Which Golf Ball Is Right for You?

golfballsOf the small number of people who have been fit for their clubs, even fewer have been fit for their golf ball. For the most part, the technology and logistics don’t exist for fitting efficiently, although that is slowly changing. Golfers are now finding golf ball tracking technology available to them through various resources, such as Trackman, FlightScope, etc.

The overall goal of a golf ball fitting is to help you, the player, select a golf ball that will achieve optimal performance. Achieving optimal performance will derive from a combination of distance, control, and feel. These performance factors will be based upon the conditions you may expect to encounter on the type of greens and course layout that are commonly played. Determining how the golf ball will react to your strike is extremely important in selecting the correct ball. Let’s take a look at some things you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing your next golf ball.

golf-ball-compression

Compression

Many years ago, golf ball companies printed the compression on the package. You may remember the Titleist DT golf balls from the 1980s that had 100, 90, and 80 compressions on their respective boxes. Compression is calculated by squeezing the golf ball with a calibrated machine. This action would produce a number related to force resistance. If the ball resisted compression, it received a higher compression number. The 100 compression was typically used by an accomplished player, while the 80 compression was predominately used as a women’s golf ball.

The golf ball landscape began to change in the mid-1990’s. The balata covered ball wasn’t durable enough, so the urethane cover was introduced. Multilayer golf balls started hitting the market in 2000, like the Titleist ProV1, putting an end to compression importance. Just as all of this was going on a funny thing happened relating to golf balls and professional golfers. A Colorado PGA Club Professional took a Precept MC Lady golf ball out onto the course one day. It went longer than any other ball he had ever played and his results around the green were favorable, in regards to spin. He later played in the Colorado PGA Section Championship and WON using the ball. From that moment forward, everybody’s preconceived notions about golf balls went out the window!

Fast forward to 2014 and today’s golf ball gives the golfer more specific characteristics to select from. Almost every ball manufacturer uses clubhead speed to recommend the proper golf ball. Slow swing speeds are suited towards a two-piece, low compression ball, whereas faster swing speeds tend to benefit from multi-layered, higher compression golf balls. For example, the overall compression of the 2-piece Titleist DT SoLo is 65, the 3-piece Bridgestone B330-RX is 66, the 4-piece Titleist ProV1X is 88, and the 5-piece 2012 Callaway HEX Black Tour is 97.

tour-plyers-golfball“X”‘s tour ball is not for me & how do you get a golf ball to operate the best for all playing abilities?

It’s a common misconception among amateur golfers that “Tour” golf balls only work for Tour players or Tour-level swing speeds. A refrain heard far too often by our customer service team is “My swing speed isn’t high enough to play a golf ball that tour players’ use.” The truth is, in order for a golf ball to work for any golfer, it has to work for all swing speeds. This is true because a golfer uses a variety of swing speeds during the course of a round, you may swing your driver a 95 mph while your lob wedge might be 40 mph. By the way, Tour players swing at speeds similar to amateurs at some point during their swing. The golf ball doesn’t know who is hitting it.

trackman-numbers

Performance Factors

Ball speed, angle of impact, launch angle, and spin rates are all fundamental mechanical factors that affect ball performance and golf ball construction, compression, and cover hardness are just as critical. Every golfer has different demands they want in the performance of a golf ball. The selection of the right golf ball requires matching your unique swing characteristics and game objectives to the golf ball. You’re probably wondering which golf ball is now right for you? We have a golf ball selector tool to help guide/select the proper golf ball for you, finding a good ball is now easier than ever. Once you’ve selected a golf ball the next step in the process is to experiment. Try a sleeve of two or three different brands during your next practice session or round of golf.

ask-a-pga-professional

Still need help? Reach out to our PGA Profesionals!

Or, check out these previous articles:

Todd Benware, PGA

Todd Benware has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 1996. He is a two-time All-American at Ohio Wesleyan University, and a 1996 Ohio Wesleyan Sports Hall of Fame Inductee. Todd is a talented golf instructor, giving over 10,000 golf lessons since turning professional in 1991. His understanding and knowledge of the golf swing allows him to identify the cause of a student’s problem and create a solution. He has experience using both TrackMan and FlightScope golf ball tracking systems, and is a recognized professional club fitter by Ping, Mizuno, and Titleist.

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