Golfers often do not spend much time thinking about which golf ball they are playing. Many times it comes down to the golf balls that players find during their rounds that dictate which golf ball goes into play. If you want to play your best golf and create a more consistent swing then you should be getting your golf ball fit and you should be playing the golf ball that is best for your swing characteristics. Golf balls differ in their spin profiles, distance characteristics, and price. Golfers should be matching their games to their ball of choice and choosing a golf ball that they can afford round after round.
Top 6 Best Golf Balls for the Average Golfer
Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
Playing the same golf ball every shot is the best way to get repeatable distances and the best performance tee-to-green. The right golf ball can give you straighter, longer drives and sharper stopping wedge shots that suck back to pins. Golf balls differ in many ways and knowing what gives them each their unique playing performance is important.
How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
It is not reasonable for players that frequently lose their golf balls to pay over $40 for each box. By playing a golf ball with a good performance at a great price you can make sure that you are playing the same golf ball every shot during your competitive rounds. Fitting yourself or seeing your nearest PGA professional and finding a golf ball in your budget can make an instant impact on your scores.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
A golf ball that is conforming to the rules of golf must be spherical in shape and have a diameter that is no less than 1.68-inches or 42.7mm.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
The weight of the golf ball is tightly regulated to ensure that each ball maintains a similar playing profile due to its size. Individuality is restricted to the material and internal structure between each model. The mass of a golf ball can be no more than 1.620 ounces or 45.93 grams. This range is tightly tested to ensure controlled competition.
What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
The dimples on a golf ball help it to spin, fly higher into the air and reduce the drag force that the ball experiences. A perfectly smooth ball hit with a driver will travel approximately 130 yards, a golf ball with dimples can generate distances of 290 yards or more with the same impact conditions.
How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
There is no official limit on the number of dimples a singular golf ball can be layered with. Manufacturers can leverage different numbers of dimples to give golf balls differences in performance. Most golf balls have between 350 and 450 dimples of uniform size. Fewer golf balls have dimples as few as 300 or as many as 500.
What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
The numbers printed on a golf ball can be used for several reasons. Most commonly the number is used to simply identify the golf ball during play. Less commonly, manufacturers may mark their golf balls with a two-digit compression factor or a three-digit number of dimple figure that can give insight to the customer. Players also have the ability to create their own prints with marking tools and stamps.
One-digit golf ball numbers typically are used for the identification of these golf balls during play. These numbers help players differentiate their golf ball between playing partners and other balls resting in similar areas. These digits can range between 0 and 9.
Two-digit numbers often mark player preferences or important dates in the player’s lives. Traditionally, two-digits labeled golf balls use their compression factor. This number can inform players on the deformation rate on the interior of these golf balls during impact with a driver at a designated speed. More on compression factor later.
Three-digit labeled golf balls are the least common and usually denote the golf balls dimple number around the cover. While it is not readily apparent based on these numbers the playing characteristics of the golf ball, manufacturers have used it as an advertisement for their product models.
What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
Golf Ball Core
Golf balls are composed of multiple layers that help give it a unique playing characteristic when hit with different clubs. The majority of golf balls with be made of layers between 1 and 5. Each golf ball will feature a core that the other layer build onto. Historically, the core of golf balls was made out of tightly wound rubber bands. Today, the core is a one-piece structure made out of some type of rubber, various resins, or acrylates.
Golf Ball Cover
Golf ball covers are the part that golfers interact with and are important for the spin, sound, and feel of each golf ball. Most covers are made from Surlyn, Balata, or a combination of these materials. Balata and urethane combine to make up the covers on most premium or tour-level golf balls.
Surlyn is a hard resin material used to cover the majority of golf balls. This material allows for a soft feel and good control. There are also golf balls that have a mixture of Surlyn and other materials in the cover that may provide added durability but sacrifice feel. Balls with a Surlyn blend tend to increase distance while providing less maneuverability. Surlyn and Surlyn blend-covered golf balls are more affordable than those with Balata covers.
Balata is a rubber-like mixture that is used to make premium golf ball covers. The substances in the Balata-covered ball combine to provide improved feel and much better spin control than Surlyn cover golf balls. Balata and urethane covered golf balls are often the choice for professionals and very low handicap golfers. Balata golf balls will offer the most in performance but may be more expensive than Surlyn covered balls.
The Different Types of Golf Balls
Golf balls are often designed with different numbers of layers. These layers help each model to perform differently when they are struck with different golf clubs such as drivers or wedges. More layers typically lead to increased performance and higher prices. Golf balls often use one, two, three, four, or five layers to give players different price and performance options.
One-Piece Golf Balls
One-piece golf balls are used most often on driving ranges and for training golf swings. One-piece golf balls are made with a solid piece of Surlyn wrapped in a uniform dimple pattern. The one-piece design is low compression and offers durability with reduced performance. Due to this drop in distance and spin performance, these golf balls often are not used on the golf course.
Two-Piece Golf Balls
Two-piece golf balls are the most frequently used by weekend and amateur golfers. Two-piece golf balls offer maximum distance with a durable cover that offers golfers more feel than one-piece designs. Two-piece golf balls surround a solid rubber or synthetic core with a cover made most often of Surlyn. It is the combination of these two elements that give the two-piece ball more distance than other ball types.
Three-Piece Golf Balls
Three-piece golf balls are typically the preference of better players and players that want maximum performance during their competitive rounds. The three layers of a three-piece golf ball golf ball consist of a solid rubber liquid core, an enhanced layer surrounding the core, and a molded cover made from tough Surlyn, urethane, or balata-like material. Three-piece golf balls offer more performance than other golf balls due to their multiple layers providing unique golf club reaction characteristics.
Four-Piece Golf Balls
Four-piece golf balls are tour-level golf balls use most often by professionals and skilled players. Utilizing four layers, golf ball manufacturers can provide golfers with individualized performance for each golf club in their bag. Less spin with the driver can lead to longer drives. More spin with the wedges and short irons can lead to holding more greens and more birdie putts.
The four layers on a four-piece golf ball each have their own purpose. The inner core is comprised of solid and durable rubber, designed to provide explosive distance off the longer clubs. The second layer is made to deliver the energy from different clubs to the explosive core. This third layer is made from materials that help to increase driving distance, producing mid iron spin, and feel around the greens. The cover is the thinnest layer of the ball, and is typically made of premium-grade urethane and gives these premium golf balls their signature soft feel.
Five-Piece Golf Balls
The five-piece golf ball is an expansion to the four-piece. By adding additional layers, increased diversity is applied to different playing conditions. Five-piece designs can excel especially in windy or rainy conditions.
The 5 piece ball is manufactured with three mantle layers, sandwiched between a high-speed rubber core and soft urethane cover. Each of these mantle layers is designed to react to different shots and club designs differently to produce an optimized performance. Although expensive, five-piece golf balls are quickly gaining popularity among professional and skilled golfers.
What is Golf Ball Spin
Golf ball spin is often referenced as the backspin rates during the golf balls’ flight. These spin rates can determine the distance and curvature with various clubs throughout the bag. Below, we outline three categories of golf balls each with different characteristics so that you can choose the best model based on your needs.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls are great for players who struggle with excessive spin from the tee box or from their long irons. Golf balls that spin too much can rob players of distance. Players that struggle with a slice may benefit from reducing the spin with their driver and adding distance. Low spin golf balls often result in increased rollout once the golf ball lands and can lead to shorter shots into greens.
Mid Spin Golf Balls
Mid-spin golf balls fit the widest range of players. If you do not want to involve yourself with a formal golf ball fitting then fitting yourself into a mid pin option can be the simplest approach. Mid-spin golf balls offer players great distance with a well-balanced flight. The exact properties of these golf balls will vary by brand, but nearly all golf ball manufacturers now offer a mid-spin ball that is aimed at attracting the largest category of golfers.
High Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls are often marketed towards players that struggle with speed or that need advanced help in keeping their golf ball in play. A high spin ball may create a longer carry for golfers with low swing speeds. Golfers struggling with violently curving shots can benefit from an increase in spin and a more stable ball flight. Players that fight a hook may see more golf shots staying in play from a higher spinning golf ball.
What is Golf Ball Compression?
When you strike a golf ball, its compression factor dictates how the ball will react off the club. Compression is a measure of the deflection a golf ball encounters when it is struck by the golf club. Most manufacturers will list the compression of their golf balls on the package. This measurement is a number between 0 and 200. As an example, a compression of 200 means the ball will not compress very much when struck, a compression of 0 means the ball will deflect a minimum of 5 millimeters (1/5 of an inch). Most golf balls have a compression factor that falls between 50 and 100 in compression.
Types of Golf Ball Compression?
Golf balls are produced with a compression factor rating that helps players assess performance based on driver swing speeds. 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. Understand compression and how it relates to impact can help you make a great choice.
High Compression Golf Balls
- High compression golf balls can generate increased distance for players who have a driver swing speed of 105 miles per hour or above. High-speed impacts lead to more force and this force can be too much for lower compression golf balls to perform optimally. Players with a high impact swing need a ball that is dense enough to offer control around the greens and great performance off the tee. High compression golf balls have a compression rating of 90 and above.
Medium Compression Golf Balls
- Medium compression golf balls fit the widest net of golfer types. Medium compression balls offer a combination of distance and control that suits most of your everyday or weekend players. Medium compression balls are designed for those with a swing speed of 85 to 105 miles per hour and offer a compression rating between 80 and 89. If you do not know your driver swing speed, medium compression golf balls are a great solution for your choice in golf ball without a formal fitting.
Low Compression Golf Balls
- Low compression golf balls are designed for players that have a driver swing speed below 85 miles per hour. Beginners, juniors, and senior players can benefit greatly from low compression golf balls that offer more deflection and increased distance at these speeds. Low compression golf balls have a compression rating below 80.
Types of Golf Balls
Golf balls are often categorized based on their performance offerings and price. These groups include tour-Level, distance,and soft or fell golf Balls. To help you understand the difference between these four types, below we have compiled a brief description of each.
Tour-Level Golf Balls
Tour-level golf balls offer the maximum in performance at the highest prices. Players that use the same golf ball for several holes and multiple rounds may be able to justify the prices of these golf ball offerings. While these golf balls offer all players the greatest performance, it can be difficult to pay so much if you often see your golf balls being lost. Tour-Level golf balls are multi-layered and offer complete club separation for a complete golf bag.
Distance Golf Balls
Distance golf balls are great for beginners and players that lose their golf balls often. These golf balls strive to offer good performance at affordable prices. Golf balls that fall into this category often offer less spin with drivers and enhanced feel around the greens. Some offerings can help players to reduce side spin and help more tee shots stay in play.
Softness and Feel Golf Balls
Softness or feel golf balls are often the choice of recreational golfers. These golf balls offer the most balance in performance and response outside of tour-level offerings. Depending on your skill set and style of play, you may see similar performance from these golf balls and the most expensive models. The benefit of this group is a similar performance at a much better price.
Top 10 Best Golf Balls for the Average Golfer
Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
The Titleist Tour Soft packages all the tour-level benefits of the ProV1 style golf ball into an affordable package. The Tour Soft is a great option for players looking to get the most from their games. The extremely soft feel gives golfers the feedback they desire and a new 4CE core is the largest ever made. Players that love the ProV1 but cannot pay for the same ball round after round will find a great balance with the Tour Soft.
TaylorMade Project A Golf Balls
TaylorMade’s only golf ball designed specifically with the amateur golfer in mind, Project A is great for players looking to get more from their game. The Dual-Distance core helps players get more distance from their longer clubs and the 322 dimple pattern retains greenside control and a soft feel. Project A is a great way for players to mimic tour level play and stay under budget.
Vice Soft Golf Balls
Vice is a brand many occasional golfers may not have heard of. The Vice Soft is a welcome introduction. The Vice model is direct to consumer and passes along savings and great performance. The Vice Soft especially delivers a luxurious feel and outstanding performance in a price that is half of the other tour-level offerings. Players looking to save money but not jeopardize their scores can do so with the Vice Soft golf balls.
Titleist DT Trusoft Golf Balls
The Titleist DT Trusoft has been made to replace the long-standing DT Solo that so many players love. The DT Trusoft gives players more performance in a better feeling and sounding golf ball. The DT Trusoft is Titleist’s mid-tier option and can deliver better performance tee to green at a price that many golfers will find relieving. Players moving out of the DT Solo will find familiar ground in the new DT Trusoft.
TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls
Quickly becoming the most popular golf ball on the market, the TaylorMade TP5 introduces golfers to an improved design by a company looking to make a name in the golf ball market. Known for making the game’s best drivers, TaylorMade has coupled a golf ball offering that is converting professionals from a brand they have played for decades. If you have never tried a TaylorMade golf ball before, the TP5 is a must try.
Callaway Chromesoft Golf Balls
The Callaway Chromesoft golf ball became popular as the softest tour-level golf ball available when it hit the market in 2016. Since its introduction, the Chromesoft has gone through a new iteration and the infusion of graphene. Graphene is made to improve the speed of the Chromesoft’s core and give players even more performance with an incredibly soft feel. Callaway loyalists will love the newest model of the Chromesoft offering.
Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
The long-standing favorite of professionals and elite players, the ProV1 is an outstanding option for players of all skill levels. Titleist is known for making the absolute best in golf ball performance and decades of research has been employed to deliver the best ProV1 for 2019. It may be repetitive by now but the ProV1 is still one of the best golf balls on the market.
Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls
Players that love Callaway but cannot pay for the Chromesoft line of golf balls will be happy knowing that the same feel is available in the Supersoft line. Supersoft uses similar material to give players a slightly different playing profile with the same luxurious feel especially with the wedges and the putter. If you are looking for one of the best feeling golf balls for its price, the Supersoft is tough to beat.
Bridgestone Tour B XS Golf Balls
The Bridgestone Tour B XS golf ball is the same golf ball played by Tiger Woods. Bridgestone spends more of their resources directly on golf ball R&D than anyone else in the equipment manufacturing business. More time from them means a more consistent and higher performing product for consumers and that is what the Tour B XS delivers. Played by some of the game’s greatest, the Tour B XS can help you play your best golf.
Srixon Q Star Golf Balls
One of the most popular golf ball lines outside of the United States, Srixon continues to make high-quality golf products. The Q Star golf ball is their mid-tier option and offers players diverse performance in a great price bracket. The Q Star takes the look and feel of the Z Star and makes it easier for slower swing speed players to launch the golf ball higher and further. For players unfamiliar with the Q Star brand, it may find a welcome spot in your bag.
What Golf Balls Should You Buy?
Choosing which golf ball you are going to buy begins with identifying how much is reasonable for you to pay during your golf rounds. If you are a player that frequently loses his or her golf balls then paying for premium performance may have to take a back seat to an economical option. Average golfers or high handicap players can benefit from playing a less expensive golf ball and making sure that they play that ball each swing during their competitive playing rounds. Going to get fit is the best way to know which golf ball performs best in your hands. If you still have questions, make sure to check out our other reviews and buying guides to find the best equipment for your golf game. Thanks for reading!