One of the easiest golf equipment changes to make is switching out the golf ball you use.
Golf ball technology has changed considerably over the years, and a soft golf ball makes a big difference for some golfers.
However, in golf, there is no such thing as a scale for the softness of a golf ball.
Rather, this is something that you will figure out over time by playing with a wide range of golf balls and seeing which one is the best for your game.
We have a few things worth understanding about a soft golf ball.
What Is A Soft Golf Ball?
A soft golf ball has a slightly lower compression and feels as though it comes off the clubface a little duller.
If you have ever played with a high compression distance golf ball, chances are you heard or felt a click when you made contact with the ball.
This is entirely different from a soft golf ball.
The soft golf ball almost feels a little mushy, making more of a thud sound when it comes off the clubface.
With a soft golf ball, you will traditionally get a better feel around the green and enjoy some more control with the golf ball in play.
However, the soft golf ball is not for all golfers.
As much as it may sound great to have a golf ball with a better feel that is a good option for greenside control, it’s not always the full story of the golf ball’s performance.
Who Should Use A Soft Golf Ball?
A soft golf ball is best for the slower swing speed player.
The great thing about a soft golf ball is that it has a lower compression, and low compression golf balls are easier for slow swing speed players to hit.
However, other golfers can benefit from the softer golf ball, including beginners as well as seniors and those learning feel around the greens.
Beginner golfers are typically just starting to get the feel for how golf balls can impact their overall performance in the game.
It takes some time to learn the way a golf ball impacts your game and which is going to be the best for your needs.
However, most beginners will benefit from using a softer ball.
For starters, many beginner golfers struggle to get a lot of club head speed.
It takes a lot of coordination to be able to hit a great golf shot and, at the same time, swing a golf club fast.
Therefore, beginners need to focus more on the consistency of their swing before they move to speed.
During this transition process, where speed is not up to its full potential, beginners should think about a soft golf ball.
In addition to the swing speed issues, many beginners also struggle with greenside control.
Short game skills are developed over time.
Until beginners feel that they are great around the greens with being able to spin and stop the ball, they will likely benefit significantly from a softer golf ball.
2. Slower Swing Speeds
Soft golf balls are made from slower swing speed players.
Softer golf balls are easier to compress and make it much easier for slow swing speed players to maximize distance.
When you don’t swing the club fast, expect to lose distance.
Golfers that are playing with a ball that does not match the compression they need will have trouble with ball flight as well.
The compression rating of softer golf balls can vary; many are 50 and under.
Some golf manufacturers do not release their exact compression rates as they don’t want players choosing a ball based on compression alone.
However, golfers with slower swing speeds should consider the fact that if they can find a very low compression golf ball like the Callaway Supersoft, they may see some great performance with it.
Slow swing speeds should also be aware that a soft golf ball tends to have very low spin.
Therefore the shots that you do hit well may roll for quite some time.
As long as you are landing your chips before the pin and hitting your hybrid shots to the front of the green, you will not be disappointed in the performance of a soft golf ball.
Senior golfers tend to struggle when it comes to swing speed.
A soft golf ball can make it easier for seniors to get their speed back and to start hitting great shots again.
In addition, a senior golfer may not be able to compete from a distance perspective, but when it comes to the short game, seniors can dominate.
A senior golfer that puts a lot of time into their golf game will benefit from a softer golf ball, and they will enjoy the ability to feel like they have control around the greens.
Seniors should remember that this ball won’t spin very much, but it will give you the feeling of control.
Seniors can work on some great bump and run type golf shots that will help them perform better on the course and become better with the scoring clubs.
4. Players Trying To Learn Feel Around The Greens
Feel around the greens takes some time to develop.
Golfers struggling with this should consider which golf ball they are playing.
The problem with using a more challenging golf ball around the greens is that you will feel as though it jumps off the clubface too quickly.
This jump is a good thing when it’s coming off the clubface of a driver, but it creates problems when you are hitting with a wedge.
Feel around the greens is much easier to learn when you use a soft golf ball.
What we recommend doing here is to choose a golf ball that is a bit softer and then find a hard option.
Choose a higher compression premium ball like a Pro V1x and a lower compression ball like a Callaway Supersoft.
Head over to the putting green and set up a ten-foot putt. Hit a few shots with the Callaway Supersoft and then switch to the Pro V1x.
You will almost immediately notice the softer feel that the Callaway Supersoft golf ball has because of its low compression.
If you are a player that needs this extra bit of soft feel coming off the clubface, stick with the low compression.
If your putting stroke feels better to you with the more premium ball, you will benefit from the extra spin a harder ball can get you in your short game.
What Are The Negatives Of Soft Golf Balls?
At this point, you should know that there is no such thing as a perfect golf ball or any perfect piece of golf equipment.
Companies are always striving to find something that can work for a wide range of players and work its way to the top, but there are always negatives.
The major negative of a soft golf ball is that it doesn’t work all that well for fast swing speed players.
To make a golf ball feel soft, you must give it lower compression.
Lower compression golf balls will be easy for the fast swing speed players to hit, but they won’t be able to hit the ball as far.
Fast swing speed players need the resistance created in the harder golf ball to be able to get their full distance potential.
In addition to not being a match for the faster swing speed players, there are problems with soft golf balls and their spin.
Typically, soft balls are low-spin golf balls, although there can be expectations.
When you play with a low spin golf ball, you may get lots of distance off the tee, but around the greens, the performance may be difficult.
Again, a golfer can play well with any golf ball – as long as they are aware of the impacts it will have on their game.
These impacts significantly affect a player’s ability to score, and it can be frustrating when the golf ball does not match the player’s strengths.
Do Pro Golfers Use Soft Balls?
Golf professionals typically stick with higher compression golf balls that would not be considered soft.
With a higher compression golf ball, professionals get the spin that they need as well as the total distance they are looking for in their shots.
For professional golfers, the biggest performance benefit is almost always control.
When you can control the ball flight and control the spin and placement of the shots, it becomes much easier to score.
Professional golfers typically use four and five-piece golf balls like the Titleist Pro V1x or the TaylorMade TP5x, and these are higher compression golf balls.
These golf balls would not be considered soft.
What Is The Difference Between Soft And Hard Golf Balls?
The main difference between soft and hard golf balls is the compression rating.
The higher the compression, the harder the golf ball feels.
However, there are some other differences that you will find between high and low compression golf balls when it comes to cover material.
Some manufacturers that have a mid compression golf ball will use a softer cover on the ball to help players feel as though it is soft.
However, high swing speed players need to watch out for this softer cover as it can sometimes create problems with cutting into the golf ball.
High swing speed players can cut golf balls quite quickly, and having to replace golf balls like this is going to add up quickly.
Instead, make sure you know your swing speed, and be careful to choose a golf ball that matches your strengths and weaknesses as a player.
Are Soft Golf Balls Good For Beginners?
Soft golf balls are an excellent choice for beginners.
Most golfers that are just starting out do not have very fast swing speeds.
Some go on to develop fast speeds as they practice and get the hang of their golf swings; however, others will not.
Soft golf balls give beginners the upper hand when it comes to distance.
As a beginner, distance is important because it can make the rest of the game considerably easier.
Think about a golfer that is new to the game and that can hit a long drive.
Their next shot into the green may only be with a 7 iron in their hands.
The golfers that can’t get long distance could be hitting a 4 iron into the green.
This is a much more difficult shot and something that beginners are known to struggle with.
Beginners will do quite well with a soft golf ball as long as they are not very strong players with fast speeds.
What Golf Ball Has The Softest Feel?
The golf ball that is often thought of as the softest feeling is the Srixon Soft Feel.
Golfers love the performance of this golf ball as well as the price point.
The Soft Feel performs quite well off the tee, and it is a very low spin and mid to low compression golf ball.
Around the greens, the feel tends to be soft enough for golfers to get good control.
The Srixon Soft Feel does not spin very well, which is something to keep in mind on your approach shots, chips, and pitches, but the overall feel is quite good.
Hopefully, you now feel as though you know what a soft golf ball is and how it could impact your game.
For the majority of players, a golf ball with a soft feel is positive.
However, it is vital to understand your golf swing specifics and stats so that you can plan accordingly.
If you play with a golf ball that is not properly fitted to your game, expect to have issues long-term with the way your game progresses.
The more you focus on improving your performance on the course by using the right equipment, the more success you will have.
All golfers want to shoot low scores, and sometimes that takes an awareness of the equipment that you use in play.