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Does Finding the Correct Ball Affect Your Game?

Jun 4, 2014

These days, the golf equipment business is booming. Golfers spend countless hours researching developments in clubs, then being fitted for the proper equipment. The lowly golf ball might not get as much attention, but the pros at Golf Academy of America would argue it's just as important.  

"Playing the correct ball can be crucial to creating scoring opportunities," said Matt Frith, PGA professional at Golf Academy of America in Orlando. "I firmly believe that, not unlike a beginning golf lesson, you should start at the green and work your way back to the tee. What good is gaining five yards off the tee by playing a rock hard ball if you are unable to spin it/control it around the greens?"

He argues that the best players in the world are those who can impart the most spin on the golf ball. "For example," he said, "Tiger Woods' biggest struggle over the years has been off the tee, and yet he is known to play the ball that spins more than any other on Tour. This is totally counter intuitive to the idea that 'balls that spin less go straighter;' if you don't drive it straight, play a ball with less spin." Flanagan explained that Tiger's ball choice is to ensure that if he does miss the fairway or get in a bad spot around the green, he will be able to put enough spin on the ball, giving him the best possible chance at making par.

Since balls are so important to the game, what's the best way to find the proper ball for you? Michael Flanagan, a PGA professional at Golf Academy of America in San Diego say players should experiment with different brands, using performance and preference as the determining factors.

For performance, Flanagan recommends players consider consistency, distance and spin control. Preferences might include durability, feel, price and appearance.

"When a player plays the same golf ball model/type each round, he or she eliminates performance variation which will assist the player in fairways in regulation (FIR), greens in regulation (GIR), and hopefully the conversion of putts," said Flanagan. If golfers want to improve their game, perhaps they should get on the ball.