With many golf balls on the market to choose from it can make it difficult to know which one is best for your game. There are many golf ball companies that each have multiple golf balls for different golfers. Golf balls come in various performance aspects, in multiple colors, and at various price points. If you buy the wrong golf ball for your game you could be missing out on better scoring.
We all know a golfer that uses the old water ball. This is bad in two ways. One, from the mental aspect they are setting themselves up for a bad shot with a negative affirmation that they will hit the ball in the water. Two, from a performance the change from what they normally play allows for a difference in distance and performance. If a golfer plays a golf ball good for their game that reaffirms a positive outcome there is no need for a "water ball".
So, how do you know what golf ball is right for your game?
There are a few ways to determine what golf ball will benefit your game. One is using a ball sector tool like Bridgestone Golf has on their website. (Watch the video below as I show you how it works. Try it yourself - click here.) A tool like this will suggest a golf ball based on the questions you answer. TaylorMade Golf (click here) also has one you can try. The only downside is each company will only recommend golf balls they make. It is still a great place to start in determining a golf ball for your game.
Another way is to go test different golf balls on a launch monitor. This is actually one of the best ways as you can see the data for each golf ball. You can determine the optimal numbers for your golf swing. Try about 10 shots with each golf ball you want to test and compare the data to find the one that is optimal for your swing. The best golf ball based on your swing should show low spin on the driver, your optimal launch angle, and the one that has the optimal combination of carry distance and spin. Only pay attention to carry distance. The overall distance is factored by the spin and launch of a golf ball. If the spin is too low with a low launch angle it may go further overall but it may carry a shorter distance. you want a golf ball that has an optimal launch and spin for consistency while playing different golf course conditions.
There is always the testing while playing method. This could get costly if you go through dozens of different types of golf balls but it can be an effective way to find a golf ball that performs well for you. This also takes some tracking of shots between each golf ball you test. Without the numbers and data, a launch monitor can give you this has to be done with your eyes and knowledge of your game. Watch how much each ball launches with the driver. Does it go high and stop short? Does it curve in the air a lot? Then do the same with your irons and wedges. Does the ball stop on the green fast? Does one carry further than another? All this data you track will help you find a golf ball for your game.
For beginners to golf, this is actually harder to determine. There are golf balls for high handicappers and beginners that help with hitting the ball straighter and this may be a great place to start. The Bridgestone E6 is a great example of this type of golf ball. Beginners actually hurt their game if they play with a tour type of golf ball like a Titleist Pro V1. Tour golf balls are designed for high swing speeds of over 105mph. A tour golf ball for a beginner will generate too much spin and due to lack of compression at impact, the golf ball will not fly straight or far. Look for a golf ball that is designed for control and distance and you can enjoy the game more. Plus they do not cost as much as a tour-caliber golf ball.
If you find yourself in a position where you have a good game but do not generate tour speed swings there are golf balls you can try in that category as well. Again mentioning Bridgestone Golf they have made their tour golf balls for those golfers that swing under 105mph while keeping the same performance as their top tour ball. You may have even seen some Champions Tour or LPGA Tour players playing the Bridgestone Tour B RX series golf balls.
Playing a golf ball that fits your game can lead to lower scores which in turn can lead to having more fun. Ideally, if you can find a golf ball for your game that also has the tour performance benefits you will be doing your golf game a huge benefit. As with the Bridgestone Tour B RX series golf balls, the TaylorMade Tour Response is in this category.