How to Buy Golf Balls
One of the biggest decisions golfers must make is what golf ball to play on the course.
Equipment manufacturers offer several different types of balls, including high-spin golf balls, two-piece golf balls, and balls that produce maximum distance.
Most golfers don’t play with the right golf ball construction to benefit their game.
For example, for golfers with slower swing speeds, a lower compression ball helps maintain distance without sacrificing accuracy. But many golfers with this need somehow play new tour performance golf balls that are better for more skilled golfers.
In this article on choosing the ideal golf ball for your game, I’ll break down the different types of golf balls and their features. From spin control to generating more distance, finding the ideal golf ball demands a deeper look than what’s outside the box.
How do I know what golf balls to buy?
With so many golf ball options on the market, knowing where to start when choosing new balls can be tricky.
The first step is identifying your swing speed, usually by looking at your driver’s distance.
Slower swing speeds under 90mph benefit most from low compression balls that compress more on impact for added distance. Faster swingers above 90mph generate their compression and will want higher compression for optimal energy transfer.
Skill level also plays a role as higher handicappers prioritize distance, while lower handicappers seek more greenside spin and control.
Beyond compression, look at spin rates to influence shot height and distance gapping between clubs.
A high-spinning ball promotes aerodynamic lift for a mid/high trajectory. Also, consider cover material as a soft urethane cover reduces excessive side spin off the tee box while providing more feel around the greens.
Surlyn, a cover routinely found in less expensive golf balls, remains extremely durable for budget-seeking golfers.
Finally, factor in your budget. Premium balls provide maximum performance on the golf course but at higher costs.
Do I need 2-piece or 3-piece golf balls?
A 2-piece golf ball offers high ball flight that helps maximize distance and is more durable than any other ball on the market. These golf balls have a larger core than a multi-layer ball but are less sophisticated compared to a softer ball.
A two-piece golf ball is excellent for slow swing speeds and high handicappers that need value with boosted distance.
For balls with multiple layers, amateur golfers can expect a thin cover that generates better greenside spin, low side spin off the tee box, and efficient energy transfer from the face of the club.
A 3-piece golf ball delivers low spin with the driver for the average golfer, similar to the multi-layer ball that provides tour-level performance.
Multi-piece balls also typically feature high-quality urethane covers, providing tour performance and more control.
How many golf balls should you own?
Consider how often you play golf when determining how many new balls to buy. Buying in bulk makes sense if you play several times weekly and go through balls more quickly. Infrequent players who only play once a month likely need fewer.
Beginners and high handicappers tend to lose more balls in water hazards or out of bounds, so keep extra sleeves on hand. Lower handicappers can likely get by with smaller quantities since they are less prone to losing balls.
Beyond quantity, focus on finding a quality ball suited to your game at a reasonable price. Test different brands and compression to optimize performance and value.
Consider mixing lower-cost balls for the range and water holes with premium balls for competitive play. Ultimately, buy enough for your play frequency while balancing features and price.
Recommended: Do Golf Balls Go Bad?
What is Better: Soft or Distance Golf Balls?
A thinner cover helps the outer layers of the golf ball with the aforementioned spin control for your wedge game plus, it’s the right ball when you want efficient energy transfer for extended distance with your driver and fairway woods.
A distance golf ball is the best ball for your game if you have a higher swing speed for amateur golfers that don’t want the softness of a golf ball with a thinner cover and multiple outer layers, a distance golf ball with a larger core.
Should I Use Lower Compression Balls?
When deciding whether to use low compression golf balls, there are a few key factors to consider.
First, examine your club speed. If your driver speed is less than 90mph, low compression balls will likely be better suited to your game.
The softer construction compresses more on impact, helping slower swingers generate more distance. For those with faster swing speeds above 90mph, low compression balls may feel too soft and compress too much, resulting in a loss of distance.
Higher handicappers and beginners benefit more from low compression balls emphasizing distance over spin and greenside control. Advanced players often prefer high compression balls for maximum ball speed, more spin, shaping shots, and enhanced control.
Cost is another factor, as low compression balls tend to be more affordable compared to an expensive ball.
Final Thoughts on How to Buy Golf Balls
If you are struggling with your game and continue to play with the same ball round after round, then you should examine if that’s the right ball to help you improve.
For example, if your short game is lacking, playing with spin-control golf balls can add a new element by reducing excessive side spin off the tee while improving shot-stopping control on entry shots into the green.
By testing different compression balls, you can determine which ball provides the best feel and performance for your abilities.
Finally, focus on factors like optimal distance, iron shot control and spin, and wedge feel around the putting surface. Finding the right golf ball is about optimizing distance, accuracy, and performance for your unique swing speed, budget, and preferences.