How to choose a golf ball for beginners

One of the quickest and cheapest improvements you can make to your golf game is playing with the right golf ball – let’s help you make the best decision!

When you’re new to golf it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the best golf ball is for you, and speaking frankly, there isn’t going to be just one model that is head and shoulders above the rest. Every golf ball manufacturer from Titleist and Callaway to Wilson and Srixon offers golf balls for a wide range of players. Depending on your wants and needs you’ll be able to find an ideal option from any of the top producers of golf balls.

It probably goes without saying, but the best golf balls any golfer can play with is one of the best premium golf balls because they are packed with technology to help all golfers obtain more from their golf ball. The best premium golf balls feature a minimum of three layers and can sport up to a five-piece construction. All Tour players reach for premium golf balls because of their unmatched performance.

Golf ball selection in Andy Brooks' Pro Shop at Cleveland Golf Club

As a beginner golfer, you might be thinking, why do I need a premium golf ball? It’s a good question, and potentially you don’t need to be playing with one of the best premium golf balls, but there’s definitely no harm in teeing it up with a Titleist Pro V1, TaylorMade TP5, or Callaway Chrome Tour. One thing all golfers can guarantee from a premium golf ball is outstanding performance that’ll please golfers of all standards – even if you’re a beginner.

There are specific golf balls tailor-made for beginners whether that be the best golf balls for beginners or the best cheap golf balls, both are arguably most suitable for newbies because they’re the most inexpensive golf balls and it’s inevitable that beginners will lose golf balls during their round. However, so do the best golfers in the world!

Here are the main factors on how to choose a golf ball for beginners…


One factor that always plays a part in golfers’ decision-making when it comes to golf balls is feel – here’s a quick crash course in feel. Golf balls tend to be categorized as soft or firm in feel, but you do get some that claim to be softer, softest, firmer, or mid (somewhere Goldilocks would appreciate). The majority of golfers prefer soft-feeling golf balls because of the pleasant sensation they deliver off the clubface.

I’m definitely in the minority as a fan of firm-feeling golf balls, but I appreciate the stronger feedback and sound at impact. There isn’t a direct correlation between feel and performance, by this I mean it isn’t the case that soft golf balls are better around the greens and firm golf balls are better off the tee – this relates more to the construction.

If you’re unsure as to which feel you favor you can always find out by sampling firm and soft golf balls. however, you’re much better off having no preference and playing with the best golf balls for you, whether they’re firm or soft.

It’s worth noting that firm doesn’t feel like you’re smashing a rock around the golf course.

A selection of TaylorMade's various different coloured and patterned 2024 golf balls


Golfers all over the planet miss fairways and putts due to poor alignment, so finding a golf ball that works for you and has an enhanced alignment tool you can take advantage of feels like a win-win.

There are more and more golf balls entering the marketplace season after season that have been overhauled with an enhanced alignment aid, and they do work! You can use the alignment aids to help you line your ball up on the tee and on the putting green.

I’m definitely in favor of alignment aids on golf balls but I can see why some golfers would find them off-putting. The only way to find out whether you like them or not is by giving them a go. One of the most profound alignment aids on a golf ball is that on the TaylorMade Tour Response Stripe which sports a 360° ClearPath Alignment aid. Whereas a more subtle alignment aid can be found on the Titleist AVX.


When you play a round of golf it’s highly likely that over 90% of the people on the course will be playing with a white golf ball, but there are other colors to choose from. Most people will play with a white golf ball because it’s viewed as the norm.

There’s no harm in playing with a more vibrant color unless it negatively impacts your game. Chances are it wouldn’t, if anything, it could positively impact your game because it should be easier to see than a white ball.

You can buy golf balls in all sorts of colors from your usual solid yellow to multi-colored paint-splattered golf balls. Adding a splash of color to your golf ball might not only make it easier to see, but it could also make it easier to identify.

Srixon Q-Star Tour Divide Golf Balls


Ideally, every golf ball would produce low-spin off the tee and high-spin in your approach game. However, not all golf balls are designed that way. The majority of golf balls are designed to produce low-driver spin and generate distance off the tee, but not all golf balls are manufactured to generate high spin from irons and wedges.

Price generally correlates to short-game spin. Budget golf balls will generate less short-game spin than expensive golf balls but there might not be much difference in your long-game spin. During a ball fitting at Titleist, I discovered that a Titleist Pro V1x and Titleist Velocity performed very similarly with my driver, but with a 7-iron the spin dropped slightly with the Velocity, then with a 60° wedge the spin fell massively with the Velocity.

Spin in the golf ball comes from the combination of layers within the golf ball reacting with one another, hence why more expensive golf balls spin more in approach play because they consist of more layers and the technology is more refined. Cheaper golf balls tend to consist of two layers, the cover and core. Therefore they don’t have the number of layers required to produce astronomical spin when attacking pins.

Another factor that helps to enhance spin is the cover material. Golf balls with a urethane cover naturally spin more because it’s a more flexible material compared to ionomer or surlyn which doesn’t create as much friction with the clubface as urethane does. Once again, it’s more expensive golf balls that feature urethane covers to generate higher spin on approach shots.

Spin is massively important because it can either make you hit and hold a green or hit and fly over the green. The best golf balls for spin are by far premium golf balls closely followed by golf balls for mid-handicappers because they feature much of the technology found in Tour standard golf balls. If you feel as though you need high levels of spin when attacking greens you could save some money by purchasing one of the best value golf balls.


Beginners arguably don’t need to spend as much on golf balls as seasoned golfers, therefore, you can afford to have a lower budget. While budgeting is worthwhile, you always don’t want to stoop too low and limit yourself to golf balls that lack quality.

I would say that there are other areas where budgeting is more of a necessity. If you play with one of the best premium golf balls compared to one of the best distance golf balls, you will notice a difference – regardless of your ability – in the feel, performance, and your score.

Budgeting when buying golf equipment is never bad but I believe you’re better off splashing on golf balls than you are with other pieces of golf equipment.

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About the author

James Hogg is a Golf Equipment Writer for Today's Golfer, with expert knowledge in putters, golf balls, and apparel.

James Hogg – Golf Equipment Writer

James has a degree in English Language from Newcastle University and an MA in Journalism from Kingston University.

He spent seven years working for American Golf as part of the sales and fitting team alongside his studies and is a specialist in putters, golf balls, and apparel.

James took up golf as a teenager and, thanks largely to his length and consistency off the tee, he plays off a handicap of 4.7 at Cleveland Golf Club.

You can contact James via email for loads more golf equipment insight.

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