Choosing a golf ball can be a challenge because many manufacturers tout the same claims. They are all the longest and softest on the market. However, buying the most expensive or most popular golf ball doesn’t mean that it’s a good ball for you. Golfers need to consider their skill levels, swing speeds and ball flights. This, along with a basic understanding golf ball design, will help you make an educated choice.
Golf ball makers use different levels of firmness and various core and cover materials to appeal to a wide audience. Modern golf ball covers are typically made of surlyn, urethane or elastomer. Surlyn is a hard, synthetic material that is the cheapest and most durable of the three, and it is usually found in the covers of two-piece golf balls. Urethane is a soft, synthetic material with higher spin characteristics because the club face can “grab” the ball for slightly longer. Urethane covers are used mostly on multi-layered balls. Elastomer is the softest and most expensive choice of cover. This less-durable material covers many of the premium high-performance balls.
Two-Piece Golf Ball
The two-piece golf ball is generally considered to be a game-improvement ball. The ball has a solid rubber core and features a surlyn or urethane cover. Two-piece balls are designed for distance, lower spin and durability. The low-spin characteristics mean less side spin as well, which leads to straighter shots. The harder cover prevents the ball from being cut or scuffed as easily when mishit or when it collides with a tree, cart path, etc. Two-piece balls are the most affordable type on the market because of their low construction cost. All of these traits make the two-piece ball a favorite among beginners and high-handicappers.
Multi-Layered Golf Ball
A multi-layered golf ball has a small solid or liquid-injected core surrounded by a rubber outer core and a softer urethane cover. Multi-layered balls have a softer feel and a higher potential spin rate. The softer core allows the ball to compress more upon impact, which means the golfer will not lose significant distance when compared to a two-piece ball. These golf balls are more expensive and are less durable because of the softer cover. Multi-layered golf balls are good for golfers who want a softer feel and more control around the greens.
High-Performance Golf Ball
Most high-performance on hybrid balls have a four-piece construction. A four-piece ball starts with a solid or liquid-injected core, which is surrounded by a layer of rubber and then a thin mantle of ionomer. The cover is made of elastomer and often has a dimple pattern of varying sized dimples. Manufacturers strategically vary the size, shape and placement of the dimples. This encourage low initial spin, which is good for driving distance, and higher spin with the irons, which is good for workability. These balls combine distance, spin-control and feel. High-performance balls are the most expensive on the market and the least durable. This is the ball of choice for professional and low-handicap golfers.
If you have any questions about golf balls or other equipment, just ask any of our PGA of Canada certified golf instructors. Or better yet, come meet us in person at our Summer Open House today (Friday, June 26) from 11:00am-3:00pm at the Fairwinds Learning Centre and Driving Range. This free event is open to everyone, even those who have never golfed before! Our instructors will be on hand to give mini golf lessons, and you try out some of the latest equipment from Taylor Made. Plus free refreshments and door prizes, including a grand prize draw of a limited edition US Open golf bag!
Fairwinds Golf Club
PGA of Canada Class A Professional