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DoglegJoe

Beginner - Do Balls matter?

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Just started taking golf somewhat seriously (aka. keeping score, trying to improve, practicing, etc). I've always bought the cheapest balls I could find and often whichever ones looked like they'd be easy to find in the deep rough/woods.

Now that I'm beginning to improve (still losing a couple of balls a round) is it time I upgrade? Are the differences material for someone like me? Will the average hacker like me be able to tell the difference?

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I think not.  If you are trying to stay out of the woods, and struggling to get the ball in the air, it does not matter.

Aside, if you want to optimize your situation, a low spin ball is what you need.  The expensive balls are high spin.  The cheap balls and distance balls are usually lower spin more appropriate for beginners.

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Unless youre a 10 handicap or lower, I wouldnt waste my money on more expensive balls because all of that nice backspin that they are designed to give to help you hold the green is going to turn into nasty sidespin if you tend to hit a hook or slice.

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I have to agree with both posters above me.  I'm in a similar situation to you.  I'm paying a LOT closer attention to what gear I use and taking my scores far more seriously.  But I'm still not investing a ton of money into balls.  I doubt I would even spend the money on Bridgestone E6's (although that may change) because I'm just not that good that I need to spend a lot on the ball.  I usually stick to "value" balls like Taylormade Burner's or Top Flite's newest balls (found one or two on a course and played them and was quite surprised they aren't rocks anymore).  Slazengers are also good cheap balls.  The point is, we aren't pros...so avoid pro balls.  If you really want to upgrade your ball, go to golf digest.  A few months ago they did a thing on best golf balls at 3 different price ranges.  That should help you pick a "better ball" without tightening the wallet.

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For a long time when I first got back into golf 5 years ago I played Precept Laddie-Xs.  Theyre still a quality Bridgestone ball, just with a different brandname on them.

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Keeping score, if you can't break 100 the ball doesn't matter at all - you could just hit random used balls found in the woods.

90-100 I would start buying the cheapest possible distance ball, used even, and trying to stay somewhat consistent.

80-90 It may be time to start to read articles and reviews, I would still be in the budget/used category but possibly moving away from the distance balls.

70-80 you are so good it doesn't matter what ball you play, but you probably have all sorts of particular opinions, and like to spend $$.

Below 70 you just play the ball that pays you the most endorsement $$, thereby selling the ball to everyone in the above categories.

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For me as a novice I feel the balls do matter to a degree. I was using pro v1s and couldn't hit a straight drive due to my draw and the balls spinning off wildly. I then went down to srixon ad333 and instantly lost the horrible spin to the right. The balls were just to advanced for my lack of skill to control the spin in the right direction.
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With the variety of golf balls today, you can fine a cheap ball that works for you at any level. I would just try a few different brands and see if one works well for you. Once you get more consistant then i would start to find golf balls that fit your game..

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At this stage of your game I wouldn't spend a lot of money on balls. As others have said, a distance ball might be your best bet if you have problems with slicing/hooking as they don's spin as much. Top-Flite makes some good balls these days - any of the D2 line or the Gamer are good. Wilson has a new ball out, the Duo, that is a great ball - long off the tee and has decent spin around the green - for $20 a dozen. You can also get some very good used balls from places like lostgolfballs. You can get a lot of very good balls for $20 a dozen or less.

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I do NOT agree with the posters above that any random ball found in the woods will do. I DO agree that which ball does not matter much at this point in your game. But, I believe using the same ball all the time does matter on the greens. Find a cheap ball that you like with your putter and stick with it. It can (and maybe should) be a Noodle that you buy for $19 a dozen or even some AAAA used balls. But pick a ball and stick with it a while. You will have a better chance at developing your touch on the greens.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

I do NOT agree with the posters above that any random ball found in the woods will do. I DO agree that which ball does not matter much at this point in your game. But, I believe using the same ball all the time does matter on the greens. Find a cheap ball that you like with your putter and stick with it. It can (and maybe should) be a Noodle that you buy for $19 a dozen or even some AAAA used balls. But pick a ball and stick with it a while. You will have a better chance at developing your touch on the greens.

That's sure what the ball manufacturers want us to believe.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

That's sure what the ball manufacturers want us to believe.

I agree.

Until you're good enough to make reasonably consistent contact every time, I don't think it's worth the hassle or money to worry about what kind of ball you play, so long as you're not playing a golf ball made from puppies by small children in Indonesia or something. Or some of those ceramic balls they seem to have at mini-golf places.

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Is it possible to buy balls that are just to cheap? I have been picking up these wilsons at walmart about $6.97 a dozen.

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Originally Posted by chris650

Is it possible to buy balls that are just to cheap? I have been picking up these wilsons at walmart about $6.97 a dozen.

If your losing more than 2-3 balls a round then buy the cheap balls and employ the 30 second rule. If you lose a ball, look for it for 30 seconds and then just drop another ball. You're only losing  about 50 cents. Your playing partners will thank you.

I got paired up with some beginning golfers this weekend. One guy lost a ball on almost every driving hole. I don't blame the guy for wanting to search for his lost balls, especially when you consider he was playing a $2-$3 ball. Took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to play 9 holes with the whole course open in front of us. Good thing the course was empty and we weren't holding anyone up.

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Originally Posted by iacas

...

Until you're good enough to make reasonably consistent contact every time, I don't think it's worth the hassle or money to worry about what kind of ball you play, so long as you're not playing a golf ball made from puppies by small children in Indonesia or something. Or some of those ceramic balls they seem to have at mini-golf places.

Even a beginner should be able to make consistent contact while putting. My recommendation is to stick with one ball because it should help even a beginner develop better (maybe not good but better) distance feel on the greens. There is a difference in feel when, putting, between a ProV found in the woods and the Pinnacle rock also found in the woods. If one keeps switching between soft and hard balls on every hole, putting can suffer.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Even a beginner should be able to make consistent contact while putting. My recommendation is to stick with one ball because it should help even a beginner develop better (maybe not good but better) distance feel on the greens. There is a difference in feel when, putting, between a ProV found in the woods and the Pinnacle rock also found in the woods. If one keeps switching between soft and hard balls on every hole, putting can suffer.

Agreed.  The main thing that should be a goal early on in a playing golf is consistency.  Playing the same ball allows one to figure out how far he hits each club when it's struck correctly, how much rollout to expect, and especially consistency around and on the green.  I changed balls a little while ago and appreciate the difference, from the full shot to the putt, that changing balls can make in how I might approach a given shot.

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Originally Posted by iacas

... so long as you're not playing a golf ball made from puppies by small children in Indonesia or something ...

But those are the ones with the softest covers!

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I have to agree with those that say stick with the same ball type of ball as much as you can.  Its a hell of a lot easier to judge how hard you need to hit the ball and judge green speen when you are sonstantly using the same ball.  Now I am not saying that beginners need to be using tour level balls but there is no reason to not be using some of the cheaper (less then $20 per dozen) balls that all ball manufacturers make.

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