Edited by: Jordan Fuller
Reviewed by: John Marshall
There’s only one piece of equipment you have to use for every single golf shot: a golf ball.
A golf ball that’s well-suited to your game can help emphasize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. If you need distance and a straighter ball flight, a lower-spin ball can help. If your short game is the key to scoring well, you’ll want a soft ball you can control around the green. Seniors often need a combination of distance and feel, so finding the right ball can be a bit of a trick.
This article is here to help guide you when you’re staring at the endless ball display in your local golf retailer. There are so many options out there, and we’re here to help point you at the ones that’ll help your game the most.
Last updated on 2019-11-21. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Featured Recommendations
2 10 Best Golf Balls For Seniors
- 2.1 Our Top Pick: Callaway Golf SuperSoft Golf Balls
- 2.2 Our Upgrade Pick: Titleist Pro V1
- 2.3 Our Budget Option: Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls
- 2.4 Our Runner Up: Titleist DT TruSoft
- 2.5 Our Pick for Single-digit Handicappers: Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
- 2.6 Our Distance Pick: Callaway SuperHot
- 2.7 Our 2nd Budget Pick: TaylorMade Distance Plus Golf Balls
- 2.8 Wilson Smart Core Golf Balls
- 2.9 Titleist Velocity Golf Balls
- 2.10 Bridgestone e6 Soft Golf Ball
- 2.11 Callaway Golf Chrome Soft Truvis Ball
- 2.12 TaylorMade RBZ Soft
- 3 Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
4 Questions & Answers
- 4.1 What are the key differences between a regular and a senior golf ball?
- 4.2 How can a golf ball tailored for senior golfers help me with distance?
- 4.3 What is the golf ball spin?
- 4.4 What is a golf ball’s compression?
- 4.5 Does the ball cover make any difference?
- 4.6 Which construction of balls is recommended for Seniors?
- 4.7 What is the best golf balls for seniors with medium swing speed?
- 4.8 What are other factors to consider when buying golf balls for seniors?
10 Best Golf Balls For Seniors
Our Top Pick: Callaway Golf SuperSoft Golf Balls
Best For Most Senior Golfers: Strikes a good balance between distance gains and feel
Once an afterthought amongst golf ball manufacturers, Callaway has ascended to the ranks of the elite in recent years.
The SuperSoft golf ball is a 2-piece, low compression golf ball that performs well above its rather attractive price tag. Available in a variety of bright, matte finishes, it’s a top-performing ball that flies far and is easy to find in the rough.
So bright it glows
The Callaway SuperSoft comes in numerous different color options, including Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink and Matte Green. There’s even a plain old white version for traditionalists.
My favorite color option is the Matte Green finish, a distinctive cover that really stands out against any background I could find. It was easy to spot in the rough and even in murky streams, making it nearly impossible to lose.
Callaway’s distinctive dimples are hexagonal, which they claim helps reduce drag and improve aerodynamics. Given how far this ball travels, I’d say they’re onto something. It’s noticeably longer than most other balls in its price range.
But it’s still soft enough to offer a good amount of feel and spin around the greens. Wedge shots hit and grabbed a bit before releasing to the hole. Since most seniors aren’t trying to “pull the string” and just want a modicum of control around the greens, the SuperSoft offers an attractive level of spin to go with its exceptional distance.
The proprietary “Trigonometry” cover is nearly as durable as a rock-hard Surlyn cover, but offers more softness and more compression than pure Surlyn balls. The result is a ball that won’t scuff up from regular use and may even survive a cart path impact or two.
At a price point under $25/dozen, the Callaway SuperSoft ticks all the boxes that senior golfers are looking for in a golf ball. As a result, it’s our top pick for 2019.
Our Upgrade Pick: Titleist Pro V1
Best For Slow Swing Speeds: The best performance with a price tag to match
Titleist has long been known as “The #1 Ball In Golf” and its flagship product, the Pro V1, exemplifies that tagline.
A extremely thin urethane elastomer cover provides unmatched feel and low enough compression that slow swingers can still get excellent distance. It provides exceptional greenside spin and feel.
Urethane doesn’t come cheap or last long
The strength of the Titleist Pro V1, its urethane elastomer cover, is also the source of two of its weaknesses. While the performance of the cover is unquestionable, the price you pay for the performance is higher than with other golf balls.
First off, it’s literally priced higher than any other golf ball on this list, by a good margin. Second, it’s one of the least durable balls I tested. Any cart path impact resulted in a nasty scuff deep enough to impact playability. Even cleanly struck wedges occasionally scuffed the ball.
While the scuffs from wedges didn’t materially affect playability, I still found myself swapping out Pro V1s more often than most other balls tested.
With a high price and low durability, it’s hard to recommend the Pro V1 to seniors. If you’re willing to pay a premium for performance that’s just a little bit better than a ball half its price, you’ll love the performance.
But most golfers won’t notice the difference that the extra dollars provide. If anything, they’ll see a slight reduction in distance from the 2-piece Surlyn balls they’re used to and wonder why they paid extra for the Pro V1.
One other rarely considered aspect of Titleist golf balls is the fact that they have the most rigorous quality control in the industry. Golf fans in the New England area should pay a visit to Plant #3 in New Bedford, Massachusetts to see exactly how they’re made.
After I toured the facility, I was able to better understand why Titleist charges such a premium for their balls. Their manufacturing and quality control standards are head and shoulders above the others. While with most manufacturers you’ll come across the occasional dud ball that just won’t fly right, you just don’t see that from Titleist.
Our Budget Option: Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls
Best Value For Money: Excellent all-around performer
The Srixon Soft Feel ball is one of the best ones tested this year, and is overall a solid pick for seniors. The Ionomer cover is durable but provides a good feel, and distance is very good for slow swing speeds. With a compression rating of 60, it responds well to a slower golf swing. And the dimple pattern helps get the ball airborne with a good, straight flight.
Jack of all trades
This ball is a classic “jack of all trades, master of none”: it rates well but not exceptional in pretty much every category. The Soft Feel lives up to its name with a good, soft feel that makes chipping and putting easy. Distance is very good, and the ball gets up in the air with a nice trajectory, which can be difficult as swing speeds start to wane.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded ball that doesn’t excel but also doesn’t have any notable shortcomings, the Srixon Soft Feel is a top choice. At the price of about $20/dozen, it’s a great choice for seniors.
Our Runner Up: Titleist DT TruSoft
Alternate Pick, For Golfers Who Need A Soft Feel: Good all-around performance
The Titleist DT TruSoft is a solid all-around performer with excellent consistency from shot to shot.
True to the Titleist name, it’s a very well-made ball that most seniors will find fits their game well. It’s engineered for low spin on long shots but soft feel on all shots, resulting in a ball that feels very different from all of Titleist’s other offerings.
Titleist has really focused on making the DT TruSoft feel as soft as possible, and you can tell: compared to the Pro V1, this feels almost like hitting a rubber bouncy ball. The sound at impact is muted but for slow swing speeds, it compresses nicely and really leaps off the clubface.
Around the green and off the putter, there’s still that soft, muted feel and sound. Once you get used to it, it plays nicely. However, if you’re used to playing a urethane-covered ball and you’re switching to a ball more suited to a senior game, there will be an adjustment period to a super-low compression ball like this.
It seems to be best suited to swing speeds in the 75-85mph range, rewarding them with a penetrating trajectory and good roll-out. Faster swings may over-compress the ball and will put too much spin on it to be useful.
The soft compression of the DT TruSoft is a result of its 2-piece construction (a far cry from the old wound DTs of our youth), with a very soft core and a firm, thin, durable cover. This combination makes it a little tough to create spin on chip shots. However, the distance and accuracy gained on drives and approach shots will make up for the lack of short game spin for a lot of senior golfers who play more bump-and-run shots anyway.
This is a very good all-around performer from Titleist, and at a price point less than half of the Pro V1 it’s a strong contender in the senior golf ball market.
Our Pick for Single-digit Handicappers: Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
Successor to the NXT Tour line provides elite Titleist performance
The Titleist Tour Soft replaces its predecessor, the NXT Tour and NXT Tour S line, in Titleist’s popular high-end golf ball lineup.
While it’s not quite as expensive or high-performance as the ProV1 line, the Tour Soft is still a top-performing ball with a price to match. It’s up to the player to weigh whether its particular performance is worth the tradeoff for a higher price and less durability.
It’s in the name: Tour Soft
The first thing you’ll notice about the Titleist Tour Soft is buttery soft and smooth. This is very apparent around the green, as crisp chips will have a noticeable check prior to releasing. It increases your options for how to play shots around the green, but senior golfers should note that it still takes a fairly high swing speed and crisp contact to generate that type of spin and take advantage of a ball like this.
This is a ball that’s meant for single-digit handicappers, so seniors who are experienced golfers will likely gravitate to it. Seniors who are desperate for length or who have just taken up the sport in their retirement will likely find a ball like this detracting from their performance instead of enhancing it, as the increased spin will tend to send mis-hit shots offline.
The Tour Soft is also not the longest ball for slower swing speeds. Other, firmer balls will travel further and provide more roll unless you have a medium-to-high swing speed.
Titleist is well-known in the golf world for their elite golf balls and rigorous quality control, and the Tour Soft carries that torch well. However, the balls with Tour in the name aren’t always the best for amateur or senior players. As ball fitting becomes more and more common, it’s a good idea to go and get fitted instead of simply buying a ball based on the brand name reputation.
However, it’s hard to go wrong with Titleists. The Tour Soft is a top performer for good players looking for spin and control around the greens. If you want to play Titleists but are more interested in distance and straight shots, check out the Velocity or DT TruSoft.
Our Distance Pick: Callaway SuperHot
If You Want More Spin & Great Distance: Great distance but sacrifices some durability
The Callaway SuperHot golf ball is a good option for players who have tried the SuperSoft but are looking for a bit more spin and feel around the greens. It has similarly excellent distance to the SuperSoft but with its 3-piece construction and ionomer cover, it can achieve spin rates that are noticeably higher than its 2-piece, Surlyn-covered competitors.
3-piece and soft ionomer
The main feature of the SuperHot ball that differentiates it from the very similar-looking SuperSoft is the ionomer cover. Softer than traditional Surlyn but harder than the more expensive urethane, this ionomer is a super-thin polymer that’s closely related to Surlyn but a bit softer than the Surlyn that other brands use.
This plus the 3-piece construction delivers a ball that spins more on approach and greenside shots. It’s also one of the better-feeling balls when putting, as it seems to skid less and get to rolling more quickly.
The aerodynamic Hex dimple pattern is identical to the SuperSoft, so the distance gains you’ll see are very similar. Due to the 3-piece construction, it’s a little softer and may even fly farther than the SuperSoft.
Soft means scuffs
The softer cover does scuff up more than the SuperSoft, which means if you do hit a rock or a cart path, you’re likely going to need to replace the ball. However, it’s more durable than a urethane ball like the Pro V1, so you won’t see damage from regular golf shots and should still be able to use it for a full round or more.
However, at a price point around $3/ball, it’s at the higher end of the spectrum for senior balls. Because of this, despite very good performance, it doesn’t represent the best bang for the buck.
Our 2nd Budget Pick: TaylorMade Distance Plus Golf Balls
If You Want To Increase Distance: Great distance and low spin for straight hitters
The TaylorMade Distance Plus is a ball made for distance through and through. It’s great for seniors who have found their swing speed slow down with age and have had to adjust their game to hit lower balls that roll out a good distance. Seniors who get the best results from the TaylorMade Distance Plus are those who hit the ball short and straight, and generally keep their chips low to the ground.
Firm and fast
TaylorMade’s Distance Plus is a very low-spin ball, so there’s not a lot of workability here. It’s a firm, fast ball that provides a low, penetrating ball flight.
For straight hitters who are looking to get distance by hitting bullets with a lot of roll, this is right up your alley.
But be aware that there’s not a lot of feel to these balls, especially around the green. That firm, fast feel extends to putting and chipping, so these will work best for bump-and-run chips. Flop shots, high trajectories and spinning shots simply won’t work with the Distance Plus balls, as the cover and core are both too firm to generate backspin.
Looks and value
The TaylorMade Distance Plus is a very clean looking ball with two good alignment options.
For those who like a longer line, you can use the TaylorMade logo above the number. There’s also a nice compact alignment line on the side that says “Distance +” with arrows flanking the words. It’s much better than their cluttered and unhelpful TP5 line, and a look I wish they’d return to with their other golf balls.
At a price point of just under a dollar a ball, these durable little guys represent a great value. In addition to offering great distance, the firm cover is very long-lasting.
It’ll stand up to cart path bounces, thin shots and tree impacts and live to fight another round. In an age when some balls cost nearly $4 apiece and are rendered unusable after one thin shot, the TaylorMade Distance Plus is a refreshing change.
On top of that, the extra distance they provide may help you fly over more water hazards instead of landing in them. It’s a win-win.
Wilson Smart Core Golf Balls
Good Value: Durable, decent balls at a great price
The Wilson Smart Core golf ball is a ball that delivers acceptable performance at a very attractive price point — one so low that I’m willing to overlook a few of its shortcomings. If you’re on a very tight budget or play on a course with lots of water and go through several balls per round, the Wilson Smart Core is a great option as the performance sacrifice is relatively small but the monetary savings are significant.
Wilson’s using all the right words for this ball, touting its durable Ionomer cover and “Smart Core” that “adapts to swing speed” to spin less on fast swings and more on shorter shots.
However, this is more marketing than actual fact: while there’s not much spin on long shots, as advertised, there’s not much spin on short shots either. While Wilson’s aims are admirable, it’s a simple matter of the materials used for manufacturing a ball that sells for around $15 for two dozen. The cheaper materials just won’t spin as much on short shots.
However, they’re by no means bad balls. They feel soft and deliver good distance. Senior golfers who hit the ball fairly straight but just need as much yardage as possible will find a lot to like here. They don’t spin much, but a low swing speed player is more likely to run the ball up to the green and these will do just that.
A great bargain
The price tag of these is as low as you’re likely to find for a name-brand golf ball that actually offers acceptable performance. They come in a package of two dozen balls for less than the price of a dozen of most of the other balls reviewed here. It’s quite a bargain from Wilson.
Titleist Velocity Golf Balls
Great If You’re Looking For More Ball Speed: Excellent distance, good ball flight, rock hard feel
The Titleist Velocity golf ball is a firm ball built, as you might guess from the name, purely for ball speed. And it delivers there: the distance produced is impressive. Senior golfers with slightly higher-than-average swing speeds (think 90mph or so) will see the most gains, but even slow swingers should be pleased with the distance. But there are sacrifices that may not be worth the price tag.
The Titleist Velocity is the ball I find most frequently on the golf course. Its middle-of-the-road price point and Titleist’s reputation seem to hit the sweet spot for a lot of players who don’t want to spring for the Pro V1 but still are looking for good performance. However, the DT TruSoft is the Titleist golf ball I’d suggest for most seniors, as it provides a much softer, better feel with only minimal distance loss.
Kudos to Titleist for their marketing on this ball, which advertises that the Velocity is “playable” around the green. Most companies would make bigger claims than that, but Titleist knows that the Velocity is a pretty hard ball that is fairly tough to control greenside. To call it “playable” is essentially conceding that it’s not going to do you many favors in the short game department.
The Bottom Line
I’d hesitate to recommend the Velocity for most players, as its performance doesn’t match other balls in its price range. However, there are a few situations that it might come in useful: if your home course has slow greens and taller-than-average fairway grass, the distance gains will help. And if you’re playing on winter greens, you may find that the lack of spin doesn’t hurt much.
Overall, though, there are better balls for seniors.
Bridgestone e6 Soft Golf Ball
Without An Alignment Aid: Good performance marred by lacking visuals
The Bridgestone e6 Soft is a very good golf ball. Most seniors will find that it has a great combination of distance, spin and feel around the greens. In fact, the performance level for seniors is comparable to the best balls reviewed in this article. But in the highly competitive golf ball industry, small shortcomings can be the difference between best-in-class and simply very good.
Many golfers are investigating Bridgestone balls after Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters with one, and for good reason: they’ve been making some of the best balls out there for a while now. Their best ball for senior golfers is the e6 Soft. It has a soft but durable cover and a low-compression core that offers a nice ball flight and a good amount of ball speed.
The cover feel is very nice around the greens, comparable to the Callaway SuperSoft and the Titleist DT TruSoft.
But the e6 Soft comes up short in the visuals department. The large, blocky B logo is useless for alignment, and the odd placement of the ball number is, if anything, distracting. Even worse is the “alignment aid” on the side of the ball. Whereas the best balls offer something that approximates a straight line, the e6 Soft has a slightly off-kilter alignment aid that may have you leaving your putter face open.
If you decide to use the e6 Soft and you tend to putt with a line, you’ll definitely need to draw a thick Sharpie line over the alignment aid. This is a step that shouldn’t be necessary, as manufacturers should know by now to provide a useful alignment aid.
Unfortunately, this thoughtless design takes a ball that could’ve been a frontrunner because of its very good performance and relegates it to a “very good, but” category.
Now, if you don’t use any alignment line when putting or driving, you’ll find a lot to like here. But I find most players benefit from a good alignment system both on the tee and the putting green, and the e6 Soft comes up just a bit short.
Callaway Golf Chrome Soft Truvis Ball
For Golfers Who Want To Stand Out: Love-it or hate-it graphics on an increasingly popular ball
A review of the Callaway Chrome Soft Truvis golf ball is almost irrelevant, as the graphics will immediately make or break the ball for you. However, if you do find yourself liking the visual of the soccer-ball-style markings, you’ll want to know about the performance characteristics of the ball. Much like the Titleist Pro V1, this is a urethane-covered ball so it has exceptional spin and control around the green but will cost you some distance and lacks durability.
What is Truvis and what does it do?
Callaway Truvis balls feature symmetrical pentagons that make it look somewhat like a soccer ball. These are designed to enhance your depth perception to make the ball look bigger, help with alignment, and increase golfers’ confidence. They’re also pretty cool around the green as you can see exactly how the ball is spinning on chips and putts.
They’ve been remarkably popular since their introduction (Tom Watson even used it in his last Masters tournament), but they’re definitely a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. Adventurous golfers have probably tried them out by now, while less adventurous players may wait until they find a lost Truvis ball on the course to give it a try. Of course, one of the advantages of the Truvis is that they stand out in the rough, so it’s unlikely that you’ll come across one!
So how’s the ball?
The Chrome Soft is the ball Callaway’s tour players use, so is it good for seniors? I can recommend it only for seniors who still hit the ball fairly high and long and are looking for backspin and stopping power on the green. For slower swing speeds, there’s not enough speed to compress the ball nor to generate enough spin to make it worth playing the expensive urethane balls.
It does feel excellent on chips and putts, spinning enough to grab the green and then release towards the hole on pitches. And putting with Truvis Chrome Soft balls is pretty fun, as you can really see the roll well.
But the Chrome Softs are one of the most expensive balls tested, and seniors will likely find both better performance and better prices elsewhere.
TaylorMade RBZ Soft
Not As Good As Expected: Not as long or durable as similar offerings
The TaylorMade RBZ Soft sounds like it should be a winner for seniors. It’s a 3-layer ball with a soft Ethane cover, an RBZ Core for distance, and a “Speed Mantle” (the layer between the cover and the core) that’s supposed to help iron shots with distance and spin. Unfortunately, despite being loaded with tech and fancy terminology, the ball just doesn’t perform at the level of other balls reviewed.
Durability is an issue
The cover of the RBZ Soft is a hybrid of urethane that TaylorMade just calls Ethane, and it’s supposed to be durable. However, a purely struck wedge shot was enough to scratch these up, as were fairway bunker shots. A cart path impact cut a deep gouge. They’re just not as durable as they should be.
Overall, the ball just failed to excel in any category. While it sounds good, it doesn’t fly as far or offer the greenside control that other balls deliver. The visuals are excellent, with a very helpful alignment aid (Bridgestone could take some notes from the TaylorMade design team), but other balls in the price range are longer and more durable, and feel better around the greens.
If you find an RBZ Soft golf ball on the course, it’s adequate to play a few holes with. But if you’re looking for a golf ball to purchase and stick to, there are better options out there.
Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria 1: Distance
As golfers get older, their swing speeds tend to drop. While there are still seniors who can hit the ball a long way, most will admit that they hit it a lot further in their prime. So as you get older, you need a little help from your equipment to get the ball to the green.
Fortunately many of today’s golf balls provide compression levels that help increase the distance you’re able to hit the ball. Many seniors are still using the balls they used ten years ago, but that’s a mistake: as your swing and golf game changes, so should your ball.
Switching to senior tees and more flexible shafts is one step you can take, but finding a ball that gives you more distance should be a no-brainer.
Criteria 2: Durability
If you’re retired and living on a fixed income, you don’t want to be blowing it on balls that scuff badly at the first sight of a cart path. And if you hit the ball a little thin, there shouldn’t be a smile on the cover waiting for you on the next shot.
Fortunately, most balls these days are much more durable than the wound balata balls of our youth. However, some manufacturers are so focused on creating the softest ball possible that they neglect the fact that some of us would like to use a ball for multiple rounds.
A ball should be durable enough to last a whole round at minimum. If you can get more than that out of it, even better!
Criteria 3: Feel/Spin
While we definitely want to get distance out of a ball, we also want feel. Chipping and putting are crucial at any age, which is why many people refer to shots around the green as the scoring game.
Some distance balls feel like rocks: sure they fly pretty far and roll out forever, but once you get around the green, there’s zero backspin to be had. Distance is only good if it can be controlled around the green: no one like the sight of a ball landing on the putting surface, then bounding over it and into a bunker behind the green.
So a ball needs to have a soft feel to go with its increased distance. A putt should roll nicely off the putter face. Short irons should be able to impart enough spin on the ball to hold the green.
Criteria 4: Visuals
The visuals category includes both the markings on the ball and its visibility in the rough. A golf ball’s durability doesn’t matter if you can’t find it after you hit it! Many seniors whose eyesight isn’t what it once was will opt for brighter colored yellow or green balls to find them more easily in the rough.
And the alignment aids on the ball should be clearly visible when you’re standing over a putt. Sure, you can draw a line on the ball but some have excellent alignment aids built in that reduce the need for a sharpie line. Distracting logos that confuse the vision and distract focus should be avoided.
Criteria 5: Value
No matter how durable a golf ball is, you can still hit it into a lake, or out of bounds, or just into deep rough where you can’t find it. Lost golf balls are a part of the game. So you don’t want to be spending any more than we have to on new balls, but you also don’t want to sacrifice too much performance for a bargain.
The value category weighs performance against price. If a ball is the lowest price but also performs poorly, it doesn’t actually represent a good value. You want a ball that strikes a good balance between performance and cost. If a ball costs half as much as the best ball on the market but performs nearly as well, you’ve found a great value.
Questions & Answers
What are the key differences between a regular and a senior golf ball?
Tour level golf balls are designed for golfers with high swing speeds who hit the ball a long way. They’re generally higher compression and less “soft” feeling; they have to be fairly firm to hold up and perform well with the impact speeds generated by the bombers of today. A high compression ball matched with a high swing speed will create a great rebound effect and maximize distance.
But with slower swing speeds, balls need to be softer and lower compression in order to get the same rebound effect. A high compression ball with a low swing speed with simply feel like a rock, and won’t compress at all. This costs distance and just feels off.
Many senior balls will utilize a Surlyn cover instead of a pricier urethane cover. Surlyn is more durable and doesn’t spin as much as urethane. But it also is a bit firmer, so it requires an extremely soft core to reduce the compression number. Seniors who are typically landing the ball short of the green and rolling it up may find that the extra distance and reduced spin of a Surlyn golf ball is ideal for their games.
Many balls aimed at seniors are brightly colored to help older players whose eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be. This helps not only while standing over the ball but also helps nearsighted seniors find their balls in the rough.
How can a golf ball tailored for senior golfers help me with distance?
There are several ways to make a golf ball longer for senior golfers. First off is by using a Surlyn cover, which will spin less than a pricier urethane-covered golf ball. A good 2-piece golf ball with a soft core and a Surlyn cover will provide a nice combination of distance and feel. The distance comes from the reduced spin of Surlyn and the increased compression of a soft core.
Some seniors who still have medium swing speeds might look into 3-piece golf balls that have an extra layer under the cover to help add more spin. If you’re a player who still gets good air under the ball and wants it to hop and stop on the green, you can find a soft ball that has low compression for distance but enough spin to react to short iron shots.
What is the golf ball spin?
Golf balls spin when you hit them; if they didn’t, they’d be impossible to control. Dimple patterns and the materials of construction determine how much spin they’ll have. Too much spin and your ball will balloon and not travel far or straight; not enough spin and your ball may be too hard to control around the greens.
Tour players impart so much backspin on the ball because of their high swing speeds and clean contact. Seniors with slower swing speeds play a different game and generally want less spin to maximize distance. However, a ball should still have enough backspin to allow for greenside chips to be controlled.
One last thing to consider is that high-spin balls won’t just have backspin: if you slice or hook it, it’ll have more sidespin. Most senior golfers need to keep the ball in the fairway to maximize distance, so a lower spin ball with less sidespin will help by going straighter and staying in more fairways.
What is a golf ball’s compression?
A golf ball’s compression is a measure of how much it deforms (flattens out) under a particular load of weight. The more a golf ball is deformed, the lower its compression it is and the “softer” it will feel. A lower compression golf ball requires a slower swing speed to deform it and create more surface area of impact with the golf club.
Slower swing speeds generally get better results from low compression balls since they’re able to take advantage of the rebound effect of a ball reforming after it is deformed. And the added surface contact with the club face adds to the effect that the grooves can have on the ball and thus more backspin is imparted for more control.
The one drawback of compression is that there is no industry standard from manufacturer to manufacturer. One company’s high-compression ball might be the same as another’s low-compression offering. Fortunately, we’re here to help get through the fog and figure out which ball is best for you!
Does the ball cover make any difference?
The ball cover is one of the most important factors in golf ball performance, price and durability. A urethane ball will offer great spin, but may cost players with slow swing speeds some distance. Urethane covers are also much less durable than the less expensive, firmer Surlyn balls.
I’d recommend trying out a budget-priced ball and if you find the ball unsatisfactory, move up a price point at a time until you find that ideal golf ball. It’s a great excuse to play more golf: “I’m testing out the new balls to find the right one for my game!”
Which construction of balls is recommended for Seniors?
For most seniors who have seen a reduction in distance, I’d recommend a 2- or 3-piece distance ball with a durable surlyn cover. The 2-piece balls are built for pure yardage and will offer the most roll-out and best distance overall.
You’ll have to get used to landing the ball short of the green and rolling it up, but that’s an adjustment that’s fairly easy to make.
If you’re still playing to a single-digit handicap or good enough to shoot your age, you’re probably already playing a 3-piece urethane ball.
What is the best golf balls for seniors with medium swing speed?
The majority of this article focuses on slower swing speeds, but seniors with medium-to-high swing speeds who still hit the ball a long way may want to look at our list of top golf balls for high handicappers.
My pick would be the Titleist AVX, a ball that provides exceptional distance but not as much spin as the Titleist Pro V1. It’ll help make up for any distance losses that come with age while still providing good feel, and thus is a good choice for medium-to-high swing speed seniors.
What are other factors to consider when buying golf balls for seniors?
Many seniors living on a fixed income need to be budget conscious, as spending more money on golf balls means spending less money on golf. This is especially true for seniors living in places like Florida where there tends to be a lot of water on the courses waiting to swallow up ball after ball.
Current golf ball technology offers surprisingly good prices on balls that offer a lot to like for senior players; many balls that cost $12/dozen or less are actually ideally suited for the qualities senior golfers need: distance and straight shots.
If your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, you may want to look into using Optic Yellow balls or other brightly colored balls to help you find your ball when it’s settled down in the rough. This will cut down on lost balls and help speed up your rounds, and many golfers find they actually putt better with the bright yellow balls.