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Does it really matter what type of ball a slow swing speed high handicapper hits? - Page 3

post #37 of 57
I think that using the SAME ball is important once you reach a 20-25 handicap. Inconsistency in ball flight is a result of the combination of several inconsistent variables, and using the same ball removes one of those variables. Once a somewhat consistent form is developed, the type of ball used becomes increasingly important, but using the same type early on is more important. As Erik said, one method is to pick the one that works best around the green, and stick with it.
post #38 of 57

I was continuing my neverending quest for the perfect ball for my game (and wallet) a couple week back and was getting some advice from a local pro. He recommended to play a ball that  will help the weak points of my game, i.e. if  my biggest problem is  greenside scoring,play a  ball that  gives me more control, if my  biggest issue is length,play a distance ball.  There is no perfect ball. I would think that a high cap with a slower ss would benefit most from a distance ball, a cheap one ala  a Wilson 50 or Noodle soft. Not all greens will  give you the ability to put back spin on the ball and the more you play with a ball the more you can predict rollout. Keyword though is cheap,  it makes no sense to spend the money on a Titleist that, chances are, you'll be hitting into the woods or water a few times a round.

post #39 of 57

IMO a bigger problem than finding a good ball around the greens is the low percentage shots amateurs attempt. Far too many attempt "Phil" flops when they would be better served playing it safe. I don't need a ball that zips back because the majority of the time I am rolling it towards the hole. Heck I am putting it if possible. Can't speak for anyone else but once I got to a certain point I hit the ball high enough regularly that holding greens wasn't a problem as long as it was from a reasonably short distance. If I hit a green from 120 out the ball is within 5-6 feet of the mark regardless of what brand it is unless I land it on a slope so severe it doesn't matter. I don't expect to stick it with a 3w. The people I see struggling around the greens are either chunking it, blading it or trying to hit it 30 feet in the air to a flag 7 feet away. I play what I feel confident with tee to green and play shots sensible around the greens.

post #40 of 57

Basically you can split the golf ball spectrum into two categories

 

Urethane Covered (premium golf balls)

Non-Urethane Covered (non-premium)

 

Though there are some mid range priced with Urethane covered, but still $30+ dollars.

 

The top wedge spin golf balls that are not Premium in price, Sub $36 dollars,

E5, Hex Chrome, Hex Chrome+, Rockeballz Urethane, NXT tour S

 

Basically all premium golf balls play the same, they are all with in 600 RMP of each other on driver spin, and wedge spin. You can get picky, but its not really that big of a deal, unless your really need a low or higher spin golf ball.

 

The list of the golf balls above are all in the premium performance area in terms of driver spin and wedge spin.

 

The rest of the golf ball spectrum is about flat line on driver spin, middle of the road, but the wedge spin can really drastically change, as much as a couple thousand RPM. check out the graph bellow, it can give you a good idea on how the golf balls perform. Really most golf balls are low spin on the driver. All but one, they are probably with in marginal returns on driver spin. So golf ball companies have gotten good at lowering driver spin, but keeping wedge spin up. Primarily Urethane covers spin much more than non-Urethane. They are less durable, but they perform better. The technology in layers and how different golf clubs activate the different layers have allowed this trend.

 

post #41 of 57

I don't find much difference in golf balls other than some just feel horrible (Titanium's come to mind).  Most feel/fly about the same.  I think ball choice comes down to what feels good around the green.

 

 

One thing:  I just ran out of my stash of new Top Flite XLs - actually they fly/feel great to me and my close game doesn't "seem" to suffer - how would I know until I mess with other brands.....

 

So I dipped into my used 'like new' ball shag bag (as opposed to my "hit them into the woods bag") and loaded up on new "looking" Titleists (all models).  Sunday, I was playing an NXT and the guys with me noted it sounded like it had a big slice in it (it whistled/whined).  I didn't believe them (and the ball was shiny and new looking and definitely had no cuts).  3rd hole - they noted it again after a particularly good feeling hit - so I scoped it and it only went 220......  I grabbed another equally pretty NXT and hit it almost with the exact same feel/contact - the thing went about 280 this time - just flew over the other one.

 

On recollection, holes 1 and 2 were good contact but not a far as I'm used to....I didn't think about it at the time because the line of the shot was good enough to give me an approach.

 

Switched out at that point and the rest of the round was hitting more normal.

 

 

Perhaps the ball had a void, or delam between the cover and core, I don't know.  But, lessons learned, if I can, I'll still prefer new and cheap over free but found and high end.

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post
 

If you play bogey golf with any old random ball each hole, you are costing yourselves strokes. Maybe not off the driver, or even 8-iron (if your swing is inconsistent enough that distance control is a swing issue and not a ball issue), but on and around the green. How many? 3-4 would be a very safe bet. Might be 2 and could be 6. What if you only 3 putt once a round because your distance control is better on long putts? How about getting up and down twice more than you do now? And what about narrowing your circle from 100 yards to 20 feet instead of 30?

 

I got a chance to put this to the test yesterday.  I practiced short game for about 1.5 hours. I've got a sleeve-type ball picker that holds 23 balls and I have it filled with some old yellow top flites.  All of them are the exact same except for 2 - a yellow Pinnacle and a yellow Titleist that happened to get in there.  I spent most of this time on chipping and lag putting.  By your assertion, I might expect to see the two odd man balls perform worse than the others because the others have the exact same performance. After each little session, I observed where these odd balls ended up.

 

As a best guess, I'd say the Pinnacle was about middle of the road - never great and never bad as compared to the rest of the group.  The Titleist actually seemed to do above average. Maybe top 3rd.  But in no way did the Top Flites create this tight little group with the odd balls lying several feet outside the group.  

 

I realize this is quite a small data set, but to say I'm losing 2-3 strokes as a 'safe bet' sounds way off to me.  I think things like the lie, the contact you make, the stroke you choose, the break of the green, the speed of the green, how well you hit it, etc all matter much more than the ball you chose.  I'd say that each of those factors matter about 10x more than the ball.  And a high capper mishits so many balls and has so much variation from shot to shot that the ball just isn't something to be worried about.  Their game just isn't that fine tuned.

 

I do think that those Pro V's really do perform differently based on some limited experience I have with them.  I find them to stop or back up much more on the greens from an approach shot.  But even as differently as they perform, a shot that backs up 4 feet or runs forward 4 feet hasn't changed anything for me (or a higher cap).  I miss most greens anyway and don't hit shots where the roll out or roll back is much of a concern.

 

I'm sure a better ball or even playing the same ball could have saved me a stroke at some point in time, but I don't think it would cost me even a stroke of handicap.

post #43 of 57

My reason for a low spin ball, and I also adjusted my driver for a little draw bias, is to enjoy golf more. I agree with you that unless I improve my ball striking significantly, no ball is going to shave strokes for me around the green, however; I was bleeding strokes off the tee. These adjustments to my equipment along with a lot of practice with the driver have reduced my banana slice to a pronounced, but tolerable, fade.  This lets me work on my short game, which is modestly improving with practice both in my yard and on the range.

 

Is it going to take me to mid handicapper anytime soon? Not the ball certainly, but it has helped me to enjoy the game, which will improve my handicap, eventually. 

post #44 of 57

Not sure how spin off the driver and other long clubs really compares with the balls these days as #s quoted are usually wedge spin but where I think a lower spinning (often cheaper) ball would help a higher handicap is with the sidespin that might be generated and which can contribute a lot to slices and hooks. Less sidespin == more time on the short grass and that has to be good.

As for backspin on approaches, I don't think it'll make too much difference if someone isn't hitting the ball consistently. What's the use of a lot of spin on one shot if many of the others aren't hit well enough? What does one allow for - check or roll out? Once someone hits the ball reasonably consistently, it'll start being worth the cost of the premium balls as they'll be able to take advantage of the greenside performance they offer.

post #45 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

 

I got a chance to put this to the test yesterday.  I practiced short game for about 1.5 hours. I've got a sleeve-type ball picker that holds 23 balls and I have it filled with some old yellow top flites.  All of them are the exact same except for 2 - a yellow Pinnacle and a yellow Titleist that happened to get in there.  I spent most of this time on chipping and lag putting.  By your assertion, I might expect to see the two odd man balls perform worse than the others because the others have the exact same performance. After each little session, I observed where these odd balls ended up.

 

As a best guess, I'd say the Pinnacle was about middle of the road - never great and never bad as compared to the rest of the group.  The Titleist actually seemed to do above average. Maybe top 3rd.  But in no way did the Top Flites create this tight little group with the odd balls lying several feet outside the group.  

 

I realize this is quite a small data set, but to say I'm losing 2-3 strokes as a 'safe bet' sounds way off to me.  I think things like the lie, the contact you make, the stroke you choose, the break of the green, the speed of the green, how well you hit it, etc all matter much more than the ball you chose.  I'd say that each of those factors matter about 10x more than the ball.  And a high capper mishits so many balls and has so much variation from shot to shot that the ball just isn't something to be worried about.  Their game just isn't that fine tuned.

 

I do think that those Pro V's really do perform differently based on some limited experience I have with them.  I find them to stop or back up much more on the greens from an approach shot.  But even as differently as they perform, a shot that backs up 4 feet or runs forward 4 feet hasn't changed anything for me (or a higher cap).  I miss most greens anyway and don't hit shots where the roll out or roll back is much of a concern.

 

I'm sure a better ball or even playing the same ball could have saved me a stroke at some point in time, but I don't think it would cost me even a stroke of handicap.

 

I don't wish to start a spitting match with you about if your handicap will drop. If you don't think you'll chip and putt to more consistent distances by using the same ball all the time, then you certainly are right.

 
And if I gave the impression that your Top Flights were going to form a tight circle of excellent results during your practice session, I did not mean to. No ball is going to fix someone's chipping and pitching problems. I still argue that if you are switching from Top Flight rocks to Soft Feel rollers, to ProV1 on each hole during a round, you are unlikely to get a feel for distance control. Maybe some high handicappers don't ever hit shots well enough for that to matter. The two guys I play with every Saturday who have handicaps over 25 certainly do hit some nice shots. One guy is a ball **** and can go through periods where his "touch" is awful. The other guy has an awful swing but can be excellent around the greens and judges distance control better than I do some mornings and I give him 17 strokes. He loves his Q-Stars.
 
When you stand over a 40 foot putt and you are trying to judge the speed, if you think you ball doesn't matter the it doesn't. The three putt could have been caused by a bad stroke, a miss-read or any number of things. Many high handicappers might even change their putter for one with more consistent feel off the insert. Never mind that there is just as much difference in feel between a Hot Ice and a Hot insert as there is between your Top Flight and a Z-Star.
post #46 of 57

don't worry about balls - until you get good, it's insignificant.    Stay away from spinny tour balls - it's tough enough to keep the ball in play without using a ball thats designed to ADD MORE SPIN.    I'm a bit better than bogey & I can't tell much difference in ball performance aside from the sound - some are "clickier" than others (I don't have the chops to spin the ball - at least on purpose).

post #47 of 57

"I don't have the chops to spin the ball."

 

Just my personal experience which may not apply to anybody, but I am a double bogey golfer and I have just learned to spin the ball using plastic whiffle balls, which you can get to hop backwards on landing with just a little practice, hitting down and under them and taking a divot in front of the ball. Well, with the whiffle ball, you don't need to take a divot even, because it sits right on top of the grass. I was then able to transfer this to real balls in two sessions on consecutive days. I can get a little bit of check on the bounce with my Bridgestone e6s. I am not ready to upgrade balls though because I still think I will be  slicing the high spin balls to the coyotes in the woods. 

 

Oh yeah, I had to adopt a forward shaft lean, I guess it is called, I had to have my hands in front of the ball at impact, I think this increases spin by dragging the clubface across the ball more, but that is just my speculation. In any event, it works in my yard and I may play a round after work just to try it out. 

post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post
 

I don't wish to start a spitting match with you about if your handicap will drop. If you don't think you'll chip and putt to more consistent distances by using the same ball all the time, then you certainly are right.

 
And if I gave the impression that your Top Flights were going to form a tight circle of excellent results during your practice session, I did not mean to. No ball is going to fix someone's chipping and pitching problems. I still argue that if you are switching from Top Flight rocks to Soft Feel rollers, to ProV1 on each hole during a round, you are unlikely to get a feel for distance control. Maybe some high handicappers don't ever hit shots well enough for that to matter. The two guys I play with every Saturday who have handicaps over 25 certainly do hit some nice shots. One guy is a ball **** and can go through periods where his "touch" is awful. The other guy has an awful swing but can be excellent around the greens and judges distance control better than I do some mornings and I give him 17 strokes. He loves his Q-Stars.
 
When you stand over a 40 foot putt and you are trying to judge the speed, if you think you ball doesn't matter the it doesn't. The three putt could have been caused by a bad stroke, a miss-read or any number of things. Many high handicappers might even change their putter for one with more consistent feel off the insert. Never mind that there is just as much difference in feel between a Hot Ice and a Hot insert as there is between your Top Flight and a Z-Star.

 

I'm not interested in a spitting match either - but to say that I could drop my cap by a "safe bet" of 3-4 strokes by sticking to one ball is a BOLD statement - and this is a discussion board where we discuss ideas such as this.  If I can go from a 17 to a 13 by simply using the same ball all of the time, I'm doing it.  But I don't believe that I or anyone else is going to see results this dramatic.  

 

But I am open to suggestions from a lower cap and would love to drop some strokes.  I will start today using the same ball every time and will let you know if I drop the strokes.  If I can play 6-7 times by the October 15 revision, that should probably be enough to see the drop.  I'll check back with you then - and hopefully see a 12.9 proudly posted under my avatar.

 

Also, I don't remember saying that you gave me an impression that some top flights would create excellent results or that I have a chipping problem.  But I had a chance to put your theory to work in a real world test.  Given, it is not enough data to base a legit experiment on, but it definitely gave the theory a chance to show itself by the Pinnacle and Titleist performing inconsistently compared to the rest of the (homogeneous) group.  And they did not.

 

I also didn't say that I play with a different ball every hole.  I don't. 

I'm not sure of the relevance of your high handicap friends.  Sounds like they stick with the same balls and have 25+ handicaps.

 

Regarding putter inserts - I don't know much about them. My putter doesn't have one.  But I still maintain that a high handicap player doesn't need to be very worried about the ball he putts or the putter he uses when compared to his stroke, the break and the speed.  

 

The ball might matter a lot for a lower cap - I'm not sure because I've never been there.  But in the OP is a 28 cap and asked about how important the ball is.  IMO - for him and even for me at 10+ strokes better - the modern day golf balls perform similarly enough that it isn't something he needs to worry much about.  He probably averages 105+ and he isn't racking up strokes because of the difference in putting distance of a Calloway as compared to a Nike.  

post #49 of 57
It doesn't matter what ball you use. TW would still beat you with a ball bobby Jones used
post #50 of 57

If there is any merit to the one ball belief it's the confidence factor after finding the one you think is best. I suppose some don't care but I do. Sound and feel is huge for me. But I can see how a higher handicap golfer wouldn't be able to notice a difference. The way a ball feels, sounds and performs is more about how well they don't hit it. When I was playing 20+ golf I don't think any two swings were the same any given day.

post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

 

I'm not interested in a spitting match either - but to say that I could drop my cap by a "safe bet" of 3-4 strokes by sticking to one ball is a BOLD statement - and this is a discussion board where we discuss ideas such as this.  If I can go from a 17 to a 13 by simply using the same ball all of the time, I'm doing it.  But I don't believe that I or anyone else is going to see results this dramatic.  

 

But I am open to suggestions from a lower cap and would love to drop some strokes.  I will start today using the same ball every time and will let you know if I drop the strokes.  If I can play 6-7 times by the October 15 revision, that should probably be enough to see the drop.  I'll check back with you then - and hopefully see a 12.9 proudly posted under my avatar.

 

 

Also, ...

 

... But I still maintain that a high handicap player doesn't need to be very worried about the ball he putts or the putter he uses when compared to his stroke, the break and the speed.  

 

...

Pick a ball based on the one you like best putting. Go to a big box store and try a few different kinds of balls with your putter -- long putts and short ones. Choose the one you think feels best (it will also sound the best to you).

 

Practice with that ball before your rounds. Play that ball.

 

My contention is that you can't help be have better distance control on and even near the greens. Turn three 3-putts into 2-putts and you've dropped your handicap by 3-4 strokes depending on the rating and slope of the course.

post #52 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post
 

Pick a ball based on the one you like best putting. Go to a big box store and try a few different kinds of balls with your putter -- long putts and short ones. Choose the one you think feels best (it will also sound the best to you).

 

Practice with that ball before your rounds. Play that ball.

 

My contention is that you can't help be have better distance control on and even near the greens. Turn three 3-putts into 2-putts and you've dropped your handicap by 3-4 strokes depending on the rating and slope of the course.

 

I think picking the ball you like best off your putter and sticking with that one ball is solid advice for us slower swingers/higher handicaps.

 

I like and have played e6 a lot. I can still slice or snap hook 'em in the bush with my swing. They check up fine on full swing shots on the courses I play. Conversely they roll out a mile with my technique on the short stuff. If I use my head and play with that in mind (ie leave a full short iron/wedge to the green where possible or try to hit the ball to an area that leaves me green to work with if I'm approaching with a club less likely to hit the green) I don't really notice the short comings of the e6 around the green. Once I'm on the green I'll back myself to get down in no more than two a lot of the time because I like putting that ball. If I hit one in the bush I know the next one out of the bag is going to feel the same around the green and I can stick to my plans.

 

I like to tell myself that it's the execution and not the strategy that leads to my high handicap! :-$

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #53 of 57

I can't tell much difference other than at the real extremes (like the no name balls Grandma buys for my kids). I'm a 20 capper (although on the way down!) and I buy balls purely based on what is on sale within the price range that works for me ($20-$24/case).  Mostly it's Callaway Hex Diablo but I've also played TaylorMade Urethane RBZs, and just bought a few cases of Bridgestone e6 because they were on sale for $19.    I won't spend the money on the Pro v-1's because I still lose a decent number of balls and I also just don't experience that big a difference.

 

I've never liked playing with found balls (no special reason; just love the ritual of a fresh sleeve at the start of a round).  Anyway, a short while back I ran out of balls and had to use a ball I had found OB.  It was a Top Flight I think with an accounting firm logo on it and the guy's name in messy Sharpie ("Rich").  The kind of balls I generally hate (I must be OCD).  In any case, I birdied the next hole and proceeded to play lights out with it for the rest of the round.  I played "Rich" for about 20 holes after that (a record for me), and was genuinely sad when he took a plunge into a water hazard.  RIP Rich.

 

In any case, the point is that I can't tell the difference.  I also can't tell the difference between a audiophile level stereo and a regular old loudspeaker and I like a cold Bud as much as any artisan micro brew.  So I guess I should count myself lucky to avoid desiring certain expensive things.  Unfortunately I can very much tell the difference between a nice bottle of wine and $2 Chuck from Trader Joe's so I got screwed on that one.

 

I would love to get to the point where my game was good enough to tell the difference in the ball.

post #54 of 57

I would like to play Pro V1s all day long but sadly I am so cheap...

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