Golf balls are made to play differently depending on which club is being used and the swing dynamics of each golfer. The current trend in golf ball manufacturing is to try and give players the softest golf balls possible without sacrificing distance and greenside performance. Golfers do not enjoy playing golf balls that are harsh when struck and companies have found unique ways to give players low spin in a pleasantly soft golf ball. This guide takes you inside the golf ball and gives a simplified view of what makes each model best for your game.
Top 6 Best Soft Golf Balls
Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
The right golf ball will lead to improved performance. Longer, straighter shots, better spin around the greens, and the proper amount of feedback is important when considering which golf ball to choose. It is important to play the same golf ball every round as this is the only piece of equipment you will use every swing.
How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
Players must balance their performance expectations with their budget when considering which golf ball to play. many times, the tour-level golf balls will offer the most in performance but can be daunting at the point of purchase. A properly fit golf ball can perform just as well as the tour-level offerings and save players enough money to let them get out on the course.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
The size and shape of golf balls are closely regulated to ensure that players have equal opportunities to score well. Each golf ball must be spherical in shape and maintain a constant diameter. This diameter can be no less than 1.68-inches or 42.7mm.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
The weight of each golf ball is also closely maintained. Golf balls must weight no more than 1.620 ounces or 45.93 grams.
What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
The dimples on a golf ball help produce a constant flight and deliver player feedback. The dimple pattern are important components to each golf ball as these patterns deliver the aerodynamic properties of each model. Dimple create lift and allow the golf ball to fly further and straighter.
How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
Unlike size, shape, and weight, the number of dimples that surround each golf ball can differ based on manufacture design. Most companies create golf balls with between 350 and 400 dimples. The arrangement of these dimples is responsible for many of the unique playing profiles provided by different tiers of golf balls.
What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
Golf balls are marked with numbers for a variety of reasons. One, two, or three-digit numbers are used to identify and describe golf balls. Most commonly these numbers act as identification but may also give particular insights into the golf ball’s internal or external structure. Players also have the ability to mark and stamp their own designs on a ball using specialize marking tools.
One-digit numbers are the most common marking on golf balls. These numbers act as identifiers and can be ordered stock in digits 1 through 8 or custom ordered to include any figure 0 through 9.
Two-digit numbers are produced to help players mark special events in their lives such as birthdays or anniversaries. Stock options typically indicate the compression factor of the golf ball model. Compression factors usually range between 30 and 90 and these numbers can be a clear indication of company advertisement.
Three-digit numerals are chosen to let consumers know how many dimples surround the golf ball. While this number is informative to the external characteristics of the golf ball, consumers do not readily associate performance with dimple counts.
What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
Golf Ball Core
Golf balls are comprised of layers that give them diverse playing profiles. Each of these layers is built onto a core made of rubber or synthetic resins. These cores are responsible for the distance characteristics of the golf ball. Golf balls may contain one, two, three, four, or five layers and stack these layers between this core and external cover.
Golf Ball Cover
The cover of the golf ball is important for creating a stable flight and giving players the proper sound and feel. Most covers are made from Surlyn, balata, or urethane. These differences in the material will determine the cost and aerodynamics of each golf ball model.
Surlyn is a hard resin material used to encompass the majority of golf balls outside the tour-level group.
Surlyn provides a soft feel and good performance. Balls with a Surlyn blend tend to promote distance and decrease curvature while remaining affordable for most golfers.
Balata and urethane are used to cover premium golf ball offerings. These rubber-like materials are used to make ultra-soft and durable golf ball covers. The resins in these covers provide improved soft feel and much better spin control than Surlyn covered golf balls.
The Different Types of Golf Balls
As alluded to earlier, the number of internal layers of each golf ball will dictate its playing performance. Golf balls are created using one, two, three, four, and five layers to give players options based on their swing characteristics and budget.
One-Piece Golf Balls
One-piece golf balls are often found on driving ranges and used primarily during practice only. These golf balls blend a dimple pattern onto a solid sphere of Surlyn to create the core-cover combination. The fusion design decreases the golf ball’s distance and overall performance and thus golfer chose not to use these types of golf balls during play.
Two-Piece Golf Balls
Two-piece golf balls use separate materials for the core and cover respectively. Two-piece offerings give players more diverse performance at a price that is inexpensive for the majority of golfers. Budget-conscious players will likely choose these options are they offer good performance at a great price.
Three-Piece Golf Balls
Three-piece golf balls begin to offer performances that elite players and professionals trust. These golf balls use a mantle layer to divide the core and cover to give players an optimized performance with every club in their bag. These golf balls fall under the tour-level and softness and feel categories and should be the minimum choice for any serious golfer looking to play his or her best golf.
Four-Piece Golf Balls
Four-piece golf balls use two mantle layers to give players even more performance tee to green. The four layer design uses multi-material blends to give players more distance and better spin control without sacrificing feel. A super-fast core is encapsulated by two distinct mantle layers that give higher launch, lower spin with the driver and long irons and lower launch, higher spin with the wedges.
Five-Piece Golf Balls
Five-piece golf balls build on the foundation laid by four-layer constructions. These golf balls offer a complete package that lets players play their best golf in any type of weather and course condition. The addition of a fifth layer helps give the five-piece ball a distinct advantage in the wind and rain and can be great for players looking to continue to play golf year round.
What is Golf Ball Spin
Golf balls spin backward and they spin to the side. These spin rates combine to give golf shots shape and distance. Getting a golf ball that spin the correct amount for your swing can lead to longer and straighter golf shots.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls help eliminate backspin and side spin especially with the driver and longer clubs. These golf balls are best suited for golfers with high swing speeds or that struggle with violently curving shots off the tee box. Be cautious however because creating a golf shot with too little spin can be difficult to control and fall rapidly out of the air.
Mid Spin Golf Balls
Mid-spin golf balls are a great balance for most players. These golf balls are recommended if you do not wish to have a formal golf ball fitting. The mid-spin range of golf balls are available in tour-level and softness and feel categories.
High Spin Golf Balls
High spin golf balls are best for players that need a more stable ball flight or swing at very low speeds. Higher spinning shots can help eliminate curves such as a hook or create more lift for additional carry distances. Beginners, juniors, and seniors can often benefit from increasing the spin of their golf shots.
What is Golf Ball Compression?
At impact, the golf ball compresses and converts energy from the golf club into distance and spin. Getting the right compression golf ball for your swing speed and delivery characteristics can lead to improved distances and spin rates from all over the course. The compression factor is typically denoted between 0 and 200. The lower the compression factor, the more the golf ball will compress at impact.
Types of Golf Ball Compression?
Golf balls are categorized into compression factor categories based on their rating and energy transfer rates. High compression, medium compression, and low compression golf balls are available for players to choose what is best for their swing.
High Compression Golf Balls
- High compression golf balls have a compression rating of 90 and above. These golf balls
are recommended for players that swing their driver at over 105 miles per hour. High-speed impacts lead to increased distance due to the increased force at these speeds but only when the golf ball allows for efficient energy transfers. Players with a high driver swing speed need a ball that is resilient enough to allow all the energy from their swing into the golf ball.
Medium Compression Golf Balls
- Medium compression golf balls have a compression rating between 80 and 89. These golf balls are frequently fit to golfers that swing their driver between 85 and 105 miles per hour. Medium compression golf balls will fit the widest net of golfers and if you do not know your driver club head speed choosing this option can be wise.
Low Compression Golf Balls
- Low compression golf balls have a compression factor rating of 79 and below. These golf balls deform readily at impact and can lose energy if played by players swinging their drivers above 85 miles per hour. Juniors, seniors, or beginners are often fit into these golf balls as they learn the game or their swing speed diminish.
Types of Golf Balls
To make selecting golf balls easier, companies categorize them based on their overall playing profiles. These profiles are often the most useful for consumers and the most important designation of each model. Tour-level, distance, and softness and feel are used to divide golf ball types.
Tour-Level Golf Balls
Tour-level golf balls offer the best performance but cost the most. If your budget allows, finding the right compression and spin profile in the tour-level golf balls will help you play your best golf. The best way to play these golf balls is to buy during the spring season when companies offer discounts for buying these golf balls in bulk. Serious players and low handicap golfers should do everything they can to get themselves into the right tour-level golf ball.
Distance Golf Balls
Distance golf balls are the best option for casual players and beginners trying to practice and play golf. These golf balls use cheaper materials to give players maximum distance at a great price. These golf balls suffer in terms of feel and spin performance around the greens but can be less stressful for players worried about losing golf balls or paying too much.
Softness and Feel Golf Balls
Softness or feel golf balls are often the best choice for handicap golfers and weekend players. These golf ball models will cost much less than tour-level offerings but offer similar performance. Players that do not wish to invest in a golf ball fitting or take the time to understand everything about their swing will be best served by choosing the right softness or feel golf ball by matching spin rates and compression factors. All the major golf equipment companies offer well-balanced golf balls at reasonable prices for this largest group of golfers.
Top 10 Best Soft Golf Balls
Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls
The Callaway Supersoft golf ball is the softest golf ball they have ever made. Supersoft is giving players longer carry and less drag through HEX aerodynamics. This ultra-low compression golf ball gives players the best of both worlds. More distance through better energy transfer and the best feel in production.
Bridgestone Tour B X Golf Balls
Bridgestone packs more research and development into their golf ball division than any other product in their golf equipment line. The Tour B golf ball is designed specifically for feel and accuracy and is Bridgestone’s softest tour-level golf ball. The SlipRes technology gives player less side spin and less shot shape for players struggling with a slice or hook.
Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls
Titleist gives players a category leading soft feel in their new Tour Soft golf ball. The Tour Soft offering is made with Titleist’s largest core ever and a new cover that helps players get more spin around the greens. This low compression golf ball is available in white or optic yellow and is an excellent choice for players looking for a great feeling golf ball with outstanding performance.
Callaway Chromesoft Golf Balls
The Callaway Chromesoft is the softest tour-level golf ball. The Chromesoft is best for players looking for the highest level performance in golf ball technology with an incredible soft feel. Callaway has infused graphene into the Chromesoft to give players more forgiveness on mis-hits and uncompromised distance.
Wilson Staff Duo Soft Golf Balls
The Wilson Staff Duo Soft is the highest awarded mid-tier golf ball in Wilson’s portfolio. The Staff Duo Soft give players the lowest compression rating available for more distance and higher launches. Players struggling to get extra distance at slower swing speeds may find longer carry and more rollout with the new Wilson Staff Duo Soft golf ball.
TaylorMade Project S Golf Balls
TaylorMade used the Project A platform to design a golf ball specifically for the amateur players. The Project S golf ball uses the same platform but delivers performance in a softer feeling golf ball. Project S uses a dual-distance core and an aerodynamic ionomer cover to optimize launch and spin to increase distance and feel. TaylorMade is promising players soft without slow in the Project S.
Bridgestone E6 Golf Balls
The E6 golf ball has become popular with players trying to eliminate their slice and keep their golf balls in the fairway. The redesigned E6 is delivering more accuracy and feel from an improved cover and mantle layers. E6 delivers longer, straighter golf shots by reducing spin and promoting higher launches. Players looking to find more fairways should look to the E6 from Bridgestone.
Vice Pro Soft Golf Balls
Vice Golf delivers tour-level performance at discount prices. The Vice Pro Soft golf ball is a three-piece golf ball made exceptionally soft from its urethane cover. The Pro Soft is Vice’s lowest compression and softest golf ball and is designed for players with slow and medium swing speeds looking for an extra-soft feel.
Wilson Staff Duo Urethane Golf Balls
The Wilson Staff Duo Urethane golf ball wraps a urethane cover around the softest ball in golf. The Staff Duo Urethane gives players the same near-tour-level performance in an improved package. The same premium material used to cover tour-level golf balls has been applied to one of the best performing golf balls in its class.
Titleist DT Trusoft Golf Balls
Titleist has built the DT Trusoft golf ball on the back of the familiar DT Solo line. The new Trusoft is the lowest compression golf ball in the Titleist lineup and gives players less spin in the long game and more performance stopping power around the greens. The DT Trusoft is available in white and optic yellow and suits players of all abilities and preferences.
What Golf Balls Should You Buy?
The best golf ball for your game depends highly on your swing and the courses you play most often Budget can limit your ability to choose the highest performance options, but with a adequate fitting, you can get the most from your money. Players of all ability and swing speeds should be playing the same golf ball every round as it is the best way to build consistency and great swing mechanics. Go see a local pro and get fit for your golf ball or choose a model in the mid-spin, tour-level or softness and feel category, with a medium compression. Get a golf ball that you love the feel of and can afford to replenish round-after-round. Thanks for reading and happy testing!