Change your golf balls,
not your clubs.
The statics show that golf is struggling to grow. Year after year more people quit than pick it up. There are many reasons for that, but one of the key factors I hear all the time (trying to get my wife to pick up the sport) “It is just too hard.” “The ball never goes where I want it to go.” You can try all different clubs, but odds are that without practice and lessons, the ball isn’t going to go where you want it to go.
In 2011 Polara designed a self-correcting ball that was guaranteed to go straighter than any other ball. I tested it and their claims are true. I did a review of the original Polara ball (here) and it certainly went straight, but still wasn’t as long as a normal ball, nor did it work well with normal clubs; it was better fit for high launching clubs.
For 2012 Polara designed a new ball that doesn’t require you to change to a high launching clubs, but will work well with any clubs you already have. While the new design doesn’t go quite as straight, down from 75% to 50%, it still corrects the slice or the draw. While I didn’t do the math, I think those claims are pretty accurate. I hit a few more fairways with the originals, than I did the new XD/XDS models, but still more than a normal golf ball.
The Polara XD is truly a distance ball, not designed around feel or spin. I think any high-handicap player with a slower swing speed is going to get the most out of this ball. They typically don’t compress the ball enough to generate much spin so that need isn’t there and they aren't crushing the ball to notice the feel difference so why not save a few dollars.
I could easily drop the Polara XDS into my bag and play it all the time, it is so straight, launches nice and high. It also spins quite well around the greens. I found it to play like a super straight Titleist NXT Tour. The feel is pretty good and certainly long enough to play for every round. I know I scored better with this ball in play too. I noticed how straight this ball putted too. It worked for every shot, tee to green.
The debate still centers on the conforming or should I say non-conforming nature of this ball. The USGA has declared that this ball does not conform to their standards. This reason alone will cause many golfers not to play it. But if you just want to have fun playing golf and don't want to worry abotu every last rule, then put the Polara in your bag, you won’t have more fun than using this ball. You will find more fairways, lose less golf balls and simply be less frustrated with the game. It also will speed up play since you won’t have to look in the woods for a lost ball. If the USGA is serious about growing the game of golf, they may want to consider setting up two divisions of rules for amateurs and pros; many other sports already do, why not golf?
You don’t need to spend a $1000 to hit the ball straighter, just get a dozen Polara XD/XDS golf balls and you will be playing from the fairway more and enjoying the game more.