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Golf is an expensive sport, that’s no secret. If you’re a keen golfer who loves to get out on the course on the weekends, you know how expensive golf balls can be.
However, sometimes all you want is some reliable playing equipment at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for the best golf balls for the average golfer, you’ve come to the right place.
We have the industry expertise and resources to tell you all you need to know about finding, purchasing, and assessing golf balls. A ton of research has gone into this complete guide, which will highlight key features that differentiate golf balls from one another and also tackles the crucial issues of affordability and value for money.
We begin our product roundup with a premium option from Titleist. This ball is aimed at those who are comfortable with their golfing skills and want something a little higher-quality that they can be confident using.
We’ll break this ball down by each layer since there are a lot of features and specifications that come with this ball.
Firstly, the core is designed to help the ball travel further as it returns less spin and gives the ball greater speed when hit. The information is crucial because the distance that your ball goes is an important factor in your game.
If you’re looking for a premium option that still has the qualities of a basic ball, this is for you!
The casing layer, made of a thin, responsive ionomeric material, enhances ball speed and reduces spin to optimize your stroke response.
The cover of this ball is made from soft urethane elastomer which helps the ball to settle once it lands and gives it a soft feel while maintaining the durability of the ball.
In addition to all this, the ball is easy on the eye. The timeless and straightforward Titleist design is iconic in many ways, achieving the luxury aesthetic.
The only downside to this ball is the price. It’s a high-end ball, therefore, it’s not ideal for beginners. However, if you’re prepared to spend extra you will reap the benefits with this opulent product.
However, if you are very experienced and have the cash to spare, we recommend that you give this ball a shot. Titleist has a reputation for producing great products and given the construction of this ball, we believe that it can serve a wide range of golfers who want a top-shelf product.
Durable, but soft outer layer
Reputable Titleist name
Helps with distance
More expensive than other options
This is another premium ball from Titleist, but the feel is a little firmer, which is useful if you have an inclination towards a slightly harder ball.
Available in 12-ball packs, the Titleist Pro V1x Prior Generation Golf Balls White balls provide high flight, low long game spin, high iron spin, and high short game spin. If these specifications work for you, check these out! They’re a direct upgrade on the V1 model, providing a higher ball flight and greater spin control.
As is the case with many high-end balls, there are some concerns with affordability. Titleist is not known for offering affordable gear, and these balls are no exception. This is not a viable option for someone budget-conscious.
Manufactured by Titleist
Built for distance and spin control
Not for the budget conscious
Here, Wilson is offering a much more affordable product which comes in at up to 4 times cheaper than other premium golf balls.
These balls are made of composite material and carry an aggressive core, offering a balance between explosive distance and a soft feel, giving you ultimate control.
The Wilson Staff Fifty Elite Golf Balls are made from aerodynamic material that allows them to soar through the air with ease, giving your shots the maximum distance possible and could set you up for some awesome eagle and birdie opportunities.
The newly-improved rubber core is up to 22% softer than comparable balls, giving you much better influence over your shots. In addition to the benefits of the inner construction, the outside of the two-piece balls are durable and easy to locate.
Another perk, these balls are available in multiple colors to accommodate for those who would want to use these as practice balls, or simply enjoy the novelty of the vibrant selection.
Though these aren’t the most premium balls on the market, they are perfect for the average golfer. They deliver good quality and soft feel and represent excellent value. These are probably the most well-suited balls in our list for the average golfer who needs something reliable and affordable.
Not made from high-tech materials like some premium options
Earlier in our guide, we touched on 2-piece golf balls and discussed how they have a reputation for being great beginner balls that travel a crazy long distance. This is a great example of a 2-piece ball that is intended for novice players to bomb down the fairway.
Even if you’re a more developed player, you can be sure that this ball will compensate for less powerful swings due to its 2-piece construction.
It has a high energy core that contributes to that distance, a durable cover to protect it from your club and various impacts, and an aerodynamic outer material to cut through the wind and get you as close to the tee as possible.
This is a wonderfully simple ball which doesn’t come at a considerable cost. It won’t offer you world-class performance or spin control out of this ball, but it provides relatively good value for money.
These balls cost well under $1/ball and deliver a unique property that some of the higher-end balls don’t offer due to their construction: outstanding distance. This ball is specially formulated for that singular purpose, and as such, it’s an excellent option for the average or beginner golfer who wants to hit some long shots with their driver.
If you love having fun or are just trying to get a feel for your power, we recommend these balls to you as a highly affordable option that you can have fun with until you’re ready to move up to something a bit more sophisticated.
Helps you hit the ball further more consistently
The most affordable option on our list
Made from Wilson, a reputable company
Advanced 2-piece construction
Has a durable, cut-resistant cover
Doesn’t do much to help reduce spin
TaylorMade balls don’t carry the prestige and luxury feel of a Titleist ball, but they more than makeup for it in quality construction.
This is a 5-piece ball, which we know is the most complex ball that you can get. We typically only recommend these balls for experts or pros, but this ball isn’t too extortionate and has some features that can be utilized by the average golfer who is willing to spend that little bit extra to take a big step up in quality.
The great thing about a 5-piece ball is that it isn’t just aimed at one purpose, like a 2-piece ball. A5-piece ball can work with every club in your bag to achieve a wide range of outcomes.
The core of this ball is designed to offer progressive compression and maximum energy transfer between your club and the ball. This means that it provides good distance as well as great spin control to keep your ball straight as much as possible.
While the core deals with the fundamentals, the outer layer helps you refine your short game skills with an ultra-soft cast urethane cover and a semi-rigid inner cover. This helps foster maximum contact between the cover and the grooves of your club, letting you put your own spin on the ball and giving you great results when using a wedge.
If you care about careful and refined performance and control around the green, this ball could be the one for you.
Extremely high quality but still reasonably priced
5-piece design offers maximum versatility
High-quality core helps with the fundamentals
Outer layer helps your short game
Beginners or amateurs might not know enough about club control to use this ball to its full potential
Significant investment for an average everyday golfer
Before you find the ideal golf ball for you, there are some considerations that you should keep in mind.
Understanding these factors will help you to ensure that you purchase the best product.
Remember, the most important thing is that the ball meets your level of play.
So, knowing what those needs are before you start shopping is going to be a big part of the solution to finding the best golf ball for you.
Try to avoid feeling pressured to buy the most expensive balls, or going for the ones that your friends are using – you might require something different, and that’s okay!
Golf balls aren’t the most expensive piece of golf equipment in terms of upfront cost, but they are a piece of equipment that requires continuous replacement.
Though most golf balls serve the same purpose, they range widely in quality and price.
They’re also constructed differently, which leads to differences in pricing, but you can generally expect effectiveness to improve directly as price rises.
Golf balls typically come in packs of twelve and can range in cost anywhere from $5-50 per dozen.
So, when purchasing golf balls, you want to strike a balance between a ball that meets your needs while also being affordable for your lifestyle.
You are likely going to be purchasing balls repeatedly as and when you need them, so opting for and developing an affinity with balls that cost $50 per dozen might not be the best idea for those on a tight budget.
The speed of your swing is likely going to have an impact on which ball you decide to purchase.
Some balls are tailored for those with slow swings while others are designed specifically for golfers who swing fast and hard.
An essential factor that you should consider when deciding which ball to get for a fast swing is the compression of the ball.
Golf balls have varying degrees of compression. A ball with high compression is tough and does not compress much when struck, while a ball with a lower compression will morph when hit by the club.
Your swing speed won’t be the only factor to account for in your choice, but it’s certainly something that you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for balls.
If you have trouble keeping the ball in the fairway on your drives, this is something to remember during your search for balls.
There are balls out there that are designed and marketed for those who experience control issues, such as skewed drives.
If you have problems controlling the straightness of your ball on your drives, you’ll want to steer towards balls that have a lower compression.
The reason for this is that these balls don’t have as much spin due to the low compression.
When you have less spin, the ball won’t move as much in either direction, and you’ll start to achieve a straighter shot.
Getting a straight shot off the tee is crucial to getting good scores and, and if you can impact that with your ball selection, it’s a no brainer.
Make sure to think about getting low compression balls if your control is a concern.
You can add distance to your shot with specific varieties of ball.
Once again, the primary factor here is going to be compression.
If you want to add distance to your shot, you’ll need to target balls that have low compression as they can help with problems regarding control and range.
If you have a slow swing or lower power than the average golfer, you can account for those shortcomings in your ball selection.
Another way of working through these problems is purchasing a ball that has an aerodynamic design and extra-smooth exterior; this will help the ball travel through the air further and more efficiently while reducing drag.
As golf and technology progress, we begin to see more and more golf balls that utilize advanced technology as part of their strategy to help golfers achieve longer and more controlled shots.
Many balls claim to have groundbreaking technology built into them to help golfers achieve these goals, but is it worth using them?
The short answer is yes.
As golf balls become more advanced, you can certainly see a positive effect on the amount of control and power that golfers have over their shots.
Modern golf balls can travel further more efficiently after being struck, and there is data to support that.
When you are shopping for golf balls, it will be useful to buy some that include this modern technology to get better results out of your shots.
One thing is clear: technology affects how well a golf ball travels through the air and how much energy it can retain to go further with each shot.
If you want to get the most out of your golf balls, you need to understand them properly, including knowing about different materials and construction methods.
You may not know this, but there are, in fact, five different types of golf ball, and each type is better suited for different playing styles.
We’re going to give you the complete crash course in golf ball construction and how each type translates directly onto the course due to differences in spin and accuracy.
As you add more pieces to a golf ball, they become increasingly complex and have more features. As a golf ball with a singular piece, this type is pretty simple.
A 1-piece ball is the basic golf ball that you can buy, and as such, it’s very affordable.
These are the balls that you will be using if you are a beginner. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using these balls, but they are just best suited towards a golfer who doesn’t utilize spin much and is just trying to feel their way into the game.
Driving ranges and mini-golf locations use 1-piece balls because of their expendability, simplicity, and price.
If you are a serious golfer who wants to play the game at a high level, you should move on from these pretty quickly.
For a step up, you can explore 2-piece golf balls; these balls are for the golfer that has a firm grasp on the game and wants something with a little extra quality.
This type of golf ball has a solid core made from rubber which is surrounded by a hard exterior cover usually made from surlyn or urethane.
While this ball is a step up from a 1-piece ball, it’s not the highest-quality ball out there.
It is still suitable for beginners that want something basic that will travel slightly further than 1-piece balls.
Indeed, the primary benefit of this kind of ball is that it will roll further than any other type of golf ball, including 3-piece, 4-piece, and 5-piece balls which are of significantly higher quality.
2-Piece balls inherently prioritize distance while the ones above it are more geared towards control over power.
If you are a beginner who is having trouble getting the most of your swings or a more experienced golfer who wants to opt for a distance-based strategy, this is probably the ball for you.
3-piece balls are entry level balls for highly experienced players or professionals.
The core of 3-piece balls have a solid-liquid or rubber internal center with an enhanced rubber second layer.
To top it off, you have the highly durable Surlyn outer layer.
If you want to start exerting more control over your shots, this would be the ball that you would start with to achieve that result.
4-piece balls offer another step up in control.
Their elaborate construction makes them an excellent choice for golfers who want even more control over spin and the ability to fine tune their shots.
A 4-piece ball has a solid rubber center that is surrounded by two cover layers and an outer layer, typically made from urethane.
A 5-piece golf ball is the most complex and premium type of golf ball that you can buy.
With 5-piece golf balls, you have a lot of options for swing styles and velocities, as each layer is specially designed to serve a different type of shot.
Generally, these balls are only used by paid professionals and the ultra-experienced.
Great question! That is the whole point of this article, after all.
The best golf ball for the average golfer is going to be one that offers a combination of control, distance, and affordability.
Since the average golfer is likely not going to be dabbling in spin control to a great extent, we recommend that average golfers opt for anything between a 2- and 4-piece ball.
Ultimately the decision comes down to you, your skill level, your playing style, and your budget.
If you feel that you are experienced enough to move up through the balls, then go for it!
Remember: 2-piece balls are the best for getting distance on your shots, so if this is something that you struggle with, bear them in mind.
Now that you have some background knowledge on golf balls and their varying construction and features, you are ready to explore precisely what specific characteristics make for a good golf ball for average golfers.
This guide is going to walk you through each determining factor and what effect it has on the golf ball and, in turn, your game.
You may find some elements here more relevant to your search than others, but remember that all of them play a role in the suitability of a ball, so be sure to keep them all in mind.
As a golfer, you know that accuracy is a huge factor.
Accuracy is one of the fundamentals of golfing and while accuracy issues are one of the most frustrating things to contend with on the course, it is one of the most manageable facets of your game to improve through practice.
The more accurate you are, the lower your score will be, and the better off you’ll be.
However, there’s not one set formula for getting an accurate golf ball.
Most of that depends on you, the golfer.
What will determine your accuracy is your ability to adapt to the construction of any given ball in a way that benefits your game.
You don’t need to be accurate with every ball: even pros struggle with this! You need to find the one that provides you the most accuracy.
Trial and error is essential for learning, so we encourage you to try out golfing with multiple types and constructions of balls to see which one suits you best.
Once you find a ball that seems to suit your game well, you could start experimenting with different brands to optimize your game further.
If you identify a particular ball that you are comfortable using, and you see improvement in your game, then stick with it, but don’t be afraid to shop around a little: what’s to say there isn’t something even better out there?
When it comes to construction of the ball, the best thing that you can do to control the accuracy is to pick a ball with multiple layers.
Modern golf ball science has evolved in such a way that it is possible to hit the ball accurately by opting for a ball that has multiple layers.
Having a lot of spin on a ball can also be useful for very experienced players, but spin can be a tricky beast to tame for non-pros.
Spin will carry the ball in different directions that vary wildly from your intended path, so it’s best to avoid balls that claim to offer high levels of spin unless you are very experienced and can control it to your advantage.
The distance that your ball travels is another component of golfing success.
Getting a reasonable distance will set you up for better shots and give you better chances to make par or score below it.
Distance is a huge concern for a lot of beginners who gauge success by how far they can hit the ball, but the real skill comes in getting range on your swings while also maintaining control on the ball.
The distance that a golf ball will travel when you strike it is mostly dependent on how much compression it has.
Getting the right compression for your swing is crucial in a lot of ways, but especially so if you’re struggling to cover as much distance as you’d like with your shots.
You should start to prioritize distance if you are a novice or if you have already mastered spin and direction control.
You can be the straightest shooter in the world, but you won’t be getting any eagles if you can’t get reasonable distance on your shots consistently.
Make sure that whichever ball you get is optimized for your game to get as much distance as you can on each shot.
This way, you’ll be able to edge out the competition and realize your full potential as a golfer.
Golf ball prices are unique when compared against other golfing equipment.
Usually, one upfront cost for a piece of equipment should see you right for a while, but golf balls need to be purchased continuously due to wear and tear and depending on how many you lose!
Understandably, they can occupy a large part of your golfing budget if you are losing them a lot or you are buying expensive balls that aren’t expendable.
Therefore, you shouldn’t think of golf balls as a one time expense at all, but rather a recurring cost that you need to ensure you can commit to continue playing golf regularly.
Make sure before you commit to a ball that you can handle the financial commitment of using and replacing it.
You can always switch if you find you are spending too much on golf balls, but then you have to get used to an entirely different golf ball and work through the familiarisation process again.
The key here is to find a ball that suits your needs but also offers you excellent value for money.
We recommend that you find a middle-tier golf ball and you can move up or down from there as you see fit and as you try to find the perfect ball.
Construction is perhaps the one category that has a hand in all the other categories.
The construction of a golf ball dictates every other property of the ball, affecting distance, spin, and effectiveness.
The best way to determine the ideal construction for your game is to understand which properties are most important to you and decide what you need concerning each of them.
For instance, if you have decided that you want a low spin rate but a lot of distance, you should try to source a golf ball that is constructed with the ideal amount of compression and with the right amount of pieces for that to occur.
While some brands are more durable and higher-quality than others, most golfers will tell you that the brand is often just a matter of preference.
It’s fine to remain consistent once you’re playing at a good standard, but as a beginner or an average golfer, you should keep your mind and options open so that you have the highest chances of finding a brand that works best for you.
If you go into the process dedicated to one brand, your options are limited, and thus the level that your gameplay can reach is potentially limited.
So, while you can be picky with your brands, later on, the immediate goal is to locate and stick with brands based on your own experience, not your preconceived ideas on their reputation.
If you can get golf balls that last a long time and can resist wearing for longer, you’ll have to spend significantly less throughout your golfing career on new ones.
As golf balls wear, they become much less effective and might not travel how they did when they were new because the surface of the ball loses its thread, and through compressing and retracting over and over again, the ball doesn’t move as intended.
The surface of a golf ball is susceptible to scratches and scuffs, which can alter its trajectory and wind resistance.
The durability of a golf ball has a significant impact on the quality of your shots.
For that reason, you should find one that has a highly durable outer shell and robust inner construction as well; this will not only improve your performance but also save you money in the long run.
We’ve had a chance to walk you through the essential knowledge that you should have when shopping for golf balls as well as some of the best options out there.
So, which one is the best?
We have our favorite, but we want to remind you that the truly best ball is the one that fits your own game best.
We have chosen the Wilson Staff Fifty Elite golf balls as our best overall ball, after weighing up the pros and cons of the above selection.
Not only do these balls offer some features that allow you to reap the benefits of a more premium ball, but they also are one of the most affordable options on our list.
They represent excellent value for money and won’t cost an arm and a leg to replace if you lose them on your outings.
The average golfer will get a lot of use out of the durable covers and maximum distance out of the specially-designed core.
Remember, when you are shopping for golf balls, be sure to always follow our guide for what factors to consider and be sure to understand the composition of the ball.
Finding the best golf balls for the average golfer also entails checking that you can afford the cost per ball.
Most importantly, just to reiterate: examine the properties of your own game before you make any investments.
If you do this, you will be in a much more favorable position to get the ball that’s right for you.