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What are some tips for understanding golf ball performance comparisons?

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Quick Answer

Golf ball performance can be compared by understanding their internal contents and core composition, and knowing how these materials are affected by a club’s contact. Typically, golf balls have either two-piece, three-piece or performance four-piece cores.

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Full Answer

Two-piece golf balls contain a solid rubber core and an external layer, which is either a plastic or urethane cover. The solid core gives the ball higher velocities in flight by transferring the greatest amount of force from the club’s swing. A two-piece golf ball is typically more forgiving, disguising slices or hooks and providing a straighter flight due to the ball's reduced spin.

Three-piece hybrid golf balls are like two-piece balls, but with an additional mantle layer. The added mantle layer allows for increased spin control, which is a quality suitable for more experienced players.

Performance four-piece golf 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 give this type of golf ball a special set of characteristics sought after by professional golfers, such as 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.

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