Make no mistake; playing golf with the wrong type of golf balls will negatively affect your game. You should play the best golf balls for your particular game otherwise you may be sacrificing accuracy and consistency for a few extra yards.
How do you know which are the best golf balls for your ability and your strength? To make an informed decision, you need to understand what the different characteristics of the golf balls mean.
For the purpose of this article I will not get into details about the diameter of a golf ball, how much does a golf ball weigh, the number of dimples on a golf ball, or the specific materials that go into making a golf ball. Instead I will go over the important factors that will help you in choosing a golf ball that is right for you.
1-Piece Golf Balls
The one piece golf ball is made from a solid material and is normally used on the range as a practice ball and sometimes by beginners. Although it is very durable and inexpensive it doesn’t give you much distance.
The Two Piece Golf Ball
Two piece golf balls have a solid core enclosed in a cover which is made of a cut proof material, making them very durable. They are the ones that are used by most casual golfers because they give you maximum distance. This is because of their firm feel and low spin rate that causes them to roll further on the fairway. The drawback is that they are not as controllable as a softer ball.
3-Piece Golf Balls
The 3-piece golf ball consists of a solid or liquid core encircled by a lining and enclosed by the outer cover. These are the preferred ball of many low handicappers that have the ability to take advantage of the higher spin rate and softer feel. These specifications make these balls more accurate for driving and they have more spin and control for the short game.
With golf ball technology advancing at a rapid rate, the latest improvement is the four-piece ball. They combine the characteristics of good distance, spin, and feel; they are generally marketed towards the more skilled golfer up to the PGA pro golfers. Each of the four layers helps the ball to perform to the maximum for distance, spin, and feel. You get great distance with the driver, plenty of spin with your middle irons, and enough control with your wedges and feel with your putter.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin balls produce less spin which causes them to carry as far but when they hit the fairway they roll more to compensate. The higher handicapped golfer will appreciate that there is less side spin as these balls will have less tendency to hook or slice – resulting in straighter shots.
Mid Spin Rated Golf Balls
The mid spin golf ball is the one suited for the majority of golfers. They offer a combination of distance and feel giving most golfers good distance and control. Sometimes the softness differs from brand to brand so you have to get used to the level of control.
High Spin Rated Golf Balls
As these balls spin the most they create more backspin which keeps the ball in the air the longest and so has the biggest carry. Although they won’t run far on the fairway, you get the benefit of great control around and on the greens as they have more feel.
Firm-Feel Golf Balls
Firm-feel balls will feel hard when you strike the ball with the club-face. The majority of distance golf balls are firm which is fine for distance but not good for feel around or on the greens. You will find that most high or mid handicap golfers will choose these balls because of the extra distance which they are willing to trade for the loss of control onto the green. Apart from the distance, these balls are the longest lasting and are difficult to scuff up or mark.
Mid-Feel Golf Balls
The most popular golf ball for the mid handicapper is the mid feel golf ball, as they combine the ability to produce good distance and control.
Soft-Feel Golf Balls
Soft feel golf balls are preferred by low handicappers and professional golfers. The best players can use their skill to work these balls any way they like. They are great for the short game where spin and the soft feel make them ideal. They are generally not suited to the casual golfer because they are not so good for distance and the soft cover scuffs easily.
Golf Ball Compression Ratings
The compression of a golf ball is similar to the feel factor. The amount that a golf ball can compress is rated by a number; if you go to the extremes, then a compression 0 will compress by 0.2 inches and higher, and a compression 200 ball will not compress at all. The soft-feel golf balls are also known as low compression balls and are rated as compression 50 to 70. Hard-feel golf balls are high compression balls and have compression 100 to 110 or higher. Sometimes a compression 90 golf ball from one manufacturer will not feel the same as a compression 90 from a different manufacturer – it seams there is no standard way of measuring the compression.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have a fast swing speed you should use compression 110; golfers with an average swing speed should use compression 100, and a slow swing speed golfer a compression of 80.
Finally with regards to compression, did you know that the weather can play a part in choosing the compression of your golf balls? Low compression balls are best for colder weather because the ball doesn’t compress as much when it is cold; therefore high compression balls are better for hotter weather.
You should also take into account the condition of the golf course; with sun scorched, hard fairways, you will need a soft feel golf ball that spins more so that you can control it when it hits the fairway or green. If the course is sodden, you will need a golf ball that carries further and that has less spin so that you have more possibility of greater distance.
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