One of golf's biggest thrills is to test new balls. It's so easy and inexpensive-just buy a sleeve and you're good to go. I've never been particularly drawn to the "hot" Tour ball du jour. Instead, I just want the one that gets me in the hole. Part of the intrigue is that every model offers a distinct combination of spin, feel and total performance. To check out some new offerings, see "High Rollers" in the September issue of GOLF MAGAZINE.
How should you select a ball? Let GOLF MAGAZINE's Top 100 Teachers guide you. Here's some wonderful advice for all to enjoy.
"Assuming your clubs are fitted properly, you can best find the ideal launch properties by testing various balls with launch equipment. The ideal spin rate and launch angle will maximize not only distance off the driver but also accuracy with the irons." - TJ Tomasi, Nantucket, Mass.
"Low ball hitters should use a high-spin ball. Slicers should get a low-spin ball. And those who need distance should try a 2-piece distance ball." - Jim Suttie, Lemont, Ill.
"The ball that works best when putting and chipping should trump a distance ball." - Bruce Patterson, Oak Brook, Ill.
"Many golfers tend to want to play what the Tour pros are using. It's a huge mistake for their game. I use statistics from my students' rounds of golf to help paint an accurate picture of their weaknesses. If they are not hitting many greens in regulation, they're hitting more chips/pitches/sand shots. Therefore, they should be hitting a ball that is a bit softer to help them around the greens more. As they get better, we may change them into a firmer cover ball for distance." - Steve Bosdosh, Beallesville, Md.
"Find a ball that best fits your needs: distance, control, spin, or one that provides a combination of features." - Glenn Deck, Irvine, Calif.
"Do a fitting on a launch monitor to find the right ball." - Keith Lyford, Sacramento, Calif.
"Too many high handicappers play with a high-performance ball rather than a good solid 2-piece ball." - Dana Rader, Charlotte, N.C.
"Test balls when playing on the course where the differences can be seen." - Jim Murphy, Sugarland, Texas