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Understand Golf Balls

A guide by "wjohnson36"

If you play golf on a regular basis, you have undoubtedly been faced with the decision of which ball is best for your game. But, underneath that decision are so many questions surrounding the science and technology that is touted on every single package of golf balls out there. Terms like ‘Two-Piece’, ‘Multilayer Construction’, ‘Low Compression’, and ‘Urethane Cover’ may sound confusing but have a definite impact on the performance characteristics of a golf ball. So, where do we start? Let’s discuss the characteristics of golf balls. The main characteristics of a golf ball are typically thought of as: distance, spin rate, trajectory pattern, durability, and feel at impact. The old way of thinking was, “Hard goes further, Soft spins more.” Distance balls were typically harder, with less spin, more durable, and less expensive. This translated to a ball that was more appropriate for the high-handicap golfer. The <product no longer available> is a good example of this category. Experienced golfers preferred balls with a softer cover that would provide more control (spin) around the greens, while not traveling quite as far. These balls provided more feedback at impact and were more expensive. The <product no longer available> , has been a popular ball for the experienced player. A good choice for most average golfers is the <product no longer available> .
Times have changed drastically over the past few years when it comes to golf ball technology and the traditional schools of thought regarding golf balls. The golf ball manufacturers have found ways to create golf balls that provide the best characteristics of both Distance and Control balls. Many of the high-performance balls that the experienced players prefer in today’s market provide optimum distance while still maintaining their characteristics of control around the green and a high level of feel at impact. With the industry transition from Wound to Solid Core as the ‘engine’ of the golf ball, manufacturers can control most of the distance, hardness, and trajectory characteristics of a golf ball. Changes in the cover materials provide manufacturers control over the feel, spin, and durability of the golf ball.
So, let’s get into a little bit of the technology and try to categorize the various types of golf balls available. The term ‘two-piece’ refers to a ball with an outer cover and a single core. Multilayer balls are constructed with two or three ‘covers’ and a single ‘core’. These balls are designed to provide specific characteristics for different club choices. There are four different categories that golf balls typically fall under:
1. Distance Two-Piece 2. Low Compression Two-Piece 3. Performance Two-Piece 4. Multilayer

Distance Two-Piece
The Distance Two-Piece golf ball is made for the beginner or high-handicapper. These balls spin less to reduce the typical hook or slice that most high-handicappers experience. Distance Two-Piece balls also typically launch higher, making it easier for that player to get the ball in the air. Add to that a cover that is harder than the average ball, these offer increased abrasion resistance. Combine all of these characteristics together, and you get an inexpensive golf ball that makes it easier for the high-handicapper to enjoy the game of golf.
Popular examples of golf balls in this category are: <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , and Top Flite XL Pure Distance Ball Pack.

Low Compression Two-Piece
The Low Compression Two-Piece is a fairly new category to the golf industry. These balls are made with core materials that are easier to compress, which improves the distance for players with moderate swing speeds. A few of the balls in this category offer low-spin variations for greater control and improved accuracy. This type of golf ball is an excellent choice for the average golfer looking for a little more feel and control than those in the Distance category.
Examples of golf balls in this category are: <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> and <product no longer available> , and <product no longer available> .

Performance Two-Piece
The Performance Two-Piece golf ball is taking the two-piece golf ball design to the limits of two-piece technology. With larger cores and thinner covers, these designs make it easier to compress the core at impact, providing for greater distance. These balls offer much of the same technical characteristics as Low Compression Two-Piece balls but with feel, spin, and control for shorter shots into the green.
Examples of golf balls in this category are: <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , and <product no longer available> .

Multilayer
The Multilayer golf ball is the premium golf ball design today. These balls come in designs with 3 or 4 layers. The goal in the design is to tune the performance characteristic of the ball with each layer. The soft outer layer (cover) enhances feel around the green while the hard center core provides longer distance with the driver. The 2nd (and in some cases, 3rd) layers provide specific trajectory and spin characteristics for short and mid iron shots. These golf balls are designed for the better players with higher swing speeds and better control of their shots. Of course, these premium products come with premium prices.
Examples of golf balls in this category are: <product no longer available> and <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> and <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , <product no longer available> , and <product no longer available> and <product no longer available> .
So, what do you do with this information? First, try to give yourself an honest opinion of your golf game and purpose on the course. Then, select the category that you believe is best for you, and choose a few different balls to try out. Selecting the proper golf ball for your golf swing can make a dramatic difference in your scores, as well as your enjoyment of the game.
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Products mentioned include:
Distance Two-Piece
1.  Top Flite XL Pure Distance Ball Pack  by Markwort
Used & New from: $6.00
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"wjohnson36"
Qualifications: Marketing Director, Golfballs.com
Last updated: 9/18/03
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