Most of us fixate on the golf swing and getting the perfect golf clubs, we forget the most important equipment. Golf balls can help your game along as much as the right driver can. It’s likely that you reach for the cheapest sleeve to get your weekend turn at the golf course. Or you are a noob golfer and the inexpensive Surlyn golf balls are all you can afford. Or you could even be a hotshot lawyer who has pockets deep enough to buy urethane balls for all kind of shots. The point is each type of golf ball has its own strengths and the most expensive one need not necessarily be the best for you.
The point of this buying guide is to help you determine what golf ball is best for you. We delve into different types of balls available in the market and their characteristics. More importantly you can evaluate whether you really need to look at professional golf ball fitters. Yes, they exist. And they thrive by helping golfers get the right golf ball based on their shots and game-play.
What are the different types of golf balls?
We divide golf balls into two broad categories based on the materials used for their construction:
1. Surlyn balls:
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Also called ionomer balls, these are made out of the Surlyn resin. This is a synthetic resin material introduced in the 1960s. It serves as the top layer for the more affordable golf balls. Surlyn is fairly tear and wear-resistant. It’s durability makes it way more than worth its price. Surlyn covers on the golf balls do not get damaged with the forceful impact of the club multiple times.
The most important characteristic of the Surlyn golf balls is that they are firmer than urethane balls. So they end up spinning slightly less off the tee and cover more distance. They don’t have the backspin that professionals need to control the ball. But they fly truer and longer. So weekend golfers and perpetual slicers prefer the Surlyn balls. They also cost less than the urethane balls.
2. Urethane balls:
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Urethane golf balls are the fancier accessories of the golf course. Professionals and amateur golfers with low handicap prefer these for their ‘feel’. Urethane balls have a softer feel than the Surlyn balls. These are more expensive but they are the pro material in most cases.
Urethane golf balls have an extra spin. This higher spin rate gives you more control over the ball. Surlyn balls drive 6 yards longer over Urethane balls on an average. But professional players have high enough swing speeds to cover this distance. However, the prime advantage of Urethane balls is near the greens. They provide the spin required to halt the ball at a point near the pin. So, chipping and pitching shots benefit from the urethane golf balls.
How To Test Which Golf Ball Is Best For You?
If you are a beginner and just started indulging in golf, then better stick to the inexpensive two-layered Surlyn golf balls. Before you go through the paces of learning golf, it’s likely you will go through many sleeves of golf balls. Once you get enough practice on driving the golf ball straight and curbing the slices, you can graduate to the urethane balls.
But also note, as you get better at your game, the choice of golf balls might not make that big a difference. The most noticeable difference that you will see is at the greens performance. If you are a slicer, beware, urethane golf balls with their extra spin might only worsen the matters.
The easiest way to test which golf ball is best for you is to play a few shots with them. Get your priorities right. Do you want to drive straighter shots longer or are you more concerned with getting the greens approach shots picture perfect? After a few tests you are bound to find the answer.
The golf ball fitters are people who offer ball-fitting services. You just need to go to them and play pretty. They will evaluate all your shots in all kinds of situation. This way they will find the most common shot pattern and base your requirements on it. But this will cost you dearly.
What Golf Balls Do Tour Players Use?
The pro golfers go for some of the known brands for the best golf balls. These include Titleist, Bridgestone, Callaway, TaylorMade, Nike golf balls etc.. But there are also companies that manufacture custom golf balls based on the pro golfer’s requirement of feel and control. We can only guess how expensive these are. But then again, pros do not shoot their golf balls into oblivion most of the time.
Golf Balls For The Winter?
While picking up the golf balls, the climate is a concern, especially the cold months. There are a few facts about the ball’s behavior in cold temperatures that you should figure in your calculations. Golf ball loses distance with every 10 degree of temperature. Ball speed also reduces. Softer balls like urethane compress easily in the cold. Low compression balls are best for the cold regions. Also make sure that you buy colored golf balls so that they will be easier to find under frosty condition.
Always store the golf balls in a warm place. Warmer balls have more bounce and tend to fly father with better speed.
Golf balls are the most understated pioneers in your success as a golfer. But when you are playing like your life depends on it, golf balls can be the make-or-break factor. To judge the scale of their importance, note that approximately 125,000 balls dunk into the water around TPC Sawgrass’ island green 17th hole every year. Imagine the value of golf balls picked off the water. So choose wisely.
If you found this topic interesting, read more about the history and making of golf balls here. Leave your comments below and let us know whether you enjoyed perusing our buying guide. We have a lot more tips and buying guides about golf of our website!