The Art of Ball Selection

There’s so much information available on the subject of selecting the right clubs for your golf game. Whether it’s the driver or irons, wedges or putters, there is plenty of research – and advice – on the process.

There’s not quite so much said about golf balls. After all, they are round, the same size and same weight and what sets them apart is usually hidden inside the cover. The reality is that choosing the right ball can make an enormous difference on how you play and score.

There are five things to consider when choosing a golf that best suits your game. If at any point during the process you’re still not sure, ask the experts at Your Golf Headquarters for help. They’ll point you in the right direction.

Golf is a game of trial-and-error. One of the best, most accurate ways to evaluate any piece of equipment is to take it out on the course for a test run. The five steps:

  • Define your needs. Do you need a ball that spins more – or less? Are you looking for more distance or more accuracy? Once you determine the answer to those questions, the selection process is narrowed significantly.
  • Begin the test process from the fringe of the green. This is where you will score and that score will be greatly impacted by how the ball works from short range. Experiment with the various ball models you have selected to see how they check up or roll out. Also “feel” how firm or soft the ball is.
  • Next, move back to 50 yards, then 100 yards, and hit those shots to the green. Again, see how the balls react when they hit the green, whether they stop or roll out.
  • Hit drives. Consider the distance and the accuracy levels.
  • Write down the results and also log your shots during several rounds. Remember that you might be improving your short game results and, ultimately, your score by giving up a few yards off the tee for better performance (i.e. a softer ball) around the greens.

Find a Hidden Gem – For golfers on a tight budget there are outstanding options in the value-priced ball segment. And finding that ball that doesn’t break the bank but fits your game – flies long and straight and feels perfect – is always fun. Here are some excellent balls for golfers looking to maximize their golf dollars.

Bridgestone E5 – A two-piece ball that flies high for golfers looking for more launch and longer carry. A new larger Dual Dimple design reduces drag for higher speeds and increased lift. This ball offers plenty of greenside control. A Urethane cover provides stopping power.

Callaway Supersoft – Gets high marks for playability and distance with a Supersoft compression rating – only 38, according to the company – with HEX Aerodynamics. Available in a multi-color pack of four colors.

Srixon Q-Star – There’s a special cover which is designed to provide greater friction and more spin and greenside control than the typical Surlyn-covered two-piece ball. Srixon calls this the most advanced game-improvement ball it has produced.

Wilson Staff Duo – This ball has a softer compression rating (40) than other two-piece distance balls. Launches high to the delight of mid-handicap golfers and promises more distance.

Titleist DT SoLo – The famous Titleist script is always pleasing to the eye of a golfer and is sure to provide a boost to the confidence. A new dimple pattern offers a more consistent flight.

Nike Power Distance Soft – The ’14 model has a softer 314-dimple ionomer cover and lower compression than previous models. The soft compression core delivers distance and feel. There is also a Power Distance model for women.

Articles provided by Vartan Kupelian. Kupelian spent 40 years writing sports for daily newspapers, 37 of those at The Detroit News before he left that distinguished newspaper in August, 2008. He is the immediate past president of the Golf Writers Association of America.