Jim Suttie: Find the right ball for your game

Something as simple as using the correct golf ball can help your game immeasurably? Why?

A low-ball hitter should have a high-spin ball.

A slicer should use a low-spin ball.

Most of us pick the ball we use based on what the pros use or what company does the most marketing. This is unfortunate because using the right golf ball for your swing could be one of your best allies. With so many brands to choose from how do you, the consumer, make sense of picking the right ball? Some of you say, "If it's round and white I'll bag it, it really doesn't make a difference."

There are basically 4 ball types: 1) high performance, multi-layered, 2) 2- or 3-piece with less spin than premium balls, 3) 2-piece performance which includes low-compression balls, and 4) 2-piece distance. The trick is to find the right ball for our swing.

If you are a slow swinger and have relatively slow swing speed you might want a 2-piece low-compression ball. These balls won't spin as much so it will help your distance and reduce your slice. If you know you are a steep swinger or a digger, I would go with this ball. The only drawback might be that because these balls don't spin as much it may affect stopping the ball on fast greens with your shorter approach.

Are you a picker, someone who takes no divot? You might want a ball that spins a little more. This will give you more spin and control. I'd go with a ball that was lower compression and higher spin rate because pickers need the spin rate to get the ball in the air.

A fairly good player that can trap the ball and distance isn't an issue, would probably already spin the ball. If this is you, you might want a low-spin 2-or 3-piece high performance ball.

If you have trouble controlling the ball around the green you may want a multi-layered ball that spins more.

When choosing a golf ball, there are other issues to consider: What is your swing speed; how steep or shallow is your swing; and what is your trajectory.

Regarding individual swings:

Fast swinger and hitter of the ball – a multi-layered high performance ball.

Slow swinger and need more distance and trajectory – 3-piece low compression ball

The key is to find out what is needed in your game and pick the ball that fits your needs. If you don't know or understand your needs, take a lesson from your PGA instructor and he will evaluate your distance, spin rate, trajectory and swing speed, and recommend a ball that fits your swing.

Dr. Jim Suttie, the 2000 PGA Teacher of the Year, is director of instruction at The Club at TwinEagles in North Naples and at Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont, Ill. His new book is "Your Perfect Swing" and is available at bookstores and at amazon.com. He also is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher and rated No. 15 by Golf Digest. Suttie coaches the FGCU men's golf team. E-mail him at jmsuttie@aol.com.

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