practice golf course

Are Practice Golf Balls Different Than Regular Golf Balls?

Are practice golf balls any different than real golf balls? We’ll answer this question coming right up. If you are reading this article, chances are you’re new to the sport of golf and want to know more about the types of balls for golf available on the market

Indeed, it’s always a good idea to have golf practice balls handy, especially when you want to spend a day at the driving range perfecting your shot and getting closer and closer to an accurate swing. We’ll go over the differences between the two options, so you know what to expect and help you improve your swings.

Let’s get started and discuss more about the two types of golf balls you’ll be working with.

So are they different from one another?

Yes. Practice golf balls and regular golf balls are different from each other. To help you make a distinction between a practice ball and a real ball, we’ll be going over some of the common attributes that pertain to golf balls. This includes distance, spin rate, lower ball speed, ball flight, durability, and how it can play a role in your game.


To begin, practice golf balls will travel much shorter distances than real golf balls. Not only that, they are built to last a long period of time. They can handle a ton of beatings on the driving range.

If you are expecting practice balls to go the maximum distance, you will be disappointed. They are made intentionally to fly shorter than their regular counterparts, especially when space is limited.

Practice Golf Balls

Spin rate

The spin rate of practice golf balls is inconsistent compared to actual golf balls. The spin rate can increase if you use a driver, but it won’t make much of a difference. Likewise, you’ll notice a lesser amount of spin if you are hitting with your irons.

Lower ball speed

If you use a driver, the ball speed will be at least 7 miles per hour slower than regular balls. If you are using a long enough club, you’ll see a noticeable gap in ball speed when you hit it. When hit with short-length irons, the balls will be three miles per hour on average.

Practice balls will obviously be slower than traditional golf balls, especially when regular golf balls are made from common materials.

Ball flight

When it comes to the consistency of ball flight, regular golf balls will be better at it. If you are using the Pro V1 practice balls, you’ll notice that the flight is much lower, even compared to your average actual golf ball flight.


As mentioned before, practice golf balls have excellent durability. We dare say it has more durability compared to your high-end golf balls. That’s because it uses a solid shell and a core made with rubber.

Needless to say, your premium golf balls will not have the same durability as foam practice golf balls or plastic golf balls. So there’s a good chance that you’re going to be replacing your real golf balls much sooner.

Your game

While practice golf balls are OK to use in a game, you still need to remember the kind of limitations they have. If you need to measure the carry distance, that’s where your regular golf balls come in.

With that in mind, you’ll want to find a product that can endure game after game. Your range balls should be used in a game if you’re short on balls and don’t have the time to get new ones.

The Pros and Cons of Practice Golf Balls

So now that you know some of the chief differences between the practice and normal golf balls, we’re going to look at the former’s pros and cons. The benefits of practice balls outweigh their disadvantages, and golf professionals worldwide can confirm this.

Excellent durability

The durability of practice golf balls will be second to none. They can take beating after beating, plus the wear and tear can’t damage them badly. It is no surprise that beginner golfers are very happy with their practice golf balls and find them the perfect solution for improved golf games.

kid practicing golf

Straighter flight

When they are in the air, they are flying straight ahead at a high spin rate. The spin will go in almost any direction. You can expect quite a lot of sidespin compared to your regular golf balls.

Increased distance

Practice golf balls can give you a good amount of distance, and they can carry at far distances. If you are considering something that will go the distance with just the right amount of backspin, keep in mind that it won’t travel far if it has too much spin.

They are called practice balls for a reason. It may take a few attempts before you are finally able to acquire that spin that will help your ball go the distance.

Lower flight

Even though they fly straighter, they won’t fly as high as regular balls. It would be a challenge to hit a high shot to begin with, especially if you are using regular golf balls.

Needless to say, practice golf balls will fly at a reasonable height but can still go a long way. The low spin will cause the ball to lift less. This can be a bummer if you are playing a real game.

So if you need something higher in flight when it comes to the shots that count, regular golf balls reign supreme here.

Types of practice golf balls

Practice balls are designed to help players improve their game. They are usually made of softer materials, so they do not travel as far as regular golf balls.

Foam golf balls

Foam golf practice balls are the lightest and cheapest option. If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful solution for your practice golf sessions, then foam golf balls are the way to go. These balls are designed to bounce just like regular golf balls, but they’re much softer and won’t damage your clubs if you happen to miss-hit one. Foam practice balls are also great for indoor practice, as they won’t break anything if you accidentally hit them off-course.

The main downside of foam golf balls is that they don’t fly quite as far as regular golf balls, so you might find yourself having to adjust your shot slightly when using them. However, this is a small price to pay for the convenience and affordability of foam golf balls.

Plastic golf balls

Plastic practice balls are in the middle when it comes to price and weight. They fly a little further than foam balls but not as far as rubber ones. Plastic balls are designed for indoor use only. They are soft and have low compression, making them ideal for hitting against walls or other hard surfaces. Plastic practice golf balls are also very cheap, so they are a good option for those on a budget.

One downside of plastic practice balls is that they do not fly as far as other types of practice balls. Plastic balls also tend to wear down quickly if used on rough surfaces, such as concrete. Overall, plastic balls are a good choice for indoor practicing and beginners who are just starting out.

Regular Golf Balls

Rubber golf balls

Rubber is the most expensive option and also the heaviest. These golf balls fly the farthest out of the three materials but can be difficult to control. Rubber practice balls are designed to withstand repeated impact and can be used on any type of terrain. They are also typically smaller than regular golf balls, which makes them ideal for practicing your short game.

There are a few downsides to using rubber practice golf balls. One is that they can be hard to control. They also don’t have the same feel as a real golf ball, so it can be difficult to get used to them. Additionally, they can bounce erratically and are more likely to fly off course. Finally, they tend to wear down quickly and need to be replaced often.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to sharpen your golf game, golf practice balls can be useful. However, there is no ideal practice ball for your backyard practice. You should invest in the best that you can afford. They will last a long time and will be great to hit around at the driving range.

The good news is that these balls can really go the distance with the right amount of power and spin in your shots. When you try to golf with regular balls, you may notice a change in your golf swing and game. As the old saying goes, practice does make perfect. Perfect swings take time and require quality golf products

One such quality product that should accompany any dedicated golfer is The Stacker. This product has been designed to replace the traditional bucket of balls and help golfers regiment their practice. The golf pyramid impresses through its design, but it can also help you count balls from a glance and allocate a precise number of golf balls to each type of golf club.