An Honest Golf Ball Evaluation

Let's start by turning our attention away from the golf ball and shine the spotlight on your game, instead. After all, you are an essential piece of the puzzle here. The way you play the game is going to greatly influence the ball you should be using. Many amateur golfers pick a golf ball by choosing the model that is used by their favorite touring professional, but this is a plan that is destined to fail from the start. It is nearly certain that your game has almost nothing in common with the game of your favorite tour pro – so why would you use the same ball? Eliminate this factor from your thinking and simply focus on what each ball will be able to do when it is paired with your individual skills.

As you are thinking about your game, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is my average score? This is the best place to start. While there are a variety of factors which go into your average score, it will still be a good overall representation of your skills as a golfer. If you usually shoot in the low 80s or better, you probably don’t want to consider a low spin ball. You have developed your game to a point where you will likely be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by a higher spin model. From the mid 80s to the mid 90s, you should be open to just about any kind of ball. In this range, it depends on how your game is constructed. If you are a good ball striker and could use some help in the short game, a high spin ball is probably the best bet. However, if you are still struggling to control your full swing shots, a low spin ball may help you keep the ball in play. For those in the mid 90s and higher, it is almost certain that a low spin ball will be a smart choice. You don’t yet have the advanced skills needed to control a higher spinning ball, and you shouldn’t be spending high prices on golf balls which are likely to be lost rather quickly. Pay lower prices for low spin balls and work on improving your technique.
  • Where do I play golf? We mentioned this point earlier, but the viability of a low spin ball is going to depend – in part – on where you usually play golf. If you live in the desert and almost always play dry and firm courses, a low spin ball will be hard to use effectively. The greens are too firm to accept your approach shots in this setting, meaning many of those shots will just roll right off the back. On the other hand, someone in a damp climate where the ball usually stops quickly after it lands anyway will not need the stopping power of a high spin ball. For that player, using a low spin model is far more viable.
  • What are my goals in golf? It is important to think about what you want to accomplish as a golfer. Are you hoping to dramatically improve, or do you just want to have some fun with your friends without losing too many golf balls along the way? Those with big aspirations will want to transition into higher spin models as soon as possible, as those are the golf balls needed to post lower and lower scores. If you aren’t aiming for big improvements, however, an affordable low spin model may be the perfect way to enjoy your time on the links.

It isn’t always easy to be honest with yourself about your own golf game, especially when you don’t like everything about your play. You do need to be honest here, however, if you are going to make a smart decision. Take an overall look at the current state of your game and compare that to what is offered by a low spin ball.

An Honest Golf Ball Evaluation

Understanding the Golf Ball Spectrum

Most of the time, we refer to golf balls as either ‘low’ or ‘high’ spin. While that is a handy method of classifying balls for the sake of this discussion, it isn’t really accurate in terms of what the market offers today. In reality, there is a range of golf balls available to pick from, running from extremely low spin to extremely high spin. In the end, the ball that works best for you may actually be a model from somewhere in the middle of that range.

In fact, for most golfers, it is likely that the right model is going to be found in the middle. The balls at the lowest end of the market are meant for true beginners and those who just want something cheap. On the other end, the pro model golf balls are meant for those with both advanced skills and a large budget. Most golfers land somewhere in the middle of those extremes, so it is the balls between low and high spin that are usually the best place to start your search.

Golf balls on sale for somewhere between $25 – $35 are usually a nice blend of characteristics between either end of the ball scale. They don’t spin as much at the top models, but they spin quite a bit more than the true budget options. Also, they feel pretty good around the greens, if not quite as nice as the tour golf balls. It’s up to you to think about your game and find a ball that suits your needs, but there is a strong chance that the winner is going to come from the middle of the market.

Low spin golf balls get a bad rap, but they actually have a lot to offer certain golfers. If you are just getting started, you should be thankful that you can learn the ropes with cheap golf balls, rather than having to pay $40 per dozen. As you progress in this game, you’ll likely move toward higher spin models, but those low spin options can help build the foundation of your game nicely. Good luck!