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How to Choose the Right Golf Ball in 2020 – Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever wondered how a golf ball is actually made? You’ve probably heard terms like 1-piece golf ball, 3 layer golf ball, 4 piece golf balls, etc. If you’re confused, don’t worry we will be sharing all the need to know information relating to golf balls below in today’s buying guide for beginners.

Hopefully, this guide serves as a tool to help you understand the basics of a golf ball and it’s construction so you can pick out the correct golf ball that fits your game.

We will highlight several golf ball options below that suit more advanced players, beginner players, mid-handicappers, as well as budget golf balls if you could care less about tour level golf balls.

Let’s start with golf ball construction and how balls are made.

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Golf Ball Construction Explained

First things first, there are different materials used in the construction of a golf ball.

Surlyn, solid core, liquid core, rubber, urethane are just a few of the types of materials you can expect to see on the side of a box when reading the facts and features of the golf ball.

There are also different layers to a golf ball which is how they get the name “One Piece” “Two Piece” “Three Layer” etc.

One Piece Golf Balls:

These golf balls are cheapest usually because they’re easy to make. One piece golf balls are usually built using a solid piece of surlyn and then the machine molds it and presses dimples into the ball, hence it’s all one piece.

These are beginner and budget friendly golf balls. You’ll often find them being used at driving ranges and putt putt courses.

Two Piece Golf Balls:

The two piece golf ball is built with a solid core which sits inside a cover. The cover is what your golf club makes contact with while the core is what gives the ball weight and distance.

The cover is built from a durable and tough material to help reduce the chances of nicks and cuts. Think of how many times your wedges and clubs strike down on the cover, it’s no wonder golf balls look beat up after a round of play.

The two piece golf ball is built for distance so if you see ball manufacturers advertising “long distance off the tee” check the specs and see if it’s a two piece ball. It’s not suited for short game, but don’t worry we have some tips below on balls built for distance AND short game feel.

Three Piece Golf Balls:

As we start climbing the budget spectrum, you’ll find three piece golf balls which consist of a core, a second layer, and the cover (third layer).

The core is usually created from a solid piece of rubber or some golf balls use liquid cores. If you cut open the golf ball, this liquid would come out like in this video. Liquid cores are less common today, however.

The second layer is an enhanced rubber layer to help add some separation between the cover and core. This creates a softer golf ball helping you generate more spin and control which is needed in short game situations.

The cover or third layer is usually made from surlyn, urethane, or balata. Some 3-piece balls are built with spin separation capabilities meaning they perform differently for drivers and wedges so you get optimal use for both clubs.

Four Piece Golf Balls:

Four piece golf balls add yet another layer to the golf ball. Pretty crazy right? But with this type of golf ball, each layer is designed for a unique purpose.

The core, usually made of rubber, is built for distance to help you hit longer golf shots with your drivers and woods.

The inner cover layer that sits around the core is used to transfer energy from the club strike to the core to help generate distance.

The middle layer (3) is what enhances spin on your driver and iron clubs so the ball can fly higher and be more forgiving.

Lastly, the outer layer or cover is usually a urethane cover and it helps create feel in your golf shots and short game wedge shots. This gives you better control and consistency around the greens where most of the scoring happens!

There are also five piece golf balls but these are the advanced, most expensive golf balls used on tour usually. Built with a higher speed core and additional layer to help with spin separation so the ball performs best for different types of clubs. No need to cover it too much but be aware of it in case you want expensive, tour grade golf balls.

Golf Ball Spin & Compression Explained

In this section we will talk about golf ball spin which can vary depending which type of golf ball you purchase. There are high, medium, and low spin golf balls so make sure to analyze this feature when shopping for balls in 2020.

Golf Ball Back Spin Rate

Why do golf balls have different spin designs?

It really depends on the types of golf shots golfers want to play. Some golfers like low ball flight while others play with high ball flight. It also impacts performance off the tee and around the green.

High spin balls give more control while low spin balls can travel farther from more roll out like on tee shots. Finding the right combination is important for your golf game.

If you struggle to get lift on your golf shots and you tend to hit with lower ball flight trajectory, you’d likely benefit from a low spin ball so it can roll far helping make up for lost distance in the air. Those who slice also benefit more from a lower spin ball as it reduces the backspin that causes the slice to be severe.

If you struggle from a draw or hook golf swing, consider a higher spin golf ball. Adding backspin can counter the draw spin, straightening out the shot more or reducing the severity of the hook at least.

Golf Ball Compression Factor

Golf ball compression is rated on a 0 to 200 scale with 0 being a golf ball that compresses a lot and 200 being a ball that doesn’t compress. Most balls fall in range of 50 to 100 compression rating.

Compression, in simple terms, measures how much a golf ball can deflect energy when it makes contact with your golf club’s face. Compression is important or else the golf ball could shatter like glass from too much energy hitting it.

Picking out a golf ball with the right compression level can seem complicated so here is a few recommendations.

Beginners and women golfers who tend to have slower swing speed, don’t hit the golf ball as hard. Therefore, they won’t need a high compression golf ball to deflect lots of energy since the power isn’t very high.

Beginners, seniors, women can opt for a golf ball in normal range of 50-100 compression.

Tour level players who crush golf balls with intense power, need high compression golf balls to handle the extreme force being placed on the core and layers of the ball. This leads fast swinging players to look for balls with compression 100+ ideally.

The golf ball won’t shatter if you pick a low compression ball but have a high swing speed.

However, you won’t see optimal distance and could be losing distance so that’s why we recommend finding a compression rating that suits your swing best. Test different balls to fin out.

Best Golf Balls to Use in 2020

Now that you’ve learned about the layers of a golf ball, the spin rate, and the compression rating you should have a solid idea of how golf balls are made.

Your next question is deciding which golf ball you should buy and use to play your rounds of golf. We’ve highlighted several below that range across budget and skill level.

Here our the top golf balls to check out:

  1. Titleist Pro V1
  2. TaylorMade TP5
  3. Callaway Chrome Soft
  4. BridgeStone Tour B XS
  5. Titleist DT TruSoft
  6. Titleist Tour Soft
  7. Callaway Super Soft
  8. Srixon Soft Feel
  9. Srixon Distance

Best Golf Ball For 20+ Handicapper:

Best Golf Ball For 10-20 Handicapper

Best Golf Ball For Low Handicappers (single figures)

Best Golf Plans to Follow for Lower Scores

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