Ball Fitting


Editor's Note: Bruce Martin is a PGA Master Professional with the San Diego Golf Academy. SDGAs program offers a curriculum of golf instruction and golf business management at all four golf schools, and provides graduates with the education required to get the golf job they desire. You'll soon be teaching others how to improve their game! Click here to learn more about SDGA

Would you shoot lower with the best set of properly fitted modern golf clubs and a Gutta Percha golf ball, or would you shoot lower with the old hickory shafted clubs from Scotland and a new Titleist V1? Answer: The ball will make the major difference!
Modern golf ball technology has given consumers unprecedented choices and options to consider. Titleist has been the preferred choice of PGA Tour professionals for many years, but many other manufacturers have stepped up their R&D technology to become major players in the golf ball race.
Gone are the days of wound balata covered golf balls. Enter the 1990s with solid core golf balls with two and three layered covers. The modern durability factor is huge vs. the old balata covered golf balls that may last a few holes. Players of the past on the PGA Tour used to work the ball much more than the modern players who typically hit the ball scary straight. The ball is a definitely one of the key factors that contribute to this.
Questions you may ask yourself when deciding on the best ball:
1)Do I need more distance = go with a solid core and a Surlyn (harder) cover.
Ex: Slazenger raw is one of the longest balls I have tested.
2)How is your touch and feel around the green ' Would you be better off with a softer covered golf ball to judge distance on your putts and gain the advantage on your chipping, pitching, and wedge shots with the increased spin rates?
Ex: The Titleist V-1 is an excellent choice with a softer Urethane Elastomer cover.
3)Aerodynamics in cover pattern design ' The dimple size and pattern will change the spin rate.
Ex: The Titleist V1 has smaller dimples (392) total, and the V1x has larger dimple patterns (332) total. Aerodynamic testing will concur that the larger dimple patterns have less wind resistance with lower spin rates.
Which one do I choose?
A player with slower clubhead speeds may be better off with the V1 (higher spin- smaller dimple pattern) ball to help keep the ball airborn/higher trajectory. The player with higher clubhead speed may need the V1x (lower spin ball ' larger dimple patterns) for more of a lower/boring trajectory, especially in the wind.
4)Most ball manufacturers offer the combination of maximizing distance while achieving the touch and feel around the green of a softer cover. What a great alternative!
5)Double covered / dual cored balls = I would totally agree this technology will help keep the ball more round in the normal course of play, which will assist in a more consistent ball flight. This will also definitely help with lowering your putting averages.
Golf Ball Spin Rate Recommendations:
When fitting for your driver and the recommended golf ball, the following is a chart to compare your numbers on a launch monitor.
Swing Speed: 70-80 mph.
Ball Speed: 100-120 mph.
Launch Angle: 15-17.5
Ball Spin: 3400-3900
Swing Speed: 80-89 mph.
Ball Speed: 115-130 mph.
Launch Angle: 14-16.5
Ball Spin: 3100-3600
Swing Speed: 90-100 mph.
Ball Speed: 130-145 mph.
Launch Angle: 13-15
Ball Spin: 2800-3300
Swing Speed: 100-115+ mph.
Ball Speed: 145-165+ mph.
Launch Angle: 12-13.5
Ball Spin: 2500-3000
The ultimate goal is to maximize your carry distance and amount to roll to achieve your true potentials in overall distance. A properly fitted golf ball can be the difference!