Best
Golf balls for high handicappers 2018

Best golf balls for high handicappers 2018

 

Many have sworn that they would have given up the game of golf long ago if it hadn’t been for that one perfect drive on the 8th hole, that birdie putt on fifteen, or that five iron shot that landed pin high for a two foot putt on twelve.

What if you could have more of those great shots throughout your entire round? You can with the best golf balls for high handicappers.

This guide will look at what features and benefits you can expect from golf balls that are designed to be more forgiving and provide the best distance and accuracy for a high handicap golfer.

It will examine a number of different products that are best suited for high handicappers so that you can compare their attributes and fit them to the weak points of your game. To wrap things up, we will even answer a few common questions concerning golf balls in general.

Image Product NameScore Button
Titleist DT TruSoft
Titleist DT TruSoft
9.5
$21.99
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2 Wilson Staff Fifty Elite
Wilson Staff Fifty Elite
9
$16.00 $12.99
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3 Callaway 2017 Supersoft
Callaway 2017 Supersoft
8.5
$21.99 $18.99
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4 TaylorMade Distance Plus
TaylorMade Distance Plus
8
$29.95
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5 Srixon Soft Feel Men’s
Srixon Soft Feel Men’s
7.5
$19.99
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6 Callaway 2015 Warbird
Callaway 2015 Warbird
7
$28.00 $26.99
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Buyer’s guide

Guide to the Best Golf Ball for the High Handicap Golfer

Why do high handicappers need a better golf ball? We all want a long, straight shot off the tee which lands in the middle of the fairway with a shorter iron shot left to reach the green. We want that second shot to land with enough accuracy and distance to leave us with a short birdie putt on the green.

We want to be able to tap the ball with just enough length to go into the hole or leave us with a tap-in par instead of coming up way short or rolling past.

Mechanics will always play a role in making a great shot, but with a forgiving ball, bad mechanics don’t have to cost you as dearly in how your shot plays out. Before looking at the features of the best golf ball for a high handicapper, let’s define the term handicap.
 

What is a Handicap?

best-golf-balls-for-high-handicappers
 
 
Handicap is a formula for determining a person’s typical or average score for a round of golf.

The official formula, according to USGA rules, consists of taking the best ten rounds of your last 20 rounds played and calculating the average number of strokes over par.
 
 
 
 
 
There are four common levels of handicaps:
 
 

  • Scratch Golfer. Someone whose average on best ten rounds of their last twenty is near or equal to even par. In essence, they have a zero handicap or no handicap.
  • Low Handicapper. This is a golfer who has a pretty good mix of pars in a round, but has a few bogeys mixed in for an average score of around 10 to 12 over par.
  • Bogey Golfer or Midrange Handicapper. This is someone whose average score is close to 18 over par, which would average out to a bogey on every hole.
  • High Handicapper. Anyone whose average score of the best ten of their last twenty rounds is in excess of 18 over par.

As a person improves their game, their average on the best ten of their last twenty rounds will improve and their handicap will become lower.

Practice will improve mechanics, but the right ball can also help bring your handicap down.

 

Why do you need special golf balls?

Specially designed golf balls can help improve how the ball reacts when you strike it with your club. There are three components associated with striking a golf ball that will determine how good of a shot you make.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these three components:

Distance

best-distance-golf-ballCompression is one component that will affect the distance you get out of your shot. “The compression of a ball refers to how tightly wound its core threads are,” according to Golf Info Guide.

Balls with a high compression rating require a higher club speed on impact, which means you will need higher velocity on your swing.

However, trying to force more velocity out of your swing tends to break down mechanics and cause you to whiff, slice or draw.

A balanced and consistent swing on a lower compression rated ball will create a rebound effect when it comes off of the clubface and give your shot more distance.

Along with compression a higher number of dimples that are deeper will also provide more lift and distance to your shot.

 
Straightness

best-golf-ball-for-mid-handicapperOne of the issues of straightness is related to trying to force your shot, like we just discussed.

Another aspect of straightness is related to the amount of spin. This is associated with the dimple pattern, number of dimples and depth of the dimples.

Where more and deeper dimples will help you achieve a greater distance, it will also create more spin and you will sacrifice straightness.

To correct straightness issues, you might need a ball with fewer and shallower dimples.
 
Feel or Spin

most-forgiving-golf-ballThis component is something of a balance between the two above. It is related to both the compression rating of the ball, and the softness of club impact, as well as its dimple pattern and depth.

Higher spin will allow for greater control when it comes to shot placement, but any errors you make in your swing will be exaggerated with higher spin.

Lower spin will take away from distance, but will allow you to place a ball more accurately and make it stick to the green.

This typically requires a softer ball which is a little less durable.

 
 

4 Types of golf balls

How a golf ball is constructed is essential when it comes to how it will react when it is struck by a clubface.

If you grab a cheap set of one-piece, molded, golf balls or range balls off the shelf and use it to play a round of golf, you will be one of those people wrapping your club around a tree or tossing the whole bag in the water hazard.

For someone who is serious about making quality shots during your round, you will want to consider the 4 different types of golf balls:
 
 

2-Piece Golf Balls

best-2-piece-golf-ballApart from cheap, one-piece range balls, which many amateurs insist on playing, the most common type used by everyday golfers are 2-piece golf balls.

These are made with a single solid, hard plastic core inside a harder cover. The harder feel provides more distance, especially when it comes to rolling.

They are nearly indestructible, which makes them appealing because you don’t have to replace them as often. The major drawback to 2-piece balls is that they are harder to control.
 
 

3-Piece Golf Balls

best-3-piece-golf-balls
 
This type tends to have a solid rubber or liquid core with an enhanced rubber second layer, and then a durable molded cover.

These are softer than 2-piece balls and offer more spin, which gives the golfer a little more controlled performance when comes to placing a shot.

The drawback is that higher spin means that slices and hooks tend to be worse and you will need a higher amount of club speed to get distance.
 
 
 
 

4-Piece Golf Balls

4-piece-golf-ballsThe layers on this type each perform a different function in order to create a softer feeling ball with extended length and increased control. The inner core is typically solid rubber to provide distance. The next layer is designed to transfer energy into the core.

The middle layer is meant to help with distance but achieve a greater level of spin and control around the green. The cover is usually thinner urethane material, which soft, yet durable. These tend to contain between 300-400 dimples.

You get more distance with less swing speed and greater control. Their main drawbacks are the same as 3-piece balls with the addition of being a little less durable.
 
 

5-Piece Golf Balls

5-piece-golf-ballsLike the 3 and 4-piece balls, 5-piece balls utilize more layers to achieve both greater performance and increased spin separation. These are typically tour-level balls, which deliver the most control and distance available.

These types will feature a high speed core, with three energy transfer and spin producing layers wrapped around it and then they will be finished off with a softer urethane cover.

The drawbacks of this type are that they are less durable, which means you will have to replace them more often, and you might have to win a few tours in order to afford keeping them in your bag.
 
 
 
 
 

Most Forgiving Golf Ball

best-golf-ball-for-20-handicapper
 
What is the most forgiving golf ball? This is the question that usually comes up when discussing how a high handicapper can bring down their score.
 
 
 
 
There are four factors which contribute to what makes for a more forgiving ball:
 
 
 

  • Construction. More distance for a lack of club speed and accuracy makes a 2-piece ball a bit more forgiving for those who need a little more distance from their shot. In addition, the increased spin of multi-layered balls will make them a little less forgiving when it comes to slicing and drawing.
  • Dimples. A higher number of dimples and the deeper they are will increase lift as well as add distance to your stroke.
  • Compression. Since less compression allows for better performance when badly or weakly hit, a lower compression ball will help overcome the lack of swing control inexperienced players tend to have.
  • Spin. High spin balls are harder to control if you don’t know what you are doing and those with higher spin separation will exacerbate slicing and drawing tendencies. A ball with lower spin will fly a little bit straighter, but it will run on you and not sit down on the green as well.

Combining these factors into a balance, the most forgiving ball is going to have fewer layers of construction, have more dimples, a lower compression rating and lower spin.

 
 

Best Golf Balls for Low, Mid and High Handicappers

To determine the best ball for the various levels of handicappers is a little bit difficult. There are different styles of play involved, different issues of distance and control to be addressed and any number of other variables that contribute to their higher average score.

We can only look at the more common tendencies of the various levels and suggest which ball will be most forgiving in those instances.

best-golf-ball-for-high-handicap-golfer
 
 

Best Golf Ball for 10-15 Handicappers

These handicappers tend to have good distance on their drives, decent control with their irons and have a pretty good short game. Their shot strategy and club selection might need some fine tuning as well as various parts of their game.

These golfers can sometimes improve their game using types with a higher number of layers, higher number of dimples, medium compression, and higher spin in order to gain a little bit more control over their shots.
 
 

Best Golf Ball for 15-20 Handicappers

These handicappers are likely to have pretty good distance off the tee and have better shot placing ability with irons as well as in their short game than do less experienced players.

However, when compared to those in the level above them, they will still lack some control over their mechanics and will require a more forgiving ball. The best type for these players should be a 2 to 4-piece ball with a high number of dimples, medium to high compression, and medium to high spin.
 
 

Best Golf Ball for 20 and Over Handicappers

Twenty and over handicappers can include a pretty broad range of issues in style of play, swing mechanics and shot placement.

As a general rule, these golfers tend to have a lower swing speed, so they do not drive as far off of the tee, they do not have full control and accuracy when it comes to using their irons and shot placement on their short game is lacking.

The best golf balls for senior high handicappers, and other high handicappers, will want to be one of fewer layers or pieces with a higher number of dimples to get lift and distance, high compression to overcome lower swing speed, and low to medium spin.

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers Reviews

Titleist DT TruSoft – Best Golf Balls for the High Handicapper

Titleist DT TruSoft

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Those who are looking for a premium ball with plenty of forgiveness for a high handicapper will appreciate the overall range and control combined in the Titleist DT Trusoft.

It also doesn’t hurt that this one is on the more affordable end of the price spectrum. This is a ball made by Titleist which is the replacement for their discontinued DT So Lo model.

With the Titleist DT TruSoft, you will not sacrifice any length off of the tee, which suits someone who needs a little extra help with driving.

While the extended drive can mean a little bit less control around the green, this ball is an exception to the rule and tends to sit down well on the green rather than running. Both of these features make it more forgiving, which helps solve primary issues of high handicap golfers.
 
 
Key Features and Benefits

The Titlest DT TruSoft includes some innovations that make it a solid consideration for those with a high handicap. Here are those key features:

  • Larger Core. Its larger TruTouch core is low compression, which allows for lower spin and longer distances off the tee.
  • Improved Aerodynamics. The SoftFlight feature on this ball is optimized to cut through the air during flight in order to get the most distance out of your drive.
  • Softer Cover. The proprietary TruFlex cover on the DT makes it softer around the green, providing more control to help stabilize your short game.


 
PROS:
  • This model helps maintain satisfactory distance on your long shots.
  • It also provides you with better control during your short game and putting.
  • The DT has a soft feel and decent spin.
  • You get a durable ball with plenty of consistency.
  • This is one of the most affordable premium level golf balls on the market.

CONS:
  • You do not get the urethane cover which creates greater spin separation.
  • It does not have quite the control and feel of a multilayer types for accurate shot placement.
  • You won’t get as much loft off the tee or with long irons as you might with other balls.


 
Verdict

High handicappers who are also price conscious will have a hard time finding a better product for the price.

It combines both solid distance with better control around the green to help lower those higher scores.

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Wilson Staff Fifty Elite – Best 2-piece Golf Ball

Wilson Staff Fifty Elite

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The best Wilson golf ball with a 2-piece design and among the top picks for mid to high handicappers is the Wilson Staff Fifty Elite. This ball provides distance, feel and durability in a low compression, tour level golf ball.

This product is manufactured by Wilson Sports. Those who need a little extra length off of the tee will appreciate the fact that they can get better distance with a lower swing speed.

The extra distance you get will enhance rather than ruin a high handicapper’s short game with added control and higher greenside spin for those who are struggling to get their ball to sit down on the green and not run.
 
 
Key Features and Benefits

There are several features and benefits that makes the Wilson Staff Fifty a solid choice for high handicappers, including:

  • Aggressive Core. Its core reduces spin and improves distance for your long game.
  • Responsive Cover. This feature allows for a softer feel and better control around the green.
  • 2-Piece Construction. You will get a little bit more forgiveness for errant shots than with 3 to 5 piece balls.
  • Shallower Dimples. This improves aerodynamics for greater distance as well.


 
PROS:
  • The Wilson Staff 50 has a highly responsive cover for a softer feel on the green.
  • Its soft compression rated at 50 will provide for distance when striking it from the tee or with longer irons with a slower swing speed.
  • It is a highly durable for greater longevity.
  • Higher spin rate greenside allows you to have better control over short game shots.
  • Reasonably priced for a tour level golf ball.

CONS:
  • The shallower dimples will reduce loft, making your shot trajectory on longer irons and woods flatter.
  • It is easy to overshoot the green with mid to long irons.
  • These balls don’t sit down on the green and draw back as well as higher end offerings.


 
Verdict

You get good balance for your game overall from this affordable 2-piece ball.

You get a little better distance out of your lower speed swing, but you also get some control greenside with its softer feel.

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Callaway Supersoft – Best Soft Golf Balls

Callaway 2017 Supersoft

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If you are looking for a ball with super low compression, the Calloway Supersoft is at the very bottom of the compression chart.

Among Callaway golf balls reviews, this product provides the softest feel, the most distance and the highest level of accuracy possible for those with a low swing speed.

Callaway Golf is the manufacturer of this product. Lower swing speed golfers from beginners to intermediate or even advanced golfers will appreciate the super low compression rating at an impressive 38, but will even perform well for those with a higher swing speed.

The spin and control that high handicappers will experience from its softer feel will improve the greenside game as well, making it sit down on the green and even draw back instead of overshooting.
 
 
Key Features and Benefits

Callaway has made some improvements to this 2-piece golf ball, which allow it to be placed among the best golf balls for high handicappers as well. Let’s take a look at some of those features:

  • Hotter Core. The improved core makes it faster on long shots to achieve greater distance.
  • HEX Aerodynamics. The proprietary aerodynamic design is optimized to reduce drag and increase lift for a longer drive.
  • Tri-ionomer Cover. This newly designed cover makes it super soft for improved feel and control greenside.
  • Super Low Compression. With a compression of 38, it will still fly if you have a pretty low swing speed.

 

PROS:
  • The lower compression allows those with low swing speeds to get plenty of distance.
  • The feel is exactly as billed; super soft.
  • Greenside spin makes it sit down and hold tight.
  • This is an affordable option among brand name offerings as well.

CONS:
  • Some might find it to have a little too soft of a feel.
  • You will probably sacrifice some control with longer irons.
  • Getting a lot of length with it, when compared to a harder types, for those with a high swing speed, will leave a little something to be desired.


 
Verdict

Those with lower swing speeds will reap plenty of benefits from the SuperSoft off of the tee and with longer irons.

Thankfully, you will also get good greenside play with it as well.

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TaylorMade Distance Plus – Best Distance Golf Ball

TaylorMade Distance Plus

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Topping out among Taylormade golf balls reviews that are well suited for high handicappers who need a lot of distance to improve their game is the TaylorMade Distance Plus. This is another value level golf ball with decent compression to help out those with a lower swing speed.

TaylorMade is the manufacturer of the Distance Plus. High handicappers with a lower swing speed will get more distance out of it due to it being at the low end of the average compression rating.

It works well for beginners and intermediates who have a solid short game, but are lacking in their long game.
 
 
Key Features and Benefits

Taylor made has built some decent features into the design of the Distance Plus that can help the golfer who is struggling with his long game. Here are those features:

  • Teact Core. This is a hot core, which stores and releases energy with improved efficiency to increase distance off of the tee or when using long irons.
  • Iothane Cover. This cover is a proprietary design feature with 342 dimples that have plenty of depth to help improve lift and overall distance.
  • Larger Core. The space saved with the Iothane cover allows for a larger core for greater distance.


 
PROS:
  • Its low compression of 60 allows those with a lower swing speed to get more distance.
  • The larger, hot core of the Distance Plus allows for improved speed and overall distance as well.
  • The iothane cover and high dimple count help to improve lift for greater distance.
  • This is an affordable way to make improvements to your long game.

CONS:
  • Its overall feel is pretty hard.
  • There isn’t a lot of spin on it, so control can be an issue.
  • Greenside control is not improved using this product.


 
Verdict

Those who already have a decent short game, but would like to squeeze out a little extra distance from their long game will find this to be a good ball to fit their needs.

Its limitations greenside do not make it a good all-around pick for a high handicapper.

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Srixon Soft Feel – Most Forgiving Golf Ball

Srixon Soft Feel Men’s

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If you tend to be all over the place with your game and need a more forgiving ball, you might look to the best Srixon golf ball for high handicappers. The Srixon Soft Feel is another value level, mid-range compression offering that can help improve your overall control from tee to pin.

Srixon is a brand name of SRI Sports, which is a subsidiary of the Japanese company Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Those looking for more distance from their long game are not going to find the answer in this ball except for the fact that it might help to control tendencies to slice or draw.

Those who need some help with control in their short game, especially greenside, will find this to be a solid contributor to improving their handicap.
 
 
Key Features and Benefits

There are several innovations in the newest model Soft Feel that work together to improve a high handicapper’s short game. Those innovations include:

  • 12 Point Reduction in Compression. This reduction brings the Soft Feel down to a compression rating of 60 to help those with slow swing speeds maintain their previous distances.
  • • 5% Softer. Its softer feel allows those who want more control greenside to achieve their best shot.
  • 11% Thinner Cover. This allows for a larger core to help maintain length in the long game and increases spin control.
  • 324 Dimple Pattern. Its dimple patter helps to increase its overall spin and control.


 
PROS:
  • The Soft Feel is a soft, but durable with straighter flight on the long game.
  • Its compression rating of 60 allows those with low swing speeds to maintain distance.
  • Increased friction from the thinner cover helps improve spin control, which can help reduce the effects of slice and hook.
  • Its soft feel allows you to have improved control for the short game.
  • This one is also a value priced for those who are on a budget.

CONS:
  • These balls will not work well for those who have a swing speed above 110 mph.
  • You will probably not see a lot of improvement to the distances on your long game.
  • Those who buy American might not be fond of the fact that this product is from a Japanese manufacturer.


 
Verdict

Those who achieve plenty of distance from their long game, but who need a lot more control might benefit from the Soft Feel.

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Callaway Warbird – Best Golf Ball for Average Handicappers

Callaway 2015 Warbird

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Among the best golf balls for putting, which can also achieve maximum distances on the fairway is the Callaway Warbird. This medium compression, 2-piece ball has an enhanced feel for your short game, but does not interrupt the distances you are used to in your long game.

Callaway Golf is the manufacturer behind its production. If getting the maximum distances on the fairway without giving up too much control greenside is important to you, then this is a good choice to keep in mind.

The Warbird is best suited for average handicappers who already have a decent game and just want to squeeze a little bit more out of each stroke to improve their score.
 
 
Key Features and Benefits

There are plenty of solid features built into the design of the Warbird that can help improve a high handicapper’s game as well. Here are several of the most notable ones:

  • HEX aerodynamics. This feature is built into the best modern Callaway balls to promote higher lift, reduce drag and increase distance.
  • Thinner Cover/Larger Core. The thinner cover allows for a larger core that stores up and releases more energy for improved speed and distance.
  • Ionomer Cover. This cover works in tandem with the core to create a softer feel with greater greenside control.

 

PROS:
  • The Warbird provides solid carry for maintaining great distances.
  • The cover is resistant to scuffing and cut proof for improved longevity.
  • It can help improve the distance of low swing speeds with it mid-range compression rating.
  • The thinner cover helps to create friction for more short game control.
  • It is also affordable for most golfers.

CONS:
  • Its feel is a little bit harder than most of the other offerings in this review.
  • Its compression rating is not low enough to overcome a really slow swing speed.
  • The distance features on the Warbird might reduce some of its short-game features.


 
Verdict

Distance for those with a higher swing speed is the main objective of the design of the Warbird, but it does not completely sacrifice the short-game to achieve those distances.

Answers to Common Questions about Golf Balls

Are soft or hard golf balls better?

The answer to this question really depends on how hard and how well you hit the golf ball. In addition, you have to look at how each one is going to respond off the tee, from fairway to green and on the green. To provide a better answer, it is necessary to look at the characteristics of each type:

Hard Golf Ball

A hard golf ball, or one with a firmer feel, tends to have a firmer feel off of the clubface. This feel is usually related to a lower spin, 2-piece construction.

The firmer feel will usually produce longer distances from the tee box, but because of its low spin, it will have a tendency to want to run on you. Running is good if you need to get more distance to reach the green, but bad when you are trying to get it to sit down on the green.

Soft Golf Ball

A golf ball with a softer feel off of the clubface is considered a soft golf ball. These tend to be of 3, 4 and 5-piece construction and are typically designed to create more spin and provide more control. They won’t give you the distance of a harder ball, but they will have a tendency to sit down on a green instead of running.

Because of their various strengths and weaknesses hard balls might be better suited for some styles of play and for correcting issues in which the player is not achieving enough distance, but a softer ball would be a better answer when it comes to correcting the issue of overrunning the green and landing in a particularly nasty spot.

How long do golf balls last?

Fresh out of the box will provide you with the best overall performance of any ball. However, if you purchase a dozen at a time, some of them might be around for a while before they are used, or they might be used and returned to your bag to sit out the season while others are in the rotation.

You certainly want to get the best out each one whenever you bring it out, which brings up the question of how long golf balls will last?

How long a golf ball will last depends upon a couple of different factors: their construction and the conditions in which they are stored. Let’s take a look at each of these factors individually to come up with the best answer:

Ball Construction

In general, a 2-piece ball will last longer because there are few components to break down and they tend to be built with a bit more durability. It is not unreasonable to say that a 2-piece type stored at room temperature will be just as good 5 to 7 years later as it was when it came out of the box.

Multiple layer types will break down a bit sooner because of there are more, unique materials and components built into them. Multiple layer golf balls should still last between 2 and 4 years if stored at moderate temperatures.

Storage Conditions

Storage conditions can also have an effect on life expectance. The recommended storage temperature is a moderate temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition, they should be stored in a dry place with a lower level of humidity to help them retain their longevity. Storing golf balls under the best conditions will help preserve their longevity as long as they do not have any nicks or permanent damage done to the outer cover.

Improperly stored balls can also become deformed and their performance is diminished. If they become damaged or deformed, it is better to replace them with new balls if you want them to perform properly.

Can golf balls be stored in the cold?

There are those who say that golf balls stored in the freezer will last longer. In reality this is not the case, and Vice Labs debunks this myth in full detail while giving directions for proper storage. The optimal storage conditions are a moderate temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a dry environment.

Balls stored under extreme temperatures, either hot or cold can warp or deform. Warping occurs because extended periods of expansion or contraction from extreme temperatures alters the compression rating.

Once they have become deformed due to these factors, they will never return to their original shape or compression level.

Best golf balls for high handicappers 2018 - Conclusion

Those who are working with a high handicap should always be on the lookout for one more way to help lower their scores and improve their handicap.

Where mechanics and practice are still going to provide the most dramatic improvements, getting your hands on the best golf balls for high handicappers can help you overcome some of the limitations of your game. One specific product that can help you improve your score is the Titleist DT TruSoft.

The DT TruSoft is more forgiving for those who need to improve mechanics in their swing while also providing for extended distance for those whose swing speed is a little lower.

Its distance improvements do not fully outweigh its overall control features at greenside, making it an all-around pick for helping to improve all of the various issues high handicappers need to overcome to reduce their score.

It is worth bearing in mind that our pick might be better for all-around improvement, it might not be the best choice for specific issues you might be having as a mid or high handicapper.

For those who are already hitting well, but want to squeeze out a little better performance, the Callaway Warbird could be a better option to consider. However, those with plenty of distance in their long game, but want a little bit more control around the green might want to keep the Srixon Soft Feel in mind.

Whether you agree with our overall pick or not, you should be able to use the information your gained from our guide, the answers to commonly asked questions and the comparisons made in our reviews to help you make a qualified decision whenever you choose your next sleeve of golf balls.

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