If you are starting to play golf, you need plenty of help. I did and among the issues I faced was trying to decide on the best golf ball for beginners. I was losing balls regularly, so I began with used balls of all kinds.
That short-term view is wrong because there are differences between branded golf balls varying from hard to soft although looking at them, how would you know? They feel and look the same.
While your clubs and swing are going to have the greatest impact on your game, having a golf ball that fits your style can give an extra edge. Below we go into detail on the golf balls available depending on your budget, swing speed, and other factors that can impact your round.
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Differing Components to Consider When Buying Your Golf Balls
Your golf ball is an important component within your golf game. You still need to have the skill and technique to master the game because that little round white (on most cases) ball can only do what you ask it to do. Today you have plenty of choices when it comes to your golf ball so it’s worth understanding more about the ball, its design and the properties it can bring to bear on your game.
What does a beginner need from their golf ball?
It is an obvious statement but a ball that is specifically designed for high handicappers. As they get better, their choices may well changes but initially, beginners should pick a ball that is sympathetic to their ability. That equates to something that is durable bearing in mind the likelihood of impure contacts.
When I started to play, I wanted a ball that offered me distance at a time when I was just developing my game and trying to create a repetitive swing. What I did not want was a ball that was prone to spin more than I wanted.
Manufacturers use two primary cover materials, Surlyn which is firm and promotes distance while Polyurethane is slightly softer, thereby providing more spin and control. It follows that if you are intent on durability and distance, you should look at Surlyn covered balls.
Golf ball dimples
Originally, golf balls were smooth, but experience showed that a damaged ball generally travelled further. Clearly, air flow around the ball was changed and ultimately through the study of aerodynamics, manufacturers sought the best way to ensure a uniform design using dimples could take advantage. They help create positive turbulence around the ball in flight.
There are regulations regarding a golf ball in terms of size and weight primarily. Each manufacturer has to submit a new design to the R&A and USGA for approval. Any ball that is not approved cannot be used in competition. Balls are available with anything between 300 and 500 dimples and their depth on the ball will also affect its trajectory. Manufacturers give rigorous testing to ascertain the flight that can be expected by a golfer, and market the ball accordingly.
Dimples come in different sizes and designs as well as being of different depths. The smaller the surface area of the ball which excludes the dimples, the more the ball can resist the elements such as wind and rain. Dimple design also affects trajectory and spin.
Golf ball spin rate
Spin produces elevation as the dimples create a low-pressure area and air underneath that area pushes the ball up. The more spin the ball produces, the higher it will go. The question when you are deciding what balls to buy is whether you are seeking high flight.
In terms of spin, you can impart back spin on a ball which you will regularly see from top professionals who sometime fly the ball over the flag to then bring it back closer to the flag. If that same shot is hit with forward spin, the ball will kick on, so the aim is to hit the ball short of the target to then roll forward.
It is far easier to create spin with short irons whose high lofts create a naturally higher ball flight when you make a downward strike. That is in contrast to your longer irons which are designed to impart minimum spin with the ball rolling on after landing. Automatically, that means distance control is not so easy.
The spin rate is created at impact and it influences both elevation and distance. In windy conditions, all golfers look to minimize elevation into the elements.
Golf ball compression
Beginners are only going to be confused by the subject of compression. They are far more likely to look at what the ball offers according to its manufacturer and see whether it performs accordingly. In general terms, if you have a relatively slow swing speed, you should look for a ball that is low compression.
You can never see compression with the naked eye, and you may even wonder how a solid golf ball can be compressed. If you think of a tennis ball, it is easy to understand that it will be compressed on striking simply because it is soft. Just take it as read that a golf ball ‘’performs’’ in exactly the same way.
The question is how much does it matter? It is no longer something that manufacturers market as a figure that can be compared with another ball.
The general’’ low compression’’ description seems to do these days. The factors increasing compression are swing speed and the density of the ball’s core; the harder the core, the less the compression.
You will find low, medium and high compression golf balls in the market and selecting one that matches your swing speed. It is rare that beginners should choose anything other than a low compression ball because of their swing speed. Such balls are designed to spring off the club and achieve more distance than a high compression ball which skillful golfers use to achieve more control.
Illegal golf balls
If playing in competition is of no interest to you, you may decide on an illegal ball which promises greater distance. It is questionable whether that is worthwhile. Illegal balls are those not approved by the R&A and USGA.
The document produced by these Bodies runs to 35 pages. Do you really want to read all of that simply for a ball? Probably not! Suffice to say there are more than 1,000 approved balls in today’s marketplace.
Titleist first entered the golf market as purely golf ball manufacturers and have always been committed to research and development. They remain the brand leaders in golf balls and produce a range of balls for golfers of all abilities. The Velocity balances quality with price to offer golfers feel, distance and value.
As a beginner, you may be prone to losing a ball or two during a round, but it is worth persevering with the Velocity which will definitely help you to improve your game. Titleist recognize that a medium soft ball provides beginners with all they need from their golf ball. Its 328 dimples help with both trajectory and angle of descent so that you can expect it to land on the green and stay there if your club choice is correct, and your strike is good and accurate.
The Velocity has a soft core and a cover made to generate low spin, particularly important when hitting your driver, while also providing good distance, hopefully down the fairway.
This budget-friendly golf ball has 342 dimples to help trajectory and is designed specifically for beginners and those with high handicaps. It provides distance by reducing spin and drag as well as feel for those frustrated by the short game.
Its core limits compression and the outer is made of a polymer, slightly soft but nevertheless resilient.
This durable 2-piece ball provides good feel without compromising on distance and accuracy. Low spin properties mean that beginners can be confident of good flight and distance.
You will get plenty of golf from a single Supersoft as long as you keep it in play even though it has a soft cover. An additional feature is it is available in a range of colors to help any search in the rough.
This 4-piece golf ball offers top quality at a relatively low price due to its only being available online. It has a 336-dimple urethane cover, commonly used in premium balls, promoting low flight and good distance.
The cover is durable yet thinner than the competition. You can expect good feel and plenty of chance to spin the ball with short irons.
This low compression, soft golf ball has 332 dimples and is designed for golfers seeking consistent ball flight.
It is the core of the Pinnacle that is central to its success in giving good distance to golfers with a slow swing speed which often equates to those starting out in the game. Its durability means each ball lasts, as long as you don’t lose it in long rough or water.
The Srixon Core is designed recognizing the importance of spin, flight and feel for a high handicap golfer. With 324 dimples, the AD333 offers low spin with good feel. The result provides good flight as well as distance.
The ball’s mid softness design should also help in the control of your short game.
When you start out in golf, you may head to the range and simply hit range balls, but once on the course, you need a golf ball that will respond to a good contact and be sympathetic to a less perfect strike. Titleist remains the biggest name in golf balls which is the ultimate reason why the Titleist Velocity is our recommendation, and when you improve you can move up through the Company’s range.