Does it actually make any difference what golf ball you use?

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How do you choose what golf ball you use? 

For most amateurs, the answer is: “I don’t. I use whatever I find.”

It’s often said as a statement of pride. “I haven’t bought a ball in three years. I just find them and use them.”

It’s understandable. Golf balls can be expensive, and most of us are looking ways to make the game as affordable as possible. 

Unless you’re playing at a particularly high level, the rules will probably allow you to change ball from one hole to the next. The “one ball rule” is usually only applied in elite competition. Tour players have to stick to an exact make and model for 18 holes, meaning they can’t change from a ball that flies a bit further on a long par 4 to a super-spinny ball on a short par 3, for instance. 

But here’s the thing: chopping and changing your golf ball from one round to the next – or even one hole to the next, as some people do – is not doing you any favours. 

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Using a ball that’s well suited to your game is important, but even more important is consistency. 

If you use the same ball all the time, you know exactly what to expect from it. You know exactly how far it goes on a well-struck shot with every club in your bag. You know how much it will spin or roll out when it hits the green. You know exactly how it feels off the putter and how firm you need to hit it. 

Many people adopt the mindset that any decent ball will do. Some think their game isn’t consistent enough to worry about using the same ball all the time. But think of it this way: you wouldn’t change your clubs every week, would you – even if you were switching from one decent set to another? If you’re looking for more consistency in your game – and who isn’t? – then why wouldn’t you opt for consistency in the things that are completely in your hands, such as the ball you use? 

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If you’re a beginner and losing several balls each round, and budget is an issue, it’s understandable if you don’t want to spend a fortune on premium balls. But there are good, affordable options that will serve you right until you decide whether or not to upgrade as your standard improves. 

If you’re serious about your game, it’s well worth spending a bit of time finding a ball that suits you and your budget, and then sticking with it for an extended period. You’ll find it makes a real difference. 

Don’t forget, the ball is the only piece of equipment you hit on every single shot. It makes no sense to spend good money on clubs and then scrimp on balls. 

NEXT: How should you mark your golf ball?

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