2008 Ball Buyer's Guide
Choosing the right golf ball is just as important as choosing the right set of clubs. With the right ball, you can quickly add yards, hit it higher and optimize your ballspin on and around the greens.
Golf balls are like most consumer products these days, with seemingly too many choices for a spot decision. Manufacturers produce many different models in an effort to compete for shelf space and exposure to various price points, which often leads to confusion. The best way to combat this trend is to take the guesswork out of the problem through diagnostic testing. If you haven’t been tested for the right ball, there’s no time like the present. Most golfers buy a ball brand out of reputation of the manufacturer, advertising, or through an ongoing process of trial and error.
But with the advent of launch-monitor testing, buying the right ball can be a far more exact science than ever before. A competent fitting professional can measure ball spins, launch angles and velocities with various balls to hone in the perfect blend of ballistic properties. Then the decision becomes a matter of price, feel and personal preference.
As a generality, softer-feeling urethane covers produce higher spin rates than Surlyn, especially at lower ball speeds like those found with short-game shots. Some newer-generation balls are two-piece only with a firmer inner core and the softer urethane outer layer. This configuration produces low spins with the longer clubs and higher spins with wedges but may have a slightly harder feel.