Golf Ball 101: Which Ball is Right for You?

By January 15, 2021 January 19th, 2021 No Comments

Even though the next few months of colder weather will make playing golf unlikely in this part of the country, you can still start thinking about getting the most out of your game when spring and summer arrive.

One thing many amateur golfers typically overlook is the importance of proper fitting of their equipment. I know when I say “fitting” most will assume I mean their clubs, but playing the right ball for your game is important as well.

Golf Ball Construction

As of 2012, golf balls contain from one to five layers. The one common piece on all balls is the cover. Each layer beneath the cover counts as an additional piece. The most complex golf balls contain five pieces, including a core plus three separate, inner layers.

One-Piece Balls

The cheapest and most basic golf ball, the one-piece model, is made of the same material inside and out. A one-piece ball made of Surlyn™, for example, is just one solid, rock-like sphere with a dimpled surface. This is the type of golf ball you will find at a mini-golf, putting course or driving range. It won’t travel as far as a multi-piece ball and is really not suitable for golf course play.

Two-Piece Balls

A two-piece ball often has a Surlyn exterior, although Bridgestone sells a urethane-covered, two-piece ball. Inside, the core is generally made from rubber or a similar material. Many Callaway, Top-Flite and Titleist balls use polybutadiene, a synthetic rubber, as the inner material. Bridgestone’s Tour B XS three-piece is the ball Tiger Woods currently plays and is designed to accommodate higher swing speeds.

Which Ball is Best for Your Game

When you’re choosing a golf ball, the two-piece variety is generally a safe bet for beginning golfers. All else being equal, two-piece balls roll farther and generate more distance than any other ball. Balls with three or more pieces allow golfers greater control, which is why they’re typically used by better players who are good enough to shape shots with their longer clubs or stop the ball on the green with their short irons.

Here’s a quick video so you can see firsthand how Titleist manufactures their signature Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls. Enjoy!