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You’ve probably seen the guy who shoots 110 on the course but is hitting ProV1 balls. You’ve probably seen the guy with crappy equipment and any old ball putting up decent scores. In this post, I’m going to be talking about whether or not expensive golf balls are actually better than cheaper ones.
In my opinion, the only golfer who should be using an expensive golf ball would be a low handicap. The average golfer won’t get enough benefit to justify paying the higher price and would be better off using that money to work on their swing. The only benefit to an expensive golf ball would be the increased spin around the green and the nice soft feel at impact.
I’ll definitely admit, an expensive ball feels much better at impact but it’s not really something that’ll improve your scores. The distance was essentially the same for me and you can buy cheap balls that are just as forgiving. Watch the video below or continue reading for the full info.
Feel & Durability
This was one of the more noticeable differences between the two balls. After hitting each of them a number of times it was pretty clear that the expensive ball felt a lot better at impact (tee and green) and lasted a lot longer (didn’t get chewed up).
A lot of the cheaper balls can feel like you’re hitting rocks. They’re pretty hard and it can sometimes make distance control on the greens a bit tough. They don’t offer a whole lot of feel and that’s one of the things I like in a golf ball.
The second thing was durability. A lot of the cheaper balls just don’t last very long and get beaten up if you hit them like you’re supposed to. A lot of weekend golfers lose their ball pretty quick so it won’t really matter but if a better player uses one it probably won’t last an entire round. Obviously, some are better built than others so it’ll depend on the ball.
Distance & Forgiveness
I’ve tried a number of balls over the years but the cheaper ones I tried here were under a dollar a ball. I thought they’d go way less when it came to distance but that actually wasn’t the case at all. The one I used wasn’t as forgiving I’d say but you can find other cheap balls on the market that are designed for that.
I was really surprised by the distance between the two balls. They pretty much went the exact same distance with my driver, 7 iron, and wedge. There were a few that were mishit but when struck purely, they were close enough to call it a tie.
The expensive ball I used was a bit more forgiving on mishits but that can easily be fixed. The cheap ball I got was like 50 cents a ball but if you want a bit more forgiveness you can upgrade to something that’s around a buck a ball. I’d recommend a Taylormade Noodle or Wilson Fifty Elite. You can see my favorite golf balls here.
This was the biggest difference between the two balls in my experience. The higher-end ball had much more spin and stopping power around the greens. This makes distance control when you’re chipping much easier.
Most weekend golfers can’t spin the ball though so that’s why I don’t think it’s that big of a deal for them. The money is probably better spent learning how to actually spin the ball.
This will be a bigger deal for the better player who uses spin as one of their tactics. If that’s you, you’ll see a pretty big distance between cheap and expensive golf balls. The spin off the tee was pretty similar but within a hundred yards was a different story.
Overall, I think if you’re an average weekend golfer or beginner player then you should stick with the cheaper balls for now. Save some money and focus on working on your game if that’s something you want to do.
I probably wouldn’t recommend going with the sub-dollar golf balls but there are a lot of solid options that won’t break the bank. See those below.
If you’re a mid handicap player who can spin the ball a bit then I’d recommend you get something a little bit more expensive. I wouldn’t suggest getting a super expensive ball because I don’t think you’d see any extra benefit.
If you’re a low handicap player then, by all means, go with the expensive ball. You’re probably not in this boat if you’re reading this but that’s the only golfer who should be using a ProV1 in my opinion.