Your Questions Focus On Cores


My column last week on modern golf ball cores generated a lot of questions, demonstrating that many golfers do what I do: stare at the ceiling at 3 a.m. thinking about the mortgage, getting the kids into a good school, and an extra eight yards on our drives.
Herewith, some representative questions and responses:
OK, so based on swing speed what ball should you use? Especially those of us who cannot swing faster than 100 mph. ' Stefan Winer
Stefan was exasperated with me for not following up on the notion, included in an experts quote near the end of the column, that certain golf balls arent for 85-mph swingers. The answer, Stefan, is a ball with a softer core, which will more easily transmit the power from your swing to the center of the ball, where the most power lives.
Ball engineers often speak in terms of a swing speed getting into the very center of the balls core, and they design core formulae with a certain player in mind. Naturally, the harder the core, the faster one must swing to get all that power to the center of the ball. Conversely, a relatively soft core accepts more power in the middle, and a slower swinger can get the full benefit of it.
But I know Stefan wants to be pointed to a brand name. Were all busy folks, after all, and we want to get to the course already. Turns out hes not the only one.
Is there anywhere on The Golf Channel that gives the average guy like me (18.6 index) a good buyers guide to which ball will work best? My swing speed is in the high 80s and I drive the ball about 240 using the [insert brand name here] ball. Thanks for any help to try and get to the single digits. ' Craig Jackson
Single digits? Heres a wedge; come see me in about 60 chips. Seriously, though: We actually did a buyers guide for an episode of Whats In the Bag? in which we showed representative brands within price and performance groups. But we only had time to scratch the surface. There are so many brands out there that a comprehensive buyers guide would be hard to develop. Besides, were here to provide information on golf ball (and golf equipment) types; the brand decision is up to you, the avid and educated golfer.
Most of all, though, the reason we dont name a brand as best, worst, or even good for someone is that golf is a very subjective game, and people can get good results even by playing against type. You may not have the swing speed for a tour level ball, but if you enjoy playing with it, why not? Will you give up some yardage? Perhaps. But you have to balance your enjoyment against any potential for performance losses, and make your decision.
That s why trial and error can never be completely banished from the golf equipment buying decision. The best you can do ' and the best thing you can do for your game ' is to narrow down the options by talking to your pro, someone who knows your game. And with off-course retailers hiring PGA professionals left and right, you can be assured of competent advice.
Some readers agreed.
Those hacksawed balls of our past are just about as primitive as the ones Bobby Jones used. And if he could hit those300 yards, could you imagine what he, or Jack for that matter, could have done with todays technology in their prime? Still, when I get those little orbs to the golf course, it's still a question of trial and error to see what works best. I am now just a little smarter as to why it did that duck hook! ' Col. Michael Welsh, Vice Commander, 251 Combat Communications Group
First of all, Colonel, thanks for your service. Second, knock off that left flank operation and attack up the gut!
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr