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Golf Balls for Beginners: A Guide

A golf ball for beginners on a tee and in front of a golf club

Newer golfers may not know how big of an impact golf balls can have on your game. There is a reason that experienced golfers all have a go-to ball, and why premium golf balls go for so much more than budget options. This doesn’t mean new golfers should break the bank by buying the most popular or coveted ball. Instead, beginner golfers should be aware of exactly what goes into choosing a golf ball and how to make the value judgement for themselves on whether it is worth the money to reach higher up on the shelf for a nicer ball.

In this guide on golf balls for beginners, we will cover:

  • How golf balls can impact your shot
  • What beginners should look for in golf balls
  • Where to buy them

Let’s dive into each and give golfers a better idea of how to buy golf balls when you’re just starting.

How Golf Balls Can Impact Your Shot

Different golf balls are built toward varied goals, and several features in a golf ball can determine how they will feel at impact and how they’ll affect your shot path:

Soft vs Hard Cover The hardness of a golf ball’s cover will impact its spin, affecting the carry distance and the control a golfer has over their shot.
Compression Compression impacts energy transfer which can suit different golfers based on their swing speed.
Internal Construction The internal construction can impact every aspect of a golf shot path.

Soft vs Hard Golf Balls

The hardness of a golf ball’s surface will impact the trajectory of the ball mainly through the amount of spin that the ball will promote. Softer balls will provide more spin, making them easier to control but decreasing their carry distance. Harder balls provide less spin which typically promotes better distance, but they are impacted less by small adjustments made at impact to influence the shape of your shot, and may not stop as quickly as a softer ball.

Compression

The compression of a golf ball impacts the energy transfer between the ball and the club at impact. Higher compression ratings indicate that a golf ball will allow less energy to be transferred to the ball as some will be lost to compression, lower compression means that more energy will be transferred and less will be lost to compression. This doesn’t mean that lower compression is always better, though.

Golfers with higher swing speeds will want more compression because the reduction in energy transfer can provide more stability and control on their iron and wedge shots. Those with slower swing speeds will benefit from lower compression to get more distance despite the slower speed.

Internal Construction

The construction of a golf ball is usually comprised of three main parts:

  • The Core
  • The Mantle
  • The Cover

Mostly, you won’t get much specific information about these parts when buying a golf ball. Nonetheless, it is good to know their role in changing the shape of a golf shot so that you know that they do make a difference, and it isn’t all just marketing fluff.

The Core

The core of a golf ball is the material at the center, and it comprises most of the ball’s mass. The function of the core is to give the ball enough weight to carry farther through the air, as a hollow ball does not move very far from the point of contact. The core material also affects the ball’s compression, which we covered in the above section.

The Mantle

The mantle is the layer of material between the cover and the core, and it provides waterproofing for the core, and it’s thickness and material can impact the spin characteristics of a ball.

The Cover

The cover is the ball’s outer layer, and it impacts feel, spin, and aerodynamics. We already covered what its hardness can impact, but the dimples present on the outside will also improve aerodynamics and make the ball fly through the air more effectively. The dimples disrupt airflow around the ball, making it stay in the air longer.

What Beginners Should Look For in Golf Balls

While many of these features are important, beginners have different needs than more experienced golfers. The main thing differentiating the golf ball purchasing strategy for beginners is losing your golf balls on the course.

When you’re just starting out, you’ll lose a lot of golf balls. This is one of the biggest reasons why it is probably not the best idea for newer golfers to buy the most premium golf balls. While golf balls can impact your game, the impact isn’t big enough to make up for some of the more severe mistakes that new golfers make, and they aren’t going to make up for poor contact or a severe slice or hook. 

So, when buying golf balls as a beginner, the three things you should look for are:

Soft or Hard Cover Ensuring you get the right cover for your needs still helps your game. Most beginners prefer the control and feel of a soft cover, but putting with a harder ball can be a bit easier.
A Reliable, Well-Known Brand When looking for your go-to ball, make sure you buy balls from a reputable brand with a track record of quality balls. Anything you can find at a specialty golf shop should be fine.
Value When you’re just starting, try out balls closer to the $20-30 range per dozen. This will allow you to try a few different types of balls, and lose plenty, without emptying your bank account.

By following these general guidelines, you’ll likely find a ball that you love fairly quickly. You’ll also be able to keep buying those balls whenever you need, even if you have some rough days at the course and lose a couple of sleeves’ worth.

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to go get a golf ball fitting at a specialty golf shop with a professional. The expert staff at a shop that offers these services will have you hit a couple different types of balls, and find one at your desired price point to help you zero in on the right ball for you.

Get Help With Golf Balls for Beginners at Worldwide Golf Shops

Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to new golfers and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele, making us one of the best places to buy golf balls for beginners.

Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of all of the following:

At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today! 

Trevor Cigich

Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing |  Worldwide Golf Shops

I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.

For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.