7 Signs You Are Using The Wrong Golf Ball!

Martin Hopley reveals the tell tale signs that show you are using the wrong golf ball

7 Signs You Are Using the Wrong Ball
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Choosing the right golf ball can be a bit of a minefield. Usually the decision breaks down to some combination of distance, control and price, particularly if you regularly don’t make it through a round with the same ball.

Using one of the best golf balls for your game can help you shoot lower scores. However, if you are using the wrong ball for your game then it will be clear from the following signs...

1 It’s doesn’t go far enough, part 1
We all would like it to go further, but if the ball balloons with your driver then it is probably spinning too much. Switch to one of the best low spin golf balls and it should lower the flight and also reduce how much offline it goes too.

2 It’s doesn’t go far enough, part 2
Another reason could be the compression of the ball. Soft balls compress more at high speed as they are, well, softer. If you have a mid-to-high swing speed with your driver of 95 mph or more then move to a firmer ball as it will retain more of the energy at impact and hopefully gain more distance.

3 My irons shots go too high
Again this goes back to spin and firmness, which is usually generated by the core and the cover. A lower spinning ball will bring down your peak flight height, but it may not stop as quickly when it lands. Firmer balls are more also likely to fly higher as they compress less on impact and don’t ‘roll-up’ the face of the golf club and launch higher.

Chipping spin and feel

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

4 My chips don’t stop quick enough
This is a mainly a cover issue as cast urethane cover balls will offer more spin on these shorter shots around the green. These are the covers found on most of the best premium golf balls, hence why they are the most expensive. Most mid to cheaper balls have ionomer covers that are just as durable, but in general don’t offer the same level of control. To see what works for you, take a couple of each to a practice green and chip from 30 yards and see which one gives you the control you need.

5 I struggle with the ball in the wind
This is a spin and aerodynamics issue. As already mentioned, a ball that spins more will fly higher and go offline more. But downwind you may need the spin to stop the ball. Several premium balls are renowned for being better in the wind due to the aerodynamics of the dimple pattern which makes them fly straighter. They usually come in firm/soft and higher spin/lower spin options, so take them all out and hit them in a crosswind and see which gives you the flight you need.

6 I lose track of the ball in the sky
Hitting it out of site already with these tips? White is not always the best colour and these days if you struggle to see you ball in flight there are plenty of choices. The classic luminous yellow, green and pink are great options. Stick to the brighter ones and avoid darker colours such as blue and black and as they can be harder to see, especially in dappled sunlight.

golf ball alignment aid

Callaway's Triple Track alignment being used to help with aiming off the tee

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

7 I struggle to align my ball
Some people prefer to have a clean look at address, but others prefer some assistance. If you want a certain type of line, it’s probably out there. Either you can get your sharpie out and draw some lines on, or you can use balls with alignment aids printed on them.

Callaway’s Tripe Track balls have three lines in two different colours and widths, which also tie into similar lines on their putters. If you like ‘football’ designs then Callaway’s Truvis and TaylorMade Pix use a repeated shape across the ball to assist with alignment and to show the roll of the ball after impact on the green. 

Martin Hopley

Martin Hopley is one of the foremost UK equipment reviewers with over 20 years' experience. As the former founder of Golfalot.com he was an early pioneer of online reviews and has also been a regular contributor to other titles. He is renowned for his technical knowledge and in-depth analysis, which he now brings to Golf Monthly.