Golfers are constantly looking for a way to hit longer shots and make golf courses easier. One of the more often overlooked aspects of your bag that can make you hit longer drives is the golf ball you are using. An optimal performing golf ball can help improve your ball speeds, reduce spin, and give you more distance. Knowing which ball is best for your game and balancing low spin from your driver and high spin with your wedges is a difficult problem. Maybe golf balls accomplish these different goals by combining layers that help the golf ball perform differently depending on what club it is hit with. We have created a guide that will help you get the most distance from your golf ball and game.
Top 6 Best Golf Balls For Distance
Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
The golf ball is the only piece of equipment that you use on every shot. Making sure that you are playing the same golf ball every time helps improve consistency and can make the game easier. Knowing that you will get the same launch, spin, and distance with each club in your bag can lead to instant performance improvements and lower scores.
How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
Because golf balls are often lost throughout the course of a round, understanding how much you can pay and balancing golf ball performance against its price is critical. It is most important that you are playing the same ball shot-after-shot, even if that means playing a less expensive ball. Budget-friendly options are available and can offer performance that gives players more for their money.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
Each golf ball that is put into play must conform to the rules of golf. The official rules state a golf ball must be spherical in shape and no less than 42.7mm, 1.68-inches, in diameter.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
According to the United States Golf Association, USGA, the mass of a golf ball must be less than 1.620 ounces or 45.93 grams. Heavier balls have an ability to cut through the wind more effectively than a lighter ball.
What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
Dimples give the golf ball its flight characteristics while the golf ball is traveling in the air. Smooth golf balls fly straight with no lift. A dimpled ball climbs into the sky much like an airplane because of the upward force created by the cover pattern. Additionally, dimples reduce the drag force and create a turbulent layer around the surface of the ball. This effect allows a golf ball to fly through winds more strongly.
How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
There is no rule as to how many dimples can be placed onto a golf ball. As such, manufacturers have been left to develop various dimple patterns that create playing profiles for individual golf ball models.
Most golf balls have dimples of uniform size but may have different numbers and patterns of dimples. Most production designs incorporate dimple patterns between 300 and 500 dimples.
What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
The number on a golf ball can serve several purposes. The numbers are used as identification, they can provide the compression factor for the golf ball, or label how many dimples are present around the golf ball. Golfers can find information about what each company offers either on the golf ball box or online at the company websites. Players also have the ability to use marking tools to create their own design.
One-digit or single-digit numbers are often used to simply identify each golf ball among other players on the golf course. Many players will have a personal preference for their golf ball numbers between 0 and 9.
Two-digit numbers can often be used to make commemorative dates or events in a player’s lives such as birthdays of children, marriage, or professional wins. Less commonly, manufacturers label their golf balls with two-digit compression factor figures that can provide insights into the internal composition of the golf ball. These numbers will vary from 30 to 90 and can be found in product spec sheets.
Three-digit numbers are used rarely. These numbers typically symbol the dimple count around each ball. Manufacturers may tout their research and development process through these figures but they often add little insight into a specific golf ball’s performance.
What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
Golf Ball Core
Golf balls are comprised of a various number of layers and diverse performance characteristics. Each ball will consist of a core made of synthetic rubber material around which the other layers are laid. Traditionally, this core was made of wound rubber rands. Modern technology leverages multi-material combinations to give each golf ball a diversity of playing characteristics. The outermost layer of the golf ball, the cover, is what will provide the response and feel of the golf ball and can be an important point of player preference.
Golf Ball Cover
The golf ball cover can be made from a variety of rubbers, plastics, or composites. Most are made from one of two types of materials: Surlyn or Balata. Surlyn is a hard resin material that is used to cover less expensive model balls in play. This resin cover helps give economical golf balls soft feel and good control. Due to the lower price of this material, Surlyn cover balls are often recommended to beginning golfers or player that loose their balls often.
Premium golf balls are often produced with a balata or urethane cover. These material are rubber-like and combine to provide excellent feel and much better control than Surlyn-covered balls. Because of the advanced playing performance of these golf ball, they are often the choice for professionals and elite golfers. Balata and urethane covered balls are often much more expensive than Surlyn options.
The Different Types of Golf Balls
Golf balls are often profiled based on the number of layers that combine to make them complete. In construction, golf balls range from one-piece to five-piece designs. Each of these layer types has a different playing profile and can fit different golfer’s needs.
One-Piece Golf Balls
The most durable and cost-efficient way to produce a golf ball is by designing a one-piece formula. One-piece designs are often employed on driving ranges. One-piece golf balls are often crafted using a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples molded directly into the ball. This construction gives the golf ball a surprisingly soft feel and improved durability. One-piece balls are very low-compression golf ball and lack distance performance when struck. Because of these performance deterrents, one-piece golf balls are seldom used on the course.
Two-Piece Golf Balls
Two-piece golf balls represent the largest consumer golf ball section and are often played most frequently by amateur golfers and high-handicap players. The two-piece ball combines durability with the maximum distance to offer golfers good performance at a great price. The solid core of two-piece designs are typically made of high-energy acrylate or resins and are covered by a durable, cut-proof blended cover— usually made from Surlyn.
Three-Piece Golf Balls
The three-piece golf ball ranges from economic offerings to tour-level golf balls. By creating multiple layers inside an ultra-soft cover, golf ball companies can provide players with an array of playing options in a single package. The layers inside a three-piece ball typically consist of a solid rubber or liquid core, an enhanced rubber or liquid-produced layer surrounding the core, and a molded cover made from tough Surlyn, urethane, or balata-like material with a defined dimple pattern. Three-piece golf balls offer more control than two-piece balls, as they are softer and can generate more spin.
Four-Piece Golf Balls
Four-piece golf balls offer playing performance advantages and are often the choice of the game’s most elite players. These balls offer exceptional distance and control for your complete golf bag. The four layers each have their own purpose. These distinct layers work in concert to produce a ball that combines maximum performance and an incredibly soft feel. The inner core of the 4 piece golf ball is comprised of solid and durable rubber for explosive distance. The second layer is an inner cover that helps transfer energy between the golf club and the core. The third layer is made from special materials that help to increase driving distance and spin around the greens. The cover of the golf ball is what gives the golf ball its feel characteristics and helps players react to different playing conditions.
Five-Piece Golf Balls
Five-piece golf balls further diversify the internal layers of four-piece designs. The additional layers help to make these a more complete offering especially in difficult conditions such as wind and rain. The five-piece ball is manufactured with three mantle layers, sandwiched between a high-speed rubber core and soft urethane cover. Each layer is designed to respond to different club impacts and swing speeds in an effort to produce an optimized performance for the entire golf bag. For players looking for the best golf ball money can buy, the five-piece golf ball offers the most in feel and performance.
What is Golf Ball Spin
During a golf ball’s flight, it will spin based on the conditions of the golf club at impact. Golf balls that launch into the air will fly with backspin and side spin that give it curvature and distance. Golf balls with too little spin fall out of the air quickly. Too much spin results in shots that fly too high and fall short of the target. Side spin is what creates draws, fade, hooks, and slices. Getting a golf ball that spins at the best rate for you creates your longest and most consistent ball flights.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls leverage dense material to reduce backspin and side spin for golf shots hit with the longest clubs in your bag. These golf balls can create the longest golf shots of any golf ball category but can be dangerous as less spin can mean a less stable ball flight. Golfers that struggle with excessive spin or curvature may find that a lower spinning golf ball can improve their accuracy and distance.
Mid Spin Golf Balls
Mid-spin golf balls fit the largest range of golfers and are the most common golf balls in production. The mid-spin golf ball offers solid distance for most players with varied firmness and softness different player preferences. Mid-spin golf balls also create enough spin for making shots around the green. The exact properties of mid spin golf balls vary among brands, but nearly all manufacturers offer a mid-spin golf ball aimed at attracting this wide category of golfers.
High Spin Golf Balls
High-spin golf balls are often recommended to fewer golfers but may offer unique performance advantages. The high spin golf ball is manufactured to increase the ball’s spin when in the air, more spin can equal a more stable flight and a golf ball that curves less offline. Players struggling with a severe slice or hook may benefit from improving their spin conditions with their golf ball.
What is Golf Ball Compression?
During and after impact, the golf ball will deform and rebound off the club face. The compression factor is determined by the rate of deformity that each ball undergoes. Higher compression golf balls will deform less than lower compression balls. Golfers with slower swing speeds may find that lower compression golf balls offer performance advantages over higher compression models. It is important to remember however that a golf ball will experience several different swing speeds and styles as it is played throughout a round of golf. Getting fit for your golf ball is the best way to tell which compression group is best for your game.
Types of Golf Ball Compression?
Golf balls are divided into three compression factor categories based on their measured deformity rates. High compression, medium compression, and low compression groups have been created so that golfer can readily tell golf balls apart.. Below we briefly review each subtype and provide a recommendation to which group may be best for you.
High Compression Golf Balls
- High compression golf balls offer higher swing speed players performance advantages that
can generate more distance. Because of the high-speed impact associated with higher swing speeds, the rebound effect of the golf ball is increased and the ball must retain some of its shape to provide maximum energy transfer. High compression balls have a compression factor rating of 90 and above.
Medium Compression Golf Balls
- Medium compression golf balls are recommended for average golfers and the widest range of swing speeds. Balls with a compression rating between 80 and 89 are grouped into medium compression. These balls are designed for golfers with a driver swing speed of 85 to 105 miles per hour. If you do not know your swing speed, medium compression golf balls can be a great option if you want to avoid the formal golf ball fitting experience.
Low Compression Golf Balls
- Low compression golf balls offer players with a swing speed below 85 miles per hour an option to gain back some performance based on their swing characteristics. These golf balls offer more deflection and improved energy transfers to create more distance from the tee box. Beginners, juniors, and seniors may find performance benefits with a low compression golf ball.
Types of Golf Balls
Golf balls are further broken down into playing categories that help promote their performance profiles to consumers. Tour-level, distance, and soft or feel golf balls are often categorized to help players match their preferences with a golf ball.
Tour-Level Golf Balls
Tour-level golf balls offer maximum performance at top tier prices. Professionals and elite players that seldom lose their golf balls will get the best performance from these offerings. Players of all abilities should consider playing a golf ball that gives them the most performance in a price bracket they can afford. If you can afford to play a tour-level golf ball then your game will be better for it. Performance separation between driver, irons, and wedges coupled with an ultra-soft feel is what makes these tour-level golf balls the best of all worlds.
Distance Golf Balls
Distance golf balls can provide beginners and players who lose their golf balls frequently with an economical option that they don’t have to worry about spending too much for. Usually a two-piece design, distance golf balls can offer average performance at a great price. Distance golf balls can help to eliminate excessive side spin and help players find more fairways and enjoy more golf.
Softness and Feel Golf Balls
Players often associate soft golf balls with high performance. These softer golf balls can offer increased performance over distance models but may be slightly more expensive. Players will have to balance their preferred feel with the price they are willing to pay for their golf ball of choice. Ultimately, the most important thing is playing the same ball round-after-round that will lead to improved consistency and better scores.
Top 10 Best Golf Balls For Distance
Titleist AVX Golf Balls
The AVX is the lowest spinning golf ball Titleist has ever produced. The same tour-level performance of the flagship ProV1 is used to create this new AVX product. The AXV produces a penetrating flight that can give golfers more yards in the air and more rollout on the grounds. Titleist is claiming faster ball speeds and longer distances in drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons.
TaylorMade TP5x Golf Balls
TaylorMade has been recently overlooked in the premium ball market until the introduction of the TP5x ball. The TP5x is often touted as the best golf ball in the wind and gives golfers a lower spinning, high launching options that can produce longer drives. TaylorMade uses five layers to give golfers a complete tour ball and the initial results have been groundbreaking. Players like Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson have already made the “5witch” and so should you.
Callaway Chromesoft X Golf Balls
Callaway has found a way to incorporate graphene into their Chromesoft X golf ball. Graphene is used due to its incredibly high strength to weight ratio and produces a golf ball that is higher performing and lower spinning than ever. Players looking for outstanding distance and a ultra-soft feel will love the Callaway Chromesoft X. One of the softest tour-level golf balls availble the Chromesoft X is uniquely satisfying to play.
Srixon XV Golf Balls
Srixon is promoting increased ball speeds, longer distance, and improved control with their new XV golf balls. A Fastlayer core, spin skin, and a new 338 dimple pattern combine to give tour-level performance in any condition. Cutting through the wind is a signature of Srixon design and the XV is the best golf ball they have ever made. The XV offers players exceptional distance no matter where they are playing.
Snell Get Sum Golf Balls
The Snell Get Sum golf ball is a great option for players looking for great distance, improved feel, and more control at a great price. Snell golf provides high-quality products at affordable prices for the amatuer golfer. Awarded a Gold Medal by Golf Digest, players are not giving up performance by choosing this cheaper option.
Titleist Pro V1x Golf Balls
The ProV1 and ProV1x golf balls are the most commonly played golf balls on Worldwide tours. Titleist makes an exceptional option in the ProV1x that packs more distance and greenside control into a tour inspired feel. Players that are looking to get the best in driving and long iron performance will love the high launch, low spin characteristics of the new ProV1x.
Vice Pro Golf Balls
Vice spends less money getting their products into gof shops and passes along that cost saving to the consumer. Available at half the price of other tour-level offerings, the Vice Pro is the best option for budget-conscious golfers that don’t want to sacrifice performance. Availble in different colors and personalization options, the Vice Pro is a must try for any serious golfer that want to save a little money.
Srixon Q Star Tour Golf Balls
Srixon incorporates the same distance technology in their Q Star that they pack into their premium offerings. The Q Star golf ball gives players tour quality feel and distance at a lower price point. The Q Star is a great option if you don’t want to spend $50 per dozen on golf balls that you may lose on the course. Players that need the best of distance and control will love the response they get from the Srixon Q Star.
TaylorMade Project A Golf Balls
The Project A golf balls from TaylorMade are great for amateur players as the name implies. A golf ball that has been designed especially for players seeking more distance and increased forgiveness, the Project A delivers exceptional ball speeds with a driver and more control with the wedges. Slow swing speed players can benefit the most from the design of the Project A.
Titleist Velocity Golf Balls
A cheaper alternative to the AXV offering from Titleist, the Velocity golf ball is a superb distance golf ball with outstanding feel. The Velocity golf ball couples low spin with a higher flight. A softer core and the fastest cover Titleist has ever produced make the Velocity golf ball the best option for players that want just straight distance.
What Golf Balls Should You Buy?
The best golf ball for your game is a product of your budget and your expectation of performance. The most expensive premium tour-level golf balls will give you longer drives, better control around the greens, and a soft feel. Distance golf balls can provide help with errant tee shots at a price that can help players get to the course more often. Soft feel golf balls help to blend both worlds to give players more performance at a price that can be manageable for many. Each golf ball will offer slight variations in its playing profile and golfers should choose a ball that they can easily afford and that gives them complete performance throughout their bag. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our other guides on golf balls and equipment for your game.