Should Beginners Use Soft or Hard Golf Balls?

Before I answer the question of should beginners use soft or hard golf balls let’s unpack the difference between them. Golfers tend to confuse the softness of a golf ball for forgiveness.

The softness of a golf ball depends on the compression rating of the golf ball. Low compression golf balls are soft and high compression golf balls are hard. For example, the Titleist Pro V1 is a high compression golf ball. But its design offers exceptional feel and forgiveness. This is one of the reasons why golfers perceive it as soft.

Understanding how to decide whether you need a hard or soft ball is important when also choosing the best golf balls for beginners. We’ll talk about the key considerations and factors now.

What type of golfers use a softer golf ball?

Softer golf balls are golf balls with low to mid compression ratings. The compression rating of a golf ball refers to the energy required to compress the core of the golf ball at impact.

Less energy is required to compress the core of a soft golf ball. As a result, players with slow swing speeds use soft golf balls. By playing with a low compression soft golf ball slow swinging players can maximize the performance of the ball.

Optimal performance of the golf ball ensures fast ball speeds and optimal spin rates which in return delivers max distance.

Players with an average swing speed below 80mph will get the best results by playing with a low compression golf ball. Low compression golf balls feature compression ratings between 60 and 70 with some as low as 35.

Mid compression golf balls with a rating between 70 and 80 are ideal for players that have an average driver swing speed of 80 – 90 mph.


What golfers use a harder golf ball and why?

Harder golf balls have high compression ratings. What this means is that you need to be able to swing the club at above-average speeds to ensure optimal compression at impact. If the core of the ball isn’t compressed the player will lose both distance and accuracy.

Harder golf balls also feature more complex designs. Most hard golf balls feature 3- or 4-piece designs. The complexity of these designs ensures exceptional forgiveness and feel. Their advanced designs are one of the main reasons why golfers make the mistake of classifying high compression golf balls as soft.

High compression golf balls are designed for players with an average driver swing speed above 90mph. High compression golf balls have compression ratings that range from 80 to 110.


What golf ball type is a beginner is likely to want and why?

Most beginners have below-average swing speeds which is why they will likely want to play with a soft, low compression golf ball. For slow swinging beginners playing with a low compression golf ball will ensure optimal performance.

Golf is hard enough to master as is. The last thing you want as a beginner is to play with a golf ball that doesn’t match your swing speed. Luckily for beginners, low compression golf balls tend to cost much less than premium high compression balls. When you first start, losing golf balls is the norm. A round can get expensive very fast if you play on a course with lots of penalty areas.

The Callaway Supersoft is an example of a great soft golf ball for beginners. The Supersoft has an ultra-low compression rating of 35, which makes it one of the softest golf balls on the market. The Supersoft is very easy to compress for beginners with slow swing speeds. Compression of the golf ball at impact ensures fast ball speeds and optimal ball speeds for max distance.

The Supersoft also features a very forgiving cover system. This cover system delivers exceptional feel at impact both on full shots and on and around the greens. Most two-piece golf balls tend to lack forgiveness, especially on the greens. The forgiveness offered by the 2-piece Supersoft is another reason why it is one of the best golf balls for beginners on the market.

If your swing speed is above average as a beginner play with a golf ball that matches that speed. Because you are a beginner doesn’t mean that you must play with a low compression golf ball. At the end of the day what’s most important is to play with a golf ball that matches your swing speed.

Written by Mark

I've been advising on golf related topics for for just over ten years now, staying on top of game improvement methods, the latest technologies and news.

February 2, 2021

Golf Balls

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