Best Golf Balls For Beginners
It would be impossible to pick just one golf ball to suit all beginners because every player is different. Some players are stronger or more supple and others have limited ranges of motion for example.
At the end of the day, the golf ball only reacts to what the clubhead was doing at impact. It would be silly to recommend the same ball to a 25-year-old athlete who was generating more than 100 mph clubhead speed and a 70-year-old lady swinging at 65 mph who was struggling to get the ball airborne.
In this guide, you’ll find out how to find the right ball for your game along with my recommendations of the 6 best golf balls for beginners in 2023.
What To Look For When Buying Golf Balls?
For many people, price is a major consideration, for beginners, it may be the main one. They may still be unsure how much money they want to commit to golf added to the fact they probably lose multiple golf balls every time they play.
How Much Effect Does A Golf Ball Have On Your Game?
Your choice of ball can have quite an effect on your game. If you tend to hook or slice the ball then you probably want to avoid playing with the highest spinning golf balls as they will make any hook or slice worse. On the other hand, if you struggle to get much carry through the air you may want to look at using higher spinning balls with dimple patterns designed to promote higher trajectories.
Should I Use The Same Golf Ball Consistently?
Wherever possible you should try and use the same model of golf ball. This will help promote consistency in your game and allow you to learn how the ball reacts to the way that you strike it. It should help breed confidence in or aspects of your game both off the tee and around the green.
Do New And Used Golf Balls Differ In Terms Of Performance?
An older golf ball will tend to lose some of its performance as it ages. This could amount to 10 to 20 yards on a driver shot. You also have two take into consideration any damage to the cover of the ball that may affect the aerodynamics.
Do Golf Balls Matter For Beginners?
Does Golf Ball Color Matter?
The color of a golf ball has no bearing on how it performs. The only reason manufacturers produce different colored balls is to help people spot their ball in flight or when they are searching for the ball. I often play with a yellow ball as I find it easier to follow in the air.
Should Your Golf Ball Spin A Lot?
Good golfers are generally looking for high spinning golf balls because they want to be able to bring the ball to a stop quickly on the green and also shape the ball in flight with their longshots.
Beginners and high handicappers may need to think about how much spin they already apply to the ball. If you currently play with a high spinning ball but tend to lose lots of shots to the right with a slice then you might be better off trying a low spin golf ball as it will reduce the amount of slice on your shots.
If you tend to struggle to get the ball airborne then you might want to find a ball that has high launch characteristics and probably higher spin to help keep the ball in the air as long as possible.
Should Beginners Use Hard Or Soft Golf Balls?
Over the past few years, manufacturers have released a large number of soft feel golf balls. This is in response to consumers that are looking for softer balls.
In spite of this trend, I would say the evidence suggests most players would be better off using firmer golf balls as its been shown that low compression softer balls tend to produce less spin and distance.
High-speed photography clearly shows even with a slower swing speed you will still compress the golf ball so you shouldn’t worry even if your swing speed isn’t the recommended one for the golf ball.
What Is Golf Ball Compression?
Golf ball compression is the term used to describe how the ball changes shape when it is struck by a golf club. The side closest to the clubface flattens to the point where the ball looks like the letter D.
Tour quality balls tend to be the highest compression because better players are looking to maximize distance and spin. To achieve this, manufacturers use a soft, thin cover over a firm core.
By contrast, soft feel golf balls are usually low compression golf balls that spin less and don’t tend to travel as far for a given club head speed.
Do Softer Golf Balls Go Straighter?
Softer balls tend to spin less than harder ones so they will tend to curve less. That will also affect your ability to stop the ball on the greens even though you feel like the ball should stop since you think it’s soft.
Do Hard Or Soft Golf Balls Go Further?
Testing shows however that in general terms softer balls don’t go as far as harder ones do. Since most beginners are probably struggling for distance it may be better to go with a harder ball and sacrifice some feel.
Can A Beginner Use Titleist Pro V1?
Of course, beginner golfers can use a Titleist Pro V1. The real question is whether a beginner should use a Titleist Pro V1 golf ball.
If the cost of using a premium golf ball doesn’t concern you then it just comes down to whether the Pro V1 is the best type of golf ball for your swing.
You have to bear in mind that like all other premium golf balls the Pro V1 will spin a lot more than most balls aimed at beginners. This doesn’t necessarily make it the best option for beginners since many golfers starting out tend to ball with a lot of curvature. Using a high spinning ball will only make this worse.
If you tend to keep the ball in play more often than not then having access to the extra stopping power of a premium golf ball like the Pro V1 could be a major benefit to your game.
Should A Beginner Use The Kirkland Golf Ball?
At first glance, the Kirkland Signature Performance ball seems like an absolute bargain as it works out at roughly $1 per ball for a urethane-covered three-piece ball that offers similar performance to other manufacturers’ premium balls.
However, testing shows that the Kirkland ball is a particularly high spinning ball and therefore may not be the best beginner golf ball for the same reasons that other premium balls may not be the right choice. Most beginners and high handicappers have swings that hit shots that curve a lot so using a ball that spins more than usual will just increase the problem. Such a high spinning ball will also cost the majority of players distance as well.
If you tend to struggle to get enough spin then the Kirkland might be the right choice.
It also depends on how seriously you take your golf game. If you mostly play golf for exercise, fresh air and social interaction then your choice of golf ball is going to be less important.
How To Select The Right Golf Ball
Once you understand your tendencies you can make a shortlist of balls that will suit your game. Take two or three of these balls out onto the golf course to test them out to see which one you prefer. Most experts would suggest you start on and around the green and work back to the tee to find the ball that you like the most.
Don’t forget to only include balls that you feel you can afford. It’s no good testing out high-end balls if you aren’t prepared to spend around $50 per dozen.
6 Best Golf Balls For Beginners
Players Looking For Soft Feel Or Lower Spin
Whether you prefer a soft-feeling golf ball or want to try a lower spinning ball to help control your wayward shots these two balls are solid choices.
Srixon Soft Feel
The Srixon Soft Feel golf ball is the lowest compression ball in the Srixon lineup apart from the Soft Feel Lady. It is a two-piece golf ball with an ionomer cover so won’t spin as much as top-end models.
Even players with slow swings should enjoy how the ball feels off the clubface and its low driver spin should help keep your most errant shots in check off the tee.
If you need some help spotting your ball then the Soft Feel comes in a range of bright colors.
Players with higher clubhead speed might want to look elsewhere as this might feel too soft and also might concede a bit too much yardage.
Described by Titleist as ‘very soft’ this might be a ball for those who are looking to lower their ball flight as well as straighten out their drives.
Another two-piece ball and the cheapest Titleist ball. The cover thickness has been reduced but you still aren’t going to confuse this for a Pro V1.
If you want to get serious spin around the greens then avoid this ball or indeed any ‘soft’ ball.
Players Looking For Tour Performance
Playing with the highest quality golf ball may not suit all beginners not least because the balls are quite expensive. If you have the desire to improve your game then starting with the best quality golf ball from the beginning could be a good option.
Srixon’s tour-level golf ball. A three-piece design with a urethane cover and a fairly high compression. If you are reasonably consistent then this ball should give you all the spin and distance that you need. It is also one of the cheaper options in its segment of the market.
If you have a higher club and ball speed then you might be better looking at the four-piece Z-Star XV which has a higher compression rating.
Callaway Chrome Soft
If you want tour-level spin but need a softer feel then the Callaway Chrome Soft is top of the list. A three-piece design with a lower compression than most balls in its category. Callaway currently uses hexagonal dimples on this model.
The lineup has been revamped for 2022. They now use X-ray machines as part of their quality control to check for issues in their balls. They use it to detect which balls have concentricity issues so they can be pulled before being shipped to retailers. Concentricity means how well the various layers of the ball are centered.
The 2022 version has become three-piece instead of four-piece. The larger core helps to increase the distance without having to increase compression.
Players Looking For Distance
if you’re a slower swinger then the distance difference between golf balls will be much less than if you generate a lot of clubhead speed. For that reason, I wouldn’t get too much hung up on whether one ball goes further than another. Concentrate more on how the ball feels to you and whether you can get the level of spin that you want.
Titleist Tour Speed
In a recent mygolfspy test the Tour Speed came second in the distance stakes just a few yards behind the Pro V1x Left Dash. Not bad for a more budget-friendly ball.
It’s a three-piece ball with a urethane cover so as well as distance off the tee you still get some decent spin on your short game shots.
Players Looking For A Cheap Deal
Kirkland Signature Performance
If you want a urethane ball for the price of a cheap distance ball then the Kirkland Signature should be in your bag. It is quite a spinny ball but assuming you don’t already have issues with excess spin then the performance issues can probably be ignored when you consider the cost savings. These balls are cheaper than many lake balls!
6 Best Golf Balls For Beginners In 2023: Conclusion
So there you have it, six suggestions for balls to test out depending on what you’re looking for. At the end of the day, manufacturers make so many different types of balls because there are so many different types of golfers. You need to work out what you want from your golf ball before parting with your cash.