Like the start of spring, there is something invigorating about opening a new sleeve of golf balls on the first tee. Less invigorating is watching that beautiful new dimpled egg sail off course and crack when hitting an oak 10 yards to the right of the first fairway.
Because of scenes like that, I generally do not play top-of-the-line balls. But two of the top pros in the area recently shared that it’s an important selection process, regardless of your skill level.
“Choosing the right golf ball does matter,” said Mike Schuchart of Wilderness Ridge. And Steve Friesen of Firethorn added, “Getting properly fit to the correct ball is as important as getting fit for clubs.”
“In short,” Friesen said, “100 percent of golfers on TV use a ball with a urethane cover. Why? Backspin on chips and iron shots. Pinnacle range balls have a surlyn cover and are basically impossible to spin a chip or have an iron shot land soft on firm greens. I play Titleist Pro V1X Left Dash. Anyone can buy them (about $55 a dozen). Low long game spin, better through wind, and adequate short game spin.”
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Schuchart said: “It starts from the green back to the tee. Feel off the putter, feel and spin control on chip shots, pitch shots, wedge shots; feel, spin control and green-stopping ability on approach shot. Feel, spin control and distance for you driver.”
It doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune here. Visit your favorite golf shop, tell them about your game and go from there.
Schuchart said: “There is a ball out in the marketplace that meets the need for every player.”
Even lost causes like me.
That was the Tweet from former Husker Scott Gutschewski after he won the Korn Ferry LECOM Suncoast Classic in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The victory in April was his first tour title in 15 years. He did it with a 40-foot birdie putt in a playoff, and he did it at age 46.
Definitely one of the feel-good stories of the golf year so far.
Here’s what he used for the victory:
Titleist TSR 3 driver 9 degree, Taylor Made Mini Driver 13.5 degree, Taylor Made Sim2 5 wood, Titleist U500 4 iron, Srixon ZX7 5-6 iron, Srixon Z Forged 7-PW, Titleist Vokey SM9 50, 54, SM7 60, Titleist Scotty Cameron T5.5 putter, Titleist Pro V1.
And Swag headcovers to benefit PGA Reach in Nebraska.
• The 2023 Men’s City and Senior City Championships will be played July 7-9 at Pioneers, Highlands and Holmes. For more information, visit www.lincolncitygolf.org.
• Also from the feel-good files, Tony Finau playing a nearby par-3 course with his kids shortly after winning the Mexico Open. Finau’s story is really something, as you can see by watching “Full Swing” on Netflix. With money at home extremely tight when he was growing up in Utah, Finau learned the game banging shots off of a garage door. It’s true. Holy Cow true.
John Mabry can be reached in the nearest bunker or at email@example.com