When it comes to golf, the type of ball you use can make a huge difference in your game. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right one for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best golf balls based on reviews by everyday golfers and our own experiences.
So, if you’re playing with one of these, you can’t really blame the ball if your score is higher than you’d like. =)
Best Golf Balls
1. Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1x (Most Popular)
Undoubtedly, the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x are among the most popular golf balls among both amateurs and professionals. A lot of pro golfers prefer using this ball over any other, so it’s no surprise that many amateur and recreational golfers do the same.
Both of these golf balls are excellent, and known for giving you the perfect blend of distance, spin, and feel. They’re great for players who want reliable performance.
Titleist Pro V1
- Soft Feel: The Pro V1 provides a softer feel compared to the Pro V1x, making it particularly favorable for short game shots where touch is crucial.
- Consistent Flight: It offers a penetrating trajectory and stable flight, ensuring predictable results.
- Long Distance: Despite its softer feel, the Pro V1 still provides impressive distance off the tee.
- High Spin Control: Around the greens, the ball exhibits high spin, giving golfers control for approach shots.
- Used by many Professional Golfers
- Durability: Although improved over the years, some players find that the urethane cover can be prone to scuffs and cuts, especially when hit by wedges or against hard surfaces.
- Price: As a premium golf ball, the Pro V1 comes with a premium price tag.
PRO Players: Scottie Scheffler, Brian Harman, Will Zalatoris, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Viktor Hovland, Allisen Corpuz
Titleist Pro V1x
- #1 Used Golf Ball on the PGA Tour!
- Higher Flight: The Pro V1x is designed to produce a higher trajectory compared to the Pro V1.
- Enhanced Distance: Some players find they achieve slightly longer distances with the Pro V1x off the tee.
- Spin Characteristics: It retains high spin for short shots, while possibly reducing sidespin on long shots, making it a good choice for those battling slices or hooks.
- Feel: The firmer feel isn’t for everyone, especially those who prioritize softness in their golf balls.
- Price: Just like the Pro V1, the Pro V1x is priced at the premium end of the market.
PRO Players: Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Scott, Wyndham Clark, Tyrrell Hatton, Sungjae Im, Cameron Smith, CT Pan, Danielle Kang, Lilia Vu, Celine Boutier, Lydia Ko
2. Callaway Chrome Soft & Chrome Soft X (Best Overall)
Just like Pro VI and Pro VIx, these are Callaway’s two amazing golf balls that offer players the chance to perform at their best. They may be similar, but each has its own unique qualities.
They are a testament to the brand’s commitment to producing high-quality products for golfers of different skill levels. Both balls are fantastic for their advanced technologies and performance on the course.
Callaway Chrome Soft
- Soft Feel: True to its name, the Chrome Soft provides an exceptionally soft feel, particularly beneficial for short game shots and putting.
- Forgiveness: This ball is designed for reduced spin off the tee, leading to straighter drives.
- Precision Technology: Creating faster ball speeds and better overall performance.
- Excellent Greenside Control: With its ultra soft urethane cover, the ball offers high spin and control around the greens.
- Distance: While it provides decent distance, some players might find other balls in the same category that outperform it in terms of raw yardage.
- Durability: As with many urethane-covered balls, it can show wear and tear, particularly from wedge shots or rough surfaces.
Callaway Chrome Soft X
- Firmer Feel: The Chrome Soft X offers a slightly firmer feel compared to the Chrome Soft, catering to players who desire more feedback.
- Trajectory: It tends to launch high but not as high as the Soft for woods and irons, suitable for players looking for a mid-flight characteristic.
- Enhanced Workability: The Chrome Soft X is designed for players who want to shape their shots and control the ball’s flight.
- Distance: Generally, it offers a bit more distance off the tee compared to the Chrome Soft.
- Used by many Professional Golfers
- Niche Appeal: The firmer feel and workability might not appeal to beginners or high-handicappers.
- Price: Being a premium ball, the Chrome Soft X comes with a higher price point.
PRO Players: Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Adam Hadwin, Sam Burns, Si Woo Kim, Ruoning Yin, Rose Zhang
3. Bridgestone Tour B XS (My Favorite)
Bridgestone’s commitment to research and player feedback has birthed the Tour B XS, a golf ball that combines the brand’s cutting-edge technology with the needs of skilled golfers. Tiger Woods helped out in the development of the new Tour B XS. Therefore you know it promises precision, performance, and feel.
- Feel: The Tour B XS offers a soft feel, thanks to its urethane cover, providing tactile feedback, especially in the short game.
- Spin Control: With the proprietary ReactiV iQ cover, the ball promises high spin on approach shots, allowing for pinpoint control on the greens, while minimizing unwanted spin off the tee.
- Distance: Bridgestone’s core design in the Tour B XS aims to provide optimal compression, yielding impressive distance on drives.
- Wind Performance: Many players have noted its stable flight characteristics, even in windy conditions.
- Tiger Woods helped create the ball.
- Price: Relatively high price tag.
- Not for Everyone: While it’s a top-performer for many, some amateur golfers might not see the full benefits of its design if they don’t have the swing characteristics it’s tailored for.
PRO Players: Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Brendan Steele, Lexi Thompson
4. TaylorMade TP5 & TP5x (Best For Distance)
Here’s another brand offering two great golf balls in the same series. They both deliver high performance, but both variants cater to different player profiles, ensuring that golfers have options that best suit their game.
TaylorMade’s TP5 and TP5x golf balls have been at the forefront of the brand’s premium ball lineup, boasting state-of-the-art technologies and high performance.
- Soft Feel: The TP5 provides a softer feel as compared to the TP5x, which can be beneficial for players who prioritize touch and feedback, especially around the greens.
- Higher Spin: It offers a slightly higher spin rate on approach shots, granting better control and stopping power.
- 5-Layer Construction: This design ensures optimal performance from tee to green, optimizing spin, distance, and feel.
- New Dimple Pattern: Offers advanced aerodynamics for increased carry distances, optimizing performance.
Distance: While the TP5 offers commendable distance, the TP5x might edge it out slightly in terms of raw yardage for some players.
PRO Players: Nelly Korda, Brooke Henderson, Collin Morikawa, Justin Rose
- Firmer Feel: The TP5x has a firmer composition, providing more feedback, which some advanced players might prefer.
- Increased Distance: Generally, players can expect a bit more distance off the tee with the TP5x due to its higher compression.
- Lower Spin: It offers a tad less spin, which can result in a more penetrating ball flight and reduced sidespin on errant shots.
- Stable Flight: The TP5x’s design ensures a consistent and stable ball flight, even in challenging conditions.
- Feel: The firmer feel might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially those who want a very soft touch on short game shots.
- High Launch: Some players might find the TP5x to have a slightly higher launch, which may not be ideal in windy conditions.
PRO Players: Rory McIlroy, Kurt Kitayama, Tommy Fleetwood, Charley Hull
5. Titleist AVX RCT (Best Indoor Ball)
Golfers nowadays rely on numbers and statistics to improve their swing. Titleist Golf Ball R&D engineers created Radar Capture Technology (RCT) to capture launch condition data indoors, providing accurate information for better performance. Just FYI – RCT offers options with the Pro V1 series, as well as the AVX.
The Titleist AVX is a premium golf ball designed for players seeking a softer feel, low spin, and high performance. Positioned as an alternative to the renowned Pro V1 and Pro V1x, the AVX offers a unique set of characteristics.
- Soft Feel: AVX provides an exceptionally soft feel which many players appreciate, especially in the short game.
- Low Spin: Designed to produce a lower spin rate off the tee, resulting in longer drives for some players.
- Penetrating Flight: Offers a lower, more piercing trajectory which can be beneficial in windy conditions. Or for those players with a high launch and high spin, this ball can provide a lower and better launch angle.
- High Flex Casing Layer: Enhances speed and controls spin to maximize distance.
- Price: As with many premium golf balls, the AVX comes with a high price tag.
- Brand: Doesn’t have the popularity of the Pro V1 series.
6. PXG Extreme
PXG’s Extreme golf ball is a recent addition to the premium ball market, with a hefty price tag and bold promises. The performance of the product was compared to the Titleist Pro V1, and it excelled in terms of distance and ball spin. In fact in their study, it even achieved a higher ball spin (for wedges, irons, and driver) than both the Pro V1 and Pro V1x.
- Soft Feel: The Extreme’s cast urethane cover offers a soft feel, providing good feedback on short game shots.
- Distance: Its 4-piece construction and dual mantle design ensure maximum energy transfer for impressive distance.
- Spin Control: The Extreme’s advanced dimple pattern promises consistent spin control and stable ball flight.
- Price: Typically $10-$15 cheaper than the Titleist Pro V1 series.
Not Widely Available: Unlike other top-performing golf balls, the Extreme can only be purchased through PXG’s website or authorized retailers, limiting accessibility for some players.
7. Maxfli Tour X
Maxfli, while perhaps not as high-profile as brands like Titleist or Callaway in recent years, has been making strides with its Tour series, aiming to offer performance-oriented balls for serious golfers.
- Firmer Feel: The Tour X provides a firmer feel compared to some of its counterparts, which could be preferable for golfers who want enhanced feedback.
- Distance: Thanks to its 4-piece design and construction, the ball promises competitive distance off the tee.
- Value: Generally, the Maxfli Tour X tends to be priced more affordably compared to other premium tour-level balls.
- Dimple Design: The optimized dimple pattern is designed to ensure a consistent and stable flight.
- Brand Perception: Maxfli isn’t as prominent in the premium golf ball segment as some other brands, so some players might overlook it based on brand alone.
- Spin Control: While it offers good spin, some players might find that other premium balls provide a tad more control, especially around the greens.
8. Mizuno RB Tour X (good Value)
Mizuno, primarily known for its outstanding irons, has made a foray into the golf ball market with the RB series. The RB Tour X is a great golf ball designed for players seeking optimal performance with a better value ball.
- Dimple Design: With its larger, more defined dimple design, the RB Tour X offers higher driver flight and flatter wedge flight.
- Soft Feel: New Urethane cover provides a softer feel
- Distance: The RB Tour X is designed with a more compressive core and lower spinning, which can translate to added distance, especially for players with higher swing speeds.
- Price Point: Positioned as a premium ball, but it comes a little under the price of most other balls.
- Feel: The firmer nature might not appeal to players who are accustomed to softer tour balls.
- Brand Familiarity: While Mizuno is renowned for its clubs, its golf balls might be less familiar to some players, leading to potential hesitation in adoption.
9. Callaway ERC (Best Value)
The Callaway ERC golf balls are a tribute to the company’s founder, Ely Reeves Callaway. With a focus on long distance and a soft feel, these balls are designed to deliver performance gains to a wide spectrum of players.
- Distance: Infused with Callaway’s Hybrid Cover, the ERC balls are optimized for low spin, speed, leading to enhanced distance.
- Soft Feel: Despite its focus on distance, the ball offers a soft feel, especially beneficial in the short game.
- Triple Track Alignment: The Triple Track lines on the ball aid in alignment, helping with accuracy on the greens.
- Value: The price is lower compared to other premium balls in the market.
- Niche Positioning: Positioned between ultra-soft and tour-level balls, it might not be the first choice for players strictly in one camp or the other.
- Visibility: While the Triple Track alignment is beneficial, some players might find it visually distracting.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Golf Ball
Choosing the right golf ball can significantly influence a player’s performance on the course. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, considering the following factors can help golfers find a ball that complements their game:
1. Swing Speed
- Golfers with slower swing speeds might benefit from lower compression balls, which can be compressed more easily, potentially leading to greater distance.
- Those with faster swing speeds might prefer higher compression balls that offer better control and a more stable flight.
2. Distance vs. Control
- If maximizing distance is a priority, a ball with less spin, more speed and higher compression.
- For those valuing control, especially around the greens, multi-layer balls with softer covers can provide the desired spin and feel.
- Soft-feel balls, often with urethane covers, provide enhanced feedback, especially on putts and short chip shots.
- Firmer balls might not offer the same level of tactile feedback but could provide added durability and distance.
- High-spin balls can offer better control on approach shots but might exaggerate mistakes like hooks or slices.
- Low-spin balls can reduce sidespin off the tee, potentially leading to straighter drives.
- Premium golf balls can be expensive, and while they offer advanced features, not every player might benefit from them.
- Mid-range or value balls can offer good performance for recreational players without breaking the bank.
6. Skill Level
- Beginners might prioritize distance and forgiveness, leaning towards value balls.
- Advanced players, focusing on shaping shots and precise control, might lean towards multi-layered, premium balls.
What Are Golf Balls Made Of?
The composition of a golf ball can vary significantly based on its design and intended performance characteristics. However, at a general level, golf balls consist of a core and a cover, with some balls having additional intermediate layers. Here’s a breakdown of the typical materials used in golf ball construction:
The core is the heart of the golf ball and largely determines its compression and initial velocity.
- Rubber: The most common material for the core is natural or synthetic rubber. Rubber can be formulated to achieve different compression rates, influencing the ball’s feel and distance.
- Liquid Centers: Some older and specific types of golf balls have a liquid center. This design is less common in modern balls.
- Resin: Advanced golf balls, especially those targeting distance, might use resin materials for the core, as they can offer high resilience and energy return.
2. Intermediate Layers
Multi-layered balls (three-piece, four-piece, five-piece) have additional layers between the core and the outer cover. These layers can influence the ball’s spin rates, feel, and other performance characteristics.
- Rubber or Synthetic Materials: Similar to the core but often formulated differently, these layers can be made of rubber or other synthetic materials that affect spin, control, and energy transfer.
- Ionomer Resins: Often used in multi-layer balls to influence spin characteristics and overall feel.
The cover affects the ball’s feel, durability, control, and aerodynamics.
- Surlyn (Ionomer Resins): A common cover material, Surlyn is a type of ionomer resin known for its durability and resistance to cuts and abrasions. Golf balls with Surlyn covers tend to have a firmer feel and are often more affordable.
- Urethane: Used in many premium, tour-caliber golf balls, urethane covers provide a softer feel and higher spin rates, especially on approach shots and around the greens. While they offer enhanced performance, they might be less durable than Surlyn covers.
- Balata: No longer used. But it is an older cover material, balata is a natural rubber-like substance. Golf balls with balata covers were known for their soft feel and high spin but were less durable and have largely been replaced by urethane in modern premium balls.
While dimples are more about design than material, they play a crucial role in the ball’s aerodynamics. They are usually molded into the ball’s cover during the manufacturing process. Dimple patterns and depths can vary, affecting the ball’s flight characteristics.
Types Of Golf Balls
1. Construction-Based Types
a. One-Piece Golf Balls:
- These are the most basic balls made from a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples molded in.
- They are mainly used on driving ranges and are not recommended for regular play due to their lower performance characteristics.
b. Two-Piece Golf Balls:
- Consist of a solid core, usually made of rubber or resin, surrounded by a durable cover, often made of Surlyn.
- Known for their distance and durability. They are a popular choice among average golfers and high-handicappers.
c. Multi-Piece (3/4/5-Piece) Golf Balls:
- Made up of a solid rubber or liquid core, an intermediate layer of enhanced rubber or a liquid-produced layer, and a molded cover of either durable Surlyn or softer urethane.
- Offers a good balance between distance and spin, making them suitable for intermediate players.
- Each layer serves a distinct purpose, from providing distance to enhancing feel or generating spin.
- Often come with a urethane cover and are popular among low-handicappers and professionals for the control and spin they offer.
- Advanced balls with each layer optimized for specific types of shots.
- Designed primarily for skilled players looking for maximum control and performance.
2. Performance-Based Types
a. Distance Balls
- Focus primarily on maximizing yards off the tee.
- Typically two-piece balls with a harder cover.
b. Spin Control Balls
- Designed to minimize sidespin, helping players control hooks and slices.
- Useful for players with fast swing speeds or those struggling with control issues.
c. Performance/Control Balls
- Provide a balance of distance and spin.
- Often multi-layered with softer covers to allow for a combination of distance off the tee and control around the green.
3. Skill-Level Based Types
a. Beginner Golf Balls
- Emphasize durability and distance.
- Typically have lower spin rates to aid in reducing the effects of hooks and slices.
b. Intermediate Golf Balls
- Provide a balance between distance and control.
- Might feature multi-layered construction for enhanced performance.
c. Advanced/Pro Golf Balls
- Prioritize control, spin, and feel.
- Often come with a soft urethane cover and multi-layered construction to provide the advanced player with all the tools they need to execute precise shots.
4. Specialty Golf Balls
a. Low Compression Balls
- Designed primarily for golfers with slower swing speeds (like seniors or women).
- Offer more distance for those who can’t compress harder balls efficiently.
b. High-Visibility Golf Balls
- Manufactured in bright colors like yellow, orange, or pink.
- Easier to spot in the air and on the ground.
c. Personalized/Custom Golf Balls
- Can feature names, logos, or custom messages.
d. Practice/Range Balls
- Primarily used on driving ranges.
- Often one-piece golf balls
What are Soft Balls?
In the context of golf, “soft balls” refer to golf balls that have a softer feel when struck, as compared to firmer balls. This feel is largely influenced by the golf ball’s construction and the materials used, especially the composition of the core and the cover. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of soft golf balls:
Characteristics of Soft Golf Balls
- Composition: Soft golf balls often have a low compression rating. Compression measures the deflection a golf ball undergoes when it is struck. Balls with lower compression ratings (like 40-70) are considered soft, while those with higher compression ratings (like 90-110) are considered firm.
- Core: The core’s material and its compression rating play a crucial role in determining the ball’s softness. Soft cores allow for more deformation upon impact, which in turn can offer better distance for golfers with slower swing speeds.
- Cover: Materials like urethane tend to offer a softer feel compared to others like Surlyn. Urethane covers, often found in premium golf balls, also provide higher spin rates, especially on approach shots and around the greens.
- Potential Distance Loss for High Swing Speeds: Golfers with very high swing speeds might achieve better distance with a firmer, higher compression ball compared to a soft ball.