Which golf ball should I buy? Does it make a difference? Let’s find out. I will address a major selling feature in the golf ball industry and explain why it is important in your buying decision. After reading this article you will be able to buy a golf ball that matches your ability and likely will save you money. (Disclaimer: The links in this article are affiliate partners and if you make a purchase, I will receive a commission.)
When I first started playing golf, I chose my golf balls by the price, color, and name brand. I wanted what was on sale, pink and top of the line. My rationale: if it’s good for the pros, it’s good for me. This was a mistake and I want to share what I learned from this expensive lesson so you don’t have to waste money.
Nearly all of the information that I found stated that swing speed was a major factor in which golf ball you should play. If your swing speed is less than 90 miles per hour, you should use a golf ball with a lower compression number in order to increase the distance of flight. To find out what your speed is have a PGA Golf Pro Instructor like Rhett Fregoe at Shoal Creek Golf Course evaluate your swing.
When choosing a golf ball, look for the compression rating on the label. Compression ratings are the measure of flattening that occurs when a golf ball is struck by the club. A golf ball that is hard will not flatten where a soft golf ball will flatten on impact making it travel farther. The benefit of having a golf ball with a high compression rating is that you have more control over it, especially on the green. A soft golf ball will travel farther though, which is important when teeing off. Compression is measured between 0-200, with 200 being a ball that does not compress and 0 being a ball that compresses 5mm (1/5 of an inch) or more.
If you have a swing speed of greater than 100 miles-per-hour (mph), you will want to use a golf ball with a compression rating of 100. Golf pros will have a swing speed within this range. Most players have an average to low swing speed, meaning that they have average swing rates between 75-90 mph. If you fall within this range, you should look to buy a golf ball with a compression rating of average (90 compression rating) to low (80 compression rating).
Debate Against Compression ratings as a Feature
Since most women have a swing speed that is slower than men, it would be wise to choose a ball with a lower compression number. However, the Titleist website argues that the whole idea of choosing a golf ball based on swing speed is a misconception. They argue that every player has a wide range of swing speeds in one round of golf. You don’t use the same swing speed teeing off the green that you will putting a three-foot shot. I can agree with this argument, as it makes sense. I also can see that if you swing slower, you need a ball that will transmit the lower energy from your swing into the longest shot possible. I believe, for my game, that I need a ball that will give me a greater distance off the tee. I need to keep up with the pace of the game. If my first shot is short, I slow everyone down. I don’t do that so much on the green. I contend that swing speed and compression numbers remains an important aspect of ball choice.
If you have a fast swing speed (over 100 mph) you will want to look at golf balls with a compression rating of 100. Brands that fall into this range are the Bridgestone Tour B330, the Calloway Hex Black Tour and the TaylorMade TP Black.
If your swing speed is average (90-100mph) you will want to look at golf balls with a compression rating of 90. Brands that fall into this range are the Bridgestone Golf Lady Precept and the Volvik Vista iV.
For players with a swing speed of less than 90mph look to purchase a golf ball with a soft compression rating of 80. You will have an easier time finding golf balls that fall into this category because a majority of players have slower swing speeds and want more distance. Brands that fall into this range include the Calloway SuperSoft, Titleist DT Truesoft, Srixon Soft Feel, Pinnacle Soft, Nike Golf Women’s PD9 and the Wilson Staff 50 Elite.
In the end, you need to buy a ball that you feel helps you play well. The price point needs to be such that you don’t cringe right before you swing. Although this list is not all inclusive, it gives you a good place to start looking. A good online site to purchase golf balls is In The Hole! Golf
What is your favorite golf ball brand?
Titleist. Titleist Performance Golf Ball Fitting: The Facts About Swing Speed. June 10, 2011. https://www.titleist.com Accessed July 1, 2017.