How much of a difference do different balls make when putting ?

User 105

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I played this morning and forgot to stock upon my usual Callaway HX Hot's, so picked up some Titlist NXT's from the course shop.

On the practice green before the round they seem to come up way short,possibly 2-3 feet than my usual balls, and seemed to skip off the putter face. But I just put it down to conditions and went off and played.

After 9 I'd managed to loose all my nice new NXT's, don't ask, I had a mare. So got out a used HX. Next green I must have put it 4-5ft past the hole on a 10ft put.

Used it for the rest of the round and it was really noticeable how much quicker and cleaner it came off the putter. I actually preferred it that way, felt like I was hitting the ball much truer with it.

Is this normal, do different balls really react that different on the green and with different putters ?
 

RGuk

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I have to say that I find a great deal of difference between balls when putting. It is also my belief that softer balls are actually easier once you get used to them. Hard balls seem a bit unpredictable, whereas a soft one (although you may have to hit a a tad more) is more consistent for length. It makes sense to me, right or wrong, hence why I try not to change make half way round.
 

Herbie

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Its more a pace thing than anything else, the outer skins of balls are different its true, but they are a ball and should be more or less the same for line and roll, hitting a ball with a putter is a personal thing, people who have gentle swings often get on better with harder balls, where people who feel better giving the ball a firm putt are more likely to favour a soft ball.

There are people out there using the wrong ball for the method of putting but are unwilling to change for many reasons, including simple golf cred, there are also many people who stick to one ball and feel out of place trying another. Practice enough with any ball and results should come.Some golfers fear change and would never dream of changing balls long enough to settle in with them and are unlikely ever to find the perfect ball for them in the same way they may never find the perfect putter.familiarity breeds contempt and that is so true with many golfers.
 

Tommo21

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No way should a ball give a difference of 4 or 5 ft in a 10ft putt. On the practice green try a few putts with the two different balls side by side, hitting both at the same time. It will feel a little awkward and heavy but it should give you a good idea. Does your putter have a plastic type face insert, that could make a difference.
 

User 105

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Thanks TOMO I'll give that a go.

When I put I tend to try to give it enough to go 1-2ft past so I'd say there was maybe a 2-3ft difference in the balls if the HX ended up about 4ft past.

But I'll give the two balls at once ago to see what happens.

I use a Taylormade Tourisomo Rossa which has an insert, I think they call it an AGSI or something. Will that amplify the difference in balls ?

I knew different balls react a lot differently with woods and irons etc, just didn't think there would be too much change with a putter. You live and learn :rolleyes:
 

Herbie

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No way should a ball give a difference of 4 or 5 ft in a 10ft putt. On the practice green try a few putts with the two different balls side by side, hitting both at the same time. It will feel a little awkward and heavy but it should give you a good idea. Does your putter have a plastic type face insert, that could make a difference.

The actual use of a different ball can affect the psychy of the player, just the knowledge of going from a soft ball to a hard or oposite for example is enough to make players over hit or under hit. Changing ball types mid round can be a big mistake. I have played some greens where you only needed a gentle tap at 15 ft from the hole to finish 6ft beyond it and the amount of weight adjustment needed almost impossible to measure, it depends on type of green and its pace.
The exercise you outlined is more a way of telling if you hit with a club face in the right place also if balls are touching when you do it there is another affect on both balls, the impact zones on the face differ the further away from centre you get.
The only way to get a true result from an exercise is by having a third party place two types down for the player in a way they can't tell the difference, even then it would be difficult for any player to repeat the exact swing and weight for each putt.

The best way is to practice with a chosen ball then stick with it or its type throughout any round. ;)
 

RGuk

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The best way is to practice with a chosen ball then stick with it or its type throughout any round. ;)

Defo....

Incidentally, I have an AGSI insert on my Rossa and although I like it a great deal, some balls seem to react in a way that takes getting used to!!
 

HomerJSimpson

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There will always be some difference in feel dependant on the type of ball used. A pinnacle will always give less "feel" than a Pro V but that doesn't mean it will always go miles past a hole. It is done to the putter and the putting stroke. If someone operates a wrist action there tends to be additional overspin imparted at impact and if a firm face (AGSI on TM or a solid Ping Anser for example) then the ball will roll further than a softer (Odyssey etc) face.

If the stroke is more conventional and rocking then there will be less topspin and shorter roll. At the end of the day it is down to the individual and the type of ball regularly used and the speed of the greens. My home greens are medium paced at the moment and I have a pretty good feel for the face with either a premium or harder (NXT or AD333) and certainly don't find a 4 foot difference. I think it is a case of going back to school on the pace of the putts
 

User 105

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Thanks guys, really interesting info.

Usually I'd never change to a different ball make\type during a round but as I said, I had a mare and lost the 3 NXT's I had just purchased. So had no choice really.

Believe me next time I'm out I'm making sure I've got plenty of the same ball.

I'll give a few different balls a go on the practice green to see what's what. tbh, I've been pretty consistent with the HX's on and off the green, but that's probably cuz I'm used to them.

But as someone has said, if I don't try some other options, I might be missing out on something better.

Any suggestions what to try ? I probably want a semi-hard ball as I've only been playing a few months so I don't want a really soft ball that's going to accentuate a more than frequent mis-hit shot.
 

Smiffy

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Any suggestions what to try ? I probably want a semi-hard ball as I've only been playing a few months so I don't want a really soft ball that's going to accentuate a more than frequent mis-hit shot.

Give "Noodles" a try.
http://www.118golf.co.uk/scripts/prodview.asp?idproduct=4133

Decent distance off the tee and a slightly "softer" feel to them than some others.
I personally cannot stand putting with a rock hard ball...don't mind slogging one off the tee now and again but for chipping and putting I prefer a softer feel and less noise off the putter face!
I quite like Noodles as a cheap alternative, I've also purchased some Srixon "soft feel" recently but have yet to try them out.
 

TonyN

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I find 333's the best happy medium. Great for those who dont really want a ball as soft as the ProV1 and dont want a ball as hard as a rock for putting. Cheap aswell!
 

andiritchie

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I always struggled on my clubs slower than average greens with a soft face/soft ball combo i had hit hit long putts,changing to a steel face putter i can give it a nice stroke,the girfriend uses a hard ball with a soft face putter now and it works right for her
 
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