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Did you know that not all golf balls are created equal?
Certain types of golf balls are more suited to highly skilled players like those on the PGA Tour. There are also golf balls that are made with the high handicapper in mind.
There are tons of golf balls out there, but if you shoot a high handicap, which ones are best for you? We break down what type of ball is best for high handicappers and which brands to try.
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What Kind of Golf Ball is Best Suited for High Handicappers?
Is your golf handicap on the high side? If so, this means that you routinely shoot rounds that are 20 strokes or more over par.
Having a high handicap is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since the average handicap is 14.4. Heck, many golfers don’t even know what their handicap is.
Many high handicappers mistakenly use premium golf balls like the Titleist Pro V1 or the Bridgestone B XS. Choosing these types of golf balls can hurt your score and your wallet.
If you’re a high handicapper, here are a few key features to look for in a golf ball.
1. Find a Golf Ball that is Cost-Effective
If you’re a golfer with a high handicap, you’re going to lose lots of golf balls. Most high handicappers struggle with directional issues like massive slices or duck hooks. This leads to lots of shots being hit into the water and trees.
This is why it’s so crucial to find a golf ball that is cost-effective if you’re a high handicapper. Slicing a ball into the lake is always painful, but it’s even more devastating when you’re paying $5 per golf ball. That ends up hurting both your ego and your bank account!
There are many golf balls on the market today in the $0.50 to $2 range. Find something in this price range that fits your game and is kinder to your wallet. This will give you the extra money needed to spend on golf lessons with a seasoned instructor if you want to see a rapid improvement in your game.
2. Pick a Golf Ball with a High Amount of Forgiveness
If you’re a high handicapper, find a golf ball that provides a high level of forgiveness. Pay special attention to the compression rating. The ideal compression rating for a high handicapper is in the 35 to 60 range.
This will reduce the severity of your errant tee shots and give you a better chance of keeping the ball in play. Leave the higher compression ratings to the folks with faster swing speeds.
3. Look for a Golf Ball that is Super Soft
Most high handicappers have slower swing speeds and will benefit greatly from a golf ball with an ultra-soft feel. Soft golf balls will travel the maximum distance while also reducing the dreaded sidespin that causes inaccurate shots on the course.
This is a huge advantage for high handicappers because they’ll get to play more shots from the fairway instead of the tall rough.
Super soft golf balls also perform better both on and around the greens. This is another nice benefit that may help high handicappers shoot lower scores. The fastest way to improve your golf handicap is to improve your short game.
8 Best Golf Balls for People with a High Handicap
Titleist is the most popular brand of golf ball on the PGA Tour and with good reason. These folks know how to make high-quality golf balls! Titleist has been in the golf ball manufacturing business since the 1930s so they’ve stood the test of time.
These beauties are a great deal at only $2.33 each. While that’s a little outside our recommended price range of $0.50 to $2, it’s still half of what the Titleist Pro V1 costs.
When I first started playing golf as a high handicapper, the Velocity was what I played with because of its reduced sidespin and maximum level of forgiveness. I noticed that when I switched to the Velocity, my (heavy) slice wasn’t nearly as severe. That led to a much more enjoyable time on the golf course during my first couple of years of learning the game.
High handicappers will love the higher ball flights they’ll be able to achieve with the Titleist Velocity. That will allow for more precise wedge shots that hopefully end up near the flagstick.
Price: $27.95 per dozen
Amazon recently dropped the price on these wonderful TaylorMade balls so order them soon if you want to try them. They are now only $1.66 per ball, which is one heck of a deal for such a premium brand. You simply cannot beat getting a three-piece golf ball for this low of a price.
If you’re a high handicapper that wants maximum distance off the tee with low sidespin, the TaylorMade Project (s) could be a perfect choice. This golf ball has a two-layer core that reduces driver spin while increasing ball speed.
This leads to longer, straighter drives, which is something all high handicappers dream about. This ball also features a urethane cover, which gives it a nice feel when you strike it on the sweet spot of your club.
The compression rating of the Project (s) is 60 so it is well within our guidelines for high handicappers. The soft ionomer cover gives it a great feel for when it’s time to break out the putter.
Price: $19.97 per dozen
3. Callaway SuperSoft Golf Balls
Though these balls are only $2.08 each, it still feels like you are hitting a premium golf ball. That’s because Callaway has spent tons of time and money in research and development to improve this ball’s performance on the course.
These golf balls are one of the best choices for high handicappers because of Callaway’s HEX Aerodynamics technology. This allows these balls to not only launch higher than other brands but also carry farther.
High handicappers will also love the extra greenside control that this ball provides.
Price: $24.99 per dozen
4. Callaway 2021 ERC Triple Track Golf Balls
These are a bit pricier than the SuperSoft but still a fabulous choice when you consider the extra features. The triple track three lines make it easier than ever to line up putts on the green!
Of all the soft golf balls that Callaway makes, the ERC provides the most distance. The core of the ball works in tandem with the High Speed Mantle to boost your ball speed at impact. This ball also has a high level of durability which means it won’t get scuffed easily and will hold up well in extreme weather conditions.
Price: $34.97 per dozen
5. Wilson Staff Duo Golf Balls
For high handicappers, The Wilson Staff Duo will provide extra distance off the tee and an extremely soft feel on the greens. How does Wilson provide maximum distance at a low price?
The secret lies in the core of the ball and its VelocitiCOR technology. This special technology allows the Duo to be the longest two-piece golf ball in the game today. Most golfers brag about how consistent the Duo performs, no matter what the conditions are on the course.
Price: $28.10 per dozen
6. Bridgestone E12 Golf Balls
We had to put Bridgestone on this list for high handicappers. The E12 flies off the clubface because of the contact force dimples that provide 38% surface contact at impact. This leads to longer, straighter shots with every club in your bag.
The E12 is one of our favorites on this list for improving the short game of high handicappers. This ball rolls incredibly well on the green and has the perfect feel to it when hitting chip and pitch shots.
The E12 also features a sidespin reducing mantle and core that helps reduce slicing and hooking.
Price: $29.97 per dozen
7. Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls
Made with Fastlayer Technology, the core of this golf ball gives you plenty of distance off the tee and a soft feel around the greens. Srixon designed these balls with a 338 Speed Dimple Pattern to further increase distance.
Lots of golfers love the high amount of greenside spin they get with the Srixon Soft Feels. This comes in handy on all chips, pitches, and putts. There is also a nice black line that makes it easier to line up your putts on the green.
Price: $21.99 per dozen
8. Nitro Ultimate Distance Golf Balls (15 Pack)
Nitro designed these balls specifically with the beginner golfer or high handicapper in mind. I played Nitros for several years when first starting and what I loved most was their insanely high durability. Seriously, these golf balls hold up through almost anything.
Nitros are made with a two-piece titanium core that helps the ball explode off of the clubface. Another nice thing about the Nitros is that they won’t spin nearly as much as other golf balls. This is ideal for high handicappers because less spin equals more accuracy.
These are available in Orange, Pink, Yellow, and White. They are also approved by the USGA, so they are legal for tournament play.
Price: $10.81 per case of 15
Golf Ball FAQs
Does it really matter what golf ball you use if you have a high handicap?
YES, the type of ball a high handicap golfer chooses can have a huge impact on their score. Most high handicappers have a slower swing speed so they need a softer golf ball to get the most bang for their buck as far as distance is concerned.
If a high handicapper chooses a harder golf ball (one with a high compression rating), their shots won’t travel as far. Also, high compression golf balls are made to increase spin, which can be problematic for high handicappers that struggle with direction. Most of the time, a harder golf ball will magnify a high handicapper’s weaknesses.
On the other hand, a softer golf ball will help to limit a high handicapper’s problems. Softer golf balls provide a large amount of forgiveness that all high handicappers need.
Do hard or soft golf balls go farther?
This answer is a complex one because it all depends on the golfer’s swing speed. As a general rule, harder golf balls will go farther for golfers with faster swing speeds. However, soft golf balls are the better option for golfers with slow to medium swing speeds.
A common misconception that most high handicappers have is that they’ll lose a ton of distance by switching to a soft golf ball. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Oftentimes, the distance difference between hard and soft golf balls is minimal (within 5 yards or so).
Choose a golf ball that suits your swing speed and skill level. That’s the best way to ensure you’ll get the maximum distance and precise accuracy on your shots.
How to Select the Right Golf Ball for You
Finding the perfect golf ball can be an overwhelming process because of the plethora of options that are out there. Here are some of the factors to consider before deciding on what golf ball is right for you and your game.
1. Swing Speed
Golfers with a fast swing speed will benefit from a golf ball with a higher compression rating. This will allow them to take advantage of their fast swing speed and give them extra yardage. Golfers with medium to slow swing speeds will play better with golf balls with a lower compression rating.
Feel is incredibly important when choosing a golf ball. This is especially true on the greens. You need to feel comfortable with how your golf ball reacts with your putter.
Most golfers prefer a ball with a soft feel because it makes chipping and putting a little bit easier. Harder golf balls tend to react violently off the putter and can end up sliding way past the hole.
This factor is especially important to high handicappers but can be a big factor for highly skilled golfers as well. How often do you mishit a shot? If it happens quite often, you want a golf ball with a large amount of forgiveness.
4. Ball Flight
How high do you like your shots to fly? Golfers who are long off the tee may not want a super high ball flight because it may cost them some distance. These folks may opt for a golf ball with a medium ball flight.
On the other hand, golfers who are rock stars with their short irons and wedges may prefer the highest ball flight possible. This helps them have more control over their approach shots so that they can fire right at the pin!
High handicappers are often hitting from tough lies on the golf course. This means that they need a golf ball that has a high level of durability. Golf balls that are durable not only last longer but are less likely to scuff.
Let’s face it, we all have different budgets and financial situations. Make sure that you choose a golf ball that you can easily afford. There’s no reason for a broke college kid who is just starting to learn the game to pay big money for golf balls.
Remember, if you are a high handicapper, you are going to lose a lot of golf balls. Replacing a $1 ball is a whole lot easier than replacing a $5 ball.
On the other hand, if you are a highly skilled golfer with a handicap in the single digits, you’ll benefit greatly from the premium golf balls. Even though they cost more, you’ll be able to get the kind of spin you want when trying to shape shots (hit cuts and draws).