Golf ball technology has jumped forward in leaps and bounds since the game was invented.
The first golf balls were hand-carved out of wood (beech wood was common).
Every ball was expensive, time-consuming, and most importantly, different from every other golf ball.
Modern golf balls are a far cry from their predecessors and we have many more options to choose from. Manufacturers design golf balls to be used for specific purposes and levels of golfers.
They range from “1-piece” golf balls up to ‘5-piece’ golf balls.
Very few companies make a 5-piece golf ball but almost all manufacturers have 1-piece/2-piece/3-piece options available for sale.
We’re going to dive into the difference in golf balls and their intended use.
What Golf Ball Should I Play With?
You should play with a golf ball that is best suited for your skill level. Understanding what design and compression rating works best for your skill level is the most important part of choosing a golf ball to play with.
The right golf ball won’t immediately turn you into a scratch golfer but it could make the difference between a normal shot and a great shot.
Every golf ball is designed for a specific purpose.
There are hundreds of design choices that impact ball flight, compression rate, ball trajectory, spin rate, and reaction on the putting green.
Some golf balls are designed for inexperienced players with an inconsistent swing and others are highly engineered to support a high-level consistent player with a precise swing.
What Golf Ball Should Beginner Golfer Use?
The best golf ball a beginner golfer should use is a softer rated ball (under 70 compression rating) that allows more forgiveness on the course and greater control. A beginner should focus on their swing and playing as much as possible before spending money on expensive golf balls.
There are a few harsh realities to face when you start playing the game of golf.
One of them is that golf balls you use as a beginner will have little to zero impact on the quality of your game.
Your game will not improve by buying a box of high-dollar premium golf balls so opt for the cheap, low-compressed balls and try not to overthink it.
Most players know someone who introduced them to the game of golf.
That person normally offers used golf balls or found golf balls from a golf course and these are the golf balls that a beginner golfer should use.
Almost every golfer has used a “1-piece” golf ball while practicing. This is the simplest version of a golf ball and consists of an outer cover and a single internal core piece.
Most range balls are constructed using this style. 1-piece golf balls are another great option for beginner golfers as they are very forgiving to an inconsistent swing.
What is the Best Golf Ball for an Average Player?
The best golf ball for an average player is a 2-layer ball that allows your good shots to fly straight and prevent errant shots from going too far out of bounds. Use a ball with a soft or medium rated compression rating first then move on to harder balls once you have a dialed-in swing.
A golf ball for the average player is forgiving and promotes reduced spin.
Most beginner golfers suffer from an inconsistent swing that mishits the golf ball.
A mishit golf ball introduces a large amount of sidespin during its flight. Sidespin will increase the number of hooks (ball goes to the left) and slices (ball goes to the right).
2-layer golf balls help to reduce side spin and force a ball to fly straighter than a golf ball with a more complex design.
They are ideal for average players and high-handicap golfers that have slower swing speeds.
The large core in a 2-layer golf ball results in a lower compression rate.
A lower compression rate helps prevent mishit balls from traveling too far in the long direction. 2-layer balls are basically a golf ball core and a cover.
Another feature of most 2-layer golf balls is deep ‘dimples’ on the surface of the ball. The deep dimples are another design feature that helps prevent unwanted spin on the golf ball
Some of the most highly recommended golf balls for beginners include any 2-layer ‘soft’ brands like:
- Callaway Supersoft
- TaylorMade Noodle “Long and Soft”
- Srixon Soft Feel
- Wilson Staff Soft+
- Titleist TruFeel
- Pinnacle Rush
- Bridgestone e6
What is the Best Golf Ball for a Low Handicapper?
The best golf ball for advanced players and low handicappers is a high compression-rated, 3-layer ball that promotes shot control and feel. Many professional players use a 3-layer ball. These harder balls have more spin and enable a great deal of backspin on the greens for precision approach play.
The first main difference between 2-layer balls and 3-layers balls is the internal core.
3-layer balls are constructed using a rubber internal core with a second rubber layer surrounding the core.
This increases compression on the golf ball during a swing and rapidly increases the ball speed.
Another main difference between a 2-layer ball and a 3-layer ball is the thickness of the cover on the ball. 3-layer balls have an extremely thin cover.
A thin cover on a golf ball enhances spin control.
Players with fast and accurate swings benefit from the 3-layer design because it helps them hit it farther.
Some of the most highly recommended golf balls for advanced players or low handicappers include any 3-layer brands such as
- Titleist Pro V1 – Effective at driving long distances without a professional-level swing speed.
- TaylorMade Tour Response – High-rated, aerodynamic golf ball that cuts through the wind.
- Callaway ERC Soft Triple Track – Used by all levels of players that prefer a softer ball.
- Srixon Z-STAR – Known as the putter’s ball, they are designed to slow rapidly with high spin.
Are Expensive Golf Balls Worth It?
Expensive golf balls are worth it when your skill level has progressed beyond both the beginner and intermediate stages. High-dollar golf balls do perform better than more economical golf balls, but only when they are being used by an experienced golfer.
The most important factor in determining if you should buy an expensive golf ball is your current skill level.
Players that are consistently hitting the ‘sweet spot’ will benefit from a golf ball that promotes a high spin rate and increased compression.
Your average, high-handicap player will benefit from using a 2-piece golf ball because a 2-layer golf ball will help reduce side spin and force a ball to fly straighter than a golf ball with a more complex design.
An experienced low handicap golfer can utilize the design of a 3-piece golf ball.
Increased compression and a high spin rate help advanced players dial in their shots.
Now You Know what Ball is Right for You!
The game of golf has advanced far beyond its humble beginnings. Hand-made wooden golf balls have been replaced by highly engineered tools.
Golf balls have experienced many innovations throughout the last century and now provide options for all skill levels of golfers. The skill level of the golfer is the most important factor in deciding what golf ball to choose.
Beginner players will actually be hindered by a more highly engineered golf ball. The advanced designs can exaggerate their bad habits.
Advanced players lose out on distance and control when using a more simply designed golf ball.
Ultimately, ” which golf ball is best for me? ” – the golf ball that you choose depends on your skill level.