This afternoon I am hitting the golf range to warm up for my first round of the new golf season. Last week, in anticipation, I pulled my clubs out of the cellar where they’ve been stored for the winter, brushed the dust off my golf shoes, and hunted up my golf jacket that’s been hanging in the back closet. I’m ready to hit the links! But the one thing I need to get is a box of new golf balls. My golf bag still has a bunch of old balls from last season but when I checked them out, most were scuffed up and well used. So I need to stop by the pro shop or get online to buy some new golf balls. But which one would be best for my game?
Every year manufacturers come out with new products and promise that each is the best thing since sliced bread. I’m sure you’ve received lots of promos either in the mail or online. It can get very confusing. I wrote a blog post about this issue some time ago, (you can read that post here) but now I’ve done some more research and thought I’d share that with you. Might help your decision about which ball to buy that will work for your style of play.
The first thing to determine is how you play the game of golf. Are you a high performance, low handicapper with a fast swing? Or are you a high handicapper with a slow swing looking for more control? Or are you somewhere in between? How you play the game determines the type of ball you should use. Here are some general guidelines:
Low handicappers: Choose High Performance/High Compression golf balls for better control and longer distance. These are multi-layered balls and in order to compress them when you hit, you need to have a strong, consistent, fast swing. If you don’t, you can actually lose distance and control using them. Here’s a sample list of high performance balls you might consider. These are generally the most expensive golf balls.
- Taylormade Penta TP
- Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x
- Callaway Tour i(s) and i(z)
- Srixon ZStar and Z Star XV 2011
- Nike One Series
Medium-High handicappers: Low-Medium Compression golf balls with one or two layers. These are for players with a slower swing, less compression and softer feel. These balls are generally on the less expensive side.
- Bridgestone e Series
- Taylormade Burner or TP Black LPD
- Titleist NXT and NXT Tour
- Callaway HX Hot or Bite, and Warbird
- Srixon Trispeed or Soft Series
- Top Flite
The most important factor in choosing the right ball for your game is a question of CONFIDENCE. I’m not kidding. If it makes you feel like a better golfer because you’re playing with the most expensive ball on the market, you go for it. If on the other hand, if playing with the ball you bought at the discount store makes you feel like a smart player, then go in that direction. The price does not guarantee success.
There is also the psychological aspect to choosing the right ball. If you had your best round ever playing with a Nike One, you most likely will have very positive feelings towards choosing Nike One balls in the future. On the other hand, if your game went totally south playing with ball “X” (you name the brand) you will probably never want to play with that brand again, even if you find a bunch of them in the woods. You’d rather give them away than take a chance on playing with them again.
Bottom line: You have to like the feel of the golf ball you’re playing with. You have to have confidence that the ball your playing with will give you the best results. So, buy a few sleeves of different brands, different compressions, share a few with your friends and choose the one that feels right to you. Experiment. Make it a game. Keep track of your best performance. There are dozens of golf balls to try out. Aren’t we lucky???
So which golf ball do you play with and why?