In each sport, the equipment used to play matters the most, and golf is no exception. Even the ball golfers use to hit isn’t just a white piece of their golf arsenal. Instead, it is an essential aspect in the golfer’s bag that defines victory or loss.
You might wonder how different types of balls can manipulate the results, as victory is entirely based on the golfer’s skillset. There is no doubt in this fact, but you may be unfamiliar that a round white ball has different types, surfaces, and textures. Your game can be profoundly affected by these factors.
These balls differ only in support of individuals’ skill sets. Some players prefer soft-feel golf balls, while others choose hard ones to be their companions. But which one is better for you?
In this article, we will explore the difference: soft vs hard golf balls and what’s better suited to you.
What is a Soft Golf Ball?
Compared to traditional golf balls, soft golf balls are softer to the touch. The engineering behind a soft golf ball is truly impressive. Softness and delicacy are immediately apparent when you pick it up. Yet, when you take a swing, it transforms into a powerhouse that delivers the distance and controls you need to excel on the golf course.
The exterior of a soft golf ball is uniquely crafted to provide a velvety texture that feels gentle to the touch. But don’t let its softness fool you; this ball is built for performance. It’s designed to allow maximum compression upon impact, enabling skilled players to generate greater ball speed and reduce spin for a more accurate shot.
But there’s more to a soft golf ball than just its high-performance capabilities. For those who enjoy a softer touch, a soft golf ball can provide a more satisfying experience when putting or chipping around the green. The ball’s gentle feel can give golfers a greater sense of control, making it easier to finesse their shots and get the ball exactly where they want it to go.
Soft Vs Hard Golf Balls: The Main Difference?
In terms of texture, golf balls are of two types, hard and soft. Although a mid-rough ball is available, discussing it at this stage will increase complexity. For your ease, we will take start with soft and hard balls and, later on, move toward others.
From the texture, we mean the hard or soft feel of the ball. It is the main difference in the matter we are discussing, but it isn’t just enough: there is much more. There are other important factors such as construction and performance, that differentiate a soft golf ball from a hard one. Learn more about these factors by reading on.
Soft Vs Hard Golf Balls: Difference in Terms of Construction
The overall construction of the golf ball is categorized into three elements. Here’s how they differ from each other:
As a golf enthusiast, you can’t ignore the importance of the ball’s core. It is the region located just at the interior point. The role of the core is to transfer energy from the golf club to the ball and take flight according to swing energy.
A hard golf ball typically has a solid core, which results in a high compression rating ranging from 90 to 125. Compression rating is a common way to measure a ball’s performance or firmness.
In contrast, the softball core gives a smooth touch. As a result, its compression rating ranges from 30 to 90. Remember that high compression is always suited to a high-swing golfer and vice versa.
As suggested by the name, the cover is the outer layer of the golf ball that defines its surface texture. A Hard ball have a rough cover, while a soft ball contain a smooth cover.
The material from which the cover is made also affects the ball’s characteristics. For instance, a urethane cover provides a smooth touch, while an ionomer-crafted cover feels harder. However, the plush texture of urethane can reduce the ball’s overall durability, whereas the hardness of an ionomer cover makes it an ideal choice for combating air resistance.
Rarely are some balls crafted from Surlyn covers. These covers are the roughest option available in the market and have been tried several times by sporting YouTubers. Through their testing, we got to know that it offers straight-up distance, making them ideal for newbies or average golfers.
The mantle is a surface that lies in between the core and cover. It doesn’t significantly affect the ball in terms of roughness; instead, it is associated with general characteristics of balls, such as spin and speed. The soft mantle will provide some extra side-to-side spin, and the hard one will contribute to its speed.
Soft Vs. Hard Golf Balls: Difference in Terms of Performance?
Other than construction, performance is a major aspect that defines how soft golf balls differ from hard balls. Here’s the list of factors that come under the performance department.
When it comes to distance, the soft golf ball is the clear winner. A softball is known to travel with air to cover a better distance with the right airflow direction. Even after its first touchdown, it continues to roll out for some extra distance.
On the other hand, the hard golf ball doesn’t cover as much distance as the soft golf ball. It is because the hard ball powers a long flight and goes straight off like an accurate line or airplane. But after that, it will immediately fall off. Thus, settling for a shorter distance.
Due to their smooth and bouncy surfaces, soft golf balls usually cost more than hard ones. But that doesn’t reduce the value of hard balls.
Soft and hard golf balls used to be priced differently in the past. However, now it isn’t as much as it used to be. In general, a dozen hard balls would cost you a minimum of 20 dollars, whereas a dozen soft ball price tags can range from 35 dollars to 75 dollars.
Golf ball speed is a term used to represent how fast does a golf ball travel. A hard ball is dense and has a higher compression rating. That’s why it travels faster than a soft ball.
The speed is not solely based on the roughness of the ball; instead, the factor that affects more than it is the golfer’s swing speed. If the golfer is aggressive and swings the ball at high speed, it would travel fast, no matter whether it’s soft or hard.
As mentioned earlier, the compression rating of soft golf balls is low. Due to this, it tends to launch at a high angle, which enables it to travel a distance with the help of airflow.
In contrast, a hard ball typically launches at a lower angle. Its mechanism is based on powering the flight, so the presence of airflow is unnecessary.
Spin is an essential aspect of any ball game. Even in cricket, a category of spin bowler is defined. It showcases how the ball turns in its direction after a bounce.
In the game of golf, a soft ball usually offers more spin than a hard ball. The structure of the hard ball is designed to perform a straight drive, not for turning here and there.
Which Golf Ball Type is Best For You?
Having a complex confusion? Well, don’t worry. We will guide you on which ball you should play to get the victory.
Before moving toward the guide, it’s important to consider the USGA Legal limits. While both hard and soft golf balls are allowed, some rare texture balls are banned in tournaments.
The ball you should play must be compatible with your skill level. Here’s which ball type you should choose according to your skill set.
Slow Swing Golfers
Golfers who swing the club slowly rely on the spinning of the ball. Moreover, they need a ball with an aerodynamic dimple mechanism. This dimple pattern promotes flight, distance, and speed. In short, it overcomes the slow-swing consequences.
A soft golf ball typically has all these characteristics. It provides distance by flowing in airy waves, and the spinning tactic gives it the right direction. However, one downside of this ball is that it doesn’t work well in stable airy conditions.
Fast Swing Golfers
For an aggressive golfer, a hard golf ball is better suited. It is because a hard golf ball delivers a strong flight in response to the swing speed. This swing-to-flight process allows golfers to show full off their skillset.
How would you determine whether you are a high-swing golfer or low swing golfer? You can do that easily by measuring your swing speed. If your swinging speed is over 100 mph, go for a hard ball. Conversely, if your speed is less than 100 mph, opt for a soft golf ball.
The techniques and turnovers of golf are unknown to people who have just entered the game. One particular demonstration includes the ability of a golfer to swing the ball. As they are newbies, they may not hit the ball with full force. In that case, our experts recommend a soft ball.
Even research shows that most beginners prefer soft balls. It’s because a soft ball provides long distance, enhanced feel, precision, and extra control.
Moreover, a soft golf ball is more forgiving. For instance, if a player misses the sweet spot, the ball would not lose much distance and speed.
Average and Pro Golfers
As an average or pro player, you would want a golf companion that works well with your technical abilities. It can be both a soft golf ball or hard ball.
Many pros prefer soft golf balls, as their launching ability is good, while others prefer hard balls because they cover long distances. It’s all about individual preferences. The key is to pick one which suits you best.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Soft Golf Ball
- Covers more distance
- More bounce and spin
- Good for shape shots
- Better for airy conditions
- Less durable
- Not suitable for fast-swing golfers
- May cause hooks and slices
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Hard Golf Ball
- Good for straight shots
- Preferable for high swing speed golfers
- Not suitable for shape shots
- Low launch angle
- Less spin
- Less control
Soft Golf Balls Vs Regular or Mid Texture Balls
Golf enthusiasts often have to make a choice between soft or hard golf balls based on their swing speed and preferences. But what about those who want the best of both worlds? The mid-texture golf ball is the answer to their unique needs. As the name suggests, it offers a balance between the soft and hard ball characteristics, making it an ideal choice for players with a swing speed range of 80 to 100 mph.
The mid-texture golf ball has a medium compression rating, resulting in a medium spin and launch angle. This feature makes it suitable for golfers who want a balanced playing experience without compromising on control around the greens.
However, hitting a mid-texture ball in the fairway can be a little challenging due to its medium firmness. But if you’re looking for a safe golfing experience without any major concerns about swing speed, then the mid-texture ball can be your go-to option.
What are Super Soft Golf Balls?
Super soft golf balls are like fluffy clouds floating across the green. They are not just soft but exquisitely compressible, making them a category of their own in the world of golf balls. While traditional balls are either hard or soft, super soft balls provide a unique and imaginative experience for golfers, thanks to the innovative designs by leading companies like Callaway.
With their ultra-low compression core, these balls are extremely soft and compressible, resulting in less distance off the tee but better control around the greens. Not only this, the HEX aerodynamic characteristics of these balls improve distance and lift, providing golfers with an added advantage.
However, it’s crucial to note that while super soft golf balls offer numerous benefits, they must still comply with USGA regulations. If a ball is banned by USGA, using it during a tournament can result in penalties. So, before using any golf ball, make sure to check its compliance with USGA regulations to avoid any unwanted troubles.
What Golf Ball Do Pros Use?
Well, when it comes to the great game of golf, the question of whether to use a soft or hard golf ball is a topic of much debate among professionals. Some swear by the softer balls, claiming they provide better feel and control on the greens. Others argue that the harder balls offer greater distance and consistency off the tee.
There are a few factors that determine whether a golf ball is soft or hard, including swing speed, course conditions, and personal preference. Some golfers may even switch between soft and hard balls depending on the specific shot they’re attempting.
According to a survey conducted by Golf Digest, approximately 55% of professional golfers use a soft golf ball. However, it’s worth noting that the remaining 45% of professionals still prefer harder balls
How Many Golf Balls Come in a Box?
When it comes to golf balls, a typical box is a home to a dozen balls, packaged in four sleeves, each housing a trio of balls. However, the number of balls in a box varies depending on the brand, type, and cost.
Some manufacturers also sell boxes with 18 or 24 golf balls. So jt’s best to check the product information or packaging to determine the exact number of golf balls in a particular box.
Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)
Deciding between soft and hard golf balls is important for every golfer. Soft golf balls provide added distance, feel and spin at the cost of durability. Hard golf balls provide maximum control off the tee but may lack spin upon impact with the green.
Ultimately, your choice should depend on a variety of factors based on whether you are looking for more distance or enhanced control around the greens. Whichever type you choose, always remember that practice and dedication is the key to improving your game.