Difference In Golf Balls – Does It Matter To Me?

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You bet it does! There are countless types of golf balls on the market and choosing one that suits your needs can really be confusing at times. Knowing the difference in golf balls and what each one can do for you will help you make a more informed decision and make things a little less challenging at the checkout and on the course.

Believe it or not, these little round things are packed with loads of technology and are designed to do certain things for a golfer. It is quite important to pick the proper type of balls that are going to be more designed for what you are trying to achieve out of your game.

Outer Cover

There are generally two types of covers that are used in the construction of a golf ball, a surlyn ionomer cover and a urethane cover.

Typically, a surlyn ionomer cover is used on cheaper balls and is made up of a plastic with amazing elasticity properties. A great quality of this type of material is having excellent durability that allows a ball to take a good beating with minimal scuff marks. These balls can last a long time and hold up very well.

The urethane cover is a softer material, thinner and a different texture. These are going to be on most of your more expensive balls. The softer material absorbs the clubface more at impact and really allows the grooves of your club to dig in and apply spin to the ball. You are going to go through these balls a little quicker as they get scuffed and cut up over time.

Inner Construction

The inner construction of a ball can vary. A two-piece ball is made up of a rubber core and an outer cover but some of these balls on the market today can have anywhere from two to five layers in their makeup. The separate layers are made up of different material densities with the firmest being at the center of the ball. Each of those layers are designed to do something with the ball when energy is absorbed, whether it be spin, flight, or control etc.

Generally, the faster your clubhead speed is, the more layers on the ball you will want. Like many things in this great game of golf, it really comes down to feel and physics. If you can feel that ball absorb into the clubface, you are sending it on a mission to do what its designed to do.

Distance VS Control

This debate is purely a matter of preference. Some balls are designed for distance and some for a softer feel and control. I would recommend having a few types in your bag for a round of golf, more importantly educating yourself before you pull a ball out of your bag. Know what that specific ball is designed to do and pick the right tool for the job. Much like picking the right club for your shot, it’s equally important to pick the right ball to tee off with for that specific hole.

The urethane cover balls are going to spin more and fly lower giving you more control and the surlyn ionomer will spin less and give you a higher trajectory, often giving you the more distance. Keep in mind, if you are already struggling with hooking or slicing the ball, a urethane cover is going to make it spin even more, thus creating even more of a problem in your game.

The Right Ball For You

It really pays to test out a few different types of balls and see what’s going to work best for you. Typically, a two-piece ball is usually great for beginners as it offers distance and limited side spin. Your main objective as a beginner is to get the ball in the air and keep it straight and playable in the fairway.

An intermediate golfer might explore a more layered type of ball construction, limiting distance but providing a little more control and feel on the ball when needed. Someone with a low handicap or a professional is going to want that soft cover and multi-layered ball so they can shape the ball according to spin and feel, really use the technology in the ball for what it’s designed to do.

Ball compression is another thing you should be looking at. It can be split into three different levels.

  • High Compression – A swing speed of 105 mph or more would be considered high compression. The most suitable ball for you would be a compression rating of 90 or higher. The ball will be dense enough to still give you some control vs focusing on just distance.
  • Mid Compression – If your swing speed is between 85 – 105 mph you should be using a ball rated in the 80 – 90 range for compression rating. A good balance of distance, feel and control.
  • Low Compression – Anything under 85 mph for swing speed you’re going to want a low compression ball. This ball is the typical choice for beginners, juniors, seniors, and ladies. You should be using a ball with a compression rating under 80 to give you a little help with distance on the ball.

Make Your Game better

So as you can see, technology has really gone into the construction of the golf ball over the years. There is definitely a difference in golf balls and one out there for everyone that can be used to improve their game. Too often people upgrade their driver or other clubs at the hope of getting those extra yards but they forget about the most important tool that’s used for every shot on every hole.

If you want to gain distance, or maybe you feel that you can’t control the ball around the green like you want? It could be as simple as choosing the proper ball. It is often an overlooked item by beginners and intermediate golfers and one that can greatly improve your game and have you on a fast track to lower scores. In this challenging game we need every advantage we can find. Start your next round by using the right ball for your skill level and impress yourself with the results.

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