1Selecting The Right Ball For You!
Selecting the right golf ball is a critical step toward better golf. Unlike the rest of the equipment being used, the golf ball factors into every shot.
So which ball is best for you?
There are many golf balls in the marketplace and all are being marketed differently. “This one is soft, this one is hard, this one is long, this one is better for slow swing speeds or high-spin or low trajectory.” In an instant gratification world, it’s understandable why the majority of golfers just grab a sleeve of balls at the course based on the golf staff’s recommendation. Instead, let’s review how Tour professionals test/fit their golf balls:
Start on the Putting Green
Elite players all start on the putting green. Start by bouncing a few different types of golf balls off the face of your putter. By doing so, you will feel/hear how soft each one is. Today, there are a lot of 2-piece balls that are actually made softer than tour balls. A Tour-caliber ball with a thin cast urethane cover will be quieter and softer. It’s important to choose a ball that sounds & feels right. After all, more than 30 percent of your strokes will come off the putter face.
The Recovery Zone (Inside 40 Yards)
I call this the “recovery zone,” because if a golfer is off the green 40 yards and using a wedge, he/she has missed the green in regulation and now needs to recover by getting up and down for par. Since an average 15-handicap golfer only hits about four greens per round, a lot of time should be spent in this zone when testing balls. Using the club you prefer on short pitch shots, hit a series of small chips and flops to evaluate the ball’s behavior. Did the ball stop immediately? Bounce once and check? Run out? This can be an arduous process, but will be one of the biggest determining factors in choosing the ball right for you.
The Scoring Zone (Inside 100 Yards)
This is the distance where players are the most accurate. It is also where performance differs from ball-to-ball. In my experience with Tour pros and average players, the better player will spin the ball with their wedges twice as much and as a result, are able to zip the ball backward. Having a ball that will stop faster and reduce roll out may eliminate additional strokes. As a general rule, if the ball is settling near the pitch mark (and not running out), it is a good fit.
Approach Shots (Inside 165 Yards)
The final step in finding the right golf ball is with mid and long irons shots to test the ball’s performance into a headwind. Which ball travels at the highest peak trajectory? If a ball is consistency shorter, it may be spinning too much.
Off The Tee
All golf balls today travel the same distance, so I don’t advocate ball fitting with a driver. The proper loft, shaft selection and strength are the best ways to add extra distance!
2OnCore Golf Vero X1
Using a proprietary formulation and manufacturing process, along with a high modulus, metal-infused mantle, the Vero X1 features enhanced perimeter-weighting that results in the highest allowable velocity off the clubface and superb distance. Incorporating a nano-engineered transition layer to manage the interface between the mantle and a thin cast urethane cover, the Vero X1 delivers spin, control, and feel. The Vero X1 promises to take even the best golfer’s game to an entirely new level.
WHAT WE LIKE: Perimeter weighting gives you stability in flight, super velocity off the clubface.
3OnCore Golf ELIXR
The ball has an innovative core composition delivers the highest initial velocity permitted by the USGA (99.84 percent of the allowable limit). Perimeter weighting allows for tight shot dispersion off the tee and on the fairway, and outstanding back spin for great control around the green. The ball has high initial velocity combined with perimeter weighting for accuracy and the longest, straightest shots possible. And low driver spin and an optimal launch angle yields extreme distance and control off the tee.
WHAT WE LIKE: Perimeter weighting gives you a tight shot dispersion, exceptional feel around green.
The MTB-X is for golfers looking for a high-performance ball, and is a three-piece design offering a new smaller core for low driver spin and faster speeds, a thicker, firmer mantle layer for increased mid- and short-iron approach shots, low lift, low drag for controlled ball flight to reduce “ballooning” and for performance in the wind. A firmer, thicker mantle layer provides high spin and firmer feel than the company’s MTB Black model.
What we Like: Great Distance, Great Feel and superior overall value.
5Snell MTB Black
The new generation MTB features a soft, 7 percent lower compression core that provides exceptional feel, but also low spin rates off the tee for exceptional distance. The mantle layer is designed to provide the spin control preferred by better players. The Refined Aerodynamics provides low lift, low drag for controlled ball flight to reduce “ballooning” and offer great performance in the wind. The softer mantle layer and lower compression core provide a softer feel than other MTB models. (75-80 compression range) Conforms to USGA standards and are legal for tournament play.
What we Like: Price point for a Premium Tour Caliber ball, great short game feel
6Titleist Pro V1
The V1 offers total performance and features longer distance, very low long game spin, penetrating flight, even more Drop-and-Stop greenside control and a softer feel. Features include a soft cast urethane elastomer cover system, a fast low-spin casing layer, a reformulated 2.0 ZG process core and a new spherically-tiled 388 tetrahedral dimple design. Benefits of the ball include longer distance with consistent flight, very low long game spin and a penetrating trajectory, increased drop-and-stop short game control, and a softer feel or chips and putts.
What We Like: The classic “player’s” ball, offering both distance and control. Still the Gold Standard.
7Titleist Pro V1x
The Pro V1x offers total performance and features longer distance, high trajectory, low long game spin, increased Drop-and-Stop greenside control and softer feel. The ball is designed to provide longer distance with consistent flight, low long game spin and a high trajectory, increased short game control and a softer feel around and on the greens. There’s a softer cast urethane elastomer cover system, a faster low- spin casing layer, a reformulated 2.0 ZG process dual core and a new spherically-tiled 348 tetrahedral dimple design.
WHAT WE LIKE: Superb all-around ball for the better player, distance isn’t sacrificed for feel.
The AVX offers golfers an alternative to the Pro V1 and Pro V1x in the premium performance segment with unmatched Titleist quality and consistency. The AVX delivers excellent scoring control for golfers who prioritize distance and an extremely soft feel with a piercing, low ball flight. The ball provides long distance, excellent greenside spin and control, a very soft feel and a very low long game and iron spin. The ball features a large core formulation, a high-flex casing layer, a thin cast urethane elastomer cover system and a unique spherically-tiled 352 catenary dimple design.
WHAT WE LIKE: Great alternative to the Pro V lines, surprising distance and a very soft feel for short shots and putts.
9Volvik S3 White
The S3 White promises Tour-like performance and pinpoint accuracy and produces maximum distance for swing speeds 85 to 105 miles an hour. The ball offers low driver spin and high wedge spin thanks to a unique three-piece oversized BISMUTH mixed core construction. There’s a patented VU-X urethane cover for outstanding durability and increased spin control. Consistent and stable ball flight results from a patented 336 dimple design.
WHAT WE LIKE: Players with a broad range of swing speeds can benefit from the ball.
The S4 provides Tour-like performance and pinpoint accuracy to a wide range of golfers. The S4 generates maximum distance for swing speeds between 95 and 120 miles an hour. It offers low driver spin and a high wedge spin. Explosive distance and energy transfer is generated by a four-piece BISMUTH dual core technology. A patented VU-X urethane cover offers outstanding durability and increased spin control. The ball has a 95 compression and a patented 336 dimple design results in stable and consistent ball flight. The ball comes with spade, diamond, heart, and clover ball insignias.
WHAT WE LIKE: Golfers with a wide swing speed can benefit from the ball, very durable.