Choosing the right golf ball is as important as choosing the best club for your game. In fact, many golfers believe that finding the right ball is more important than having the right club in your hands. After all, it’s the ball that travels at the flight and speed that you want, so you need it to suit your playing style.
Every golfer swings differently, so the ball you choose ultimately impacts your golfing performance. When you choose the right golf ball, you’ll see tremendous improvements in your control, distance, and also the speed of your shots. Depending on the varying golfing styles, different golf balls are characterized by different weights, compression levels, and layers, all of which are meant to boost a golfer’s performance.
With advancements in golfing equipment technology, you now have a myriad of golf ball models and styles to suit your needs. But while the right golf ball promises improved performance, choosing the right golf ball for your game can prove to be quite tricky. With so many available options, how do you make an informed choice?
In this guide, we’ve listed down various types of golf balls and discussed the key features of each to help you make the right decision.
Understanding the Types of Golf Balls
One-Piece Golf Ball
As the most basic option, the one-piece golf ball is the least expensive ball available on the market. Given that it’s primarily a ‘playing ball,’ the ball is ideal for beginners and for use on the driving range. However, it doesn’t assure you the required distance when you hit shots because of its soft structure and lower compression.
A one-piece golf ball is made from Surlyn and has dimples on its outer surface. Besides being inexpensive, this kind of golf ball is also quite durable.
Two-Piece Golf Ball
The two-piece golf ball has less-pronounced dimples and is manufactured using Surlyn, which forms the ball’s tough exterior cover, and acrylate (or resin), which forms the solid core of the ball. This structure allows the ball to cover a vast distance when hit, but compromises on the shot control.
The reason why most golfers prefer the two-piece ball is its high durability and the distance it assures on the golf course. The option is ideal for mid to high handicap golfers with a low swing rate.
Three-Piece Golf Ball
The core of a three-piece golf ball is composed of either solid rubber or a liquid that’s enclosed by a layer made from either liquid or enhanced rubber. The uppermost molded cover is made from either urethane or Surlyn.
Best for medium to low handicap golfers, three-piece golf balls offer more spin than one or two-piece golf balls. As a softer option, it assures greater control to experienced golfers.
Four-Piece Golf Ball
This golf ball consists of four layers, each of which has its own function and purpose. The innermost layer (the core) is made from solid rubber and allows golfers to hit high-distance shots, particularly with the use of a driver. The second layer enclosing the core transfers energy from the hit to the rubber core.
The third layer that encircles the second one serves to increase the driver distance and produce mid-iron spin and feel over the green. Finally, the uppermost layer is the thinnest of all, and sports about 300 to 400 dimples.
Because it ensures excellent distance and the impact of a soft feel, a four-piece golf ball is most suited to low handicapped golfers.
Five-Piece Golf Ball
A five-piece golf ball is designed for skilled golfers with the aim to optimize their golfing performance in key areas. Back in 2009, the first ball of this kind was created by TaylorMade, which went by the name ‘Penta.’ Today, many other brands have added this type of golf ball to their collections.
Like in three or four-piece golf balls, each layer of the five-piece option offers different benefits. Reacting favorably to different swing speeds and shots, this durable golf ball offers Tour-level performance to golfers. So it isn’t surprising to know that it’s the most expensive type of golf ball on the market.
Tips to Select the Right Golf Ball
Now that you’ve learned about the different categories of golf balls, choosing the right golf ball for your specific needs shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re looking for some more clarity, then here are some tips to help you choose the best golf balls:
Balance Your Focus
When choosing a golf ball, some people focus too much on the functionality of the golf balls and fail to recognize the impact that other golfing equipment can have on their game. For instance, focusing on the distance and spin offered by a golf ball, but not taking into account how far you can hit the ball with your driver or iron, or how using different clubs can affect the shots you make.
Moreover, golf balls can combine with different wedges, drivers, and irons differently, so you will have to balance your focus and identify the right combination that works for you.
As a beginner, you don’t have to worry about compression when exploring the different golf ball options. This is because the attribute matters to skilled Tour players who have developed a swing speed of more than 110 miles per hour.
Earlier on, it was feasible for beginners to start with high-compression golf balls since they allow for more energy transfer during the hits to reach greater distances. But that’s now possible with low compression balls, too, so compression shouldn’t matter to you anymore unless your swing speed is more than 110 miles per her.
Stick with One Type for a While
One might be overwhelmed by the countless golf balls offered by so many different brands. Some golf balls offer greater distance, and others offer more spin. But don’t let yourself get caught up in these details for too long. Once you’ve found a ball that works for you in most conditions and matches your budget, stick to it. Spend time playing with the ball you’ve tried and tested, and focus on improving your performance with it.
Keep Changing the Balls
Sticking to one type of golf ball doesn’t mean that you should never change the golf balls you use. Most manufacturers say that their golf balls are indestructible. This, however, doesn’t mean that the balls are functionally okay. If you see dimples wearing out or scratches on your golf ball, you may lose yardage. Thus, stick to a type, but keep changing the balls often.
Our Final Thoughts
Given the wide variety available, choosing the right golf ball can be a difficult choice to make. After going through the different categories of golf balls and some selection tips, you’re now equipped with enough knowledge to be able to choose the right golf ball for your golfing needs.
While this article serves as a guide, the real insights come when you start playing. Take a few golf balls with varying features and hit some practice shots. In time, you will find out which option works for you the most and helps you attain the desired feel.
As a beginner, it’s best to start with some premium, mid-level balls that seem affordable. But to attain that confidence of the golf course, you’ll need to play with your selected ball on a consistent basis.