Which golf ball is right for your game? To understand how golf balls differ and what makes the price of different models change requires a further understanding of how golf balls are created. Currently, there exists a massive variety of golf balls on the market, balls boasting a myriad of different constructions, make-ups, and playing characteristics. Players with high handicaps have various needs. Do you struggle off the tee, could your short game need some work, or is your putting holding you back. Knowing what you need most from your game and building an entire bag dedicated to helping you begins with choosing the right golf ball and we have created a guide to help you do just that.
FYI: Are you looking for the Best Gear of 2019? Then take a look our latest Buying Guides on the Best Golf Drivers, Fairway Woods, Irons, Wedges, Hybrids, Putters, and Golf Balls that can help you take your golf game to the next level. We golf course tested all of these items, and made these buyers guides just for you. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
Top 6 Best Golf Balls For High Handicappers
- Category leading soft feel
- Commanding distance
- Advanced short game control
- Dual-distance core: larger and softer 2-layer core
- 322 seamless cast urethane cover
- Low drag aerodynamic design
- Extraordinary Distance with Consistent Flight
- Very Low Long Game Spin and Penetrating Trajectory
- Drop-and-Stop Short Game Control
- Tri-Fast Core and Dual-Spin Cover to perform with every club
- 3-layer core system for progressive compression
- Dual-Spin cover for maximum interaction between the cover & club grooves
- Added distance and forgiveness comes from the Gradational Compression core
- SlipRes cover for added spin control
- Dual Dimple technology for additional distance and consistency
- Our-preferred performance from tee to green
- Dimple in Dimple Aerodynamics help maintain spin to generate maximum distance and lift
- Urethane cover formulation provides player-preferred feel and feel
Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
The right golf ball will give you consistently longer drivers, more stopping power with your wedges, and better distance control with every club in your bag. Premium golf balls offer distinct layers that allow them to create club separation and gives players more tools to shoot better scores. If you can’t afford top dollar for golf balls or you loose balls too frequently then playing a cheaper golf ball optimized for your swing can lead to similar performance as the most expensive offerings.
How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
Playing the same golf ball every round is essential for building your consistency and developing great swing fundamentals. Budget-conscious players should keep in mind that although the most expensive golf balls offer maximum performance, depending on your swing a cheaper ball may offer a better fit. Getting a complete ball fitting with a PGA professional or master club fitter is the best way to know which model you should be playing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
Each golf ball must be made to a similar diameter to ensure that a playing advantage is not gained. The official rules state that a golf ball must be spherical in shape and be no less than 1.68-inches (42.7mm) in diameter.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
According to the United States Golf Association, USGA, the official weight of each ball must be less than 1.62 ounces. This equates to 45.93 grams. Weight is controlled because heavier golf balls create a better flight during windy rounds.
What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
Dimples on a golf ball create lift and help the golf ball maintain flight during crosswinds and changes in elevation. When a golf ball is smooth, it flies straight. A golf ball surrounded with dimples climbs into the sky much like an airplane. Additionally, dimples create a turbulent layer as the dimples reduce the drag force. The only downside is that the ball must spin for the lift force to be created, and a spinning ball has more drag than a non-spinning ball. Most golfers will be interested to know that a perfectly smooth ball hit with a driver will travel approximately 130 yards, that same golf wing can generate distances of 290 yards or more with a golf ball covered with dimples.
How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
Unlike weight and size that is so closely regulated, the number of dimples and the pattern they are placed around the golf ball cover is left to manufacture discretion. Most golf balls have dimples of uniform size and typically between 350 and 450 in number. These differences in number and configuration can lead to differences in performance and aerodynamic properties.
What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
Golf balls have numbers stamped onto them. Most commonly directly below the ball’s trademark or logo. These numbers act to help players identify their golf ball and may provide specific insights into how that golf ball was designed. Players also have the ability to mark and stamp their own golf balls using special tools.
Golf balls with a single-digit number use their numbers to remind players of which ball is theirs during golf rounds. These numbers can span from 0 to 9 and often come in number between 1 and 4 or 5 and 8.
Two-digit numbers help mark important dates or event in the player’s lives. Manufacturers less frequently use these numbers to make the golf ball’s compression factor. This number ranges from 30 to 99. These days, compression is no longer a major selling point for most golf ball manufacturers, and we spend more time diving into this topic later.
Three-digit numbers are used most seldom and mark the dimple number and configuration around the golf ball’s perimeter. Usually, in the 300s and 400s, these numbers represent the research that companies pour into their models but do not directly reflect the ball’s performance patterns.
What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
Golf Ball Core
Inside each golf ball’s center is a core that will dictate the performance of that model. These cores are often made of tightly packed rubber and synthetic resins that vary in material composition and production costs. Not too long ago, the core of golf balls was made out of tightly wound rubber bands. Today, however, the core is typically a one-piece structure designed to deliver more distance and better control.
Golf Ball Cover
The cover of the golf ball is often the part that golfers have the largest preference for. The cover is the material that gives a golf ball its feel and sound characteristics and can play a large part in player affinities. Most golf ball covers are made from one of two types of golf ball materials: Surlyn, Balata, or a blend that includes both of these materials.
Surlyn is a hard resin that is used to cover the majority of the golf balls currently in production. This harder resin cover gives golf balls a soft feel and good control. As a result, it is the cover recommended for those new to the sport and high handicap players. Balls with a Surlyn material blend tend to add more distance while providing less maneuverability. Surlyn and Surlyn blend-covered golf balls are more affordable than those with Balata covers.
Balata is a rubber synthetic mixture that is used to make premium golf ball covers. The substances in the Balata-covered golf balls combine to provide excellent feel and much better control than Surlyn-covered balls. Because of this, Balata-covered balls are often the choice for professionals and very low handicap golfers. Balata-covered balls are more expensive than the Suryln covered alternatives.
The Different Types of Golf Balls
To give golf balls different playing profiles, a combination of layers and materials are used. More layers typically lead to more playing options and a higher price tag. Golf balls are often available in one-piece, two-piece, three-piece, four-piece, and five-piece designs.
One-Piece Golf Balls
One-piece golf balls are used primarily on driving ranges due to how inexpensively they can be manufactured. One-piece balls are unique in that they essentially have no core. Instead, the one-piece ball is made with a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples molded onto its cover the ball. In addition to being inexpensive, one-piece golf balls are also very soft and oddly durable. A one-piece ball lacks the distance benefits of other golf ball types and because of this, they are often only used for practice and not for play on the course.
Two-Piece Golf Balls
Two-piece golf balls are used the most frequently by casual players and high-handicap golfers.
Two-piece golf balls often feature maximum distance from an explosive core and a surrounding Suryln cover. It is this cover on the two-piece ball, combined with the solid core, which gives it more distance and rollout than many other types of golf balls.
Three-Piece Golf Balls
Three-piece golf balls begin to give players a complete package throughout their bag. Tour-level golf balls are offered in three-piece designs and can be the preference of elite golfers. The three layers of these three-piece golf balls consist of a solid rubber or liquid core, an enhanced blended layer surrounding the core, and a molded cover made from tough Surlyn, urethane, or balata-like material. Three-piece golf balls offer more control than two-piece balls and can be softer and generate more spin.
Four-Piece Golf Balls
Four-piece golf balls are the most common choice of professionals and low-handicap players. These golf balls have very high price tags but offer excellent club separation from driver to wedges. The four layers of these golf balls each have their own purpose. These distinct layers work in concert to produce a ball that combines both distance and an incredibly soft feel.
The inner core of the four-piece golf ball is comprised of solid and durable rubber, designed to provide explosive distance off the longest clubs in your bag. The second layer is made to transfer the energy from the club strike to the tough and explosive core. The third or middle layer is what differentiates this ball from the three-piece ball. This middle layer is made from special materials that help to increase driving distance while also producing mid iron spin and feel around the green. The cover of the four-piece golf ball is where the great feel of this ball originates and is typically made of premium-grade urethane.
Five-Piece Golf Balls
Five-piece golf balls introduce an expansion in golf ball performance that is quickly gaining traction. Similar to a three-piece and four-piece ball, the five-piece ball offers plenty of spin separation and performance benefits with the added bonus of a stronger flight in various weather conditions. Although you can expect to take a hit in the wallet when purchasing this ball, you can also expect the very best in performance.
The five-piece ball is manufactured with three mantle layers, a high-speed rubber core, and a soft urethane cover. Each of these mantle layers is designed to react to different golf clubs and swing speeds in an effort to produce the most optimized performance possible, while the core and cover offer some of the best distance and feel, respectively, that money can buy. These golf balls use their internal construction to give players more options, especially in windy and rainy conditions.
What is Golf Ball Spin
The spin of the golf ball often refers most directly to the backspin that is created after impact with a golf club. The right amount of backspin will give players longer distances and straighter shots from everywhere on the golf course. Golf balls are categorized into low spin, mid-spin, and high spin models to help players suit their swing needs.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls are great for players struggling with too much spin, especially from the tee box. Golf ball fitting is centralized around getting the best spin for each of your clubs. This means that your wedges, driver, and irons all need to have the best spin rates from a single ball. If you have a slice or struggle to get the extra distance you would like after the ball hits the ground, you may want to switch to low spin golf balls.
Mid Spin Golf Balls
Mid-spin golf balls are often the most well suited for the majority of players. By giving the best well-balanced flight of distance and control, the mid-spin golf ball helps players shoot better scores without demanding they make a great swing every time. Mid-spin golf balls combine great distance and soft feel to give players the best of both worlds in price points that will fit anyone’s budget.
High Spin Golf Balls
High spin golf balls are fit less frequently. Players with very low swing speeds or that fight a ball flight that falls quickly out of the air may benefit from a higher spinning golf ball. Seniors, juniors, or high handicap players may benefit from the added lift and straighter ball flights that can be gained from the higher spinning models. More skilled players that struggle with over-draws and hooks may also keep more shots in play with a higher spinning golf ball.
What is Golf Ball Compression?
The compression factor of a golf ball is the amount the ball deforms as it is impacted with a golf club. These rates are tested by a driver impact at a standardized speed. Most manufacturers will list the compression of their golf balls on the package. This measurement is usually a number between 0 and 200. 0 indicates a golf ball with maximum compression. A compression factor of 200 will indicate a golf ball that compresses very little. Most balls are produced with factors between 50 and 100.
Types of Golf Ball Compression?
Golf balls are grouped into three major compression categories to help golfers identify them. High, medium, and low are designated to signify model compression factors.
High Compression Golf Balls
- High compression golf balls can generate distance, but only when struck with impacts at high speeds. Players who have a driver swing speed of 105 miles per hour or above may see distance increases with a higher compression golf ball. A high compression ball will have a compression rating of 90 and above.
Medium Compression Golf Balls
- Medium compression golf balls are great balls for the average golfer with an average handicap and driver swing speed. If you swing your driver between 85 and 105 miles per hour, these medium compression offerings may be best for you. Medium compression balls have a compression factor of 80 to 89. For players that do not know their driver swing speed, medium compression golf balls are probably the perfect solution for you.
Low Compression Golf Balls
- Low compression golf balls help players with a swing speed below 85 miles per hour to gain distance and control. These golf balls have a compression rating below 80 and can be great for juniors, seniors, and high handicap players.
Types of Golf Balls
One of the most obvious categorizations of golf balls falls into their playing profiles classes. Tour-level, distance, and soft or feel are often used to designate golf balls based on their overall playing characteristics and many players find this the best information for making their buying decisions. To help you understand the difference between these three types, below we have compiled a brief description of each.
Tour-Level Golf Balls
Tour-level golf balls are designated based on their maximum performance characteristics. These golf balls are played by professional and elite players and carry the largest price tags. These golf balls may be three, four, or five-piece designs and offer completes club separation throughout the golf ball with an exceptionally soft feel. If you can afford to play these golf balls, they can give you the best chance to shoot lower scores regardless of skill level.
Distance Golf Balls
Distance golf balls offer players a break on price. These golf balls are best suited for beginners and players struggling to keep their golf ball in play. Saving money on your golf ball can be a great way to learn to play the game by getting on the course and not worrying about how much money it may cost.
These lower compression, two-piece golf balls provide maximum forgiveness by reducing the side spin that tends to exaggerate slices and hooks. The larger core on distance golf balls helps to enhance the carry of the shot in the air, while the thicker cover provides added protection against trees and other hazards on wayward shots.
Softness and Feel Golf Balls
Softness and feel golf balls are perfect for players that want a similar playing profile to tour-level offerings with a mid-tier price. Soft golf balls are designed for feel and offer greater deflection of the ball at impact. These characteristics can lead to straighter, longer shots with less spin. These golf balls often offer a great compliment of distance, spin, and feel around the greens.
Top 10 Best Golf Balls For High Handicappers
1. Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
Titleist is the longest standing number 1 golf ball on worldwide tours. The Tour Soft golf ball packs all the advantages of Titleist’s research and development into an affordable ball for players of all skill levels. The Tour Soft houses Titleist’s largest core ever for more distance and a 4CE grafted cover for an incredibly soft feel. Available in both white and yellow, the Tour Soft is an excellent option for middle and high handicap players.
2. TaylorMade Project A Golf Balls
TaylorMade’s Project A golf ball is the only golf ball designed specifically for the amatuer player. The Project A uses a dual-distance core and a 322 dimple pattern to give players of any skill set more distance and better stopping power on the greens. The 322 dimple pattern is the same used in TaylorMade’s tour-level offerings and is availabe in the Project A golf ball for a price that all golfers will enjoy.
3. Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
Titleist’s ProV1 golf ball has been the industry leader in performance for over 10 years. Players of all levels and abilities will get consistent results and great separation throughout their entire golf bag with the ProV1. The ProV1 offers drop-and-stop short game control, a very soft feel, and a consistent flight. If you can afford the higher price tag, the ProV1 can help you shoot your best scores.
4. TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls
The TP5 has already been hailed as TaylorMade’s best golf ball ever. The TP5 or TP5x is being used by TaylorMade staff pros including Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, and Rory McIlroy. The only tour-level five-piece golf ball, the TP5 offers players advantages when playing in windy or rainy conditions. If you hae never tried a TaylorMade ball before, TP5 is a welcome introduction.
5. Callaway Chromesoft Golf Balls
The Callaway Chromesoft is the softest tour-level ball availble. Slower swing players will love the response this tour-level golf ball offers. Chromesoft utilizes graphene material to give players more distance while retaining the ultra-soft feel. Callaway loyalists will love the improved performance of the Chromesoft golf ball.
6. Top-Flite Gamer Golf Balls
The Top-Flite Gamer offers near tour-level performance at a price that will leave enough money left over for lessons, practice, or playing golf. Available for less than $20 the Gamer still managed to score Gold in Golf Digests golf ball awards. This three-piece golf ball is a great option for players that are uncomfortable paying $50 for one-dozen golf balls.
7. Vice Soft Golf Balls
Vice Golf introduces customers to an unconventional system of golf ball buying. By delivering their golf balls directly to consumers, Vice saves money and offers tour-level golf balls at exceptional prices. The Vice Soft golf ball is the best-of-both-worlds in terms of distance and feel. Players unfamiliar with Vice can afford to test them without risking performance and save money doing so.
8. Srixon Q Star Golf Balls
Srixon Golf continues to be a rival to tour-level golf ball manufactures. The Q-Star offering from Srixon is an excellent choice for golfers that need help getting around the course and want to save money over premium golf ball packs. The Q-Star has been optimized for players that swing their drivers less than 90 miles per hour and promises longer, straighter golf shots.
9.Honma TW-G6 Golf Balls
Honma is growing in popularity as Justin Rose continues to succeed using their product offerings. The TW-G6 golf balls builds on the success of their irons and woods and gives players more distance and a soft feel. This “Tour World” golf ball is a combination of five layers and gives players an unmistakable feel and sound. If you can get your hands on the TW-G6 you will love their performance.
10. Vice Plus Golf Balls
The Vice Plus golf ball is the perfect model for any players struggling with too much spin off the tee box. The Vice Plus is lower spinning for longer drives and uses four layers to give players great performance with wedgse as well. The dual casting 336 dimple cover give players a signature soft feel and the $25 price point is low enough that players who lose their ball frequently can feel comfortable not paying too much. High handicap golfers expecially can benefit from this model of golf ball.
What Golf Balls Should You Buy?
The best way to know what golf ball is best for your game is to test different models in on-course situations and with a professional club fitter. If you do not want to go through that formal process then understanding what makes up differ models can elucidate which brand and price point is right for you. If you are fitting yourself, stick to mid-spin, medium compression offerings that provide a well-balanced flight at a reasonable price. If money is no object then playing a tour-level golf ball will give you the best chance to shoot your lowest scores. Be sure to check out our other reviews and buying guides to compliment your new golf balls with the right equipment for your game. Thanks for reading!
- Top 6 Best Golf Balls For High Handicappers
- Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
- How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
- Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
- What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
- How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
- What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
- How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
- What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
- What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
- The Different Types of Golf Balls
- What is Golf Ball Spin
- What is Golf Ball Compression?
- Types of Golf Ball Compression?
- Types of Golf Balls
- Top 10 Best Golf Balls For High Handicappers
- 1. Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
- 2. TaylorMade Project A Golf Balls
- 3. Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
- 4. TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls
- 5. Callaway Chromesoft Golf Balls
- 6. Top-Flite Gamer Golf Balls
- 7. Vice Soft Golf Balls
- 8. Srixon Q Star Golf Balls
- 9.Honma TW-G6 Golf Balls
- 10. Vice Plus Golf Balls
- What Golf Balls Should You Buy?