Recently I received a dozen golf balls for my birthday. A few years back I would have been like, GREAT!….brand new Titleist’s! Without looking too closely at first, I had received Titleist NXT’s. Now, this certainly is a quality ball. However, not the “right” kind of golf ball suited for my game. The more I started to practice and try to improve my score, I realized that playing with the right kind of ball can make all the difference in the world.
It took me a few years, but I quickly found out that using the right model ball can be a difference of 2 -4 strokes per round. Specifically, not playing the correct ball can reduce your driving distance and hinder your touch around the green. I always thought playing a softer ball would hurt my driving distance. Therefore, I was very fond of mid-level balls like Maxfli and Titleist DT’s. Today, tour level golf balls now offer 2 options in most cases (Pro-V1 vs. Pro-V1x). Since I have a lower ball flight, I found playing the regular Titleist Pro-V1’s still gave me the distance I needed off the tee, combined with great feel and touch around the green. I do not think I will ever be a successful putter when using a 2-piece ball.
This is a common question I get when participating in social golf rounds. I laugh inside when many golfers tell me any decent ball will be just fine. Some think their game isn't consistent enough to worry about using the same ball all the time. My answer to that is the game of golf is already hard enough as it is. Whether you’re trying to sink a 10-foot putt to win the Masters or just impress your boss at the next golf outing, use a ball that consistently is going to give you the performance you expect! Picking the right ball is one of the few things that can be controlled.
Take a look at this breakdown on which options are available per your skillset-
Skilled golfers – You may want to concentrate on how the ball feels around the green. Better chipping and putting could be the key to becoming a consistent, low scorer. Other preferences may be how you want to control the ball. If you like to stop the ball on a dime, a high-spin, multi-piece ball will give you the added control you desire. However, spin may be less important you prefer to roll the ball at the pin with a chip-and-run.
Examples: Titleist Pro-V1, TaylorMade TP5, Callaway Chrome Soft
Beginner Golfers – When starting off in golf, your primary goal should be hitting the ball straight. Low-spin, distance golf balls are designed to reduce the sidespin that exaggerates slices and hooks, and they can help produce longer, straighter drives. A low-spin ball will be just fine around the green since you are more worried about control.
Example: Titleist DT, Bridgestone Series E6, Callaway SuperSoft
Why is choosing the right ball important? That’s easy, I’ll give you one word….Consistency!
It is basically the same reason why you drive your truck or SUV in the winter snow. You know how it is going to respond no matter what driving conditions come your way. You build a trust with car and are going to most likely purchase another model in the future if you happy with the performance. The same principle applies in golf when you use the same ball all the time. You know exactly how far it goes on a well-struck shot with every club in your bag. You know how much it will spin or roll out when it hits the green. You know exactly how it feels off the putter and how firm you need to hit it.
Looking back at my handicap and scores, I can honestly say a main reason of why my handicap went from a 12 to an 8 had to do with my understanding of playing the “right” golf ball. A few extra yards of the tee did not hurt, but the true difference maker was being able to chip and putt with a ball one could trust. Knowing how much spin to use on a chip and how the ball feels rolling off your putter can turn any average golfer until a very competitive, tournament ready golfer.
As much as my family may not like it, I now return the gift of a new dozen golf balls if they are not the right kind. Instead, I now buy from TwoGuysWithBalls.com to get the latest models at a low price! Not wanting to pay top dollar for the best balls can no longer be an excuse.
Have any questions on how to pick the best golf ball for your game? Let me know in the comments below.
Chris has been a competitive golfer at the state level for over 10 years. As a true ambassador for the sport, he believes golf has great mental, social, and physical health benefits. Chris is a golf equipment enthusiast always looking to help improve other’s game. Chris has played 44 of the top 100 courses in the United States and still counting.