Many golfers are now aware of the benefits of being properly fit. We are all starting to sift through the ads and commercials to figure out what works for us as golfers. But an area of confusion that still exists, is in picking the right golf ball for your game.
Before 1999, golf balls were largely wound and compressed inside a cover. This process lended itself to some balls working better for different swing speeds. The softer the compression, the better that ball would be for slower swing speeds. Then companies started to produce multi-layer and multi-material golf balls. This changed the way the game was played and also how you should select a ball for your game. In today’s golf world, given the properties of a modern golf ball, you have to start from the putter and work your way back to the driver. This may fly in the face of some companies ideas, but it is the best policy to follow. On longer clubs such as your woods or hybrids, the amount of difference the golf ball can produce is very minimal compared to the amount of variation it can produce off of a wedge or short iron.
When you are shopping for a new golf ball, you can narrow the field down by brand loyalty or price, but do not discount the advice of your fitter or club pro. Once you have a ball in mind, buy a sleeve and take it to your local putting green. Get a feel for how it comes off the face of your putter and the speed it produces. If you are happy with the feel off the putter, time to get your wedges. Take a few chip shots and pay close attention to how the ball rolls out. Some balls are more likely to run out while others spin more and check up.
Again, if the ball does what you expect it to, move on the pitch shots and finally short iron shots. After all those shots you should have a good idea if that ball is right for you or not. If at any time you do not like how the ball feels or reacts, time to go back to the shop and buy a different sleeve. This may seem like a long process and it can be, but the end result will be you finding a ball you can trust, and a more consistent game.
Todd Daignault is the owner and club fitter at Prove It Golf. He can be reached at (860) 257-4550 or