Choosing the Right Golf Ball to Fit Your Game

Golf balls are one of the most under-considered parts of any golfer’s game. Most players will hit whatever is closest to the register or cheapest at their local golf store or pro shop. Or—heaven forbid—they fish for golf balls out of water hazards at the courses they’re playing. This is a terrible idea because water-logged golf balls fly unpredictably, which means they generally fly worse than old range balls. But buying rocks at the golf store might be an even worse decision—at least with fishing for golf balls, they come to you free!

No, it’s much better to be pragmatic when you buy golf balls. Of late, two companies in particular are rewarding the thoughtful amateur with golf balls that will help his or her game.

Behold, the TaylorMade Project (a) ball. The world’s largest golf equipment manufacturer introduced it at the 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where it received more play from the amateur field than any other golf ball. And you know those well-heeled participants can afford Pro V1s by the bushel. Nevertheless, TaylorMade convinced them to take advantage of the Project (a)’s softer feel and enhanced spin around the greens. Getting a lot of distance out of your golf ball is important, but the most strokes are gained—and lost—on and around the greens. At $32 a dozen, the Project (a) is a full $15 or more cheaper than the highest-end balls and worth consideration by the broadest swath of players.

In 2014, Callaway revamped their own golf bal line in order to serve the right pellets to the right players. They developed their SR series to carry three different golf ball models. They are all in the $48-a-dozen range but have received rave reviews since their initial launch. The SR-1 variety is engineered for players with driver swing speeds of less than 90 mph. the SR-2 is geared toward probably the biggest portion of male amateurs, with swing speeds between 90 and 105 mph. Meanwhile, the SR-3 is receiving the most play among Callaway’s professional staffers, as it is meant for best use by players whose swing speeds exceed 105 mph.

Most every golf ball maker has a golf ball in between the lower- and higher-end. If you are willing to pay a few dollars extra on the front end, you may well find that you will lose fewer golf balls overall.

(posted 4/4/14)

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