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Just because you can’t reinvent the wheel doesn’t mean you can’t redesign the sphere. Every year, golf-equipment manufacturers do just that, using sophisticated science to push the outer limits of golf-ball technology. To the naked eye, the balls look much the same. But each is built with different playing styles in mind. No matter what you’re after -- greater distance, straighter shots, more control around the greens -- there’s a ball that’s been designed just for you. Choosing the right one is the quickest way to improve your game. Here’s a sneak peek at five of the hottest new golf balls on the shelf.

Callaway HX Pearl

Specially created for women golfers, this high-performance ball has a soft rubber core that allows players with slow swing speeds to smack shots farther. A lustrous finish makes the Pearl easy to spot.

A smooth, easy swinger whose game relies less on power than feel

PRICE $26 per dozen, www.callawaygolf.com

Nike One Tour D

DESIGN Soft core. Nice dimples. You like those qualities in a pinup model. And you’ll love them in a ball designed to increase distance (thanks to Nike Golf’s Power Transfer Layer) without sacrificing touch around the green.

THE PLAYER A golfer with greater-than-average swing speeds (over 90 miles per hour) who still wants a boost in power

PRICE $58 per dozen, www.nike.com

Srixon Z-Star X

DESIGN Out of this world. A great distance ball, this highly durable ball is built to endure a bashing, with a resilient cover and large-diameter dimples for a prolonged, stable flight.

THE PLAYER A golfer who likes to grip it and rip it

PRICE $40 per dozen, www.srixon.com

Bridgestone e7+

DESIGN A solid three-piece construction. The outer layer sports Bridgestone’s Seamless Cover Technology and a deep 330-dimple pattern, which makes for crisper, more accurate shots.

THE PLAYER A golfer with high- to medium-ball flights who wants to hit more piercing irons and drives

PRICE $27 per dozen, www.bridgestonegolf.com


TaylorMade TP (Tour Preferred) Red

DESIGN Great for crosswinds -- and for minimizing your slice. Consider this the low-spin zone, thanks to the Feel Mantle layer, which imparts greater spin control. Flight-stabilizing dimples also ensure straighter shots.

THE PLAYER A golfer who imparts a lot of spin on the shots

PRICE $40 per dozen, www.taylormadegolf.com