Two-Piece vs. Three-Piece Golf Balls

Two-Piece vs. Three-Piece Golf Balls

Let’s be honest – shopping for a golf ball can be confusing. If you just walk into a golf shop or general sporting goods store to look for a fresh dozen, you will encounter a wall of boxes with countless different names, prices, features, and marketing slogans. What does it all mean?

Despite the intimidating marketplace, understanding golf ball options is actually pretty simple. In this post, we’ll break down the differences between two-piece and three-piece golf balls (aside from the obvious difference of, you know, an extra piece).

ICYMI: Check out our guide to three-piece vs. four-piece balls.

What is a Two-Piece Golf Ball?

As the name would indicate, two pieces – or layers – are used to make up this kind of ball. There is just a core and a cover, and that’s it. These tend to be the least expensive golf balls on the market, as they are simple to construct and don’t require a lot of research and development work. If you look over that wall of golf balls at the shop and find a dozen for around $20 or so, it’s a safe bet that those will be two-piece balls. 

What is a Three-Piece Golf Ball?

Adding another layer to a golf ball offers some interesting performance changes. No longer a ball engineered specifically for distance and durability, a three-piece ball will usually bring some additional spin to the party. And, while three-piece golf balls are typically more expensive than their two-piece cousins, they can remain an affordable and attractive option for a wide range of players. 

An Individual Choice

It’s not a matter of one type of golf ball being ‘better’ than another, because the ball that works best is going to vary from player to player. For the beginner or high handicapper, sticking with a two-piece ball makes a lot of sense. The lower spin rate is going to help the ball fly straighter, and the modest price tag will make those inevitable shots into the woods or water a little easier to swallow. 

As a player gains experience and picks up new skills, switching to a three-piece ball is inevitable. The additional layer will make it possible to hit more types of shots and spending a few bucks more per dozen will be okay since fewer balls are being lost each round. Since three-piece golf balls spin more than two-piece balls, it’s important that the player have enough skill with the full swing to control the trajectory of each shot reasonably well. You don’t need to be a tour-caliber ball striker to use a three-piece ball, but those who struggle with a nasty slice or other sidespin issues may want to stick with a two-piece model until their skills improve. 

Find Your Balls

At Piper Golf, we offer four distinct golf ball models for you to consider. Our Piper Green ball is a two-piece design with a Surlyn cover, while both the Piper Blue and Piper Black balls feature three layers (Blue with a Surlyn cover, and Black with a urethane cover). Take some time to explore our balls or take our Perfect Fit Quiz to determine which will be best for your game.