Golf Ball Reviews

The Best New Golf Balls for 2009

The golf ball is the most used piece of "equipment" in golf, and yet most golfers don't spend much time choosing the ball they use. You should. Choosing the right ball for your swing and your game can make abig difference.

Most of my golfing buddies play all kinds of different balls. They do so because they generally play with golf balls they find on the course or harvest from ponds. While the quality of the balls they are using is oftentimes good, it rarely translates to their golf score, and some of them are even decent golfers.

Part of the reason why is that sometimes the balls they are using really don't fit their game. Other times, it is because they are always switching balls (different brands) during a round. Doing that is a sure recipe for inconsistency. The key is to find the best golf ball for your game and stick with that brand and model.

Expensive balls are the best, Right?

The most expensive balls on the market are some of the new 3 and 4 piece balls that have multi-layer construction and lots of high-tech materials and engineering. These are performance balls and are designed for the better player. If you are a better player who consistently strikes the ball squarely on the sweet spot of the club, these balls can help improve your control and lower your scores.

However, expensive does not necessarily mean it is the right ball for you. If you have a slower swing speed or frequently hit the ball with a glancing blow or with lots of side spin, the high performnce balls can actually hurt your game.

The reason why is because these balls are generally built to spin more and have a lower trajectory. Those are characteristics better players are looking for in a ball. Good golfers already launch the ball plenty high and long, so what they want is control. They are willing to sacrifice a little distance for that extra spin and control.

But if you are not hitting the ball squarely, then you are imparting unwanted side spin on the ball. Golf balls designed to spin more will also spin sidewise more. So hooks and slices will be more accentuated. Distance will be lost. That's not a winning combo for most amatuers.

If you are the kind of golfer who mostly hits slices and lacks distance off the tee, forget trying to keep up with your buddies who play Titlesit ProV1's. They are great ball for the right golfer, but they aren't the best balls for most amateurs. High and mid-handicap golfers should play a ball with a harder cover and a more solid, two-piece construction. The Titleist DT series of balls is a perfect example of the type of Titleist most recreational golfers should be using. The Titleist NXT balls are perfect for the improving mid-handicap golfer. Harder balls will give you more distance and will spin less, so you not only get more carry on your shots, but they won't hook or slice as much either. That IS a winning combination for most weekend warriors.

Do I have to Buy New Golf Balls for Consistency?

Let's face it, new golf balls are expensive, especially if you lose a lot or routinely chew them up with sharp-edged wedges. If you play enough golf, the cost of golf balls -especially the premium brands - can eat a big chunk of your golfing budget. My advice is to buy premium, graded used golf balls to save money.

The fact is, today's golf balls are built to last. Tests on Titleist ProV1 balls showed that they did not start losing any performance until after 400 hits with a driver at 130 mph. That means Tiger Woods could hit the same ball for 28 rounds of golf before it lost any performance, as long as the covering remained intact. Most balls get lost or otherwise marred before that.

If the golf ball cover is cut or split (it used to be easy to do with the old balata balls), then you will see performance suffer, but new golf balls are very hard to split, so this is a rare occurence. More often you will find balls with visble nicks or scuff marks from wayward drives that hit rocks or cart paths. These marks have a negligible affect on performance (maybe a bigger affect on confidence).

What I'm getting at is that you can play recycled golf balls without any performance hit as long as the covers are in good shape. There are several internet companies that specialize in selling recycled balls. They have them graded from "almost new" down to "for practice use only."

This is how I order ALL my golf balls - even the balls I play with in tournaments. For tournaments, I usually order the AAAA balls. For everyday recreational rounds I use the AAA grade. And for my practicing (for my shag bag) I use the AA graded recycled golf balls.

Since I play a lot of golf, I have calculated that I save about $200 a year by buying recycled balls. In my neck of the woods, that's about 4-5 rounds of golf, so it's definetly worth it for me. I've also found that using one type of ball (I do use the Titleist ProV1) for all my practicing and all my rounds, I have become much more consistent and confident in knowing how far the ball will travel and how the ball will react on the green with pitches, bumps and putts.

Give recycled balls a shot and I think you will agree.

  • Gigagolf - one of the best custom golf club companies on the web
  • Hirekogolf – a respectable, value oriented US-based custom golf club manufacturer