It’s the time of year we golfers in the Midwest dread, WINTER! But along with the freezing temps, blistering cold winds and snowfall, come the holidays of giving. Generally, that means every golfer worth his divot repair tool will receive a dozen golf balls as a gift. Most of the time, these gifts will be a dozen Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x. While Pro V1s may seem like a great gift (after all they are the #1 ball in golf and quite pricey), those well-meaning folks are most likely doing you a disservice. Why might you ask? Let’s face facts, your game may not be tour quality and those Pro V1s may be costing you distance and accuracy.
Your car helps you drive, why not your golf ball?
Sure, touring professionals and the best amateurs in the world may play the Titleist Pro V1 or the V1x, but I’m guessing you are neither of those! You are most likely the average golfer and the average golfer usually needs some help with distance, direction or both. Why not get some of that help from the golf ball you play? Seriously, the automobile you’re taking to and from the golf course helps your drive, let your golf ball do the same. Just like there are cars that keep you in your lane, avoid collisions and run on small amounts of energy, there are golf balls designed to help you hit it further, straighter and produce more power with less energy!
I know! I know! You already hit it 300 yards!
The biggest fib I hear during my lessons is students telling me they drive the ball 300 yards. Apparently, everyone has tour length! Just in case you’re not one of those lucky few and could use a few more yards down the fairway, here is my list of the best golf balls for the average golfer. I based this list on price, performance, playability and feedback from my students. They are in no specific order.
- Callaway SuperSoft - $21.99 dozen - The SuperSoft golf ball is a low compression, two-piece ball with a softer cover. This ball with help you hit longer drives that find more fairways. It will also be soft enough to have a little touch around the greens and not feel like a stone coming off the putter face. The SuperSoft comes in traditional white and a few fun colors like orange, pink, yellow and blue.
- Bridgestone e6 - $28.99 dozen - The e6 ball is available in 2 models, Speed and Soft. Both models offer longer, straighter drives with less spin. The Soft adds a touch of greenside control. They are available in white and yellow. BONUS…since the e6 is changing for 2019 and the e12 is being added to fill its old spot in Bridgestone’s line-up, you can readily find these on sale for $19-22 a dozen!
- Srixon Soft Feel - $19.99 dozen - Srixon’s Soft Feel is an amazing ball for $20 dozen. In its 11th generation, the ball has a super soft cover with a low compression core. The Soft Feel should help most players launch the ball higher off the tee with less spin. The new dimple pattern helps keep the ball straighter and more accurate even in the wind. It is available in white and tour yellow while the Soft Feel Lady is available in white and pink.
- Volvik Vivid - $32.99 dozen – Volvik has long had a reputation for producing balls for the average golfer. When they introduced the matte finish Vivid, they again knocked it out of the park. While it is the most expensive of the balls I recommend, it has some great qualities. First, the matte finish really helps make the ball more visible both in the air and on the ground (less lost golf balls). Secondly, Volvik offers the ball in 10 colors, Green, White, Red, Yellow, Orange, Sherbert Orange, Pink, Blue, Mint and Purple. Fun and Functional!
A few side notes about the list.
- Yes I know it says SHERBERT Orange. That’s 100% on Volvik. The color is actually labelled Sherbert Orange.
- Word around the industry is that more matte finish balls are on the way. Both the Callaway SuperSoft and the Bridgestone e12 are slated to have matte finishes in 2019.
- There are many more golf balls that fit into this segment. What I recommend to most of my students are balls that have low spin off the longer clubs, a softer feel and a low compression.