Finding the right golf ball is an important part of any golfers game. I’ve poured through thousands of data points on most golf balls on the market today. I’ll share my thoughts and provide you with some free tools to help you choose. Keep reading to learn how to choose golf balls.
One of the biggest factors in selecting a golf ball is swing speed. Every golf ball performs differently at different swing speeds.
The best golf ball for distance at 85mph swing speed is way different from 100mph swing speed.
I have been testing golf balls myself for quite some time in the simulator. It is shocking how much of a difference there is between various golf balls.
I am an average golfer, but have a higher swing speed, typically around 110mph. I can hit a premium ball and compare it to a handful of direct-to-consumer balls, such as Vice, and get extremely similar results.
Do you know your swing speed? Let’s see what it is here.
Insert in-post speed calculator
Golf Ball Construction
Two piece golf balls make up the majority of your “lower end” balls on the market today. They have a thin cover, typically urethane or surlyn (which is just a fancy term for a urethane cover).
A three piece ball, in some cases even 4-piece golf balls, are typically your premium ball. These usually offer both distance and greenside spin with their soft urethane cover and compression core.
Honestly, you shouldn’t really concern yourself with ball construction. Finding the right golf ball is all about ball performance and how it aligns to your personal preferences and skill level.
High spin golf balls typically offer more control around the green. But they also lose some distance off the tee.
Low spin golf balls typically offer longer distance off the tee, but lack the short game spin for more control around the green.
Fortunately, modern golf balls do a great job of solving this problem. Premium balls nearly always solve it. But many mid-level golf balls solve this problem as well.
It is certainly possible to get great distance off the tee AND get your desired greenside spin. How? Well, with modern technology, the core helps the ball spin less with a driver. But the soft golf ball covers allow your higher lofted golf clubs to grip and get more spin.
A low spinning ball can also help to improve accuracy. When you hit a ball, your club will generate some sidespin. This can cause the ball to curve in the air. Typically, when you slice a ball, you’ll have a ton of sidespin.
The less a ball spins, the less drastic the effect of a slice or hook.
It’s not going to magically fix it, but it won’t be quite as bad as a higher spin ball for example.
The launch angle on golf balls can absolutely be impacted by the individual ball. Launch angle is mostly determined by your club path and angle of attack, but balls will come off the club at differently.
Longer drives typically come from higher launch angles and lower spin rate. But, where you hit the ball on the club face also matters. So it’s not all in the ball. That being said, choosing the right ball can help to optimize things.
Who doesn’t want more distance? Especially players with slower swing speeds, I think everyone cares about some extra yards.
There is no one-size-fits-all golf ball for distance. If you have a slower swing speed, the best ball for you may not be anywhere close to the best golf ball for someone with high swing speeds.
How do you know which ball to choose then? Try the ball selector tool linked above!
How to find the best ball for your game
Maybe you are looking for a softer ball with maximum ball speed to increase distance. Or, maybe you care a lot about ball flight and wedge spin.
Either way, you can find the perfect ball by comparing all of the performance numbers for your individual swing speed.
Basically, know your swing speed, then look at performance characteristics of balls at your swing speed and find the best one that matches. Simple, right? Not really!
That’s why I created the ball selector tool. You simply answer a handful of questions and we will give you some recommendations. We don’t care about golf ball brands. We care about performance that has been professionally measured on quality launch monitors.
Whether you are looking for a soft ball, faster ball speed, compression rating, whatever, you’ll find a ball that aligns with your skill level and personal preferences.
Settling on one
If the ball that bubbles up to the top of your list in the selector tool happens to be one you like, great. Go with it. But if you get a few that you aren’t quite sure about, I’d recommend picking up a sleeve of each at your local pro shop.
The balls that hit the top of your list are typically VERY close in performance based on the answers you provided. So it would not be much of a difference to choose say #3 on your list as compared to #1 for example.
If you go the route of trying a couple, take them out on the golf course and hit a variety of shots. Work on some short game shots, some putting, then some approach shots.
If possible, without holding anyone up, hit a couple from each location. Hit all 3 from 100 yards and see how it feels. See how it rolls out, or sticks to the green. Feel is critical, so pay attention to how it feels to you coming off the club.
Once you’ve done all of that, go hit some drives. If possible, hit your old ball for comparison. See if you are getting solid distance. Whichever ball feels better is the one you’ll want to go with.
Premium Vs. Cheap
There are plenty of cheap golf balls on the market today that perform very well. Most of your average golfers really don’t have the skill levels to actually take advantage of the features of a premium golf ball. Myself included!
I can play just as well (or poorly) with a ProV1 or a Noodle. I might get a little more spin in the short game from a ProV1, but I honestly don’t have the skill to put my ball so close that the additional spin resulting in a couple feet of backup will actually matter.
Dimple patterns, explosive distance, low compression, it’s mostly marketing! Modern balls have gotten extremely close in performance. You can find some really high quality cheap golf balls out there today.
I did a post outlining a couple of the best cheap golf balls on the market today, check it out if you want to see my picks.
Whether you are looking for a soft feel golf ball, or one that will maximize distance, it’s possible to find one that will align with your preferences and price range.
Finding one that is optimized for your game can be easy. Try the selector tool! It’s basically a free online ball fitting.
Give it a shot and kindly provide your feedback so I can continuously improve it.
Thanks, and good luck on the course!