Do Golf Balls Really Make A Difference? (Explained)

Golf balls background or texture


Are you a player who will play with any golf ball you can find in your bag?

Golfers are always trying to save a little bit of money, and the cost of golf balls can add up very quickly.

The question has probably crossed your mind that the golf balls you are playing with could be having an impact on your game.

Golf balls are an integral part of the game of golf, and if you don’t have the proper choice in play, it could end up hurting you.

Let’s take a look at the technology involved in golf balls and whether or not they are going to make a difference in your game.


Do Golf Balls Really Make A Difference?

Golf game


Yes, golf balls make a difference in your golf game through their effect on distance, feel, and precision.

If you are playing with the wrong golf ball, it could have a large impact on your game.

Many golfers feel like the type of golf ball in play is more of an issue for a lower handicap player, but this is not the case.

Higher handicap players are absolutely affected by the golf ball they use, but they may not be as worried about the results.

For instance, if a higher handicapper plays a round with the wrong type of ball and it costs them two or three strokes, they may not care.

However, if you are a lower handicapper and a golf ball costs you a few strokes, you will most certainly know about it.

Golf balls do matter, and they affect so many areas of the golf game, from the tee to the green and everywhere in between.

Let’s look at a few of the ways that golf balls make a difference.


1. Feel

Man placing golf ball on tee


Feel is perhaps the most significant impact a golf ball can have on your game.

If a golf ball doesn’t feel right, then you are likely going to struggle with its performance.

Feel is not just important around the greens but also on iron shots and from the tee as well.

You will be able to feel how a golf ball comes off the face, and it starts to affect how you swing.

For instance, if a ball has a really hard feel, you may be almost hesitant with it at impact.

In addition, if the ball feels too soft for you, then you may try too hard to get extra distance.

The feel of the golf ball around the greens will have you feeling comfortable and confident with your putting stroke or leave you uncomfortable standing over the ball.

Feel is typically affected by the outer cover of the ball and the compression.

Some golf manufacturers continually make products with an impressive feel, and others focus more on things like distance and spin.

If you don’t think you can tell the difference between the feel of golf balls, try taking a few different types to a putting green.

Start with the same ten-foot putt and try several different golf balls.

Chances are each one will feel a little different, and you can see which will help give you the best results on the putting green.


2. Spin

Golf balls background


As our golf analytical tools have improved, so has the information we know about spin.

Spin is a big deal.

Golfers are ideally looking for a low spin from the tee box and a high spin around the greens.

The low spin from the tee will keep the ball straight and allow for plenty of roll.

High spin around the greens gets the golf ball to stop in place on the putting green.

Control like this is typically seen in a more premium golf ball with several different layers.

High spin golf balls that can truly stop and check on a green will typically be the most expensive.

However, they are not for everyone.

Many beginner players need all the distance they can get, and the lower spin balls tend to roll a very long way.

Beginner golfers adjust to the fact that the ball doesn’t stop on the green all that well, and they take a different approach to getting the ball on the green.

These players may hit a shot that lands just short and rolls into place.

For lower handicap players, switching from a high-spin ball to a low-spin ball is a very odd feeling and something that can become very frustrating.

Better players rely on a golf ball’s spin to get them considerably closer to the hole.


3. Distance

Golfer putting


Some golf balls are labeled as distance golf balls.

Distance golf balls will fly a long way and typically have very low spin from the tee.

Many times, distance golf balls are also lower in compression, making it easier for the slower swing speed player to get the extra distance they need in their game.

Although not all players have distance issues in their game, most golfers are fine with taking a few extra yards where they can get it.

The distance a golf ball travels is highly affected by the golf ball you play.

Sometimes these differences in distance between one golf ball and the next can be ten yards or more.

Certainly, if your golf game was impacted by ten or more yards, you would notice the difference.

Golfers on the professional tours test which golf ball works best for their game, and they look for a combination of both distance and low dispersion rates.

In other words, hitting a golf ball a long way is a good thing, but hitting it long and 20 yards to the left or right can be a problem.

When golfers can find a golf ball that is a perfect mix of control and distance, it is typically the right fit for the game.


4. Control/Ball Flight

Golf Ball on Edge of Hole


The golf ball you play with will also impact ball flight.

Higher flying golf shots can be good for slower swing speed players that struggle to launch the ball high.

However, golf balls that fly higher can be difficult for the high swing speed players to control.

The dimple pattern on a golf ball is different from one model to the next, and this has a tremendous impact on overall control and ball flight.

The more time you spend playing the game, the more you will see how these small changes in equipment will have significant impacts on the way you play.


What Impacts The Performance Of A Golf Ball?

Close up view of golf ball on tee on golf course


There are several technical aspects of golf ball construction that will affect your overall performance.

The performance of a golf ball comes down to four major factors: the compression, number of layers, color, and the cover material.

These are things that all players should at least have some general idea of before they invest in their next box of golf balls.


1. Compression

Hand holding golf ball with tee on course


The compression rating of a golf ball will tell you how easy the golf ball is to compress.

A lower compression golf ball is much easier for a slow swing speed golfer to compress, giving them extra distance off the tee.

The higher compression golf ball is much more difficult to compress and a good choice for the player who has incredible swing speeds.

The compression rating of a golf ball is typically well advertised.

If you find a golf ball that you love and you are curious about the compression, it can typically be researched on the specifications page of the manufacturer’s website.

Players need to be aware of compression and how it impacts them but also not get too hung up on this.

For instance, if you find a golf ball that is an 80 compression but you know 70 is a bit better for you, don’t be hesitant to at least give the 80 a try.


2. Number Of Layers

Golf club and ball


There are several layers to a golf ball.

Cheap golf balls with mostly distance performance will typically have two pieces.

The more expensive golf balls are four or five pieces, and each layer of the ball adds to the ball’s performance.

This is why four and five-piece golf balls can give players a lower spin from the tee and a higher spin around the greens.

The technology is a very good mix of performance, and it is why people invest in these higher priced options for their game.


3. Color

golf club and yellow golf ball


Most golf balls are either white or yellow.

However, there is a wide range of colors that players can choose from.

Some of this comes down to your personal preference, but there are times when a golf ball’s color can impact the way you see the ball and how easy it is to concentrate when on the golf course.

The brightly colored balls also can be easier to find if you hit them into a hazard.

Sometimes this can save money as you will not need to buy another dozen golf balls quite as quickly.

If you have never played with a colored golf ball before, try one out for a round and see if you notice any difference.

Start with yellow if you are new to colored golf balls.


4. Cover Material

Golf balls on the grass after playing


The cover material is typically surlyn or urethane.

With the proper cover material, you will notice the ball can feel more workable and help you pull off shots that you feel are under control.

The cover material can also impact the durability of a golf ball and how long you can keep it in play.

Many golfers assume that a golf ball is just for one round of golf, but this is not true.

You can use the same golf ball for six or seven rounds of golf as long as you can keep the ball in play.

Most lower swing speed players do not have to worry about the cover durability of a golf ball, but the higher swing speed players do.

High swing speed players can cut a golf ball on even the slightest miss-hit if they are not careful.

This is why you will see these players invest in a more expensive golf ball for their next round.



We hope you can now see that golf balls make a big difference in your game.

It is essential to play with a golf ball that has a great feel as well as the distance and spin control that you need.

The wrong golf ball could absolutely impact the number of strokes you take on the course.

If you are ready to take your game to the next level, the right golf ball can help.

When it’s time to start shaving strokes off your game, don’t leave any avenue unexplored.

If you have purchased new equipment, are working on swing technique, and even improving your mental game, make sure you also have the right golf ball in play.

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