Do you ever look at the choices in the golf store and think "which golf ball is right for me"?
There seem to be literally tons of choices. Probably metric tons... I don't know why, but that sounds like a lot more than regular tons.
How do you find the right golf ball?
There seem to be literally tons of choices. Probably metric tons… I don’t know why, but that sounds like a lot more than regular tons.
How do you find the right golf ball?
Well, ask yourself some questions:
1. Are you dedicated to one particular brand?
2. Are you concerned about the amount of money you have to spend?
3. Do you just HAVE to play the same ball as your favorite Tour player?
If you answered “yes” to #3, please kill me now. If you’re wondering which golf ball is right for you, but you just HAVE to use the same ball as Tiger or Phil… why are you reading this?
Maybe I’ll just take it as a challenge to snap you out of that nonsense.
A Weird Truth About Golf Balls
Back in 2009, Golf magazine did a test between a 2-piece ball and a 3-piece “premium” ball, using a robot. Here’s pics of the results:
The weird thing is, Golf made a big to-do about the launch differences, especially with the driver:
On average, the premium three-piece ball launches lower (blue bar) and spins roughly 200 rpm more off the driver.
But why do this? It was a whopping one degree difference at most for any given swing speed (the 80mph one). According to Tom Wishon, in his book Common Sense Club Fitting, a change of 1* in launch angle, regardless of swing speed, results in a carry distance change of “only 1-2 yards”.
Same can be said for backspin rate– is 200 rpm’s really that big of a deal? From the horse’s mouth (so to speak; page 99 if you own the book):
Changing the amount of backspin does not have very much effect on the distance in the woods because the amount of change required is much greater than what almost all golfers can achieve through woods club specifications or the ball’s characteristics
You can also see the numbers are basically negligible for irons, as well… at least in the six iron.
Enough Techie Crap; Which Golf Ball Is Right For Me?
OK, so what do we do to find the right ball? It’s going to take some elbow grease on your part. Knowing that, as far as distance with a driver is concerned, any ball can be the right ball, how should you find yours?
Remember questions 1 and 2? Regardless of your answer, you can find a ball with the methodology I’m going to show you. I will say that if you’re brand-specific it’ll be a little easier since you’ll have less choices. If you are all over the map, you might have a harder time finding a handful of choices to test.
Did I say “test”? Yup… you’re going to have to take the choices you made to the course. Hopefully, not when it’s busy. Don’t worry, everyone gets an “A”- IF you finish the test. Here’s a quick-start guide to get you going:
As you can obviously see, it doesn’t have all the possible options. Some, like the Monsta, are no longer being made… Either way, they’re just examples within the broader spectrum of golf ball choices in those categories.
Use the “Titleist Method” to find the right golf ball for your game!
To start it off, take your choices out to a green. All you have to do is hit chip shots. Nothing fancy, just simple chips. Listen to how the ball sounds when it comes off the clubface. Does it sound pleasing to you? How was the tiny ball flight? The rollout? Was it what you expected? If not, eliminate that model.
If you have more choices left, hit some 40-50 yard pitch shots. Reevaluate them, with the same criteria. If you can eliminate one or more, do so. If you can’t, take them to the 100y mark and hit full shots. Repeat again at 150y.
If by now you’re down to one ball, congrats! If not, don’t worry; just take them to the tee and hit some drives. If you’re still undecided, go to the green and hit putts. If you’re strapped for time, I suggest skipping the driving part and going straight to the green.
If by now you still have two or more models that you can’t decide on, choose the least expensive model. Obviously, regardless of price point, construction type, or brand they aren’t standing out to you, so why spend extra money when you don’t have to?
Wrapping It Up
This is what I call the “Titleist Method”. For all intents and purposes (no, it is not “intensive purposes”…), this is how they do their ball fitting. It’s straight-forward, accounts for all the important facets of our game and can leave you with a satisfied feeling knowing you found out exactly which golf ball is right for you.
If you have some time on a lazy afternoon, and you have a few sleeves of balls lying around, give this test a try.
BUT WAIT- THERE’S MORE!
Maybe you don’t like infographics. I don’t know why that’d be, but I won’t judge you (too harshly). For those of you that don’t like pretty, informative pictures, you can take the quiz I posted earlier.
Of course, I’m gonna post it again, just in case: