Golf Ball in Grass

The Beginner’s Guide to Golf Balls: Buying, Using, Proper Etiquette

Golf balls are such a standard part of the game that you might not even think about what kind you are buying. How many of your golfer friends can hold a conversation about dimple size or layer construction with regard to golf balls?

Probably not many—but these are factors that are essential. There are bad golf balls out there and a bad golf ball is not going to get the best distance or accuracy so no matter how much you perfect your swing, you could be holding yourself back by using bad golf balls.

Golf Balls in Basket on Grass

This article is a great place to start learning more about golf balls and how to make sure you are using the right ones and using them well. We’ll look at golf ball construction, golf ball aerodynamics, golf ball accessories, and golf ball etiquette.

Golf Ball Mechanics

The key parts of a golf ball that you need to think about are the core, cover, layers, and dimples.

  • Core: the stiffer the core, the greater the spin. Also, the larger the core, the more power and speed you will get from it.
  • Cover: urethane covers provide a good amount of control but surlyn is more durable. So if you are looking for accuracy during putting, use a urethane covered ball. But for those power drives, use surlyn covered balls.
  • Layers: some balls are multi-layered which creates a kind of hybrid ball that is more forgiving and best suited to beginners.
  • Dimples: the dimples can be varying depths from deeper to shallower and wider to narrower. The wider and shallower the dimples are, the higher the ball will fly.

So, when you want distance and good aerodynamics: get a golf ball with a large core, a surlyn cover, and wide, shallow dimples. Alternatively, if you are putting: get a ball with a smaller core, a urethane cover, and deep, narrow dimples.

That’s a general rule of thumb for golf ball shopping. Basically, if you’re golfing with just one kind of ball, you’re handicapping yourself. Use different golf balls to accomplish different things.

However, if you are just beginning to play golf, you can stand to golf with one kind of ball since you are still working on just getting the mechanics down. Go for a multilayered ball that has more versatility and durability. And don’t worry about buying very expensive golf balls just yet.

Swing Golf Ball in Air

Focus on mastering your swing and then reward yourself with a set of quality golf balls so that you can see even more improvement in your game.

Golf Ball Accessories

There are a few accessories that you can get to make things more convenient for you. For example, a good golf ball basket or golf ball box will be essential for put practice or games where you will use a lot of balls. This makes it much easier to carry all of them conveniently and easily.

A golf ball retriever is a great tool for those with back or joint problems (or who simply enjoy convenience). It’s a long stick that can be used to grab a ball off the ground so that you don’t have to bend over to get it.

Golf ball markers are an essential—as important as the ball. These are the chips that you place to mark the position of your ball while it is someone else’s turn. This lets you know where your ball was but keeps it out of the way for other players. They are important enough to get their own section below:

Proper Golf Ball Marker Etiquette

Practicing good golf etiquette is an important way to show respect for other players and ensure a game that is safe, fair, and enjoyable for everyone. There are quite a few rules regarding proper etiquette that are worth looking into.

However, many players do not practice proper golf marker etiquette so this is a topic worth focusing on. Here are the basic rules:

  • Place the marker on the ground directly behind your ball before picking it up.
  • When putting your ball back, place it directly in front of the marker and then remove the marker.
  • Always, always replace your ball with a marker while on the green (the area near the hole). Even if it is not in anyone’s way, it is still polite since the bright golf ball in the corner of their eye can be a distraction.
  • If your marker is in the way of play, you will need to move it. Follow this procedure:
    1. Pick a direction with a clear landmark (such as an easy to identify tree or a building).
    2. Point your clubhead in the direction of that landmark directly beside your marker. Move the marker and place it directly in front of the clubhead.
    3. Do this as many times as you need to get the marker out of the way (count how many clubheads to the side it has moved).
    4. During your turn, repeat this process in reverse to move the marker back into original position.
    5. Once in position, place your golf ball directly in front of it. Resume play.

Man Markering Golf Ball

Now that you know how to select golf balls and use them properly, it’s time to get back out there and test it out so you can see the difference it makes for yourself! First read some golf ball reviews to learn what kind of products are out there.