The differences between types of golf balls are the materials used in their construction. Each type of ball offers specific technical advantages, which determine its traveling distance and spin.
The most common type is the two-piece golf ball. Two-piece balls have a solid, rubber core. The outside layer is a plastic or urethane cover. The solid rubber core allows the ball to reach higher velocities, making these good distance balls. The lower spin of two-piece golf balls tends to be more forgiving, disguising slices or hooks and providing a straighter flight.
Three-piece hybrid golf balls are similar to two-piece balls in construction, with the exception of an added mantle layer. While maintaining some of the characteristics of a two-piece golf ball, the added mantle allows for increased spin control, a quality suitable for more experienced players.
Performance golf balls usually come in three or four-piece construction. These balls usually contain a two-piece core surrounded by a similar mantle as that of three-piece golf balls. The urethane cover and the double-core construction gives this type of ball a special set of characteristics most suitable for professionals: a low initial spin, which allows for high-distance drives, and a high iron spin, giving the ball the typical “drop and spin” characteristic of a professional’s precision shot.