Buying golf balls can be expensive. Knowing which model matches your swing type can be overwhelming and to deal with this we have created a simplified buying guide that will help you find an outstanding performing golf ball at a price you are comfortable with. Playing the properly fit golf ball every shot can lead to longer drives, more controlled wedges, and lower scores. To help you understand what makes golf ball models unique we take you through each component of the golf ball’s internal layers and deliver a guide to buying your best ball.
Top 10 Best Cheap Golf Balls
Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
Each golfer swings the club differently. These difference mean that all of our equipment needs to be properly fit so that we can get our best ball flights. Knowing your swing dynamics and which golf balls can compliment you most can lead to your best performance ever. Golf balls are available in different playing profiles and at different prices to let every golfer find their best match.
How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
The most expensive golf balls offer the best total performance but golf balls at all price ranges can be fit to your swing to give you better shots and lower scores. When you begin to choose a golf ball understanding what makes each model unique can lead you to a great fitting golf ball at half the price of premium offerings. Players looking to save money should consider premium golf ball sold directly to consumers or softness and feel golf balls in the middle-performance tier.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
Golf ball size and shape is controlled to ensure that each ball plays similarly. The United States Golf Association, USGA, mandates that regulation golf balls be spherical in shape and no more than 1.68-inches or 42.7mm.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
Golf ball weight is also regulated. The weight of the golf ball must be 1.620 ounces or 45.93 grams. This range is tightly constricted to ensure controlled competition between equipment manufacturers. Performance differences must come from dimple patterns and the ball’s internal structure.
What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
The dimples around a golf ball serve major purposes for the flight of the golf ball. Dimple create lift and give the golf ball its aerodynamic properties especially in the wind. Dimples help golf balls generate distances and decrease curvature for longer, straighter golf shots.
How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
Dimple number is one of the ways manufacturers can manipulate golf balls to give them different playing profiles to fit each golfer type. The majority of golf balls have between 300 and 400 dimples. These dimples are arranged in distinct patterns and are typically uniform in size.
What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
Golf balls are numbered for identification purposes. Companies may also use these numbers to advertise the golf ball playing structure. Compression factor or dimple number may be used for the stamped numbers. One, two, or three-digit numbers are the most commonly used golf ball numbers. Each of these is described below. Players do have the option of using marking and stamp tools to create their own designs.
One-digit numbers are the most common golf ball marking. These numbers act as identification during play and can be custom ordered to fit player preferences. The most common stock one-digit offerings include low numbers, 1 through 4, and high numbers, 5 through 8.
Two-digit numbers are frequently used to denote important events in a player’s life such as birthdays or anniversaries. Companies also use these two-digit figures to mark the golf ball’s internal compression factor. The compression factor is detailed later but these number usually range between 30 and 99.
Three-digit number labeled golf balls are used to denote dimple numbers around the golf ball’s cover. The cover of the golf ball is made to give players feel and hold the golf ball online during flight. This number is boasted to consumers as advertisement for certain companies.
What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
Golf Ball Core
The internal structure of each golf ball model varies. Each golf ball is made using a core that is wrapped inside additional layers. This core is made of high-speed rubber and synthetic resins and is responsible for most of the golf ball’s distance properties.
Golf Ball Cover
The cover of the golf ball is home to the dimple pattern. Most golf ball covers are made from Surlyn, balata, or urethane. These materials are responsible for the feel and sound produced by each golf ball model. Balata and urethane cover premium and tour-level golf balls while Surlyn is often used to give golfers a golf ball at a better price.
Surlyn is described as a hard resin used to cover golf balls. This material allows for a soft feel and good distance and spin control between clubs. Surlyn covered golf balls are less expensive than balata and urethane covered golf ball but may not offer as much in performance, especially for skilled players.
Balata and urethane are used to give the golf ball a soft feel regardless of how many layers they encompass. By building additional layers inside a golf ball companies can increase performance and give players more options as they go around a course. Balata and urethane covered golf balls are often the choice of professionals and low handicap golfers and offer the most in performance. The drawback of these golf balls is the higher price tags.
The Different Types of Golf Balls
Golf balls are designed with different numbers of layers that give each model a distinct performance. Additional layers typically lead to increased performance and higher prices. Golf balls often feature one, two, three, four, or five layers to give players different performance options with different clubs throughout the golf bag.
One-Piece Golf Balls
One-piece golf balls are used most often by beginners or on driving ranges for practice. These golf balls are the most inexpensive but do not offer enough performance for most golfers to take them to the course. As golf ball technology has improved, the two-piece offerings have become just as cheap as one-piece designs and have driven golfers away from the durable one-layer system.
Two-Piece Golf Balls
Two-piece golf balls are the most frequently used by casual, weekend, and amateur golfers. Two-piece golf balls offer great performance at great prices. These golf balls can rival tour-level golf balls and are much more affordable making them the most common choice for most players. Two-piece golf balls are made by molding a cover made of Surlyn onto a fast rubber core. These two components provide great distance and spin control from driver to wedge.
Three-Piece Golf Balls
Three-piece golf balls begin to break into the tour-level category. These golf balls vary in price tremendously with some available for less than $30 and other costing nearly $50. The three layers of a three-piece golf ball golf ball consist of a solid rubber core, a mantle layer dividing the core and the cover, and a molded cover made from Surlyn, or urethane material. Three-piece golf balls offer more performance than one and two-piece golf balls due to their additional layers providing more golf club reaction characteristics.
Four-Piece Golf Balls
Four-piece golf balls are tour-level golf balls use most often by professionals and low handicap players. Golf ball manufacturers use these four layers to provide golfers with individualized performance for each golf club in their bag. High launch and low spin with the driver and low launch, high spin with the wedges are the hallmark of a premium four-piece golf ball.
Four-piece golf balls are constructed by stacking two mantle layers between an ultra-fast core and a urethane cover. Each mantle layer is designed to transfer energy and give additional performance as golfers hit different shots from areas of the golf course. These layers work in concert to increase driving distance, produce mid iron spin, and improve feel around the greens.
Five-Piece Golf Balls
The five-piece golf ball is an expansion to the four-piece design that is being used by only a few companies. The addition of a fifth layer has allowed manufacturers to give players more performance in more playing conditions. Five-piece golf ball excel in the wind and rain.
The five-piece ball is manufactured with three mantle layers, between a high-speed rubber core and soft urethane cover. Each of these layers is designed to react to different shots and club designs to produce an optimized performance for the whole bag. Although expensive, five-piece golf balls are quickly gaining popularity among professional and skilled golfers as the most complete golf ball.
What is Golf Ball Spin
As a golf ball is flying through the air it experiences two types of spin. Backspin and side spin are created to help golf balls fly further and straighter depending on the conditions at impact. Depending on your swing characteristics, you may need more spin, less spin or medium spin. Golf balls are grouped into low spin, mid-spin, and high spin categories to make selecting your model more simple.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls decrease backspin and can lead to greater distances in the air and on the ground. Players that struggle with excessive backspin can gain more carry and rollout distances by switching into a lower spinning golf ball. Be caution if you are self-fitting your golf ball as a golf ball without enough spin will fall quickly out of the air and lose significant distance.
Mid Spin Golf Balls
Mid-spin golf balls are the safest approach for players not wanting to subject themselves to a formal golf ball fitting. These golf balls offer a well-balanced flight and can help players get adequate distance while keeping their golf balls online. The exact properties of these golf balls will vary by brand, but nearly all golf ball manufacturers offer a mid spin golf ball aimed at the largest subgroup of golfers.
High Spin Golf Balls
High spin golf balls are often marketed towards players that struggle with low club head speeds or that need advanced help in keeping their golf ball inbounds. A high spin ball may create a longer carry for golfers with exceptionally low driver and iron club head swing speeds. Golfers struggling with a hook may see more golf shots staying in play from a higher spinning golf ball due to a more stable flight.
What is Golf Ball Compression?
Golf ball compression is a rating of how much it deforms as it is struck with a driver. Most manufacturers will list the compression of their golf balls on the package or use a three-digit number to mark each ball. The compression factor measurement is a number between 0 and 200. A compression of 200 means the ball will not compress very much when struck, while a compression factor of 0 means the ball will deflect a minimum of 5 millimeters. The majority of consumer golf balls have a compression factor between 50 and 100.
Types of Golf Ball Compression?
Compression groups are segregated into three division. High compression, medium compression, and low compression golf ball exist to help players match their swing with a certain ball type. It is important to remember that the golf ball you play will experience many swing speeds and that fitting your ball only for your driver can be dangerous and that to find the proper golf ball you must understand compression and how it relates to impact.
High Compression Golf Balls
- High compression golf balls are models with a compression factor rating of 89 and above. These golf balls are often tour-level golf balls are fit to players with a driver swing speed of above 105 miles per hour.
Medium Compression Golf Balls
- Medium compression golf balls fit the widest net of golfer types. These golf balls have a compression rating below 89 but above 80. Players that swing their driver between 85 and 105 miles per hour are fit into this category of golf balls. Players that do not know their driver swing speed are also recommended to choose golf balls from this class. This class is made up of golf balls from all three categories being tour-level, distance, and softness and feel.
Low Compression Golf Balls
- Low compression golf balls are rarely fit to golfers outside of beginners, juniors, and senior players. These low compression golf balls can help players with driver swing speeds below 85 miles per hour get more distance and better launches through a large deformation transfer.
Types of Golf Balls
The simplest way to denote golf ball is to break them into performance types based on their total structure. Tour-level, distance, and softness and feel are the most common terms used to identify different types of golf balls. Below we take your through each of these to outline each group’s advantages and disadvantages.
Tour-Level Golf Balls
Tour-level golf balls give golfers the most performance but demand the highest prices. These three, four, and five-layer golf balls are best for any player wanting to play their best golf. If you are unable to pay the premium price for tour-level offerings, other golf balls can be fit to give you similar performance.
Distance Golf Balls
Distance golf balls are often the cheapest golf balls available. Players opt for these one and two-piece designs due to their inexpensive prices and average performance. Many players will be best suited to begin playing golf with these golf ball models and move into tour-level or softness and feel golf balls as they feel more comfortable on the course.
Softness and Feel Golf Balls
Softness or feel golf balls give players the best of both worlds when it comes to price and performance. These golf balls fit the widest range of playing styles and are made cheap enough for almost any golfer to afford. If you are serious about your game you will consider playing one of these two or three piece configurations.
Top 10 Best Cheap Golf Balls
Wilson Staff Duo Urethane Golf Balls
Wilson has added a urethane cover to the softest ball in golf to give players better feel and category leading performance. Available for less than half the price of other urethane covered golf balls, the Staff Duo Urethane gives golfers everything they need to shoot their lowest rounds without paying too much. Budget-conscious consumers will get tour-like performance in this soft offering from Wilson Staff.
Vice Pro Soft Golf Balls
Vice drives golf ball prices down by delivering their premium offerings direct to consumer. The Vice Pro Soft golf ball is a three-piece design that is available for under $30. This low compression, extra-soft golf ball is perfect for players looking to get more from their golf ball without paying more. Designed specifically for medium and slow club head speeds the Vice Pro Soft is extraordinary in its feel, feedback, and control.
Bridgestone E6 Golf Balls
Bridgestone has remade the E6 golf ball to be longer and straighter than ever. The E6 uses an advanced mantle layer and a dimple-in-dimple design to help layers reduce spin and gain distance. The E6 is delivery more greenside performance and accuracy by blending the technology of the three layer construction. The E6 golf ball is perfect for players looking for an accurate golf ball that feel great and doesn’t cost too much.
Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
For players able to spend a little more money on golf balls but do not want to pay premium prices, the Titleist Tour Soft is category leading in its soft feel and has been built with Titleist’s largest core ever. This larger core delivers more distance and more speed. Available in both white and optic yellow, the Tour Soft promises Titleist’s commitment to consistency in a great priced package.
TaylorMade Project A Golf Balls
Taylormade has created the Project A golf ball to give the amateur golfer more options from everywhere on the course. TaylorMade has wrapped a dual-distance core inside the same dimple pattern used in their tour-level offerings. These two layers work in tandem to give golfers more distance and lower spin in the driver and long irons and more control around the greens. The Project A golf ball is the perfect option for players looking for the best performance in the softness and feel category.
Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls
The Callaway Supersoft golf ball is the softest golf ball in production. The Supersoft golf ball is ultra-low compression and perfect for any beginner, junior, or senior player. Callaway describes the Supersoft as super long, super straight, and super soft and we agree.
Top-Flite Gamer Golf Balls
Top-Flite is known for making low cost golf ball that are great for players that want to get to the course and not worry about what ball they may be losing. The Gamer is an improvement on that system and delivers more performance in a similar price. The Gamer golf ball is a three-piece golf ball and was awarded a Gold Medal by Golf Digest. That is a lot of accolades for a price point less than $20.
Maxfli SoftFli Spin Golf Balls
Maxfli has created a two-piece golf ball that offers players more feel at the same inexpensive price. The Maxfli SoftFli Spin golf ball is Maxfli’s softest golf ball and gives players more feedback and more speed at slower club head speeds. Players struggling to get more distance off the tee or with their irons should try this new offering from Maxfli.
Titleist DT TruSoft Golf Balls
The DT TruSoft from Titleist is their softest compression golf ball ever. Titleist has reengineered the DT Solo framework into the DT TruSoft design. This redesign is giving players more distance and lower spins with the driver and hybrids. One of Titleist cheapest golf ball offerings, the DT TruSoft comes with the same reliability and consistency of all the Titleist golf ball models.
Srixon Q Star Golf Balls
Srixon has created one of the best mid-tier golf balls of all time in the new Q Star. This soft golf ball uses SpinSkin, 338 dimples, and lower compression to give players more greenside spin, a more penetrating flight, and better control in the wind. If you are a golfers that plays rounds in all types of weather, the Srixon Q Star is the perfect low cost golf ball for you. The Q Star offers players more consistent flights and more accuracy regardless of weather.
What Golf Ball Should You Buy?
Playing the same golf ball is the most important thing for building consistency and improving your game. Players that do not want to pay premium prices for their golf balls should consider choosing a model that they can afford to purchase over and over again. Getting your golf ball fit is the best way to match premium performance at a reasonable price. Not everyone can afford to pay for the tour-level offerings but everyone can play the best golf ball for them in their price range. Thanks for reading and happy testing!