If you’re 5 foot 8 with a slow, flat swing you’re clearly going to need something very different to someone 6 foot 3 with a fast, upright action.
Bespoke equipment used to be something only Tour pros could benefit from, but nowadays all golfers can see the merits of using the correct shaft, length of club and lie angle for their set-up. It can dramatically change a handicap golfer’s game.
However, there’s one item of equipment that every golfer uses for every shot, yet remarkably few have any idea if it’s right for them – the ball.
Here are a few top tips on how to choose the right golf ball to suit your game.
How many of us just play a premium ball because we know the brand and trust that it must be good for us? Then, how many will play whatever ball they have handy, or whatever is on sale cheap in the pro-shop?
Many high handicappers think buying a premium, high-compression, ball will give them the best results. Generally though, those balls are designed for players with swing speeds of over 105mph.
Roughly 75% of golfers in the UK have a swing speed of less than 105 mph. If someone only swings at 90 mph, they won’t make the Tour golf balls compress on the face and so won’t get the best results.
Consider your requirements
Most golf ball manufacturers now produce a range of balls which are designed to suit players not only with differing swing speeds but also differing swing characteristics.
If you’re a player who hits down on the ball and imparts a lot of backspin then you will probably benefit from using a low-spinning ball. Conversely, if you have a shallow angle of attack, or if you struggle to get the ball airborne, you likely require a ball that produces a higher spin rate.
Around the greens, it comes down to feel. Do you prefer a soft or firm feel on short shots and putting? Are you keen to play more spinning shots around the putting surfaces, or is that not a priority? Answering these questions will help you find the ball that’s right for you.
Speak to a professional
Once you’ve considered your wants and requirements from a ball, the best thing to do is to go for a custom ball fitting. Most PGA professionals will be able provide this service and give you the correct guidance on finding the correct ball to suit your game.
With the right technology, they can measure your swing speed and determine your angle of attack. They can also analyse your game to ascertain your strengths and weaknesses and discuss where improvements could be made.
Ask the professional to recommend three (or more) ball models (from different manufacturers if appropriate) which they feel would be best suited to your game. Take each out on course and give them a thorough test from tee to green and opt for the one that performs best.
Play with confidence
At this stage you can have total confidence in the ball you’re using. You’ve considered your requirements, sought professional advice, trialled different models that are designed for a player like you and have made your choice.
Now stick with it and you’ll grow accustomed to how the ball performs and reacts in different situations. Knowing you have the correct ball in play could shave strokes off your handicap.