Three Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Golf Ball for Your Game

Like most things, not all golf balls are created alike, and if you want to improve your handicap, you should consider carrying a few varieties.

Golf ball on green by hole.
As your golf game improves, you’ll find some balls are great for distance, and some are better for shots on the green.Tyler Henry

Whether you are a high-handicapper or a weekend duffer, playing the right ball for your ability and skill level is an important part of the game. Not all golf balls are created equal, and the beginner or occasional player doesn’t need the same ball as a links veteran or a tour pro. Understanding golf ball design and performance will help you select the right ball for your level of play. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Distance

Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
Golf balls with a low compression rate are softer, and balls with a higher rate are harder.Titleist

Everybody wants more distance in their long game, but some players need more help from the ball than others. One variable to think about is the manufacturer’s compression rating, which usually ranges between about 70 and 110. A lower compression rating is softer and requires less club speed to cause the core to compress and rebound into forward flight. Expert golfers with a fast swing can often benefit from harder golf balls with a higher compression rating. A rating of about 90 suits most average golfers

Control

Callaway Golf Supersoft Golf Balls
In general, the softer the ball, the easier it is to control, but the shorter distance it will travel.Callaway

In golf ball technology, distance and control are often at odds with one another. A ball that offers long flight can be difficult for average players to control, and vice versa. The composition of the core and cover, the compression rating, and the spin traits of a ball all come into play. When in doubt, consult your club pro for advice on how to select a ball that will give you the most control for your level of play without compromising distance. In general, the softer the ball, the easier it is to control.

Price

Titleist AVX Golf Balls
Like most things in life, when it comes to golf balls, you do get what you pay for.Titleist

Besides distance and control, one of the most important factors before buying a golf ball is price. In other words, how many of a particular ball do you really need, and how often can you afford to replace them? Expect to pay from about $25 per dozen for beginner-friendly balls, and up to $45 or more per dozen for balls better suited to advanced and expert players.