Most, if not all, new balls from
recognised brands will be balanced.
Golf is a mental as well as a physical game. Whatever boosts your confidence is a good idea. This is because confidence is the greatest asset in accurate putting.
Should you always play with a balanced ball in order to putt better? If you believe the claims made by the advocates of ball balancing, then the answer is a definite Yes.
If you think that the inconsistencies of the greens you putt on will counteract any effects an unbalanced golf ball may have, then the answer is No.
A golf ball is unbalanced when its centre of gravity is not perfectly in the middle. If this is the case then the ball will have a light side and a heavy side.
The principle is that your ball will run straight only when the heavy side of the ball runs end-over-end. Orienting the ball differently will cause the ball to move off-line.
Bob Charles was one of first golfers in the 1960s to pioneer the importance of a balanced ball. He found on occasion that the centre of gravity was not in the middle.
Wilson Golf stole a march on its competitors when it introduced its new Staff True Ball at the annual PGA Merchandise show in 2002.
It claimed that as many as one in four golf balls then on the market were unbalanced, causing even 10-foot putts to miss the hole completely.
It was billed as the first perfectly true ball in the game. Its advertising showed its ball running true while the rival balls veered off. This put the cat among the legal pigeons as other ball manufacturers claimed that the tests that Wilson conducted were unscientific.
For the amateur golfer the controversy is somewhat a storm in a tea cup. The effects of an unbalanced golf ball are most marked on fast and smooth greens, not those found on the local public course.
Professionals introduce a new ball each third or fourth hole; weekend golfers play the same ball until they lose it or it is visibly damaged or discoloured.
It is illogical to expect a ball that has slammed into trees, bounced off cart paths, and suffered other traumas to its cover is going to stay perfectly in balance.
However, far be it for me to play down ball balancing. Handicap golfers need all the help they can get.
If positioning your ball with the balance line aimed at your target, gives you added confidence with your putting, then it is a good thing. Putting without confidence is a recipe for disaster.
There are several ways to test your golf balls for balance. The slow somewhat messy way is to spin them in a warm solution of Epsom salts and dishwasher fluid.
The high-tech fast way to a balanced ball is to buy a golf product such as the Check-Go Pro sweetspot finder.
At the end of the day to balance or not to balance is a question only you can answer?
1 = www.check-go.com