Keep your eye on the ball - golf tips with David Pirie

ONE question that I am often asked is, which ball should I be using?

This is always a difficult one to answer as there is a massive choice for golfers of all ability. Generally speaking if you choose a hard ball to give you extra distance, you will lose some feel and control in the short game area.

Rock hard balls are designed to go further, but lack spin when playing a short approach shot.

I discussed with shop manager Joe Gilligan which type of ball that I, as an old senior, should be using.

Having used a Titleist Pro V1 for many years, I decided to change to the ProV1x as it tends to fly slightly further. Joe suggested that perhaps I am not creating the same clubhead speed that I once did, so a change to a modern three piece ball might be a good move.

He loaded me up with some Callaway, Taylor Made, and even the new Resin ball from Nike. These balls are all widely advertised, and all claim to be the top dog in the lower handicap sector.

After much deliberation, and good advice, picture two shows me opting for the new Taylor Made Penta TP3 ball. This ball is very good as it responds well to a driver strike, and flies further. It spins slightly more in a medium iron shot and spins even more in a wedge shot to the green.

It also feels softer on the putting green. Having played it at Banchory and Ballater I can report that it is a superb ball and is very controlable in the wind.

Now golfers as a breed are often very loyal to a particular brand, a bit like always listening to the same Radio station, so it actually takes a lot to get them to change. If you are a slightly higher handicap player then the chances are that you won’t be able to compress one of these balls, so ask for some advice about which ball would ideally match your swing speed and handicap.

Remember that a ball is not just a ball in terms of playability and control. You should take time to find one that you like the look and more importantly the feel of the ball. Good luck in your search. Joe will be happy to give you some good advice.

Next week: which putter?