The questions I get asked everyday on the course as a coach and very often as a golf advisor are the following.
Question "What is the best ball?" Answer: "There isn't one." Reason: If one particular ball was better then the rest it would be the only ball on the pro tours. There are poor balls that you can pick up for £3.00 a dozen, mid range balls you can pick up for £12.00 a dozen and High end balls you can buy for £25+ a dozen, these three different price ranges are very different quality of balls, agreed. However a poor ball is the same as any other poor ball, a mid range ball is as good as any other mid range ball and High end balls are all very much the same. It becomes a personal preference within each range.
Question "What ball should I go for?" Answer: "Depends on your level and wallet. Eventually only you can decide which is the best ball for you." Reason: Psychology plays a hand here as it does in many parts of the game. If you feel you are going to make a bad shot because of the ball you are using, you will make a bad shot, Ironically not because of the ball but because of the way you addressed it. You may have a great round with a certain ball and from then on swear it is the best ball, but it isn't, the fact is you had a great round and should take the credit rather then your ball or any equipment. If it is your first round then the ball, even the poor balls will make little difference, you should be working on your swing and other tactics before you think of good scores. Get the basics right and the good scores will come automatically. If you are mid range golfer try balls out at a range or ask your coach or a low handicap golfer what they used at that level and why. If you have neither then read the tips on this guide. If you are a high end golfer then you won't be asking me this question.
Question "What is the difference between Hard compound and Soft?" Answer: "If you have to ask this question I would suggest soft." Reason: Stick with soft, it has much better control. Many make the mistake that a hard compound ball will go much further, that is not the case. A hard compound ball like the ProV 1X is only useful if you have a fast swing, if your swing is not fast and accurate a hard ball will worsen your game rather then improve it. High level golfers will use spin on the ball in many ways, i.e. pitch or lob past the flag and spin it back. To do this with a hard ball is easier, but to hit such a shot in the first place means you need a fast swing and very high ability. So hard balls are better for your short game rather then your long which many get confused with.
Question "I've just started playing, I bought these really good balls and they cost me £30 for a dozen but i'm playing worse then I did before. Can you recomend a better ball?" Answer: "No but I can recomend a worse ball." Reason: The reason why you are playing worse is because you've just started, if you hit a top of the range ball badly it will go further in the wrong direction. They are designed to be hit with the sweet spot of the club and in the right direction using fade or draw, as you start out you are hitting slices and hooks and draws and fades won't come until you are hitting the ball straight. Stay with lesser balls till you get your swing right to utilize the benefits of a better ball.
Question "I'm using taylormade clubs so I'll need taylormade balls, right?" Answer: Utterly and totally wrong." Reason: No ball is designed for a club, nor is any club designed for a ball both are designed for the player and the make is totaly irrelevant.
Question "I'm playing well and now want a better ball, what is the best way of finding out which to go for without breaking the bank?" Answer: If you do not have access to a driving range then use lake balls." Reason: Lake balls are balls found on golf courses that have been lost, the best of these are cleaned and repackaged at many outlets. This is a great cost effective way of finding a ball you like and they are not in bad condition if you go to reputable stores.
There are other questions people ask, if you have any please feel free to ask and I'll add to this post. Always happy to help a fellow golfer.
Besides these questions, here are some tips I used myself as an amateur.
Tip 1: If cost really is an issue and you cant practice at a range or course then find an open field of beach or even getting a net for your back garden (Which I did). Use lake balls or used balls from most club houses, a great source of cheap balls is right here on ebay.
Tip 2: My very first round of golf was terrible, I hit 156, yes 156 now I play off scratch after 20 years of playing. Never take concern or lose hope from bad rounds, we all have them. In this first round I had bought 20 pinnacle balls for £10 a real bargain at the time. I had lost all 20 by the 12th Hole and finished the round on balls I had found whilst looking for my lost new ones. Whilst doing this I found a callaway ball and for two holes I really liked it, before losing that too. After this I resorted to very cheap balls till I got my technique right and is was worthwhile doing.
Tip 3: When you get to a decent level and want to try the batter balls go fo a three pack you can get here from Ebay. Play the first few holes on your old balls till you feel you are playing well and switch to your new at a hole you are good with (We all have them at our local). Keep buying three packs till you find the ball you want to play with. Although Psychology should not play a part it always will and you should use it to increase your game. You must always feel right about what you are using.
Tip 4: This is my biggest tip and one I pray you heed. Please never ever use refurbished balls, they never ever give the true feeling of the original ball, they are useless and they charge you as though they are the original. They are far from it.
Tip 5: Watch you don't buy fake balls, there are many on Ebay and other sights, please be careful. If they are from abroad don't buy them, many fake titleist balls are already here.
Hope this has helped and please contact me for free help, any golfer is a friend of mine. See you out there.