So this is a question that gets asked a lot. In my opinion and what I think most experts would say is it really comes down to a couple of factors. The two most prevailing factors would be ability and swing speed. Most people probably don’t know their swing speed, although if you know how far you average with certain clubs you should be able to get an idea with yardage graph’s available off of the internet. Lets explore the three categories I would classify everyone as:
1st group – Low handicapper – High swing speed
Most of your low handicap players are hitting at a higher swing speed and also putting spin on the ball. Typically they are looking for a ball that will give them distance plus spin. Typically these are 3, 4 and 5 piece balls with a urethane cover. Buying new, these balls typically retail anywhere between $35 – $50 per dozen and usually from $10 – $30 per dozen used depending on condition and year the ball was made. Examples of these balls will include, Taylormade TP5, Titleist Pro-v, Callaway Chrome and Bridgestone B330.
2nd group – Mid handicapper – Medium swing speed
I would put myself in this group with a handicap of 17 and a swing speed that still requires a stiff shaft (yes, no blue pills yet!). I will use the high priced balls if I find them for a deal I can’t refuse, find them on the course (free) or given to me as a gift (also free to me). Mostly though I’m using entry level 3 piece balls or better 2 piece balls typically with a surlyn cover and I’m buying them used. Buying new, these balls sell for about $20 – $35 per dozen and used usually between $6 – $15 per dozen depending on condition and year the ball was made. Examples of these balls include, Callaway Supersoft, Bridgestone E series, Taylormade Noodle, Titleist Velocity, Vice, Snell, and Kirkland balls.
3rd group – High handicapper – Low swing speed
This group typically loses a lot of balls and shoots over 100 consistently. The balls that these players use are typically anything they can get their hands on. I’ve even seen guys buy a bucket of range balls and bring them on the course (please don’t do this, it’s very poor form and basically stealing from the golf course). Balls for the higher handicapper are usually always a two piece ball with an ionomer cover. Buying new, these balls typically sell for anywhere from $6 – $12 per dozen and $2 – $5 per dozen used depending on condition and year made. Examples of these balls include Nitro, Top Flight and Strata.
One thing to realize, not everyone falls in to these categories. Their are certainly low handicappers with slow swing speeds and vice-versa. For myself I typically go for the mid range ball and buy used in bulk. Typically I can buy them for about $5 – $6 per dozen when buying 20 – 24 dozen at a time and orders on most used golf ball sites are shipped for free if you spend over $75 – $79. I typically order Kirkland, Vice or a mix of Callaway, Bridgestone or Taylormade mid tiered balls. I buy them in 4A quality usually which is near mint. Keep in mind, I’m not a golf ball expert. This was written from someone who plays often and from personal experience.
Until next time,