Which Ball Should You Play?
Every 2 years I see this frenzy of marketing and advertising trying to convince us which one is best. All the new fancy slogans, packaging, colors, pictures, & stats flood the market. We hear, more speed, thinner cover, better control, more layers, more colors, easier to see, new dimple pattern and the list goes on. So what’s the big deal? What’s the truth?
Let’s start with a mind exploding comment. Everything is not what is seems! For years the most dominate player in this generation played a Nike ball made by Bridgestone. We hear things like Phil Mickelson plays a mid level golf ball (Chrome Soft) that cost half the price of most tour quality golf balls. The truth is, He does play a “Chrome Soft” golf ball, but it’s not the one you can buy. In the same way the vast majority of the tour players have “Prototype” stamped on their clubs, the golf balls they play are not always the ones you have access to. So my advice to you, ignore what they play on T.V. Ignore the clever marketing and let us talk about what the real differences are.
You may be asking why I would talk about this. The truth is, you should be informed and my job is to not sell you the most expensive items I can. It is to sell you the items best for you and the items you want by helping you make informed decisions. If you want to play the #1 ball in golf, we have that. If you want to play trendy, we have that. If you want and can afford to buy a “Tour Quality” ball, we have that. If you want an affordable ball (And I know affordable is relative to who you are) we have that. Let’s answer a few questions to see where you land.
- Do you want a Tour Ball? This is a ball with a Urethane cover. Will have more spin around the greens & iron shots. By the way, if you never clean your clubs between shots, the advantage of this ball won’t matter. This ball, usually has a higher compression which means you need a faster swing to maximize distance. Also, with very few exceptions will be the most expensive.
Balls in this group include Titleist ProV, TaylorMade TP5, Bridgestone B, Srixon Z Star
- Maybe you want a Urethane cover but not the Price tag. There are options there as well. These won’t spin as much around the green but will still give you better performance than a Surlyn, Ionomer, or other proprietary material cover which we will cover next. Balls in this category are Callaway Chrome Soft, TaylorMade Project A.
- Maybe you don’t want or need the added spin because it causes your slice to go farther offline and you want more forgiveness in your full swing over a little extra spin around the greens. In this category you are looking for a ball that is a little better than a range ball but economical when it comes to price. Stay away from the Urethane. Usually a lower compression ball for slower swing speeds and firmer covers to help reduce side spin. Mid to high handicappers usually land in this category. Balls here are the Bridgestone “e” family, Callaway Superhot, Titleist Tour Soft, TaylorMade Project S.
- The last category, all you’re looking for is a ball to hit. You don’t really care about performance factors and only care about how many balls you can get for the cheapest price. Balls in this category are all the “distance” balls, Pinnacles, Maxfli Noodles, Superhot, Top Flight ect.
I’m not a tour player, but I have played all the “Tour Caliber” balls I listed. I have shot the same scores, good and bad, with them all. So you have to decide what type of ball you want/can afford. Then you have to decide which one is going to give you the most confidence. If you have bought in to the marketing and that matters to you, then you won’t be happy with anything else. Maybe a ball carries and err of prestige you have bought into and you need to belong to that group, then play that ball. There really isn’t a right or wrong when you are in the right category. Remember, the ball really doesn’t matter unless you trust your swing. That is another story for another time and we will get there but until then remember. Don’t buy in to the marketing. If you want a ball, buy it, play it. If you are confused about what ball is right for you, let’s talk about it and remember the truths, not the marketing when we make a decision.