I will make recommendations at the bottom of this article of what I think are the best golf balls for beginners. I thought it was important though to explain what you should be looking for when purchasing golf balls.
The "Rules of Golf" state that a ball must be round and that the diameter of a golf ball must be a minimum of 1.680 inches / 42.67 mm. The reason for this is that the smaller the ball the further it would go and to play golf you need an even playing field. Most manufacturers will produce the ball at this standard size
The ball should not be heavier than 1.620 oz./ 45.93 g according to the "Rules of Golf". Again most manufacturers work to this specification to keep within the rules of the game. If balls were made to heavy then they would also go further due to the simple physical force of momentum. Again to keep things equal for everyone the balls are kept pretty standard.
Understanding Compression Rates
This may sound a little complicated but it is something that is worth knowing and understanding. As part of the overall manufacturing process, some two-piece, and all three-piece balls are rated by compression measurements. This is done by applying pressure to them using a a standard weight
A scale is then used to measure what is termed their deformity. At one end of the scale there will be balls that don't deform at all and these would be rated at Compression 200.
At the other end of the scale we could have balls that deform by 0.2" or above they would be rated with a Compression 0. These are the two extremes, and between them balls are rated in intervals of 0.001 inches.
The huge majority of golf balls however sit somewhere in the middle and are typically between 90-100. The higher the compression rate is then the harder the ball will feel. All balls (except really cheap ones) are subject to a compression rating. Compression rates of 80 and 100 are also found.
The big issue though is that manufacturers are not bound by an official standard. Hence a ball from someone like Titleist could have a compression rate of 100 but a similar ball from Callaway could have a different manufacturer's compression rate of 100. In simple terms each manufacturer can essentially set their own rate. You will find many balls don't even have this compression rate written on them or the box.
Understanding Golf Ball Compression RatesI have looked at a lot of surveys and the general agreement is that low speed swing players and:
- Beginners are better off using balls with a Compression rate of 80.
- Average swing speed golfers should pick Compression 100
- High swing speed golfers should pick Compression 110
Low compression balls are best for colder weather, while high compression balls perform better in hot weather.
What Are The Best Golf Ball Choices For A Beginner?Considerations for Driving
Manufacturers make many different types of balls and once again this can be utterly confusing for the beginner. For driving I would recommend "distance balls" as these have been designed to travel further and with a good degree of accuracy.
Tor the beginner that means there is a better chance you will avoid the rough, hazards, or the dreaded out of bounds. the drawback with these is that they are harder to stop on the green. When you are starting out that is honestly not a big problem. When you get your handicap down to 16-18 then ball selection should become a bigger factor for you.
For a beginner you should definitely go for a distance ball. If you would like more detailed advice we recommend getting the Golf Beginner Guide, a great resource for new golfers.
Spin Balls and Their Use
As you improve you should consider spin balls. These balls are made with outer layers that take on more spin when you strike them with an angled club face. For example if you were playing a 7-iron into the green using a spin ball, it will stop much easier on the green than if you were using a distance ball.
Also with a spin ball the art of drawing or fading a ball around obstacles is a lot easier. these type of balls use a solid multilayer construction.
The Perfect Beginners Ball
The good news for beginners is that there are distance balls which have been designed to stop quickly when on the green. They have also been designed to reduce slicing or hooking and are called "control balls." The Nike One and Titleist Pro V1 are two worth mentioning and they will perform in any situation.
Golf Balls for Slow Swingers
These are known by golfers as ladies or Senior balls. I have no intention of sounding sexist or ageist here. It is however a matter of fact that in general older people like myself and ladies tend to swing a great deal slower. For beginners in these categories I would highly recommend using these balls as again they have been designed with you in mind. These balls will absolutely balls increase driving distance and vastly improve the scores of players with slower, less powerful swings.
What Makes The Best Putting Ball
The important thing here is to use the same type of ball on the green all the time. Balls are designed differently and as such will roll for different distances on the green. The harder the ball then the further it will roll
Many beginner golfers fail to understand just how important the above information is. If you can grasp its importance you will transform your game on the green. The difference between 2 putts on a regular basis and 3 or 4 putts can mean taking 18-36 shots off your round of golf. This gives you a huge advantage over other beginners.
The teaching professionals recommend that you putt with the same type of ball all the time. This will help you in terms of distance, feel and consistency. Constantly reproducing that connection between stroke strength and distance is vital. The higher quality balls the more likely they will stay on course, due to higher standards of quality control when they are being made.
Affordability and Practice Explained
Always play with the same balls that you practice with. That sounds so obvious but few beginners do this. They tend to use any old ball for practice. The bottom line her is that if you can't afford to practice with a high quality ball, then don't change when playing your round of golf. Pick a ball and stay with it and your game will improve.
Another important tip is that when a ball has been over used it goes out of shape and is no longer round. That makes it useful so just throw it away. Therefore a really good idea is to play with balls that you can afford to replace regularly.