Are Golf Balls Getting Better?



Are golf balls getting better and is there a special ball for me?

Jim, TX


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”


One thought on “Are Golf Balls Getting Better?

  1. Frank
    A great subject to cover.
    The thing that really strikes me is the superior quality of the balls on the market as opposed to the ones we encountered when we started playing ____years ago.
    It’s hard to find a really bad ball today.
    I will suggest that for people who get a club fitting, the data that a good club fitter can read can help in ball selection.
    I am just about to do that, not just for the clubs, but because at my age (74), my swing speed has slowed by 10mph over the last 5-7 years so I suspect that the ball I have been playing (Bridgestone 330) is no longer the best for me.
    Arthur Little

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