The Golf Ball Primer

By Christopher Zoukis

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Golf balls must be at least 42.67 millimeters in diameter.  In God’s feet and inches, that’s 1.68 inches.  The reason this number is important is because a smaller ball will drive further due to less air resistance.  So as one might expect, golf ball manufacturers tend to produce golf balls right at the size limit.

The weight of a golf ball cannot be more than 1.620 ounces or 45.93 grams.  For you see, a heavy golf ball is slowed less by air resistance than a lighter golf ball, which means that golf ball makers produce balls right at the weight limit.

Beginners should remember this information.  On the surface, it seems useless trivia, but if you’re just learning the game, using a smaller but heavier ball will improve your game.  Another thing beginners might keep in mind is that while top-of-the-line golf balls are attractive and desirable, they are expensive.  Cheaper, heavier, smaller balls are what most beginners should be looking for.

All that being said, the very first thing most beginners should do is hit the driving range, where they should hit bucket after bucket of balls.  It’s called practice.  And that’s what beginners need.  They don’t need to be worried about whether the balls they’re hitting are two-piece or four-piece balls with dimples deep enough to maximize their drives.

There exists a golf ball called an X-out.  X-outs lie at the other end of the spectrum from Personalized Golf Balls.  Because they have suffered, in one manner or another, a glitch in production, X-outs are cheap.  They are golf’s version of the outlet store, where the clothing designers dump their flawed merchandise.  As far as X-outs are concerned, the glitches are mostly cosmetic and do not affect the performance of the ball.  They just don’t look as spiffy.

If that isn’t your cup of tea, you might consider buying used golf balls.  It’s not as Fergie-liciously glamorous as a custom golf ball, but once again it’s a cheap solution.  Used golf balls are available online, at garage sales, and at golf stores everywhere.  And just like cell phones, even refurbished golf balls are available.  They look good and cost less than brand new top-of-the-line balls.

The best place to locate and purchase inexpensive golf balls is online golf shops, where you can find the newest and latest top-of-the-line balls at discounted prices, along with closeout prices on brands that have been discontinued.

Since a dozen top-of-the-line golf balls go for around $50 to $60, it pays to seek out cheaper alternatives.  Let Tiger Woods worry about the size of the dimples on his golf balls.  He gets his for free anyway.