There is no “best golf ball” for everyone. The best ball for you will match your specific skill set and needs. Factors to consider are: handicap, consistency striking the ball, swing speed, and your specific focus areas for improvement. Your budget may also be a factor.

Understanding your player specific needs, your budget, and the characteristics of each type of ball will allow you to make the best decision about what you need.


Understanding what makes golf balls perform differently can give you better insight into your choices. We’ve compiled just about everything you could ever want to know about golf balls in one place to make it easier for you. Investing a little time upfront to understand these details will save you time and confusion when new balls come out every year with new claims of awesomeness.

Knowing what you’re looking for and how to match it to your game specifically will help you narrow down the choices that make sense for you. Making an informed decision between 5 or 6 products will help you refine what you’re looking for and narrow it down enough that you can identify the top 2 or 3 balls you want to purchase and try out.

First we will walk through the elements that make up the golf ball and the different choices and tradeoffs associated with each. Then we will get into more detail about how to best match this to your game and your budget

Elements of the Golf Ball

There are several factors that combine to determine how a ball will respond at impact. Factors like spin, distance, and ball flight are determined by how the ball is made. We will discuss the effect that each component has on performance. Every ball is a different combination of a core, one or more layers, a cover (which can be made up of multiple types of material), and dimple pattern.

Golf Ball Construction

Two-Piece Golf Balls

Two-piece golf balls are the less expensive of the two but can still be a good choice, especially for beginners. They are made from a large solid core and a cover. The cover is normally a surlyn cover. The hard cover makes the ball more durable — it is less prone to abrasion than the urethane cover used on more expensive balls. Very helpful if you are bouncing your balls off of every tree and cart path in sight!

This construction gives the ball a harder “feel” than more expensive balls. On shots around the green a softer ball is easier to hit; it will have more spin and be less likely to go flying across the green.

Two-piece balls typically have less spin off the tee as well. This can benefit a golfer who has trouble with hooks or slices. The low spin helps a golfer hit a straighter shot.

Budget Considerations: Two-Piece balls are cheaper and a good choice if you are still losing more than a sleeve or two balls per round and/or bouncing off of more concrete, tree bark, or fences than is ideal.

Multi-Layer Golf Balls

Multi-layer golf balls are ideal for mid-to-low handicappers with faster swing speeds. The additional layer/layers elevate control, feel and shot sculpting. The thinner cover further enhances spin control and provides soft, crisp feel. A three piece ball adds an extra layer, called a mantle, between the core and the cover.

Most, but not all three part balls have a Urethane cover which enhances “feel” and improves performance around the green.

Three, Four and Five piece balls will have more spin than a two-piece ball. For a golfer that tends to slice or hook the ball, this can make those problems worse.

Budget considerations: Multi Layer balls are more expensive and less durable than two piece

The Core of the Golf Ball: Compression

Compression refers to the overall density of the ball. The ability of the ball to compress is what provides the spring like effect as the ball comes off the club. Golfers with a slower swing speed benefit from using a low compression ball because it requires less force to “compress” the ball at impact. This allows the golfer with a slow swing speed to gain more distance than they would with a higher compression ball. Beginners, ladies, and senior players often favor low compression balls for this reason.

Golfers with a high swing speed do not necessarily need a low compression ball to achieve the same result.

Budget considerations: Compression alone will not drive price in most brands. Low compression balls for example, are available with both Urethane and Surlyn covers and can be found at all price points.

Low Compression Golf Balls 2022

The Golf Ball Cover: Feel and Spin

There are two main types of golf ball covers: Surlyn  and urethane.

Surlyn is an ionomer resin developed by DuPont and has been in use for over 50 years. Covers made of Surlyn are more durable than those made of Urethane and have lower spin off the tee.

Urethane covers offer greater feel and control, especially around the green. Urethane covers are used on more expensive balls and are most often used by more experienced players with lower handicaps.

Budget considerations: Surlyn is used most often on cheaper balls. The most expensive golf balls will almost always have Urethane covers, although some brands have begun producing their own proprietary cover material.

Golf Ball Dimple Patterns: Ball Flight

Dimples control the aerodynamics of the ball as it flies. The dimples create both lift and drag. The number and type of dimples will impact distance, spin, and stability. If a golf ball was completely smooth, for example, it would travel a much shorter distance.

Dimple Depth and Spin Rate

The trajectory of the ball is determined by both the dimple design and the spin rate. The more shallow the dimples and the higher the spin rate, the higher the ball flight. When designing a golf ball, the dimple pattern can be adjusted to adjust or offset the impact of the spin rate.

Dimples cause the ball to spin and more shallow dimples create a higher spin rate. The spin of the ball causes the ball to rise in the air, which translates to a longer time in the air.

Deeper dimples will result in less spin and less loft.

Balls with more dimples are generally easier to control but in terms of overall performance, the pattern and depth matter more than the total number.

For example, deeper dimples will result in a lower flight than more shallow dimples.

Dimple Pattern

The layout of the dimples helps to determine the trajectory, the amount of drag and the launch height.

Elements of your Game

There is no “best golf ball” for everyone. The best ball for you will match your specific skill set and needs. Factors to consider are: handicap, consistency striking the ball, swing speed, and your specific focus areas for improvement. Your budget may also be a factor.

For example, If the weakest part of your game is your short game, you may want to choose a ball based on feel. If you are having trouble reaching the green in regulation most of the time but your short game is strong, then distance may be more important to you than feel.

Finally, if you are losing two or three sleeves of balls per round, maybe your number one consideration may have to be your budget!