What Golf Ball Should You Use?

Louis Pringle
May 12, 2022
8 minutes
On this page

Using the right golf ball when you're out on the course can have an immense impact on your scorecard. To the untrained eye, golf balls may all look the same, but each model has its own specifications and innovative components.

The following guide will help golfers better understand which golf ball is best for their game. Here is what will be covered:

  • How do golf balls work?
  • The different types of golf balls
  • New vs recycled golf balls – what's best?
  • How should you pick your golf ball?
  • Golf balls recommendations

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How do golf balls work?

First off, it is important to appreciate the technological marvel that is the modern golf ball. We are centuries away from beech balls with inconsistent flight. Nowadays, urethane skins and synthetic resin core are the main components inside a golf ball.

Core

As the name suggests, the core is the basis of the golf ball. Big brands have specific names for their cores and these will vary based on the products that make up the core, as well as how hard or how soft the core is.

Layers

Layers are added inside the coating to help with the compression of the ball at impact. Taking the driver as an example, where the compression of the ball is massive, the protective layers around the core will allow for more compression around it while not actually compressing the core itself, allowing for better ball flights.

Skin

Nowadays, the shell of most, if not all, golf balls are made out of urethane. Depending on the brand, some shells will be slicker and others will have more of a sticky feel to it. The stickier skins are usually designed to help maximize the spin levels on the golf balls.

The different types of golf balls

The size of golf balls is limited by the Rules of golf, but they still perform differently from one model to the next. Some models will be wrapped with more layers around the core than others, while some will have a softer feel at impact than others.

Three-piece golf balls

Most balls will be made out of three pieces. This refers to the layers used in the manufacturing process of the ball. The three-piece will usually include a large synthetic core, a thin mantel covering the core, and the exterior coat, usually made out of urethane.

One of the most famous three-piece models on the market right now is the Titleist Pro V1. It’s also the most popular golf ball amongst PGA Tour players.

Shop The Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls

Four-piece golf balls

Some manufacturers even pushed the boundaries further by adding an extra layer to their balls, thus creating the four-piece ball. This ball adds an extra layer over the core creating the extra piece. Some Srixon and Bridgestone golf ball models are now equipped with an extra layer around the core.

Shop The Srixon Z Star XV Golf Balls

Five-piece golf balls

The people at TaylorMade have pushed the bar even further with the release of their TP5x golf balls with five layers. This is their latest attempt to protect the core from any disturbance at impact. Incredibly, they’ve managed to maintain ball speed, despite the added layer on the golf ball.

Shop The TaylorMade TP5x Golf Balls

New vs recycled golf balls – what's best?

Brand-new golf balls

The greatest perk of using brand-new golf balls is that you’ll be sure that this ball will not have any flaws to it. Each golf ball is carefully tested by the manufacturers before being sent out to retailers everywhere to guarantee their quality.

Plus, with brand new golf balls, you’ll be sure that the core is still powerful at impact and that the skin shell of the ball will be in optimal condition to maximize spin on impact.

Brand-new golf balls, unsurprisingly, come with the steepest price tags on the market, especially if you’re buying the top ball from the best manufacturers. Don’t disregard more affordable models as they can be just as good, for a fraction of the price.

Fortunately for golfers on a budget, there’s an option that’s even more affordable than these cheaper models.

Shop Brand-New Golf Balls

Recycled golf balls

Used golf balls are an underappreciated solution to the high cost of brand-new golf balls. More often than not, you will be able to find the top-tier balls you’ve been looking for when shopping for used golf balls. But you’ll most likely end up paying around half of the money you would be spending on a brand-new dozen. On top of being cheaper than new balls, used balls will perform just as well.

The differences between the new and used balls will only be minor. This is because used balls will normally receive a fresh coat of paint and their quality will be tested and certified by experts before being returned on the market.

Also, choosing used golf balls is a conscious choice for the environment as it is estimated that more than 300 million golf balls are lost in the wild every year.

Shop Recycled Golf Balls

How should you pick your golf ball?

Understanding your needs from a golf ball will make a great difference in your final choice. As mentioned above, the softness of the ball will have an important impact on your game. Nonetheless, it is also important to take into account your needs and means of purchase.

Here are three key points to keep in mind when choosing a golf ball. The singular nomenclature of “a golf ball” is used because whichever model you pick, you should stick to it and shape your game around it.

  • Do you want to gain more distance or do you prefer to keep more control over your ball?
  • Do you want to focus on spin and speed around the greens or do you want to focus on control when you’re close to the pin?
  • What is your golf ball budget and how many balls do you tend to lose over the course of a season?

Last but not least, make sure to keep in mind that weather will also have an impact on your ball’s performance. A cold climate will definitely impact your ball’s trajectory. The difference in distance will usually only vary by a yard per change of 10 degrees, but we think it is still important to take into account when you’re looking to really step up your game.

Remember, the hotter the better when hitting a golf ball. Driving off the tee in 100 degrees heat can help you gain 10 yards over hitting that same ball at 40 degrees. Just a little tip to keep in mind for our northern friends.

Golf balls recommendations

If you are looking for a very compact ball that will get you the most distance possible off the tee here are your best options:

  • TaylorMade TP5x
  • Titleist Pro V1
  • Srixon Z Star XV

If you’re a golfer looking for more control and a better feel of the ball, here are some options for you:

  • Callaway Chrome Soft
  • TaylorMade Soft Response

Fortunately for the golfers up north, Golf Avenue has a solution for you when it comes to playing in cold weather. Colored golf balls are easier to spot amongst the leaves or the snow. These models should be perfect for these conditions:

  • TaylorMade Neon Matte
  • Crystal Color
  • Wilson Staff Mix Color

Shop All Golf Balls

If you need more help, or if you have any golf-related questions, you can always reach out to our customer service team or set up a call with our in-house expert for additional advice on how to pick the right golf ball for you.

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue Team

Further reading

It can be difficult to find the right golf driver to use off the tee. Lucky for you, Golf Avenue has a complete and detailed guide on how to find the right driver so that you never miss a fairway again.

Find our suggestions of pre-loved clubs to help you build your very own golf bag for under $750! Our choices are based on affordability and playstyle flexibility.