1Selecting 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 Avant
The Avant 55 features a large soft inner core for added perimeter weighting and straighter, longer shots off the tee. He ball has an ideal balance of flight and control. A soft surlyn cover with 392 dimple pattern offers optimal trajectory and playability. SoftCell technology achieves an ultra low 55 compression. A high coefficient of restitution (COR) core generates maximum ball velocity. The ball is ideal for moderate swing speeds. A two-piece construction allows for high launching wedge shots and a very soft feel around the greens and off the putter face.
WHAT WE LIKE: Optimal ball flight and control in one golf ball.
3Snell Get Sum Golf Balls
The Snell Get Sum golf ball is a high performance, two-piece ball that offers excellent feel and control. A large, soft low compression core allows for very low spin rates, which increases distance and creates less hooks and slices. The cover is constructed of a thin, soft Surlyn for a soft feel, and works in conjunction with the golf ball’s core to help players get the ball in the air easier and reduce spin rates for straighter shots from tee to green.
WHAT WE LIKE: Soft feel provides excellent control on short shots and putts.
4Volvik Power Soft
The Power Soft gives players explosive speed and a softer feel, a best of both worlds scenario. An oversized power core results in that explosive ball speed and outstanding driver performance with reduced spin rates and a mid-high launch angle. A super soft ionomer cover gives you greenside control. Excellent visibility when over the ball and when it is in the air is the result of five glossy color options.
WHAT WE LIKE: A ball that provides both superior ball speed off the clubface and feel around and on the greens.
5Volvik Vimax Soft
The Vimax Soft features high visibility thanks to a matte finish, as well as superior distance and a soft feel, all in one ball. A high energy soft core with soft feel and fast initial ball speed helps produce superior driver distance thanks to the resulting low spin and high launch. You will find yourself with improved focus because of outstanding visibility from the matte colors. Optimal ball flight and excellent flight stability is generated by an Icosahedron dimple design.
WHAT WE LIKE: A soft core promotes super feel off wedges and the putter.