Things You Need To Know About Golf Balls

Whether one is a seasoned golfer or just a beginner, it is important to pay a lot of attention to the golf ball one uses. The game cannot be played properly with the wrong golf ball. It is important to consider a few guidelines that will help in choosing the correct ball for one’s game. To the untrained eye, most balls look similar to each other but it is important to find out more about their features in order to achieve the right trajectory and distance. Let’s take a look at some critical factors that will help in choosing the correct golf ball:

Find out how much it will cost you

Be clear about how much you are willing to or can afford to spend on golf balls. Since golf balls come in a variety of brands, models and prices, it is critical to understand one’s exact requirements. Beginners should avoid very expensive brands and models such as the Titleist Pro V1’s. Since beginners tend to lose a lot of golf balls, playing expensive golf balls can be a colossal waste of money. Before investing in expensive new golf balls, it is best to use recycled golf balls that are more affordable and perform just as well.

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Understand the spin of the ball

Advanced golfers should pick a ball that has a softer cover, preferably made of urethane or balata because this gives the ball extra spin, allowing golfers to play better. Golf balls with softer covers stop and back up on the green. Similarly, if you want more spin, go for multi layer construction with a softer cover.

The condition of the ball is important

It is crucial to note that the golf ball you are playing should be in the best condition. Look for cuts on the ball, since the slightest change in its condition can negatively influence the flight and landing ability of the ball.

Trial and error will lead you to the perfect ball for your game

Instead of sticking with just one ball, try experimenting with a few different models. Play different rounds with different golf balls to get a better feel for the ball. The more time you spend playing a ball, the better understanding you will develop.

Know whether your ball is a performance ball or not

Made of multi layer construction and a softer cover material, a high performance ball is the most expensive type of golf ball in the market. The Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are the golden standard for performance balls. These golf balls are best suited for advanced players, allowing for greater control and spin. Most amateurs do not need to play with high end performance balls.

Following these simple guidelines will help you find the correct ball for your swing and your budget.

2013 Masters Preview

2013 Masters

“I’ve never been to heaven, and thinking back on my life, I probably won’t get a chance to go. I guess winning the Masters is as close as I’m going to get.” Fuzzy Zoeller

With azaleas budding here in Georgia, it is time to for the 2013 Masters. The 77th iteration of this world class tournament that begins on Thursday April 11 in Augusta, promises to be a great event. The main storylines to follow revolve around Bubba Watson, the defending champion, who said he wants to be the number one golfer in the world this year, Tiger Woods, who looks to be playing like the old Tiger again, and Charl Schwartzel, the streaking 2011 Masters champion.

Bubba Watson, who won the 2012 Masters in historic fashion, is back and ready to play. Currently ranked 14th in the world, Watson is planning to make his move again in this tournament, catapulting him back into the top 10. But to do this, he will have to overcome four Americans currently ranked in the top five, as well as number one ranked golfer, Tiger Woods.

Of the five Americans currently ranked in the top 10, none are more feared right now than Tiger Woods. Looking like the pre-meltdown Woods again, Tiger is making a serious run at the Masters this year. And while many were saying the same thing last year, another year of focused play should provide Tiger with just what he needed to get himself back to form for a more serious run at a green jacket – time. Tiger is hungry for a big win in a Major  to put him back on track in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors. This win will also consolidate his recent move to the number one ranking in the world. Watch out for Tiger this weekend.

Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 champ and current number 15 ranked golfer in the world, has been on a tear the last four months. Since November, he has had top five finishes in seven consecutive tournaments spanning multiple continents. Among those finishes, he had back to back wins in Thailand and South Africa. During this four month span, he has accumulated more world ranking points than any other golfer. He has the game to remain in the top five for a long time to come, and is poised to break out on Masters Weekend.

Another interesting aspect to consider are the golf balls of choice of these golf pros. The most commonly used ball on tour is the Titleist Pro v1 and Pro v1x, which just so happens to be the ball of choice for Bubba Watson. Woods and Schwartzel, however, use the Nike One Tour D. There will also be on display a new Nike, the 20XI series, which is McIlroy’s new ball since signing on with Nike.

With so many story lines, this year’s Masters will surely be one to remember. Please, tell us which story lines you are planning to follow in the comments section.

 

Must Have Golf Items: Beginner Must Have Items

Some "Must Have" Golf Items

Some “Must Have” Golf Items

Every golfer was new at one point, and for those just starting now, it is important to keep that in mind. A lot of people have considered the game, only to be discouraged the first time they go to the range and slice or hook every ball they hit. If this is you, it is important to keep in mind that you are not alone. But to give you a head start, we have created a list of must have golf items for beginners. Between this, and our get into golf series, you should be in a great place to begin golfing.

The first thing you will need for golf is a set of golf clubs. You can use just about any regulation set you want, but we usually recommend you find a quality set to start. This serves two purposes – number one, if you buy an inexpensive set of low quality clubs, you will stand out on the course as a new golfer, and number two, if you use a low quality set of clubs, you will play like a novice, as clubs can have a substantial impact on your game. That being said, you do not need to break the bank on your first set of clubs; instead, you can find a really nice used set of clubs and pay the same or even less than you would for a new set of bad clubs. We highly recommend visiting one of your local golf shops and having them measure your swing speed and other swing dynamics so as to get the right flex, loft and lie for your clubs.

Next, you will want to get your clothes. While there are some courses which allow you to play in jeans or a hoodie, most require, at the very least, khakis and a polo shirt. But beyond the basics, you need to consider what you will have in the event it rains, if the sun is really bright, or the wind picks up. For those situations, you will want things like a windbreaker, hat or visor, and maybe a basic rain suit if you decide to stick with golf. Now don’t go crazy, as the costs can add up very quickly on clothes, but you’ll want to have a few outfits to wear when you go out to the courses. And remember, just because some pros dress crazy, it doesn’t mean you have to.

Another extremely important, but often overlooked must have golf item for beginners is gloves. A good pair of gloves will save your hands from sores, calluses, and bruises as you get accustomed to swinging a golf club. This single accessory could be the difference between sticking with it and quitting after your first round of golf.

Golf balls are, of course, another necessity for beginning golfers. For those who are new to the sport, it might seem silly that there is so much ado about a ball, but balls can have a significant impact on your game. As such, we recommend you try a variety of balls, and while you may not need the balls used by the top pros, it can’t hurt to try them, either. As with clubs, we don’t recommend you buy new balls when you are starting out. Instead, try going used and saving a ton of money. Once you find a ball you are comfortable with, stick with it.

There are also a number of minor accessories that will be nice to have as you start off. Golf tees, for instance, are a necessity. And while many do use the plain white wooden tees, there are a number of types out there, and some swear by the effects it has on their game. Towels, too, are important to carry with you. You will want to wipe off your clubs after most shots, and your ball when it gets dirty or when you get to the green. Finally, your shoes can impact your game. There are a number of brands, makes, and types out there, but as a beginner any pair will be better than your sneakers. As you advance in the game, you will learn your style and can pick a pair more suited to your play.

There are, of course, many other items you can get to start yourself on the right foot with golf, but these are the absolute must have items for beginners to walk out on a course. If you can think of any other items we did not cover, or would like to add your opinion on any of these items, please leave a comment.

Great Vacation Destinations for Golfers

Golf VacationGolf and vacation, is there a better combination? For those of you considering a vacation in the near future but are unsure of where to go, why not check out one of these destinations?  We decided to make this list based on cities, not resorts, because everyone knows the top resorts, and you can either afford to go there or you cannot. By picking the best golf vacation destinations based on city or region, we hope to make this list a little more attainable. Ultimately, we made this list based on a number of factors, but the most important feature to each town is this: the city lives for golf.

Colorado Springs, COColorado Springs is world famous for its golf. Three hundred plus days of sun a year, endless options for golf, and magnificent golf courses make this city a golfer’s paradise. The fact that you can hit the ball much further in this high altitude location is certainly an added bonus.

Phoenix, AZPhoenix boasts over 200 golf courses, meaning you can get a tee time just about whenever you want. Add in the majestic scenery and ability to golf year round, and you have the makings of a world class golf city.

Maui, HI – Priding itself as the island of choice for golfers, Maui has more golf courses per square foot than any other island in the chain. This clear dedication to the sport of golf, coupled with some of the best weather and nicest views in the world, makes Maui an easy choice for any golfer’s vacation list. If you are lucky enough to play in Maui, be sure to play the Plantation Course in Kapalua.

Hilton Head, SC – The South Carolina coast is simply stunning, and can be played practically year round. The small island of Hilton Head has over 20 golf courses to choose from, which is pretty substantial on an island with an area of only 55 square miles.

Palm Springs, CA – With over 100 golf courses, a backdrop of palm trees and mountains, and a community committed to golf, Palm Springs might just be golf nirvana. This city has been a haven for golfers for decades, and continues to have some of the nicest courses in the world.

This list is in no particular order, but if you would like to assign one, or if you think we missed a particular city, please leave a comment.

Golf Balls Unlimited – 2012 in Review

As the New Year begins, we take a look back at the year that was. 2012 was a year of great growth for Golf Balls Unlimited. We went from being one of the top recycled (used) golf ball sellers on eBay to becoming one of the fastest growing used golf ball companies on the internet. In March, we launched the GBU blog and over the past nine months, we held two contests, gave out tips for new players interested in golf and reviewed the technology behind various golf balls. The following is the “best of 2012”.

  • How to choose a used golf ball: Being in the used ball business, it was only natural for us to discuss the factors and details consumers should consider before purchasing recycled golf balls. Thus, our opening post was born. The most important aspect of a used golf ball is the quality of the ball (rated on a A to AAAAA scale with AAA considered the best value). That being said, it is crucial for consumers to choose the right ball for their game. Companies manufacture golf balls for different players and different feels – players should find the ball that best suits their game.
  • Contests: GBU held two contests this year. The “#YourBeautifulSwing” contest was held from May to the end of June. Contestants were challenged to photograph and submit their “Most Beautiful Swing” with the proper hashtag (#). This contest was won by Tim Halberg from Santa Barbara, who submitted his mid-flight shot from the beach.  Then, we announced #BirdieWatching in August. The contest, that ran into early November pitted not only playing skills but storytelling abilities. B. Stanton, playing the 12th hole at Beth Page Red (with the famed Titleist Pro V1 – more on that later) took home first place in that contest with Justus Becks a close second. Both GBU contests used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as main platforms. This is truly the social media age.
  • Get Into Golf Series (GIGS): As we got to know our customers, we realized that many of our peers who golf were recent converts to the game. The transition to golf typically happens in the late 20’s and early 30’s. The body doesn’t respond to fast paced sports like basketball anymore, not to mention the risk of injury. Our first post on this topic laid the foundation for this series – have fun and learn. The dreams of being a pro athlete have passed. Yes, people are competitive, but frustration at this age and level only inhibits progress. The joy is in learning and incremental improvement. We then discussed how to build and improve your game on a budget.  We noted that one of the best places to save money is by purchasing recycled golf balls. There is no good reason for most golfers to waste money on new golf balls. The third lesson was for those interested in a professional’s input, extolling some of the advantages of taking lessons. All in all, the main message is clear: have fun, and play.
  • Business Etiquette on the Course: There are many more reasons to get into golf than the ones listed above. Business and networking are a welcome side effect of this beautiful game. We broke down how to behave, as well as how to conduct business on the course.
  • Titleist Pro V1: The Pro V1 deserves its own bullet point. It simply revolutionized golf balls since its introduction over 10 years ago. Even now, it remains the most popular ball on tour. We wait patiently for the next big breakthrough.
  • The Companies That Could Do It: We covered the construction of several top of the line golf balls. From the Callaway Black Hex, the Bridgestone B330,  the Nike 20XI, every company puts millions of dollars in research in trying to catch up to the Pro V1. The big idea is trying to balance distance with control, spin with a low trajectory. Many players have their own preferences – or endorsement deals. And yes, all these balls can be found in the GBU store.
  • Interviews – We interviewed people like us, who are using social media and digital means to spread their message. We started with professional long driver Maurice Allen as he took us on his journey from being a world class athlete, to competitive long driver, to trying to translate his skills on the PGA tour. We then talked to PGA.com coordinating producer John Kim. Kim has been working for PGA.com since 2006 and has seen firsthand how social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube disrupted the web. If Kim was on one side, then Callaway social media guru Chad Coleman is a product of the post-social internet. It was another great interview about trying to navigate this new online world.
  • Brandt Snedeker and Practice – Brandt Snedeker’s victory at the Fed Ex Cup brought up a larger idea of practice – is it better to be great at one aspect (like putting), or should you practice a well rounded game? This conversation will certainly continue into the new year.

We ended the year with a 2013 golf ball preview and look forward to bringing more informative and engaging content to our valued blog readers and customers. Thank you for your continued support and we wish you the very best in 2013.

2013 Golf Ball Preview

Golf ball companies have upped the ante every year in the elusive race to produce a better ball than the Titleist Pro V1. So far, TaylorMade has come closest with the Penta TP5. Engineers from companies as diverse as Callaway, Bridgestone, and Nike have taken a crack at beating the Pro V1. Perhaps 2013 is the year of the golf ball breakthrough. The following is a preview of what to expect next year:

Titleist – Titleist lost Rory McIlroy to Nike this offseason. But no matter – the Pro V1 remains the most popular ball on tour. There are rumors that Titleist is testing a new prototype ball. Titleist has big shoes to fill and they should never be expected to replicate the impact of the Pro V1. But if any company can do it again, it’s them.

Nike – Nike has some big challenges ahead in trying to incorporate McIlroy into its golf family. They look to make improvements to the 20XI with the addition of a new RZN core. In addition, sources are reporting that the RZN technology will be added to its ONE line. We covered how Tiger Woods plays with an older ball not available to the public. Will this new RZN core addition persuade him to play with the 20XI? Also, it will be interesting to see what ball McIlroy uses.

TaylorMade – TaylorMade has internet messageboards abuzz with a secret ball dubbed “Project 5”. Justin Rose won the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final last October with the ball. Very little is known about the ball but many speculate that “Project 5”, or whatever it ends up being named, will replace the Penta TP5 as TaylorMade’s flagship ball. Early reviews have been outstanding. Could this be the next great ball?

Bridgestone/Callaway – There isn’t enough information out there, but it would be reasonable to assume that each of these companies will make an improvement to their top of the line balls (Callaway with the HEX Black Tour and Bridgestone with the B330). We’ll post reviews once details become known.

There is a lot at stake on and off the course for golf balls in 2013. Check back to this blog for regular updates and reviews.

Callaway HEX Black Tour Ball – More Than Holds Its Own

The Golf Balls Unlimited blog has previously reviewed several top of the line golf balls such as the Titleist Pro V1, Nike 20XI and Bridgestone B330. Today, we focus on Callaway golf’s flagship ball, the HEX Black Tour.

Every golf ball engineer must tackle the eternal dilemma of distance vs. control. The solution to this problem lies within the construction of the core. Put very simply, a harder core signals more distance, while a softer core signals feel. The HEX Black Tour hedges its bet with its i-Core technology featuring dual core construction. The outer core has high compression while the inner core has a soft compression. This creates “spin separation” – low spin and high trajectory to get distance off drives and high spin on approach shots for control, all in one golf ball (this is very similar to the B330). The five-piece construction includes a urethane cover that gives the ball a soft feel around greens and prevents scratches to increase durability. The HEX technology refers to six characteristics that make up the ball: spin, distance, a soft feel, stable trajectory in the wind, consistent distances, and durability. The ball is 100% covered in dimples to achieve consistent flight.

Simply put, this is technology fit for a premier golf ball. Phil Mickelson remarked that he’s never seen a “combination of short-range control and distance”. The commercial below shows his excitement:

How does this ball stack up to the Titleist Pro V1? Let us know. Check out our stock of used Callaway HEX Black Tour golf balls.

 

Titleist Pro V1 | How it Revolutionized Golf

Little did anyone know that Billy Andrade’s victory at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas in October 2000 would mark a turning point in golf ball history. Andrade, runner up Phil Mickelson, and many others that weekend used the Titleist Pro V1, a ball that had been available to pros for less than a week. The ball was made available to the public two months later and “tipped” within a matter of months. Current players who endorse the ball read like a who’s who of the tour: Steve Stricker, KJ Choi, Angel Cabrera, Jose Maria Olazabel, Rickie Fowler – the list goes on. The Titleist Pro V1, and its cousin, the Titleist Pro V1x, are not only the most used golf ball on the PGA World Tour, but have been the best selling golf ball in the world for over a decade. How did the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x achieve this popularity?

In short: technology. The original Titleist Pro V1 raised the bar on the construction of a three piece ball, with the core, casing, and cover made from the cutting edge technology at the time (a core made of Polybutadiene, an Ionomeric layer, and a Urethane Elastomer cover, to get more technical). This allowed the ball to have a highly sought after combination of spin and durability. The Pro V1 had a “soft” feel to enable pinpoint accuracy. Yet durability was the x-factor – popular balls at the time simply didn’t last as long as the Pro V1.

Titleist then introduced the Pro V1x in 2003. The Pro V1x was a four piece ball as opposed to the three pieces that made up the Pro V1. The Pro V1x introduced a dual core layer, creating a compact core meant for distance. Another difference was in the number and construction of the dimples: the Pro V1 has 392 dimples with five different sizes while the Pro V1x has 332 dimples with seven different sizes. The contrast in construction shows in a player’s game. The Pro V1, with its three layers, more dimples, and soft core is for players who prefer spin and control. The Pro V1x, with its added layer and less dimples, plays for distance.

Scan the names of pros who use the V1 or the V1x and it’s easy to say that Titleist revolutionized golf balls with the introduction of the line. And by making subtle but important changes every few years, it’s difficult to imagine any company overtaking their spot in the meantime. Remember to go to the Golf Balls Unlimited shop to get a piece of the pros at discount rates (Titleist Product Page).