Just like golf clubs, picking a golf ball can be intimidating –- especially if you’re a beginner. With the number of different golf ball models and styles available, today’s golfers have lots of choices. Yet how can golfer’s make informed choices when they are faced with so many options? You may be wondering, “what’s the best golf ball for me?”
Golf balls play an important part of your game. They can improve control, speed, and distance. That’s why there are so many different golf ball types on the market; everyone plays differently. Golf ball technology, from lightweight materials to having layers and varied compression levels, can help to improve your game. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you are picking the right golf ball for you.
When it comes to golf balls, there are three things that matter: (1) the cover; (2) layers; and (3) compression.
The Golf Ball Cover
There are two main materials used to cover a golf ball: urethane and surlyn. Most tour balls use urethane because it helps deliver the highest spin on wedge shots. That said, it’s not as durable as surlyn. What is the difference between the two types of golf ball cover? Surlyn balls typically have a harder surface and are more durable compared to other materials. The hard exterior of the ball enhances the distance your ball can travel, which is definitely something to consider when purchasing a golf ball. Urethane balls are often softer and have better control and feel compared to surlyn. Because the exterior is softer, they are prone to easier marking and it can be less hard- wearing.
The Golf Ball Layers
Over the years golf calls have changed significantly. Years ago, golf balls were made from horsehide and stuffed with feathers. Today, though, from the cover to the inner core, golf balls incorporate a number of layers and technological advancements. From more basic one-piece balls, to tour level five-piece golf balls, there is something out there for every golfer’s ability, and to help them get the most out of their game.
A one-piece ball is the most basic golf ball. This ball is the perfect for beginners and for the driving range. Because of its lower compression and soft structure, it does not always give you the distance you’d expect. Some of the key features of this ball are that it is inexpensive, it’s made from surly, has dimples, and it's durable.
A two-piece golf ball is used by most golfers because it’s durable and helps to ensure maximum distance. It is most suited to golfers with a mid- to-high handicap with low swing rate. Generally, the balls are made with a solid core (made from acrylate or resin) and enclosed in the ball’s tough exterior cover (usually surlyn), which gives the two-piece ball more distance than any other ball. But it’s harder to control than a softer ball. Some of the key features are that it’s made from surlyn, has less prominent dimples, its durable (some say indestructible), and it enhances distance — especially in relation to roll.
Unlike the one-piece or two-piece, the three-piece golf ball has either a solid rubber or liquid core, enhanced rubber or a liquid-produced layer and a molded cover, created using durable surlyn or urethane. The three-piece design is softer, offers more spin to the golfer, and helps to give more experienced golfers more control over their ball flight. It’s often the best golf ball for medium handicap to low handicap players, who value spin around the green. Some of its key features include a solid rubber or liquid core, it’s made from surly or urethane, and it offers more spin.
With the four-piece golf ball, each layer has different purposes. The first layer has a solid rubber center which helps golfers reach high distances, especially when using a driver. The second layer in an inner cover layer, which helps to transfer the energy from the strike to the rubber center. The third layer is a middle cover, which is an extra layer that helps increase driver distance, while producing mid-iron spin and feel around the green. The fourth layer is the outer cover of the ball; it usually has between 300 to 400 dimples and is the thinnest layer of them all. This type of golf ball is useful for those with a low-handicap, because they ensure the greatest distance with a soft feel upon impact. Some key features include that it is made from urethane, it’s durable, and it’s soft.
The five-piece golf ball is often used by more skilled players and optimizes performance in five key areas. It uses materials and layers to enhance the performance of the ball. While the five- piece ball will be more expensive that others, it offers Tour level performance on the course, which will react to different shots and swing speeds, in order to produce the best shot. The key features of this ball are that it’s made from urethane, is durable, and it offers Tour level performance.
A golf ball’s compression can be confusing, especially if you’re new to golf. A ball’s compression handles the high-speed and impact of the club and allows flexibility so that the ball can recoil and not break when hit. Generally, low compression is usually most-suited to beginners because it allows more distance and less control. Whereas high compression is useful for those with a low handicap, giving more control and less distance.
At Scratch Golf Shop our staff is trained to help you choose the best ball for your game. Stop in and let our staff help you.