If there’s a single piece of golf equipment that’s more important than any other, it’s the golf ball. You could have all nicest clubs in the world, perfectly tailored and fit to your game but, if you’re playing the wrong golf ball, you’ll never realize the potential of all those nice clubs.
When it comes to the choosing the best ball for your game, the obvious choice seems to be whatever the pros are playing. Maybe, it’s the Titleist ProV1 or ProV1X. Or the Taylormade TP5, or Callaway Chrome Soft. It makes sense too. Those are the balls that are the most expensive and the ones that the major manufacturers market the most.
The reality is that those premium balls aren’t always the best for amateur golfers with higher handicaps and slower swing speeds.
So, just how do you go about finding the right ball for your game? We’re here to answer all those questions and help you choose the perfect ball for your game so that you can have more fun and shoot lower scores.
What to Consider When Buying a Golf Ball
Golf balls are expensive. The premium ones mentioned above can go for as much as $5 a ball. If you lose a couple during a round, the cost can add up quickly.
The truth is you don’t necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg to find a ball that’s right for your game. Whatever decision you come to, make sure you buy balls that leave you enough money left over to greens fees.
Distance vs. Control and Feel
There are golf balls designed for literally every type of golfer. That means the right ball for someone else, might not be the right ball for you. If you swing at a high rate of speed and distance isn’t an issue, you might opt for a ball that’s a little softer and gives you added feel and control from close range. Conversely, if you could use a little more distance off the tee, a harder, lower spinning ball might be just the ticket. The technology in most golf balls gives players benefits of both distance and control. The best way to find the one that’s best for you is through good ol’ fashion trial and error.
When you hear people talk about golf balls, the word compression gets thrown around a lot. So, what exactly is compression? It’s a measurement of the deflection a ball undergoes when struck by a golf club. The higher a ball’s compression, the less it deflects at impact.
Balls with high compression are better for distance but aren’t as soft around the greens. On the other hand, the lower a ball’s compression, the more it deflects at impact. Low compression golf balls generally spin more and are advantageous for feel and control on short shots. Knowing what compression measurement is most beneficial for your game will be a big help in choosing the right ball.
Top 10 Best Golf Balls for Amateurs
Titleist ProV1 and ProV1X Golf Ball
The Titleist ProV1 and ProV1X aren’t necessarily the best balls for people with slow swing speeds. With that being said, both the distance and control advantages of these balls are hard to beat for a lot of players.
In the latest version of the ProV1 and ProV1X, the 2.0 ZG Process core is engineered for maximum distance. At the same time, the ultra-thin urethane elastomer cover maximizes feel and control giving players the best of both worlds. If you don’t mind paying a premium price for golf balls, the Titleist ProV1 and ProV1X might well be worth trying out.
Srixon Soft Feel Golf Ball
If you’re looking for a quality golf ball at a reasonable price, don’t overlook the Srixon Soft Feel. These balls have proven most beneficial for players with slower swing speeds. With a compression of 60, the Srixon Soft Feel enables slower swinging players to gain distance that other balls simply won’t afford.
The Energy Gradient Growth Core is extremely soft which gives players of all levels exceptional feel. As the ball’s construction moves further away from the core, it becomes gradually firmer which also helps with distance. The ball’s 338-dimple design makes it one of the most aerodynamic around. This improves control and playability in the wind. If you’re a player looking for a playable ball at a reasonable price, the Srixon Soft Feel is a great choice.
TaylorMade Project (a) Golf Ball
While TaylorMade is most known for making premium drivers and irons, their golf balls are top-of-the-line as well. The Project (a) has been met with rave reviews from amateurs of all skill levels. This 2-layer ball is designed to give players both adequate distance and exceptional control on short shots. The players most suited for these balls are mid to high handicappers. They’re a little too much ball for beginners and better players with faster swing speeds might not see the same benefits.
Callaway Supersoft Magna Golf Ball
The Callaway Supersoft Magna golf balls are a step up from the previous generation of the Supersoft. An ultra-low compression core is ideal for players looking for exceptional distance. Callaway’s patented hex-pattern dimple design is one of the most aerodynamic in its class. In short, this ball delivers unmatched distance and is a great choice for golfers who regularly play in windy conditions.
Kirkland KLS 3-Piece Urethane Cover Golf Ball
Even though they’re known as anything but a premium golf manufacturer, Kirkland has made waves ever since it brought it’s first golf ball to market. The KLS 3-piece golf ball sells at a reasonable price and is one of the most durable of its kind. This means you won’t have to replace this ball as often as it’s more resistant to scratches and abrasions.
Three-piece construction implements the very best in both distance and feel characteristics making the ball extremely versatile. If you want to play an all-around high-performance ball but don’t want to pay premium prices, the KLS from Kirkland is for you.
Vice Pro Golf Ball
Small startup golf companies have long had a history of not being able to compete with the game’s most notable manufacturers. That’s proven to be anything but the case with Vice golf. As a company that sells their balls from the manufacturer straight to the consumer, with no middleman involved, Vice has proven widely popular. And the Vice Pro golf ball more than lives up to all its hype. Even though it isn’t quite as long as the ProV1 and ProV1X, it’s true flight and exceptional feel are every bit as good. The best part is this premium golf ball comes at a fraction of the price of other top-shelf balls. If you haven’t tried the Vice Pro golf ball, you need to. You won’t be disappointed.
Bridgestone Tour BX Golf Ball
Bridgestone has been a staple in the market for both premium golf balls for great players and especially, mid and high handicappers. In fact, the company was the pioneer in custom ball fitting for the individual; something most of their competitors have adopted as a practice since. The ball keeps rolling (pun intended) with Bridgestone’s BX golf ball.
Bridgestone created this ball specifically for golfers who can benefit from more distance to help them shoot lower scores. The Gradational Compression Core increases ball speed off the face which means increased distance for players of all levels. Even though this ball was designed to help golfers gain distance, its revolutionary SlipRes urethane cover provides soft feel and control around the greens. While you probably won’t spin this ball backward with your wedges, it’s a great distance ball that doesn’t sacrifice the soft feel on short shots all golfers know and love.
Srixon Z Star Golf Ball
We can safely place the Srixon Z Star golf ball in the premium category. That doesn’t mean it’s meant only for the pros though. Amateurs that carry single digit handicaps are sure to benefit from the design and technology the Z Star employs. This three-piece golf ball is engineered from its core to its cover to deliver optimal distance off the tee and spin around the greens. Even though the Z Star lacks the catchy marketing lingo and proprietary technologies of its competitors, it’s trusted by more than a few of the world’s best players. The good news for you is that it sells for up to $20 less than its competitors and goes toe-to-toe in every aspect of performance.
Titleist Tour Soft Golf Ball
Replacing the incredibly popular Titleist NXT Tour golf ball, is the Tour Soft. Even though the technology and design haven’t changed a ton with the Tour Soft, players report that it’s markedly softer feeling than the previous generation of the NXT.
The core in this ball is the largest that Titleist has ever created. The result? Unsurpassed distance off the tee. Just because it’s longer off the tee than previous models, doesn’t mean it sacrifices feel and control around the greens. In fact, it spins even more. Suffice it to say Titleist got it right in delivering both increased distance and control in the Tour Soft golf ball. Because of the name, expect to pay a little more for this ball. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the price of admission.
Callaway SuperHot Golf Ball
Let’s face it, there’s not much better than outdriving your buddies by dozens of yards. The longest hitters at Golfer’s Authority like to give the rest of us a hard time about the new WalMart shopping center between their drives and ours. At least it’s funny to them…
That’s exactly what drove the design behind the Callaway SuperHot golf ball.
This three-piece golf ball sets itself apart due to it’s hyperenergetic core. It’s literally the hottest core on the market. The result? Scary distance.
Even though this ball boasts control features and a soft feeling cover, the reality is that it’s meant nothing more than raw distance.
If that’s what your after, then fire away and more power to you. This ball won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
However, for most mid to high handicap golfers, the Callaway SuperHot is an affordable option for fun rounds of golf like company scrambles when you’re swinging out of your shoes and don’t mind donating a couple to the Audubon Society. Just make sure you yell FORE when necessary.
When it comes to golf balls, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. And all the top manufacturers know this and market their most expensive products accordingly. Don’t be fooled, though. Depending on your ability and your game’s specific needs, it’s highly likely that a premium tour-level ball isn’t the best one for your game.
As such, we suggest doing some of your own research, trial and error, to find the ball that you get the most out of. Hopefully this guide will at the very least get you started in the right direction. Should you have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. We’ll be sure to respond quickly with our best advice and options to get you on the path to shooting lower scores.