7 explanation why vary balls shouldn't be a part of your subsequent becoming


Don't get fit for golf clubs with range balls. We keep saying that. In part, the reasons are obvious. Even if you may not immediately be aware of the differences in performance between a range ball and premium offerings, you have almost certainly found that range balls feel hard as stone, are uncomfortably loud, and are often in a trashy state.

Save yourself the occasional inconvenient water carrying when you take a risk Pro V1 just makes no sense, most of us would never think of playing golf with a range ball.

So at the risk of asking the obvious, if you are not playing golf with a range ball, why should you be fitted with one?

The idea that you should dial in with the ball you are actually playing is exactly why we recommend you adapt with the ball you are playing. If this is not possible, we recommend that you use a ball that matches the one you are playing. And if a range ball happens to look like the ball you're playing, we politely suggest getting a new ball.

Of course, we understand that telling you not to get range balls is one thing and another thing is to explain why. To make things a little clearer, we've got a popular range ball in our new ball test. The Pinnacle practice balls we tested are some of the most popular (if not the most popular) range balls on the market. The balls we tested were in like new condition, which is probably better than the range balls used in many fittings. In a way, our data represents the best case scenario for range ball fitting and it's still not good.

Here is a list of reasons why you shouldn't arm yourself with range balls.

1. Range balls spin … a lot

Quite simply, the range balls we tested (Pinnacle practice) spin more and under certain conditions a lot more than the urethane balls in our test.

Let's start with the driver. Over the three swing speeds we tested (85, 100 and 115 mph), the range balls spun about 250 rpm more than the average ball in our test. To put that in context, 250 RPM is within what we would expect from an additional loft. The range balls we tested would effectively make a 9.5 degree driver spin like a 10.5 degree.

In the case of iron, the spin differences are even greater. I would rate them as massive.

For the slowest speed we tested, the range balls with an 8 iron produced about 600 rpm more spin than the average ball (and a Pro V1) and 1,200 rpm more than the lowest spin ball we tested (Bridgestone Tour B RX).

At medium swing speed, the range balls generated more than 1,000 rpm more spin than the average ball and almost 1,800 rpm more than the ball with the least spin (TaylorMade Tour response). To put this in a way that many of you can understand Pinnacle practice balls 1,100 rpm more than a. turned Titleist Pro V1.

Finally, at the highest speed we tested, the range balls spun 1,100 rpm more than the average ball, more than 1,800 rpm higher than the ball with the lowest spin (Vice Pro Soft) and 1,200 rpm more than a Pro V1. That's an absurd amount of spin; more than we'd expect if we swapped our 8-iron for a 9-iron.

Now imagine if you were built into a set of irons based on spin numbers that were 1,000 rpm (give or take) more than what you will experience on the golf course with a real golf ball. Your results in the real world will be completely different and likely very disappointing.

2. Range balls fly differently (without iron)

Somewhat surprisingly, the flight of range balls from drivers is not particularly worrying or unusual. Consider key trajectory metrics like launch angle, tip height (the highest point in a ball's flight) and tip height distance (how far down the ball has reached that height) and sink angle (the angle at which it returns to the ground), the summit We tested range balls are exactly in the average range for all of the above. Given the spin differences we've covered, one could argue that getting fit for a driver with range balls isn't the worst thing. That's not to say it's a good thing, but it's definitely better than using range balls to suit your irons.

Why is that?

The range balls fly low from the irons

It's only a few meters at slow swing speeds, but for golfers with faster swing speeds, we're talking more than 10 feet below the average ball. I understand that 10 feet along the trajectory of a golf ball doesn't sound like much, but we're talking about a peak height, which is a little more than 10 percent below the average.

Range Balls Peak earlier

We would say that spheres that reach their peak height lower down have a penetrating trajectory, while those that reach that height earlier are somewhere between high and ballooning. Range balls are likely to qualify for the latter.

For golfers with slow swing speeds, range balls reached tip heights of five meters closer to the stroke area. It was nine feet for medium swing speed players and more than 10 feet above the average ball (and 20 feet earlier than the last high) for high swing speed players.

In percentage terms, it's a noticeable, if not massive, difference, but it's one more thing that illustrates the differences between range balls and the balls you (hopefully) play.

3. Range balls are shorter

This first part might surprise you. Because range balls are relatively firm, they are usually just as fast as tour balls. Despite their higher spin, the higher speeds contributed to the fact that the range balls we tested stayed in the average to even slightly above average range for the driver distance.

As we saw earlier, the bigger differences are found in iron.

At slow and medium speeds, the range balls are about four meters shorter than the average ball. At higher swing speeds, the distance gap creeps over seven yards.

With iron fittings, removal is usually a secondary consideration, but it's another point to support the idea that there are enough differences between range balls and real balls that attaching range balls is not right at all.

4. Range balls do not turn off wedges

Full swing spin numbers with wedges usually reflect what you get with an iron. A ball spinning from your 8 iron will almost certainly be spinning on a full wedge. However, if you get closer to the green, things will change.

a graph showing the difference in spin between a premium ball and a range ball made from wedges

On 55 yard wedge strokes, the Pinnacle Practice balls spun about 800 rpm less than the average ball in our test and nearly 1,300 RPM less than the top-spinning ball (Inesis tour 900).

We know the realities here. Most of you won't be suitable for your wedges, but if you happen to do then you are definitely using a premium golf ball. A range ball won't be anywhere near what you will see in the real world.

5. The range ball's aerodynamics are not optimized for performance

When golf companies design a dimple pattern for a premium ball, the goal is to optimize the trajectory based on the golf ball's performance characteristics. We're talking about things like how high it flies, where it climaxes in flight, etc. For example, on soft golf balls with lower spin, dimple patterns are often designed to create higher trajectories and a steeper descent into the greens, which helps to level out the golf ball lower spin.

Not that range balls do crazy things in the air, but at least be aware that optimizing the flight of the ball is often secondary. The ultimate goal is durability. You have to withstand thousands of shots.

6. Sound and feeling are rubbish

the thick outer shell (picture) is just one reason why you shouldn't get fit with range balls.

As I said, the Pinnacle practice balls we tested are firm. The compression is the same as most "X" balls on the market. Most golfers would call this solid. In combination with thick, hard covers, the sound implications of range balls are amplified.


If you've followed me over the past few years, you know I'm not obsessed with emotions, but range balls are louder and generally sounding more uncomfortable than any ball you should be playing sensibly. Equipment with a range ball can make a perfectly acceptable racket sound and feel worse than you are willing to tolerate. Before you spend your money, you probably want to know what a club feels like on both good and bad hits. In that regard – in every way – range balls are not going to tell you what to know.

7. Range balls often turn into sh * t. beaten

Once a ball is spun freely on the range there are usually no quality standards. Visit almost every area and it is pretty clear that no one is actively trying to remove the damaged balls. Wear dimples, cover cuts and furrows … so what? Even minor damage can affect golf ball performance. So if you absolutely need to get fit with range balls make sure they are in good condition.

A word about normalizing the startup monitor

If there's a silver lining with all of this, it is that some startup monitors have ball mapping / normalization features built into their software. Normalization takes the data you get from a range ball and runs it through an algorithm that tells you what a real ball would have done under the same impact conditions.

To some extent, the normalization features allow for a reasonably decent adjustment, even if range balls are the only option.

It is important to understand that normalization can work, but even with a number of spherical profiles, it relies on some generalizations that will not fit every model. For example, balls that are typically classified as Firm Premium cover a wide range of spin properties, many of which do not fit the general profile. If your fitter is familiar with ball mapping, they can likely get you close.

Ultimately, it's better to use some normalization function than just getting fit with range balls, but not nearly as well as with the ball you are playing.

Whenever possible, use the ball you play while fitting, especially if you are getting fit for irons or wedges.


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