Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers in 2018

Last Updated: 4th September 2018

There are several different types of golf balls, but does the type of golf ball you use make a difference in your handicap? – You bet it does! So, what’s the difference between the different types of golf balls? Which type should you choose? What should you be looking for when you’re selecting a golf ball? In this buyer’s guide, we’ll answer these questions and more and shed light on the best golf balls for high handicappers.

In a hurry? Then check out our most recommended golf balls right here:

Titleist DT TruSoft Golf Balls, Yellow (One Dozen)
  • The softest compression Titleist
  • New longer distance through low long game spin
  • New improved short game performance for stopping power
  • Trusted quality and consistency

What is a Golf Handicap?

The word “handicap” is commonly heard on the golf course; however, if you are a novice, handicap might sound like a foreign word. Even if you have been playing for a while, you might not really know what the word means. So, what does the term “handicap” mean?

According to the United States Golf Teachers Federation, in golf, handicap is the term that is used to describe the current ability of a golfer throughout a complete round of golf. It’s a numerical measure, as a number is used to indicate the potential ability of the player. The lower the handicap number is, the better the golfer’s ability is. In other words, a handicap illustrates the number of strokes above or below par someone should be able to complete a round of golf in. Handicap is also used on some courses to let players how difficult the course may be to play.

The handicap system was first introduced in 1911 by the United States Golf Association as a way to determine the ability of a player against the difficulty of the course.

In order to understand a handicap, you have to understand what par means. If you’re playing the game, even if you are a beginner, it’s a pretty safe bet that you know what par means, but just in case you aren’t familiar with the definition of the term, par refers to the number of strokes that are expected to be taken in order to complete a single hole, or to complete all of the holes on an entire golf course. For example, if a hole is “par 3”, it is expected that the player should be able to get the ball into the hole in no more than three strokes; if the course is “par 70”, it is expected that the player should be able to get make no more than 70 strokes to get the ball in every hole on the course. In other words, par is the standard that golfers aspire to reach.

What is a High Golf Handicap?

Since your handicap indicates how many strokes you should make in order to complete a round of golf, the lower your handicap is, the better (as mentioned above.) However, if your handicap is high, you are essentially considered a poorer player. The highest handicap permitted by the United States Golf Association is 36 for men, and for women, the highest handicap allowed is 40. Any player who has a handicap of 20 or above is considered a high handicap player.

What Level of Handicap are You?

If you are trying to improve your golf game, you are going to want to figure out what your handicap is. But how do you establish your handicap, and how do you know where your handicap stands? Below, you’ll find out how to calculate your handicap and what is considered a low, medium, and high-level handicap.

How to Calculate Your Handicap Score

In order to determine your handicap, you will need to collect the following information:

  • Your adjusted scores from at least five games, but no more than 20
  • The course ratings from the golf courses that you played on
  • The slope ratings from the courses that you played on

Once you have this information, you can calculate your handicap differential for every round you played using the following formula:

(your score – the course rating) x 113 / slope rating

*The number 113 stands for the slope rating of a course and it is a constant in this formula*

For instance, if your score is 90, and you have a course rating of 74.2, and the slope is 130, the formula would look like this:

(90 – 74.2) x 113 / 130

The sum of this calculation is known as your handicap differential, and the differential is calculated for every round of golf entered when determining your handicap (with a minimum of five rounds and a maximum of 20). Round the differentials to the nearest tenth.

Next, add your differentials together and divide them by the amount you used to attain an average of your differentials. For example, if you used seven differentials, add all of them up and then divide by seven. Multiply the number you get by 96 per cent, don’t round up and drop the numbers after the tenths. The final number is your handicap index. The equation for these steps is as follows:

(sum of differentials/number of differentials) x .96

Low-Level Handicap

Typically, any handicap in the single digits (1 to 9) is considered a low handicap; however, some players may have different ideas of what a low handicap is. For instance, someone with a handicap of 3 might view a handicap of 9 as high. Regardless, a handicap in the single digits is low and represents a skilled player.

Medium Level Handicap

If a handicap is between 10 and 24, a golfer is considered to have a medium level handicap. Typically, golfers with this level handicap shoot between the low 80s and the mid-90s in order to complete a course. In other words, if the handicap is 12, the player shoots 12 strokes or more on a consistent basis to complete a course that is regularly played.

High-Level Handicap

If a handicap is 25 or above, a golfer is considered to have a high-level handicap; however, it should be noted that even if you have a high handicap, you could still be considered a decent golfer. The average score for golfers in the US is around 100. This number accounts for golfers who play only once in a while, as well as golfers who play consistently.

What is a good golf handicap for a beginner?

Are you a beginner and concerned about your golf handicap? The best advice we can give you is to start working on the green back to the tee. You need to learn to putt, chip, and pitch around the green. Then you need to hit with your irons from 100 yards going over to the driver. The truth is you do not need to be excellent but at least proficient.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can work out your golf handicap to determine your progress. Then you can start improving in the areas you lack the skills and begin building a higher handicap.

So, what is a good golf handicap for a beginner…it’s a tricky question to answer?

Often a golf player with an 18 handicap is a “bogey golfer.” All this means is you average a bogey or a shot above par, per hole. If your handicap is above 18, you have a high handicap. Therefore, if you currently have a five handicap you are a category one player, and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

With practice, you will soon be categorized as a 10-handicap and keep working hard, you will soon excel above the 18-handicap mark!

What to Look for When Choosing a Golf Ball

To select the right golf ball to improve your handicap, consider the following factors.

  • It’s surprising how pricey golf balls can be. If you are a beginner golfer or you only golf on occasion, the cost of the balls is an important factor to take into consideration. Why? – Because you may have a tendency to swing your balls into water or the woods or lose them in some other way. If you have a tendency to lose golf balls, it stands to reason that you aren’t going to want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on them, so it’s important to consider the price of the balls.
  • You also want your golf balls to be durable. They can take a real beating, so it’s important for them to be durable, especially if you plan on using them over and over again. A non-durable golf ball can become damaged, and playing with a damaged ball can impact your game – and your handicap.
  • There are several types of golf balls, and their construction differs. Different options include one, two, three, and four piece construction. Generally, one-piece balls are used by beginner and at driving ranges, while two-piece balls are the most popular, as they are extremely durable. Three piece balls are softer and offer more spin, while four-piece balls are similar to three-piece balls, but offer better control, though these types of balls aren’t very common. The construction of the ball is important, as it will impact its ability to retain its form, and thus impact your game.
  • It’s also important to consider the materials a golf ball is made of. Generally, the inside of the ball is constructed of rubber; however, some balls do have a liquid center. Balls are compressed into three different numbers, including 80, 90, and 100; 80 is the lowest and typically meant for women, senior, and junior players, 90 is an average compression and is typically used by recreational players, and 100 compression balls have a harder core and are usually used by advanced and professional players. The materials used to cover golf balls include Balata and Surlyn. The former material is similar to rubber and makes the ball feel soft and offers better control, while the latter is a hard resin material that feels surprisingly soft and provides good control. People with low handicaps usually use balata covered balls, while is Syrlun covers are best for players with high handicaps, as they provide better distance and are less expensive.
  • Golf balls can feel hard or they can feel relatively soft. Harder balls are best for high handicappers, as they offer more distance and aren’t as maneuverable, which means that they can help to improve a handicap.

Types of Golf Balls

There are six different types of golf balls, and it is the construction that differentiates them. The types of golf balls include:

  • One piece. These are the most basic type of golf balls, and the least expensive. They are made for beginner golfers, as well as driving ranges. They are usually made out of solid Surlyn that has dimples molded into it. These balls are soft, highly durable, and inexpensive; however, they do not offer a lot of distance.
  • Two pieces. Two-piece balls are made of two different materials; one for the core and another for the cover. The core is usually made of resin or acrylate, and the cover is made of a blended material, such as surlyn. Two-piece balls have a firm feeling and offer great distance; however, they are difficult to control.
  • Three pieces. These balls contain three different pieces; a center made of liquid or rubber, which is covered by a layer of an enhanced liquid or rubber, and a cover that encompasses the entire ball, which is usually made of Surlyn or Balata. Three piece balls are relatively soft and provide more spin, making them easier to control.
  • Four piece. These balls are comprised of a center that is usually made of solid rubber, an inner cover, which is meant to transfer the energy that is applied to the ball to the core. A middle cover surrounds the inner cover and helps to increase the distance of the ball. Encompassing the entire ball is an outer cover, which is the thinnest layer and is usually made of soft, but durable urethane, and is covered by dimples.
  • Five pieces. These are the newest construction and they are made to provide more spin and better performance. Usually, it’s made of three interior layers, which sit between a core and a urethane cover. The three mantle layers react to the shots and speeds that are enforced on them in order to offer the most advanced performance possible.
  • Multi-layer. Multi-layer balls contain between one and three mantle layers, which are sandwiched between the core of the ball and its cover. Each mantle used in a multi-layer ball is intended to reduce the spin of the ball when a driver hits it. The added spin allows the ball to achieve greater heights when it’s struck.

Type of Golf Ball Spin

The spin of a golf ball impacts how high and straight it will fly in the air, and how far it will roll when it lands.

  • Low spin golf balls. These balls usually minimize the side spin of a shot, which will enable it to fly straighter. While these balls don’t travel very far in the air, they will roll more when they land, thanks to the reduced spin. Low spin balls are best for golfers who slice their balls or who have a hard time achieving distance on the ground.
  • Mid-spin golf balls. These balls aim to offer the best of distance and feel. They offer a decent distance with softness and feel that varies, depending on the brand of the ball. Mid-spin golf balls can be used for players of varying abilities.
  • High spin golf balls. These balls are specifically made to increase the spin of the ball while it is in the air. If you tend to high the ball to the right or left, a high spinning ball would be a good choice for you.

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers

If you’re a high handicapper, consider using the following balls, as they may be able to help you improve your performance.

Titleist DT Trusoft Golf Ball

Titleist DT TruSoft Golf Balls, Yellow (One Dozen)
  • The softest compression Titleist
  • New longer distance through low long game spin
  • New improved short game performance for stopping power
  • Trusted quality and consistency

The DT Trusoft from Titleist is suitable for mid to high handicap players. You get an extremely low density with the soft cover in it, and the spin rate is manageable off the tee. Furthermore, the low compression and yielding cover offer you a superb feel. When you use it with short irons, you note a bouncy consistency of the exterior telling you the balls softer. You will be surprised at the feel when it bounces off the clubface as pleasant, and when used with wedges it feels amazingly soft.

Features and Benefits

  • The DT Trusoft has a dimple pattern. The design allows you to enhance the distance of your shot and gives you a consistent ball flight.
  • The golf ball has a unique fast low compression core and is one of the softest centres With the fantastic design, you get a flat spin when making long game shots to achieve great distance.
  • The cover system comprises of pure ionomer. With the soft cover, it presents you with a soft feel and consistent short game playability.

The Titleist DT Trust will offer you a long and accurate, penetrating ball flight. What’s more, it has a smooth feel and fantastic sound off the putter face and gives you a better control around the greens.

Titleist 2018 Velocity Golf Ball

Titleist Velocity Golf Balls, White, Double Digit Play Numbers (One Dozen)
  • Longer distance
  • Extremely low long game spin
  • High flight an all shots
  • Playable short game feel

Here we have another great option from Titleist, the Velocity golf ball. For the handicap player, this ball promises long distance. If you want downrange peak trajectory, you can also use these balls. Furthermore, you get a nice feeling in the irons when using it. The ball is firm and booms of the tea with your long irons in hand. The ball flight is high, so you can quickly get it to stop on the greens.

Features and Benefits

  • The golf ball has a two-piece design, made for slower swingers, and has a hard construction. Therefore, you need to be prepared to hit some high-pitched strikes with an extra long rollout for distance.
  • For maximum velocity, the golf ball comprises LSX core technology with a tetrahedral dimple structure to achieve this. You will get a consistent ball flight with minimal spin on your driver shots to keep things nice and straight.

Are you, a high handicap golf player that needs a straighter flight with the distance the Velocity will not disappoint you? Overall, the ball is a fairway and green finder. You will love using the ball with an FW, hybrids, driver, and irons when making a tee shot. In addition, if you are a mid-handicapper, even you will benefit if you are struggling to hit off the fairways and greens.

Callaway SuperSoft Golf Ball

Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls (Prior Generation), White, One Dozen
  • Softest Golf Ball We've Ever Made: 35 compression is the softest golf ballon the market
  • Super Long: Ultra Low Compression reduces spin for increased distance
  • Super Straight: Low spin results in straight ball flight
  • Mutliple Color Options: Supersoft is available in traditional White, Optical Yellow, Pink or Multi-color pack
  • Featuring traditional White, Orange, Lime and Turquoise golf balls for hotter visibility in the air or on the ground

A new addition to the Callaway line is the 2017 Supersoft golf ball. The balls designed for handicappers with a slower swing speed to help hit a straight. This golf ball only flies straight and is one of the Callaway’s softest balls in their collection. They have improved the design with a tri-ionomer cover, and you can quickly make distance shots with it. To help lessen drag the Hex aerodynamic technology gives you a lift during the playoff.

Features and Benefits

  • Designed with premium HEX Aerodynamics and the surface are more refined and contoured. With this fantastic technology, it helps reduce drag to provide you with a lift with longer carry and distance.
  • They improved the core for one good reason to promote a faster ball speed. You can now hit the ball with a straighter flight when using full shots.
  • Even the covers improved with Tri-ionomer. The material is durable and gives you a better greenside control.
  • The price point is even better, and you can buy it in a box of dozen golf balls.

For the ultimate recipe offering you the span of the tee, you can benefit using the 2017 Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls. With the two-piece design and low-compression core, it offers you an impressive play on the greens. Furthermore, the new cover provides a soft feel for an increased spin on shots.

Callaway Warbird Golf Ball

Callaway 2015 Warbird Golf Balls, Yellow
  • WARBIRD CORE The larger, softer core results in faster ball speeds for maximum distance It also creates a thinner cover that enhances feel without sacrificing speed and distance off the tee
  • HEX AERODYNAMICS Our proprietary surface pattern has been re-engineered to produce even better low-speed lift for more distance while maintaining the stable, penetrating ball flight that's been a trademark of HEX Aerodynamics
  • TWO COLOR OPTIONS Warbird is available in traditional White or Optical Yellow for additional visibility in the air or on the ground

Do you have a tight budget and tight on cash? The Warbird from Callaway is the best golf ball for distance and money spent. You get more ball speeds with the sizeable soft core and leads to an increased range. The uniqueness is the HEX Aerodynamics technology employed by NASA aeronautical engineers. The technology creates a perfect lift when used with lower ball speeds.

Features and Benefits

  • The Callaway 2017 Warbird has a two-piece design with a high-energy core available in white and yellow colors. With the structure, you can achieve maximum flight and distance.
  • The fantastic HEX Aerodynamic construction is superlative. Once you hit the ball, you will get a reduced drag to help promote a high launch and speed leading to hang-time and distance.
  • The core is highly compressible and massive. You can get your potential distance when using any swing.
  • The covers made of high-sensory ionomer that works with the core. Together these two traits give you a satisfying feel of every club used.

For a high flight and improved speed, the Warbird from Callaway will not leave you disappointed. Whether you are a beginner or a high handicapper that needs to work on your long distance shots, this is the best golf ball for distance off the tee.

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TaylorMade Distance Plus Golf Ball

First impressions count, and the Distance Plus impresses you with its design. For long distance shots, this is one of the best golf balls to use. TaylorMade has packed it with technology to keep it flying flat for a longer time to land closer to the hole. The three-piece ball blasts off and journeys flat-out and far. You can receive added distance with accurate ball flight no matter what handicapper you are.

Features and Benefits

  • The golf ball is designed with a high-energy “React” core to keep energy stored and releases it when needed. The core design offers you the best speed.
  • The spin mantle you find in the middle layer comprises an Iothane cover. Which helps you to get a better greenside spin control out the rough and sand.
  • Another highlighted trait is the 342 high-lift low-drag dimple pattern. With the unique attribute, you get a fantastic hang-time.

If you need higher ball speeds and just want to lash, it out the TaylorMade Distance Plus is a fantastic option. You will get accurate, long, and straight shots out on the course. The spin rate will leave you excited, as it still feels soft.


  • 3 piece balls
  • IOTHAN cover
  • 60 ball compression
  • 342 dimple design
  • Large core for maximum distance


  • Allows for great distance and feel
  • Vibrant color for increased visibility
  • Good spin
  • High flight


  • Some players report that they are very hard
  • Some users report that they don’t stick well

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Srixon Men’s Soft Feel Golf Ball


  • Two-piece construction
  • Lonomer cover
  • 344 dimple design
  • 72 compression
  • Soft core
  • Energetic gradient growth core


  • Offers increased greenside spin and softer feel on pitches, chips, and putts
  • Allows for better energy transfer to improve distance and increase performance
  • Offers great distance
  • Vibrant color


  • Some users report that they didn’t notice a difference with distance

Wilson Staff Fifty Elite Golf Balls


  • Two-piece construction
  • 50 compression
  • Ionomer cover
  • 302 dimple design
  • Rubber core


  • Aggressive core and responsive cover offers a soft feel and great distance
  • Enhanced aerodynamics
  • Highly durable


  • Some users report that they feel awkward

Callaway Hex Bite Golf Balls


  • Three piece construction
  • Soft cover
  • Soft, highly resilient core


  • Grabs the green
  • Offers longer and straighter shots
  • Reduced spin


  • Some users report having a difficult time keeping these balls straight

TaylorMade RBZ Soft Golf Balls


  • Three-layer construction
  • Soft feel
  • 70 compression
  • Enhanced core


  • Offers increased control
  • Provides greater distance
  • Allows for greater spin


  • Some players report that they had a hard time controlling these balls

Titleist NXT Tour Golf Balls


  • Three piece construction
  • Fusablend cover
  • Dual-core design
  • 302 dimple design


  • 66 percent larger core than other balls
  • Improved distance
  • Reduced spin
  • Enhanced dimple design
  • Soft feel


  • Some users report that they didn’t notice a difference in distance.

Bridgestone E6 Speed Golf Balls


  • Three piece construction
  • Delta dimple cover
  • Enhanced core construction
  • E6 speed


  • Improved distance
  • Straighter shot
  • Soft feel
  • Reduced spin
  • Increased green sticking


  • Some report these balls have a slow speed

Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls


  • Three piece construction
  • Solid core
  • 352 dimple design
  • Urethane elastomer cover system
  • Ionomeric casing layer


  • Reduced spin
  • Increased distance
  • Greater control
  • Soft feel
  • Durable construction


None at this time

Srixon Z-Star Men’s Golf Balls


  • Three piece construction
  • 105 compression
  • Urethane cover
  • 324 dimple design
  • Dual energetic growth core


  • Reduced spin
  • Greater control
  • Increased distance
  • Enhanced sticking power


None at this time

Volvik Crystal Golf Balls


  • Three piece construction
  • 322 dimple design
  • 80 compression
  • Solid, durable core
  • Thin, yet durable cover


  • Offers enhanced spin control
  • Improved distance
  • Available in bright colors for improved visibility


  • Some users report that these balls have a hard feel instead of the soft feel that’s advertised

Volvik Vivid Golf Balls


  • 3 piece construction
  • 80 compression
  • Matte finish
  • 322 dimple design
  • Ionomer cover
  • Large core


  • Explosive distance
  • Matter finish cover
  • Greater accuracy
  • Improved control
  • Soft feel
  • Durable construction
  • Vivid colors for increased visibility


  • Some users report that they don’t like the matte design

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do high handicappers need special golf balls?

A: Golf balls that offer reduced spin, greater control, and improved distance can help handicappers improve their score, and thus their game. Golf balls that offer a lot of spin are hard to control and can, therefore, reduce a player’s results.

Q: What number is a high handicapper?

A: Anyone who has a handicap of 25 or more is considered a high handicapper. For example, someone who has a handicap of 25 consistently shoots 25 strokes more than the difficulty rating of the course that he or she plays on regularly.

Q: What is the best golf ball for mid handicappers?

A: Mid handicappers should use golf balls that offer a decent amount of spin and distance, yet not so much spin that the balls are very hard to control.

Q: What is the best golf ball for beginners?

A: Beginners should use the same type of golf balls that high handicappers should use. In other words, they should use balls that offer reduced spin, are easier to control, have greater sticking power, and can achieve great distance.

Q: What are the three main types of golf balls?

A: The three main types of golf balls include one-piece construction, two-piece construction, and multi-layer construction (any type of ball that features more than three layers).

Final Thoughts

The equipment that you use can make a big difference in your golf game. If you have a high handicap and you are looking to bring it down, using balls that are designed to provide greater distance, more control, and reduced spin can help you achieve your goal of a lower handicap. By using any of the golf balls mentioned in this buyer’s guide for high handicapper (and by implementing different strategies to your game, of course), you will eventually notice a marked difference in your handicap.


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