Golf balls for beginners/very high handicappers

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May 7, 2011
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Yesterday I was playing alone and got stuck behind a ladies 4 ball who didn't want to let me through. I decided to use my time to practice a lot and enjoyed it a lot. Dropping half a dozen balls and playing them into the greens working on different types of chipping and pitching.

I also went hunting in the bush and found 5 mud-caked old balls of all different ages and brands. Ranging from a pro v1 to a dunlop something. And I played them all with my 3 wood from the tee on a par 5. With the wood, they were all in about the same place when I got down to fairway. All about 230 yards. Once I'd got up to one I could easily see them all. I could only tell the crap vs good ones when I pulled out my 9 iron to lay up for the green. One ball was terrible. At that point I found out it was actually split! The dirt hid that.

Anyway - my takeaway was that you could only really tell massively when you are shooting into the green. I was left with an 80 yard shot in with my 4 remaining balls. And all of em held the green. Some just felt nicer than others. But the relative dispersion was not as good as I'd like from that distance. I didn't bother to putt with them as I wasn't that interested. Later on I had a chipping/pitching game just off a green on the 10th. 'My' balls were great - all were in comfortable gimmie range. But the random balls didn't react how I'm used too. Some were good and some were not.

So my theory is that it doesn't really matter what ball you use. But try and use the same one. And get used to it. At the most advanced level it will become important. But if I get 4 balls from the tee to GIR which are mud-coated aged and some were cheap to begin with - then you really don't need a premium ball to be an average club golfer. Once you are aiming for birdies than pay more for a ball - until then the cheap ones will be fine.
 

patricks148

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I don't know really. I used to use DX2s ages back because, like you, I heard they go further for slower swings. But nowadays I find Titleist Velocity goes the further for me (I mean that's what it's designed for I guess). They're not the hardest out there but they're not soft obviously. Every single ball claims to have the longest distance to the point that it's a meaningless statement. I figure MGS did a decent amount of testing before stating that soft balls don't really help for distance. But who really knows. You're comparing soft balls to premium balls, but maybe you'd be longer still with a non-premium distance ball - but you'd probably hate the feel of it if the ball feels hard.
i hate hard balls;) i think i tried the Velocity when they came out, got a sample box sent to me, was like hitting a stone
 

Orikoru

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i hate hard balls;) i think i tried the Velocity when they came out, got a sample box sent to me, was like hitting a stone
Was that a while ago though? I think they've changed it these days, it's definitely not the hardest ball out there. I actually like them to putt with, but then my putter is an Odyssey with their insert style face.
 

patricks148

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Was that a while ago though? I think they've changed it these days, it's definitely not the hardest ball out there. I actually like them to putt with, but then my putter is an Odyssey with their insert style face.
it was, when ever Baldrick used to find one i'd throw it back:LOL:
 

HomerJSimpson

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Yesterday I was playing alone and got stuck behind a ladies 4 ball who didn't want to let me through. I decided to use my time to practice a lot and enjoyed it a lot. Dropping half a dozen balls and playing them into the greens working on different types of chipping and pitching.

I also went hunting in the bush and found 5 mud-caked old balls of all different ages and brands. Ranging from a pro v1 to a dunlop something. And I played them all with my 3 wood from the tee on a par 5. With the wood, they were all in about the same place when I got down to fairway. All about 230 yards. Once I'd got up to one I could easily see them all. I could only tell the crap vs good ones when I pulled out my 9 iron to lay up for the green. One ball was terrible. At that point I found out it was actually split! The dirt hid that.

Anyway - my takeaway was that you could only really tell massively when you are shooting into the green. I was left with an 80 yard shot in with my 4 remaining balls. And all of em held the green. Some just felt nicer than others. But the relative dispersion was not as good as I'd like from that distance. I didn't bother to putt with them as I wasn't that interested. Later on I had a chipping/pitching game just off a green on the 10th. 'My' balls were great - all were in comfortable gimmie range. But the random balls didn't react how I'm used too. Some were good and some were not.

So my theory is that it doesn't really matter what ball you use. But try and use the same one. And get used to it. At the most advanced level it will become important. But if I get 4 balls from the tee to GIR which are mud-coated aged and some were cheap to begin with - then you really don't need a premium ball to be an average club golfer. Once you are aiming for birdies than pay more for a ball - until then the cheap ones will be fine.
Interesting test although I'd have carried it on to the putter as that is where the ball has to feel right for me. I have always maintained that for the majority of golfers in a blind test they would be hard pressed to tell the difference between many of the balls out there. Still think it'll make an interesting test/article for GM to try out. As long I am happy off the putter my next area to test would be spin and feel on chip shots and out of the bunker, then on pitching. Unless greens are super baked and firmed most of the courses will offer a degree of stop on iron shots in so that isn't so much of an issue for me
 

IainP

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OK, but i would disagree with what they are saying, i'm not megga slow 96 with the driver now, but i find the softer ball goes further, in winter i lose no distance unlike a prem ball and they are nice to putt with. used the supasoft all though the winter and now on Qstar, spins and stops as well as a Prov on firm greens and i would say i'm def longer off the tee with the softer ball
I looked at their data a bit, and the ball speed with driver is down a little but they only report carry distance. Balls like the QStar seemed to spin a bit less and come down a bit shallower, so I'd think on firmish ground would likely make it back up with more run.
 

SocketRocket

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For a beginner Srixon soft feel are a good ball, not expensive and fairly good all rounder.
 
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Rlburnside

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thats strange then, arn't all the OEM marketing soft ball to that section of golfers?
For a beginner Strixon soft feel are a good ball, not expensive and fairly good all rounder.
Not according to MyGolfSpy who say soft feel only really benifit players with fast swing speeds.

Having googled best ball for slow swing they all recommended soft balls 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Sekiro

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Jul 27, 2020
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Inesis Distance 100 balls are now back in stock at Decathlon but at their new price of £5.99 (bringing them inline with the Slazenger V100).
 

J55TTC

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Apr 2, 2016
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It’s a tough question but consider this... you loose on average less than 1 ball a round, why not play a cheaper urethane covered ball like an AD333 tour? One thing you’ll develop as part of your short game is green side control.
Im off 12 and loose a ball every 2 or 3 rounds so about the same but I’m struggling to have the confidence that the tour ball I play will bite / check / spin so frequently leave pitches and chips short.
Learning this control early on will only help in the long term and let’s face it, we all know short game and putting is is the difference between high and low handicap. just a thought...
 

J55TTC

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A good point (if perhaps not 100% relevant to the thread). If I was the OP I'd avoid lake balls if at all possible and after that it is dependant to a degree on budget and preference. For me, a ball has to feel "right" off the putter first and foremost, although that's a personal preference. Clubhouse golf have some all round balls on sale https://www.clubhousegolf.co.uk/acatalog/All_Golf_Balls.html#usestorage
It’s a myth that lake balls are problematic. This has been proven many times including recently by Rick shiels
 
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