Have you ever read the back of a box of golf balls and thought “What does all this jargon mean?” Yes, how to choose golf balls can seem confusing, simply because we have so many choices and marketing difference between golf balls.
Golf Ball Technology
If you are interested in the technological side of golf balls, let’s keep it as simple as possible. Bearing in mind that none of this information will help you get the ball in the hole, but will help you choose golf balls the next time you are looking for the best golf balls for your game.
First of all golf balls must be no smaller than 1680 inches or 42.67mm in diameter, and not exceed 1.62 ounces or 45.93 grams in weight. (Think about that one over your next 6-foot putt hey 🙂
Golf Balls are generally made up of a core, mantle and a cover. The exception is some practice golf balls used for the Driving Range, which are made up of a 1-piece construction surlyn material.
Golf balls will be made up of either two, three, four or five pieces featuring the following.
Core of the Golf Ball
The core of a golf ball is generally made up of a synthetic rubber material and will have the largest mass and volume of the golf ball. The core will play a role in ball compression, and studies have shown that certain types of cores can help reduce the spin generated by the driver, which is ideal for golf ball distance.
The core of a golf ball is a crucial component that plays a significant role in its performance characteristics. The core is typically located at the center of the ball and is responsible for generating energy transfer upon impact with the golf club.
The compression of the core refers to its density and firmness. Golf ball cores come in different compression levels, typically ranging from low to high.
Low-compression cores are softer and compress more upon impact, which is beneficial for players with slower swing speeds. High-compression cores are firmer and better suited for players with faster swing speeds who can generate more power.
Mantle of the Golf Ball
The mantle is the part or parts between the core and the cover. The mantle will help manufacturers optimise the amount of spin they want to create particularly with the irons and wedges. The mantle is generally made up of a surlyn material.
The mantle of a golf ball is an intermediate layer located between the core and the cover. It plays a crucial role in influencing the ball’s performance, especially in terms of spin, feel, and trajectory.
You will hear of some balls being three, four or five pieces, and it just means that they have between one to three mantles inserted in them between the core and the cover of the ball. The mantle of the golf ball is optimised depending on the golf ball striking of golfers at different ability levels.
Cover of the Golf Ball
The cover of a golf ball is the outermost layer that directly contacts the clubface. It plays a crucial role in determining the ball’s durability, spin control, feel, and overall performance.
There are basically two types of covers used in golf balls. The first is the surlyn cover. This is an ionomer resin which is very durable, and you will see this type of cover on the majority of distance balls because they don’t spin a lot.
The second is the very common urethane cover. This is basically a rubber cover that you will see on all of the top-rated golf balls. If you have ever seen a professional spin a golf ball on the green, they are always using a ball with a urethane cover and these are always the best spin golf balls on the market.
The cover material and design significantly influence the ball’s spin characteristics. Urethane covers offer greater spin control due to their ability to generate more friction with the clubface. This enhanced spin can be advantageous for skilled players who want to shape shots and have better control around the greens.
Ionomer covers tend to produce less spin but can still provide adequate performance for recreational players.
Golf Ball Dimples
All golf balls will have between three and four hundred dimples on them, and some are slightly different patterns. The dimples create turbulence which reduces drag.
This means that the ball will fly a lot further as opposed to a ball without dimples. This was discovered in the early nineteen hundreds when a golfer discovered that a scuffed up ball travelled much farther than a new one.
Two-Piece Golf Ball
The two-piece golf ball has a core and a cover. These types of golf balls are generally achieve the best golf ball distance as they don’t spin much, and are fairly accurate off the tee because of the reduced spin. When looking for the longest golf ball on the market, they will generally be a two-piece construction. I ball that spins less will generally go the farthest distance during a longest golf ball test.
Three, Four and Five-Piece Golf Balls
These balls feature a core, up to three mantles, and a cover.
A four or five-piece ball will have one or two extra mantles which are designed to optimise ball flight. It may seem like marketing, but companies that make the best rated golf balls have spent the money on the research, so they definitely have some performance benefits.
All these golf balls will feature a soft urethane rubber cover, which is ideal to create spin around the greens and fantastic for feel.
Now all golf ball manufacturers will use their own marketing spin to differentiate their products from others, but essentially these are the main technical features in golf balls to help a golfer choose the right golf ball for their game.
What type of Ball Should I Use?
We will now narrow this down to different ability levels, and all you are really looking for is value for money and performance.
Hopefully some of this information will be a guide on how to buy golf balls and how to choose the right golf ball for your game.
Golf Balls for Beginners
When choosing a golf ball as a beginner, you probably don’t really care which ball you use and are probably more interested in simply getting the ball in the air and enjoying the game. As a beginner however it can be confusing to see the number of golf balls on the market and finding the best golf ball for beginners.
It would be suggested to just use a two-piece golf ball because these will help generate distance, and they don’t spin as much. A ball that does not spin is ideal for a beginner because they need distance, and putting spin on a driver shot is bad news when it slices into the bush. These are some of the cheapest golf balls online so losing one in the bush or putting one in the lake is really not so bad. The prices usually range from $20 to $30 a dozen with many different brand options offering golf ball discounts that essentially provide similar benefits.
These tend to be the best soft golf balls and longest golf balls, but they will help you hit the golf ball straight. Callaway Golf Balls are a good option to start with.
For information on a recommended option, click on the following link Callaway Supersoft Golf Ball.
Intermediate Mid-Handicap Players
You are improving with your golf, and beginning to understand some of the benefits of some of the golf balls. It would be suggested looking at some of the three-piece golf balls, which will give you enhanced feel around the greens. You don’t need to go top-rated just yet as there are some three-piece golf balls out there that will give you feel around the greens without sacrificing distance. These types of balls generally range from $20 to as much as $40 a dozen and make up some of the best golf ball deals.
For information on a recommended option, click on the following link Srixon Q Star Golf Ball.
Elite Amateur or Professionals
You play a lot of golf and regularly shoot in the 70s. As you know, using a golf ball designed for your ability level is essential to shooting lower scorers.
These types of balls range from three to five pieces and all have the soft urethane cover on them which is designed for spin and feel around the greens. A lot of these balls do perform similar, yet there are lots of these golf balls online. These types of golf balls are costly and range anywhere from $40 to $80 a dozen, but be sure to always look out for some of the better golf ball discounts when choosing a golf ball.
For information on a recommended option, click on the following link Srixon Z Star Golf Ball.
I hope this article helps you decide which golf ball you should be using and if you have any questions feel free to ask them below.
Also check out our post on the best golf balls for seniors.