When most people think of technological advancements in the golf industry, they think of golf clubs.
Irons that are more forgiving, drivers that help you hit longer drives, and wedges that offer superior control.
But not to be forgotten is the giant leaps that have been made in golf ball manufacturing technology.
New materials, dimple patterns, cores, and even new brands have emerged, all with a shared goal – helping golfers shoot lower scores.
Because of the wide selection of golf balls you can now choose from, finding the right golf ball can be difficult.
Some people even wonder whether or not the golf ball you play truly makes a difference or if it’s all just sleazy sales tactics used by golf ball manufacturers. Here’s what we think:
Table of Contents
- Does The Type of Golf Ball Really Make a Difference?
- The Different Elements of Golf Balls
- The Takeaway…
Does The Type of Golf Ball Really Make a Difference?
If you’re an advanced golfer, the type of golf ball you play can make a noticeable difference in your golf game. Playing the right golf ball can provide more distance off the tee and superior control around the greens, helping you to shoot lower scores.
However, if you’re a beginner, you might be more concerned with making improvements to your golf swing rather than fussing over which golf ball you should use. That said, there are certain types of golf balls beginners will find easier to hit.
Many professionals would even argue that choosing the right golf ball is just as important as choosing the right golf clubs!
When choosing the right ball for your game, there is a wide variety of factors that you should consider.
Many golfers remain very loyal to specific brands, which does have its benefits. But let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between golf ball specifications and which ones are the best choice for the different types of players.
The Different Elements of Golf Balls
Golf balls will vary based on a number of different factors:
How They’re Made
How a golf ball is constructed is essential to understanding how it will react when it comes into contact with your golf club.
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Here are the most common types of golf balls:
One-piece Golf Balls
One-piece golf balls are the cheapest and most common golf balls on the market. A one-piece golf ball is a basic ball and is designed primarily to be used on driving ranges or mini-putt courses these days.
Because they have a much harder surface compared to other golf balls, they are more durable, hence why they’re preferred on driving ranges. It’s rare you will see one on the golf course.
Two-piece Golf Balls
As you might have guessed, two-piece golf balls consist of two key parts – a core of resin or high-energy acrylates, and a tough outer layer.
These balls are designed to travel further and straighter than most other golf balls, however, they will spin less around the greens. They are extremely durable as they’re usually covered in some kind of a specialty hard-wearing plastic such as Surlyn.
Two-piece golf balls tend to come in at a much lower price point compared to three, four, and five-piece alternatives.
Here are some of the most popular two-piece balls on the market:
Three-Piece Golf Balls
Three-piece golf balls provide similar distance compared to 2-piece golf balls, however, they provide more spin and control around the greens.
They will either have a liquid or solid rubber core that is surrounded by a layer of liquid produced or enhanced rubber layers and has a solid cover made from Urethane, Surlyn, or a balata like material.
Our top two picks for the best 3-piece golf balls include:
Four-piece golf balls
These golf balls are more expensive and are really only suitable for more advanced players. Each individual layer serves a specific purpose. Many low handicappers believe 4-piece golf balls offer a softer feel and a longer hitting golf ball.
The inner core of the ball is a solid rubber that is designed to offer an explosive response and increase the distance that the golf ball will travel, especially with the driver. The next layer is used to transfer the energy throughout the ball.
The additional third layer is what separates it from a 3-piece ball. It’s designed to increase driving distance and also produce extra spin when using mid-irons and offer additional feel around the greens.
Here are our top two picks for the best 4-piece golf balls:
Five-Piece Golf Balls
These are the newest golf balls on the market, designed to offer greater performance and more spin separation.
Typically, one of these golf balls will have three mantle layers. These layers have been sandwiched between a high-performance core and a soft urethane cover.
The three layers have been designed to react to different shot conditions and swing speeds to produce optimal results for a wider variety of shot types.
Currently, there are very few 5-piece golf balls on the market. Here are the only ones we’d recommend:
How Many Piece Golf Ball Should You Use?
Beginners and high handicappers will benefit most from using 2 and 3 piece golf balls because they help provide more distance and reduced spin off the tee. Advanced players will likely prefer 3, 4 or even 5 piece golf balls because they offer the best combination of distance, workability, and spin around the greens.
How Much They Spin
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low-spin golf balls are great for those looking to hit straighter shots off the tee and into the greens. The decreased spin will also result in increased roll-out after the ball has landed.
This golf ball type is useful for beginners, especially those who struggle with hooking or slicing.
Mid-Spin Golf Balls
These golf balls are designed to bridge the gap between high and low spin balls.
Mid-spin balls will offer both solid distance and a mix of feel and softness around the greens, depending on the brand. These golf balls are usually marketed as being suitable for all types of players.
High Spin Golf Balls
These golf balls are designed specifically to “grip” the face of the club to generate more spin. High-spin balls are most suitable for better players who hit the ball longer and higher.
It’s important to realize that with these types of balls, you’ll see much less roll-out on your drives. But this is compensated for by the increased carry in the air and the extra feel around the greens.
Color and Design
The color of your golf ball is another consideration to make. Many prefer the classic white, however, others enjoy using a flashy orange, yellow, or even pink ball.
The color of the golf ball you select is generally a matter of personal preference and will not make a difference in your game.
That said, some people who have trouble seeing the flight of the ball claim that brightly colored balls are much easier to track through the air.
By far the most vivid golf ball I have ever used is made by Volvik. They take pride in being the first brand ever to have a matte finish. I’ve found this helps their ball contrast surroundings better than most others, making them much easier to see.
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In many cases, you can also customize the design of your golf balls. Some people will add their initials, choose a lucky number, or even add a funny picture.
I once knew a guy who had six hole-in-ones in his lifetime (yes, six!). Until he gets his seventh, he said he’ll only use golf balls with the number seven on them. Talk about superstitious!
But whatever your reasons are, you can add the custom design of your choice to your golf balls.
Few people give any thought whatsoever to the dimple pattern of their golf balls. They just assume it’s the same on every ball.
However, the dimples are one of the most important parts of the golf ball.
“A smooth golf ball hit by a professional golfer would travel only about half as far as a golf ball with dimples does.” – Scientific American
Most golf balls will have anywhere between 300 and 500 dimples. Depending on the brand, these dimples will be different depths, creating a unique effect on the ball’s flight.
Although most dimples are round, some brands have even gone out of their way to experiment with different shapes. For example, over the last few years, Callaway has released several new balls with hexagon-shaped dimples:
Finally, dozens of different golf ball brands exist. Perhaps the most popular is Titleist, regularly touted as the #1 ball in golf.
However, in recent years, TaylorMade has upped their game with the release of the TP5 series, which is arguably equally as good as the Titleist Pro V1(x) series.
There are even several brands (like Vice and Snell) popping up that rely solely on e-commerce sales. This allows them to cut costs and provide quality golf balls for a cheaper price to customers.
When it comes to golf balls, there’s no one-size-fits-all brand. It’s up to you to test out a few different brands and find the one that best suits your game!
The type of golf ball you decide to play can make a significant difference in your game. Each ball may vary in a number of different ways, including:
- Spin rate.
- Dimple Patterns.
Each of these factors can affect the performance of a golf ball. It’s important to try out a few of the top brands until you find the one that performs the best for you!