In the game that is golf, few things are certain, but the quality of your golf ball is not one of them. There is absolute consensus that golf ball quality has a definite and measurable impact on your golf game. So, does golf ball quality matter?
The quality of your golf ball for your game is critical in achieving good scores, as playing with the wrong ball can adversely affect your accuracy and distance. This is why the pros use the best they can because high-quality balls will deliver the performance they need at that level.
There is more to the average golf ball than just the brand, as you need to use a ball suited to your game, especially in terms of swing speed. Let’s investigate how golf ball quality matters and whether it can be to your benefit or detriment.
How Golf Ball Quality Affects Shot Performance
The most uncomplicated and most straightforward example of how golf ball quality affects shot performance is if you’ve ever seen a range ball do a ‘split-S’ maneuver after hitting it! It kind of wobbles in the air and doesn’t go quite the distance or direction expected.
The core of the ball and the cover have been hammered over time. So the original ball quality in terms of the core and the outer layer has been compromised, leading to the erratic and inconsistent performance you see with range balls.
Even though range balls are designed to take punishment, they can only survive for so long before their abuse affects their performance.
This is also why golf ball sponsors provide tournament-quality balls to the pros for practicing, so they get consistent performance to constantly evaluate ball striking quality with their clubs.
The Difference Between Premium And Cheaper Golf Balls
Like Ford vs. Ferrari, the quality of the materials used to produce the ball makes the difference between premium and cheap golf balls.
Premium golf balls have a urethane cover that gives them much more spin and grip on the greens, while the cheaper balls have a Surlyn cover that imparts less spin and control.
Read more: What Are Golf Balls Made Of?
While tests have shown that the harder, lower spinning Surlyn balls may get slightly more distance off the tee (but only about 6 yards or less), the premium balls are more favored as they give more control, spin, and feel, especially around the greens.
Should You Use Premium Golf Balls?
Yes, if you can afford them, then, by all means, do. However, you should note that a $6 ball makes the same noise and splash when landing in the water as a $1.50 ball. Herein lies the crux of this question.
Regardless of what golf ball you use, if your swing mechanics are not good and your ball striking is inconsistent, spending a lot of money on premium balls doesn’t make sense.
While it is true that your playing partner may judge you on what ball you tee up, remember that this is about playing good golf and not about prestige. While some high handicappers insist on playing Titleist Pro V1s, they would fare just as well with cheaper balls and save their money for the 19th hole.
Another consideration is premium ball anxiety. You know, that feeling you get teeing up that $6 ball you treated yourself and then worrying about hitting OB (out-of-bounds) or in the water – which inevitably happens.
That’s money anxiety right there; as for the same $6, you could have got four $1.50 balls and played with a lot less stress about losing them.
Related: How Much Do Golf Balls Cost?
5 Reasons You Should Use Good Quality Golf Balls
There will come a time when you should progress to using good-quality golf balls, as golf ball quality matters once you improve your game.
Here’s the deal?
You will never accurately assess your game if you keep using poor quality balls, as often they will underperform in terms of distance, shape, flight, and direction, which can lead you to think it’s your swing and not the ball.
Here are five reasons to use good quality golf balls.
1. Compression And Accuracy
Using a golf ball that is matched to your swing speed will make a huge difference as you will be able to compress it better at impact, and this is the mechanism that gets you to distance on your shot, and who doesn’t want more of that?
Knowing your swing speed and selecting good quality balls to suit it will give you far more consistent results than trying to hit a very hard ball when you don’t have the swing speed to match it or vice versa.
As far as accuracy goes, the more expensive multi-layer balls perform better in each aspect of the game as cheaper two-layer balls won’t deliver the same performance as a five-piece ball, even for high handicap players.
If you want consistent results, invest in good-quality golf balls even if they are more expensive, as using cheaper balls to save money will ultimately cost you more.
2. Good Quality Golf Balls Last Longer
Urethane-covered golf balls will have better durability than Surlyn-covered balls. This means that assuming you don’t lose them, you may be able to use your better balls for a few rounds before relegation to the practice bag.
Over time, you won’t have to spend money buying cheaper balls that don’t last as long or perform as well.
3. Good Quality Golf Balls Provide Better Feel
Around the greens, golf is very much a ‘feel’ game, and the more rigid balls cannot deliver the same touch and feel on the precise shots around the green as the premium balls can.
Considering this is where you are scoring, the better quality balls you have, the better your ‘feel’ game will be, as you can genuinely get a sense of contact and distance with balls designed to deliver that.
4. Good Quality Golf Balls Offer Better Control
Spin is the watchword nowadays, and the quality of the ball will influence your level of control whether you are looking to break 80 or 100. Many players, especially high handicappers, underestimate the importance of control and opt for cheaper balls to save money.
Then they wonder why the ball doesn’t hold the green or stop on the approach or chip shots and run off the green or into bunkers. Good quality golf balls are designed to receive the spin imparted by the clubface, so if you want to have more control, buy better balls.
5. Good Quality Golf Balls Give Better Distance
Dimple design and number are the crucial factors in determining the distance a ball will fly. Remove the dimples, and your ball will fly like a 747 in high wind with no fuel! Premium quality balls deliver far better distance as their multi-layer, dimple design maximizes compression and ball flight.
Three-layer and four-layer balls use super-effective materials at high speed, and getting that extra 10 yards on your shots makes all the difference in the world.
There is no doubt that golf ball quality makes a huge difference in game performance from a distance, accuracy, spin, and control perspective. All of these aspects combined are worth the investment.
Before buying, chat with your pro regarding your game elements like your swing speed, and find a good quality ball that will enhance your game while not getting suckered into buying balls that won’t – just because they are cheaper.
And always remember to clean your ball or replace it when the rules allow!