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is it worth trying to use the same ball consistently when you are a high handicapper?

14 posts in this topic

I am a 22 index so still working on many fundamentals of the game.   I can honestly say that I don't feel any difference whatsoever from one ball to the next other than real extremes (like a range ball).  Cost is not a huge issue so I feel very fortunate there, but given that I lose 4-5 balls a round OB, I see no need to buy expensive balls that my game is not ready for.  Question is whether there is any benefit to playing the same brand/level of ball all the time?  I have been playing mostly Callaway Diablos or HX Diablo the last 6 months.  Lately just started buying whatever 3-piece ball happens to be on sale at the Sports Authority for between $20 and $25/box.

Just curious whether folks see any benefit to playing the same make/model consistently or just balls in the same "range".

Thanks

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I don't know if it'll make a difference, but I know it can't hurt. I like playing the same ball to keep the feeling at impact consistent. That goes with every club i the bag and perhaps short game/putting most importantly. A mid-range 3-piece ball is what I would recommend. You can even get them used from eBay or something and save a lot of money.
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Originally Posted by Zeph

I don't know if it'll make a difference, but I know it can't hurt. I like playing the same ball to keep the feeling at impact consistent. That goes with every club i the bag and perhaps short game/putting most importantly.

A mid-range 3-piece ball is what I would recommend. You can even get them used from eBay or something and save a lot of money.

I agree with the bolded part of Zeph's post above.  Whether it makes any actual difference in my game or not, psychologically I like the idea of playing the same ball every stroke - especially (as Zeph said) for the short game/putting.  I've settled on the Bridgestone e6 as the best fit for my game right now and that's the only ball I play/practice with.  They're a good quality ball, but don't break the bank.

As a side note, I was playing a practice round today and found a nearly-new Pro V1 while looking for one of my errant shots.  Since I was experimenting with things, hitting 2-3 balls a hole and taking time to work on my short game, I alternated the Pro V1 with my e6 on a bunch of various shots.  I found little to no difference in the short game (disclaimer - the greens at my home course are hard as rocks and won't hold a shot no matter what you're hitting).  On drives, I found the e6 to be consistently straighter and longer (undoubtedly a product of my flawed swing, but it is what it is).  Limited experiment, but it reaffirmed that I don't have the game to be playing a Tour ball.  Not only that, but I still usually lose anywhere from 1-4 balls per round, and would much rather lose $2 balls than $4 balls.

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I believe, for me, it's a confidence thing.   I feel confident hitting the E6.  When I try other brands, my brain is telling me that it's not a E6 and it just doesn't feel right.  Is there a difference for a high handicapper?  Probably not but it is a mind game.   I'm sure for a scratch golfer than can bend the ball and putt spin on it around the green, the ball plays a major part of their game.

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Playing off 22 you've developed a bit of reliability in your full swing and more importantly, you can putt and chip with some consistency.  I absolutely recommend playing the same ball.  It doesn't have to be super premium, and I wouldn't recommend a high spin ball, but you're at the point where you need to know that the variance in your results are due to you, and not due to the differences in balls that you're playing from one day (or hole) to another.  Find something reasonably priced that you like, and stick with it.

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It helped my consistency when I stopped using the grab bag of used balls and centered on one ball.  Occasionally I change ball brands, but only deliberately and use the same brand/type for a period of time.  As an engineer, I think of it as 'taking one variable out of the equation'.  Agree with those above who say choose something reasonably priced.  For a couple of years I used a $1 golf ball, now I use a $2 golf ball, as my index has gradually improved into the 14-16 range. When I get below 10, I will no doubt move to a $3 golf ball.  Hope springs eternal.....

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Playing off 22 you've developed a bit of reliability in your full swing and more importantly, you can putt and chip with some consistency.  I absolutely recommend playing the same ball.  It doesn't have to be super premium, and I wouldn't recommend a high spin ball, but you're at the point where you need to know that the variance in your results are due to you, and not due to the differences in balls that you're playing from one day (or hole) to another.  Find something reasonably priced that you like, and stick with it.

I absolutely agree with this response.

Consistency is your most important thing to consider now.  Since you're slowly improving you should carefully consider what ball you want.  The e6 is a great ball from what I hear and also reasonably priced (never hit it myself).  I would find a mid-priced ball that you hit well and when the times comes that you want to hit a different ball change only one variable with the ball.  In that I mean look at what the ball is (2 or 3 peice, what kind of cover is it, is it a tour ball, etc.)

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Different balls can have very different flight characteristics, so Yes, use same ball, even if it's a cheap ball. That way you'll know if you are hitting better or worse shots, longer or shorter, with slice or without slice, and you'll know it's your swing that is changing, and not the result of a different ball.

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Originally Posted by arturo28mx

Different balls can have very different flight characteristics, so Yes, use same ball, even if it's a cheap ball. That way you'll know if you are hitting better or worse shots, longer or shorter, with slice or without slice, and you'll know it's your swing that is changing, and not the result of a different ball.

Not that you need another affirmative, since the response has been unanimous so far, but I'll give it anyway.  And my reason is the same as Arturo's here.  If you are constantly using a different ball, then you could hit some high, some low, some with more or less spin, and you'll have no idea how much the ball affected that flight and how much was your swing.

I don't think it makes much difference how much you spend, but just pick something that seems comfortable to you and stick with it.  And if you wanted to consider better balls at a discount, I would not rule out the places that sell used balls.  I've played through 3 or 4 dozen ProV1x balls from lostgolfballs.com (their highest quality level - AAAAA I think) and the different between them and brand new is not noticeable.  (And they are about 40% cheaper)

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Not that you need another affirmative, since the response has been unanimous so far, but I'll give it anyway.  And my reason is the same as Arturo's here.  If you are constantly using a different ball, then you could hit some high, some low, some with more or less spin, and you'll have no idea how much the ball affected that flight and how much was your swing.

I don't think it makes much difference how much you spend, but just pick something that seems comfortable to you and stick with it.  And if you wanted to consider better balls at a discount, I would not rule out the places that sell used balls.  I've played through 3 or 4 dozen ProV1x balls from lostgolfballs.com (their highest quality level - AAAAA I think) and the different between them and brand new is not noticeable.  (And they are about 40% cheaper)

+1 to using used/recycled balls.

I forgot to mention this in my original reply but I also would recommend checking into recycled balls.  I too play them for the most part and they play nearly identical to brand new golf balls.

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Find a cheapish ball you like, buy a ton of them off ebay in mint condition for ~ $1 a ball.

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IMO, it matters because you want a consistent feel and performance.  Some of the more inexpensive balls are pretty horrible.  Also, different balls have a different sound at impact, which can greatly effect your perception of feel and self-diagnosing your swing.

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At risk of sounding the same bell here I would add that in game improvement any understanding we can make, be it in swing mechanics, club face and impact or ball flight and trajectory, by limiting any changing elements like clubs used or balls played, we reduce the opportunity for confusing results which hopefully will help us learn quicker to be more consistent. Find a ball you like and play it and practice it so you become comfortable with the sound the club and ball make in certain situations. One thing I have learned to do is ignore the urge to hunt down lost balls and stuff my bag and then bringing these previously owned balls into play. I have a policy of not removing any ball from a golf course unless it is mine. I play ProV1 and I'm very happy with my ball choice, even my family now understand buying me other brands is not an option.
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thanks to all for the advice. Makes sense all around.

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