Surlyn Vs Urethane Golf Balls: Unveiling the Battle of Materials

When it comes to golf balls, the materials used in their construction play a crucial role in determining their performance characteristics. 

Among the various materials utilized in golf ball manufacturing, two prominent contenders stand out: Surlyn and Urethane. 

Surlyn balls are more resistant to scuffs and scratches, making them ideal for players who tend to strike the ball with less consistency. Urethane, on the other hand, is a softer and more versatile material that offers enhanced spin control and feel around the greens.

In this blog post, we embark on an exploration of the battle between Surlyn and Urethane golf balls. 

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What Are Surlyn Golf Balls?

Surlyn is a type of ionomer resin that is commonly used in the manufacturing of golf balls. Golf balls made with Surlyn covers are known for their durability, resistance to cuts and scuffs, and ability to provide a consistent ball flight. 

Beginner and intermediate golfers often prefer Surlyn golf balls, as they tend to be more affordable than other types of golf balls. 

However, they may not offer the same level of spin and control as higher-end golf balls made with urethane covers.

What Are Urethane Golf Balls?

Urethane golf balls are a type of golf ball that features a cover made from a thermoplastic material called urethane. 

Urethane is known for its softness, which allows for better spin and control on approach shots and around the greens. 

Urethane golf balls also tend to offer a softer feel off the clubface, which some golfers can prefer. 

They are often used by more advanced golfers who prioritize performance over cost, as they tend to be more expensive than golf balls made with other materials.

Surlyn Vs Urethane Golf Balls: Quick Comparison Table

When choosing golf balls, understanding the differences between Surlyn and urethane is crucial. Here’s a concise comparison table to help you make an informed decision based on key factors.

FactorsSurlyn Golf BallsUrethane Golf Balls
MaterialIonomer resinThermoplastic polyurethane
SpinLower spinHigher spin
DistancePotential distance gainsSacrifice some distance
ForgivenessGoodBetter control and accuracy
PriceMore affordableHigher price

What Are The Differences Between Surlyn and Urethane Golf Balls?

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Surlyn and urethane are two different materials commonly used in the construction of golf balls, and they exhibit some notable differences. Here are the key distinctions between Surlyn and urethane golf balls:

Material Composition

Surlyn is a type of ionomer resin developed by DuPont. It is a highly durable and resilient material known for its excellent cut and abrasion resistance. 

Surlyn golf balls are made by molding a solid core with a Surlyn cover.

Urethane, also known as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), is a softer material compared to Surlyn. 

Urethane golf balls typically consist of a rubber core and a urethane cover.

Feel and Spin

Surlyn-covered golf balls are generally firmer and offer a harder feel at impact. 

They tend to produce less spin off the clubface, especially on short shots and finesse shots around the green.

Surlyn balls often have a lower spin rate, resulting in a flatter trajectory.

Urethane-covered golf balls provide a softer feel when struck, often preferred by skilled players.

The urethane cover creates more friction with the clubface, resulting in increased spin, especially on approach shots and shots around the green. 

Urethane balls typically offer more control and the ability to shape shots due to the higher spin rate.

Distance and Forgiveness

Surlyn golf balls are known for their resilience and durability, which can help provide longer distances. 

They tend to have lower compression, allowing for increased energy transfer and potential distance gains.

Surlyn balls also offer good forgiveness and are less prone to scuffing and cuts.

Urethane golf balls may sacrifice some distance due to their softer construction, but they often provide better control and accuracy. 

The added spin can aid in holding greens and stopping the ball more quickly. However, urethane covers are typically more susceptible to scuffing and damage.


Surlyn golf balls are generally more affordable compared to urethane balls. 

They are commonly used in entry-level or distance-oriented golf balls, making them a cost-effective choice for casual golfers or those seeking value for money.

Urethane golf balls are generally higher in price due to their more advanced construction and performance characteristics. 

They are often preferred by more skilled players who prioritize feel, control, and shot shaping.

Our Opinion: Surlyn Golf Balls Vs Urethane Golf Balls

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In our opinion, when it comes to the choice between Surlyn and urethane golf balls, it largely depends on your playing style and priorities. If you value durability, distance, and a more affordable option, 

Surlyn golf balls are a solid choice. They offer good forgiveness, lower spin, and potential distance gains, making them suitable for casual golfers or those seeking value for money.

On the other hand, if you prioritize feel, control, and spin around the greens, urethane golf balls are worth considering. 

Despite their higher price and potentially reduced distance, urethane balls provide a softer feel, higher spin rates, and enhanced shot-shaping capabilities. 

Skilled players who value precision and the ability to stop the ball quickly on the greens often prefer urethane balls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Confused about the differences between Surlyn and urethane golf balls? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand the distinctions and make an informed choice when it comes to your golf ball selection.

Who Might Benefit From Using Urethane Golf Balls?

Urethane golf balls are favored by skilled players, low-handicap golfers, and those seeking better control and feel around the greens. They offer enhanced spin, better-stopping power on approach shots, and greater control on delicate shots.

Do Surlyn Golf Balls Have Any Advantages Over Urethane Balls?

Surlyn golf balls excel in durability, providing resistance against scuffs and cuts. Additionally, they typically have a lower price point, making them more affordable for golfers who prioritize budget-friendly options.

What Are The Key Advantages Of Urethane Golf Balls?

Urethane golf balls offer a superior feel and control due to their softer cover. They generate more spin on approach shots and allow for better greenside control, making them ideal for players who rely on finesse and shot shaping.

Can The Choice Of Cover Material Affect The Overall Performance Of A Golf Ball?

Yes, the cover material significantly impacts the performance characteristics of a golf ball. The choice between Surlyn and urethane can influence spin rates, feel, distance, durability, and control, ultimately affecting a golfer’s overall game and shot execution.

How Do I Decide Between Surlyn And Urethane Golf Balls?

Choosing between Surlyn and urethane golf balls depends on your skill level, playing style, and personal preferences. Consider factors such as desired spin control, feel, budget, and specific shot requirements to determine which cover material suits your game best.