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The best ball for your game

Fred C

How do you all go about finding the best ball to fit your game? I used to look for a combination of distance and spin. Since then, It occurred to me that, for most of us, more than 1/2 of our shots occur in the short game area. So, it made sense to me to find the ball that performs best in the short game. The next question was how to discover the ball that works best in the short game. What kind of short game performance tests would give you the best feedback? Should you hit  30 foot putts to see which ball gives you the best distance control? Do the same with chips and pitches?

10 Replies

  1. Don O

    I'd only use the feel off the putter to decide between A1 and A2.  Pitches and full shot approach irons need your best control.  ...Doesn't make much difference about putter feel if you can keep it within 10 feet of the hole getting on the green. 

  2. Quintin H

    My number 1 concern is that the ball matches my short game. But not all balls that pass my short game test make it.  I have yet to find one that passes my short game test that doesn't putt well. However there are some that pass the short game test but won't hold the green from full swing approach.

    My short game is a low pitch that skips once then bites, some balls, 2009 PV1, X, and the then NXT would 1 hop and stop. Others 1 hop, bite, then roll out a couple feet, and thats ok. During my use of the NXT my index dropped to its lowest because it was a fairway finder too.

    After NXT was discontinued I found another 2 piece ionomer cover ball that was almost as good as the NXT, it was "improved" shortly after I found it.

    So, I guess the ball searches will never end, because every year or 2 they will discover a way to add another yard or 2 and ruin a perfectly good ball.

  3. Fred C

    Well said Don. If one can control it with the irons, it probably is controllable in the short game. Conversely, if the ball won't hold a green on a full shot, it won't work well around the greens either.

  4. AC RixRox

    I have had this same problem for 53 years. 

    My best water wizards (S.E.A.L. Team Balls) are my expensive Titleist ProV1s. If there is a water hazard, they will be in the middle of it.

    My ProV1x's are forest rangers. If there are trees, they will be in the middle of them.

    On the other hand, the El Cheapo recycles I pick up along the way, fly straight and true. They run on the greens fairly well and go where my AP1's tell them to go. My D3 can hammer the daylights out of any of them, too. Which presents another problem.

    I can now hit the ball farther than I can see.

    I started playing golf at age 12. Golf Balls have puzzled me ever since.

    My $.02 worth

    Fairways & Greens - Best Scores Always,


  5. scott a

    ball tests while playing are awesome. side by side, shot by shot is the best way to figure out what is best for you.

  6. Mike C

    I always start close to the green and work my way back.  They call your wedges the "scoring clubs" for a reason, the better you can control the short shots into the greens, the better chances you will have for one putts.  For me, the feel of the ProV1 and Pro V1x in the short game area are pretty similar.  Same deal on feel between the balls as I begin to move up the irons.  I ended up going with the ProV1x as I tend to get less spin on the longer shots which helps my dispersion.

    A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to try different Titleist balls at the range on a launch monitor to really see the differences between balls on some loinger shots.  To be honest, on well struck shots the performance on the balls was somewhat similar.  The main differences for me personally came in some of the spin rates.

  7. clayton t

    best way find your ball would check local golf pro shop see if they do fitting

  8. Peter P

    In my opinion it makes the most sense to start from the green and go backwards The more you trust your golf ball around the greens the better you will score personally five extra yards off the tea makes absolutely no difference to me but to be able to pitch and chip and putt the ball with confidence means the world to your score

  9. Matt B

    I based mine on feel, There is nothing scientific about my selection process. I chose the Pro V1 model because I liked the softer feel it gave me on my iron shots, felt to me that they were much easier to compress, that feel keeps me from swinging hard at the ball & in more control with better tempo. To me there is not much difference around the greens because I am not using a full swing. I'm willing to give up the couple yards that the Pro V1x gives me for the control/feel I get from the Pro V1.
  10. Evan M

    That was problem for me too. Really, the best way to find out is trial and error. Test out golf balls on the course and typically, for me at least, by the end of the day i know exactly what ball fits my game best/feels best. The best round of golf i ever played was with a ball that was given to me from a friend out of a bucket of balls he didn't want, and the second best round was from an expensive tour ball that my brother bought me for christmas(I'd have never thought of buying them). Just goes to show, Trial and Error.

    Also, a lesson i learned in my 12 years of playing competitive baseball, Its not the bat that hits the ball, its the person who is holding the bat. It isn't always about finding a ball that fits your game, it's about being good at your game and making whatever ball you play do what you want it too. Eventually you get to the point where better balls are going to help you more. If you are playing a ball thats 30≥, the difference in performance often wont vary drastically from each other. 

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