Matt – Golf Sidekick

All posts by Matt

Best Cheap Golf Balls for Affordable Fun

This is one of the hottest topics in golf. It might be one of the hottest topics in LIFE. Many players tell me that they want to play a premium golf ball, but that the thought of slicing a brand new Pro V1 into the bushes and water brings them out in a cold sweat.

Why is it that the shots which keep us awake at night are the bad ones?

Is the ball we think we should play actually causing us to play bad golf?

Golf balls don’t need to cost the earth to be good – some of the best cheap golf balls in the world will be better suited to your game and I’m going to tell you why. So put your preconceptions away, and open the door to golf ball enlightenment.

Spin isn’t what you think

The PGA tour on TV has ruined spin for the vast majority of golfers. When you see highlights reels of players ripping balls 30ft backwards you think that’s what you should be doing.

Here’s a question for you though, how often have you actually seen that happen in the cold light of day on the course? Probably rarely or never.

We are led to think that it is the ball which is the key ingredient to that tour level zip on the greens. Yes, it is important, but it is one of MANY FACTORS. Club choice, club age, groove sharpness, attack angle, quality of strike, ground conditions, green firmness, swing length, air moisture – yadda yadda yadda. It’s a list so long you’ll start to sound like Bryson and do you really want that?

The truth is that Pro V1 MIGHT help you to stop the ball on the green quicker, but it is probably harming your drives and approach shots because it is spinning TOO MUCH.

Sidespin on your drives is what causes the ball to veer off from the target. Softer premium balls are designed to spin more. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Golf ball psychology

Have you stood on the tee and a buddy shouts, “Don’t slice it” and you proceed to hit it into the next state? When we play with premium golf balls, a common thought is “I don’t want to lose this ball, it cost me $XXX!”

We often try to remove this demon by teeing up with an old or cheaper ball. Then the ball goes where we want it miraculously!

Why not remove the headworms before you hit the course by playing a ball which suits your budget AND your capacity to keep it on the course. A Pro V1 might fit into this bracket but the best cheap golf balls shouldn’t be any less productive than the premium models.

Best Cheap Golf Balls 2021

  1. Srixon Soft Feel  (best overall cheap golf ball)
  2. Callaway Supersoft Max  (best for the slower swing speeds)
  3. Kirkland Signature (big value urethane golf ball ever)
  4. Bridgestone e6 (best for long, straight rolling shots)
  5. RZN Star  (best for value for distance golf ball)
  6. Wilson DUO Professional (best cheap urethane ball for slow swing speeds)
  7. Taylormade Project (s) (Taylormade two-piece for max distance)

Srixon Soft Feel

Perfect combination of distance, feel and price

If you’ve played golf for any amount of time, you will have come across the Srixon Soft Feel. Iteration after iteration it continues to be a mainstay in Srixon’s ball collection. It’s a simple two-piece golf ball designed for distance and durability, but the thin cover gives this ball a soft feel so it doesn’t feel like you’re playing with a pebble. Look out for booming drives and irons that roll out with a soft feel off the club face.

This is the ball I recommend without hesitation when playing with a high or mid handicapper. It’s one of the best cheap golf balls ever made. I’ve come back to these balls since I used them to slash my handicap down to 5. Soft feeling off the face and big distance off the tee.

Callaway Supersoft Max

Best for slower swing speeds on the cheap!

Callaway deliver excellence ball after ball. The Supersoft Max is made for the slower swinger for maximum distance and forgiveness, aerodynamically designed to get high up for a long strong carry.

The soft mantle and cover system work in tandem to reduce spin. Reducing spin also means reducing side spin, so on your longer shots you can reduce those slices and hooks. I’m not the biggest fan of these balls when I use the insert putter. When I use my steel faced putter, I like them a lot as the feedback is evident. If you use an insert putter, I’d suggest something firmer like the E6 or the Vivid below.

Bridgestone e6

Older but recent model – nothing wrong with this!

This 2021 model is preferred by a lot of golfers. The performance and feel overall seems to be better in the older model, and on top of that, the price is incredibly low! Slashing your handicap comes from hitting fairways and greens. The Bridgestone E6 gets you in the fairway easier and boosts long and mid iron performance to get you closer to the green more often. You may need to change your aiming – no more aiming way left. The ball goes where you aim. Like with other Bridgestone balls, it’s easy to notice the shallow dimples. They’ve done something right with their golf balls because most guys I play with loves these balls. I find the cover is quite hard so don’t expect a bar of soap when you undo the packaging. This is for you if your priority is straight hitting and reducing slices and hooks.

Once again, this is a two-piece ball as the prior two options are and so you’ll notice more rollout and consistent spin of these balls.

RZN Star

Nike golf balls reborn

Nike stopped making hard goods in 2016, but the original manufacturer of the RZN balls has brought them back to courses everywhere for super low prices. The RZN Star is the cheapest ball that RZN offer, and is aimed at beginners and high handicappers.

That being said, it performs way above what I was expecting. It’s long off the tee and feels great off the putter. For this price point, there is not much that can rival it. Perhaps Inesis Distance 100 golf balls.

Wilson Duo Professional

Best for swing speeds under 90 who want urethane balls

When comparing the Wilson DUO Professional to other balls in the list above, it’s clear the difference comes in the short game. With short irons, the Duo Professional spins much more and on all shots provides a softer feeling.

The surlyn covered balls might have a slight edge in purely distance but all-round the Duo Professional is a high-value golf ball for golfers who want some feel and spin with an amazing bang for the buck.When you first touch the Duo Professional ball, you notice the texture of the cover and the ‘bite test’ tells you straight away the ball is softer than others. Feel off the club face is pleasant and off wedges feels surprisingly soft.

Taylormade Project (s)

Under the radar premium offering from TaylorMade

TaylorMade’s 60-compression Project (s) offers good all-round performance, and gives players a TaylorMade option without breaking the bank.

The ball’s fast core stores and releases energy efficiently throughout the bag for excellent distance. The high-lift, low drag dimple design promotes a high launch and keeps the ball up in the air longer for optimum distance.

When it comes to putting and chipping, the cover offers a soft feel to help you play those scoring shots with ease. I really like the yellow version of this ball as it’s so easy to see after hitting tee shots and in the rough


When you’re buying cheap balls, you can get urethane options, or you can get the cheaper surlyn options. The manufacturers have every base covered.

The rest is up to you and your priorities. If you want spinny action, you have to try the urethane options which are the best value possible above. Then if you’re happy with more bump and run, more rollout, then you can go for the 2 layer options with surlyn covers and 2 piece construction.

Try a few and get the one you really like and use it exclusively to understand the way it reacts and you will slash strokes from your score with your deep knowledge of your game.

Related posts of interest

Most Forgiving Ping Irons in Golf

Ping is a brand which everyone has heard of, but they don’t get into the same flashy advertising battles as some of the other major golf manufacturers. Their irons are found in the bags of Tony Finau, Bubba and Louis Oosthuizen, and these guys will sometimes go years without switching them out. So what is the big secret, and what are the most forgiving Ping irons? Let’s take a look at what they have on offer to try and solve these burning questions. 

Most players will have seen a set of Ping Eye 2’s rattling around in their local veteran’s bag and thought nothing of it. Those clubs look a little odd, but DAMN, if that veteran is given a chance, he will tell you that they are the most forgiving Ping irons ever made. 

But surely a lot has changed in club tech since 1982? Like other brands, the most forgiving Ping irons of today feature the latest and greatest features, materials and wizardry on offer to give us mortals the best chance possible to shoot a good score. 

PING’s dot system explained 

Before we look at the specific irons which Ping offer, it’s worth going over Ping’s unique dot system. You may have noticed that on all Ping irons, there is a little colored dot somewhere on the head. This dot is used to identify the lie angle of the club and with 10 possible colors/angles, it’s worth getting the right one for you.

A professional club fitter will be able to fit you into the correct color easily, but if you’re buying off the rack, the chart should give you a good indication of which color is best suited to you.  

Which PING irons are right for you? 

If you shoot in the 100’s or 90’s, you are probably looking for a club which will get the ball in the air quickly and maximise your distance. Ping offers a range of clubs which could be suitable for this type of player each with subtle differences. 

But like all golf clubs, how they look and feel is just as important as the tech which is built in. You have to look down at your clubs and LOVE them. If you don’t, you need to think about why and reassess your tools. With this in mind, you might find that the most forgiving Ping iron for YOU is a blade. It probably won’t be but it could be. 

Most Forgiving Ping Irons in Golf

  1. Ping G710 irons (Game improvement performance with sleek looks)
  2. Ping G425 irons (best styling with Ping forgiveness for every player)
  3. Ping G410 irons  (older model iron for budget forgiving player)
  4. Ping i210 irons (cavity back “players” iron with max forgiveness)
  5. Ping i500 irons  (for golfers who want a higher forgiving ball flight)

Ping G710

Game improvement performance in a super slick package 

When PIng released the G700 in 2018, it was part of a wider hollow body revolution taking place across the iron space. Ping has sometimes lagged behind their competitors when it comes to the looks of their game improvement models, but that is no longer the case.

The Ping G710’s are not only the most forgiving Ping irons, they are also some of the best looking clubs on the market. 

Loft options for all level of player 

The G710 irons are available in two loft options – standard and Power Spec. A standard loft 7 iron comes in at 29.5 degrees whereas the Power Spec is a beefy 28 degrees. Traditionalists will probably opt for the standard option, but those with higher swing speeds should probably consider the lower lofts as an option.

Loft “jacking” has been common practice for OEMs for some time now as they seek to attract buyers with promises of extra distance.

Game improvement models often launch the ball higher with in-built tech, and higher swing speed players could lose some distance with higher lofts due to higher spin rates. As always, get a fitter to look at your needs to be sure you’re getting the best product for you. 

  • Maximum forgiveness 
  • Consistent ball flight
  • Sleek looks with Anti glare and water repellent finish 
  • Arccos trackers installed as standard
  • Very thin topline for a game improvement iron looks so good at address 
  • Black finish marks more easily
  • Straight shooters, not for ball-shapers

Ping G425

Looks great at address with understated styling

This latest iteration of Ping’s famous G series all rounder iron delivers on all fronts. The styling has been toned down from the red of the G410’s and the blade is slightly smaller giving the clubs a more premium feel overall. 

Centre strikes feel beyond solid and heel/toe hits are compensated for by the perimeter weighting across the face. These irons still have the signature “Ping” sound but it is not as pronounced as the gunshot which the G710’s produce. As will all Ping G series irons, these have a decent amount of offset, but a thin topline doesn’t make this too distracting at address. 

Arrcos premium shot tracking sensors are embedded in the grips which is a great feature for the stat focused player. Knowing your club distances is more likely to improve your game than many other things you do, so download the tracking app and get to know your game intimately. 

Ping has resisted the temptation to jack the lofts in these irons, leaving that to the beastly G710 model. This places the G425 firmly as a frontrunner for the most forgiving Ping iron which will appeal to the widest range of players. 

  • High class looks and styling
  • Arccos sensors as standard 
  • Standard wedge features the same tech as the Glide 3.0 flagship wedge
  • Laser straight ball flight
  • Not for the player looking for maximum shot shaping but if you’re looking for forgiveness, you give up shot shaping – catch 22.

Ping i500 irons

For golfers who want a higher ball flight with blade styling

The i500 Ping irons are simply some of the best looking blades out there. But wait a minute, this is meant to be about finding the most forgiving Ping irons, not butter knives for ego maniacs! While the i500 irons look like a blade, they are actually hollow. 

This hollow body tech makes these irons some of the most innovative on the market and they are quickly gaining legendary status. The face is constructed from C300 maraging steel which is bendier than a gymnast, allowing the ball to be propelled at impressive speeds and launch angles. 

The club head isn’t too small, but the lack of offset will make these desirable for players who want blade looks but with serious power. 

  • Seriously long
  • Stunning blade looks 
  • High penetrating ball flight
  • Loft options for all levels of player 
  • Not as consistent as the i210s
  • Expensive (but better value than most OEM) 

Ping i210

Cavity back players iron with max forgiveness 

The i210 is Ping’s “crossover” model, aimed at the better player while providing high levels of forgiveness. The head is noticeably smaller than those in the G series models and there is little offset. At address these have Mizuno levels of appeal and the HydroPearl finish always looks delicious. There is an elastomer insert in the cavity back which provides a lot of forgiveness for off centre hits. This was a feature in the older i200 but has been beefed up following feedback from players. These clubs are far more workable than the G series irons and should be considered by players on the way down from a mid to low handicap. 

  • Premium looks
  • Supreme accuracy, they go where you aim. 
  • Beautiful sound off the face
  • More expensive than other models 
  • Some will have their heads turned by the i500


Ping has turned from best kept secret to major player in recent years. They offer a great range of products for all players. Ping irons also hold their value really well over time so they make a great investment whether you are buying new or used.

The winner for me here are the hollow bodied models when it comes to forgiveness with the G710 edging it over the i500 due to the black finish. Overall the G400 is probably the best value option, with the i210 offering the best of all without really shining. 

Related posts of interest

How to Break 90 Without Swing Changes

How to Break 90 Easily With Your Game

Julian had never broken 90 before this round. He's been playing for a year and has a personal best of 91, only one time.

I'd never met him before this day and would learn his tendencies as we played. But below are the highlights for you to apply to your own game.

The course is par 90

I guided Julian around the course with the idea in our heads that each hole had one stroke added to the par to make the course a par 90.

WHY? Because it removes pressure you feel to play professional style or scratch golf. Your new par means you can aim to hit par 4 holes in 3 strokes, par 5's in 4 strokes and par 3's in 2.

This is essential in breaking 90. You're not playing to break 72. You're not a pro. When you create an attainable goal with this system, you relax and hit better shots.

You should NEVER be SMASHING a ball when trying to break 90. If you are doing that, you are doing it wrong.

Adapt to Julian's style - know yourself

I quickly picked up some things in Julians game and needed to work around it. If you have seen my whiteboard videos on breaking 90, you'll know i recommend getting rid of trouble clubs that destroy your game, very often the driver.

But I couldn't do that in Julians case so driver was going to be our main club because he had no other tee-club. 

Some holes he was going to be close enough to the green to go for it comfortably. This is where you can take advantage but only when its comfortably in reach. You can't be forcing anything playing the breaking 90 system.

Strengths to utilize!

1. DRIVER: He hit a solid pull-slice off the tee and it worked almost every time. As long as his aim point was correct, he would always be on the right side of the fairway and with decent distance. 

The consistency of his shot shape was the important part and it helps when you have this so you can plan accordingly.

2. Chipping consistency with the SW: He chips so well around the greens but needs to understand the consistent rollout vs carry he is getting. Once we started getting that dialed, he was able to chip much closer to the hole.

The consistency of his chipping is a huge strength and will be the aspect that will mean he can SLASH strokes, as long as he practices the 5 footers and closer to the hole.

3. His irons are very good: 9i to 5i work really nicely for him. He gets the ball toward the target, leaving himself very few partial pitch shots after duffed shots. He usually leaves himself normal chip shots and with his good chipping, he will excel.

I would never let him hit something other than the driver off the tee because it's reliable and he likes to hit it. He doesn't have confidence in his other clubs off the tee. Driver is then the default.

I'd like to set him up shots he would like into the green, but his distances are very good of the tee and we were playing the shorter white tees. We could not avoid the partial shots at times or the wedge into the green. Some holes we were just going to expose a significant weakness that ALL golfers have and particularly 90 and 100 breakers. 

Weaknesses to avoid!

1. Putting: Julians line-reading is perfect. He just has a single problem in his mind regarding putting. He is scared of the return putt if it goes beyond a foot behind the hole.

This aspect of the game could save him so many strokes. Not only on the 5 footers if he practices them, for when he leaves a chip 4 feet from the hole, but also for more confidence to roll the approach putt past the hole. If he can roll it past the hole, he will make more of his longer putts.

He left a few in the mouth of the hole, purely out of fear of going past the hole. This is easily curable with putting practice particularly the ladder drill and the circle drill.

2. Inside PW distance: This is every shot inside 120 yards but most important, the wedges as approach clubs for Julian.

VERY IMPORTANT IS THE NEED TO KNOW YOUR CARRY DISTANCES LIKE A RELIGION. You need to know them so you can plan the approaches and KNOW where the ball will land. 

100% of the time, not a single 90 or 100 seeker can tell me the distance of their wedges. It's almost always a guess. This is most neglected area in golf. Everyone is concerned about drilling driver at the range, but no one hits a bucket of wedges. 

3. Mentality that you are not consistent or good enough: Watch Julians round and tell me he is not consistent! Impossible. He is consistent in his shot shape, his putting distance control, his chipping carry vs rollout. 

We just need to play to our strengths and avoid the weaknesses. 

4. Caddies are a hindrance sometimes: The caddies in Thailand don't play golf and have never hit a golf ball. They will comment on every shot, thinking it's supposed to be like a pro.

This is incredibly distracting a a higher score shooter. "Slice" "oooh short" "not good" "rough" "water" "Water left OB right" - all these little comments as if the shot is not good because it's not perfect sucks. I always applaud a shot that will be playable and in a decent position for the playa. 


If you are in the trees, which you will be A LOT as a mid to high handicapper, you need a punch shot.

Here's the nitty gritty stone cold truth on hero shots.


The shot through the trees? The shot over and under and through the little window in the gap between the....blah blah. What's the best case scenario?

Truth is, the best case scenario is still shit. Sorry. Take your medicine and use a lower lofted club. Chip it back into the fairway and approach the green. 

The downside to failing this shot means lost balls and frustration that spoils your entire day and mood. The upside is minuscule to pulling it off, and still being in the shit.

Let the ego go. Hit the smart shot. Hit the shot that does not give you stress.

This game is hard - don't make it harder

You can play this game on easy mode or hard mode.

Easy mode is hitting the stress free shot in every moment, knowing you have plenty of strokes to get the ball in the hole because it's not a pro regulation course anymore. 

Hard mode is chasing birdies and getting angry because you're hitting stupid shot after stupid shot, expecting a Dustin Johnson birdie extravaganza. 

Check out these two videos so you can go from stuck on default hard mode, to easy street.

Coolest Golf Ball Markers – Best Ballmarkers in the Game

Coolest Golf Ball Markers 2021

  1. Waddaplaya Poker Chip Set (coolest set of five markers)
  2. Waddaplaya Jewel Ball Marker (best for making more birdies)
  3. Waddaplaya Decision Coin Ball Marker (how to decided between BDE or chill)
  4. Waddaplaya Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Ball Marker
  5. Kraken Golf Ballmarkers

Most Forgiving Titleist Irons

Titleist have never been known for the most forgiving irons in the world but after their recent AP1, AP2 and AP3 irons, they moved into the everyday golfer market instead of being the niche for advanced players.

The T-range consists of T100, T200 and T300 which is in reverse order of forgiveness. The T300 are the game improvement irons for players who need maximum forgiveness and the T200 range is for the slightly more consistent player looking for some forgiveness but without the big clubhead.

In both these clubs you'll find forgiveness but it just depends on your skill level. The T300 mainly for high handicappers while the T200 is mainly for mid to lower handicappers. The AP1 is the prior model of the Titleist range which was also loaded with forgiveness if you can find a set.

It's probably one of the most forgiving Titleist irons ever.

Most Forgiving Titleist Irons

  1. Titleist T300 (Game Improvement Titleist irons)
  2. Titleist T200 irons (Players-distance Titleist irons)
  3. Titleist AP1 (most forgiving irons one model prior)

Most forgiving in the range

The forgiveness of the T300 is something most people will not associate with Titleist. Due to Max Impact design and stronger lofts, distances on the same as a lot of new game improvement irons.  Any mid to high handicapper would be happy to game these without fear of pain in the fingers and hard impact. 

Higher lofted irons in the set are stronger than any other irons in the Titleist range so you'll see distance gains if you're playing a very old set of clubs. Traditional lofts are only found in the pro-level irons in the Titleist range. 

What does that mean? Well it means if the loft numbers are lower for the same club, then you'll hit it further. 

T300 is a mid-low spinning iron. Of course this can mean sometimes it is harder to hold a green but when we're talking forgiveness, we have to make some sacrifices. So if you can roll the ball up or have big enough greens, the lower spin shouldn't concern you much. The big advantage of lower spin means that you'll A) hit it further and B) have less dispersion left and right!

Titleist made a silicone-polymer core and put it behind the face so they could make the face thinner, so the ball pops off the face instead of feeling like it mushes into the face like on forged clubs. That means higher balls speeds and more distance.  

The prior model which this one replaces, the AP1 was a hollow body construction but Titleist have used a genuine cavity back in the irons this time. As I always say on this website throughout, cavity backs are always the most forgiving. 

The irons have a wide sole and large face so you have plenty of margin for error. The club prevents digging and also keeps mis-hits online, as well as reducing the losses of distance.

The top line at address when you look down at the club, you notice the T300 is much thicker than the T200 model, but the length of the clubface is about the same. A bit unexpected is that the T300 seems to have less offset than the T200.

  • Minimal offset if you don't need help to make the ball go more left
  • Low to mid spinning iron for more distance
  • Stronger lofts in the lower irons especially for more carry
  • Wide sole for easy movement through turf

Most forgiving for lower handicappers

In the T200 irons, you get a game improvement iron that looks more classic and as the successor to the AP3, is starting to look closer to a players iron, but not quite.

What you'll notice between the T100 which is the pro level club, and the T200 is the offset and that definitely defines it more toward the game improvement. Offset is used to prevent the slice and fades.

Where the T200 is just a little in a class of its own is that it really doesn't look clunky and chunky at address. When you look down at the club, it's got a thick top line but it's not chunky and it when in the bag, they look really slick. 

Another aspect of the club that defines it in the more forgiving section, but for lower to lower-mid handicaps is the loft. Basically, the 9 iron in this set is the same loft as the 8 iron in the more advanced player iron, the T100. 

The point is, they may look and appear as advanced players irons, but these are very much forgiving Titleist irons. But having them in your bag would look good and perform well whether you're trying to break 90 or you're on the cusp of breaking 80. 

Why fight your equipment by going for the player iron if you can get super performance form an iron like the T200? It has an appearance that better players will like and performs in ways that help you maximize distance and forgiveness.

The T200 (unlike the T300 which has a cast head) has a forged face which wraps around a portion of the sole to create more rebound. They put 90g of Tungsten in both the toe and the heel of the club to stabilize the head at impact for solid strikes.

Titleist made a silicone-polymer core and put it behind the face of this club, similarly to the T300, so they could make the face thinner, and increase speeds on the face while the forged face gives you a slightly softer impact feeling. That means higher balls speeds and more distance.  

  • Tungsten weights in heel and toe to stabilize at impact
  • Looks like a players iron, plays like an Average Joe iron
  • More offset than the T100 
  • At address, looks like a classic iron, not a real Game Improvement look
  • Excellent for anyone who wants to go from double digit into single
  • Much less forgiveness for higher handicappers


it all depends on your priorities. If I were looking to get from an 18 handicapper or more, so let's say shooting over 90 every round, I'd go T300. If I were a golfer shooting under 90 every now and then and wanted to start moving toward the low 80's and the 70's I would try the T200.


Your challenge if you choose to accept

YOU give me the handicap YOU THINK I should have, and then let's play a match - stroke play. What do you reckon? Give me a handicap somewhere between 10 and 16? 

Stakes: $5,000 US dullahs

Location: Thailand

Course: Any course with water on at least 15 holes, 6700-8000-yard-tees; up to you I don't mind. You pick it, we play it, but there must be 15 holes at least with water bordering the green or fairway.

Tee time: Only between 10:30am and midday, no earlier than that.

Stipulations: We both carry a camera on a tripod for all 18 holes and film each others shots as well as our own shots. Every shot anyone misses filming is one stroke penalty. Walk the entire round, no golf carts. If you hold up play while filming, you get a one stroke penalty. Your claimed handicap must be independently verified officially beforehand. Video to be posted on Youtube.

Come on then big boy....

Some Karens get offended by the stipulations above. Why the stipulations?

Well Karen Dingleberry...the golf courses on the channel are almost always 6700 to 7200 yards with fairway bordered by water on most of the holes which you can't see because you're obtuse. Filmed rounds for 2 people will take no more than 3.5 hours, walking and filming. You will have to keep time. 

We play in the heat of the day between 88 and 100° F and we WALK, and I carry a camera on a tripod the entire way round. So you have to play like how I play to make it a fair contest since you've decided to have a mouth vomit on my comments section. 

If you do not respond via my email MATT at GOLFSIDEKICK dot COM then I assume you're just a 30 year old living with your parents and never had a relationship or a child...or just a loser. 


How the Handicap System Works – Don’t be ignorant!

Running my Youtube channel has shown me it's crystal clear that there are large populations of people who have no idea how the handicap system works.

That's fine but talking about handicaps or other peoples handicaps makes you look like a dummy if you don't know how it works in the first place.

It is NOT a measure of your self-worth or ego vs another person

A handicap is just something that we use to play stroke play or match play games against people of differing handicap levels. It is not some reflection of self worth. People get so caught up in the handicap as if being higher than someone else means you're less of a person.


Here's a video of me - a 4 handicapper - and a pro friend of mine. Whether you believe I am a 4 handicapper is up to you. This course was from the back tees, which in general on most courses will increase the course rating by a stroke or two. The slope rating I am unsure of but the slope rating can range from usually around 118 up to crazy difficult courses like Bethpage Black and Pinehurst No 2 over 150. That's tough.


The best 8 of your last 20 differentials count toward your handicap

The last 20 rounds you play go toward your handicap. They count your best 8 out of those 20. That is why they say, the handicap system is a measure of your POTENTIAL.

Differential is NOT just your score minus the par of the course

This does not merely mean they count your strokes and minus par and that's your handicap.

The DIFFERENTIAL is the difference between your score and the stroke rating and slope rating for that day on the golf course.

These ratings can change depending on the tee, distance, flag positions, weather conditions, turf conditions...everything. Here's an example of someone shooting a score of 80 six times in a row. Now with only 6 scores, the system counts the 2 best.

But more importantly, note how he shot 80 with different COURSE RATINGS and SLOPE RATINGS. These are measures of difficulty and so the differential ranges from 2.6 to 8.1. He didn't even shoot 2.5 over par once, but that's his handicap index. 

The ignorant person would say "he is an 8 handicap". Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Be careful judging handicaps of others or you'll look a fool

Do not assume someone's handicap based on a shot here or there. Don't judge a person's handicap after one round. If you do, you put yourself in the same position to be judged by the very same people.

The thing with a handicap is that because there are 20 scores, and only 8 counting at any one time, the other 12 mean nothing, until you start replacing your scores with higher scores. So it's easier to go DOWN in handicap than it is to go UP. 

A scratch handicapper can shoot a 90 or a few scores in the high 80's and it's not going to make a difference to his handicap, because his handicap will be calculated from the 8 best differentials. 

Here's a bigger example of a 4 handicap golfer. 

The non-ignorant and educated among us would know that only the best 8 differentials here would be counted, and look at that...

Round 2 is a 76 and round 4 is a 75. Yet the 76 counts as lower than the 75. This guy shot 84, 86 and 88 in his 20 scores above. They were not counted toward his handicap though, but I bet the guy playing with this 4 handicapper though "no way he's a 4 handicapper shooting 86". Wrong.

His best scores were 76, 75, 74, 76, 80, 75, 77, 77. An 80 and he's a 4 handicap? Yes because the course rating was 75 and slope rating 140 in Round 18. 

The ignorant would add up all these scores (1,586) and then divide that number by 20 and get an answer of 79.3 average...and if you subtract par 72 from 79.3 you get 7.3 - people will say this is a 7 or 8 handicap golfer . Wrong. 

Best 8 differentials out of the last 20.

The PGA Tour on television is not amateur handicap golf

The way pro's hit the ball on television is the top 0.01% of golfers in the world. This is not amateur handicap golf filled with people who work office jobs, trucking jobs, manual labor jobs, and play once or twice a week. Resist the delusion of the PGA Tour that that may be normal in any realm.

If you think someone's handicap is too low, be quiet...

Why would you call someone out for having a handicap lower than what you think they should have?

In competitions, they will never win. In matchplay against you, they will never win. Right? So why would it be an issue for you if they claim their handicap is lower? Is your ego in the way? See through the ego and you will see they are cheating themselves and so you should beat them...

The only time you should really make a fuss is when someone claims a handicap much higher than it should be, otherwise known as a sand bagger. These guys use a higher handicap to win in competitions and it's not fair. They should be banned from competitions. 

Measure of potential

Now that you know how the handicap system works, you can understand that it's merely a measure of someone's potential. It is not an attack on your person or your character to have someone announce their handicap is lower than yours. 

Coolest Golf Headcovers in the World

The coolest golf headcovers need to be cool but they also need to be top quality. If there's anything that turns me off, it's a low quality gimmick. But what turns me on, is a high quality 

Ripping the headcover off the big dog has to fill you with desire and pump before the big tee ball. Pulling off some cheap junk that rips or feels like crap is not allowed here.

The best of the best high quality yet coolest golf headcovers detailed below. 

What do you mean high quality?

Through my Youtube channel, I've learned a lot about good and bad quality products. Which is why I designed my own headcovers. The stuff I have been sent by some manufacturers was never good enough to make it onto my channel. 

At the same time, there are some brands I would love to try out myself. I've listed not only my intensely high quality and cool headcovers in the Waddaplaya range, but also some brands I think would legit fit into any true playas bag. including mine.

Coolest Golf Headcovers on the Planet

  1. Waddaplaya Golf Headcovers (best quality cool golf headcover)
  2. Sandy Golf Co (best canvas style vacation vibe headcover)
  3. Daphne's Chicken Headcover  (coolest headcover for cocky golfers)
  4. Majek Retro Headcover (coolest complement to Waddaplaya headcover)
  5. 19th Hole Skull Putter Cover (love the detail)
  6. Majek Retro Vintage Headcover (cool vintage headcover)

So addictive to take on and off, you wanna just hit driver

New designs for the 2021 season in blue, white and black. These have been sourced by only the finest producer in the world.

I stand behind this product 100% and turned a headcover into something that actually adds something to your round. There is simply no better feeling in golf, and I mean this, as taking this supreme quality sensual headcover off your driver or fairway wood.

It's the start of a great shot. It's the first trigger move that gets you in the zone, and with the soft, silky touch of the inner of the headcover, to the solid stitching and delicious colors, it's frankly impossible to hit a shit shot.

These are produced in batches and sell out fast! Be sure to sign up to be notified of when they arrive in stock on

  • The best after sales service you'll experience
  • Extremely fast shipping time worldwide 3-7 days 
  • The single best feeling headcover I have ever experienced 
  • Three new designs for 2021 to matcha any golf bag
  • Nothing - these are the coolest golf headcovers in the world

Great floral and vacation design vibe

I really wanted to do a collaboration with Sandy Golf Co and Mark is a great cheerful chill guy. I love the designs he pumps out. Due to COVID and other unforeseen issues in my own life, I was unable to follow through on the collab but let's hope so in future!

You can contact Mark through Instagram for orders but due to the current situation, production may be slowed or ceased until the crisis lifts.

  • Flowery, vibey and fits into the theme of the Golf Sidekick
  • High quality American made
  • At times can be shut down or slowed production

Perfect for the cocky golfer 

The rooster is an animal full of color, full of pride and full of BDE. Using this in conjunction with the Kochenbolz golf polo at Waddaplayagolf will guarantee the cockiest round of golf, but you'll need a stick to defend against all the hens trying to get your attention.

Colorful complement to any Waddaplaya headcover

One of the coolest golf headcovers on the internet. Loads of color, and the color scheme will complement your Waddaplaya golf headcover perfectly.

This was a design I was looking at creating in the Waddaplaya line for putters. I didn't go with it though because this one is just what I like. The detail is perfect and the quality is superb.

Another design idea I thought would be a great addition. I just couldn't get it to work in my favor and found this to be a decent vintage looking driver headcover. 

I like novelty items but I like things I will use for a long time. Waddplaya Golf is the culmination of all my experience with accessories in golf and the solution I created is the best, coolest and highest quality headcovers in the game

best mizuno irons for mid high handicappers

Best Mizuno Irons for Mid to High Handicapper Golfers

Nothing feels like a Mizuno they say. That's somewhat true to this day and it's the reason Mizuno are still some of the most popular irons for mid and high handicap golfers at every golf club in the world.

Mizuno have a wide range of clubs that suit low, mid and high handicappers, but what makes them so good is that no matter which "level" of club you purchase, when you get down to a low handicap, you can still keep playing even their most forgiving clubs without that feeling that you need to upgrade.

It's what makes Mizuno some of the best irons for amateur golfers who want to feel like true playas. Their clubs look stylish and always look like they are for more advanced players than they are.

The Hot Metal range is the forgiving iron, cast and not forged, cavity backs. The elite cavity back and muscle back range is the MP range and they are buttery soft. The in between seems to be the cavity backed JPX range to give you the best of both worlds.

Things to consider with Mizuno irons

I started using Mizuno irons when I replaced my hand-me-down Spalding cavity backs. I got to about a 7 or 8 handicap with those cast metal cavity backs.

I made the switch to my first ever FORGED club, a Mizuno Pro II muscle back blade. I really had no idea what I was buying back then, but they were second hand and cheap, and looked damn good.

I got down to scratch with those irons. But my point is not that you need to wait that long to move to a forged club or a Mizuno club at all. You can go to Mizuno at any time because there is such a wide range of irons now - not just blades or forged clubs.

Mizuno make cavity backs which will be the most forgiving. They also make a muscle back which is a more forgiving "kind-of" blade. Then they make pure blades which are of course, the clubs more advanced players like to use. 

You can even blend sets nowadays to have cavity backs in your long irons and blades or muscle backs in your short irons for precision.

Mizuno Cult

Another thing to consider is how cult like Mizuno is. A lot of people once they go Mizuno, they never play another iron. I've moved onto Srixon myself, but Steve, from my channel has had the same set of Mizunos for 20 years. 

He loves his Mizuno set so much that he has a back-up set in case this one gets lost or breaks. 

Should I play Mizuno?

If you like the look of the heads behind the ball, and you can hit the sweet spot, yes. Nothing gives you a better start on your shot than LOVING the look of the club behind the ball. If you love it, the ball will go where you want it.

Keep in mind that Mizuno are not as big on making their lofts much stronger like a lot of manufacturers. You might think you're losing distance, but you're merely using higher loft for the same number iron as your buddies. 

I found this out when I started playing again with my Mizuno MP33 irons about 3 years ago. Everyone was hitting 8 iron when I was hitting a 6 or 7. I never realized that the lofts had decreased by 4-6 degrees on any given club! 

Best Mizuno Irons for Mid and High Handicappers

  1. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal irons  (best Mizuno iron for mid and high handicappers)
  2. Mizuno MP20 MMC irons  (best for mid handicap hitting the sweet spot often)
  3. Mizuno JPX 850 Forged irons  (best budget Mizuno iron)

Forgiving large heads for easy striking

If your handicap is over 16 and you want to get the dispersion a bit tighter when approaching greens, the Hot Metals are a forgiving and high flying option.

The perimeter weighting hold a toe bias to help increase ball speeds on off center hits, but help to keep the ball online. This is going to be the biggest difference for someone upgrading from an old set of irons to something produced in the last 3-4 years.

Technology in modern irons has optimized lofts and launch angles plus increased ball speeds to assist you in launching the ball higher with less loft, while tightening dispersion of the shots left and right. 

The soles of these irons get progressively thicker as your iron gets longer. That is where the irons fall short but for most high handicappers, I suggest a 5 and 4 hybrid or driving iron instead of the longer irons. 

Thicker soles on the 4 or 5 iron in this set will be GREAT off the tee, but from a tight fairway, I think most high handicappers will struggle to get it airborne. Keep that in mind as you will more than likely be using the long irons mainly on short par 4's or par 3's anyway. You could go for a set of Mizunos from 6 iron to wedge.

Mizuno Hot Metals are not forged clubs so the feeling is not going to be buttery. This is not really an issue if you're not striking the center of the face as much. The cast Hot Metals will give you that softer feeling on those mishits instead as the perimeter weighting forces more speed into the strike across the face. 

  • Forgiving and big chunky faces for high ball speeds for more distance
  • Easy to hit long irons from a tee
  • Slides easily through the rough instead of digging thanks to chunky soles
  • Strikes low in the face, still provide good results
  • The brushed finish looks not so impressive after a few dings
  • Long irons will be hard to hit from the fairway, but easy from the tee

Forged and easier to hit than a muscle back for consistent distances

The feel of a forged iron is quite different to a cast iron. Cast, deep cavity backed irons are often incredibly forgiving to the point where you may barely notice you mis-hit an iron.

With forged irons, you'll feel it in your hands more when you hit it poorly. But if you, like I did,  find that you actually hit the sweet spot well enough, these MMC irons will give you that added consistency in distance control.

This is a tough recommendation but I would suggest if you're a mid handicapper more toward the 9-14 range, this is the club for you. You'll need to have a pretty consistent strike and be comfortable with smaller faces on the clubs.

While the cast irons are always going to be marketed as fast and long clubs with hot club faces, the MP20 style of iron is much softer and more consistent with improved feeling off the club face.

Where you'll notice a MASSIVE difference in performance is around the greens. Your chipping with an MP20 short iron, will be far more consistent than the hot faces of the cavity back, cast clubs. There's much less "spring" off the faces of a forged MP20 MMC.

The Mp20 MMC is labeled as an elite cavity back so it's not like this is a blade iron for only advanced players. It's a step up from the cavity backs and one step behind a muscle back. This is really the best of both worlds and the irons will last you well into the low handicap. 

  • Sleek Mizuno looks, not chunky
  • Soft face with consistent distances
  • Less offset and better feeling and control on chips
  • Will last you for years, well into the low handicap without being replaced
  • Please do not buy if you don't hit the sweet spot consistently (7/10 times)

Older but recent model - nothing wrong with this!

These JPX 850 Forged irons are a great value buy that will be in your bag for years. The reason i put them on this list is because the improvements on the current models, while evident, are not so extreme as to rule out using a prior model iron.

The 850 came before the 900's, the 919's and the 921's. The Forged nature of the clubs mean they are able to be bent to your specs easily. It's the traditional Mizuno shape and feel in a very budget friendly package.

I'm a big fan of purchasing clubs that are 3-4 models old. That's easy to do with Mizuno because you'll squeeze out great performance from any of their iron models going back 30 years. 

If you're looking for long, accurate forged irons, these will do well for you.

  • Sole and heel grind to improve turf interaction
  • Smaller compact, forged heads for clean, slim look
  • Excellent from hard lies and deep rough alike
  • Older model
  • Can be difficult to hit coming from a cavity back

Hybrids or long irons?

Look for blended sets where they combine the more advanced irons in the short irons with the easier to hit higher handicap clubs in the long irons.

But if the thought of hitting a long irons sends shivers up your spine, feel free to look into hybrids from 5 iron up and start your set at 6 iron down to pitching wedge. Mizuno also offer the Fli Hi long irons which are supremely easy to hit especially of a tee.


Mizuno is a tough one, but their latest models always come in different skill level irons. 

You'll find the Hot Metal range in your category if you're a high handicapper and the MMC ranges in the mid handicap range. You'll find a good balance between the two in the JPX range. 

Whatever you choose, with the correct shaft, you'll probably be a fanboy in no time.

Best Low Spin Golf Balls 2021

Low spinning golf balls are touted to go further because every ball spins backward, regardless of what people say. To become airborne, the ball NEEDS to have backspin. 

Too much back spin and the ball goes less distance so inversely, reducing that backspin makes it go further. This is helpful on the drive or the tee shot on par 4 and par 5 holes to get longer off the tee.

On approach shots as well as chip and pitch shots, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of lower spinning golf balls for YOUR game. If you're comfortable with longer rollout on the greens and more of a chip-and-run style of chipping, you'll enjoy the best low spin golf balls. 

If you hit a low ball, you'll get extra run out as well and the ball will run a lot more on the greens. If you hit a high ball, the angle of descent alone will allow the low spinning ball to stop.

Think carefully about the decision to play low spin golf balls, and consider the game beyond just the tee shot. 

Who should play the low spin golf balls?

Surlyn: If you need more distance off the tee and shape the ball a big way left or right, the low spin golf balls may be for you. If you prefer a chip and run style of chipping instead of floating high shots, you'll like a low spinning ball. Perhaps you can roll the ball up to the greens and in that case, your approach game will like less spin - these will be the surlyn covered golf balls.

Urethane: But if you prefer to have some spin around the greens, you'll want a ball that spins more on the wedges and chip shots. These will generally be 3-5 layer golf balls with a urethane cover. The manufacturers have engineered them to the point that they have similar low spin on drivers but significantly more spin on wedges and chip shots. 

Didi, on my channel, plays to an 8.6 handicap and plays low spinning 2 piece, surlyn golf balls. That's correct, at an 8.6 handicap, he isn't playing a premium urethane high spinning ball.

His game has developed in a way that he wants more distance off the tee as he hits a fade and prefers the lower spin for more rollout and carry. On his approaches, he is often hitting 7 iron and longer into the greens so he play for the extra rollout. 

Around the greens, he plays the chip and run exclusively and that means he never needs a high spin golf ball to rip back because at his swing speed, and ball flight, he can hardly take advantage of the extra spin.

Personally, I can play 2 piece golf balls no problem tee to green. With the spin I can generate with the swing speed, the balls stick where they land. The place where I see a clear difference between the urethane multilayer balls and the 2-piece surlyns, is inside 80 yards on partial shots and around the greens, especially bunker shots and floating chips. The low spin balls don't sit as quickly. So I prefer a low-spin ball with a urethane cover off the tee, but by default, the ball will spin more on irons and wedges because of the urethane cover.

Urethane vs Surlyn covers

I will show you five surlyn covered golf balls and three urethane covered golf balls that fit into the low spin golf ball concept. 

They offer similar performance, but the urethane will be less durable. The covers scratch easily as they are softer than the surlyn. Surlyn balls can last 4 or 5 rounds while a urethane cover can be wrecked after 18 holes.

Surlyn golf balls are made of a one or two piece core covered in a layer of surlyn which is the cover. Urethane balls are made of 2-4 layers on the inside, with a urethane cover to produce some of the highest spinning golf balls. 

Best Low Spin Golf Ball 2021

                Surlyn covered

  1. Vice Drive (best for moderate to slow swings)
  2. Srixon Soft Feel (best for every mid to high handicapper)
  3. Mizuno RB566V (Microdimples for increased hang time)
  4.  Bridgestone e12 Soft (best 3-piece surlyn covered golf ball)
  5.  Wilson Duo Spin Soft (best for recreational golfer who loses balls)

    Urethane covered
  6. Srixon Q Star Tour (One of my favorite golf balls)
  7.  Bridgestone Tour B RX (Best for swings under 105 mph)
  8. Taylormade Tour Response (Best value urethane ball) 

Best low spin golf ball for slower swings

The Vice Drive ball is specifically targeted at low to mid swing speed golfers, with the soft Energy Speed core. It's a great option for these swing speeds which means a lot fo senior golfers can also benefit from this golf ball in the same category as the all-time favorite Srixon Soft Feel.

The cut-resistant Surlyn cover boosts durability, while wedge spin rates are higher in the latest Drive model for improved control from closer range.

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Cut resistant surlyn for multiple round durability
  • Excellent from tight lies, bare lies and even soggy lies
  • Strikes low in the face, still provide good results
  • Firm feel around the greens 

My go-to low spin golf ball for everyone

Srixon Soft Feel has been on the market for so many years, it's one of the stalwarts of mid handicap golf. This ball is featured in a lot of places on my website and there is a reason for that. I played this ball all the way down to a single figure handicap and I recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap, good golf ball and is always the first ball I suggest when a mid handicapper wants to break into buying new golf balls.

Tons of colors available and will always be the go-to ball I suggest to most golfers. I would rate this and the Inesis Soft 500 on equal playing field.

  • Mid range mid priced golf ball for everyone
  • Excellent runout on drives
  • Very durable golf ball 
  • Can feel a bit firm on the putter

3-piece surlyn ball with micro dimples for hang time

The Mizuno RB 566V is a 3 piece golf ball, wrapped in ionomer. A unique 566 dimple pattern which has micro-dimples means there is less drag on the ball for the correct level of spin for your needs. 

With the dimple pattern and micro-dimples, the balls launch and descend at a higher angle and makes them more stoppable on the greens. Around the greens, the balls perform well without feeling like they're made of marshmallow or soap. They have a firmer feel but work surprisingly well on the greens with very predictable results which is what you need. 

  • Long hang time
  • Ideal for mid to low swing speeds in warm conditions
  • Extremely durable cover
  • Extra crust layer improves ball speed over normal 2 piece balls
  • The cover feels very hard to the touch

Value for money golf ball for straight shots

Bridgestone make another 3-piece surlyn golf ball to feature on this list. The e12 Soft is said to reduce sidespin properties which means less dispersion left and right. In the 3 piece surlyn balls, the softer core is not making contact with the cover and in between the core and the cover is now a mantle which is a firmer layer to produce better energy transfer instead of letting the impact all be absorbed by the soft core. This is a recipe for slow golf balls. Not with the e12 soft.

Bridgestone use an Active Acceleration Mantle as an important part of the 3-piece construction. This mantle is made up of a composite material that transfers the power of the shot into the ball and creates a higher initial speed at impact.

Because Bridgestone doesn't rely on the core for the speed, they were able to soften the core to allow for softer response around the greens than most distance golf balls. Remember to separate the spin performance of urethane balls and surlyn balls. This Bridgestone e12 Soft may be a soft and long golf ball with a nice touch, it won't spin as much as a urethane ball.

This ball is for the player who understands their swing and game is not suited to a urethane golf ball.

  • Soft and springy cover and initial feel
  • Multiple layers with firm mantle to allow for soft core
  • Low spin rates and high ball speeds off the face for maximum distance

Ultra low compression of 40 great budget ball

Wilson DUO ranges of golf balls are extremely popular and before JMac on my channel was a single figure handicap, he only played Wilson DUO's. He's now onto TP5 and Inesis Tour 900 but these Wilsons were his starting point of new golf balls. And the loved them.

The DUO Soft Spin is a low compression ball that spins nicely on approaches and has a nice soapy soft feel on the wedges and putter. It feels like a Tour ball off the face but of course, the spin is much less than that. For the price, there is not much better out there. 

A weird sensation is the matte colored golf balls. They are the same as the normal balls but for some reason - maybe placebo - they FEEL like they spin more on chips and approaches, as if the cover grips onto the clubface more. 

  • Cheap and easy - no crying if you lose them
  • Soft feeling on the club face and putter
  • Matte colors and normal colors - matte color feels like it grips on the grooves
  • Covers can scratch easily

Urethane goodness at a surlyn price

This is one of my favorite balls despite being much maligned lately by My Golf Spy for the issues with the core. In any one of my videos, I may be playing this ball as it's always in my bag. 

A soft inner core slowly gets firmer as we move toward the outer edge. The new urethane covering is called Spin Skin and is supposed to grab onto the grooves of your club like velcro and I agree, i get great spin with this ball. Even at a 4 handicap, I can't tell the difference between these and more expensive premium balls.

The new side stamp is excellent with a solid black line with white font inside so you can align your golf ball to your putting line much easier. The ball has a medium 72 compression.

  • Distance off the tee as long as any other
  • Stops very quickly with the grippy urethane cover
  • Softer center, firmer outer layer
  • Superbly priced for the quality of golf ball
  • My Golf Spy report the core is not evenly produced 

Top value quality urethane ball 

While faster soft balls are very popular now, In some cases, the lower spin properties of soft balls can compensate for the loss of speed. The flip side is, the lower spin balls do supply much lower spin, which is what we want to often avoid with the iron game.

High speed, high spin players won't worry about lower spinning soft balls because the increase in distance will offset the reduction in spin because they already hit it high and full of spin. 

The urethane covered Tour Response also has the firmer mantle like the surlyn balls above. The low compression core covered in a much firmer mantle, means the soft, slow ball, turns into a quick, long ball that sits down thanks to the cover.  

That's basically how the Taylormade Tour Response works. On a budget too.


Pick carefully.

Hit it high, full of spin but want longer tee shots and confident your ball will sit down regardless of the ball? Use the surlyn.

Hit it low, slow speed on the irons? Think about the urethane covered low spin golf balls.

Your chips not stopping? Your pitches rolling through the green? Urethane can help.

Low ball hitter with lots of spin? Ball not rolling out on tee shots? Prefer to hit bump and run shots? Surlyn low spin golf balls are fine for you!

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