All golf balls are white. All golf balls have the same size. All golf balls have dimples. Therefore, all golf balls are the same.
Does the statement above reflect the truth? If one were to take it from face value, then, yes, all golf balls are the same. Because unlike other sports that somehow focus on the ball, such as basketball and volleyball, the lowly golf ball is often an overlooked part of the game. As such, many people – especially the audience – get the idea that all golf balls share the same characteristics. But if you look closer, you will find that, in fact, not all golf balls are the same. They have differences, however tiny, that distinguish them from each other.
Golf balls are, as a matter of fact, as important as choosing one’s clubs and other golf equipment. Certain golf balls are created for different swing types, depending on the strength of the player. This is why it is best to determine one’s handicap level at the onset to determine which ball to use.
The importance should be further impressed upon new players because without a golf ball that suits your needs, you will have a fairly difficult time adjusting the strength of your swing to match your chosen ball. Whereas if the athlete’s swing type is compatible to that of the golf ball’s weight and characteristic, the athlete will be more comfortable playing that round.
To start off, the manufacturing of golf balls is no easy feat. It is not just about churning out dimpled, white balls. There is also some science involved – aerodynamics and the ball’s capacity to withstand the strength of swings.
For example, in 2002, the world-famous Callaway Golf Company began the first stages of development for its very own golf balls. Large sums were invested onto this project (a fact that would, perhaps, underscore the importance of this small ball on a golfer’s life). After several years of experimentation and testing using aerodynamic computer programs, Callaway Golf’s Rule 35 ball was invented. It was a hit in the golfing world because it balanced distance, feel, and durability for the players perfectly. Because of the Callaway Golf Company’s Rule 35 ball, the field was more evenly opened to amateurs and professionals alike.
From that one ball, the Callaway Golf Company’s inventory of golf balls has grown considerably – from the HEX Chrome Golf Balls down to the Super soft Golf Balls.
From this example, it is hard to rationalize, especially for serious players, that random golf balls picked up from around the course or driving range can be used by anyone for play. Careful choice and consideration must first be done to determine which type of ball to use.
The first thing one must consider when choosing a golf ball is one’s swing speed and strength. Instruments for measuring such can be found online. When in doubt, consult a golfing professional to avail of a one-on-one consultation regarding this topic.
Second, do research which balls would best fit your playing style and price range. Many consumers stick to a brand familiar to them, and this may be true of golfers as well. If you are fond of a certain brand of clubs, try to find out if they also carry golf balls on their product line.
Lastly, test out your chosen ball or balls. The capacity of anything cannot be found out unless tested on the ground. If this is particularly heavy on the pocket, inquire with your local driving range if they would allow players to do test runs of golf balls.
As with everything else in the world of sport, small things should not be overlooked. After all, one of these small things might cost you someday.