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Picking A Ball - Educate Me Please


illini40

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Thinking about picking the right golf ball, let alone getting into data and numbers, has never been a thought for me. However, after a recent fitting, I can see that maybe there is some value in trying to match up a particular ball for my game.

 

Can you please educate me on what I need to be considering or looking into? What ball characteristics make a difference? I don’t even know where to start.

 

- driver swing speed: 103 - 105 mph

- I feel like driver spin was averaging around 2700 rpm

- My priority would be a more consistent flight 

- going left has historically been my concern with the occasional high push 

- I’m not concerned with trying to pick up an extra 5 yards; consistency and straighter ball flights are priority 

- some feel is important but not a deal breaker

- hate to spend more then $30ish a dozen for my casual play with my kids or a evening 9 hole round 

 

From what I learned in the club fitting, I’m thinking I would want to find something to lower my spin some?

 

I

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8 minutes ago, illini40 said:

Thinking about picking the right golf ball, let alone getting into data and numbers, has never been a thought for me. However, after a recent fitting, I can see that maybe there is some value in trying to match up a particular ball for my game.

 

Can you please educate me on what I need to be considering or looking into? What ball characteristics make a difference? I don’t even know where to start.

 

- driver swing speed: 103 - 105 mph

- I feel like driver spin was averaging around 2700 rpm

- My priority would be a more consistent flight 

- going left has historically been my concern with the occasional high push 

- I’m not concerned with trying to pick up an extra 5 yards; consistency and straighter ball flights are priority 

- some feel is important but not a deal breaker

- hate to spend more then $30ish a dozen for my casual play with my kids or a evening 9 hole round 

 

From what I learned in the club fitting, I’m thinking I would want to find something to lower my spin some?

 

I

 

 

At $30 a dozen you will be pretty limited. Even the Maxfli Tour is $40. The best ball at that price point is last years Snell MTB which is on sale for $20.

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Apex UW 19˚ RDX 80

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Almost anything will be +$30.

 

IMO, the best in the $30 range is the Callaway Super Soft. Fairly long, good durability, spins ok around the green.

Taylormade 16' M2 9.5º (Tensei 60 Orange R)

Taylormade 17' M1 HL3 17º (Kuro Kage 70 S)

Titleist 910H 21º and 24º (Stock Diamana Kai'li R)

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16 minutes ago, chinaski said:

 

 

At $30 a dozen you will be pretty limited. Even the Maxfli Tour is $40. The best ball at that price point is last years Snell MTB which is on sale for $20.

FWIW, DSG has a sale of 48 pack for $120. Sign up for text alerts and get $20 off. That’s $100 for 4 dozen. That’s well below $30 a box

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Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS with KBS TD Cat 44.5" (Ventus black as backup)

4w: '22 Rogue ST LS 16.5  Tensei AV Blue 75x

7w: '22 Callaway Apex UW 21 80s MMT

DI: Caley 01X 18* with KBS PGH 95

4-AW: PXG OG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 3/4" long MOI matched

Wedges: Cleveland Zipcore 54 Full/58 Mid 

Putter: DF2.1 35"69* in blue

Ball: Snell Prime 4.0

 

 

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Personally I would be looking at 3 piece urethane balls. The prices you're looking at I would look to DTC brands like Snell or Vice. If you're a Costco member their Kirkland balls are supposed to be good. You could always shop for refurbished balls. Otherwise, next time you play just look around in the weeds and woods, they're full of ProV1's at the best price anywhere, FREE!

Edited by NailedIt
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1 hour ago, illini40 said:

Thanks for the replies. Maybe let’s not get too wrapped up around the $30ish price point. That is not a hard a fast rule.

 

Rather - what types of balls or characteristics should I be exploring? How does a higher spin versus lower spin ball come into play?

 

 

When you tinker with something like Titleist's online ball selector, what does it tell you?

 

2700 RPM-ish, depending on launch, doesn't sound bad, honestly. Other points:  do you like the spin on you approach shots?  Too much, too little, just right?  Spin is lift, and lift is drag.  Are your approaches ballooning?  Barely getting off the ground, even on good hits?  Or in-between.  Naturally the ball isn't mostly to blame, but it can tweak things.

 

How about around the green?  What feel do you like putting and for short game?  Pillow, firm, something in between?  Do you like alignment aids?

 

Those are the main things to consider.  Ballnamic can help, though depending on your skill (I'm certainly not that skilled, and this is often me) ball differences can get swamped in the distribution of your inconsistent strikes.

Edited by Jayjay_theweim_guy
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If you are looking for more consistency to ball flight directionally and green side spin is not of the most importance for you, you can find some success with balls like the Bridgestone e12.  

But I think it'd be worth your time to go through some online fittings.  Most of the ball manufacturers have online fitting tools on their websites with a few criteria questions that give you some good general guidance.  Golf Galaxy even has one on their website which will include all brands.  Gives you at least some direction of where to look at - then you can try a few and see what works best for your game.  

PING 430 Max 10.5 
PING G430 Max 18.5 
PING G430 Max 20.5 
PING i230 4-W DGS300 120
PING Glide 4.0, 50SS / 54SS / 58SS
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Since you're more concerned about consistent and straighter ball flights then you should work on your swing.  There are balls out there that go straighter by intentional design (like Polara) but they are more than $30/doz and obviously, USGA illegal.

10.5 deg Titleist 905R with stock UST Proforce V2 Shaft (Stiff flex)
Titleist 990 (3-PW) with stock Dynamic Gold in S300
Taylormade V-Steel 5W & 3W with Grafalloy Prolaunch Red shafts (Regular Flex)
2011 Adams Tom Watson signature wedges in 52 and 56 degrees with stock steel shafts (Player's Grind)
Rife Island Series Aruba Blade Putter

 

"Loft for loft, length for length, and shaft for shaft, the ball will go the same distance when hit on the sweet spot regardless how old the iron."

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I have a similar driver swing speed (104 avg, 107 of the high end).  I played TP5x for a few years, and it was a longer ball for me, but mishits got spinny.

 

I switched to the Bridgestone RX for this year.  It isn't quite as long, but seems to spin less when not struck perfectly.  I am not in love with the feel off the putter, but other clubs seem fine.

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My somewhat simplistic view is like this:

 

Three-Piece Urethane balls are generally the "best" balls that are made currently.  If you are using pretty much any other option you are likely giving up something: distance, spin, flight, consistency of the product itself.  The 3-piece balls can generally be either "hard/firm" (like the ProV1x) or "soft" (like the ProV1).  

 

But you don't have to spend ProV1 money - testing shows that offerings from Vice, Snell, Maxfli or Srixon perform quite well.  I would start with one of those brands and look for their 3-piece urethane option and get one firm and one soft - I'm a Snell fan myself.

 

Then I would putt and chip and hit some half swing pitches with them and see which one you perform with better with or like more.  Spin and distance on full swings aren't necessarily THAT concerning for me because among the top balls they're all pretty similar (but check MGS testing).  Ball flight CAN be something that makes a difference: i.e. if you tend to hit really high balloon balls it might help to have a ball that offers lower flight (but you can also mitigate that kind of stuff with shafts).  But I think that feel on short shots, on chips, and putting really do make a difference.

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A couple of thoughts...

 

The difference between low and high spin balls isn't enough to make a noticeable difference in how far offline a ball travels.  If you go from extremely high spin ball with the driver to extremely low spin, you might save yourself a yard or two of curvature on a draw or fade.

 

It is possible that the aerodynamics of different dimple patterns could help, but I don't know of a way to find that info.  Generally if you want to hit the ball straighter, you'll want lower flight and lower spin so it spends less time in the air.

 

A good place to start is to think about what the ball you're playing now does and how you'd improve upon it.  This is important because, let's say you're playing the AVX, but want to hit the ball lower... well, you're not likely to find that in a golf ball and would need lessons or an equipment change since the AVX is a pretty low flying ball. 

 

If you're not really even sure where to start, your best bet would be to buy a few different sleeves of golf balls and take them out on the course to test.  Or, as others have pointed out, Maxfli balls tend to have discounts if you buy multiple dozens, so you could get the Tour X, Tour, and Tour S balls, which run the gamut from firm/high spin to soft/low spin, and see what you like when you get them on course.

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On 4/19/2024 at 8:34 AM, illini40 said:

Thinking about picking the right golf ball, let alone getting into data and numbers, has never been a thought for me. However, after a recent fitting, I can see that maybe there is some value in trying to match up a particular ball for my game.

 

Can you please educate me on what I need to be considering or looking into? What ball characteristics make a difference? I don’t even know where to start.

 

- driver swing speed: 103 - 105 mph

- I feel like driver spin was averaging around 2700 rpm

- My priority would be a more consistent flight 

- going left has historically been my concern with the occasional high push 

- I’m not concerned with trying to pick up an extra 5 yards; consistency and straighter ball flights are priority 

- some feel is important but not a deal breaker

- hate to spend more then $30ish a dozen for my casual play with my kids or a evening 9 hole round 

 

From what I learned in the club fitting, I’m thinking I would want to find something to lower my spin some?

 

I

To be honest, the left and right with the driver comes down to swing and the way the club and face is coming into impact.  I know, those are my misses.  I was really struggling with the high push fade/slice and the pull.  I use whatever 3 piece ball I get can for around $30 and use Maxfli Tour, Vice Pro, TP-5 (got a fire sale deal), Kirkland V3, Wilson.  My gamers are the Vice Pro and Maxfli Tour because with the Vice 5+1 deal and the coupon with DSG I got them for a good price and when my swing is good no matter the ball, it's good.  When my swing is off there isn't a ball that's made that could compensate.  Snell just came out with a 2 piece urethane ball that would fit most 10+ handicaps game.   I've made some swing tweaks that has made my game a bit more consistent and over the past year I've brought my HC from a 19 to now playing around 13-14.  I stopped worrying about distance and focused on tempo, timing and strike.  Keeping the ball in play, no matter the distance, will see a huge improvement.  Yes, my drives only carry 220-235.  With a tail wind and roll got out to about 270 MAX total.  into a breeze 225.  My short game improvement has lowered my scores by 5 strokes a round alone.  

IT'S NOT THE BALL.  Find what you like as far as FEEL.  A nice urethane covered ball that feels and performs in a way that gives you some confidence and wait for the sales.  

Edited by wantacigar
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