Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Golf Balls

Size of the ball
The "Rules of Golf" says that a golf ball's diameter must be a minimum of 1.680 inches / 42.67 mm. A smaller ball would fly much further than a larger ball. The reason for this is simple: with a smaller diameter the ball has less air resistance, or in other words, it displaces less air as it flies. Because of this, most manufacturers produce golf balls with the minimal diameter (1.680 inches / 42.67 mm). The rules also state that the ball must be round, but I guess you knew that...

Weight of the ball
A golf ball's weight must not exceed 1.620 oz./ 45.93 g according to the "Rules of Golf". The heavier the ball, the greater its momentum, and the less it would be slowed down by air resistance. Hence it would tend to fly further. For this reason most manufacturers produce golf balls with the heaviest sanctioned weight of 1.620 oz./ 45.93 g.

Compression Rates
In the manufacturing process, some two-piece, and all three-piece balls are rated by their compression measurements. This is done by pressuring them with a standard weight

Balls that don't deform at all are rated Compression 200, while balls that deform by 0.2" or above are rated Compression 0. These are the two extremes, and between them balls are rated in intervals of 0.001 inches. The Standard Compression rate is usually 90 or 100. the higher the compression rate the harder the feel, and vice versa. Almost every ball is subject to a compression rating. Compression rates of 80 and 100 are also found.

However, manufacturers are not bound by an official standard. Hence one manufacturer's compression rate of 100 can be different to another manufacturer's compression rate of 100. This can mount up to a 3.5 point difference in either direction. In addition, some balls don't even have the compression rate printed on them.

According to a host of surveys, low speed swing players are better off using balls with a Compression rate of 80. Players with an average speed swing should choose Compression 100, and Compression 110 is best for high swing speed players.

The weather should always be taken into consideration when deciding on compression rates to use. Low compression balls are best for colder weather, while high compression balls perform better in hot weather.

Tips for choosing the right balls for you:

Considerations for Driving
Distance balls are designed to fly further and with more accuracy. This means you will be less likely to land in the rough, in a hazard, or out of bounds. Distance balls have their drawbacks, however, as they will be harder to stop on the green. Mid to high handicappers should favor a distance ball. If you would like more detailed advice we recommend getting the Senior Golfers Guide, a great resource for older Golfers. On 210 pages it covers every aspect of golf from a senior's perspective, and for just $29.50 we think this is money well spent.

Optimum Performance in Your Approach
Spin balls are made with outer layers that take on more spin when you strike them with angled club faces. Drawing or fading around obstacles and hazards therefore becomes easier, as they will bend more to the left or right. They also take on more backspin when struck with a lofted club - this is important, as the balls will therefore stop more quickly on the green.

Whilst spin balls used to be made with fragile outer layers that were prone to damage, this problem has now been largely averted with the introduction of solid multilayer construction, replacing the old flimsy balata covers.

Getting More Control
Distance balls designed to stop quickly when on the green, but with minimum risk of slicing or hooking are known as control balls. The Nike One and Titleist Pro V1 are members of the new generation of balls that are so versatile they will perform in any situation.

Balls for Slow Swingers
Known variously as Ladies or Senior balls, these balls increase driving distance to improve the scores of players with slower, less powerful swings.

Choosing the Right Putting Ball
Differently designed balls will roll for different distances on the green. As a rule of thumb, harder balls role further. The difference is more than you would think. Teaching professionals recommend that you putt with the same kind of ball all the time, as this will help you to calibrate, feel, learn and reproduce the connection between stroke strength and distance. As most balls aren't perfectly balanced, they won't roll absolutely true, but higher quality balls will be generally more likely to stay on course, due to higher standards of quality control during manufacture.

Try to always play with the same balls that you practice with. So if you can't afford to practice with a high quality ball, don't switch when playing competitions. A ball that has been overused will no longer be spherical, and so is no good to you. Play balls that you can afford to replace regularly.

Source: The above information is just a small morsel taken from the Senior Golfers Guide. This 210 page ebook is full of golf tips and advice like the above, and for just $29.50 we think every Senior Golfer should have it.