The typical golfer isn't that picky about the ball he plays. Perhaps he should be.

Dig through the bag of an average amateur and you're likely find to a variety of golf ball brands and models. A Top-Flite here, a Titleist there… A few “distance” balls, a smattering of “premium” offerings and probably a “tour” model or two.


Our golfer accumulated this diverse selection by the usual means. He grabbed a dozen on sale at the local golf outlet or department store. A few more came from the course pro shop. The remainder, naturally, were found in the woods or water while he looked for his own lost orb.

While there's nothing wrong with bargain hunting or scavenging, playing different balls from round to round – or even hole to hole – does nothing to help your game.

Look at it this way: Do you carry six different drivers and tee off with whichever one you happen to grab on a given hole? No. You find one that works – preferably through a professional fitting – and stick with it.

You should do the same with your golf ball.

Ball technology has exploded in recent years, and not just in the distance department. Manufacturers now offer an array of models designed to meet the specific performance needs of a gamut of golfers. Swing speed, backspin, launch angle and feel preferences all factor into the equation.

The Golf Ball Guide here at will help you select the right ball for your game. If you need more convincing that playing a single brand and model is the way to go, here are a handful of good reasons:

1. The right ball can compensate for your weaknesses: Let's say you're willing to sacrifice a little greenside touch for an extra five yards off the tee. Once you've found a ball that fits the bill, switching willy-nilly could cost you that gain. Imagine discovering a ball that straightens your tee shots and irons, then swapping it for one that doesn't. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

2. Different balls fly different distances: After a round or two with your ideal ball, you'll have your iron and hybrid distances dialed in. You'll know that a well-struck 8-iron flies about 145 yards, for example. Make a change and the difference of just a few yards can be crucial – and you could see a full club's margin between different balls.

3. Different balls fly at different trajectories: The fitting process gives you a chance to customize for trajectory. Want to hit your shots higher? Lower? There's a ball for that. Many amateurs overlook ball flight, but it's a major key to your performance.

4. You can hone your game to meet the ball's characteristics: This is especially important in the short game, where ball behavior can vary widely from model to model. If you're playing a high-spin ball that lets you hit firm, checking chip shots, what happens if you switch to a lower-spin ball? Those same shots bounce and roll past the cup.

5. You can buy them used in bulk: If you don't mind playing used golf balls – which are available in like-new condition – they'll save you a lot of money. You save even more when buying packages of 50 or more, and new balls typically aren't packaged in bulk. Pick your ball, buy a trunk full, and spend the leftover cash on lessons or equipment. It's a win-win.

Golf Balls – Should You Always Play the Same Model?

Golf Balls – Should You Always Play the Same Model?

There are countless golf balls on the market today. If you head to your local golf shop, you should have no trouble finding a wide variety of golf ball models to consider. There are low spin models, high spin models, budget golf balls, expensive golf balls, and everything in-between. If you are looking for a particular characteristic in a ball, there is a good chance that you'll be able to find it in a model that is already on sale.

So, with all this variety available, should you switch from ball to ball, continuously trying out new models to see what they have to offer? Probably not. For most players, the best option is to settle on one model that works for their game, and then stick with that ball for as long as possible. Just like you can build confidence with the clubs in your bag, you can build confidence in your golf ball as well. As the rounds add up, you'll get more and more comfortable with what your chosen ball can and can't do. You can think of each shot you hit as another opportunity to build your connection with your golf ball model of choice.

As you can tell already, our answer to the question of 'should you always play the same model' golf ball is a resounding yes. Continuity in your equipment is tremendously helpful, and that applies to your golf balls just as it does to your clubs. With that said, you shouldn't just pick out any golf ball on the shelf and make it your permanent choice. You need to do some testing first, to find a ball that is going to suit your needs nicely. Only when you are sure you've found the right ball should you do your best to settle in for the long run.

Therefore, most of this article is going to be dedicated to helping you find the right golf ball for your game. There are a number of factors to consider as part of this choice, and we are going to help you sort through those factors with the content below. In the end, we hope you feel that you have all the information you need to make a smart selection.

All of the content in this article has been written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

It's All About Balance

It's All About Balance

It is easy to get caught up in extremes when shopping for a golf ball – or any piece of equipment, for that matter. Find a ball that claims to be the longest on the market? That's great! Until you need to hit a delicate chip shot down a slope, where it will be nearly useless. Find a ball that claims to offer incredible amounts of spin? That's also great – until you hit your driver and see the shot balloon way up into the sky and fall down short of the 200-yard mark.

In order to settle on a@ golf ball that is going to work nicely for your game, you need to find a ball that does everything well. That doesn't necessarily mean the ball will be the best at anything – it just will be able to check all of the boxes in an acceptable manner. This is a golf ball that will cover good distance off the tee, it will spin when you strike it cleanly with an iron, and it will feel nice on your chip shots and putts. It isn't necessarily easy to track down this kind of ball, which is why you'll want to keep using it for as long as possible once you do find it.

One of the reasons it is tough to find the perfect golf ball for your game is the fact that your game is unique. There is no other golfer in the world with the exact same set of skills as you possess – meaning you can't look to any other players for help in picking out the right ball. Sure, your friend may have found the right ball for his or her game, but that doesn't mean the same ball will perform properly for you. It doesn't even matter if you usually shoot similar scores to your friend – you may go about shooting those scores in completely different ways.

It may be helpful to think about your choice of golf ball in terms of bringing your game back as close to 'normal' or 'neutral' as possible. For example, if you naturally hit your driver really high, you'll want to find a ball that helps you bring that flight a little closer to the ground. Or, if you struggle to put much spin on your iron shots, a ball that spins easily off the irons should be high on your list. You generally don't want to deal in extremes in golf, as playing near those extremes will make it hard to deal with various circumstances that pop up on the course. If you have a relatively neutral game, you will have an easier time adapting to changing conditions.

Playing in windy conditions is a perfect example of this concept. If you are a high-ball hitter and you decide to use a ball that naturally flies high, all of your shots are going to be way up in the sky. That's fine on a calm day – but it's a disaster when the wind picks up. What's worse is the fact that you'll probably struggle to bring your flight back down closer to the ground when it gets windy, since you are using a ball that wants to fly high. If you had built your game on a neutral flight pattern instead of a high one, you'd have much more of a fighting chance in breezy conditions.

The moral of the story here is simple – you want to find a golf ball that offers you the best combination of features across the board. Don't be wowed by one ball just because it adds a few yards to your drives, unless that ball also performs nicely throughout the rest of your game. You are only going to reach your goals if you have a ball that can perform just as well on the greens as it does back on the tee.

Three Basic Options

Three Basic Options

At the start of this article, we mentioned that there is a seemingly endless assortment of golf balls on the market today. That is certainly true, however, you can pretty much divide those golf balls into three general categories. By understanding these categories, you will be able to quickly narrow down your search right from the start. By knowing which of the three categories is going to serve your needs, you can eliminate balls in the other two sections of the market. Then, when only considering balls that fall within the appropriate market segment, you can get down to the work of finding the specific model that you'll select.

So, what are these three golf ball categories? Check out the list below.

  • Budget golf balls. As the name would indicate, these are golf balls which are focused on offering you a low price – and nothing else. These kinds of golf balls don't provide much in the way of performance benefits. They certainly don't spin at a high rate, and they usually don't feel good on or around the greens. You might get some decent distance out of these golf balls, but that's about all they have going for them. So, who would buy such golf balls? Beginners, and high-handicappers. The balls in this category are a great choice for those just getting started in golf. You're sure to lose plenty of golf balls while learning your way around the course, so why pay a premium for more expensive models? Beginners should use balls from this category until they have developed the skills to take advantage of what is offered by more advanced models.
  • Premium golf balls. These are the models that you will see in play on the PGA Tour. The golf balls that land in this category offer a high rate of spin in most cases, and they also provide plenty of distance off the tee. Most golfers would consider these to be the 'best' on the market, and they have a price tag to match. You will be lucky to pick up a box of these kinds of balls for less than $40, and the price tag will occasionally rise above $50. Unfortunately, many amateur golfers think they should purchase these balls because they are the best on the market, but it really doesn't work that way. Unless you have advanced skills, you aren't going to be able to take advantage of what these premium balls can do. Therefore, you'll be paying for something that actually isn't a great fit for your game. Unless you regularly shoot in the 70s or better, you should pass on these types of golf balls.
  • The middle ground. As you might expect, most golfers are going to wind up in this last category. These golf balls are a nice blend of the features seen at either end of the market, meaning they will work for the biggest number of golfers. They tend to offer solid distance, some spin, and reasonable feel around the greens. Usually coming in somewhere around $25 - $35 per dozen, you'll enjoy some savings here as compared to the truly premium models. If you've been playing golf for at least a little while, and you can shoot in the 80s or 90s on most occasions, a middle ground ball is likely to be right for your needs.

The golf ball market starts to make a lot more sense when you view it through this lens. In fact, during your next trip to the golf shop, take a look at the golf ball section and see if you can mentally divide the offerings up into three categories. Most likely, this will be pretty easy. You'll find some golf balls that are targeted to beginners, some that are at the top end of the market, and the rest that fall in-between. Now that you have a general outline of how the ball market works and what you can expect in each category, you can begin to narrow in on a model that will find a happy home in your bag.