Many golfers playing golf in Branson assume that range balls, often two-piece balls, don’t perform like premium golf balls. But how sure they are?
With most golfers base their on-course yardages on how far they hit shots on the range, it’s time to find out how they compare – just like picking a new driver, set of irons or ball, it’s not quite as simple as you think.
A "range ball" or "driving range ball" is a golf ball manufactured specifically for use on a golf driving range. They often have a colored stripe around their circumference and may have the word "range" or "practice" printed on them. Some others might be solid yellow with black stripes around the circumference.
Golfers pay for range balls in bulk at driving ranges, with rates depending on the number of balls rented. Range balls can be purchased also in bulk by golfers who want to use them outside of a driving range setting (such as in a park, hit them, pick them up)
The question if range balls are built the same way as regular golf balls. The answer is not quite because range balls are built to be hit over and over and over again on driving ranges, by golfers with varying abilities, they have to be able to hold up to that punishment for an extended time.
Most of the range balls have a solid-core, 2-piece construction, but with very hard covers. On resisting cutting, scuffing and other cover damage, range balls are better than premium golf balls. There are times that range balls will also have harder cores, which can restrict flight.
Some major golf manufacturers do make range versions of their golf balls for driving ranges, and those generally are built the same way as the “premium” version of such balls, but with the much harder cover.
Generally, range balls do not fly as far as premium golf balls. But the issue isn't necessarily that range balls typically fly shorter distances than premium golf balls, because they vary so widely in distance performance. It's the range of distances from ball to ball, in other words, that is the biggest distance difference between range balls and premium balls.
Range balls are not specifically manufactured as such - they are used golf balls of any brand, for example, those retrieved from the bottom of golf course's water hazards. A golf course might collect such balls and throw them into their supply of range balls. Range ball can be a derogatory comment to a golf ball that don’t perform as hoped (but it’s usually the fault of the person hitting it). One player to another can say: "That shot was ugly. Are you using a range ball?"
When you want to buy your first golf ball with the goal of playing golf in Branson with your friends, try to learn the comparisons between range ball and premium golf balls so you will know which of the two performs better.