Benefits of finding the best golf ball for your needs
The whole game of golf is constructed around the golf ball, so it only makes sense that your choice of ball will matter a lot to your performance. Finding a ball that matches your needs can help you get more distance and accuracy out of your drives.
For example, a ball that compresses more will have more stored energy when it releases from your club, so it will fly further than a less compressive ball for the same swing speed. At the same time, the spin rate of your golf ball can affect how it hooks and curves through the air as it flies. Getting all of these factors to perfectly fit your swing means you’ll be closer to the green every time.
Features to consider when choosing golf balls for seniors
There are several important features to think about when choosing the best golf ball for your swing. Let’s take a closer look at what these features are and why they matter.
Golf ball manufacturers make several different types of golf balls, each suited to a different type of player.
Tour balls are the top-of-the-line golf balls typically used by professionals and low-handicap players. They typically have high compression and excellent spin feel, which makes them ideal if you have good control over your swing.
Distance golf balls are typically more suitable for seniors. They have a large core to maximize the distance they carry in the air, and the exterior of the ball is dimpled so as to reduce sidespin and hooks.
Some golf balls, like the Callaway ERC, are designated as tour and distance. These golf balls are simply intermediate to the two categories, with plenty of spin but also large cores for carrying through the air.
Feel, or low-compression, golf balls like the Callaway Golf Supersoft and TaylorMade Noodle balls are designed for players with slow swing speeds. These balls deform heavily when impacted with the club, so they tend to fly long and straight. They also feel very soft on impact when making chip or wedge shots.
Compression: Low or high?
Compression is somewhat counterintuitive. Low compression golf balls compress quite a bit when they are impacted with the club, while high compression golf balls don’t compress much at all.
Compression is important because it affects the distance your ball will fly as well as how straight it will fly. Low compression balls typically fly further for the same swing speed, since they store more energy from the club impact. They also tend to fly straighter, since compression reduces the amount of spin that is imparted from the club to the ball.
Construction: 2-, 3-, or 4-piece?
Golf balls can be made from two, three, or four different layers of materials. (One-piece golf balls are almost never used in modern golf, although they were common in the past.)
Two-piece golf balls like the Bridgestone e6 and Callaway Warbird are ideal for seniors with slower swing speeds. They have a very large core, which helps the ball carry further through the air. The large core also minimizes spin, so there’s less chance that your ball will hook off away from the fairway.
Three-piece golf balls like the Titleist Pro V1 and Bridgestone Tour B offer a compromise between distance and spin control. Many of them offer nearly the same air carry as two-piece balls, but they spin a lot more. So, you need to have good control over your swing to use these balls successfully.
Four-piece golf balls like the Callaway Chrome are best for low-handicap golfers. These balls don’t carry as far as two- and three-piece golf balls, and they are much more likely to hook and curve through the air.
Feel describes how soft or hard a ball feels when you hit it. Typically, a ball with a lot of feel is a low compression golf ball – the more the ball compresses, the less you feel the impact. Nearly all of the golf balls we reviewed for seniors are soft or very soft, since softer balls fly further and are easier to control.
There are two different materials used for golf ball covers. Surlyn is a proprietary ionomer resin that has been used for more than 60 years. They are frequently preferred by senior golfers because they don’t spin quite as much when driving off a tee. Surlyn covers are also extremely durable, so you’re not likely to break open your ball at any point.
Urethane covers are typically found on higher-end golf balls like the Callaway Chrome and Bridgestone Tour B. These balls have a softer feel, but they tend to spin more than a similarly soft golf ball with a Surlyn cover.
Spin is extremely important to your golf performance. The more spin a golf ball has, the more likely it is to hook off away from the fairway. On the other hand, highly experienced golfers often prefer spin because it gives them more ball control, especially in windy conditions.
Spin is closely related to feel, compression, and construction. Consider those features first, and then differentiate between very similar golf balls based on whether they are rated as low or high spin.
Some golf balls come with extra construction features that can help them fly further or straighter. For example, if you’re interested in getting an ultra-long-distance golf ball, consider choosing a ball, that is dimpled to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. Other balls have a resin added to the outside of the cover that provides more friction between the ball and the club. This can help impart more spin, giving you even tighter control over your ball.