When I first started golfing I had no idea how big of a difference my choice of golf balls made. I would use whatever golf balls I could get my hands on thinking that they were pretty much all the same, just with different names on them so companies could get paid. Wow was I wrong!
The more I played golf and the more I researched different ways to improve my game (by looking up web sites like this one), the more importance I realize ball selection was. So what is the best golf ball for beginners?
To answer that question we need to dive into what the differences are in balls. Balls differ by number of layers, materials and thickness of the cover, weight, size, number of dimples (divots in the ball), firmness, compression, new vs. recycled vs. refurbished, etc. For beginners, you want to find a ball that will give you more control to allow you to hit the ball with more accuracy and distance.
To find the best golf ball for those who are just starting out, I am going to highlight the most important factors that will help beginners get that control and then give my top 5 best balls for beginners (when buying them new). If you are truly just starting out I would recommend using recycled or refurbished balls because learning how to swing properly is more important in the very beginning. Then once you have a pretty good swing you can look into spending the money to improve your game with specific balls.
High Price Of Balls
A major factor in choosing which golf balls to use that I did not mention above is the price. You do NOT want to go out and buy expensive golf balls when you are just starting to learn the game because a good amount of them are going to end up in the woods, at the bottom of a pond or lake, or just lost in general. Buy more reasonably priced balls that are going to still give you some advantages, but are not going to break the bank when you have to buy more each time you go out golfing.
Another reason not to get high priced golf balls as a beginner is that the higher priced golf balls usually are made to give you more spin on the ball, which would give a veteran golfer more distance and roll. But if you are not a veteran you really want to stick with less expensive balls that create less spin. This may take away some of the distance, but will increase your accuracy which is more important at the beginning.
The Firmness Of Your Balls
Beginners should definitely use soft golf balls. The main reason for this is that they are easier to hit because the soft balls have less compression which causes the ball to deform, or flatten out, making more area of the ball come in contact with the club head. This creates the lift they need to get the ball up in the air which will give the ball some more distance, even though beginners’ club speeds are typically slower.
Although I, as well as many other internet experts, recommend a softer ball, there are actually not a lot of differences in the firmness and compression of golf balls anymore. New technology comes out every year improving golf balls so you won’t have to worry as much, but it is still enough of a difference for a newer golfer to stick with the soft golf balls.
New Balls vs Old Recycled Balls
Newer always seems to be better. So I did extensive research into the topic of newer verses older golf balls and looked into studies where newer and older golf balls were tested against each other and in this case, newer might not mean better.
In just about all of the research I did it turned out that there was not much difference between brand new balls and the ones that were found in the woods or in the bottom of a pond. Thomas Raffel, Ph.D. of Michigan’s Oakland University, actually ran tests where they put identical golf balls in actual golf course ponds and left some for 1 month, some for 3 months and some for 5 months. Surprisingly enough, the balls that were in the ponds performed just as well as the brand new golf balls no matter if they were in for 1, 3, or 5 months.
So why buy new golf balls? When you buy new golf balls you can choose the balls that you want to use based on price, firmness, etc. You also have a much better chance to use the same golf balls for the entire round possibly making your shots more consistent (if you’re an experienced golfer). Also people always like to show off by always having new stuff.
When you buy (or find) recycled balls, you take what you get (or find). Some balls you use might be soft while others are firm. Some might be expensive multi-layered balls while some might be cheap and single layered. Some balls might have more dimples and some might have less effecting your spin and distance.
But as far as performance, older recycled golf balls perform just as well as brand new balls of the same kind.
Are Colored Balls Just For Putt-Putt?
A lot of people will not use colored balls because it’s different. Most people use white balls out on the golf course so if someone decides to use a colored ball it will stick out and make them look amateur. Well, if you are an amateur, using colored balls can help you find your ball much more easily. You have to train your eyes to follow a small white ball traveling a few hundred yards in the air. And when you are just beginning you are not usually able to find it in the fairway. No, usually you are looking in the woods, the weeds, or the edge (or bottom) of a pond or lake. Using a bright orange, yellow, or pink ball for example will give you a much better chance to follow where your ball is going when it is hit and where it is when you drive up to look for it.
Don’t let pride get in the way of finding your ball! The more balls you lose, the more expensive the sport is and the less you can play!
So What Is The Best Golf Ball For Beginners? – Top 5
Runner Up – Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls – $47.99/dozen on Amazon
These are soft golf balls that are great for long shots (distance) because it has a larger inner core creating a higher launch and lower spin. It’s thinner core is thinner and more resilient that creates more ball speed. The downside is the price .
#5. Titleist Pro V1x Golf Balls – $47.95/dozen on Amazon
One of the best overall golf balls for beginners performance-wise, but I put it at #5 because unless you have a lot of money to spend it is an expensive golf ball ($47.95/ dozen). What makes it great for beginners is that it is a great ball for all-around performance which means great distance, lower spin, superior control for your short game, and great greenside control.
#4. Titleist Velocity Golf Balls (no I don’t work for Titleist)- $31.00/dozen on Amazon
The price for these golf balls is a little more affordable than the Titleist Pro V1x, but it is still a great ball for beginners. They have explosive initial velocity and great roll for distance as well as low spin for accuracy, it just doesn’t have the overall performance of the V1x. So why is is ranked ahead of it? Almost $16/dozen! Remember, this is for beginners!
#3. Srixon AD333 Golf Balls – $19.97/dozen on Amazon
This ball is not known as much for distance, but is known for great trajectory with reudced drag which provides more consistent shots. And although it has low spin, it still has good greenside performance.
#2. Callaway Super Soft Golf Balls – $22.99 on Amazon
One of the best of the “cheaper” golf balls out there. They are known for their reliance on longer and straighter shots. Although they have a low compression rate, they have 35 compression points that actually make it softer than other balls. This allows the swing speed to slow down quite a bit while still getting significant power and distance, making it great for beginners!
AND #1 IS…
#1. Pinnacle Soft Golf Balls – $19.97/15 Balls on Amazon
This ball has Pinnacle’s lowest compression core and a very soft cover for a soft feel and exceptional distance. This may sound familiar because most golf balls on this list say the same thing, but these golf balls can be bought for under $20 and instead of a dozen balls, you get 15!
As a beginner we need to remember that as much as you hear about increased distance, less/more spin, low/high compression, control for your short game, greenside control, etc., your swing is the most important thing to worry about. Remember that as a beginner, a lot of your balls are going to end up lost. So if you can find a great soft golf ball, from a great brand, that is rated very highly by other golfers, AND you get 15 balls for under $20, that is the ball that I would recommend that you use. Once you play enough and your skills increase, THEN look into getting more expensive, higher quality, higher compression balls.