Everyone spends time choosing their golf clubs, their golf shoes, their golf bag, even their golf clothing, but a lot of the time, when it comes to the ball we use, most people just grab something off the shelf that’s on offer or nearest to hand.
I was guilty of this as well, constantly hunting for the latest deals on balls and using a plethora of different brands without any particular interest in what I was actually using. My main reason behind this was because I lost so many during a round I just wanted a ball that didn’t make me want to cry each time I lost one!
It was only recently, when I started researching different types of balls available that I began to understand just how important playing the right ball can be, not just for professionals and low handicap players wanting to etch out every little ounce of performance, but for high handicap players like myself. For people like myself specifically, an average player with an average swing speed, using a high performance, top of the range ball is borderline pointless! I just don’t generate enough speed and power to get the most out of them, and in fact, they become a bit of a hindrance to my game. By choosing a ball more suited to my swing speed I can maximise the power I can generate and therefore get the most distance, control, and spin as I can at the level I’m at.
With all that in mind, and after countless hours of research narrowing down the list, I now find myself with a group of 4 balls that I’ll be testing against each other to decide which will be my golf ball for the foreseeable future!
- Taylormade Project a
- Inesis soft 500
- Srixon Q Star Tour
- Taylormade Project s
The list is made up of 2 “premium” balls with Urethane coatings in the Project a and Srixon ball, and 2 cheaper balls that still come highly recommended for the average player, the Inesis and the Project s. I’ll be judging the balls on distance, short game spin, putting feel and general overall looks and opinion.
Overall I found the balls to be quite similar in distance with only a few yards in it from front to back across 10 shots with each. Now obviously, I’m not a machine so I expect a number of those are down to strike locations but let’s face it, the whole point of these balls and the clubs I use, is to minimise the reduction of distance from bad shots so in this respect they all faired very favourably.
Short Game Spin
Without a doubt I found the TaylorMade Project a to be the best here, it really did check up well and I was hugely impressed with it’s performance. The Srixon and Inesis balls were quite similar in performance and did well overall whilst the Project s came in last. It by no means performed terribly, but when up against the others it just didn’t have the same stopping power.
This was probably where I found the biggest difference among the 4 contenders. As you’d expect, the Project s was by far the softest feeling ball but I was surprised that the Project a was next on the list. The Srixon was the firmest with the Soft 500 coming in between the 2 premium offerings. I found the Project s just a tad too soft to be able to consistently judge distances, and the Srixon was just too hard for my liking. I enjoyed the Project a and the Inesis balls the most, I found them easy to align, especially the Inesis which has a great alignment aid on it, and there was a consistency to these two that I struggled to find with the others. One thing that did surprise me was that the Project a seemed to fire off the putter a lot more than the others. This obviously might not suit everyone, but for me, I loved it! I’m regularly leaving putts short but I found it much easier to get the ball to the hole with the TM ball than the others, it just seemed to have that little bit extra pop I needed. I think this will be especially useful on slower or winter greens when you have to give it that little bit extra to get it to the cup.
General Overall Opinion
There are 2 clear balls that won’t be making the cut, the Srixon Q-Star Tour and the TaylorMade Project a. The latter just didn’t have the control around the green I’m looking for and the former didn’t have the feel on the greens. I’m not sure what it was about the Srixon, but as soon as I was over it I just knew we weren’t going to get on! Golf is a hugely mental sport and you don’t need those negative thoughts, no matter how illogical they may be, so whilst it performed well in other areas it just wasn’t for me.
I actually found it really tough deciding between the Project a and the Soft 500. The former has incredible spin around the greens, but at a mere £9.99 a dozen, the price point of the Inesis is incredible for what you’re getting. I loved how they both felt, the distance was comparable between the two and neither seemed much straighter than the other. In the end I decided to be diplomatic! On courses I know and don’t have thick rough, I’m going with the TM Project a, it’s incredible greenside spin makes the difference. But on new courses, or ones I’m likely to lose a few balls, it’ll be the Inesis Soft 500 all day long. Not having to worry about the cost of losing balls will take away a stress and allow me to focus on my swing and enjoying my round without suffering a drastic loss in performance!
So there you go, the TaylorMade Project a and Inesis Soft 500 win out! I hope this has been useful/interesting to you all and I’d highly recommend if you’re an average golfer with an average swing speed to go check them out.