Are Any Good Golf Balls for Seniors Being Sold?
In a nutshell, yes.
Actually, many of today's balls would be good golf balls for seniors. They're just not marketed that way. In other words, you won't find any balls claiming they've been "designed specifically for senior golfers."
Most of the time, identifying good golf balls for seniors primarily comes down to taking into account the slower swing speeds that are typical of older players. Almost everyone's swing starts slowing down after reaching "that certain age," which is different for everyone.
In part, the age at which a senior golfer's swing starts slowing down will depend on the person's flexibility, strength and overall health and physical fitness. But make no mistake - slowing down at some point is almost inevitable for every golfer. You're way off base if you think Arnold Palmer has the same swing speed he once did, but he's just an example. Name any other senior professional golfer and you could say the same thing. In fact, that's why the "Champions Tour" (which should be called the "Senior Tour," in my mind, because that's what it is) was created for professional golfers who are 50 and older. Their slower swing speeds simply do not allow them to compete with stronger, faster-swinging 25-year-olds.
So, the first and most important step when you're looking for good golf balls is recognizing that you probably swing slower now than you did even a few years ago. That means that what you need are balls designed for players with slower swing speeds.
That's actually good news, because modern technology has given us an abundance of golf balls that fit that description. And, to make things even better, there's no need to spend a ton of money when you're buying senior golf balls. Many of the balls designed for slow swingers are both durable and affordably priced.
All of this means that when you're searching for golf balls for seniors, find balls that have been specifically optimized for slower swings. Look for descriptive terms like "distance" and "soft feel." Both really boil down to compression - the degree to which the shape of a ball deforms when struck with a club. Almost instantaneously, a ball will "rebound" to its original shape after it deforms at the moment of impact. The rebound transfers energy and therefore velocity to the ball, and that velocity is what makes the ball travel long distances when struck.
A ball being struck by a club is like a child jumping on a trampoline. The springiness of the trampoline lets the child jump much higher than he or she could jump without it. At slow swing speeds, the springiness of low-compression balls allows them to deform more, and rebound more, than high-compression balls. This in turn enables the transfer of more of the club head's energy to the ball. A slow swing can't optimally compress a high-compression ball, so it won't fly as far as it would with a faster swing. All other things being equal, a low-compression ball will travel farther for a slow-swinging senior than a high-compression ball. Distance is almost always a good thing, especially if you're struggling to regain or retain your length.
A few examples of low-cost, low-compression balls that could be good golf balls for seniors include the Callaway Big Bertha Diablo, the TopFlite Gamer V2, Noodle golf balls, the Srixon Soft Feel, the Titleist DT SoLo and the Pinnacle Dimension. If you're willing to spend a bit more, the Titleist NXT and Titleist NXT Tour could be good choices. We review several of these good golf balls for seniors on other pages of this site. And, in addition to those balls, almost all balls that are designed to be played by women would also be good golf balls for seniors.
But compression isn't the only consideration when you're talking about golf balls for seniors. Accomplished senior golfers will want a ball that lets them hit high approach shots that spin and stick on the green. Some seniors are visually-challenged and might find that bright orange or yellow balls are easier to follow and find than traditional white balls. And, although they're quite expensive, micro-chipped GPS or RFID golf balls are available for seniors who find it particularly difficult to locate lost balls.
You have plenty of options when you're shopping for good golf balls for seniors. Just look for low-compression balls that also provide any other special characteristics you need.
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