This Type of Ball or That Ball

James Braid on the choice of ball in 1908

Now the idea that comes from experience – and I have not the slightest doubt that it is the fact – is that in normal circumstances, and with a player of average strength of stroke, the best results are obtained with a medium soft ball, one in which there is plenty of rubber core with much spring in it, and cased with material that allows the club to get at the ball at once…This ball answers eagerly and quickly to a full shot with any club, and generally what the ambitious but imperfect player most wants is that length which it gives to him. On the other hand, many players – though certainly not all – find that with a harder ball they cannot get quite so far, but that this ball is much steadier in the short game and in putting than the other one, as, theoretically as well as practically, it must be seen to be. Therefore it becomes a question as to which is worth the most to a man – a gain in the long game or in the short one.

[James Braid: Advanced Golf; Methuen & Co. 2nd ed. 1908, p.96-97]

This type of ball or that ball

[Tune: The holly and the ivy – Traditional]

This type of ball or that ball,
How am I meant to choose?
Wha-atever kind of ball I pick,
I always seem to lose.

The one with ‘extra carry’
I try to hit too far;
Puts my timing out, and how I shout,
As my fingers sting and jar.

When I’m swinging with my wedges,
I give my ball a grin.
If I chip or pitch, no matter which,
I always catch it thin.

If I go for ‘high traject’ry’
I’m inclined to hit too keen.
Whe-enever I do hit it high,
It completely flies the green.

If I’m seeking ‘extra spi-in’
And I try to make it stop,
If it spins at all, the bunkers call –
My golf game’s just a flop.

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