Strokes gained golf ball. It’s not an official metric like strokes gained driving, approach, short game and putting. But ask many of the world’s top golf instructors, and they’ll tell you it should be.
Fact, you can lose several strokes every round by playing a golf ball not suited for your game. This goes not only for plus, scratch and low-handicap players but for mid and high-handicappers as well.
“The golf ball is the only piece of equipment we use on every single golf shot,” says OnCore Ambassador and renowned instructor Alex Riggs. “The same attention to detail should be given in the selection of the ball we use as the clubs we play. Choosing a golf ball that allows you to maximize distance off the tee, provides control with the irons and wedges and feels great on and around the greens is critical.”
So, how do you save strokes in golf? Here are a few considerations when it comes to dialing in the right golf ball for your game and lowering your scores.
Focus #1 – Off The Tee
“Regardless of skill level, I believe it’s more important than ever to first optimize distance off the tee, then with partial wedge shots,” says Ryan Crysler, Senior Instructor at the Butch Harmon Floridian in Palm City, Fla. “If you gain strokes driving, it’s easier to gain strokes with irons, short game and putting. Consider it a race across real estate. Par 4s and 5s have more real estate to cover, and the longer you hit it, the closer you are to winning the race.”
Gaining more distance off the tee means syncing your golf ball with your driver swing speed. OnCore’s AVANT 55 is a soft, low-compression two-piece ball for golfers with low swing speeds (75 mph or below). The 2020 and 2022 ELIXRs, OnCore’s three-piece urethane cover balls, are optimized for 75 to 100 mph driver swing speeds.
And the VERO X1, with its four-piece construction and thin cast urethane cover, is ideal for high driver swing speeds (100 mph-plus). The VERO X2 – available this month for Club OnCore members and in September for non-members – is higher compression than the VERO X1 and is designed for golfers with driver swing speeds over 110 mph. All four OnCore balls feature our proprietary perimeter weighting, which significantly reduces sidespin and as a result, dispersion. Straighter is longer.
“Playing a premium cast-urethane-covered golf ball can help everybody play better golf,” says Andrew Rice, Director of Golf Instruction at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort. “Surlyn wrapped golf balls go far, but they seriously underperform with a wedge in hand. It used to be the case that a premium ball cost significantly more, but the golf ball landscape has changed so much in the last few years.”
Riggs, Crysler and Rice agree that historically, average recreational golfers haven’t felt like they deserved to play a quality golf ball. Yet, they’re willing to spend $500 on a new driver, $2,000 on a set of irons and $300 on a putter. In reality, golfers might use their 5- or 6-iron seven or eight times around; they use their golf ball on every stroke.
“As a golf community, we have overlooked the importance of the golf ball we play for way too long,” adds Rice. “Take your time, do your homework, spend a little extra and find the ball that truly suits your game best.”
Focus #2 – Around the Greens
Crysler, who has worked with Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and numerous other PGA and Champions TOUR players, recommends testing different golf balls on driver tee shots to gauge launch angle and spin. If you have a launch monitor, you can bring on the course, great. If not, manually note each ball’s trajectory, dispersion and roll-out.
“Find maybe the top two or three balls, first,” he says. “Then narrow down the choice to short game performance from two distances, 15 and 50 yards. Hit some high and low 15-yard chips. Then find a difficult 50-yard pitch shot and hit however many it takes to get it close.”
Ready to find the perfect OnCore ball for your game? Take the next step with our Ball Fitting Assessment and get fit today!
Additional links: Check out the history of the golf ball on Wikipedia.
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