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What Are the Best Golf Balls for Beginners?

Beginner golf balls dumped out of a basket

Like any sport, there's a lot to learn about golf if you're a beginner. Even if you've been an avid watcher of the game, there's quite a bit to master if you're just starting to play. For example, which clubs to use at which points, what is the proper stance when putting, and how to keep your golf bag organized are just a few of the many nuances of the game that can affect your performance.

If you're just getting started and want to practice on the greens, make sure you have the necessary training equipment and accessories, including golf balls. Some golf balls are better for beginners than others, allowing you to start learning proper form and technique while also increasing your confidence. Continue reading to learn which golf balls are best for the beginner golfer.

What Type of Golf Balls Are Best for Beginners?

You don't need the most expensive golf balls on the market when you're first starting out. There are primarily three things you should look for in a beginner's golf ball:

  • ultra-soft feel
  • low compression rating
  • inexpensive cost

Once  you've narrowed down your options using these criteria, then it's time to consider the brand, color, ball designs, and other cosmetic considerations.

Ultra-Soft Feel

A quick swing speed comes with lots of play and practice. But when you're first starting, you'll be swinging much slower than the pros and experienced amateurs. Using an ultra-soft ball will give you better results than a harder one. And while you may think it's to your advantage to start practicing with the same golf balls as the pros, part of the game is having confidence in your swing. If practically every shot you take is bad, it's easy to get discouraged early and give up.

Soft golf balls have higher levels of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a catch-all term for specific design elements in golf equipment that mitigate poor results from subpar performance. For example, golf clubs have a sweet spot - an area that will provide optimal results when it makes contact with the ball. The larger a golf club's sweet spot, the better the results and the more forgiving the club is said to be.

And as for golf balls, using a soft golf ball will limit the amount of sidespin that occurs each time you hit the golf ball. Limiting that sidespin will minimize hitting the ball far off course when you make a bad swing. And until your form is perfect, using a forgiving golf ball will ensure your results are decent enough that you don't give up on your amateur dreams.

Low Compression Rating

You also want balls with a low compression rating. What's a compression rating? A metric between 30 and 120 tells you how soft or hard a ball is. The lower the compression rating, the softer the ball, so look for balls with a compression rating close to 30.

You might be wondering why you'd want to look for balls that feel soft when you can just buy one with a low compression rating. Over time, manufacturers have introduced newer materials and processes that can make a ball feel softer or harder than its actual compression rating. Further, different manufacturers have their own standards for what, say, a 60 feels like versus an 80.

So why look at compression ratings at all rather than just feel? Well, regardless of the manufacturer, compression ratings can give us a good starting point for us to consider a ball's feel.

Generally speaking, you'll want to avoid anything much higher than a 60 until you get your golf legs under you. And with that subset in mind, you can now consider the feel of the ball.

Low price

Even with forgiving golf equipment, you'll lose a lot of balls in the trees and the water when you first get started. So, you want to find golf balls that are as cheap as possible so that you can keep a plentiful stock in your golf bag.

Golf clubs, bags, and accessories will take enough of a bite out of your budget, not to mention the dreaded greens fees. And it's hard to master distance control and precision if you're scrambling to find the one ball you have left every couple of holes.

Superior golf performance requires concentration and focus, not anxiety and split attention. You'll want to have all the equipment you need with you on the green, easily accessible in a well-organized golf bag. For an 18-hole round, you can expect to need somewhere between nine and twelve golf balls.

What Are Some of the Best Golf Balls for Beginners?

Now that you know what to look for in a golf ball, you're probably wondering what are some of the best golf balls for beginners on the market? These seven models offer the most bang for your buck:

  1. Callaway Supersoft
  2. Srixon AD333
  3. Srixon Ultisoft
  4. TaylorMade Noodle Long and Soft
  5. TaylorMade Project (s)
  6. Pinnacle Soft
  7. Titleist Tour Soft

Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls

Beginners can't go wrong with Callaway's line of super-soft golf balls. They're designed specifically for those who have relatively slow swings in mind. Ranging around $2 a ball, Callaway golf balls are affordable, durable, and very forgiving.

Srixion AD333 and Ultisoft Golf Balls

These golf balls are an excellent choice for not only beginners, but also for golfers of all levels. Srixion's soft golf balls have a compression rating of 60 and a soft feel that can help golfers practice and master the fundamentals.

The AD333 balls are about $2 a ball and are good for distance and those with fast swings, though they have a higher trajectory than other balls on this list. The Ultisoft is a bit more expensive at $2.50 a ball, but it is softer than the AD333 and performs well at low, mid, and high swing speeds. It's good at limiting sidespin and hitting for distance as well.

TaylorMade Noodle Long and Soft, and Project (s) Golf Balls

TaylorMade manufactures high-quality golf balls that are incredibly durable. The Noodle golf balls are quite cheap as well, retailing for less than $1 a ball. However, they're still quite soft, forgiving, and an ideal starting point for aspirants.

For $2 a ball, you can opt for Project (s) golf balls, which have very low driver spin. They're also great for those practicing distance control and accuracy. And like the cheaper Noodle, the Project (s) golf balls are also extremely durable.

Pinnacle Soft Golf Balls

Pinnacle also produces golf balls with a low spin that will help you improve the accuracy of your long-distance shots. The Pinnacle Soft Golf Ball is also designed with consistent performance in mind, so even practiced golfers may benefit from using one. You can get them for under $1.50 a ball and drive and putt them until your heart's content.

Titleist Tour Soft Golf Balls

If you must have a Titleist, start with the best one for beginners. Titleist's Tour Soft Golf Balls have a soft feel, but their design does not compromise their distance. Plus, of course, you get to hit a Titleist like the pros do. You'll also pay almost $3 a ball. But that may be a small sacrifice if you're looking to play like Dustin Johnson one day.

Getting Started With the Right Golf Equipment

Of course, golf balls aren't the only thing you'll need. You'll need the right equipment, starting with clubs. Ideally, you'll have the following clubs (maximum 14) in your golf bag:

  • Driver
  • Fairway wood(s)
  • Irons (3-PW)
  • Hybrid(s)
  • Sand wedge
  • Putter

To start out, you might not need the full assortment of irons. As a beginner, you can do well with a 5, 7, and 9 iron. You can add to this list as you get more practice, understand what different clubs are used for, and master your form. But you don't want to break the bank before you've started, so sticking with nine clubs in the beginning is a good starting point.

You'll also want a durable golf bag that can help you keep your clubs well organized. Again, great golf performance comes from a combination of skill and concentration. If you're scrambling to find where all your clubs and balls are at every hole, you're not going to be able to spend all of your attention on your shots.

various golf accessories for beginners

Your golf bag is where you'll house other necessary equipment, such as:

  • Tees
  • Ball markers
  • Gloves
  • Apparel
  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Pencils
  • Rain gear

And while you don't want to overstuff your bag, the above items are what you'll typically need, especially if you're playing rather than just practicing at the driving range.

Beginners should also consider indoor equipment, such as quality putting mats and putting gates. Not only is putting a critical part of the game, but it's really easy to lose momentum practicing when the seasons change. Even a few days of heavy rain can throw you off course. Having indoor golf aids that can help you practice your game is essential.

Whether you're practicing to become the next Masters champion, spend time with friends, or enjoying the great outdoors, you can see rapid improvements in your game if you start with the right equipment. And with time and deliberate practice, you can become a better golfer than you ever envisioned.