Short Game Golf Ball Considerations

Feel around the greens is an important part of the golf ball picture. In this article, we want to talk more about how your short game should help determine which ball you select. If you have settled on a short list of golf ball models that you are considering, it may be the short game which winds up helping you identify a winner.

Here are some tips on how you can test various golf balls when it comes to the short game.

  • Hit some long putts. To get started, try rolling a number of long putts with a particular golf ball to test its feel. It is easier to test the feel of the ball with a long putt as opposed to a short putt, simply because there is more force used on a long stroke. Does it seem easy to control the distance of the ball, or are you struggling to dial in your speed just right? If possible, use a variety of golf ball models side by side during your long putt testing, hitting one after the next. After only a few minutes of putting, you should have a good idea of which balls perform well off the putter, and which lag behind.
  • Try to spin some chip shots. One of the best ways to test a golf ball in the short game is to hit some chip shots with the intention of using spin to stop the ball. To do this, you’ll need to chip from a good lie on fairway length grass, and you’ll need to use a lofted wedge. Do your best to clip the ball cleanly off the top of the grass, and be sure to land the shot on the green so the spin will have a chance to take hold. Again, test a number of different golf balls and watch for differences in how they react after landing on the green. Since it can be difficult to spin chip shots effectively, you’ll probably want to hit quite a few shots before you draw any conclusions.
  • Pitch from the rough. When pitching the golf ball from the rough, spin is not going to be much of a factor. You won’t be able to put much spin on the ball when playing out of the deep rough, so you’ll have to judge the speed of the shot just right in order to come away with a good result. With that in mind, you want to make sure that a given golf ball feels good on these kinds of shots. Specifically, you don’t want a ball which seems to ‘jump’ out of the rough on your chip and pitch shots. When the ball tends to come out quick, it makes it quite difficult to stop your shots consistently around the hole.

Overlooking the importance of the short game when picking a golf ball is going to leave you with a ball that performs well on your full swing – but gives you trouble when chipping or putting. Take the time to test all balls you are considering both on and around the greens before making your final selection. When you know that your golf ball is up to the task no matter where you happen to be on the course, your confidence will receive a nice boost.