The one piece of equipment that stays the same shot after shot is the ball. You take care choosing different clubs for different shots. So don’t overlook that when it comes to our little dimpled friends.
For those of us shooting over 90, opening a new box of balls isn’t just about that smell. It’s far, far more. It makes sense to put effort into working out what you need from your ball. Be it a few extra yards, spin, or a straight flight.
Your choice can make a big difference in your game. The best golf balls for high handicappers are among the most forgiving golf balls. They reward players with the extra assistance needed.
Today, I’ll go over what to look for in high handicap golf balls then review some of the best including:
- Volvik Vivid
- Titleist Velocity
- Callaway Golf ERC Soft Triple Track
- Bridgestone Golf e12
- TaylorMade Tour Preferred
Golf Balls 101: What You Need to Know
Before we reveal the best golf ball for a high handicapper, let’s focus on the ball itself.
You’ll hear a few words on the fairway and the 19th regarding the build or characteristics of the ball. These characteristics make a difference in how a ball feels (be it hard or soft) and how it performs.
It’s clear that not all balls are the same. While it’s never a bad idea to address the troublesome aspects of your game, it doesn’t hurt to pimp your performance with balls for high handicap golfers.
Here are the key factors in decent high handicap golf balls:
Balls can be either solid (one-piece) or layered (up to five shells). One-piece balls are usually solid, molded Surlyn with a dimpled surface. They’re cheap and not really seen outside putt and play courses.
Two-piece balls have a solid core of high energy acrylic or resin with a cover. Usually Surlyn or a similar, tough material. The solid core gives the ball a long flight and these guys fairly boom off the tee.
Three and four-piece balls feature liquid or rubber cores. They will have an outer layer of Surlyn or urethane for durability. In between are layers comprised of various materials. These layers are designed to either transfer power efficiently to the core or to add spin separation.
Five-piece balls are the most expensive but have tailor-made layers to aid your game. You get tour-level performance from these guys, but that does come at a price.
What Each Ball Type Means
- A hard feel to the ball when in play
- Good distance
- Less control than a softer ball
- Almost indestructible
- More roll on the green
- The most popular style of ball
- A softer ball that offers more control in play
- More spin
- Customized performance
- Less distance
- Less bounce and roll on the fairway
- Relatively long-hitting
- A soft ball, so more control
- Improved all-round performance on the fairway and green
- Tour-grade performance
- Greater spin potential
- Increased control
- Better range
Urethane is a softer material so accepts spin better than Surlyn but is far less durable. The cover on the same ball will give additional characteristics, so factor this into your choice also.
Balls are generally classified as low, medium, and high-spin. As their names suggest, they do different jobs. Depending on your playing style you might want to look at this as a driving factor.
The lack of spin will mean your shots fly longer and straighter. When they land, low-spin balls tend to travel further as a result. These are suited to players who need extra distance on the ground or who have a tendency to slice their shots.
The one-type-suits-all ball. It’s a compromise between the two styles and is the most popular. My golf buddy swears by a medium-spin option as the best golf ball for 20 handicappers.
Will increase the natural backspin added to the ball when struck. It can improve lift and carry but this all comes at a price. High-spin balls won’t travel as much upon landing, but that’s an asset on the green where feel and control are needed.
This is a measure of how much deformation a ball undergoes when it is struck by the club. Balls are rated from 0 to 200. A 0 rating shows the ball compresses 5 millimeters or more. 200 indicates a ball that doesn’t deform at all.
A soft ball (0) is easily controlled but will offer less distance. A hard ball (200) will travel further but with less control. Most golf balls range between 50 and 100 in compression.
Reviews: The Best Golf Ball for High Handicappers
Now that we’ve gone over the factors that matter in a golf ball, let’s review 2020’s best golf balls for high handicappers.
This is a three-piece, 80 compression ball. The main difference between this and others on the market is the colors and matte finish. You have a choice of four bright, dare I say ‘vivid’ neon hues. They are easy to see off the tee and the fairway. It did help me and fewer lost balls is always a plus.
The matte finish and neon colors give the impression of a smooth ball. But the dimples are there, all 322 of them, in disguise! The three-piece design performs as expected and fairly rips off the tee. It’s designed for a slower swing and you’ll notice the performance. The best results come with a swing in the range of 70 to 90 miles per hour.
As a soft ball, it has a long carry and less spin. It plays well on the green too. All in, it offers very good performance for a mid-priced ball. Its visibility is an asset and I can certainly recommend this for players with a higher handicap.
The only downside is that the soft outer scuffs and marks. The marks come off easily enough with a cloth but the surface will show any disfiguration. As a result, the balls don’t last as long as the harder balls on the market.
- Great off the tee
- Suited to a slower swing speed
- Excellent ball for an experienced senior golfer
- Competitive price point
- Durability. Not as long-lasting as hard balls
- The bright neon colors can be off-putting
This is a three-piece dual-core ball. As you might expect from the name, this is Titleist’s longest ball. Unquestionably distance focused, this ball suits anyone with a slower swing (less than 90 mph). If that’s you, the Velocity should give your game a boost.
It comes in hi-vis white, pink and orange. Easy enough to see on the fairway but less so off the tee, I thought. It certainly isn’t the Volvik Vivid, but depending on your sensibilities, that might not be a bad thing.
The Velocity’s strength is off the tee. Performance is impressive and the low spin made it a lot straighter than I expected.
I found it offered less around the green that I would have liked. For example, it didn’t offer the response or feel of the Tour Soft or Pro V1. But then again, as a distance ball, this isn’t its job.
- Excellent power
- Straight flight
- Good roll on the fairway
- Works well with slower swing speeds
- The ideal tee-to-green ball
- Low spin
- Less control than I would have liked on the green
- The hi-vis white isn’t all that hi-vis, stick to pink or orange
Another three-piece, dual-core ball. But the difference here is that the core is infused with graphene, giving it a slight space-age feel. It also gives it a booming tee shot.
The cover is polybutadiene. Callaway says it’s supposed to give a softer response and feel with more durability.
We have white and yellow options. Still nice and visible but not the lurid-bright options of the previous two balls.
There’s also the ‘Triple Track Technology’ as an aid on the green. This is a love/hate thing, so the ball is only half covered. It’s only useful on the tee or the green, so I have mixed feelings about this (if that’s possible).
All in all, the ball does the job it claims. It’s powerful off the tee and a higher launch certainly gains yards. The lower spin should help your game on the fairway if you tend to generate too much.
- Lower spin than comparable options
- Decent power off the tee
- Colors less off-putting than the Volvik
- Triple Track Tech
- Durability, this ball should last a while
- Triple Track Tech (depending on your mindset)
- Less visible than other options
The e12 is a three-piece Surlyn golf ball. It has a ‘Delta Wing’ dimple pattern to reduce drag and is designed for swings slower than 105 mph. The ball has a compression rating of 50, making it the softest option we’ve reviewed.
Bridgestone’s focus here is your long game. And this guy will certainly give you the yards. It’s more for the mid-paced swing rather than the lower 80 mph swing of the Volvik. But it does the job well. It is a distinction that you should bear in mind, however.
There are three matte colors as well as white. Color always comes down to personal preference. But as I said before, who likes to lose balls?
The tougher cover really changes the ball’s feel in play. There is noticeably less side spin but the flight was longer than I thought it would be. Perhaps because of the dimple pattern or it was just great off the tee.
- Bridges the gap between high handicappers and mid handicappers
- Very low spin for a three-piece ball
- The 50 compression rating might be too soft for some golfers
- Designed for higher swing speeds
The Tour Preferred (hereafter TP) is a soft tour-style ball. It features a four-piece construction and 322 seamless dimples. It also has a soft urethane cover and a compression rating of 80—the lowest of all TaylorMade’s premium balls.
To my eyes the dimple pattern looked hexagonal, which seemed to help in the wind. I thought for driving, the TP’s performance placed it in the middle of the pack. The mid-launch angle off my driver gave a really good but not amazing distance. The feel on approach to the green was the same.
This is a great ball that should appeal to all golfers looking to increase their distance off the tee without sacrificing too much touch and feel to the green. If you are looking for a soft-feel ball that will improve your game all-round, I’d definitely give this a shot.
- Excellent power off the tee
- Feel is superb
- Control on the green was the best of the pack
- Not as much distance as expected. However, this could be the result of a poor shot!
What Is the Best Golf Ball for a High Handicap Golfer?
The clear winner is the TaylorMade TP. It offers all things to all people in my eyes! Some of the other balls have great points. The Titleist flies off the tee as does the Volvik. The Callaway is durable and offers decent performance.
The one ball that does it all though is the TP. It should help improve the all-round game of a high-handicapper. It wins out on approach and on the green. Its playability and feel stood it head and shoulders above the rest.
Give the TP a shot, I am sure you won’t be disappointed!