The Best Golf Balls for a Slow Swing Speed
If you don't generate a lot of clubhead speed when you're golfing, don't despair. Golf equipment manufacturers are ready to help. Clubs and balls are designed with a sophistication akin to rocket science -- for example, "Golf Digest" notes that engineers analyze the air flow inside the dimple on the cover of the ball to determine the best aerodynamic pattern for various swing speeds. The best golf balls for slow swingers offer a balance of distance, short-game control and an affordable price.
The best balls for slow swingers have softer cores that are more easily compressed than hard cores. This enables a greater amount of energy to be imparted to the ball at the moment of impact. If the compression is too high -- such as the 90 or 100 compression balls played by most elite golfers -- slow swingers feel like they are hitting a rock instead of a golf ball and lose substantial amounts of distance. A 70 or 80 compression ball works best for a slow swinger, and most ball manufacturers offer models at these compression levels.
Pick Your Pieces
Golf balls are constructed in a variety of ways. According to Golfballs.com, you can buy a two-, three-, four- and even a 5-piece ball. Balls with four or five pieces are the most sophisticated and generally are designed for better players with faster swing speeds. A two-piece ball is designed for maximum distance if you swing the club slowly. A three-piece ball gives you substantial distance benefits, as well as a higher spin rate for better control and touch around the greens. For most slower swingers, a two- or three-piece ball is the best choice.
Golf balls aren't cheap. A two-piece ball is the least expensive, because there are fewer design features built into it. If you are a beginner with a slow swing -- and if a two-piece ball feels good to you -- it's the best choice, because you'll pay about $20 per dozen at the time of publication. A three-piece ball designed specifically for slower swing speeds can cost upward of $50 per dozen, according to PGA.com. Unless three-piece balls perform noticeably better for you than two-piece balls, the latter will save you lots of money.
The most reliable way to find the best ball for your game is through ball fitting. Club and ball fitting used to be reserved for elite golfers, but in the 21st century, they are available to the masses. A fitting can equip a golfer with a slow swing with the best clubs and balls for his particular game. "Getting fit for a golf ball is especially important the more you hit the ball off-center," Bridgestone's Shunsuke Tayama told "Golf Digest." "The worse you are and the slower you swing, the more you benefit from ball fitting."
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.