Do Range Balls Go As Far as Regular Balls?
I will assume this is a commonly asked question.
People always tell me that the golf balls I use at the range don’t go as far as “regular” balls. I too find this to be true, especially with my woods. I know these balls are constructed differently. Is there a general rule of thumb for determining how much yardage I might be losing? I’ve found it to be almost one club difference.
The range balls are generally slightly different in construction in that they will have a more durable cover and paint layer. A combination of these differences will affect the distance slightly but not more than the 10 yard difference between clubs.
Some manufacturers will make balls specifically for the range which are shorter by as much as 20 to 30 yards than a standard ball. This is done with a less resilient core and a change in the aerodynamic properties. These balls don’t feel very good but do serve a purpose of range length limitations.
I think that the racing stripes on the range balls make them play so much better. This is the only plausible explanation as to why I seem to hit balls so much better on the range than on the course.
This Q&A is an excerpt from Dear Frank….Answers to 100 of Your Golf Equipment Questions
A simple test of range ball versus regular ball can be performed by bringing a range ball on the course with you and hitting a few shots side by side with your regular ball. Do a few tee shots, a few 5-irons, a few wedges and a few Par-3 tee shots for a comparison. I regularly do this type of testing to compare Titleist Pro-V1 to NXT Tour S and to Wilson Staff Duo Spin. Record your results and then return the practice ball to its range or practice area.
p.s. I play on a course where the range limit is 225 yards and practice balls feel like rocks on your club face. Ten to twenty minutes later, your first ball off the 1st tee seems to explode off the club face by comparison. .