It’s all about the ball

Tradition says that when holding a company golf event, each participant should receive a dozen balls. It is a much appreciated perk. Choosing the best ball for your crowd is the issue.

The United States Golf Association, golf’s ruling body in North America, currently has over 1,200 balls on their conforming golf ball list. Even among the most common choices, there are enough different balls to make an event planner scratch their head.

How to Choose Your Brand’s Golf Ball

When choosing a personal ball, the scientific approach considers a person’s club swing speed, average driver distance, usual flight trajectory, current club preferences and preferences for spin/feel/control or maximum distance/straight flight. Other considerations include short game performance.

Picking a ball for a company event means figuring out a common denominator. That usually means a ball designed for entry or mid level play. All male, mixed crowd or all-female golf fields are another thing to think about. Getting a sense of the handicaps for the majority of the event’s golfers is helpful.

A Science Backed Approach

Two-piece balls with durable ionomer covers generally focus on distance and low spin. Spin may help more advanced golfers, but among many golfers higher spin results in more hooks and slices.

Many multilayer balls have natural rubber urethane covers. Their spin-enhancing design helps stop the ball where the skilled golfer directs it. The ball’s feel also has advantages in the short game.

Balls often tout core compression, regardless of the number of layers. Compressions under 100 are best for golfers with lower swing speeds. The most skilled golfers (over 245 yards on drives) have higher swings speeds that are best suited to compressions over 100.

When Money Talks

So, how does the planner decide. “Budget is usually the biggest factor,” said one ball wholesaler. “People like brand name balls,” said another.

The best known, most tour-proven ball is the Titleist Pro V1, a long-time favorite. While great for skilled golfers, it is not likely the best choice for a company event. Especially so since these balls often cost $5 each.

If it is a high level event the Pro V1/1X, the Callaway Chrome Soft and Bridgestone B330 are all solid choices. Experts often describe the Bridgestones as having a very good price for performance level in all categories.

For most events more economical balls are suitable. Known brand name balls are popular and appreciated in this category. Pinnacle has some popularity because they are made by Titleist. Callaway Warbird, Wilson Ultra 500, Titleist DT TruSoft and Bridgestone E series are great choices.

Nike was a very popular ball, but they have quit production. Staples does have availability of a number of Nike balls.

As difficult as some of these choices may be, your Staples representative can help.