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Why you should always use the same ball

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When it comes to testing equipment and playing golf, there is one piece of absolutely essential gear—the golf ball.

You use it on every shot, and it has the ability to change how the rest of your equipment performs and feels. As far as testing is concerned, the ball is one of the easiest things to experiment with, but it also leaves many golfers often switching back and forth between brands and models, which is never a good thing for consistency. This is why regardless of the brand or the style of ball you choose to play, you should use the same one every time for the best opportunity to shoot your lowest scores.

Eliminating variables

Even though most manufacturers have lines of golf balls that closely mirror performance characteristics, there are going to be one or two options within the spectrum that will perform their best for you. Kind of in the way shoe manufacturers all reference the same sizes but how they fit depending you your feet can be vary greatly.

Beyond just the performance, because of the nature of golf ball design and materials used, there will also be a substantial acoustic difference, which depending on the golfer, will have a big impact especially in the short game, which is where more than 75 percent or your shots are taken.

The factors a ball will affect the most

  • Short game feel
  • Spin in all facets of your game
  • Carry distance
  • The amount of check and releasing on chips and pitches
  • Directional misses right and left caused by increasing or reducing spin on full swing shots

How to decide

There are a lot of factors when it comes to choosing the right ball for you, and most golfers would see the biggest improvement in their game if they started by comparing short game performance and then slowly evaluating shots further away from the green.

Most golf balls are going to show similar numbers with the driver unless you are looking to optimize a particular ball flight. For example, in the Titleist line, there is a noticeable difference between the apexes of the Pro V1x, Pro V1, and the newest AVX ball, which launches and spins the lowest of the three.

A premium urethane cover ball is always going to offer the greatest amount of control, but depending on the factors most important to you as an individual golfer, you might find the greatest success in a different category. If you prefer to see short game shots roll out more to your target instead of stopping quickly, an ionomer or surlyn cover ball could be the best choice.

Regardless of the ball you choose to use, sticking with the same one over time is going to help provide greater consistency to your game. I’ve heard too many stories of golfers used to using a two-piece switch to a premium urethane ball for a “big event” or important round and suddenly struggle with distance control on putts and short games shots because of the softer feel and increased spin—resulting in approaches coming up well short of the target.

This is just one example of why, regardless of your preference, you should find one that’s comfortable for you and stick with it.

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Alfredo

    Sep 6, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Great article and I could not agree more. I have been playing Bridgestone/Precept for over 25 years and just can not find a better ball. I have tried numerous ‘other balls’ but they just don’t cut the mustard. Recently it has been revealed that the Nike ball Tiger was playing was a Precept/Bridgestone ball, oh my!

  2. Rich

    Sep 6, 2020 at 12:45 am

    Don’t scrimp on the ball. Even if you lose a sleeve per round, you only save a few bucks by purchasing bargain golf balls, and you sacrifice a tremendous amount of performance.

    These days, the top quality balls travel just as far as “distance” balls. The only differences are the cost (minor) and their performance around the greens (major).

    But if you must save money, buy a tour ball from a company like Snell, who can give you tour performance at a much lower price–about the same as you’d pay for other companies’ 2nd-tier balls.

    I play the Snell. If I thought for a moment that the full-priced ProV1 provided even a slim advantage over the Snell, I’d gladly pay the premium. Again, if you lose a sleeve per round, it only comes to about 7 bucks difference. Given all the other costs of playing golf, it is a small difference. (And no, I don’t lose 3 balls per round!)

  3. Speedy

    Sep 4, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Ball sense and otherwise.

    Unless you’re a pro, world-class amateur, or other choosing to partake of official butt-tightening competition.

    1. Play good condition balls you find, not caring about their normal price categories.

    2. When buying new, low-price or mid-price on sale. Never premium, unless they’re 2fers.

    3. Switch whenever you want.

    4. Have fun in all climates.

    • Fredo

      Sep 4, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      Get your scratched up Nxt tour, velocity ole hex diablo found in the rough. Cheap self.
      “This volik sure is pretty bright doesn’t stick on chip shots but it sure is pretty bright”
      Ole this top flight gamer v2 is pretty solid ole pinnacle goes a mile cause it’s hard as rocks miejer clearance section opinion outta here

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Whats in the Bag

Christian Bezuidenhout’s winning WITB: 2020 Alfred Dunhill Championship

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Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 60 TX

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Mavrik Pro (19 degrees)

Irons: Callaway X Forged ’18 (4-PW)
Shaft: KBS Tour 125 S+

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged Wedges (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: Odyssey Works Big T #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Equipment

GolfWRX x TRENDYGOLF USA: Fall must-haves – Mid layers & hoodies

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Recently, we at GolfWRX have been showcasing the hottest golf shoes in different categories with the good folks at TRENDYGOLF USA.

For your reference, you can check out those selections here:

Now it’s time to venture into the must-have apparel, which you can get your hands on as the weather begins to turn.

First we took a look at some of the most stylish jackets and pants on the market, and then we covered the sweater and vest category. Now we’ll highlight what we feel are some of the best mid-layers and hoodies available from a bunch of different brands. So let’s get to it!

Fall must-haves – Mid layers & hoodies

G/FORE

1 x 1 Striped Mid – $165

Color Codes: Heather Grey, Mid Cobalt

“The 1 x 1 Striped Mid is brand new this season from G/FORE. Made from a technical poly/spandex blend interlocked with a mossed interior for ultimate comfort. Heathered striping details offers a classic look that pairs with anything.”

Greyson

Den Of Thieves Tate Mockneck – $150

Color Code: Mockneck Bluejay

“The Tate is back this season from Greyson. Constructed with the finest technical yarn sourced from Italy, the blended Nylon / Elastine brushback knit fabric was developed with serious function and a luxury feel. The Tate is decorated with a perforated camo interior neck and flat lock seems. The quarter top is slightly elongated access and function. The Tate bears the iconic reflective Wolf at the wearer’s back neck.”

Linksoul

Dry-Tek Quarter Zip – $101

Color Codes: Heather Grey, Midnight

“The Dry-Tek Quarter Zip is brand new this season from Linksoul. This cotton/poly midlayer is perfect for those transitional autumn days. It’s lightweight and features moisture wicking properties as well as plenty of natural stretch. Features a Linksoul detailed zipper as well as patch detailing on the left hip.”

Peter Millar

Drirelease Natural Touch Quarter Zip – $138

Color Code: Melange Stripe Cape Blue

Polo Golf Ralph Lauren

Fine Gauge Terry Half Zip – $125

Color Code: Royal Navy, Grey Heather

“The Fine Gauge Terry Half Zip is back this season from Polo Golf Ralph Lauren. Built from a technical stretchy blend of fabric, this mid layer features a contrast zipper and embroidered Polo horse logo on the left chest.”

RLX Ralph Lauren

Brushback Tech Jersey – $138

Color Codes: Pajama Blue Heather, Light Grey Heather, Cruise Royal, Tiki Green Heather, True Orange, Lime Quartz, Pure White, Dark Sport Heather

“Here for the 2020 season a revamped version of a golfer’s favorite performance piece that both could be worn as a midlayer, on top of a polo, or as mock neck shirt itself. Perfect to carry in the back when the weather turns. Features a right chest pocket, as well as signature RLX logo on the back neck and wearer’s right sleeve.”

Cashmere Hoodie – $298

Color Codes: Royal Blue, Polo Black, Dark Sport Heather

“The Cashmere Hoodie is brand new this season from RLX Ralph Lauren. Perfect for range days or relaxing in off course, this hoodie is super soft and comfortable. The cashmere fabrication makes it super luxurious and lightweight. The cuffs and drawstring hood have contrast tipping with the signature RLX logo on the lower right arm.”

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Equipment

Best golf gifts on Amazon

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To supplement our holiday gift guides, we thought we’d give our readers some of our best picks for best golf gifts on Amazon. We’ve included 12 items to help you in your holiday gift selections, with a bonus extra for our friends in the UK!

So whether you’re looking for ideas for gifts you want to give, or even better receive, we have you covered!

Best golf gifts on Amazon

The Golf Father Gift Ceramic Coffee Mug

From the listing: “Do you need a gift idea for Christmas, Valentine’s day, anniversary, birthday, family occasion, or father’s day? This novelty mug will make a great gift for your husband, boyfriend, brother, uncle, grandparents, co-worker or friend.”

Price: $8.45

Buy here.

Titleist Pro V1 Christmas Golf Balls – 3 Pack (Amazon UK)

From the listing:Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls – 3 Pack – Printed with christmas motifs. Total performance for all golfers with the combination of exceptional distance, the best short game spin and control, and very soft feel. Exceptional Distance | Drop-and-Stop Short Game Control. Very Soft Feel.”

Price: $22.50

Buy here.

Nike Men’s Academy 18 Drill Top

From the listing:Sweat-wicking Nike Dry-FIT Technology. Half-zip design. 100% Polyester. Machine Wash. Fastening: Zipper. Academy 18 Drill.”

Price: $49

Buy here.

GoSports CHIPSTER Range

From the listing:Includes 3 Chipping Targets (12 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches) for practicing at varying distances and directions. Targets setup in seconds and neatly store in the included carrying case. Use outdoors with real golf balls or indoor with foam balls.”

Price: $29.99

Buy here. 

Titleist Players Men’s Golf Glove

From the listing:Ultra-thin, for maximum feel and lasting performance. Premium, quality fit means a seamless connection to your club. Utilizes proprietary breathable fabric for comfort and support. Satin reinforcement at cuff and thumb for strength and durability.”

Price: $30

Buy here.

2020 Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls

From the listing:Chrome Soft takes Tour performance to another level; We’ve reengineered every aspect and element in the ball for more speed off the tee, and longer distance off of every club in the bag. A faster, larger Graphene-infused Dual SoftFast Core is designed for increased distance; The significantly larger inner core creates higher launch and lower spin. And the thinner, firmer outer core is reinforced with Graphene for better durability.”

Price: $39.99 (down from $47.99)

Buy here.

TaylorMade TP5 Pix 2.0 Golf Ball

From the listing:Better visibility: Multi-Color, high contrast graphics. Better alignment: Unique clear path alignments.”

Price: $39.99 (down from $44.99)

Buy here.

Titleist Golf Warmer 

From the listing:Mitten style with micro fleece lining and cinch opening for comfort. Water resistant shell for performance in all weather conditions. Internal hand warmer compartment.”

Price: $44.99

Buy here.

TaylorMade Pro Stand 6.0 Golf Bag

From the listing:9″ Top stand bag. 7-Way top with a front integrated grab handle and two side grab handles with color co-ordinated air mesh. Light weight high-mount automatic stand system. 4-Point adjustable backpack strap for maximum balance and comfort. Towel loop and umbrella holder.”

Price: $79.99 (down from $129.99)

Buy here.

Garmin Approach S10

From the listing:Simple, easy-to-use golf watch. Sleek, lightweight and comfortable with a high-resolution, Sunlight-readable display. Provides yardages to the front, back and middle of the Green -as well as Hazards and doglegs -on more than 41, 000 preloaded courses worldwide. Keep Score on the watch for a summary of your round, total distance played and total time.”

Price: $99 (down from $149.99)

Buy here.

Under Armour Men’s Spieth 3 Golf Shoe

From the listing:Textile and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Breathable, Clarino microfiber upper & a lightweight waterproof membrane keep you cool & dry. Smart woven forefoot panel & heel counter for biomechanically correct foot support & lightweight comfort. Integrated lacing system for a locked in fit.”

Price: $117.21 (down from $200)

Buy here.

Puma Men’s Ignite Pwradapt Caged Stars and Stripes Golf Shoe

From the listing: 100% Synthetic. Synthetic sole. Adaptive Fit System. Ignite Foam. Power cage. Power frame. Power adapt.”

Price: $169.99

Buy here.

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Fairway Wood

From the listing:MAVRIK is the longest fairway wood that Callaway has ever made. The new A. I. -optimized Flash Face SS20 is forged from exotic materials, which are uniquely designed for each model and loft to maximize ball speed and performance. We’ve combined our industry-leading technologies to deliver distance, forgiveness and performance from every club.”

Price: $249.99 (down from $299.99)

Buy here.

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