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.