While you will use a range of clubs during a round the one constant is your golf ball. Sure, you might lose one or two but it makes sense to invest some time and a bit of money in your ball choice. If you are a mid-handicapper then you will want to ensure you select one of the best golf balls for mid handicappers. We guide you on what to look for and highlight some of the best options available.
Best Golf Balls For Mid Handicappers
Editor’s Choice: Titleist Pro V1 Prior Generation Golf Balls (click to see)
Best Value: Callaway Warbird Golf Balls (click to see)
Best For Distance: Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls (click to see)
Best For Slow Swing Speed: Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls (click to see)
Best For Feel: Bridgestone Golf Tour B XS Golf Balls (click to see)
Best For Wind: Mizuno RB Tour Golf Balls (click to see)
Short on Time? Here’s A Quick Product Synopsis
Advanced multi-component technology
Performance from tee to green
Best For Slow Swing Speed
Exceptionally soft feel
Great value for money
Best For Feel
Pleasing greenside control
Choosing the right golf ball for your handicap
Players of different skills and abilities have different needs from their golf balls.
A beginner playing with a top tour ball would be highly frustrated, as would a scratch player using a beginner’s ball. Selecting the right ball for your needs and skills will make a significant positive impact on your game.
Choosing the right golf ball for your game can often be more confusing than choosing clubs.
Going for a ball with one outstanding feature often means sacrificing on other aspects which might work against you. It is an important decision. Here are a few relevant things to consider:
- Compression Rating
This refers to the hardness of the ball. While it does have some impact on the feel it will ultimately determine the distance potential of the ball. You want to balance the compression rating to your swing speed for optimal results.
Higher compression balls are better suited to golfers with a higher swing speed and therefore those with a slower swing speed should opt for a lower compression ball. The incorrect match will have a negative effect on your distance.
There is much talk about the feel of a golf ball and it is relatively hard to measure or define. It will vary from one player to the next.
What is important is to find the feel that works for your swing speed and style. Remember that feel is relevant from the tee, on the fairway, around the green and when you putt. All are important so you want a versatile ball that gives you confidence.
Spin is another tricky one. You want a different spin off the tee, on the fairway and particularly around the green. Some balls are more versatile than others. Consider your priorities and needs when looking at spin.
As your game improves your spin and control requirements will change so be aware of this and select your golf balls accordingly.
While you can pick up a few used balls for next to nothing, you will not be doing yourself or your game any favors. As you improve your handicap the choice of balls becomes more important and it is worth investing in quality balls. You do not necessarily have to spend a fortune as there are a number of great value for money options on the market but rather invest in something that will benefit your game.
What is a mid-handicapper?
Unlike many facets of golf, there are no hard and fast rules as to what constitutes a mid-handicapper.
Generally, most golfers playing off a handicap between 8 to 18 would be considered mid-handicappers, give or take 1 or 2 either way.
Obviously, handicaps fluctuate over time. Let’s be honest, most of us watch our handicap pretty closely and you will probably know where you fit into the scale of things.
When should transition from beginner cheaper balls?
Golf balls do not last forever. They get scuffed, deteriorate or get lost altogether. While beginners experience this a lot more often it happens to mid-handicappers too. With all the costs associated with golf, the cost of balls can add up quickly. Many are tempted to buy cheap options or used balls. This is a mistake.
While quality balls call for a higher investment the rewards are worth the cost.
You will have a more enjoyable game and probably save a few stokes every round. Find the perfect ball for your game and you will be grateful you did.
While a beginner need not spend a fortune on the best balls, a mid-handicapper will gain many benefits from a quality ball. As soon as you are only losing the odd ball now and then, you should upgrade to something that will work better for your game.
If you fear damaging or losing balls than go for a budget option.
There are many quality balls that are remarkable value for money. If you lose one or two along they just think of the benefits you received on the many other shots throughout the round.
While it is good to experiment now and then, try to find balls that feel good and work for you and then stick to them. This will improve your confidence as well as your consistency.
Transitioning from being a high handicap player
One of the great things about golf is that it is constantly changing. No 2 rounds are the same, even if you play a course regularly. Weather conditions on the day, the condition of the course, the seasons and many other factors will change every time you play.
At the same time, your game is changing and evolving.
While you might have the occasional bad day, generally you should be improving. As you move from a higher handicap player to lower numbers, your needs will change.
You have to honestly access your game and consider your strengths and weaknesses. The right ball can help you work on your strengths and minimize the challenges you might have.
As you progress, swing speed should increase so you might, for example, look for a ball with a bit more control around the green without as much focus on distance. Your feel preference might also change as your game improves.
Give some thought to these factors so that you can evaluate the options and find the one best suited to your game.
Titleist Pro V1 Prior Generation Golf Balls, White (One Dozen)
Rating: 9.5 /10
- Exceptional distance
- Pleasant soft feel
- Good greenside control
- Fairly costly
- New golfers might not enjoy them
We expect a lot from a quality golf ball and the Titleist Pro V1 Prior Generation Golf Balls ticks all the right boxes.
They offer an impressive distance, consistent flight, a penetrating trajectory, good control around the green and a soft satisfying feel.
This is a popular ball for a wide range of players and well suited to a mid-handicapper looking for distance, consistency, and control. If you want to gain a few yards and shave a few strokes off your game this is a ball to consider. It is a firm favorite PGA ball but loved by many mid handicappers.
They are one of the more expensive options on the market but will give you good distance off the tee, control around the green and most of what you want in between.
The technology is impressive. The Pro V1 is a 3-piece ball. It features a 2.0 ZG Process Core, a speedy ionomeric casing layer and a thin cover of cast Urethane Elastomer. The tetrahedral dimple design is a spherically-tiled 352 construction.
What this means is that it is built to be fast and long. It also optimizes spin for most players and mid-handicappers will appreciate the versatility and benefits from tee to green.
The cast urethane not only improves performance but makes the V1s highly durable. Due to consumer demand, these balls are now also available in a vibrant yellow.
Callaway Warbird Golf Balls
Rating: 9.1 /10
- Outstanding value for money
- Great aerodynamics
- Good distance
- Soft feel
- Some players were disappointed with control around the green
- Slightly heavier than other balls in this category
Even as a mid-handicapper you are bound to still lose the odd ball particularly on some courses.
Even the most durable balls have a limited game time. Many people want a quality ball without spending a fortune and that is where Callaway have positioned their popular Warbird Golf Balls. They are a good balance of quality and value.
Callaway golf balls are well known for their HEX Aerodynamics. This is effective at reducing drag so you can expect an easy launch with good speed and distance. The other design aspect that gives these balls impressive distance is the large, extremely compressible high-energy core. This will aid players with a wide range of swing speeds to achieve a good distance.
The feel is enjoyed by most and is thanks to the ionomer cover. This complements the large core on this 2-piece ball for a pleasing feel. This feel is noticeable from the tee to the green.
Despite the good value, the ionomer cover makes these balls relatively durable.
If you are not wanting to spend a fortune on balls and curse when you lose a few, these are an option to consider. They are certainly a better investment than most balls you will pick up in the bargain bins.
Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls (One Dozen)
Best For Distance
Rating: 9.2 /10
- Impressive ball speed and commanding distance
- Good greenside control
- Soft feel
- Aerodynamic design
- Not the cheapest golf balls in this category
- Players with a very high swing speed might not enjoy them
If you ask most mid-handicap golfers what they want most out of a golf ball the answer is often simply – distance. We all want to and indeed need to get good distance and anything that can help with that will be valued. At the same time, you still need accuracy, control and a host of other factors.
Titleist designed these balls with distance in mind but they did not forget about the other important aspects needed in a quality ball. They wanted to create a ball that would deliver exceptional distance while still have a soft feel and offer good control around the green. Most plyers and testers agree that they did a pretty good job of achieving that goal.
Let’s take a look at the technology Titleist used to create these popular golf balls.
The large compression core is the largest they have used to date and this is the main feature that allows for great distance. The large and soft core creates good speed at impact which translates into impressive distance.
They have enhanced their 302 dimple design to a complex-sounding “spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple design”. The aim of this design is aerodynamics and consistent ball flight. It has low drag, high speeds, and good accuracy.
The 2-piece ball has a newly designed thin cover that is made from a blended material and designed for optimized spin and control. It was also necessary due to the large core that has been used.
Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls (One Dozen)
Best For Slow Swing Speed
Rating: 9.2 /10
- Helpful to the slower swingers
- Impressive distance
- Great value for money
- Versatile from tee to green
- Good control around the green
- Soft Feel
- Low Drag
- Not suitable for faster swingers
- Some golfers find the spin rate too high for their game
These great value for money golf balls are soft with a low compression core. They tend to generate good speed and distance even for players with a relatively slow swing speed.
Many mid handicappers still find themselves to have a fairly slow to average swing speed and these balls could help you maximize your distance.
While the price is reasonable, Srixon has not skimped on technology, quality, and materials. The Soft Feel Golf Balls play well off the tee and are designed for maximum distance.
You will appreciate the feel and control around the green and even on your putts. The thin soft cover gives you that soft feel and greenside spin which should help on your short game. This makes them extremely versatile.
Srixon has used a 338 speed dimple design which has good aerodynamics and low drag. This should help with consistency and accuracy. It is also helpful in windy conditions.
The low compression core (Energetic Gradient Growth Core) has a firm exterior that works well with the soft cover to accelerate the ball on impact while still providing that soft feel.
It is a 2-piece ball and the compression ratio is 60. The low compression and soft cover enable slower swingers to make the most of their swing. Players with a fast swing speed will probably not enjoy this ball too much.
Bridgestone Golf Tour B XS Golf Balls
Best For Feel
Rating: 9.0 /10
- Enhanced technology, design, and materials
- Exceptional feel
- Good control
- Relatively expensive
- Some higher mid handicappers might want more accuracy and forgiveness
Feel is such an important aspect of the game and as your handicap improves the importance increases. While the club you use has a lot to do with the feel, the ball is just as, if not more important. Most golfers find the Bridgestone Golf Tour B XS Golf Balls to have a great feel and good control.
The appealing feel is largely due to the soft SlipRes exterior. This urethane cover design is unique to Bridgestone and apart from a good feel also delivers spin control. The Seamless Cover Technology, also unique to Bridgestone, further enhances performance and flight consistency.
Tour B XS balls use a Gradational Compression core which makes them forgiving and improves distance. This technology increases the speed at impact and reduces side spin for higher speeds and longer distances.
The 330 dimple design has also been modified to make the balls more aerodynamic for greater distance and straighter flight.
The balls use a dual dimple design which reduces drag and should improve not only distance but also accuracy and constancy. Previous models only used the dual dimple design on some of the dimples. It is now present on all 330 for greater effectiveness.
This is a popular ball for mid handicappers right to the pros.
They are famously favored by Tiger Woods so that has to say something for the quality and performance. If you are looking for more feel from your golf ball without any compromise on distance and other important factors, this is a ball to consider.
Mizuno RB Tour Golf Balls
Best For Wind
Rating: 8.9 /10
- Less wind resistance and drag so play comparatively well in the wind
- Low spin
- Good lift
- Fast balls with decent distance
- Good feel
- Rather pricey
- Slightly lower distances than firmer balls
Wind can wreak havoc on a golf course and can be particularly frustrating for mid handicappers trying to fine-tune all aspects of their game. Fortunately, there are balls than can reduce the impact of the wind and a popular choice is the Mizuno RB Tour Golf Balls.
These balls are fast and the C-Dimple (Cone Dimple) design reduce drag which minimizes the effects of the wind. This particular 330 dimple design is unique to Mizuno and a lot of research and testing have gone into the C-Dimple. They have a low spin and suitable for a downward attack style of playing.
They are dual-core balls with graduated firmness and Butadiene rubber. The Mizuno RB Tour Golf Balls sport a high energy Ionomer cover.
The urethane exterior gives a pleasing soft feel and good responsiveness. You will appreciate this around the green.
There are less expensive options but if you want firm and steady flight, particularly when the wind picks up, these are an option that could be very useful.
While we have reviewed a number of great golf balls, the Titleist Pro V1 Prior Generation Golf Balls stand out as our top choice. Golf ball selection is important and mid-handicappers will get a lot out of the V1s. They are extremely versatile and will deliver impressive distance while still giving your good control around the green. The technology is outstanding and the popularity of these balls from mid-handicappers to pros speaks for itself.
What type of golf ball should a mid handicapper use?
A mid handicapper should play a 2 or 3-piece golf ball. Both types increase distance off the tee. A 3-piece will provide more spin around the greens and help with a player’s short game.
Should a mid handicapper use Pro V1?
Yes, a mid handicapper should use a Pro V1. A Pro V1 is a three-piece ball that produces a lot of spin when chipping or hitting approach shots. Being three-pieces also allows it to travel long off the tee compared to four-piece Pro V1x balls. The golfer should be prepared to spend more though on a Pro V1 than they would on a cheaper brand.
Do golf balls matter for mid handicapper?
Yes, golf balls do matter for a mid handicapper. Some cheap two-piece golf balls do not spin a lot around the greens. This can cause issues with rollout and trying to get up and down. A higher-quality golf ball will produce better results if hit properly.