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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Now for the Golf Digest Golf Ball Hot List

About a week ago I did a post about Golf Magazine's Golf Ball Guide. The problem was that I couldn't find that buying guide online (and that hasn't changed).

However, Golf Digest has released their Hot List for golf balls... and it IS online. It consists of 32 slides. Balls are broken down into 3 groups -- $25 and under, $26-$35 and over $35:
  • Of course the over $35 balls come first. They start on slide 2.
  • The $26-$35 group starts on slide 10. This is the biggest group.
  • The $25 and under group starts on slide 24.
And all balls are ranked in 4 categories -- performance, innovation, feel and demand -- on a 1-to-5 star scale.

Golf Digest golf ball sales chartThere is also a link on the first slide for an article that "addresses five questions" they say might change your choices. Make sure you check out that article, which is at this link. The five questions are:
  1. Are the most expensive golf balls really that much better than the less-expensive ones?
  2. Do tour players play the same balls for sale at my golf shop?
  3. Recent start-ups sell "tour balls" with multiple layers and urethane covers that cost less than the traditional $40-plus a dozen. How?
  4. How should I determine my price point for golf balls?
  5. How do I test a ball or get fit for one?
The answers really might surprise you. For example, nearly a third of Tour players don't use a stock golf ball -- that is, you can't buy the exact ball they use at your golf shop. Their balls are tweaked for their respective swings.

But that last question about how to get fit for a ball is important. They recommend you start by hitting balls on a launch monitor -- I suspect that will help you thin down the likely options -- and then test the balls you like on the course, particularly for short game performance.

If you didn't get to check out the Golf Magazine guide because you couldn't get hold of a print copy, at least this Hot List is easily accessible.

And the photo showing that two-piece balls are still the biggest sellers came from the "five questions" article.

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