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Should a Beginner Use a High-Quality Ball Like a Pro V1?


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Golf Digest gets paid for advertising balls, it is in their interest that people buy more expensive balls and lose them. The logic behind that article is stupid.

Yes, use a high quality ball. Virtually any ball you can buy at a golf shop, pro shop, or sporting goods store will be a high quality ball these days. Should you buy the most expensive? I'll just s

Not at all, it's a waste of money. At your level, the ball doesn't make any difference. It probably doesn't matter too much at my level either, but I want to play the same ball all the time. My

Yes, use a high quality ball. Virtually any ball you can buy at a golf shop, pro shop, or sporting goods store will be a high quality ball these days. Should you buy the most expensive? I'll just say this: it's not going to make you play any better, but it's your money to spend.
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I'll put it to you this way, if you can get them for the right price why not?  My friend (scratch golfer who got me into this dang sport) advised me to find a ball that feels good when putting and then work back from there.  I bought a sleeve of a couple high price, and a couple low price brands then took them to the practice green.  I ended up going with the  B330-S because it putted the best for me and it gave me the same percentage of quality/terrible shots off my irons and driver.

I buy all my balls (B330s) from places that sell secondhand premium golf balls. As long as you get their higher quality mix you're getting a good deal ( don't get their practice quality rating for play). Generally I pay about $1.10 to $1.50 for balls that feel right to me.  Just be smart about where you are buying them.  I've run out of them before and had to buy a sleeve or too at the pro shop.....I promise you nothing feels worse than watching a $2+ ball go in the drink.

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Play whatever ball that you want.  Will it make a difference?  I don't think that you will have much difference whether it is a Gamer V2, Bridgestone e5, or a ProV1.  These three balls are ones that I would play going from the lowest price range, to mid, to high end.  I know that at your skill level, you may not get everything out of a premium ball that it is designed to give.  You may be better off with a lower spin ball, with a higher launch for the distance/straightness factor.  Just something to think about.

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Not at all, it's a waste of money. At your level, the ball doesn't make any difference. It probably doesn't matter too much at my level either, but I want to play the same ball all the time.

My recommendation is to buy a big load of used balls from lostgolfballs.com, golfballnut.com or something like that. A 2-piece ball will do just fine. If you buy them used, you'll get a good price. Stay clear of refinished balls, stick to used ones. Titleist, Callaway, Bridgestone, they all got balls in the lower end that will work just fine.

It often depends on your home course how many balls you lose, but many high handicappers lose a lot of balls, so buying in bulk should give you lots of balls to hit into the water and woods.

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Even if you had the money to burn, or even if Titleist was willing to give you a free sleeve of Pro V1s for every hole you play for the rest of your life, I still wouldn't suggest them (for usage -- take the free ones and give them to experienced friends) for most beginners.  Maybe if it turned out an LDA champion had never played real golf, I might suggest it.

Here's the thing:  it's not that the less expensive ones are worse.  Even the ones that are pretty much only sold at WalMart or Target aren't terrible.   But there are ones that are better for your swing.

Let's say you swing your driver with a club-head speed of 85 mph.  You're probably better off with something like the Bridgestone e6 or the Srixon AD333 or the Titleist DT So/Lo.  You'll get more out of those balls than a ProV1, even though you're paying less (in terms of currency).  If you swing at, say, 95 mph, you'll probably be better with the Bridgestone B330 RX.

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If you dont lose a lot of balls, then by all means play a Pro V1 or any other tour ball.  Studies show that from a distance ball to a tour ball you only gain about 5 yards off the tee with the distance ball and it gives you half as much spin off of the wedges.

If you dont believe me read the latest issue of Golf Digest.  It says so right in the magazine.

Ive played both tour balls and distance balls and the only difference I notice other than cost is on the green.  The distance balls have a lot more run-out than the tour balls do.  The tour balls hit the green, take 1 or 2 hops and stop within a few feet.  The distance balls hit the green, take 1 or 2 hops and then roll out about 15 feet.

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If you are truly a rank beginner, I'd say it is a waste of money.  I don't think it will hurt you, but you won't get the benefit of the extra technology until your swing is fairly consistent from shot to shot. These days there are good quality balls in the second tier (e-5-6, NXT's and such and third tier Noodles) that have good distance and decent feel. Once your handicap is around 15-20, start looking for a ball in whatever tier that fits your swing needs of speed, trajectory and control and pocketbook. If you can watch a $4 golf ball hit the drink and not worry, then ProV's won't hurt your game.  Of course that line is blurred as well with the availability of slightly used premium balls as others have mentioned.

I have been trying some Bridgestone e5's and 330 S's. I can tell a perceptible difference in distance and green performance. I can see how someone a little better than me could really take advantage of that difference, but also how someone not quite as good as me would not realize much benefit.

Using myself as a point of reference, I have been playing for about 40 years. I hit some shots a tour pro would at least settle for and some that would embarass a rank beginner. I can tell the difference in a premium ball and a Noodle for instance, but not by a lot. I am currently trying some premium balls and may start using them for competition, but for casual rounds and especially on courses where the potential for ball loss is high, I will continue to use the less expensive balls.

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One add I would have is to stick to the same ball, which ever you choose, for the whole season.  You get very used to how that ball will play around the greens and how it will fly.

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There are some decent moderately priced balls. Top Flite Gamer for example. You can't take advantage of better balls until you have some consistency. Beyond that minimizing frustration and playing freely is important. Maybe it doesn't apply to you but losing expensive balls, even if you can afford it just adds to the frustration factor when learning. I played with x outs my first couple years. Some people, (I know its their problem) will think you are better than you are.
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Play with a golf ball you can afford to lose.  I haven't seen a post with your swing speed, or swing, so it's hard to say if you'd be better with a high or low compression ball or high or low spin.  Overall a Pro V1 isn't likely to hurt your game, but as a new golfer you'll probably lose a bunch, especially if your home course has dense woods and water hazards.  If you can deal with losing $20 - $40 in balls per round, then play the Pro V1.  If you're looking at lower cost alternatives, the Top-Flight Gamer V2, Bridgestone E5 and refurb Titleist NXT Tours are good options that won't hurt as much when you lose them.

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Learn to play with something inexpensive. I am looking to switch to a urethane ball soon, and I've been practicing with them on the chipping green to see which ones I like.  Lately the conditions have been too wet to really get much spin on a ball, so it hasn't really mattered which ball I'm playing. When it dries up I'm looking to get some spin on short irons and wedges, though.

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Ive been playing for 3 years now, and i still use inexpensive intech beta ti balls(about 50 cents a ball brand new) or whatever i get for gifts for birthdays and christmas, usually those or nitro balls or top flite xl's.  A lot of people bash top flites but i think the xls are a decent ball and $9 for 15 balls, a pretty good value as well.  I really like the intech beta ti balls i get at walmart, i still prefer to use them most of the time.   I hit them as far and as straight as any other ball ive tried and they're pretty good on the green as well.

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GolfDigest recently mentioned in their golf ball reviews that its actually worth the extra money for the premium balls.

Main reason with a premium ball you will only lose 4 yrds of distance, believe that was the yardage stated, but gain tremendous amounts of spin on wedge shots. Whereas you will only hit the hard as rocks cheapo balls a few yrds further but lose tons of bite going into the green.

I say what the others say, if you can afford to then do it. There are also a few great performing balls in the $20-$30 range. If I was just starting out I would buy a sleeve of the high performance balls and some of the cheaper ones and compare and see which I prefer.

Enjoy the game

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I've read tips from instructors that suggest most amateurs would be better off hitting the front 1/3 of the green, and having the ball release to the hole consistently, with a lower spin ball.

Originally Posted by grim golfer

GolfDigest recently mentioned in their golf ball reviews that its actually worth the extra money for the premium balls.

Main reason with a premium ball you will only lose 4 yrds of distance, believe that was the yardage stated, but gain tremendous amounts of spin on wedge shots. Whereas you will only hit the hard as rocks cheapo balls a few yrds further but lose tons of bite going into the green.

I say what the others say, if you can afford to then do it. There are also a few great performing balls in the $20-$30 range. If I was just starting out I would buy a sleeve of the high performance balls and some of the cheaper ones and compare and see which I prefer.

Enjoy the game



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Originally Posted by grim golfer

GolfDigest recently mentioned in their golf ball reviews that its actually worth the extra money for the premium balls.

Main reason with a premium ball you will only lose 4 yrds of distance, believe that was the yardage stated, but gain tremendous amounts of spin on wedge shots. Whereas you will only hit the hard as rocks cheapo balls a few yrds further but lose tons of bite going into the green.



Beginners are rarely able to spin the ball in any way. Their problems are not lack of spin with the wedges, but rather hitting the ball clean, hitting the green, hitting the fairway etc.

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  • iacas changed the title to Should a Beginner Use a High-Quality Ball Like a Pro V1?
Note: This thread is 891 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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