Finding Your Ball
The look, sound, and feel of a golf ball are very personal. You are looking for optimal performance from 100 yards and in. You can simply visit your local golf shop or professional for recommendations. Or you can work with a clubfitter to utilize launch monitor technology to measure your ball flight characteristics and find the best ball that matches up with your clubs and ball flight. Since many manufacturers make golf balls with similar construction and characteristics, purchase a sleeve of a few different recommended balls and go test them on the course and especially around the greens.
Remember, the golf ball is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your game, so don’t take this lightly. My personal brand of choice is Titleist. Designed to fit your game, Titleist’s advanced technology is second to none, offering a golf ball for every playing level.Christina Ricci / Golf Author & 5 Handicap in 5 Years
Golf balls are designed for specific swing speeds or specific types of ball flight or spin. Using a ball that doesn’t match your swing speed or ball flight will not give you optimal results—and can often be a waste of money. For example, if you are a lower-swing-speed player who tends to slice the ball, you do not need a premium ball with a high-spin characteristic. Finding the right match for you will help you hit the ball farther, straighter, and more consistently—and often save you money.
Golf Ball Construction
Golf balls can contain from one to five layers. The cover is common on all balls. Each item beneath the cover counts as an additional piece. The most complex golf balls contain five pieces, including a core, plus three separate inner layers.
Compression » Finding the Squish-Factor
Compression is a term that refers to the density of a golf ball. It is a measure of how hard or soft a golf ball really is. Golf balls are typically rated in density from 70 (softest) to 110 (hardest). When the golfer hits the ball with the club, the ball is basically “squished” at the moment of impact The golf ball then springs back to its original shape. A softer ball is called a high-compression ball (squished more easily at impact). A golf ball that is harder (low-compression ball) will require more energy to compress at impact.
Cover of a Golf Ball » Find Your Feel
The cover of the golf ball determines the “feel” on shorter shots like putts and chips. A softer cover typically spins more for better control around the green. Soft-covered balls are typically crafted with blends of co-polymer plastics, high-energy rubber or similar resistant materials. Covers made of Surlyn and polymer blend are typically more durable and more affordable, but are slightly less responsive and have a firmer feel. Urethane covers tend to be the dominant material in softer, premium golf balls that offer enhanced feel, but urethane covers are less durable.
Golf ball performance is the result of design and manufacturing quality, and includes distance, spin control, and consistency.
One-Piece » Most inexpensive and not recommended
A one-piece golf ball is the simplest construction available. Designed mainly for beginners and use at driving ranges, this construction is rarely used as a playing ball. One-piece golf balls are made form a solid sphere of Surlyn with dimples moulded in. These balls are inexpensive and do not give the distance of other construction due to their lower compression – hence their use at driving ranges in vast quantities.
A low spin ball is typically lower in cost, will give you more distance, but you will sacrifice control around the green where we lose most of our strokes. Balls of this nature will hit the green and run out, oftentimes off the green and into that back bunker! Track your rounds to determine how many greens in regulation you hit. If under 5, than a low-spin ball may not be the best fit. Many women golfers have trouble reaching the green in regulation. A low-spin, Surlyn®-covered golf ball may provide distance, but it is difficult to hold shots into the green. Golfers who are distance challenged have many more up-and-down opportunities.
Large solid rubber core provides a lot of velocity off the club face
Firm Surlyn and plastic covers are common
Performance can be altered by changing the size and hardness of the core
Low spin helps reduce slices and hooks and promotes a straighter ball flight
Most common ball, making up roughly 50 percent of the market
2-Piece Golf Balls » Designed for Women
Flies straighter due to low spin
Optimized to perform ideally at lower swing speeds
Generally features a soft core that provides increased carry and distance
Terms to Know
Harder Feel and Reduced Spin for Distance
A two-piece ball often has a Surlyn. Although Bridgestone, for example, sells a urethane-covered, two-piece ball. Inside is a core that is generally made from rubber or a similar material. Many Callaway, Top-Flite, and Titleist balls use polybutadiene – a synthetic rubber – as the inner material.
The harder outer layer of the two-piece golf ball provides a more resilient surface upon impact with the club, producing greater distance than most three-piece golf balls. Furthermore, two-piece golf balls generally have greater compression, which is a measure of the ball’s springiness when it is struck. Golf balls with greater compression do not collapse as much when struck at very high club speeds, leading to greater distance.
Two-piece golf balls produce a harder feel upon impact than three-piece golf balls, making them less advantageous around the green. Some golfers, however, prefer the heavier and more solid feel of a hard golf ball off the tee. The softer feel of a three-piece golf ball often doesn’t produce the satisfying “thud” that the two-piece ball does when struck well.
Two-piece golf balls produce less spin than three-piece balls. While this is a disadvantage for more advance golfers who need to shape shots and stop the ball quickly around the green, reduced spin may actually help beginning golfers. For golfers who struggle with hooks or slices, a ball with less spin may help them keep more shots in the fairway.
Three-Piece » Multi-Piece Ball with Softer Cover with Stopping Power
A low-spin ball will give you more distance, but you will need a swing speed 90 mph+ to get the benefit of a three-piece ball.
Thin “mantle” layer between core and cover
Low-spin: Lower spin off the driver results in longer shots
High-spin: Higher spin off an iron results in better performance around the green
Soft urethane cover or firmer durable Surlyn cover
Requires high swing speed/compression in order to create high velocity
Not recommended for golfers with swing speeds lower than 90 mph
For intermediate and advanced golfers
A low spin ball will give you more distance, but you will need a swing speed 90 mph+ to get the benefit of a three-piece ball.
TaylorMade has achieved the first mover advantage when it comes to the five-piece golf ball. The TaylorMade Penta TP is the first tour ball with five solid-layers, with each layer engineered to optimize performance in five key shot categories that skilled players need – driver, long-irons, middle-irons, short-irons, and short wedge shots. The five layers of Penta TP include the core, inner mantle, middle mantle, outer mantle, and cover, and each one plays a critical role in optimizing the performance of each of the five key shots.
Spin Factor » Find Your Spin
Lower spinning golf balls tend to decrease side spin on your shots, causing the ball to fly straighter through the air and roll further once landed. This type of ball is more suited to golfers who tend to slice the ball and struggle to find distance.
The mid-spin golf ball bridges the gap between the low- and high-spin golf balls. These balls try to incorporate the best from both distance (low-spin) golf balls and soft (high-spin) golf balls. These balls are aimed at the widest range of golfers and are suitable for use by all standards in all conditions.
This ball is designed to spin the most through the air, creating a longer carry. A high-spinning golf ball will not get the run out on the fairway of a low- or mid-spin ball; but will make up for it around the greens. A high-spinning golf ball will give better players more control and feel in, on, and around the greens.
There are pros and cons to playing a woman-specific designed ball.
PROS: Most branded ladies-specific golf balls are two-piece, lightweight construction with a softer cover providing easier compression for lower swing speeds. Plus, the dimple patterns are designed to provide optimal aerodynamics for an extra lift; two strong pluses worth exploring!
CONS: Low-spin golf balls that provide more distance do not provide the best performance around the green; they do not hold the green well. This is something to consider if your GIRs are low. Selecting a ball that has stopping power around the green may be a wiser choice!
If you are newer to the game, a two-piece ball is generally a safe bet. Two-piece balls roll out farther and generate more distance than any other ball. Balls with three or more pieces allow golfers greater control, which is why they’re typically used by better players who are good enough to fade or draw a shot on a dog-leg hole or stop the ball on the green with their short irons.
Christina’s Favorite Ball
Titleist Pro V1 in Christina’s Bag
Play with the top brands to find your ball.
When you discover your ball, keep it consistent and only play with that ball.
Finding your ball is an important part of improvement. My suggestion is to play a few rounds with one ball, then switch. Journal your experiences with each in your More Pars Log Book.
Should I try multiple brands?
I recommend exploring the top brands in golf to see which ball speaks to you. Remember, the golf ball is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your game. So don’t take this lightly. My personal brand of choice is Titelist. Their technology is second to none, offering golf balls designed to fit your game.
What do I look for as I am playing a ball?
How does the ball feel coming off the face? The best way to feel this is to grab a Top Flite and Pro V1. Chip with each. You should feel the difference immediately. The Top Flite feels hollow and shoots off the face like a rock. The Pro V1 feels soft and controllable. If you struggle with distance, choose a selection of balls to try that have a lower spin with higher launch, which helps keep the ball in the air longer.
Titleist Golf Balls
Pro V1 » $62/dozen
Very soft feel, exceptional distance, and long-lasting durability. Tour-proven around the globe, the Titleist Pro V1® golf ball is engineered to deliver exceptional distance, consistent flight, very soft feel, Drop-and-Stop™ greenside control, and longer lasting durability. The multi-component construction of the Pro V1® golf ball utilizes a softer compression ZG process core technology, features a responsive ionomeric casing layer, and an improved high-performance Urethane Elastomer™ cover system with a 352 tetrahedral dimple design.
NXT® Tour » $44/dozen
The Titleist NXT® Tour S golf ball is designed to deliver NXT Tour performance with softer compression feel. This golf ball features a proprietary soft compression, highly resilient core, and, like NXT Tour, utilizes a soft Fusablend cover and a spherically tiled, 302 octahedral dimple design. Available in white and high-optic yellow.
NXT® Tour S » $44/dozen
The Titleist NXT® Tour golf ball is designed to deliver low driver and long iron spin for outstanding distance, commanding short game scoring performance and soft feel. This advanced multi-component golf ball features a large dual core with a soft center, soft Fusablend cover, and spherically tiled 302 octahedral dimple design.
Velocity » $35/dozen
The Titleist Velocity golf balls are powered for even more explosive distance. The re-engineered, exclusive LSX core produces high initial ball speed for more power off the tee and shorter approach shots into the green. The advanced spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design delivers a more penetrating trajectory with a shallower angle of descent for even more roll. Titleist Velocity golf balls provide power, precision, and playable feel.
DT® SoLo » $28/dozen
The Titleist DT SoLo golf balls have been redesigned to provide even longer distance along with the noticeably soft feel and control that golfers have come to love. With a spherically tiled 376 tetrahedral dimple design with more uniform surface coverage, DT SoLo golf balls now deliver even more consistent flight and more distance. This is the best combination of soft feel and distance in a DT yet.
Log Journal » $18.95
Mirroring the More Pars Online logging system, the More Pars Log Book is your on-course companion to game improvement. This pocket-sized, full-color, 222-page comprehensive More Pars Game Improvement Golf Journal is a must-have for all More Pars Members to sync their game with improvement and more pars! Your Log Book includes:
Track Basic or Advanced Stats
Chart Club Yardages
Monitor Your More Pars Game Plans
Log Notes & Monitor Goals
Log Key Points and Drills from Your Lessons
Log & Track Practice Sessions
Prep for a Tournament