Playing golf in the 21st century means you have countless golf ball options available to you on the market today. There are a few leading brand names which dominate most of the sales, but there are many different models for you to consider. At first it can be a little overwhelming when trying to pick out a golf ball simply because there are so many choices. However once you learn the basics of what is important in a golf ball, and how to match golf ball characteristics to your swing, the process becomes rather easy. With just a little bit of homework and investigation, you should be able to find a ball that meets your needs perfectly.
Cost is a large determining factor for many players when picking out a golf ball, but you shouldn’t buy your next dozen based only on cost. Obviously you will be limited by the budget you have in mind for this purchase, but there are usually a number of different ball styles to pick from even at the same price point. Buying the cheapest ball on the shelf is usually a bad idea but buying the most expensive ball isn’t necessarily a great idea either.
Take your time to study up and only make your purchase when you have settled on a ball that will maximise your performance on the course.
IT’S (ALMOST) ALL ABOUT SPIN…
Spin rates vary widely from ball to ball, depending on their design, the material used and their construction. Some balls are meant to spin as much as possible where as others are meant to limit spin. While it may at first seem at first that you would want the highest spinning ball on the market, that is not always the case. Depending on your skill level and the style of your game a lower spin ball may be a better option.
Spin rate doesn’t just apply to back spin, it applies to side spin, when you strike the ball with any of your clubs there is guaranteed to be some degree of back spin, however with that back spin also comes side spin. It is the side spin that determines the quality of your shot. A ball strike on the centre of the face and straight down the target line imparts almost all back spin and very little side spin.
However not all shots are hit perfectly. If you are using a high spinning ball and you make a poor swing, that sidespin is passed to the ball at impact and sends it curving dramatically off-target. For example, players who fight a slice consistently put left to right spin on the golf ball by swiping across the ball from the outside-in at impact. Making this mistake with a low spin ball could result in a slight fade to the right, while making the same swing with a high spin rate with a high spin ball could generate a huge slice into that could sail into the trees.
WHERE DO YOU PLAY?
This question is extremely important when it comes to picking a golf ball that will suit your game day after day. Generally speaking you want to use a ball that will maximise your carry distance when you are playing on soft turf conditions, so if you live in an areas where it is generally wet a maximising your carry distance is vital. By contrast in the summer months and in areas where harder conditions prevail you want to play a ball that stays lower to the ground to allow for plenty of bounce and roll on your drives. A high spin ball in windy conditions is going to be a bad combination, you’ll have problems keeping your shots down and out of the wind.
YOUR SHORT GAME…
One of the key ingredients to using the right ball for your short game is getting the proper amount of spin on chip shots. Some players like to chip the ball aggressively towards the hole while relying on spin to stop the shot near the target, if that sounds like you a ball on the softer side of the scale will be a better option. However if you like to play bump and run style shots which don’t require back spin to stop, a harder ball works just fine.
- I NEED THE BALL (INTB) 2.0
In the #10 spot is a new comer to golf scene, at least to most people. These Tungsten core golf balls are made to be long, and a lower cost option to your main name brand golf balls. The only 3pc cast urethane ball with tungsten core technology and spin-tack cover on the market today. INTB 2.0 combines the makeup of a high-performance ball with the core of a distance ball. You get length with the addition of the tungsten without losing the feel and spin.
- ONCORE MA 1.0
The Hollow Metal Core Golf ball! As strange as it may seem, these are very nice golf balls! One of the top 25 products at the PGA Merchandise show, makes the Oncore MA 1.0 one of the newest hot golf balls on the market. The performance of a golf ball is affected by numerous factors – material selection, dimple pattern, weight distribution, inertia, compression, club head speed, and many others.
What OnCore has done is introduce an entirely new set of options in designing a ball by incorporating proprietary metal alloys with ultra-high performance polymer blends that shift the weight of the ball towards the perimeter, increasing the inertia and reducing the amount of side-spin. With a £24 per dozen price point, these premium golf balls are a great deal, for those looking for something new and extra-long!
For the Innovator
- SRIXON Z STAR XV
Combining Spinskin and Speed Dimples, Srixon has given the new tour balls even more control and distance. These premium golf balls are made to the highest quality and for golfers of all types and skill levels. If you are looking for J.B.Holmes type length, this may be the ball for you.
For the big dawg
- CALLAWAY CHROMESOFT
The new Chromesoft, is available with its dual softfast core and tour urethane cover, allow for better control for more birdies! “This is the best ball I’ve ever played,” says Callaway staffer Phil Mickelson
It has a three-piece construction with a compression of around 65, lower than the majority of balls used out on tour, and it features a new ‘SoftFast’ core, which retains energy as the ball compresses and deforms on the face at impact, but also returns to its original shape quicker. Callaway says this results in lower spin and more distance. Great price for a great ball makes this ball #7 on our top 10 golf balls list.
For the iron player
- Bridgestone B330/B330-s
Bridgestone spares no expense when it comes to data testing and optimizing their golf balls for every player. The Tourcore should give you extra control and distance off the tee, and new SlipRes cover keeps the golf ball looking better for longer. The durability assists in making the golf balls last a little longer and that helps with a ball that’s designed for swing speeds in excess of 105MPH.
For the superman
- Callaway Speed Regime 2
Another ball that is optimised for a set swing speed. This time aimed at mid handicapper with a swing speed of 90-100MPH. The optimized aerodynamic performance and very soft urethane cover delivers Tour-level control with incredibly soft feel. Superior spin separation regulates spin & control, increases ball speed & maximizes distance. Each ball in the range delivers distance, plenty of short game spin and the softest feel of any Callaway tour ball to date
For the Mid Handicapper
- Taylormade Tour Preferred/X
A 5 Layer golf ball, providing exceptional distance and control with the wedges, brings the Taylormade Tour Preferred models to our #4 spot for best golf balls in 2016. The new 2016 Tour Preferred X integrates a 5 layer construction that gives better players a lower flighted ball trajectory with their irons, a thicker re-engineered Soft Tech cast urethane cover which provides improved green side spin and control that the best players in the world demand. Sergio Garcia has given these golf balls his stamp of approval, so we don’t see why you shouldn’t either.
For the short game expert.
- Vice Pro Plus – BEST VALUE BALL 2016!
Very Visually appealing golf ball, amazing price and good performance gives the Pro the #3 spot on our best golf balls list. The Logo is sleek and almost gives the Pro V series a run for overall appearance. Its 4 piece design with Urethane cover along with 336 dimple design, with dual casting, is Optimized for extraordinary distance and lower ball flight, Lower launch and lower spin for longer drives Vice have developed there S2TG (Stick to the Green) technology for outstanding control on and around the green. All of this for less than £1.80 a ball
For the up and coming
- Nike RZN Platinum
The Rory Mcilroy fan fave, the Nike RZN Platinum is one of the best golf balls on the market. The Platinum is the softest tour quality golf ball that Nike offers. Boasting 13,558 mini dimples, engineered to optimize flight time. The Speedlock X Core assists in optimizing energy transfer, while giving maximum distance and ultimate forgiveness. The Nike RZN Platinum is in a strong fight for the #1 golf ball on our list but unfortunately for Nike, there is the one and only, Titleist in the coveted spot.
For the competition junkie
- Titleist Pro V1/Pro V1x
What makes the perfect golf ball? Soft feel, sharp spin on the green, low spin off the tee, decent durability, and maximum distance while maintaining control… The Pro V1 does it all.
There isnt much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Pro V series. These golf balls have proven themselves on tour and at our local golf courses for over a decade or more. It is hard to rank any other golf ball higher on our best golf balls list for 2016, until some of the competition can achieve what Titleist has done. They have one of the most expensive price tags on the market but they have earned that, they are the market leader.
So finally our #1 golf ball for 2016 is none other than the Titleist Pro V 1 series
For the best golfer you can be