Do Golf Balls Matter?

Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Editorial Staff

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.

Most compression ratings on the market range between 70 and 110. It is possible to find balls with numbers outside of that range.

The higher the rating, the harder the ball was made. The lower the rating, the softer it is.

Lower compressed balls usually equate to more distance and higher compressed balls usually lead to more control.

Higher compression golf balls are often recommended for experienced golfers with low handicaps and high swing speeds.

Lower compression balls are often designed for less experienced golfers with slower swings.

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 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.

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. A 2-piece golf ball has a hard outer layer and a solid rubber core.

These balls were built to have a straight ball flight and fly long with little spin.

Many 2-piece balls from different brands are labeled as distance improvement balls. These balls are designed with simpler technology and usually are low in price.

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

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.

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

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

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.

A 3-piece ball is a “middle of the road” golf ball that contains features from both 2-piece lower priced balls and multipiece balls. The 3-piece will still offer distance like the 2-piece but it also offers additional spin and control (featured in 4-or 5-piece balls). Medium swing speeds are ideal for purchasing these balls.

4-or 5-piece balls have a tiny layer around their core that is often made from urethane. This build is softer and increases spin. When struck, the ball sticks better to the club face. The layer between the core and outside increases control especially when solid contact is made. These balls are usually higher in price.

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.

Lawrence Smelser

Lawrence Smelser - Staff Writer

Lawrence Smelser is part of the Golfible editorial staff and is a freelance golf writer. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour and most recently the 2019 Masters. He holds a journalism Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas

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