The Best Golf Balls For Your Style
Using the right golf ball for your game makes sure you can hit the ball further and give it the right orientation, depending on what you're looking to achieve.
Choosing the right golf ball is so important, that one of the first articles I wrote when Golf Influence launched was about the best golf balls for high handicappers.
I highly recommend you read it through carefully, even if you are currently not a high handicapper. This can help all golfers.
To help you choose the right golf ball suitable for your exact needs, let us first understand the two main factors that will determine it.
Our Top Golf Balls
Our Rating For The V1
"Performing well in both short as well as long game, the Titleist V1 series is a high end golf ball that achieves great trajectory and feel."
Titleist High Velocity
Our Rating For The High Velocity
"It is a pleasure to chip and putt with and is very durable. I recommend it especially for golfers with higher handicaps as this ball is more consistent from a distance standpoint."
What Type Of Player Are You?
Golf balls are not a cheap investment, with some high-end balls can cost more than $50 a dozen.
Not to mention that besides the issue of durability (the Titleist High Velocity showed us how to solve this problem), losing golf balls is a common issue. With that being said, it is better to use cheaper balls suitable to your current level, and upgrading once you hit a wall in performance.
Let us discuss the best way to invest in golf balls, in correlation with your player type.
No matter how much your natural talent as a beginner, golf is a sport of effort and practice (a lot of it).
Beginner players have the tendency to lose a lot of balls during their journey to the top, and with that in mind, it is better to invest in cheaper balls ($15 a dozen is a good benchmark).
Once you feel you have improved your game and hit a wall to improve more, it is time to upgrade to more expensive, high-quality balls.
We define senior players as those who have invested some time in the game but are older by age.
This type of senior player tend to lose their swing speed, but retains the control and feel of the game. It is generally a good idea to get balls that provides better control in the greens, and better stopping power while sacrificing distance.
However, high-end balls today can provide excellent spin, control, and stopping power while still carry exceptional distance.
Let us define average players by those with a handicap around 5 to 25.
Average players can be divided into many subtypes, but in general, they are divided by three major spectrums: those with high swing speed yet below average control, those with high precision yet sub-par swing speed, and those in the middle of both.
With that in mind, choosing the right ball for you will depend on your playing philosophy: are you striving to strengthen your strength, or fixing your weakness?
For example, distance players focusing on strengthening the long game should choose distance balls. If the same player is striving for better short-game control, precision balls are a better choice.
You might also include your putting style as a major consideration. The softness of the ball's surface can vary a lot, and will also vary in its interaction with the putter face.
Should you upgrade to Tour Balls at this moment? It's better to get a feel of one first. High-end tour balls simply spin too much for the average golfer to control.
If you are unable to manage the side spin of tour balls yet, it's better to stay with mid-end balls until you can improve your game.
Budget players can be on many different levels, and thus, the ball you should get will vary depending on your level and playstyle. Thankfully, nowadays there are many budget alternatives for different types of balls. Don't get us wrong, they still perform below the high-end counterparts.
However, some of the budget balls from new startups can provide decent performance.
It may sound sexist to include women as a category for types of players. However, we should not overlook the difference in playing styles, and thus, needs between the gender.
Women's golf balls come with slightly lower compression to compromise with slower swings of female golfers. The softer core of women's golf balls typically has a compression rating between 60 to 70, compared to 80 to 100 for the male standard.
For female players with difficulties in managing high trajectory, using balls with dimple patterns have been proven to help with the issue.
There is enough said for being a professional. In this category, playing styles and putting styles will be your major consideration on choosing the right ball. Thus, we will discuss the differences of several major playing styles in the next section.
Choosing The Right Ball Based On Your Playstyle
Golf is a game with diverse playstyles.
You might be a player focused on distance and long plays, or on the other hand, a player with core strength in greenside control. There are several general factors you might want to understand in a golf ball design, before we delve further in this discussion:
- The Core: Stiffer core generates more spin, and thus, feel. Larger core, on the other hand, increases speed and power while sacrificing spin. More spin, as we have mentioned, might be hard for beginners and low-handicap amateurs to handle.
- Dimples: The larger and shallower the dimple, the higher the flight trajectory will be, in sacrifice of control and spin.
- Cover: Modern high-end balls typically use urethane covers. It is thinner and softer, offering more control for chips, lobs and approach shots.Surlyn is also a popular choice for a cover, which is harder, and thus better for distance and durability by delivering less overall spin.
- Construction: Different manufacturers use different technologies. However, the trend nowadays are moving toward multi-layered construction, especially for high-end balls. Multi-layered balls are again, harder to control, although will produce satisfying results and feel for skilled players. Two-layered balls are usually better for beginners.
By understanding the basic principle, we can dig further into several major playstyles with better ease. Let us begin with the first.
Best Golf Balls For Distance
If you are striving for distance, and have sufficient swing speed (more than 100 mph), then you are looking for stiffer, sometimes multiple cores. A firmer surface is better to achieve distance, and thus, larger dimples and Surlyn cover are preferred, although modern Urethane covers can do the job as well nowadays.
Best Golf Balls For Low Compression
Low compression balls are utilized by players to achieve more distance with less swing speed. Low compression balls sacrifice control with the ability to shorten the course.
If you are looking for balls with low-compression, look for those with compression rating between 70 and 80. If your swing speed measures below 85 mph, low-compression balls are the way to go.
Best Golf Balls For Slice
A slice is any shot that curves hard to the right (for right-handed player), and vice versa for left handed ones.
It is generally caused by the inability of the golfer to manage the sidespin of the balls. To correct your slicing shots, the best way is to switch to a lower spin ball. Look for balls with larger, singular core and firmer surface.
Best Golf Balls For Slow Swing Speed
For players with slower swing speed, using low-compression ball can help with distance. Dimple surface might also help to achieve better flight trajectory. Control usually is not an issue for advanced players with lower swing speed, so sacrificing spin for distance might be a good idea.
Best Golf Balls For Cold Weather Issues
The cold, hard fact: your ball will lose roughly 2 yards of carry with every 10 degrees drop in temperature.
As your ball gets colder, it will lose a few miles per hour in its overall speed, and will compress more easily.
Bottom line: distance will be a major issue in the cold, and you might want to adjust your golf balls for winter.
Lower-compression balls are better for winter, and you might want to consider using colored balls for better visibility in snowy conditions.