In my never-ending quest to improve my golf game, one of the strategies I pursue is the elimination of variables. A golf variable is something like choice of golf club for a given distance, positioning of feet for a swing, grip on the club, and…choice of golf ball.
Now I know some players who think of golf balls as some sort of precious commodity. I’ve seen them looking for a lost ball for 10 minutes on the course, buying floating golf balls so they are not lost in a shot over a water hazard, and, worst of all, picking up random junk balls of low quality left behind by another golfer. For example, it might be a dry spell and a particular water hazard might be a bit dryer than usual. One of these guys might see some low quality ball in the dried mud and will fish it out. I’ve even see them play that ball on the next shot.
This is not logical behavior. When you go to a golf course and plunk down $50 or more to play a round, this is not the time to go cheap on your golf balls. This is the time to pull out the Callaways or the Titleist DTs, the $1 to $3 ball. These balls are more expensive for a reason. They are played by the pros on the Tour. They are chosen for their superior quality, with a perfect ratio of distance to putting feel. A lower quality ball will most likely just assist you in hitting bad shots. So, rule number one, buy high-quality golf balls. You’ve then just set one of your golf variables to the right setting.
Next, use these balls all the time. Once you have selected the proper setting for the variable, keep this setting constant. This allows you to focus on eliminating other variables in your golf game.
One of the problems with not using the same golf ball all the time is putting. Go to the closest Golf Galaxy and pick up a two packs of three balls. Get one pack that is a “long distance” ball. Get another pack which says “best feel” for chipping and putting. Now take one ball from each pack and go to the putting green. Putt each ball from the same spot toward the hole with a similar stroke. One of those balls, the “long distance” ball, will just jump off your putter and fly across the green. The other ball will probably not go quite as far and will look smoother. Guess what? If you don’t use the same ball to play all the time, you will never have consistent putting because each time you switch balls you are going to get a different result from the same putt. Stick to one ball, especially a high-quality ball, and watch your putting get better!