Golf balls are one of the most recognized golf equipment. In fact, even those who do not play golf could easily recognize a golf ball. What the public does not know is that there are different kinds of golf balls. Many, especially those who do not really play golf, believe that there is only one kind of golf ball, and the type lies in the manufacturing firm. Though there may be some truth in that, as most manufacturing firms have their own designs and styles of golf balls, there is a lot more a person could know about these balls.
A golf ball is the tiny ball covered in grooves that is hit with a golf club. This ball should weigh around 1.620 oz. or 45.93 grams. It should also have a diameter of 1.680 inches or 42.67 mm. Golf balls, regardless of type, are required to undergo testing and approval done by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews or R&A, and the United States Golf Association (USGA).
R&A is the leading authority in golf for all countries except the United States and Mexico, which are handled by the USGA. These two associations collaborate to produce and habitually revise the “Rules of Golf” which are the official and legal standard rules about any aspect regarding golf. These two associations also set the standards on the acceptable range of performance of the balls concerning their distance, velocity, and symmetry.
For the classification, there are a number of types of golf ball available but they are classified into two for simplicity. The first type is the recreational balls. These are golf balls designed for a typical golf player. These have low compression and reduced sidespin characteristics, making it appropriate for players who tend to have low swing speed, at most 80mph or 130 km/h. They are also quite affordable, ensuring that players who have a high tendency to lose balls would not have as high financial loss.
The second type of golf ball is the advanced ball. As the name implies, these are multi-layered balls, often three or more layers, which were designed for professional use. They generate greater higher amount of sidespins, especially from lofted shots using wedges. The advanced ball is draining to use, as it demands higher swing speed to compress upon impact, thus requiring the player to be physically strong. If the given golf ball compression would not match the resulting swing speed, whether because of under or over compression, there will be loss of flight distance for the ball. Advanced balls are also significantly more expensive than the recreational balls. They are often used during official games and professional trainings.
There are other types of golf balls in the market. There are even balls for those who enjoy playing but prefer not to splurge on equipment. A type of ball for the frugal player is the range ball or the practice ball. This ball is patterned from the recreational ball, but is manufactured as low-cost as possible. The practice ball is durable and has the same behaviours as a real golf ball, but is capable of shorter flight distance. Since its hitting features are far from ideal, this type is best for practice and not for actual games.
Another affordable type of golf ball is the recycled golf ball. These are used but lost balls found by golf course groundkeepers when they clear areas. These found balls are sold to a recycling firm where they are cleaned, resurfaced, and graded according to the resulting quality. These are then sold in bulks at great discounts.
There are a lot more types of golf ball available in the market. A golf player should do well to check these and match the type of ball with his skills and with the game he’d be playing.