Golf balls are far more than just white, dimpled, water-bound investments. They're ''expensive'' white, dimpled, water-bound investments. The technology behind them has advanced immensely in recent years and finding the right ball for your game is almost as important as picking the right clubs. The amount of research and development that goes into each 1.68-inch diameter ball is staggering. But it's more than just attractive packaging and dimple patterns. The ball you choose should be best suited to your ability level and type of game. Some golf balls are meant for the game, while others are strictly for practice.
* Beginners don't need to worry about ball '''brand'''. (If you do, look at the Any Level reviews below.)
* Buying '''used''' is fine. Tons of sites sell them online. Grade A or B balls are just fine for playing. Grade C balls are for the ranges.
** Click here for other bargain options for newbies, including balls with defects and refurbished balls.
* '''A beginners only ball '''would have a one piece cover, low spin, and firm feel.
*** A more popular '''all-around''' ball would have 90 compression, a surlyn cover, mid spin, and mid feel.
Golf ball construction is a vitally important element of performance. Different designs dramatically influence the balls' flight, distance and feel, as well as what type of golfer will benefit the most from them.
* '''One Piece - Beginner's Ball'''
** A one-piece golf ball has the most basic construction, and arguably the worst performance. Durable and inexpensive, they're primarily used for beginners and as range balls, but rarely used during play. They have a higher compression rate and therefore feel soft on impact resulting in compromised distance.
* '''Two Piece (surlyn) - Popular Choice'''
** A two-piece golf ball combines durability with maximum distance. These balls are made with a single solid core encased in a hard plastic cover. The core is made of acrylate or resin, and is covered in either surlyn or a specialty plastic. Two-piece balls give a golfer the most pure distance, and are extremely durable, making them the most popular choice for most golfers.
* '''Three Piece (balata) - For Skilled Players'''
** Three-piece golf balls have either a solid rubber or liquid center, surrounded by a layer of enhanced rubber, that is in turn covered by a durable Surlyn, Surlyn-like or balata cover. This results in increased spin and a softer feel, which allows skilled players to impart more control over the ball's trajectory.
* '''Four Piece - Ball of the Future'''
** A recent addition to ball construction is the four-piece golf ball. Rare at the moment, but could be the ball of the future. Each layer or piece of the ball has a specific and different purpose. The next layer is designed to increase distance, while at the same time increasing spin, thus giving the ball more distance and feel. The outer cover is a thin layer of Urethane, designed to be both durable and soft. All the layers work together to offer the longest hitting, softest feeling golf ball.
* '''Low Spin Golf Balls - '''Increased Distance, Decreased Feel (Control)
** By limiting the ball's spin, these balls produce a straighter, more accurate shot. The lack of spin also gives them more roll on the fairway. This is an advantage for golfers with a hook or slice, or who are looking for more distance off the tee. The disadvantage is they lack the feel of a higher spinning ball.
* '''Mid Spin Golf Balls - The Everyman (Moderate Distance and Feel)'''
** Mid-spin golf balls are the everyman of the links. Bridging the gap between high and low spin balls, they offer the best of both worlds: distance and feel. Depending on the brand, each variety will offer varying degrees of both.
* '''High Spin Golf Balls - Decreased Distance, Increased Feel'''
** The high spinning golf ball is designed to increase the balls spin in the air. This will lose you distance off the tee, but increase your feel around the greens, improving control. There are additional advantages for players who hook the ball left to right with a draw. Out of control hook shots are produced by the drawspin overpowering the backspin on the ball; so increasing backspin will help straighten out a hook/draw.
* '''Firm Feel Golf Balls - For Beginners (Durability & Distance)'''
** Firmer balls are designed for distance, but sacrifice the feel a softer ball has around the green. By far the most durable ball of the three, these balls resist scuffs or cuts giving the golfer with a high handicap more use from it.
* '''Mid Feel Golf Balls - Broad Appeal'''
** These balls offer the middle ground between firm and soft-feel balls. They incorporate adequate distance and feel, and are similar to the mid-spin balls in that they're geared towards the widest possible range of golfers.
* '''Soft Feel Golf Balls - For Pros'''
** Soft-feel balls are the preference of low handicap golfers and pros. The softer cover allows more advanced golfers to take advantage of the increased spin and softer feel. These balls scuff easy and are not recommended for the typical amateur.