Are golf balls getting better and is there a special ball for me?
Golf balls are getting better with promises of increased distance, accuracy, and control. Unfortunately, these promises are not easy for most of us to substantiate because 95% of the balls sold by the leading manufacturers are better than 95% of those of us who use them.
Because there are some differences in performance and when you start getting used to the way a particular ball behaves, or sounds when you hit it well, you develop confidence in the product and this is more important than anything else. It is therefore important to select a ball you are comfortable with and stay with it. Don’t just use any ball you find if you are serious about your game.
Some balls, because of the differences in performance may suit your game more than others. If you are a high handicap golfer, and have not yet perfected spinning the ball off your wedges or controlling the shots around the green, then you can select a ball with a resilient core and hard cover. This will not have too much spin off the wedges and will therefore not leave you short of the hole on chipped shots – a common problem for a lot of us.
The advantage of selecting this low spinning ball is that it will probably give you a little more distance and accuracy off the tee. The good news is that this ball costs almost half as much as the premium ball.
Once you select a specific ball try to stay with it. If price is not a factor — or your brother-in-law wants to know what you want for Christmas — and you occasionally get the spin off your wedge that you see on the Tour, then go for the premium ball that most pros use.
The only downside to using a premium ball is that there are no excuses for bad-ball behavior.
Selection of a driver is important but to put it into perspective, you only use your driver about 15 % of the time you hit the ball, and your putter up to 45% but you use your ball 100% of the time you hit the ball.
For this reason the time you put into selecting your equipment, should be:
1. The correct ball which gives you confidence (100% of use)
2. Find a well designed and fitted putter and (45% of use)
3. Look for a well fitted driver (15% of use)
Jim, I hope this helps, and remember to select the ball which gives you most confidence. In some cases, this may leave you with enough in your pocket for a beer after the round.
“May the Frog be With You”
I don’t believe there is a measurable difference in distance for golf balls. The distance claims are all golf industry hype to sell more balls. The only true difference is in spin rates, which vary considerably, and premium balls have by far the most spin. I feel that all golfers would benefit from increased spin in their short game areas, which is infinitely more important than driver stats. If expense is a concern, I recommend the Top Flite Gamer which has incredible spin for an inexpensive ball.
Thanks again for posting this and other articles. It’s nice to know I can always trust your advice.
I think there is also another factor – the premium ball seems to me to have a very short life. Fine for those having balls supplied FOC, but a bit more of a factor for the rest of us.
I have just come in from a round on a windy day. I have had a quick look through ” THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PUTTING” and can find no reference to wind effect. My uneducated guess is that greens need to be fairly fast and the wind strong for wind to have a meaningful effect on the line of a putt. With a 10 foot putt on say medium speed greens with not much borrow, can one ignore say a 10 knot breeze?