golf ball won’t stop it. It might actually surprise you, but in some cases a higher quality golf ball can even make the damage of a bad shot worse due to its added effect.

The good news is that golf manufacturers allow this and produce a variety of balls to cover all skill levels and swing speeds. Just because Rory McIlroy uses a certain ball doesn’t mean you should!

It is very important to note here that for average and below average golfers, the “right” ball does not necessarily mean the best or the most expensive. More often than not, the correct ball for a golfer with a scratch handicap will not be the correct ball for a player with a handicap 25.

If you are new to the game or are a struggling medium-high handicap golfer, here are some helpful tips for choosing the golf ball to play.

Swing speed and compression are essential

TaylorMade TP5

(Image credit: TaylorMade.com)

Compression is a measure of the compression of the ball against the face of the club upon impact. The more a bullet is compressed, the further it will travel due to the amount of energy transferred. So if your swing speed is slow, you need a softer, lower compression golf ball to maximize your distance.

On the other hand, a higher compression ball is harder and therefore needs a faster swing speed in order to fully compress and produce maximum distance. Higher compression bullets also tend to fly a bit straighter. This is the end of the science lesson.

A slow swing with a high compression, high spinning golf ball will not give good results. Conversely, a faster club swinger will lose distance using a low compression ball.

Unfortunately, golf manufacturers rarely advertise the compression rating of their golf balls, but a decent rule of thumb is that when a ball is marketed as “soft” it will usually (but not always) be low compression. Some research is however advised to be sure and you can easily find compression on most golf balls with a simple search online.

The bottom line is that “distance” golf balls won’t necessarily mean extra distance for everyone, as it’s really about having the right compression to match your swing speed. Beginners or seniors who swing the ball slowly need a ball with low compression – or “soft” and will struggle to achieve results with a harder, higher compression “distance” ball.

Low compression balls have a rating of 80 or less. Medium compression bullets are around 90, and high compression is 100 or more.

Quality of golf balls

TaylorMade TP5

(Image credit: TaylorMade)

The quality of a golf ball is determined by the number of parts used in its construction. Those hard rubber balls you get at Seaside Mini Golf are one piece balls. They were also common in driving ranges not too long ago, but most (if not all) ranges have now switched to two-part models.

A two-piece bullet consists of a solid rubber core and a firm outer layer, usually surlyn, a harder material than that found on high-end bullets, which use urethane. . Two-piece golf balls are the most commonly used by amateur players. They spin less and therefore fly a bit straighter than multi-layered bullets, which means they are more forgiving, especially with the driver.

A slice will always be a slice, but it might not be as finicky as it would be with a high-end high-spin ball. Instead of being in the trees, you might just be in the rough light. This is why lower spin balls are so popular with golfers at the medium to high handicap level.

There is a trade-off as the lack of spin means you have less control over your approach shots, but that won’t be a problem for everyone as the less accomplished attacker won’t apply much. rear effect anyway. Just getting up (or even approaching) the green is enough for many casual golfers and a two-piece ball will definitely help you do that.

Less spin also adds distance to your shots (on the one hand, you’ll get a lot more stroke), so for most average golfers a two-piece ball makes sense, especially when cost is a factor. . Two-piece balls are considerably less expensive than multi-layered golf balls. In fact, you can buy a good two-piece box of balls for a third of the price you would pay for higher quality balls.

You don’t have to be a golf ball specialist to know that a bad golfer will lose a lot more balls than a single disabled player. For the less skilled player, replacing a box of Titleist ProV1 every time you play 18 holes can get expensive.

Premium golf balls

TaylorMade Tour Response Golf Ball

(Image credit: TaylorMade.com)

Three, four, and even five-piece golf balls are usually at the top of the price scale. Much more research and development goes into the design of multi-layered golf balls and this is reflected in the price as well as in the performance.

For many years the Titleist Pro V1 has been the standard bearer of golf ball excellence and widely regarded as the number one ball in golf. It’s certainly the most commonly used ball on pro tours and it’s clear that so many better pros wouldn’t use it if there was something much better.

The ProV1 is a three-part ball, but Titleist also offers the ProV1x, a four-part alternative, higher spinning and slightly harder.

The best players in the world tend to use the ProV1 (or ProV1x), TaylorMade’s TP5 (a five-piece ball), or Callaway’s Chrome Soft. Bridgestone is also in the mix as they have both Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau in their stable, using the Tour BX ball.

All of these balls (especially ProV1x) are high compression and designed for golfers with fast swings. So if you are a casual golfer or an enthusiastic high handicap player, you are asking yourself “should I be using a quality ball?” ” the answer is…

….it depends.

Some casual golfers might benefit from using the same ball as the pros on the tour, but for the most part there won’t be much of a significant gain and unless you swing the club at 100mph and above, a touring ball is more likely to hurt your game than it is to help it. At least off the tee anyway. You might see improved results around the green if you are skilled enough at spinning your throws and chips.

While it might hurt you initially, a premium golf ball can save you a shot or two per round thanks to the added feel it provides around the greens and the level of confidence that can inspire. Let’s face it, if something feels right then you’ll be more comfortable and confident, and confidence is a huge part of playing well. Ultimately, it always depends on your own performance, but your comfort level plays a big role.

So if you like the feel of a certain golf ball and it gives you confidence, that in itself can help your game, but generally speaking, picking a ball just because the tour pros use it isn’t. not the smartest decision.

Does that mean that if you’re not a very good player, you should avoid premium balls altogether? No not necessarily. A good alternative to the balls used by Tiger, DJ, Rory and others on tour is the TaylorMade Tour Response ball, which is essentially a premium ball (at a non-premium price) aimed at golfers with medium-high handicap and a bit more. slow swing speeds.

The Tour Response is a much lower compression ball than the ProV1 for example, so it helps amateur golfers gain more ball speed and distance without sacrificing feel. Several tests have shown that it is slightly shorter at the start than a ProV1, but significantly longer on the iron shots.

ProV1 turns more but the Tour Response launches higher, so there is no problem checking it on the green. This comes down to around £ 1 per bullet less than a ProV1, which still isn’t cheap but overall good value for money. The Tour Response is a golf ball as “premium” as those used on the PGA Tour, it is intended only for golfers of a much lower level.

So if your budget allows and your swing speed is slow or medium, the Tour Response is your best bet for a premium ball. Generally, however, finding the best two-part ball should be the priority for anyone who plays above single numbers, as it will save you money without having to sacrifice anything in terms of performance.

Buying the best golf ball: in summary…

TaylorMade 2021 Golf Balls

(Image credit: Avenir)

Beginners, high handicappers, and slow swingers need as low a squeeze ball as possible. We mentioned Callaway Supersoft, but Wilson Staff DUO is another great option for anyone in that category.

An average player with a medium / high swing speed who is looking to go with a more upscale premium option will benefit from a ball such as the TaylorMade Tour Response. As a cheaper two-piece alternative, we again recommend the Callaway Supersoft, as well as the Srixon Soft Feel.

Quick swingers should consider a higher compression ball such as a ProV1 or TaylorMade TP5 if budget allows, or a Titleist Velocity as a cheaper two-part alternative.