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The golf ball is a complicated and integral part of your game, and one that can dramatically impact your on-course performance. Like any other piece of golf equipment, golf balls have steadily evolved over the years, and advancements in science and technology have produced models that fly further and straighter than ever before. Most major manufacturers offer an array of balls suited to a variety of different golfers, from the novice to the touring professional.
How to Pick a Golf Ball
It’s important to remember that not all golf balls are created equally. Thanks to significant strides in modern technology, golfers can now choose from a number of internal and external constructions, each targeting players of various skill levels and experience.
The majority of today’s ball models are of a two-piece construction, composed of a solid inner core and a thin external cover. Designed specifically for distance and durability with the added benefit of reduced spin, this combination is best suited to less-experienced players seeking length without excessive sidespin. The basic construction of two-piece balls contributes both to their long-term durability and lower retail cost, making them an ideal option for beginner and novice golfers. Among the most notable two-piece balls available today are Titleist’s DT Solo and Velocity models, Bridgestone’s e5 ball, Maxfli’s U/2 and Revolution series, and Slazenger’s RAW line of products. In addition, brands like Callaway, Bridgestone, and Precept have developed golf balls specifically for female swing speeds, featuring a softer cover and a lower-compression core for even greater distance and forgiveness.
More advanced players may want to consider a multi-layer golf ball construction. Composed of a solid or liquid core and two to three internal layers designed to produce greater feedback and higher spin rates, multi-layer balls enable golfers to manipulate their ball flight while providing greater control of shorter shots around the green. These balls’ construction often means that they command a higher retail price than a two-piece model, however. In addition, the softer cover is more prone to scuffing and scratching, and will need to be replaced more often than a two-piece design. Titleist’s Pro-V1 series is the most notable three-piece model available today, but designs from Bridgestone (B-330), Srixon (Z-Star series), Callaway (HEX) and Maxfli (U/3 and U/4) are equally sought-after. In 2010, TaylorMade rejoined the premium ball market with the introduction of the Penta TP5, the first ball to feature a five-piece construction, for improved feedback on all shots from tee to green.
Remember that in the search for the best ball for your game, it’s important to consider every brand before eliminating one in favor of another. If your skill level warrants it, consider playing one brand and model of ball exclusively. Playing the same ball on a regular basis will allow you to eliminate one variable in the game, to hone your distances with each club, and to develop a consistent feel on and around the greens.
Traditional White & Colored Golf Balls
After redesigning and improving the cover and core of the golf ball, many of the largest brands in the game have now turned their attention to color, making it a hot trend today. The benefits of a colored golf ball can be considerable, allowing a player to track and identify his or her ball more easily in all light conditions, both in flight and on the ground. The end result is often a quicker, more enjoyable round. Manufacturers like Titleist, Bridgestone, Callaway, and Srixon are producing models for all golfers in a variety of bright hues.