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Which Golf Ball is Right for You?

PGA of America
Playing the balls you pulled out of the water might seem like it's saving you money, but it's costing your performance.
Jack Dillon
"High Fives"

Series: Already Golf

Published: Friday, January 30, 2015 | 1:13 p.m.

The 2015 PGA Merchandise Show just wrapped up last week in Orlando, FL. During the show many manufacturers, apparel makers and retailers introduce their most innovative and revolutionary equipment to-date. This makes it a perfect time – especially for those facing an off-season – to review your equipment, including which golf ball you play.

When most golfers think equipment, they think about the 14 clubs in their golf bags that produce the golf shot. The golf ball, however, is just as serious a part of a golfer’s equipment.  As with clubs, golf balls can and should be a measured and fitted part of your game.  Every experienced golfer should understand a few basic concepts regarding golf balls to get the most out of their game.

It is not uncommon for many golfers to play “value balls”, or even play “what they find on the course.”  While certainly feasible economically, in an effort to play a better game – let alone your best possible game – you might be leaving some performance on the table.

I suggest you seek out your PGA or LPGA Golf Professional and ask to be fitted for the best ball type for your swing attributes and game.  The quality, construction, and choice of golf balls is as wide as the driver, iron, and wedge choices that are available.  As with golf clubs, it becomes part science and part personal choice.

Ask your Professional to analyze your swing and to do a ball fitting. What you learn may amaze you.

Did you know that there are balls constructed in 2, 3 or 4 pieces? Have you ever noticed the varying array of dimples present? Do you know how each of these characteristics influences your ball flight? Depending on design, some balls are designed for low driver spin resulting in straighter drives. You could also optimize for driver distance or greater spin with your short irons. Your fitting with a PGA or LPGA Professional will provide you with a few options. The best part is knowing that each of these improvements are available to you.

It is vital to play an active role in the final choice.  You should add your personal likes to the equation. Be sure to pay close attention to how the balls feel to you, how they react and spin from 100 yards in, as well as how they feel on the green. Be certain to play a few rounds, testing several ball types before you end up with a final decision.  Rely on the science, the performance results, your experience and your PGA or LPGA Golf Professional’s knowledge throughout the process.

After all, regardless which ball you choose to play, you will spend a lot of time chasing after it for days to come. Have fun and enjoy the journey!