Convincing someone to change their golf ball after they’ve found “the one” is almost as impossible as talking my 3 year old niece out of “one more race” after we’ve went at it 14 times.
However, new technology has given players a variety of options and it can be overwhelming to KNOW you found “the one.”
Finding a ball that fits your game will free your mind to focus on what matters. You won’t question its performance, and you’ll know you’re getting all you can out of it. Obviously, course conditions, your lie and a bunch of other factors influence your shot, but finding “the one” eliminates an element of uncertainty, which is always beneficial.
How To Evaluate A New Golf Ball
There are two specific criteria I use when I’m evaluating a new golf ball. The first is FEEL and the other is PERFORMANCE.
I have to like how a ball feels if I’m playing it. Usually the softer the better. In most cases there is a correlation between how soft a ball feels and the amount of spin you can put on it. So as a player who likes to have the option of putting a little extra spin on the ball, I prefer the softer feel.
What REALLY matters though, is how a ball performs. How far does it go? How well can I control it? The key to evaluating the true performance of a golf ball is to recognize what outside factors influence the golf ball. The ball isn’t everything. The quality of contact, the lie, and course conditions play a major role in how a ball performs.
To be sure you have evaluated the ball independent of outside factors, you have to give it enough time. It takes a bit of patience, and that may be why so many players are reluctant to change.
Action Steps for Evaluating a New Ball
FIRST – Evaluate the ball you already use and identify any areas you would like to see improvement. Make sure these are things your ball can actually improve.
SECOND – Pick a golf ball that you suspect will offer what you’re looking for. Evaluate it based on feel and performance and give it an honest chance to prove itself. I would rarely think one or even two rounds is enough to tell. Unless of course, you can’t stand how it feels, which has happened to me before. (cough*callaway*cough).
LAST – Make an honest comparison, and listen to your gut. After you have given the new ball enough time, you should have a pretty clear idea for which ball is best for you. Which feels better? Which reacts how you think it should react? Which do you have the most confidence in? Which flies further?
The next time you play, give the ball you’re playing a close evaluation. Does it do everything you want? If you find it could be better in a couple important areas, try out some of the new technology available. If you don’t find big holes in the feel and performance of your current golf ball however, stick with it if it works! Its okay to know you’re using the best.
We all probably have experience with trying out a new golf ball…what was the last new ball you tried out and how did it go? Which ball has been best for you and your game? Tell us in the comments.