So you have taken up to the game of golf, you are all set on the first tee along with your brand new golf gear and shiny new clubs, and you reach into your bag for a ball. Your buddy who has been playing for many years only plays with a Titleist Pro V1X, but you conclude that the type of golf ball does not matter. Besides, golf balls are all similar – small, round, with little dimples… right?
Actually, you’re wrong.
All golf balls are not made the same, and they actually can make a big difference in how you play the game – but your buddy’s trusty ball may not be the right one for you after all.
Here are some of the basics you need to know about golf balls.
Which golf ball should I start with?
Buying a top of the range golf ball may feel good as you’re standing there at the first tee, but, as a novice, be prepared to donate several balls to the water hazards and woods! Losing golf balls can cost you a lot of money, so buy ones that match your current ability. If you are new to the game, consider used, refurbished, or clearance golf balls to begin with – it’s less costly when you lose them. As soon as you begin to improve your game, you can begin to think about buying some that with give you better performance.
Golf ball types
There are generally 5 types of golf ball: one-piece, two-piece, three-piece, four-piece, and five-piece. All this means is that the golf balls have one, two, three, four, or five layers – however, the layering makes the biggest difference to how you want to use a ball. One-piece golf balls are typically used in driving ranges; the three/four/five-piece balls are best used for more skillful golfers who have a good swing, can hit longer distances, but need more control. These golf balls have layers that encourage spin, so the ball can be manipulated around the green more easily.
But the two-piece ball, also known as a distance ball, is the perfect ball for a beginner, as the two-piece combines durability with maximum distance. Two-piece balls are built on a tough solid core and encased with a hard, thin shell – typically made from Surlyn or Urethane.
You may lose some of the control and feel of the multi-layered golf ball varieties, however it’s more than compensated for by the greater distance you will get with a two-piece golf ball.
What’s the meaning of compression rate?
Compensation rate is a measurement of how hard or soft your golf ball is. Though the playing and weather conditions should be taken into consideration, a beginning golf player will probably want a softer ball with a lower compression rate anywhere between 30-70. The reason is because the golf ball tends to be softer and compresses more during impact, which creates greater distance.
You also need to know that dimples make a difference – they reduce drag and encourage lift in different ways, depending on the golf ball dimple pattern. Dimple patterns also increase distance by up to 115%!
Recommended golf balls
With so many golf balls out there, it’s difficult to choose, but these low-compression two-piece balls are ideal for the beginner golfer:
- Srixon Soft Feel
- Titleist DT Trusoft
- Wilson Staff Duo
- Callaway Supersoft