All golf balls are not created equal. And just as the quality of your clubs can influence your golf game, so too can the selection of a golf ball that's perfect for your particular needs. The basic rule has always been to choose a ball from the tee going forward based on distance and control. Although strides in ball manufacturing technology within the past decade have provided golfers with more choices, making the proper golf ball selection today can also prove more complicated. Contemporary golf ball design has graduated from balls with Balata and Surlyn covers to more high-tech multi-layer balls and softer cover balls.
The first step in choosing a golf ball that matches your game is to critically assess your needs based on the current status of your game. Do you need more distance, or perhaps more control? After answering these questions, you're ready to move onto the next step, selecting several test balls. It's best to select one from each category -- low compression, two-piece, multilayered and super soft. Don't be surprised if balls in the same category from different manufacturers perform differently. If it's not possible to test balls on your regular course, a practice course or local course will do just as fine.
- Test each ball under consideration by hitting some shots from the edge of the green. Find out which of the balls check and which models release once they hit the green. Then try putting, and try out the balls with a few shots from the sand traps.
- Now you're ready to move out onto the fairway and test each ball from the 100 yard marker and again from the 150 yard marker. Observe how each ball checks or releases after it hits the green from both of these markers.
Taking the time to give each ball a fair trial before making your final choice is a wise investment of time for anyone who seriously loves the game of golf. The golf ball that's perfect for your skill level will not only help to improve your game, it will lower your golf handicap and make you a more confident player.
The golf ball you select as a beginner may not be the one that satisfies you as an intermediate or advanced player. But whatever your game level or choice of ball model and manufacturer, avoid using illegal golf balls, those that don't meet the size (1.68 inches diameter) and weight (1.6 ounces) requirements set by the USGA.