Whether you are a professional or first-time player, golf is a sport that hinges on proper equipment. A golfer of any skill level cannot expect to play his or her best game without finding appropriate clothing and playing gear. A vital, but perhaps overlooked part of the latter category is playing with the right golf ball.

To some players, all golf balls may appear to be the same. However, there are actually several factors to take into consideration when selecting a ball. Choosing the right type of ball can have a significant impact on the result of your next round.

Here are a few tips for selecting the ball that is right for you.


Price says a lot

Occasionally, high-priced gear can be misleading — with cheaper items proving to be equally, if not more effective. This is not necessarily the case with golf balls. In most cases, expensive golf balls provide performance benefits indicative of their high price tag. For example, Golf Digest suggests purchasing multilayer balls with urethane covers. These balls are sold at higher prices, but are found to be superior in terms of overall performance. “Pay the most you can until you and your skill level stop noticing a difference in performance,” as this will provide a rough cap as to how much you may need to spend to see marked improvement.


Pay attention to the cover material

As briefly explored in the previous section, a ball’s cover material can also have a big impact on its performance. If you are new to golf or have a high handicap, you may actually want to avoid multilayer urethane covers at first. Instead, AmericanGolf.com suggests looking at balls with ionomer covers, as they will reduce hooking and slicing during shots.


Go through a fitting process

Another method of finding the right ball is to go through a fitting process — either at a golf shop or through self-testing. The easiest way to approach this strategy is to find a variety of ball models and test them out through a series of shots. By using trial and error, you should be able to whittle down your search and arrive at a ball that feels comfortable.


Don’t always use the pros as an example
It may seem logical to use your favorite pro golfer as a reference when shopping for golf balls — after all, their high-level knowledge of the sport is certainly reflected in the balls they use. However, it is important to note that pro-level ball models are not always readily available in standard golf shops. Pros will occasionally use balls that have been slightly modified for their playing preferences, a convenience that is unfortunately not typically available to the average amateur player. Some commentators wonder if ball customization will serve as the future of players preference, but for the time being, it is best to stick to what is available for everyone.