Do Golf Balls Matter?

One question that is often asked among golf circles is: Do golf balls really matter?

Players often wonder if they really save strokes on their game depending on what type or brand of ball they use on the course.

Staying consistent with one type of ball you are comfortable with can help your game.

There are certain balls and designs that will impact different parts of your game from off the tee to on the green.

Do Golf Balls Matter for Average Golfers ?

For the average golfer, the type of ball does make a difference. The compression of the ball and how many pieces the ball (explained later in the article) is made of can dictate different results for different players.

Golf ball compression is how golf ball manufacturers calculate how hard a golf ball is created.

Many compressions of golf balls can be found from 60 to 120. There are some others below and above. The smaller the number, the softer the ball is. If a ball has a larger number then the ball will be harder.

The balls with less compression roll out more and lead to longer drives. The ones with higher numbers lead to more spin and accuracy.

Compression balls that are low are ideal for high handicap golfers. High compression balls are good for advanced players.

Low spin balls often sound appealing when marketed because of their low spin leading to high distances off the tee.

Many golfers make the mistake of trying to find distance off the tee in their ball despite the driver being one of the least hit clubs in the bag during a round.

High spin balls usually travel just as far, but also respond much better around the greens.

💡 Golfible Tip: An average golfer with a mid-low handicap should try out different balls and find one that suits their game.

Do Golf Balls Matter For High Handicappers?

For high handicappers and beginners who are just learning the game, the importance of the golf ball will be lesser than a medium or low handicapper.

If a beginner is still learning how to make the correct contact with the ball, as well as how to chip and leave it relatively close to the hole, the ball won’t make a massive difference.

2-piece golf balls are ideal golf balls for a high-handicapper.

Two-piece golf balls have harder shells and a sturdy core. They were created to help increase accuracy among ball flight, increase distance, and have less spin.

A lot of these balls are considered in the game improvement category. They are also cheaper to buy.

Beginners also tend to lose a lot more balls instead of keeping them in play.

💡 Golfible Tip: It definitely saves money to use sleeves of low compression or 2-piece balls rather than Titleist Pro V1’s if half of them are going to end up in the woods or creek.

Do Golf Clubs Matter More Than Golf Balls?

There is no concrete answer regarding if golf clubs are more important items than balls in regards to shooting lower scores.

Both are essential. Many golfers will spend thousands on clubs but then only use balls that they find on the course.

If you find a ball on the course, make sure it appears in good condition and find out what attributes the ball has before using it.

It is vital to have clubs that you are comfortable with and that you have tried out at the golf store before purchasing them.

We would highly recommend getting fitted golf clubs that match your height and swing style so you can get the most out of them.

Having the right ball is important too. Practice using different kinds of balls such 2-piece, 3-piece, and 4- or 5-piece balls.

Whatever gives you the best control and feel should be the right choice.

💡 Golfible Tip: Use different brands and see what matches your game the best from the short game, on the fairways, rough, to off the tee.

Impact of Switching A Ball Mid Round

Switching a ball mid-round is fine if you are playing for fun or even in a tournament. It is recommended that you switch to the same brand and model of golf ball though.

For example, it wouldn’t be wise to switch from a two-piece ball that has low spin and high distance after using a high-spinning four or five piece ball. Doing so would alter your control and distance.

Below are explanations of 3-5 piece golf balls and their qualities.

Three-piece golf balls have more technology than two-piece balls. They are between two-piece and four to five-piece balls.

The three-piece will similarly be long off the tee like a two-piece but will also be controllable with spin around the greens. A mid-handicap golfer should definitely use these.

Four and five-piece balls are produced with a thin layer surrounding the core usually made from urethane.

This helps golfers control the ball with more spin. The ball is considered softer. These golf balls can be more expensive.

📋 Keep in mind: It is legal to change balls during a tournament round. Although during competition changing clubs is against the rules.


Finding the right ball for your game is important. You develop a sense of understanding in regards to what the ball will do in different ways that you hit it.

Using the same type of ball or similar ball will provide a golfer with familiarity and keep them comfortable. So do golf balls really matter? Yes, they do. Be sure to mention in the comments what ball you use and any recommendations.


Do certain golf balls go further?

Yes, soft low compression golf balls do usually travel longer. Two-piece balls also tend to go further and promote less backspin than three or four-piece balls. Higher swing speeds should use four-piece balls. 

How much distance do you lose with old golf balls?

A golf ball that is 10 years old that was kept in normal temperatures will lose 1 or 2 yards if put into play. A 20 year-old ball will lose double the amount. The initial velocity will decrease by 0.5 to 1% every 10 years. 

How often should you use a new golf ball?

You should use a new golf ball as often as you please. If you notice a ball gets scuffed up or damaged after a few rounds then definitely swap it for a new ball. If you’re playing competitively then definitely use new balls when you start seeing wear and tear. 

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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