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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 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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Equipment

Best forged game improvement irons? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing forged game improvement irons. WRXer ‘Monks66’ is on the hunt with more forgiveness, saying

“I currently play the Mizzy JPX Pro 825s, love them, but I don’t play as much golf these days, wondering if there is a forged iron out there with more forgiveness….thoughts?”

And our members have been sharing their best picks in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • tigercolt77: “You’ll get a lot of answers, and it comes down to what look/feel you prefer. I’d go with Callaway Apex cf19 personally. They check all the boxes.”
  • blopar: “Srixon ZX5 or PXG 0211, I have a set of each. Right now, I’m lovin’ the PXG’s.”
  • R5Two: “I would recommend hitting the ZX7, it has more forgiveness than you would think. Also, forged face insert T200 are great this year. +1 for the PXG sale is fire.”
  • 20six: “Mizuno Comp-EZ, if they could be found.”

Entire Thread: “Best forged game improvement irons? – GolfWRXers discuss

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (11/29/21): New Nike Vapor Pro irons

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.

It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of new Nike Vapor Pro irons.

From the seller (@R5Two): “New Nike Vapor Pro 4- PW,  X100, 1/2″ over. Bought off WRX, decided to play the blades I bought instead. New in bubble wrap, climate controlled storage looking to get what I paid for them – $925 shipped.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: New Nike Vapor Pro irons

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Whats in the Bag

Brooks Koepka’s winning WITB: The Match

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Driver: Srixon ZX5 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 TX (44.5 inches, tipped 1 inch)

3-wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX

Irons: Nike Vapor Pro (3), Srixon ZX7 (4-PW)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 95 X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW, 38 1/4 cut on 4i)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore – Tour Rack Raw (52 Mid, 56 Mid, 60 Low)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (Standard length/lie)

Putter: Scotty Cameron T22 Newport 2 Prototype

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (Midsize) round

Ball: Srixon Z Star Prototype

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WITB

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