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Marty2019

How Much Difference Does the Ball Make for Average Player?

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Where golf balls matter most is around the green.  No high handicapper can deliberately play a draw or fade at will.  Most will have a shot shape they can't change.  Hence a distance ball would suit them better for long shots.  However, around a green, a softer ball is the better option.  You can stop a ball on a green and putting feel is generally better.  Thus, for me the best option is the mid level balls (3 piece), which aren't pure distance, but aren't tour either, which have some stopping power around the greens, but not as much as tour balls.  They are between the two in pricing as well.  Given a choice, my pick of ball to play with is the NXT.

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Remember, we are talking about the average player, not the very low handicapper.  I don't think it makes much difference at all which ball the average golfer plays.  I would consider myself average and have played with premium balls and cheap balls and the scores are about the same, FW's hit is about the same, GIR are about the same, and putts are about the same.  Now, that being said, I do not play used balls, refurbished balls, or balls that are hard as rocks.  I have reached a point, as an average golfer, that I like to play the same ball every round and have been playing the Wilson Elite 50.  It is not expensive, it is not the softest ball out there and neither is it the hardest ball out there.  Doesn't spin and stick like a premium ball but I can get spin off of it with wedges from about 100 yards into the green.  Another issue is maybe how many balls a round you lose.  I generally lose 1 or 2 balls around, except for today....I played 18 and did not lose a ball... I am a senior golfer (71) and can still get about 200 off the tee with the driver.That is my 2 cents on this topic...

Edited by Osnola

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On 2/24/2020 at 3:47 AM, arturo28mx said:

I'm a mid handicapper. I love the feel of Pro V1, but when the ball lands on the green I typically get 6 feet of back roll. I don't like it. I now use Tour Soft balls and when they land on the green they usually stay no more than 3 feet from the ball mark, either a little in front or a little behind. I prefer this. Cheaper balls like Titleist Velocity hit the green and continue rolling forever.

Apart from clearly being untrue, this would be a technique problem, not a ball problem.

Balls don't "typically" get 6 feet of rollback or whatever.   A particular ball on a particularly soft green from a certain type of shot might roll back. And if that's the case you need to learn to take spin off if you don't like it.

Pro V1s and similar will check more if they are hit a certain way, but a cheaper ball hit exactly the same way on the same green at the same time will not just roll on forever - I mean, you're not talking about 4 irons spinning back 6 feet.

The fact that you must play on ridiculously soft greens means that for you, the type of ball you use will have LESS effect, and you're probably better of using a harder ball.

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On ‎2‎/‎23‎/‎2020 at 9:16 AM, Bonvivant said:

The only real difference that I ever notice is how they feel on putts and chips. If you can play a ball around the green and it isnt ripped to shreds then I think it's fine. 

I think that premium balls are more of a luxury item than a necessity. I buy the bulk online premium stuff usually. This year I went Snell (need to update my signature) and it was something like 140 for 60 balls. To me that is worth it to have a top end ball  even if it doesn't make any difference to my game. 

As some have already said, as far as my long game goes, any ball will really do.  Though, I don't like the hard feel of some of the balls.  Typically, I use Chrome Soft balls.  I have learned how they react to my short game.  I never pay full price.  I usually pay about $20-25/dozen on LostGolfballs.com. 

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For me there are two kinds of balls, 1) urethane and 2) not urethane.  Other than that, not much difference though I avoid balls that I don't recognize the name of.

On hard surfaced greens (Torrey Pines, Balboa Park) I want more bite and play urethane - like a chorme soft or a prov1 or a tp5 or an avx.  Doesn't matter to me which one.

On soft greens (Tecolote) I want the ball to stop near where it lands on a good shot.  Like a supersoft or a E6 or the Callaway Costco ball, or a pinnacle soft etc.  Doesn't seem to matter which one.  On soft slopey greens I don't like too much spin as I sometimes spin them off the green, bummer when one of the good shots has a bad result.

Edited by No Mulligans

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For years I used to play whatever ball I can get my hands on, including old balls I fish out of the water. Last year a friend gifted me a box of Pro V1s, and I swear I can visualize and shoot better with them. I feel like they give me both distance on hard shots and touch on finesse shots. I've tried V1xs, too, but don't like them as much compared to the V1, seem more mushy. It's probably all in my head, but in any case I've been playing only V1s for the last 6 months. I'm sure my bank account has taken a hit, but the plus side is that I'm much more deliberate now and don't hit stupid "hit and pray" shots any more. I don't lose as many balls as I used to, and actually had to retire a few balls due to shell damage, which had never happened before the switch.

I played the TP5 and TP5x, didn't quite like either. Last week I bought a box of Z-Stars and TourBs each to see if any of them can replace the V1s.

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15 hours ago, No Mulligans said:

For me there are two kinds of balls, 1) urethane and 2) not urethane.  Other than that, not much difference though I avoid balls that I don't recognize the name of.

I would say it could matter. If your driver spin rate is slightly on the higher side. Having a Urethane golf ball that sits at the lower end of the spin could be significant. 

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Just pick a ball and learn what it will do.  If you're constantly switching balls, you have no idea what distance it might fly if/when you do hit one well or how much spin around the greens it has.  Once you get more consistent, then figure out what you want the ball to do.

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4 hours ago, RichWW2 said:

Just pick a ball and learn what it will do.  If you're constantly switching balls, you have no idea what distance it might fly if/when you do hit one well or how much spin around the greens it has.  Once you get more consistent, then figure out what you want the ball to do.

No no no no!!!!!

If you use one ball and one ball only, how will you be able to demonstrate superior perception by saying things like:

  • I get about 30 yards roll out with a ProV1 v 25 yards with a TaylorMade Lethal.
  • I find the Titleist Velocity spins a bit more than a TopFlite XL
  • I typically get 12 feet of back spin with a ProV1  v 13 with a ProV1X 
  • I have developed a really nice baby draw when using a Srixon Q Star.
  • ProV1s are too soft for me, especially with forged irons.
  • I can get a ProV1X to bounce once and stop dead with any club but any other ball just rolls through the green.

 

You have to give people an opportunity to impress! ☺️

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For the average player?

It makes almost no difference, as long as it's round and is a golf ball.

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As a mid-high handicapper I would say that certain types of balls fit my game better than others.  I can say for certain that I do not play better with a tour ball but my score would not vary that much between a ProV1 and Velocity.  At 68 years old I do get a bit of additional distance off the driver with a low compression surlyn ball and get additional roll which is welcome.  Balls like the TruSoft (now TruFeel), Srixon Soft Feel, and the Gamer Soft (RIP) are my comfort zone.

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There's lots of videos on youtube comparing balls, there should not be much difference unless you're playing 20+ year old balls or the dimples are worn out 

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I really have no interest in hitting greens and spinning the ball back.  Been there done that in the past.  I much prefer my ball to hit and stop without much roll out.  I have played lots of different golf balls.  I do put a fair amount of spin on my irons.  I kind of alternate between the Taylor Made TP5X and the Callaway Supersoft.  But, have played many other balls which probably perform just as well.  I just stay away from TopFlites and Pinnacles.  That said, if I am playing on a rain soaked golf course getting zero roll and having to dig the balls out of the green when they hit....a TopFlite or Pinnacle is just fine.  

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I am a mid handicapper, and YES, they can make a difference. For example, PRO V1's are designed to spin. Good players who can control spin find this an asset, for people like me, who just want the thing to go straight, it is a disadvantage. There is little difference as far as distance is concerned, but the feel of the ball when chipping and putting is concerned varies a lot. The secret is to find a ball you feel comfortable with. I use Srixon Distance balls. They are as cheap as chips, but I like them, and that's all that counts. 

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2 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

For example, PRO V1's are designed to spin. Good players who can control spin find this an asset, for people like me, who just want the thing to go straight, it is a disadvantage. 

I thought increased backspin would result in a decrease in sidespin which would make it easier to keep a ball straight?

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3 minutes ago, klineka said:

I thought increased backspin would result in a decrease in sidespin which would make it easier to keep a ball straight?

I think the ball doesn't know back spin from side spin. If spin is increased, then all kinds of spin are increased. For short irons, back spin is increased, so the ball flies straighter. For longer clubs, especially the driver, side spin will be increased more.

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48 minutes ago, klineka said:

I thought increased backspin would result in a decrease in sidespin which would make it easier to keep a ball straight?

I don't really understand spin, I just want the ball to go straight, and I buy balls that try and do this for me. 

44 minutes ago, Moniker said:

I think the ball doesn't know back spin from side spin. If spin is increased, then all kinds of spin are increased. For short irons, back spin is increased, so the ball flies straighter. For longer clubs, especially the driver, side spin will be increased more.

Yes, I think that was point. A good golfer can use that spin to draw and fade his long irons/driver, but it's advantageous for a lesser player to use a ball that doesn't spin as much. I quite often hear mid/high handicappers say that at their level the ball doesn't matter, but I would argue it matters more at their level than a better golfer.  

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On 2/25/2020 at 1:52 PM, leftybutnotPM said:

No no no no!!!!!

If you use one ball and one ball only, how will you be able to demonstrate superior perception by saying things like:

  • I get about 30 yards roll out with a ProV1 v 25 yards with a TaylorMade Lethal.
  • I find the Titleist Velocity spins a bit more than a TopFlite XL
  • I typically get 12 feet of back spin with a ProV1  v 13 with a ProV1X 
  • I have developed a really nice baby draw when using a Srixon Q Star.
  • ProV1s are too soft for me, especially with forged irons.
  • I can get a ProV1X to bounce once and stop dead with any club but any other ball just rolls through the green.

 

You have to give people an opportunity to impress! ☺️

😆


You are correct sir.  I forgot to account for the pure bravado that goes along with golfing.  I know I can hit a 56 degree wedge 135 yards...on a half swing...with the TopFliteXL but only 129 with the ProV1 because of the 6 yards of backspin I get. /s

 

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