Your choice of golf ball can have a big impact on your game. This is something most golfers don’t pay attention to. In this article we’ll show you how to choose a golf ball that will enhance your game.
Luckily you’ve landed on this post and we’ll guide you through the different aspects in choosing the right golf ball for your own game.
There are six characteristics to pay attention to, when choosing a golf ball. Each one weighs differently for each individual golfer.
They are as follows:
Let’s dive into the selection process so we can shave some shots off your rounds!
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Something that many golfers overlook, even when they make an effort to choose a golf ball, is compression rates.
Simply put the compression of a golf ball describes its ability to compress during impact with the golf club.
Lower compression rates means a softer golf ball, and higher compression rates means a firmer golf ball.
The low compression ball will more easily compress and is therefore suited for golfers with slower swing speeds. I think you get the concept.
A few years back manufacturers did go a long way to provide compression numbers for their balls, but with recent years of development this is being gradually phased out.
The reason is the complexity of modern day golf ball materials.
Manufacturers are more and more able to create golf balls for broader segments of players, that will fit different swing speeds.
So now they tend to provide a compression category more than a number. Or even describe which players the ball is created for.
It can be hard to choose a ball with the right compression rating, so it is advisable to get your swing speed measured.
Swing speed has a big say in what compression rate is right for you.
There is a simple way to find your ball park swing speed, which is described in this article.
Basically find your average drive carry distance in yards. Divide it by 1.75 and you’ve got an estimated number for clubhead speed at impact.
Divide this number by 1.5 and you’ve got your estimated swing speed.
To help you place yourself in the right category, we’ve made below chart. It’s split into three categories with corresponding compression numbers.
The boundaries can vary depending on who you ask, but this is close enough.
So the first lesson is, try to find a ball with a compressing rate that matches your swing speed.
The feeling of striking a golf ball purely is sensational. The feeling of a mishit is not!
Virtually every golfer likes a good feel to the ball. But far from every ball is comfortable to play with.
Feel is something that isn’t really measurable, so this trait speaks to your senses.
A few years back, distance balls were firm and spin balls were soft.
This is not the case in the present day.
Ball manufacturers are becoming so advanced in their technologies that they can manufacture a distance ball with a soft feel and a spin ball with firmer feel.
So when you’re assessing this trait on your future choice of ball, be sure to read customer reviews and get feedback from other players who have tried it.
You can run into a ball that’s advertised to be soft, but really isn’t.
The key is proper research and then try out the best initial fit.
Since golf balls are so very different in their construction it is a good idea to determine whether you go for distance or spin. Especially if you’re a bit on a budget.
If your wallet permits, going for the more expensive balls let’s you get something from both worlds.
Typically the cheaper 2- or 3-piece balls are marketed as distance balls.
They are firm and produce less sidespin on the longs shots. Sometimes they are even engineered to give a higher launch trajectory, to further improve distance.
Make sure you fully understand the characteristics of a distance ball, before you choose. Because a lot of the time you will sacrifice spin and control on the shorter shots.
High spinning balls are also in demand like distance balls.
This is because of the increased spin rates which leads to more stopping power on the green. And for the experienced player it means shapeability.
Spin balls are usually soft 3- or 4-piece balls with some tech in them.
A new trend in golf balls is the implementation of a so-called mantle layer. It sits just inside the cover, and can have different traits and thicknesses.
Each manufacturer has their own philosophy about the construction, so it can be a jungle to navigate through.
The main idea though is to add some characteristics to the ball which the cover used to do. This way the cover can be redesigned with some other abilities.
This can be achieved because the mantle layer is to close to the cover and still not very thick. So the core’s attributes are left unaffected.
For the golfer on the budget, this is very important because of wallet aches.
And the for the golfer not on a budget, this topic is largely relevant because they pay for quality and don’t want to battle poor durability and such.
The cover durability is largely affected by the material of which it is made and how the manufacturer processed it.
Urethane is generally softer, depending on how much heat it is exposed to during manufacturing.
Ionomer is generally much firmer and more durable.
Quality is much more than just durability. It’s value for money. How much are you getting for your hard earned cash?
If price is high, but the tech and improvements that are put into the ball match the price, then quality is maintained.
Overpriced balls that doesn’t deliver on performance is poor quality.
Look for testimonials or tests before your acquire new golf balls if you’re concerned about the quality.
Last but definitely not least is the price. Golf balls aren’t cheap, especially not if they end up in that water hazard on 4th, 12th and 18th each round 😉
Depending on how many balls you “throw away”, you might be more or less aware of this post in your golf budget.
Golf balls range from $10 per dozen for cheap 2-piece ones, to $45 per dozen for premium ones.
Another possibility to save some money is to buy lake balls. We do not recommend that.
It’s not absolutely certain you get the same version balls, and you don’t know if they are mildly deteriorated from being in a lake too long.
Sure you can save some bucks, but there’s nothing like a new dozen of golf balls.
If you haven’t before, try it and see for yourself.
Choosing a golf ball can be a complicated process. We hope that this article has helped answer some of your questions. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
And if you’re still a bit uncertain what to think about the process of choosing a golf ball, take a look at the video below, which has some sensible insights.
As described in the video, not all players will benefit from a tour grade ball. This is a very important message that we hope you will remember.
Our main recommendation is to take a good look at compression and your golf swing speed. To get a good result, it is very important that these two align.
Other than that we just encourage your to be creative and curious about the process, and then there’s not much else to do, than go hit some balls!
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Best Golf Balls?
As you might have noticed from this article, it’s now an easy task to choose a golf ball. To help you find the best one, we’ve reviewed the best golf balls in this article.
The balls reviewed are the ones we see as the best on the market today, and there is something for every taste, whether you like spin or distance, or your swing speed is fast or slow.
What Kind of Golf Ball Should a Beginner Use?
Beginners are not necessarily going to get a lot out of optimizing golf ball choice. In the beginner stage it’s all about stabilizing your game and finding consistency.
When you’re at a decent level of consistency, consider going for a golf ball that will help you in the areas you struggle.
If you struggle with accuracy off the tee, there are some great balls that lower sidespin on the long shots. If you need more control around the green there are balls with softer feel and higher spin rates.
Check out our article on the best golf balls for beginners.
What Is The Best Golf Ball For The Average Golfer?
When you’ve moved a bit down the handicap ladder, and are getting serious with you game, you should really consider choosing a specific golf ball.
It will impact your game negatively if you play different balls each round or each few holes.
The distance you experience from one ball will easily be 5-10 yards less with a ball with other characteristics.
That’s why ball choice is important. And it is equally important to stick with it and see how it impacts your game.
Check out our article on the best golf balls for intermediate players, to get the right one for your game.