What happens when you cannot access a golf course or vast land for your golf practice? How do continue perfecting your swing speed and shots? It’s simple, by opting for a pair of Practice Golf Balls. So what are Practice Golf Balls? How do you use them? Do they all look the same?
In this guide, we discuss what it entails to have Practice Golf Balls. We will also inform you of all the options available when training. That way, you can develop your game even when you have access to limited resources. Let's get started!
What are Practice Golf Balls?
Manufacturers make Practice Golf Balls that are ideal for use off the golf course. These are training golf shells made for use in a restricted area only. These are the golf balls you will find in backyards, homes, and other indoor arenas.
So why do they make them?
Since golfers must use their training gear severally to achieve an accurate hit, usually this practice is best achieved at a driving range. Unfortunately, not everyone is near or can afford to practice at such an avenue. Hence the demand for more options created a vast market for practice golf balls.
Often referred to as range balls, golf balls for practice are also used at a driving range. The driving range is a stand-alone facility for all golfers. Both amateur and pro golfers go there for their training or just when a player feels like having a quick round of golf but has little time to spare. The driving range serves as the set recreational spot.
Hence sometimes range balls may look and feel like the real golf balls. But, they are nothing close to the actual golf balls. They vary a lot in how they perform when compared to the real gear.
Now, that you have an idea of what Practice Golf Balls are, how do you differentiate them from the regular golf balls?
Practice Golf Balls vs Regular
When using the regular golf balls, the player needs ample space that is free of any obstacles. The ball travels in the unrestricted location, settling far from the player. Hence, it takes some time for the player to recover the shells. In contrast, Practice Golf Balls are easy to find after a throw. Their design allows the player to overcome these challenges as follows: -
In essence, Practice Golf Balls simulate the way the standard golf balls move. Hence, such shells will feel or cruise like regular balls, but with some limitations. For example, a practice golf ball will dash, slice, and hook at a swing like the actual golf ball. But, these balls have a shorter and lower flight path. This difference comes about due to the two shells’ construction.
Secondly, golf balls for training work well with drivers, woods, irons, and wedges. In addition, golf balls for practice have a simple construction. Don't expect all your range balls to have a dimple pattern. However, some of these balls have perforations in place of dimples.
Range balls have harder covers than the standard golf ball. This construction ensures they last for longer. Because of this, they may not conform to the rules of golf. Hence, range balls are not acceptable in an actual golf tournament.
Most range balls have clear markings to show that they are meant for practice only. These markings can be in the form of a stamp, color band, or a mark with the word range.
A standard golf ball weighs about 1.620 ounces. However, golf balls for practice can weigh 1.10 ounces. This lightweight of range balls is convenient and limiting too.
Their careful narrow structure also ensures that the shells cover shorter distances. Hence, they are easy to collect after a shot. Moreover, they have the least chance of damaging anything else in the vicinity. Thus, such shots are safe at home.
The light golf balls for training work to magnify the player’s swing challenges. The ball falls under pressure from the wind on all sides. Hence, you experience more sidespins. Some golfers argue that this is an advantage in disguise. Increased sidespins prompt amateur golfers to work even harder to improve their tact. So, when they get to the actual golf course, they are already accustomed to extreme sidespins.
The weight and feel of golf balls determine their trajectory. Likewise, most golf balls intended for practice achieve only short distances. Such range balls shoot a stretch of 40 yards at most.
In contrast, a standard golf ball suitable for a PGA tour can reach up to 250 yards. This setback is because of the lightweight and smooth feel of range balls. A standard golf ball gains a high velocity, rotation, and enough backspin in its flight. All these factors contribute to going the extra mile.
For golf balls that are of pure foam or plastic, their quality is lower than the actual golf balls. First, such shells can smash against windows and doors without breaking anything. Secondly, golfers can practice their game with friends or a reasonable crowd. Thus, they don't have to worry about the safety of those nearby or spoiling any valuables.
Style and Packaging
Most golf balls ideal for practice have a basic design. Hence, they are not as stylish as real premium golf balls. Moreover, practice golf balls retail in packages with up to 30 shells a pack.
Almost all golf balls for practice are either made of foam or plastic materials. But, golfers may opt for lake golf balls and X-outs of varying make and use them for exercise. The golf ball material will determine how it feels, what sound it will make when hit, and its final price tag. Thus, golfers must opt for golf balls with materials suitable for their training.
Next is the hybrid golf ball for practice. These shells are made of polyurethane foam material. They have a hard inner core and a softcover. Most of the shots retail in fluorescent color schemes. Plus, they have a dimple pattern and give you excellent crack sound when hit.
Foam Vs Plastic Practice Golf Balls
Foam and plastic golf ball vary in various aspects as follows: -
Foam practice golf balls are of superior quality than the plastic ones. Some foam practice golf balls may use a pop back technology. This design ensures the shells are dent-resistant, hence last longer. Other premium foam range balls have a compressed core, so they respond better to a hit.
Still, due to the lightweight, some plastic range balls break when hit at full strength.
A foam range ball gives you between 10 to 15 hits before they get damaged. In contrast, plastic range balls are unpredictable. They deform after a few hits, or when you step on them.
We also have Wiffle plastic range balls that have holes and are of solid plastic. Such practice golf balls may give the player up to 10 full strength hits before spoiling.
Foam practice golf balls with a compressed core swing like the real golf balls. Such balls even sound like the premium golf balls when hit with a club head. This feature is a critical part of training for the perfect swing. Golfers get to experience how the real golf ball behaves when at an actual driving range.
In addition, most foam golf balls for practice feature a clear dimple pattern. The dimple pattern is equal to the shell’s propeller. Hence, FOAM golf balls achieve a much straight shot than plastic golf balls.
Foam practice golf balls retail at a higher price than the foam ones. However, even for the same type of training golf ball, the price varies from one brand to the other. For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods may sell plastic golf balls at 39 cents each. But, the foam golf balls at this same store may retail at 67 cents per shell.
Moving to Almost Golf, the prices go up to one dollar per ball. Still, these prices are much lower than those of the actual golf balls. Hence, one can buy as many practice golf balls as needed without worrying about breaking the bank. And that’s the essence of the practice balls, right?
Durability and cost go hand in hand. Plastic golf balls have a shorter life span than foam golf balls. Such balls deform, burst, or crash faster after several squashes. Except, foam practice balls can bounce back from the impact, hence not easy to damage. This quick recovery is possible due to the soft nature of the foam balls. Still, cheap foam balls also last for a short period.
The plastic and foam range balls' warranty is different for each manufacturer. This difference is due to the diverse target market for the range balls. The most durable practice golf ball brands include Almost Golf, Titleist, and Callaway. Range balls from such brands retail with a printing and coating warranty of up to 3 months.
Then, how do you use range balls for a powerful exercise session?
How to Use Practice Golf Balls
We use practice golf balls to improve our golf shots in the shortest time possible. What are the best strategies to do this? Here is a list: -
Always Pick the Right Range Golf Ball for Your Practice
We’ve already seen how plastic and foam range balls vary on cost, durability, material, and feel. Hence, opt for practice golf balls that will complement your efforts. You should perfect your shots without spending too much.
Also, such balls should offer you options to practice different swing styles. That way, you’ll settle for a routine that fits you.
Have Clear Training Goals and Strategies of Achieving Them
Are you planning to practice on a full swing? Then, opt for a bigger space for your training. Again, know the limitations of your regulated golf ball. Full swings are best done with foam practice golf balls. You don’t want to end up with broken glass windows, injuries, or a broken home.
Next, do you want to experience the real golf balls? Use shorter clubs and irons. Avoid using drivers when practicing in your garage or basement. These golf gears have an extra length that will limit your swing in such a confined area.
Consequently, understand what you want to achieve in your training session before you start. Then get all the training gear and appropriate location to help you achieve these goals.
Have A Sufficient Supply of Your Practice Golf Balls
As you start your practice sessions, ensure you have enough golf balls for the exercise. Choose durable golf balls that will endure more hits. A small bucket with 50 balls will give you at least ten accurate shots. Even so, if you are practicing for a full range of motion, opt for the large bucket with 100 balls. This way, you change your swing from aggressive to a relaxed one as you take notes.
Have Appropriate Accessories for Your Practice
There are many practice accessories that you can have to complement your efforts. These include: -
Golf mats are a must-have when practicing indoors or using plastic range balls. A concrete floor at the garage, for example, makes it hard to hit the balls. Then, you also risk damaging your club heads or injuring yourself during a mishit. Golf mats provide the much-needed cushion to the players. It also serves as a soft landing spot for the golf balls.
Today, there are artificial turf mats that act as golf simulators. These mats have inbuilt sensors that give the players feedback on their swing. The golfer then relays and studies the data on a display screen. Hence, these mats provide an opportunity to track progress.
A Golf Net
Anytime you practice indoors, ensure you set up quality golf net beforehand. Golf nets will shield your house walls from impact. Also, this net wall will slow down a range ball that hits concrete or hard surface. That way, the shell will not hurt you should it bounce back toward you.
Again, golf nets help in catching and collecting the balls as you practice. You don’t have to struggle to look for balls under your furniture. Plus, no need to waste time following balls that cruise out the window. Golf nets are still useful outdoors. But, you won’t witness the ball’s flight as it attempts to cover the distance.
Are you an amateur golfer that wants to practice on your swing? Or, are you a recreational golfer who enjoys a private game in your basement? We hope this guide has provided an in-depth analysis of practice golf balls. Use this information to prepare for your next practice session.