Titleist, Taylormade, Callaway, Bridgestone, Nike, Srixon just to name a few. There are so many golf balls on the market. How do you choose the best golf ball for your game? Whether you buy for the logo – you just love the swoosh of Nike, or for the ease of lining up a Pro v1 on the putting green, only you can determine the best ball for you. This is because the playing characteristics of the main balls you will find at your local pro shop are pretty much the same within each price range. Have you ever noticed they all claim to have unbeatable “distance and accuracy” but you’ve never seen a side by side test to prove or disprove such claims? Let’s take a closer look at some of the options on the market:
At the top end you’ll find prominent brands: Prov1, Penta, Callaway Tour, Nike 20xi, etc. Most of these brands also offer ball options: softer, harder, more spin, less spin, the list goes on. The Penta is a great ball. It has all the playing characteristics a playing professional wants. Distance, accuracy, spins like a top on the green and feels soft off the putter. But so do ProV1s and Nike 20xi’s. If you’re a tour pro or even a sponsored one you really don’t care. Balls are FREE!! But for normal folks, golf balls add up. And most people are spending money on a ball that in fact hurts their game. Here’s why: Too much spin combined with inconsistent ball striking causes loss of distance as well as increased missed fairways. To the average player this can lead to a couple of strokes a round for the privilege of paying an extra 20.00 a dozen.
In the middle price range is really where most avid players get the most bang for their buck in golf ball technology. These balls are plenty soft off the putter but have a little (or often a lot) less spin, leading to longer, straighter drives. One thing to keep in mind, if you’re in the habit of playing tour quality balls, is that around the greens – pitching and chipping – you’ll need to account for the lack of spin on these balls. Since the ball will not check as fast, simply factor in some rollout. Caution is the key – particularly in downhill situations.
But one of the most asked questions with regard to golf balls is, “Which ball will drive the longest?”. About 5 years ago, a tournament pro took a new sleeve of each of the top brands as well as a sleeve of Maxfli “Noodles” and 3 old Top Flite XL balls and tested them out. The bottom line was this; all of them were in a nice 15-20 yard circle. With the exception of 3 balls. Two Top Flite Xl’s were well short of the group around 270 yards off the tee. Respectable but short. Every other ball was in that 290-305 yard circle off the tee. Except for one….at 325 yards stood a lonely Maxfli Noodle all by itself. So when shopping for golf balls, be realistic about your game and what you can afford, and you’ll be on your way to finding your perfect golf ball.