Tour Golf Balls - What And Why

What Are Tour Golf Balls Golfers of all abilities aspire to play like the professionals on the PGA tour, but while not every player has such low handicaps as those who golf for a living, they can use the same golf balls. These tour golf balls are created to optimize all three main aspects of a golf game: distance off the driver, spin off the irons, and control on the green. Highly skilled players who have low handicaps are best served by playing with a tour golf ball, and their personal preferences and focus will help him to select the right ball.

Beginner and recreational golfers should note that simply playing with a tour golf ball will not automatically better ones score. The design and construction of these balls is specific to the swing speed and amount of force with which professional golfers can hit the ball. Most low handicap golfers have swing speeds of over 100 miles per hour, and tour balls are designed to take advantage of this and perform best when hit at such club speeds. Those who have mid level and high handicaps would have their game improved more by playing with distance balls. Unlike tour balls, distance balls are built to allow those who have slower, less forceful swing speeds to hit the ball farther since distance is often the main problem with beginner and average golfers.

There are various components of tour golf balls which give each ball its own unique performance characteristics. Most tour balls have a three piece construction: the core, a mantle layer, and a cover. Those golfers who simply need a ball for a good general game will appreciate the versatility of three piece tour golf balls such as the Nike Black, the Precept U-Tri Tour, and the Maxfli Tour Fire. Some balls use a four piece design with an inner and outer mantle in addition to the core and cover. More layers do not automatically provide better performance than three pieces. These four piece balls are best for those who want to concentrate on their control and spin in a short game. Examples of four piece construction in tour balls include the Taylormade TP Red, Titleist Pro V1x, and the Callaway Tour i.

The number of layers is just one of the options for choosing a tour golf ball. The softness and compression of the core material also influence the distance and feel the ball delivers. Some tour balls have a firmer core, such as the Muscle Fiber Core used in the Precept U-Tri Tour. Other manufacturers implement a core of varying density which becomes harder from the inside out like the Speed Elasticity Core used in Bridgestone's Tour B330 and B330s. A core with a varying density helps to reduce side spin off driver shots, but a solid core is best for maximum distance and speed.

The mantle layer is common in tour balls but rare in distance balls geared toward beginners. This layer helps to both stabilize the ball during high speed flight off a driver and to give the ball more control and spin off irons and on the green. Some tour balls are designed with a concentration on extra spin and control and while they do not fly as far off the driver as compared to tour balls with an emphasis on distance they are easier to move in a short game with a noticeably softer feel. Such balls include the Slazenger Power Control, the Maxfli Black Max and the Srixson Z-URC. Again, the golfer's personal preference in where he wants to focus his game will determine the best ball choice for him.

Softness of the ball is not only based on what is inside, but the cover also contributes to the feel of the ball. Surlyn covers offer some softness and added durability, but other tour balls have urethane which has a softer feel. A ball coated with Surlyn is the Slazenger Power Control. Urethane covered balls include: Bridgestone Tour B330 and B330s, the Titleist Pro V1 and V1x, and Nike Platinum. Maxfli's tour balls use a proprietary Iothane cover which is thinner than many urethane covers. A ball with a thin covering allows for a larger core which can store and release more energy, translating into greater distance. The Strata balls, such as the Strata Tour Pro, have a patented Zythane II cover which is softer than urethane. Feel is a very personal preference for the golfer, and whether to select a soft or firm ball depends upon ones tastes.

Dimples also change the nature of each golf ball but the number of dimples is not the only determining factor in how they help to lift and stabilize the ball in flight. Perhaps more important is the pattern and depth of the dimples. There are as many different dimple patterns, shapes and depths, as there are golf ball manufacturers. The best way to choose the best dimple configuration for ones specific play will be to try a variety of tour balls and see which one performs the best.

While calculating formulas, taking into account the softness of a ball, the speed one swings a club, and dimple patterns can help a player to choose the best tour golf balls, the best method is trial and error. By playing with a variety of different balls and brands, the player will be able to find the tour ball which will work the best for him.