Ok, here’s the thing. There are way too many golf balls on the average golf shop wall for the average golfer to look at and make the right choice. A lot of golf balls these days are average. Yes I do realise I am typing average more than average.
When I say average, I do not mean that they are no good, I just mean that companies reproduce the same ball again and again and again, then say on the back of the packet “This NEW model is more durable or goes further or spins so much more, when they really mean to say; “It’s virtually the same ball in a new packet.” Occasionally, there is a big change in the ball, but not very often.
Advances in golf ball technology have come a long way in recent years, but only when you look at a new type of ball will you see it. Take the Titleist Pro V for example. Yes, it’s a great golf ball, but the old model versus the new model does not have drastic differences that will make you say “Wow! that’s so much better than the last model.” The differences that Titleist talk about are in the realms of tiny things that only their launch monitors can detect. You will not notice the difference out on the course.
Therefore, in the shops I have always worked in; the old cheaper model is the one to go for. It’s the same but cheaper. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the new model will change your game. It just simply will not. As for the Pro V golf ball, this is the last things I will say. There are way too many people playing this ball that should not be. The amount of high handicapped players telling me they can’t hit fairways and they are playing the Pro V is staggering. But hey, it’s their money.
I have a saying where I tell people that “It doesn’t matter which ball you use, just keep using the same ball.” Now I know this may sound a little strange, given that I just said Pro V is not for everyone, but hear me out. When I tell people to use the same ball, I am talking about consistency. There are few areas in golf where we, the golfer, can completely control the consistency of a piece of equipment. The ball and the tee are two. Forgetting the tee for a minute, let’s look at the ball.
Get a type of ball that suits your game. If you are a high handicapper, get a ball that will reduce your spin rate. It just makes sense. Now there are plenty of these type of golf balls on the market. Many from different companies will play the same, but a little different. Find one that suits your game in the category that suits your game style and stick with it. The consistency will come the more you use it. You will get used to how it comes off the face of the driver, how it spins from a bunker or close to the greens, how it rolls out from chipping and most importantly, how far it goes when putting. Where putting makes up so much of your score, getting this right is paramount to scoring well.
Continually changing golf balls to the next one you might find in the rough will upset this consistency and throw your game out of whack. We all know the feeling of hitting a putt then scratching your head thinking, “That’s not normally how it rolls.” Keep the ball the same regardless of which ball it is. Find a suitable pill, buy a few dozen and stick with it. The consistency you seek will come.
If you can’t decide, here are a few suggestions that may help you.
Handicap 0 – 9 You have control over the spin of a golf ball so get one that will help your better short game around the greens. I tend to change them a little depending on the season. During Summer I use a high spinning ball for the harder greens, but in winter I use a slightly harder ball because the greens are softer and will hold any ball hit to them. Choose: Titleist Pro v, Bridgestone B330, Taylormade Tour Preferred, Callaway Chrome Soft, Srixon Z Star.
Handicap 10 – 19 You most likely need control help. Straighter ball flight off the tee to put you into play more often. Again, look at the season and choose wisely. Choose: Srixon Q Star, Chrome Soft, Taylormade Project A, Bridgestone E 6, Titleist NXT Tour.
Handicap 20 – 36 You most likely need less spin and more distance. If you lack swing power, it is best to go for a lower compression golf ball like: Bridgestone B330 RX, Callaway Supersoft, Titleist DT So Lo, Srixon Ultisoft, Project A or Bridgestone Extra Soft. But, on the other hand, if you have swing speed but no control you need a low spinning harder ball. This ball will spend limited time on the clubface and will not give excess spin taking the ball sideways as much. Try: Srixon Distance, Callaway Warbird, Nike PD Long, Bridgestone E 7.
Ladies – You will most likely need a low compression ball as well. Although some ladies do swing quite fast, the majority will get more distance from a lady’s compression golf ball. Choose: Bridgestone lady, Callaway Supersoft, Taylormade Kalea, Srixon Soft Feel lady or Volvik.
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You will notice in the lists above that TaylorMade’s Project A and Callaway’s Chrome Soft appear in more than one category. This is because they are the new type of golf ball. They have the unique ability of lowering your driver spin off the tee, but spinning a lot when near to the green due to their unique construction of a revolutionary cover to the ball. These balls will give the low handicapper or the mid handicapper help with all areas. For the low marker, they will keep the ball straighter off the tee as well as longer. For the mid man, the extra stopping power around the greens will have them looking like a single digit man. You will also notice I do not play favourites with golf balls. This is because manufacturing processors between the companies today have them all producing great quality golf balls. They will all tell you that theirs are the best, but they are all peddling the same product but ever so slightly different.
Next time you go into a golf store to buy golf balls, I’m sure you will just reach for the same ball you always do, but that is my point. You are being consistent already. Just make sure you are playing the right ball for your game. In the end, it is not the ball that will give you your golf game, but the right one can help you a little and we all know that every little bit helps.
Now, about the tee. All those people that tell me they don't want plastic tees because they mark their driver face, seriously people! Your driver is titanium, the tee is plastic. If you hit your head into a wall, the wall will win. Enough said.