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Spending time finding the "right" ball-necessary? How to do so?


RoyalMustang
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As my game has improved, I am finding myself thinking "maybe I should be playing a certain kind of ball more regularly".  Yet, I am a bit confused on how to do so with any sort of consistency, and where I should start (there are a ton of balls out there!)

 

I can't just take my best rounds and say "see, this is the ball". If that were the case, I would be playing a Top Flite maximum distance or whatever it is that I shot par with on the executive course.  A bad round has nothing to do with a good or bad ball; it depends on whether I can find the sweet spot in the club with consistency 

 

I have been playing the 2019 Srixon Z-Star (got a 2 for 1 deal). I am playing in a larger tournament next week and want to make sure I have a ball that is decently suited for my game. 

 

Here are my stats to help narrow it down

1) Driving distance: up to 290 carry.  SS was 108 back in October but has increased due to reducing my sway and being more efficient with timing. I am currently working on my "driver fairway finder swing" which is 250 carry and trying to eliminate the bad left miss. If I am not in the fairway, I am probably hitting a penalty ball on the left side or from the tee.   

2) balls tend to get a lot of height when I hit them flush.  I play DG 120 X100 shafts and Mizuno MMCMP20 heads

3) spin is decent: a flush 9-iron will spin back 3-4 feet, depending on the green

4) my misses with the irons are all over the place; too quick hands gives me a chunk and sliding forward gives me a thin fade.  A perfect shot from me will be me staying behind the ball and hitting a flushed fade.  I can hit my 6-iron 185 but would rather take 5-7 yards off and make a smoother swing.  

5) misses with my driver tend to be a "spin out" and coming across the top hook (resulting in a penalty stroke).  If I stay patient, I stay behind the ball and hit it straight or with a slight controllable fade.  

 

The things I would prioritize are: 

1) accuracy on mis-hits

2) keeping the drives from becoming too spinny and losing distance.  I play a Mizuno ST200 and was playing a CK Pro Orange 70S shaft.  Jumping over to a Atmos 6X Black immediately felt better and seemed to cut down on the spin and add some yardage.  

3) consistency around the green

 

Is the Z-Star a good place to start or should I look elsewhere?  

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Not sure about the Z star. It seems like you could do with a little less spin. Regarding the  method to select a ball there are different schools of thought on this. Some start on the green to find what they like best off the putter and then narrow down the choices as they move away (putter, wedge, irons, driver). Others do the exact opposite and look for the longest/straightest ball off the tee thinking this will give them a better chance of getting on the green in regulation and not caring if it feels clicky off the putter.

 

I'm in between. I prioritize my wedge shots. After determining which balls provide adequate control on my wedge shots I go back to the tee and choose the longest/straightest.

Driver - Titleist TSi2 9* Tensei Blue Stiff

3W - Titleist TSi2 15* Tensei Blue Stiff

Hybrid - Titleist TS2 19*H Tensei Blue Stiff

4i - Titleist U-500 Tensei Blue Stiff

Irons - 5-PW Callaway Apex Pro '21 NS Pro 950 Neo Stiff

GW - Callaway MD5 Jaws 50* NS Pro 950 Neo Stiff

SW - Ping Glide 3.0 54*/12* bent to 55*/13* stock shaft S Grind

LW - Ping Glide 3.0 60*/8* stock shaft Eye 2 Grind

Putter - Toulon Columbus w/ LAGP 135 shaft

Snell MTB-Black

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Threads like this are best posted in the Golf Ball forum.  That said, I don't think the ball is a problem in your game.  The Z-Star is a pro level ball on par with the Pro V1.  Hair splitting folks will site minor differences between different balls and claim they are significant but don't believe it.  It's like saying Mizuno blades are better than Titleist/TM/whatever brand blades.  What's important is knowing how the ball will perform with your swing.  Small differences between balls is minor compared to the differences in most people's swings, including low cappers.

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1 hour ago, Nessism said:

Threads like this are best posted in the Golf Ball forum.  That said, I don't think the ball is a problem in your game.  The Z-Star is a pro level ball on par with the Pro V1.  Hair splitting folks will site minor differences between different balls and claim they are significant but don't believe it.  It's like saying Mizuno blades are better than Titleist/TM/whatever brand blades.  What's important is knowing how the ball will perform with your swing.  Small differences between balls is minor compared to the differences in most people's swings, including low cappers.

 

I didn't see the Golf Ball forum-thanks for the heads' up!  Perhaps the mods will move it there

 

And yeah, I bet the ball isn't really that significant.  Would rather have a good swing and bad ball vs the other way around

Edited by RoyalMustang
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1 hour ago, CUBuffaloes said:

Not sure about the Z star. It seems like you could do with a little less spin. Regarding the  method to select a ball there are different schools of thought on this. Some start on the green to find what they like best off the putter and then narrow down the choices as they move away (putter, wedge, irons, driver). Others do the exact opposite and look for the longest/straightest ball off the tee thinking this will give them a better chance of getting on the green in regulation and not caring if it feels clicky off the putter.

 

I'm in between. I prioritize my wedge shots. After determining which balls provide adequate control on my wedge shots I go back to the tee and choose the longest/straightest.

 

 

Cool, thanks!  I could use some work on my wedges: I struggle to get spin on those 50 yard shots. No problem on full swings though.  That isn't the ball's fault.  Just a technical issue. I can see the merit of working around the green though.  

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Medium-grade (check a popular unmentionable golf ball test to narrow your search) balls would probably serve 80% of golfers out there with NO downside.  A well struck shot is going to get the job done for the vast majority of handicap ranges out there playing.

 

Beginners:  If the ball is round, play it.

 

High-Caps: If the ball is round, play it.

 

Mid-Caps & Low-Caps: Play a medium-grade ball that gives you consistent roll out on and around the greens.

 

Scratch & Plus:  Know how and when to impart spin on a golf ball.  Using a premium golf ball gives them an opportunity to hold greens and get up & down from just about anywhere. Necessary to shoot the scores they shoot.

 

Most Ams do not know how or have the ability to control spin around the greens.  Using a premium ball can be detrimental when they accidentally nip a chip, it grabs and comes up way short.  But the next one is average contact and rolls out too far. 
 

Take some different balls to the practice green and try different chips from different spots and choose the one that has the most consistent and predictable roll out for your game.  Eliminate the balls that won’t stop, but also look to eliminate the ball that randomly grabs and stops (unless you meant to make it do that).  Play the balls that leaves you the tightest clusters from a variety of chips and pitches.

Edited by Cliffy2020

Driver G410 LST 10.5* Ventus Velocore Blue 6x
Fairway G410 3-wood Ventus Velocore Blue 7S

Irons Ping i210’s with DG 120 x-100’s +1/2”

Wedges Glide Forged Pros 50*,54*,58* DG 120 s300 +1/4”

Putter Ping Tyne C 34”

Ball TP5x/Snell MTB-x

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2 hours ago, Cliffy2020 said:

Medium-grade (check a popular unmentionable golf ball test to narrow your search) balls would probably serve 80% of golfers out there with NO downside.  A well struck shot is going to get the job done for the vast majority of handicap ranges out there playing.

 

Beginners:  If the ball is round, play it.

 

High-Caps: If the ball is round, play it.

 

Mid-Caps & Low-Caps: Play a medium-grade ball that gives you consistent roll out on and around the greens.

 

Scratch & Plus:  Know how and when to impart spin on a golf ball.  Using a premium golf ball gives them an opportunity to hold greens and get up & down from just about anywhere. Necessary to shoot the scores they shoot.

 

Most Ams do not know how or have the ability to control spin around the greens.  Using a premium ball can be detrimental when they accidentally nip a chip, it grabs and comes up way short.  But the next one is average contact and rolls out too far. 
 

Take some different balls to the practice green and try different chips from different spots and choose the one that has the most consistent and predictable roll out for your game.  Eliminate the balls that won’t stop, but also look to eliminate the ball that randomly grabs and stops (unless you meant to make it do that).  Play the balls that leaves you the tightest clusters from a variety of chips and pitches.

I would agree with you with this exception:

 

“Scratch & Plus:  Know how and when to impart spin on a golf ball.  Using a premium golf ball gives them an opportunity to hold greens and get up & down from just about anywhere. Necessary to shoot the scores they shoot.”

 

Scratch and plus handicaps dont need a premium ball to shoot low scores. I shot 1 over par the other day with a callaway diablo. No issues with stopping my ball. The premium ball with high spin allows you do pull off certain shots, sure, but arent always neccessary, i believe a premium ball might be worth 1 or 2 shots a round max to this group of player. The one exception is an extremely firm and fast pga tour level conditions. 

 

 

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You will not and should not try to make a ball change a week before a big event. You need several weeks or 3-4 rounds.

 

Just based on what you provided, your next ball should be pro v1 or tour b x.

 

I'm partial to the tour bx. Just a great ball.

 

As for how you test...

 

1. Buy a sleeve of each ball you want to try. Suck it up and buy a sleeve. Some retailers will split a dozen, some won't. Find one that will.

2. Ask that retailer if you can use their launch monitors to test balls. Hit 7i, 4i, and driver and look.at launch, spin, ballspeed, and dispersion. 

3. Take the balls to the short game area and hit chips and pitches. 

4. Take the balls on the course and hit each one on every shot for several holes. 

5. Pick the winner.

Edited by getitdaily
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4 hours ago, RoyalMustang said:

 

I didn't see the Golf Ball forum-thanks for the heads' up!  Perhaps the mods will move it there

 

And yeah, I bet the ball isn't really that significant.  Would rather have a good swing and bad ball vs the other way around

The ball really IS that significant!

 

But what is significant is not nearly as much which ball you play as that you play the same ball ALL THE TIME.  You have to decide how much you are willing to pay, and that's probably going to roughly equate to how much greenside spin you prefer.  Once you make that decision, play that ball exclusively.

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7 hours ago, Red4282 said:

I would agree with you with this exception:

 

“Scratch & Plus:  Know how and when to impart spin on a golf ball.  Using a premium golf ball gives them an opportunity to hold greens and get up & down from just about anywhere. Necessary to shoot the scores they shoot.”

 

Scratch and plus handicaps dont need a premium ball to shoot low scores. I shot 1 over par the other day with a callaway diablo. No issues with stopping my ball. The premium ball with high spin allows you do pull off certain shots, sure, but arent always neccessary, i believe a premium ball might be worth 1 or 2 shots a round max to this group of player. The one exception is an extremely firm and fast pga tour level conditions. 

 

 

I agree.  Poorly written on my part.  I was applying the “necessary to shoot the scores they shoot” to holding greens and getting up & down, not so much the ball.

 

I’d guess a premium ball would give this group 1 or 2 more “opportunities” a side good for 2 or 3 shots a round.

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Driver G410 LST 10.5* Ventus Velocore Blue 6x
Fairway G410 3-wood Ventus Velocore Blue 7S

Irons Ping i210’s with DG 120 x-100’s +1/2”

Wedges Glide Forged Pros 50*,54*,58* DG 120 s300 +1/4”

Putter Ping Tyne C 34”

Ball TP5x/Snell MTB-x

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The golf ball is the only piece of equipment that is used for every shot.  

 

It is called on to perform in every situation at a variety of swing speeds and distances.

 

How a ball reacts to your swing and club delivery is very relevant.  Your friend or playing partner’s swing and club delivery may produce very different results with the same ball.

 

Regardless of which ball you choose by playing the same ball all the time you will learn how it reacts in different situations.  What type of trajectory and spin it produces.  How it behaves off your driver, irons, the putter and around the green. 

 

What ball you choose is a very personal decision.

 

If you prefer an inexpensive two piece Ionomer covered ball so be it.  You may not want or need the ball to check up around the green or on your approach shots.  You might prefer it to roll out more and spin less.

 

On the other hand you may really prefer a Urethane covered ball that gives you one hop and stop performance with less roll out.  

 

You might like to only buy premium name brand balls that have been personalized with your family crest.  Or you might prefer the economy of playing direct to consumer balls or gently used balls. 

 

To each their own.

 

As far as how to choose a ball, that is fairly straightforward.  

 

The majority of an average golfer’s strokes will be putts, drives and shots inside 100 yards and that is why these should be the priority.

 

Start on the green.  How does the ball feel and sound when you strike it with your putter.  

 

Do you have a preference?  Softer vs. Firmer, Louder vs. Muted.  

 

Does it go the distance that you expect for the swing you made or does it come up short or roll out further?

 

Then start using the ball to make chip shots around the green.  Same thing, how does it feel, sound and perform.  Does it give you the trajectory, carry distance, spin and rollout that you want or prefer.

 

Then hit pitch shots.  Same questions.

 

Now hit it with your driver.  How does it perform?  Does it give you the trajectory, shot shape, dispersion and carry distance that you want?  How about the feel and sound? 

 

From my own experience my short game really improved after making the switch to playing one ball all the time, my scores got lower and my handicap dropped significantly.

 

It is so important to me now that I won’t even use range balls when practicing chipping or putting.  I have a shag bag full of 5 dozen of my gamer ball to use while practicing.

 

If it was possible I would use the same ball, like the pros do, to practice full swing shots with my other clubs at the range.

 

Good luck in your search for the ball that works best for you and your game.

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Based on what you've said, you have enough length to get around most courses. I wouldn't make distance hunting a priority by any means. But also based on what you said, you're inconsistent with your irons which means you miss your fair share of greens. My advice would be to pick a ball that reacts how you want it to on pitch and chip shots. This will help you get up and down more often. And be honest with yourself on your short game in regards to whether you're better at hitting little spinners or whether you prefer more of a bump and run style. Find the ball that checks/releases the way you want it to and you'll find yourself with shorter par savers.

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Taylormade SIM2 Rescue 17 & 21 (Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue 85 S)

Taylormade P770 5i-AW (True Temper Elevate Tour XS)

Titleist Vokey 54S & 58D (True Temper Elevate Tour S)

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5

 

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Seems like it is more of an impact and alignment issue more than a ball issue. grab some impact tape or foot spray , spray the face of the clubs it will show where you are hitting the ball. Use a alignment stick for direction of ball flight. With that swing speed look for a ball with compression over 80, pro v1, Bridgestone X , tp5, maxfli tour etc…

Edited by Matt023
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On 12/28/2021 at 1:57 AM, ashortgame said:

Some good advice in here.

But the upshot is that unless you're a handicap of 4 or less the ball is really not going to make much difference.

It really comes down to experimentation and that is one of the joys of golf!

 

 

This is why I usually play 3 balls at a time, all 3 different. Currently it's a Bridgestone E6, TP5, and Srixon Q Star Tour. I keep waiting to see a difference. 🤣

 

They all play great.

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Honma XP-1 3 and 5 wood 

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For me, it’s pretty easy. I’m generally a high driver spin player so my category is the “X” (low spin, high compression) type in order to flatten the trajectory at a decent height.

EFSZ 9* (Blue VeloCore 6S) / LTD 10.5* (Motore X F1 6S)

0317 Gen1 17* & 0317X Gen2 19* (MMT 80S)

0311 Gen1 4-5 & 0311P Gen2 6-PW (SteelFiber i95S)

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My favorite ball is the one where I shoot in the high 70's. That ball loses favor the next day when I shoot in the mid 80's. My best round ever was a 73 with a pinnacle rush, same ball different day 84. I love prov1's, they feel right, they are the ball all others are compared to whether you like them or not. I like any ball that gives me the same "feel". I doubt they actually help my game at all. I believe that unless you are a gifted golfer, with a handicap to match, the difference in balls performance is minimal, I go for the feel off of the clubs. I know there are many that completely disagree. The ball that feels right and gives you confidence will have a better outcome for you that a ball with a certain spin rate, dimple pattern, core compression, cover material or pitch and yaw. The ball that gives you confidence it is the best ball. Your swing and ball striking is the limiting factor more than the ball. Let the bashing begin.

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If you play firm & fast greens, spin matters a lot more, but if not, spin is overrated. Unless you are launching line drive shots, lower spinning surlyn balls might be just as good. They typically launch higher and spin similarly on full shots, but lack ultra high green side spin. Not a bad thing unless you’re putting on glass. 

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