Golf ball developers are constantly striving to create the ideal ball—one that is soft, fast, and long. The development of new materials has helped their cause, allowing a high coefficient of restitution (COR) to be achieved with a low-compression (softer feeling) golf ball. Suffice it to say, golf balls today are much closer to reaching that level of perfection than they were even ten years ago.
Just because a golf ball is good doesn’t mean that it will be good fo you and your game. Studies have shown that up to 70 percent of all golfers do not play a ball that maximizes their game. Golfers often choose a ball based on a friend’s recommendation or the brand their favorite Tour player uses. It is important to look at your game when choosing a ball, though. Every golfer should consider being fit on a launch monitor to find out what ball is best for them. With so many choices on the market, a quick fitting can find the ball that gets the most out of your swing.
It was not long ago that golfers had to choose between golf balls that were hard, durable and long, or those that felt soft and spun a great deal but didn’t go very far and lost their shape rather easily. Luckily for golfers everywhere, those days are long gone. Today’s golf ball can do it all. It’s up to you to find the perfect one for your game.
www.bridgestonegolf.com | $54/dozen
Unique Features: Bridgestone’s injection-molding production process allows more balls to be made from fewer cavities resulting in greater manufacturing consistency. Their Unique Seamless Cover Technology™ produces uniform dimple coverage on the entire ball surface. Both models have an improved urethane cover for added feel, control and durability. The B330-S is specially designed for delicate touch and aggressive control for the short game. The 330 is for fast swingers: the B330-S is great for everyone else!
Tester Comments: Best ball out there … Great feel, above average distance, solid-pleasing sound on contact ... Gives confidence and consistence distance per club.
Callaway Tour I / Tour IX
www.callawaygolf.com | $55/dozen
Unique Features:On both models, a Tungsten-infused outer core redistributes weight away from the center to increase MOI, reducing spin off the driver for longer and straighter shots. The Dual core construction enables the use of a softer inner core that produces better feel while maintaining the same distance of a ball with a much firmer feel. A Sub-HEX design features six deep hexagon depressions for a penetrating trajectory. The Tour-i ha s a new, softer thermoset urethane cover for increased short-game spin and feel.
Tester Comments: Great distance off the tee and solid performance around the greens .... Good spin into the greens.
Nike One Platinum / One Black
www.nikegolf.com | $56/dozen
Unique Features: A Progressive density core gives improved feel and reduced spin for longer, more accurate distance off the tee. A new “Power transfer layer” beneath the mantle increases ball speed for improved distance off all clubs. The One Black has a high coverage 336 dimple pattern for optimized aerodynamics with reduced drag for a more penetrating ball flight. The Platinum has an improved 378 dimple pattern and the high velocity progressive density core has been intensified to further reduce excess driver spin, enhance overall feel and increase distance off the tee.
Tester Comments: Great off the putter and wedges. Spins a ton. I am in love with this one … Amazed at how long this ball is driver through irons yet soft around the greens.
www.srixon.com | $40/dozen
Unique Features: The new urethane cover is the softest urethane cover Srixon has ever created. It provides the ultimate in control-shot shaping spin control, pinpoint distance control and stroke saving short game control.. Designers made the boundary layer underneath the cover on both balls thinner than the previous versions to make room for a larger core. The purpose is to improve ball speed for longer distance off the tee, optimal high launch angle and low spin launch conditions.
Tester Comments: On par with the other premium balls with a better price … Similar in distance and better spin control.
TaylorMade TP Red/TP Black
www.taylormadegolf.com | $52/dozen
Unique Features: Low Drag Performance (LDP) aerodynamics promotes improved distance on the most common driver mis-hits. The dimples vary in depth and diameter and are arranged in a low-drag symmetry maintain lift on low-spin, off-center hits and minimize distance loss. TP Red is designed for higher spin players who want the ultimate in tour performance. TP Black is designed for lower spin players who want soft feel, fast ball speed, increased distance and tour-caliber spin. Both have a razor-thin cover for solid feel and spin around the greens.
Tester Comments: So far, this is the best $40/dozen ball I have tested … this ball gave me almost a whole club longer distance and about 10 years on drives … this ball cuts the wind better than any I’ve played.
Titleist Pro V1/Pro V1X
www.titleist.com | $58/dozen
Unique Features: There’s improved, higher coverage 332 dimple design with new “staggered wave parting line” what the company calls its entrance into hidden-seam design. The AIM (Alignment Integrated Marking) sidestamp for better putting accuracy is also new. The Pro V1 is designed for golfers who demand Tour-validated technology and performance. The Pro V1x is designed for golfers seeking long distance with Tour-validated feel and performance.
Tester Comments: Titleist Pro V1 is exceptional for its reliable consistency of carry yardages … Best overall performance … Great distance and fantastic around the green
www.wilsongolf.com | $38/dozen
Unique Features: The Wilson Tx4 makes use of four-piece construction for the ultimate in power and feel. The thin urethane cover adds spin to iron shots and resists scuffing; the fusion mantle increases acceleration off the clubface; the Nano-tech core creates a lively ball flight; and the 312-dimple design adds wind resistance and accuracy to every shot.
Tester Comments: Tx4 is a great ball at an outstanding price … Best value in premium ball … Nice feel, reasonable distance and good for short irons.
www.bridgestonegolf.com | $38/dozen
Unique Features: The e5+ is designed for golfers who want more height and distance by generating the optimal spin rate for maximum lift and carry. A two-piece urethane construction is designed to maximize the force of the clubface to generate spin for high launch and carry. Features a large, high-energy core that aims to increase ball speed. The company’s characteristic seamless cover has a 330- dimple pattern.
Tester Comments: e5+ golf ball provides the advantages of a 3 piece ball at half most of their prices … Long, durable and responsive …. 7-10 yards longer, but with more spin than similar balls.
www.bridgestonegolf.com | $38/dozen
Unique Features: The e6+ is designed for players who want less sidespin. The three-piece, low compression construction features innovative anti-spin/extra velocity inner cover material designed to reduce sidespin for straighter shots. The Surlyn cover features Bridgestone’s seamless 330-dimple pattern design. The resilient inner mantle helps reduce excess spin.
Tester Comments: Consistent moderate spin off mid/short irons, and straighter off the driver … This ball helped me get more distance … Good short game feel, felt nice coming off the putter, putts rolled well.
Callaway HX Hot Bite
www.callawaygolf.com | $37.50/dozen
Unique Features: The ionomer mantle layer reduces driver spin and works with the core to increase ball speed while maintaining soft feel. The soft, resilient core enhances feel and helps maximize ball velocity across a wide range of swing speeds. The HEX Aerodynamics virtually eliminates the seam, enhancing shot-to-shot consistency.
Tester Comments: Great ball for average swing speed … Ball is long off the tee with a soft feel around the greens. Checks up nicely. A pleasure to putt.
www.innovexgolf.com | $35.95/dozen
Unique Features: This 3-piece ball has a Progressive Motion Dual Core that senses impact loft and velocity compensating the compression for soft feel in the scoring zone and a firm feel off the tee. Shock Absorber Rebound Technology speeds the ball back to an aerodynamic round shape partnering with the wind for more distance and accuracy. The Aeroblend cover utilizes a proven 392 Dimple pattern for tour caliber trajectory.
Tester Comments: Never heard of this, A ball worth trying … Solid performer off tee and around greens at a fair price.
Nike Juice 312
www.nikegolf.com | $28/dozen
Unique Features: The Juice’s cover is softer than most distance balls, giving golfers extra feel around the greens. The 312 dimple pattern is designed for more carry and distance and perfectly spheroidal Surlyn cover embedded with hundreds of sculpted recessions controls directional agitation and wind puncture providing a higher, straighter trajectory for increased distance. A High velocity and low spin core enhances length and reduce side effects of flaring or ballooning.
Tester Comments: I’ve tried the One ball, but I get better distance with the Juice … They are very long off the tee and feel as soft as anything I’ve played. However, the softness sacrifices durability.
www.srixon.com | $40/dozen
Unique Features: The Srixon TriSpeed is a three-piece ball that combines incredibly soft feel with amazing ball velocity. Made for swing speeds of 70 miles per hour or more, the ball features a Soft Energetic Gradient Growth core designed to produce more initial velocity and a higher launch angle. The 333-dimple pattern optimizes lift and enhances carry. When added to the benefits that the Energetic Gradient Growth core provides, the TriSpeed’s distance is tremendous.
Tester Comments: Rank it with NXT or Bridgestone e6. Putts well, soft into a green,and good distance off the tee … Spin is fine when I hit it square … Excellent ball for the price.
TaylorMade Burner TP
www.taylormadegolf.com | $33/dozen
Unique Features: The HPF 1000 SpeedMantle teams with the high-energy/low compression core to limit spin off the driver, and which also teams with the company’s new proprietary Iothane cover to increase spin off the short irons. The 342-dimple configuration limits drag and optimizes launch conditions for maximum carry and distance. The company’s Low Drag Performance (LDP) aerodynamics promotes improved distance on the most common driver mis-hits, which occur on the upper portion of the clubface.
Tester Comments: Long off the tee yet spins great off short irons w/ a nice feel around the greens … skeptical about the LDP dimple claims, but I’m a believer now. Great carry, stable in the wind.
Titleist NXT Tour
www.titleist.com | $40/dozen
Unique Features: New “Staggered Wave Parting Line” is company’s entrance into hidden-seam design. The outer piece of the dual-construction core is a firm polybutadiene rubber for superior distance with soft feel on all shots. The .05-inch Fusablend cover features the new higher-coverage 392 dimple design for exceptional control into and around the green.
Tester Comments: Not the longest I tried off the tee with driver but long enough. Real nice inside 180 yards, good carry with irons and stop nicely … Great mix of value and performance … Close to a Pro V1, a little shorter but a better price.
Titleist NXT Extreme
www.titleist.com | $34/dozen
Unique Features: With a soft compression, high COR core, new higher coverage 392-dimple design and staggered Wave Parting Line, the NXT Extreme provides longer, more consistent distance, while maintaining soft feel on all shots.
A soft-compression 1.55-inch core is designed to have a high coefficient of restitution to maximize distance across a wide range of swing speeds.
Tester Comments: Good Value, nice feel, durable … The ball really pops off the driver face … Ball is responsive but not as much as the NXT Tour
www.wilsongolf.com | $19.95/dozen
Unique Features: The Wilson Fifty offers tremendous performance at an incredible value. The Nano-Tech core is 22% softer than the original and features a super-low 50 compression (hence the name) that increases spin and transmits feel, while Wilson’s flat-dimple design gives the Fifty added accuracy in windy conditions. The high ball flight and impressive stopping power of the Fifty provides the perfect combination for high-handicappers that are looking to improve.
Tester Comments: ball holds the green better than any other ball in this category that I tried … I can hit it as far as I do the “best” balls and yet the soft feel seems to give me more control.
Dunlop Sport 312 DI
www.dunlopsports.com | $19.99/dozen
Unique Features: Dunlop Sport 312 DI Golf Balls have a thin mantle that delivers more energy to the core while the low dimple pattern offers more control to help prevent hooks and slices. In addition, the solid core helps increase distance.
Tester Comments: This ball gave me more distance off the tee. My short game has improved. The ball checks up on the green and this ball has a great feel when putting … Extremely honest feel, especially around and on the green.
Nike Power Distance Golf Balls
www.nikegolf.com | $20/dozen
Unique Features: This series features a 2-piece solid core construction with a Super Flex Core that responds at impact with less sidespin and improved feel. The Long version has a 392 dimple pattern cover design for maximum wind-cutting distance and speed. The Soft has a 432 dimple pattern cover design that splits the air for long, accurate flights and the Straight a 422 dimple pattern cover design that flies high, providing maximum carry.
Tester Comments: Excellent feel and distance. Great value … I love the distance of this ball, it really does go farther. I have noticed that it feels a bit harder when putting.
www.noodlegolf.com | $21/dozen
Unique Features: The “ Impact Propulsion” core is designed to be 10 yards longer and 25% softer on shots than the previous version because of efficient energy storage. Part of the reason the core is so soft is due to the Iothane cover yet its muscular construction gives it first-rate durability and shear-resistance. The new 342-dimple configuration promotes increase hang-time, carry and distance.
Tester Comments: Very, very long and still provides good feel with control … Great feel off the tee … Best ball I tried for the value.
Pinnacle Platinum Series
www.pinnaclegolf.com | $18/dozen
Unique Features: The Platinum Distance, a longer distance companion to the Platinum Feel golf ball features a new high velocity 1.565” core formulation, resilient lower spin cover and new, high coverage 332 dimple design combination to provide golfers long, straight distance on all shots without sacrificing feel. The Platinum Feel utilizes a soft, thin cover formulation and a large 1.595” core construction as well as a high coverage 332 dimple design to offer the ultimate mixture of distance, soft feel and with outstanding control around the green.
Tester Comments: You can hit it long, hit it straight, work the ball, stop it with ease and judge your putting distance. This is not the usual Pinnacle rock … You not only hit it long, but it allows you to stay in the fairway by hitting it straighter.
Pinnacle Gold FX Series
www.pinnaclegolf.com | $18/Fifteen Ball Pack
Unique Features: As the longest Pinnacle product to date, the new Pinnacle Gold FX Long™ will appeal to aspiring long drivers, as well as value conscious recreational golfers who prioritize long, straight distance. The new, firmer, higher velocity core promotes longer distance in the FX Long. The New Pinnacle Gold FX Soft™ provides Pinnacle Gold long and straight distance, while delivering softer feel on all shots. A Soft compression core and new, softer Surlyn® cover allows for softer feel.
Tester Comments: Ball is great for slower swing speeds like me due to the low compression and the softer feel … Great value for the average golfer.
Precept Distance IQ 180
www.preceptgolf.com | $20/dozen
Unique Features: Features a new core, designed with Gradational Compression Technology that is intended to deform optimally for moderate swing speeds reducing sidespin for more on-target shots. Seamless Cover Technology with 330 dimple produces uniform dimple coverage on the entire ball surface delivering superior aerodynamics for consistency of ball flight and pinpoint accuracy.
Tester Comments: Don’t have great club head speed but get most distance with this ball … Had average bite on shots to green and lots of distance off the tee.
www.taylormadegolf.com | $27/dozen
Unique Features: The new Burner ball is engineered to deliver all of the performance qualities that the Burner name is known for, namely fast speed, tremendous distance and terrific feel. The soft core has a compression rating of 60, and the Low-Drag Performance technology dimple pattern is designed to prevent energy loss on mis-hits high on the face. Outside is an Iothane cover that’s feels so soft at impact you’ll think it’s balata
Tester Comments: This ball hits very soft yet has great distance and control. The Burner is all I am buying now … longer than the balls I had been playing, but they have a much better feel off all my clubs and especially the putter.
www.wilsongolf.com | $29
Unique Features: Wilson Staff Zip as in Zero; a zero compression core that is the softest in the game. The smallish core has the industry’s lowest compression rating. A thick Patented HPF mantle layer encases the zero compression core with a speed-generating mantle for distance and higher iron spin rates that helps ball speed. Unique flat-bottomed, shallow dimples help create a more stable, penetrating flight.
Tester Comments: The distance is very good … This ball is great, performs similar to the ProV-x at a third of the cost. Good feel and consistent on short shots around the greens and putts well.
Titleist DT Carry / Roll
www.titleist.com | $28/dozen
Unique Features: The new Titleist DT golf balls now provide golfers with new levels of distance via greater Carry or greater Roll. Based on your individual requirements, trajectory preference or course conditions, you will be sure to find a DT distance solution. The DT Carry has a large and soft 1.595” low-density core for longer distance. The Soft Surlyn cover has 252 large dimples for greater lift. The DT Roll features a high velocity, 1.565” core with 392 dimples for lower trajectory and longer distance via penetrating ball flight and greater roll.
Tester Comments: The ball is as advertised, giving me more carry with my shots … This ball flys high in the air and stays up there for quite a while.
PLAYER’S CHOICE AWARDS
Bridgestone B330 • TaylorMade TP
Titleist NXT Tour• Bridgestone e5+
TaylorMade Burner • Pinnacle Platinum • Precept Distance IQ
Titleist Pro V1 • TaylorMade TP
Titleist NXT Tour • Bridgestone e5+ • Wilson Fifty
TaylorMade Burner • Titleist DT
Bridgestone B330 • Nike ONE
Callaway HX Hot Bite • Srixon TriSpeed
Pinnacle Platinum • Noodle +
Best Overall Performance
Titleist Pro V1
Titleist NXT Tour
Precept Distance IQ