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Any golfer who says there is no difference in their game no matter what golf ball they use is probably never going to win the Masters anytime soon. The severe lack of education when choosing a golf ball can be the ultimate downfall for players if they decide to try one which doesn’t compliment their style or that is too advanced for their current skill level.
Knowing how the golf ball reacts off the face of a golf club all comes from using the same golf ball for every shot, coupled with a good understanding of what makes the golf ball tick. If you want to lower your scores, you need to be using the right equipment. So here’s some buying guide advice that should give you the understanding necessary to go out and choose the ideal golf ball for you.
Glossary of Golf Ball Construction
Every type of golf ball will feel different when coming off the clubface and the way a golf ball is put together is very much down to this. Below is an introduction into the 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 piece golf ball constructions and their benefits.
A golf ball made from 1-piece construction are simplistic in design and cater for players of amateur standard or for training purposes. The 1-piece golf ball is rarely used as a playing ball, being made from a solid sphere of Surlyn with dimples molded into it. They are inexpensive to buy and give very little distance due to their lower compression but for golfers just getting to grips with the game they could be a handy stepping stone.
More golfers are apt to play with a 2-piece golf ball as they like the feel and performance that combines maximum distance with intense durability. Its basic construction is based around a single solid sphere core that is often made from hard plastic, and then the enclosed in the golf balls cover – adding the second piece of the design. 2-peice golf balls are firmer and provide better distance, albeit at the loss of control and feel. Average golfers will be happy to use these golf balls as they are practically indestructible and offer much better distance.
Quite similar to the 2-piece design, 3-piece golf balls have a solid rubber core. The cover on the 3-piece golf ball is made from a soft, synthetic plastic that is a lot softer than its 2-piece counterpart. This allows for better golfers to place more of a spin on the golf ball in order to instill some control through air and on turf. The third piece of the golf ball comes in between the core and cover with a layer of enhanced liquid rubber being added around the core and then another layer is added for increased spin that’s placed on the golf ball.
The core of the 4-peice golf ball is made from soft rubber which is primarily created to offer serious distance. The inner layer transfers energy from the impact to the core, with the next inner layer designed to increase driver distance without reducing spin from mind irons. The 4-piece golf balls cover is where most of the feel comes from and is the thinnest layer of the golf ball, made from urethane, which allows for softer feel.
TaylorMade are so far the only golf brand to make steps in achieving the 5-piece design golf ball (Penta TP). Each layer is engineered to optimize performance in five key areas that skilled golfers will love. The golf ball is extra soft with lower compression cores and is the most critical layer at promoting high launch and low spin off the driver from total carry and unmatched distances.
Golf Ball Types & Related Handicaps
Distance Golf Balls (Mid/High Handicap)
A budget golf ball that is ideal for mid to high handicap golfers, distance balls are well suited for this level of player and allows distance to be the most important aspect over spin and control. Golf balls which fall within the distance category will be easier to play with and more forgiving.
Spin/Control Golf Balls (Mid Handicap)
The mid handicap golfer will feel comfortable with a spin/control golf ball. They offer distance characteristics with a little bit of spin, though they do not go as far distance-wise as premium golf balls. These golf balls are the perfect ‘middle ground’ for golfers making the step up from amateur to intermediate.
Premium Golf Balls (Low Handicap)
The best golfers will want to purchase premium golf balls. Designed to maximize control on the greens with great feel and minimal loss of distance, they are only ideal for the most skilled players with a low handicap.