Golf balls have different outer layers that make up the build of the ball. The most common types found in the stores and on golf courses all over the world are urethane and surlyn.
Depending on the type of material, durability and performance can be affected in both positive and negative ways. This article will explain surlyn covered golf balls.
What is a Surlyn golf ball?
Surlyn is a material made from ionomer resin that was created by the brand DuPont.
Since the mid-1960s, surlyn has been used on the outer shells of golf balls.
The build is hard and durable. It provides low spin when hitting tee shots. Most Surlyn golf balls are hard two piece balls. They usually have less control.
Surlyn vs Urethane
Surlyn golf ball covers are hard and reduce spin and feel. They are considered “distance” balls since they tend to go a long ways off the tee.
These balls promote a low and straight ball flight. Many Top Flite and Pinnacle balls are Surlyn.
Titleist makes three Surlyn golf balls at three different price ranges. These include Tour Soft, Tru Feel, and Velocity.
Urethane balls are softer and deliver more spin especially for wedges and irons.
Lower handicap players who can manufacture shots tend to favor urethane. Although Surlyn balls are supposed to go longer, most urethane balls are just about neck and neck in distance thanks to their high-performance builds.
A Titleist Pro V1 is an example of a Urethane ball.
Ionomer vs Surlyn golf balls
Surlyn is a certain type of ionomer created by DuPont. Not all ionomer balls are made with surlyn though.
Some ionomer covers will be slightly softer to provide more greenside control and a urethane type feel.
Most surlyn golf balls are two-piece balls but there are some 3-piece surlyn golf balls on the market.
These balls were created to add more spin and make it feel like a urethane ball when chipping with it or striking it with irons and wedges.
Balata vs Surlyn golf balls
Balata golf balls, which are no longer made, were made from a rubber-like material that originated from a tree that is in the Carribean, South and Central America.
The tree is soft and when using the material from it, hardens into a plastic, rubbery-type golf ball.
It used to be played by low-handicapped golfers as well as professionals because of the high spin the ball produced primarily by irons and in the short game.
Surlyn golf balls were created a lot stronger and sturdier. These balls can last for many rounds and don’t damage easily compared to Balata balls.
Urethane golf balls are actually considered softer than balata balls. Urethane is also built stronger and has a less chance of being scraped or cut like balata made golf balls.
If you like long-distance balls at a low price point then a surlyn covered golf ball is an ideal choice to take out on the course.
With their durable builds they can be used over a long period of time. If softer is better for you then a urethane covered ball might be a better choice.
Be sure to add in the comments your experiences with Surlyn golf balls.
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