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Practicing golf...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Since the post is lengthy, here's the actual question:

[I]I've read some mixed opinions on practice golf balls -- plastic, nerf, the tube one, etc.

For practicing my driving (and 3W/5W), what practice ball yields the best results (most accurate ball flight) given my circumstances?  Keep in mind, I'm doing this in a suburban yard...so anything more than 40 yards is out of the question.[/I]


The entire post:

As indicated in my Intro thread, I have been playing for several years, but really never got "serious" about golf.  I used my fathers clubs...Triumph Master Plus perimeter weighted stainless steel (circa 80s?) with a T-Line putter.  However, the driver and 5w were very small, steel rigid shafts, and I was missing the 3W.  I did like the irons, though, and hit them quite well.

Last year, a friend's grandfather gave me a 10.5° driver w/Senior flex shaft.  It was definitely an improvement, but I'm a big proponent in owning respectable equipment in order to be decent.

With that being said, I just purchased some Taylormade clubs after reading some reviews, considering prices, and taking a few swings at the local store.  I definitely love these new clubs.  I've always hit my irons straight, even the lower irons, and that's still happening quite well (TM Burner Plus 4i-AW, Burner 1.0 LW).  I also picked up the hybrids (Raylor), and they are a dream in the rough, as is my new heavy putter (Scotty Cameron Futura Phantom II) which cut an average of 1+ strokes/hole off my game.

However, my driver and 3/5 wood (Burner 2.0) shots still need help.  Yep, I have the all-too-common slice.  It does help to slow my swing down (I had a previous history of swinging WAY too hard), but then I tend to hook the ball.  I have watched videos about squaring the clubface, know the proper stance, etc...but I know you have to actually take swings to get better.  Bottom line, I want to hit the ball straight (who doesn't?!)

Since everything set me back around $1000, I really don't have the cash to practice at the range multiple times each week, which brings me to my question:

[I]I've read some mixed opinions on practice golf balls -- plastic, nerf, the tube one, etc.

For practicing my driving (and 3W/5W), what practice ball yields the best results (most accurate ball flight) given my circumstances?  Keep in mind, I'm doing this in a suburban yard...so anything more than 40 yards is out of the question.[/I]

Thanks!

post #2 of 8

You can work out your slice by hitting the plastic balls with holes in them in your backyard. Their ball flight matches what I get when I go to the range. 

 

As for how far they go, I hit my pitching wedge about 60 feet. My driver goes about 80 feet, but I'm not sure exactly, because they all bounce off the roof of my house and back onto the lawn. 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

That would work great.  I will most likely hit toward the street, so I don't care if they bounce over the street (it's not that busy).  I've even heard of some practice balls that exaggerate hooks/slices, which is just as fine since I ultimately want to hit it straight anyway.

 

A friend mentioned the nerf ones...any experience with those?

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

FYI -- I bought the Callaway dimpled foam golf balls.  They definitely indicate a hook/slice (not sure how exaggerated or accurately), and I hit my neighbors house when I took a swing in my front yard.  Has to be at least 40 yards.

 

I'll move onto the plastic ones...
 

post #5 of 8

The problem with the plastic ones is they get destroyed so quickly.  A few hits, especially a skull and they are dead.

post #6 of 8

birdie balls are good but more like 70 yards

post #7 of 8

I really like the foam orange callaway practice balls for hitting woods and long irons around the house. I have the room to hit my 6iron and up with full shots though, so I use real balls. I bought 5 bags of 60 for 80$ at Walmart during last winters summer sports closeout. A lot of mid range balls in there (NXT's, ONE's, Warbirds, WS Fifty's, Gamers, etc etc), and a a bunch of cheaper ones. 

 

If you want to try a rock that goes nowhere, try Intech's golf balls d2_doh.gif.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by blankwall View Post

birdie balls are good but more like 70 yards

 

I'm a HUGE proponent of birdie balls, but no way 70 yards unless you've got a nice wind behind you.  I carry my driver maybe 260, hit my 4i 205+, and I've never hit a birdie ball more than 50 yards without a pretty serious breeze helping.

 

To the OP, the birdie balls are definitely the way to go if you've got the space.  Feels much more like a real golf ball than the plastic whiffle balls.  Like I said, you won't need any more than 50 yards if you can switch directions you're hitting if the wind is helping too much in one direction.  And if you're not a long hitter, you should be able to go at least up to your longest iron without going over 40 yards.

 

They give you very nice contact info, as if you hit it thin the ball will flutter instead of spinning tight and buzzing, and I've found that even with fat shots (off a mat) you'll usually get a little flutter and not the nice tight buzz you get if you hit it pure.  I've also found that as you use them regularly you can tell the difference in the sound and feel between a strike near the sweet spot and a toe or heel job.  They give you better shape info than the whiffle balls I've hit, and they last WAY longer.  If you use them regularly they'll eventually crack.  They claim they'll replace them within 3 years but I haven't tried that yet.  Plus, they maybe even exaggerate some hooks or slices, giving extra motivation to swing smooth and easy and put the ball where you want.  

 

For driver you definitely need to buy the little foam wedge they offer, or build your own.  In fact, with lower lofted clubs (for me 3i, 4i, 2h, and 3w), you'll need to sort of tilt the birdie ball away from the club face down the target line a bit, but I just have a little turf mat I hit them off of and have found it pretty easy to make it work all the down to the 3w off the deck.

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