When you look at golf balls, they pretty much all seem alike, correct? What you may not realize is that there are men’s and women’s golf balls, and they have subtle attributes that differentiate them.

placing a golf ball on a tee

What Are the Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Golf Balls?

People who do not play golf often may be unaware that there are men’s and women’s golf balls, and they are different. Below, we will discuss some of the key differences between the two.

Compression

Who knew golf balls flattened slightly when struck with a golf club? The compression of a golf ball is the amount of force required to slightly flatten the ball when hitting it with a golf club.

Harder golf balls have a greater level of compression and are harder to hit. These golf balls are for golfers who have fast and powerful swings.

golf ball hit with an iron club

Generally softer golf balls are marketed for women because they require less of a powerful swing.

In most cases, women have a slower golf swing than men.

A lower level of compression will allow women to experience greater distance, even though they lack the same level of swing speed as men.

Dimple Pattern

Unless you have studied golf balls in-depth, you may not even realize there are different dimple patterns. It turns out, that the dimple pattern can make a big difference in the trajectory of the ball.

The dimple pattern of a golf ball determines its aerodynamics. Some golf balls have a dimple pattern that makes them fly higher, even with a slower swing. These golf balls are usually made for women or beginner players.

Appearance

This is where things get a little disconcerting for some. While it may seem a bit sexist, women’s golf balls are typically more feminine. You may find glitter, pastel colors, and even floral designs.

pink golf ball on a pink tee

This is not to say that men’s golf balls are unavailable in other colors, but colored golf balls are mostly marketed toward women golfers.

Of course, women’s golf balls also come in the traditional plain white color.

Types of Golf Balls

Whether you are a male or female golfer, golf balls are going to fall into one of four categories. If you think selecting a golf ball is simple, you may want to think again. Learning about the categories will help you determine which golf ball will be best for your game.

Tour Performance

Tour performance golf balls are the most expensive on the market. These balls feature three to five layers. Tour performance golf balls are meant for distance, speed, and spin.

These golf balls are made for golfers with a low handicap. To make the most of these golf balls, you are going to need a fast and powerful swing.

Tour Value

This golf ball category is quite similar to the tour performance category, but there is one main difference. These golf balls have a lower compression rating because there are fewer layers.

These golf balls also have less of a spin and cost less than tour performance golf balls. These golf balls are a little more forgiving than tour performance golf balls.

golf ball stopped on edge of hole

Straight-Distance

Straight-distance balls are typically two to three layers thick. These golf balls have a large inner core and a thinner outer layer. The main two benefits to these golf balls are that they stay straight and are less expensive than the other categories.

Soft Distance

The final category for golf balls is soft distance. Soft distance golf balls are made with a much lower compression level and are ideal for slow swingers. If you have a slower golf swing, soft distance balls will give you greater distance with side-to-side spin.

Why Do Golf Balls Have Multiple Layers?

If you were to cut golf balls open, you might be surprised to see the different layers inside. Golf balls have different layers because they affect the feel, distance, and spin level.

Golf balls have between one and five layers. Generally, the more layers, the better the ball because you get greater distance, a better feel, and improved spin over golf balls with fewer layers.

Schematic view of sliced golf ball layers isolated with clipping path
Schematic view of sliced golf ball layers isolated with clipping path

What Are Golf Balls Made Of?

The internal components of golf balls vary according to the manufacturer. The center of most golf balls is made of rubber. The size of the rubber center will determine the distance.

The cover of golf balls is made of different materials, including urethane, ionomer, and surlyn. The most durable material is urethane.

Choose Golf Balls Wisely

While there are undoubtedly differences between men’s and women’s golf balls, you do not have to choose them based on your gender. It is wise to choose a golf ball based on your ability.

If you are new to golf, you are going to want to choose one that offers greater distance with a slower swing. Use a higher compression golf ball if you are a powerful swinger.

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