Golf Balls

Wow, if you have found this article when searching for information on golf balls you have done well “needle in a haystack” comes to mind.  There are so many articles on golf balls About 147,000,000 results so far?  Reason, golf ball sales is big business.

 It’s estimated that 840 million (70 million dozen) golf balls are produced each year.  The prices for a dozen golf balls vary between approximately £9.99, going up to £60 or more.  Golf ball sales is big money and big money brings salesman!  My aim with this article is not to get you to buy golf balls, it’s to give you the information you need to make an informed choice.

Golf Ball Construction

Golf balls are constructed mainly from plastic and rubber.  They are made either as two-piece ball consisting of a solid rubber core with a thermoplastic cover or three-piece ball consisting of a smaller solid rubber or liquid-filled center with rubber wound around it under tension and an ionomer or balata rubber cover. The two-piece and three-piece golf balls are designed with different performance criteria and may appeal to different types of golfers.  

The 2-piece ball’s harder outer layer makes it harder wearing than the 3-piece, making it more durable.  It also produces more ball compression leading to more distance.

Three-piece golf balls have softer covers composed of balata or elastomer. While these materials produce a softer feel, they are subject to wear and tear so are not as durable as the two-piece ball. The 3-piece ball produces more spin which makes them better for short game performance.

Your choice between 2 or 3-piece construction will depend on your mindset, are you interested in distance or control.  The other factor is expense 2-piece balls are generally cheaper due to the additional construction costs associated with the 3-piece ball.

The Manufacturing Process

Titleist are one of the leading brands in golf and are known for producing excellent products. Titleist have been manufacturing golf balls in the greater New Bedford, Massachusetts area for the last 80 years. This video produced by them, will give you some insight it what it takes to produce a top brand golf ball. 

Other top brand include:

Golf balls can be separated into four basic performance categories:

  • Distance and durability 
  • Control and maneuverability
  • Distance and control
  • Slow clubhead speed.

With the combination of brands and performance criteria how do you choose which ball is your best option?  If I manufactured a golf ball that I guaranteed that you would drive the ball 300 yards and always be on the fairway, I would be arrested as a fraudster as that ball does not exist!

The distance you hit the golf ball depends on several factures including:

  • Smash factor
  • Spin rate
  • Launch angle
  • Ball speed
  • Club head speed
  • Attach angle
  • Club loft
  • Club face 
  • Swing path

You would have to develop all these areas of your game to a refined expert performance level, to hit the ball as far as the top professionals.  

All the top brands have balls that are reasonably priced and manufactured with a golfer’s swing speed in mind.  The chart below helps to show the average distance you would expect to hit a golf ball dependent on your swing speed.  The average golf has a swing speed of 90 MPH with a driving distance of 210 yards.

Golf Balls Manufacturers

Here is a list of some of the top golf ball manufacturers:

If you are a recreational golfer playing once or twice a month I would suggest that you pick one of the balls I have listed above. The brand you choose is not that important just pick one that is at the price point you are happy with. However, if you are really interested in improving your performance then a ball fitting session would really help you to identify the best ball for your all-round game.  

Golf requires that we can perform a variety of shots from a final put, short game shots around the green, irons shots and drives off the tee.  You must play all your shots on a given hole with the same ball unless you lose it.  Selecting a ball that. performs well in all areas of your game will require some thought and guidance from a professional fitter.

If you have a specific brand that you like, I would suggest that you see if you can find a golf ball fitting session in your area.  Most of the brands offer this service to golf clubs and driving range facilities, as a way of promoting their products.  It’s a really good way of finding loyal customers because once you have selected your brand and model, most golfers would stick to that brand.  

If you can’t find a fitting session in your area you could ask your golf pro to arrange one at your club.  If you would like to know how the fitting session works look at this video produced by Golfshake.com in partnership with Titleist. 

Conclusion

Choosing a golf ball can be a difficult process when trying to negotiate all the hype and sales speak however, if you know your average swing speed you can narrow the options and select by your preferred brand and price. If you are serious about improving your golf game have a golf ball fitting and you can have the confidence that you are playing with the ball that best suits your game. I hope that this article has been of interest you and has helped you make an informed decision

Len Stanley

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