This is a rather condensed blog due to the complexity of this subject, there have been on going debates that suggest it is the small innocuous 1.68″ diameter golf ball which has been the biggest advancement over the years within the game.
Ironically golf balls used to be 1.62″ so much smaller, I used these up until the rulings were changed to deem that size illegal, however it is refreshing to still find a few in my coaching bag each week!
There are many purchasing options in my view for the recreational golfer even prior to discussing this with a Professional which ball will be best suited for them.
Some of these considerations are based around the following:
- Price point
- Prizes or raffles
There are so many golf ball manufacturers who offer similar products all trying to win over the consumer, this decision becomes easier once the brand has been selected.
Let’s consider our requirements for a golf ball… the majority of golfers when asking this question will want increased distance, however forget that the majority of our shots are played to, around and on the green. I would encourage, as I did during one of my putting clinics, to take a harder covered “distance” ball and an advertised “softer” feel ball to the chipping and putting green next time. After a few shots you will notice the difference between the two balls. This is really personal preference which will become evident.
The cover of a golf ball and the number of layers which the manufacturer uses accounts for the durability, feel and distance provided. The golf ball technology now is so advanced that distance, feel and spin are the goals. This goes as far as varying dimple patterns which are all patent by design which influences spin! I told you it was complex.
An outer cover such as a surlyn is more durable than the urethane cover both used by Titleist.
An image showing the make up of different golf balls
When I played on the Amateur circuit in the 1980’s Titleist top ball was a balata which consisted of hardened sap from the “balata” tree. It just required the slightest mis-hit and the ball “smiled” at you a deep gouge was evident..new ball please. This was certainly an expensive past time, it was not unusual to use 6 balls a round due to the golf ball damage. It taught me to strike the ball well for sure.
It is important to get into the habit to use the same ball so the short game consistency can be achieved, during the winter months it is not quite so important. All too often we find an “experienced” ball on course and use that until we lose it! When you are learning and a bit wayward the experienced ball is our best friend. This is often a way to find out which brand and type without the expense of purchasing a sleeve.
I use a ball for my GolfingGirl events which is ideal for low-mid swing speeds targeting the soft feel around the greens whilst gaining distance from the tee which has received many compliments over the years.
Decide which area is key for you then stick with a brand, then select within that brand based upon the questions above.
After all you could go for the bright colours as used by Bubba Watson!