Is There Really A Difference in Golf Balls?

If you are new to the game or golf or tired of spending big dollars for your golf balls, you might be asking if there really is a difference in golf balls.

You might be tired of hitting the $4 per golf ball into the woods or the water hazards and start to ponder what is really best for your game.

Or maybe you have played different level of golf balls and are improving and are seeking an additional way to ensure you can shoot your best scores.

Is there really a difference in golf balls?

Yes, there are golf balls that are soft and those that are hard.  There are golf balls that spin a lot and golf balls that keep the spin rate low.  There are low compression and high compression golf balls.  Ultimately, the golf ball will have an impact on your performance the better your game is.

And of course these golf balls range in price significantly.  There are usually two reasons a golfer will select a specific golf ball.  These include the price or the performance.

The best golfers will score best with the higher performing ball (more expensive) or a ball that fits their game.  While the beginner golf might not notice a major difference because they struggle to get the ball in the air or work it intentionally as a draw or a fade.

Our recommendation for the beginner golfer is to find used golf balls and learn the game before stressing what level of golf ball they are using.

Below, I will dive into the following topics related to golf balls:

  • Hard vs soft golf balls
  • High spin vs low spin golf balls
  • Low compression vs high compression golf balls
When face with a shot with out of bounds left and wind in your face, a ball that can flight through the wind is important!

Is there really a difference in golf balls: Hard vs Soft golf balls

Here is an easy to remember when it comes to hard vs soft balls regarding distance.  The harder the ball, the faster the initial velocity and the further will will fly.  The softer the golf ball, the slower the initial velocity and the shorter it will fly.

The premium golf balls have become more firm over the years.  Several decades ago the best players played balata golf balls because they needed the soft feel to produce spin and to help stop the ball on the greens.

In today’s game, the premium golf ball will maximize distance due to the firmness and optimum spin rate without needing to be really soft.  The golfer is able to perform at a high level with a harder golf ball.

Related Post: Why are golf balls so expensive?

Is there really a difference in golf balls: High Spin vs Low Spin

DId you know that if your golf ball spins too much with the driver, you will lose distance?  The golf ball struck with a 105 mile per hour swing and a spin rate of 2200 still carry much further, sometimes as much as 20-30 yards when compared to the golf ball struck with a 105 miles per hour swing and a spin rate of 4500.  Too much spin is devastating with the driver.

However, it is often overlooked when a golfer is selecting a golf ball.  Make sure you test out various golf balls at the local store that has a launch monitor.  If you see your golf ball “ballooning” while on the golf course, this is an excellent sign that you have too much spin.

A consistent amount of spin is important to the golfer to fight the wind on a breezy day and to control the distances.  Too little of spin with a 7 iron gives the golfer a flyer shot and they end up over the green in a bad position.

Is there really a difference in golf balls: Low Compression vs High Compression

The lower the compression the softer the golf ball, which means the ball will fly a shorter distance.  However, some people chose the lower compression ball because it can be easier to hit higher and produce spin for the golfer with a slower swing speed.  Ultimately, they have to decide if they will sacrifice some distance for shot height and the ability to hit the ball in the air.

Related Post: Practice golf balls vs Regular golf balls (Is there a difference?)

Learn how to test what golf ball is best for your game below. Take a sleeve of 5 different golf balls onto the course and hit some game like shots.

Golf Ball Recommendation

Beginner Golfer

Play whatever golf ball you can find for free.  Maybe these are golf balls from a neighbor that has extra golf balls or something you can pick up at a cheap price.  Learn to hit the ball in the air and make solid contact.  Once you get pass this point, then you can consider what golf ball might best fit your game.

Mid Level Handicap Golfer

I would recommend really starting to do some testing to see what golf ball best fits your swing.  If you swing close to 100 miles per hour with the driver, I would recommend the TItleist Pro V1.  To me, it is the best ball in the game and the performance is outstanding.  It can flight through the wind, stop on a dime and the distance with the driver is impressive.  There is good enough feel around the greens and it has everything a person needs in a golf ball.

However, if this golf ball is out of your budget, check the lower level Titleist or Chrome Soft golf ball.  Both perform well and can get you some extra height on shots with your irons, if you need this.

Complete Post: Best golf ball for mid level handicap golfer

Single Digit Handicap Golfer

I would highly recommend you test out the different premium level golf balls. I have used my Skytrak to test the following:

  • Ball Speed
  • Speed Rate
  • Launch Angle
  • Spin Axis (Curve of the ball)

I have tested each of the premium golf balls on the market and have selected the Titlesit Pro V1 as my go to golf ball. 

I would highly recommend serious golfers purchase a launch monitor of some sort for golf ball testing, golf club testing, overall game improvement and of course fun!  Below are the top recommendations:

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

Testing out at your local sporting good store or with your own launch monitor will provide the most accurate results!

How To Test Out Which Golf Ball is Best For your Game

Regardless of the level of golfer you are, if you want to test out the best golf ball for you, there are several options

Option 1: Buy A Sleeve of 5 Different Golf Balls

Start with chipping and putting the golf balls around the green.  Things to consider with the short game:

  • Overall feel
  • Spin rates
  • Distance control
  • Putting touch

Next, take the sleeve and play a round of golf.  Some things to track and keep data on:

  • Distance with driver
  • Distance control with irons
  • How does it flight in the wind?

Option 2: Test on a Launch Monitor

As I recommended above, testing on a launch monitor is the most scientific way to measure what golf ball is best for you.  You can find a local store and inquire if you can test out several golf balls. Or you can purchase your own launch monitor and practice into a net with your launch monitor.  The readings are typically pretty accurate and will give you the feedback you need to make a quality decision.

Where to buy golf balls from?

If you don’t mind playing a golf ball that has been hit several times, I would highly recommend

I have had a ton of success and have made 3 bulk purchases of Titleist Pro V1. The performance is excellent and the savings is even better.

Related Post: Best golf balls for simulator play

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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