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If you are a golfer looking for the straightest flying ball in the game, there is one thing to look for more than anything else: the rate of spin the ball carries during flight.
Certainly, your swing will have a great effect on whether the ball goes to the left or to the right. But no piece of equipment, such as an offset driver designed to minimize slices, carry as great an impact as a ball with a low rate of spin.
The face a low spin rate means straighter flight makes perfect sense when you think about it. When you strike the ball with a blow that comes from outside to inside, this imparts a spin that will cause the ball to turn to the right, the dreaded slice. Of course, the opposite will produce a hook, still damaging but a less common affliction.
The dimples of a golf ball play a large part in the flight of the ball. A ball with no dimples might go directly toward wherever it is aimed. The lack of aerodynamics of such a ball means it would also travel much less distance. Most golf balls have between 300 to 350 dimples, arranged in a variety of shapes and depths.
The grooves on a club and your swing have a great influence on how much spin a golf ball has, but manufacturers can and do make balls that spin less than others. These low-spin rate balls will help you keep the ball in the fairway.
We may as well begin with the industry leader among golf ball manufacturers. Titleist’s Velocity is designed to have low spin and a high launch angle producing straighter and longer shots.
It does this in three ways. First is a softer core, what Titleist calls its LSX core that is designed for a great rebound effect that produces longer shots. Second is a NAZ+ cover that is meant to lower spin rates. Third is a 328-dimple design in the shape of tetrahedrons, a fancy name that is basically a triangular pyramid.
While we are talking Titleist, we may as well include this premium ball that is meant to mimic the play of the ever-popular AV1, albeit with less spin.
Titleist claims this ball will give you remarkable distance with exceptionally soft feel. And while the superlatives may be slightly overdone, this is a quality golf ball.
The AVX has the same dimple design as the Velocity, but adds a casing layer that allows for even greater distance off the tee. The AVX helps produce a penetrating ball flight that golfers crave.
If money is no object, this is among the best you can do in this category.
While Callaway has made a splash in the premium ball market with its Supersoft brand, it still offers affordable low-spin balls like the Warbird. This is a two-piece ball with a high-energy core to promote the increase in distance.
To get its lower spin rate, the Warbird uses Callaway’s HEX aerodynamics. That reduces drag on the ball, a key component to greater carry distance.
And while it may be a stretch for Callaway to claim this ball doesn’t sacrifice feel around the greens, it is likely better than some other offerings in this price range.
This ball is aimed mainly at higher handicappers who seek greater distance. Pinnacle is hush-hush about the core of this ball that helps with that distance, calling it a proprietary, high-energy core.
The ball features 332 dimples in an icosahedral design that helps reduce spin and produce a higher launch angle.
Pinnacle has long been a favorite of high handicappers, as these balls offer great distance. Although the company advertises the cover as having great feel, let’s just say that’s a stretch as compared to many other balls.
Slazenger RAW Distance
You can count on these balls to provide you with a few nice qualities.
One, they are durable. You can beat the heck out of these things and they will last.
Two, they will travel. Designed for a low spin rate and high launch angle, you can get plenty of distance off the tee.
Three, they are like playing with a rock. If you have ever seen a pro golfer spin a ball back on the green and have desires of repeating that, forget it here.
Bridgestone E12 Speed
Bridgestone is one of the top four high-end golf ball manufacturers. Trouble is, it is often the last one golfers think of behind Titleist, Callaway, and TaylorMade.
That may be a bit unfair. This particular ball is not necessarily among the best you can buy, but they are closer to it than many other low-spin balls. This is a quality ball that could improve your game.
It’s softer than you might expect for a low-spin ball, but still flies plenty straight. It might not be the best choice for high handicappers, though. Bridgestone says it is designed for golfers with a swing speed of more than 105 miles per hour. That’s about 10 miles per hour faster than the average golfer.
One of the first things golfers notice about this ball is the odd name. Most manufacturers want you to think about something long and powerful in naming their balls. Heck, even TaylorMade has a ball called Rocketballz.
The name may be derived from the ultra-low compression rate of 34. That’s almost as soft a core as you can find anywhere. That soft core combined with its 342-dimple design computes to a ball that flies straight.
Once you get to the green, it might well feel like putting a rolled-up pair of socks, but it definitely flies straight with a great rebound effect off the tee.
Wilson Staff Duo Soft Optix
We told you TaylorMade’s Noodle is one of the softest balls you can find. We looked and found one with an even softer core.
The Duo Soft Optix from Wilson has a compression rate of 29. This ball will spring off the face of a driver unlike any other ball out there. Everything about this ball is designed for greater distance and straighter flight.
Aside from the ridiculously low compression rate, this has a dimple design to help keep the ball flying straight. Like other balls on the cheaper end of the price range, it also has a durable cover.
Better golfers won’t care too much for this two-piece ball’s performance within 100 yards of the green.
Many golfers love the idea of a ball that flies straight, reducing the amount of hook or (more likely) slice. However, the more a ball is designed for this high-launch and low-spin flight, the less well it performs in other areas of the game.
While golf manufacturers have attempted to produce balls that have a low spin rate on longer shots while gaining spin for the shorter shots, this is not entirely possible. There is only so much technology is capable of achieving in this regard, although some have fared better than others.
What you will often find in this category are less-expensive balls with a two-piece construction and low core compression rates.
If you are looking for a low-cost ball that flies straight but has difficulty stopping on the green, there are no shortage of options. That may seem like an insult, but there is definitely a place for balls in that category. Some golfers hit tee shots that are so wayward, the sacrifice in control is worth it.
The Bridgestone E-12 Speed might well be the best performing ball on this list. But that ball is for better players only, not suited for even average players.
Otherwise, choose a cheap ball that will help keep you in play and maybe deliver better distance, then work on your short game until you can move up a rung with a higher quality ball.