Which golf balls are the best ? ( full guide )

Which golf balls are the best

Golf balls are the main element of this sport and it is essential to know them well since they are not all the same. The quality of the golf balls determines the result that the player can obtain. Its core is the most important part and its compression and construction are purchase criteria to consider.

The golf ball must have a diameter of at least 42.67 mm and a maximum weight of 45.93 g, be asymmetrical and reach a maximum speed of 76 m / s. Modern balls are made up of a coiled or liquid rubber cord core, which gives them elasticity, and an outer layer of plastic. On its surface you can see between 250 and 450 small dimples, depending on the ball, which provide stability during its trajectory through the air. The more dimples it has, the more stability it will have during flight. However, in very windy occasions, the use of balls with fewer dimples and greater weight is recommended, since they allow reaching greater distances.

The cover of golf balls are made of different materials, but what matters most is the number of layers which have, since that determines the best suited to the player. Among these layers, we find:

  • One layer: these are simple balls commonly used for practice.
  • Two layers: these balls are recommended for beginners or amateurs, since they allow reaching a longer distance and are harder.
  • Three layers: They are less resistant to impacts, but provide greater sensations to the player.
  • Multilayer: Combines distance, sensitivity and durability.

In some golf balls, a layer is added between the cover and the core, called the mantle, the purpose of which is to prevent the unwanted rotation of the ball due to the deformation that is generated after the hit.

When we talk about the construction of the balls , we distinguish between different types and characteristics: 

  • Liquid core balls have a small plastic heart, filled with liquid and wrapped in rubber bands. They use synthetic (ceramic), urethane or elastomer (rubber) lining for the cover. These balls are aimed especially for professional players.
  • Solid core balls have a solid rubber core, with an inner layer between the center and the cover. The cover is usually made of urethane (a compound derived from carbamic acid). These balls are mostly used by low handicap golfers.
  • Two-ply solid core balls have a large solid rubber inner core. The material of its cover can be surlyn or ionomer (plastics). These balls are aimed at players with medium or high handicaps looking for durability and distance.
  • The multilayer balls have a solid rubber core, with an inner layer between the heart and the cover. Its cover is made of urethane and is designed for players with low handicaps whose goal is distance.

Regarding the stiffness or compression of the ball core, this is more relevant to the strongest blows, as is the case of the exit in each hole. In a fast swing, the compression of the ball should be high. Thanks to the compression, the ball will also last longer by not losing its best performance during flight after each hit.

There are different levels of compression, 70, 80, 90 and 100. Your choice will depend on the speed of the swing, for example, for a very fast swing speed, the best golf ball will be the one with a compression of 100.

Compression is only important in 3-layer balls, since the two-layer balls hardly suffer deformation, even when hit with the driver.

The number of balls that are needed in a tournament or training will depend on the level of the player, the more inexperienced, the more balls available will be needed. The same happens with color, for players who are starting in this sport it is easier to find the balls the more striking their color is.

A player can choose the ball that best suits him according to his handicap level, since these will depend on one or other characteristics. In the following table we will make a brief summary of the type of ball to choose according to the level of handicap and the characteristics of each of them:

  • High handicap: Two-layer balls are used, with a liquid core and a resistant cover. These balls generate little spin (spin) and their flight is longer. 
  • Medium handicap: Three-layer balls are used, with a urethane (plastic) cover. They allow better control on short shots and have a blanket between the core and the layers.
  • Low handicap: Multilayer balls are used, with a low compression core, hard mantle and soft cover. They favor precision and control of the shot, but reduce the distance. Its disadvantage is its high price.

In Europe and the United States, over 400 million balls are lost a year, which can take about 1000 years to decompose, generating toxicity and metals in the environment. That is why they have developed a type of recycled balls whose advantages are not only for the environment but also for the players.

These balls are perfect when looking for quality at low cost since they are reusable. These are balls rescued or recovered from the water in various golf courses that contribute to recycling.

They are usually sold in boxes of about 100 golf balls of various brands, compressions, number and more, so they can be used to practice with all of them.

For golfers who are new to this sport, it allows them to have high quality balls at a low cost and for professionals it lowers the cost of balls for training.

Golf balls also need basic cleaning maintenance after each game or training for optimal performance. It is convenient to clean them with a cloth or small towel previously moistened. If stains resist, they can be washed with dish detergent or a specific bleach for golf balls. If in this way, the stains continue without disappearing, it is possible to immerse the balls in water with ammonia, bleach or white vinegar for approximately 3 hours. Once this time has passed, it will be enough to wipe them with a damp cloth.

The brand is synonymous with quality, since a Nike or Mizuno ball will not be the same as one purchased in any store. When we talk about the brand, we not only refer to the quality and duration of these balls, but also the design, the materials and that they follow the rules and the guarantee.

The large companies that produce sports equipment have been forced to evolve as this sport has been doing as well, getting to equip themselves with the best features in order to meet the demands of the players. The most recognized golf ball brands worldwide are:

  • Wilson: It is one of the most popular companies in the manufacture of golf balls and clubs, apart from producing articles for many other sports.
  • Nike: This firm also produces material for all kinds of sports. It is also immersed in the manufacture of golf items, thus offering high quality and endorsement by great players.
  • Callaway: It is a Californian company founded in the early 1980s, whose golf items are very well received.
  • Srixon: It is an American brand dedicated to the manufacture of golf accessories to distribute to the main international markets.
  • LinksChoice: After starting as a family business, it has become one of the most recognized brands of recycled golf balls. 
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Not because it is a branded ball does it have to be more expensive, nor does it have to be the best because it is a more expensive ball, but in general, if a ball is more expensive it is usually because it has higher quality, better materials and a high performance.

Nowadays there is a great variety of golf balls, from biodegradable to nocturnal (which only serve to illuminate, but not to play) so you must know them very well before investing in them, since once you are accustomed to a type of balls, it is better not to change.

TYPES OF BALLS 

Depending on the type of ball we can find recreational and advanced balls and each of them has a specific use on the golf course.

Recreational golf balls are for players who enjoy swinging low. These balls are designed with a solid outer layer and a soft inner layer, greatly reducing their cost.

Advanced golf balls are for players whose swing is faster, since they are made with two or three extra layers, making their interior much firmer.

There is yet another type of ball, called “fun balls”, which are not suitable for playing at a professional level.

Depending on the level of play or level of the player, it will be better to acquire some balls or others. For example, for beginner players who want to gain distance, hard balls or balls with two or more layers will be the best option, as will balls with a greater number of holes. For regular players looking for more control and distance at the same time, three-piece mixed balls are more flexible, especially those made of urethane or those with few dimples. However, for the most intensive players, the best balls will be those of soft materials to increase their performance.

To know the distances, a laser rangefinder is used , which is an extremely precise optical device, which sends a beam of light to a target and returns to its starting point to provide an exact measurement of its path. This serves to know not only the distance of the ball, but also allows you to adapt the strategy of the next shot.

THE BEST GOLF BALLS 2021

best golf balls for distance

1ST PLACE: TITLEIST PRO V1

Titleist balls have greater longevity and course validation than any other premium golf ball. Its reformulated and new core features 388 dimples that improve distance and consistency (the previous version had 352.

The 2.0 ZG Process Core has been reformulated with increased distance in mind, but the most striking change is its cover, which features a softer cast urethane elastomer shell, thus giving more spin on the turf side. a smoother feel, higher, more consistent flight and greater short-game control.

This ball is in the high-optical white and yellow colors. 

best golf balls for high handicappers

2ND PLACE: SRIXON Z-STAR

The new model of the Srixon brand golf balls has a slightly thicker cover (0.6mm more than the previous version) that provides better spin, control and feel. This is combined with the FastLaver core for more speed and distance when hitting the ball. The new cover retains a slip ring in its material, macromolecules (SeRM) that helps the ball regain its shape more efficiently after impact, absorbing vibrations and making it less susceptible to damage.

Only high speed players will get the maximum benefit from the FastLaver core.

It is available in the colors white and yellow.

brand golf balls

3rd PLACE: CALLAWAY TOUR SOFT

This model features a larger Graphene Dual SoftFast core that offers an ideal combination of high launch with low spin for longer drives, while the outer core is thinner and firmer and promotes greater durability and wedge spin.

Its updated urethane cover provides increased ball speed on full shots while providing an even smoother feel around the greens for maximum control.

golf balls

4TH PLACE: TAYLORMADE TP5

The new and improved model of the TaylorMade TP5 features a new Tour Flight dimple pattern, designed to improve aerodynamics and loading distance for golfers of the entire skill spectrum. This new design features a double radius shape that optimizes airflow around the ball thereby reducing drag and thereby promoting greater distance.

Its five-piece design features four increasingly rigid layers wrapped in a cast urethane shell, with the High-Flex (HFM) material introduced in the previous generation still helping to optimally convert compression to ball speed.

It is available in white and yellow.

soft titleist golf balls

5TH PLACE: TITLEIST PRO V1x

The new Pro V1x features the same reformulated 2.0 ZG Process Core and a softer deck as the Pro V1 for greater distance and better feel and control. Its dual core is surrounded by a faster, low-spin shell layer that helps increase speed while reducing spin on long games.

In the dimple count we find 348, compared to 328 of the previous model, which provides a more consistent and high flight.

It is available in high-optical white and yellow.

softest golf ball

6th PLACE: TAYLORMADE TP5ix

This model also features the new Tour Flight Dimple pattern to improve aerodynamics, with new dual-radius shaped dimples, which optimize airflow around the ball to reduce drag and promote greater distance.

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The five-piece TP5x also uses High.Flex (HFM) material as part of a velocity layer system designed to provide additional ball speed through optimal energy conversion.

It is available in white and yellow.

size of a golf ball

7TH PLACE: WILSON DUO MODEL

The Wilson Staff model is a brand new four-piece tour caliber ball available in white and with a unique raw and unpainted finish: the R version. Its V-COR core magnifies power for optimal speed and increased power. distance. In its urethane cover you can see 362 dimples, designed to smooth the flow of air around the ball so that its trajectory is lower.

The four layers combine to promote easy shaping and handling of shots, as well as stable and reliable ball flight and excellent field control.

This model does not have paint on its deck, which means additional grip on wedge shots to improve the turn on the green.

size of golf ball

8TH PLACE: BRIDGESTONE TOUR B XS – TW

This range is the most used by professionals.

This model enjoys a REACTIV cover, made of smart urethane that provides shock absorbing properties to improve the turning and control of the wedge, at the same time that it is highly resistant in high impact blows for more power and distance. The cover reacts differently depending on the force of the impact.

Bridgestone’s pleasant compression core increases distance and forgiveness through higher initial ball speeds and reduced side spin, particularly with the driver.

A special edition Tour B XS – TW has been created in honor of Tiger, offering the specifications and requirements demanded by Woods and featuring the word “Tiger” imprinted on the ball. 

softest golf balls

9TH PLACE: HONMA TW-X

Its high-speed, three-piece core promises a combination of high speeds with good control in short games. Its high repulsion interlayer creates a low driving effect, while its 326 dimpled urethane cover helps produce more spin on the green.

straightest golf balls

10TH PLACE: TITLEIST AVX

Unlike the Pro V1, this ball offers a lower spin and throw and a smoother feel, making it ideal for those who throw it too high or spin their irons and wedges too much.

used golf balls

11TH PLACE: VOLVIK S4

This is one of the least known, but it falls within the premium balls. Its VU-X urethane cover gives you durability and low driver but high wedge turn control for maximum performance all the way around.

The S4 is available in white or green, 4-piece, 95 compression targeting tour-level turn speeds of 95-120mph.

The previous model, the 3-piece S3, featured 85 compression for swing speeds of 85-105 mph in white or orange.

12TH PLACE: VICE PRO PLUS

what is a golf ball made of

The Vice Pro’s high-energy speed core is designed for higher ball speeds and greater distance from the driver. It is composed of three pieces with 318 large dimples for a stable trajectory. 

The Pro Plus model consists of four pieces and throws lower than the Pro to give faster swingers a more penetrating flight.

Vice’s “stick to the green” technology promises excellent levels of control on both models.

They are available in the colors white, lime or red.

Some Tips And Advices

The most important

  • The choice of golf balls and knowledge of their characteristics play a key role in the performance of the golfer.
  • When buying golf balls it is necessary to be attentive to all the parts that compose it, especially to know the core.
  • The dimples, or alveoli, are critical to the flight and trajectory that the golf ball will travel during play.

What are the characteristics of the official golf balls?

Modern balls are made from polyurethane and can have up to three layers for added stability. Its core is composed of a rolled rubber cord, which favors its elasticity. The outer layer is usually made of plastic materials that vary in density. The surface has small dimples, between 250 and 450, which provide stability for your flight.

Within the market we can find a great variety of golf balls. However, for professional use they must meet certain official requirements:

  • Its weight must be less than 45.93 grams.
  • Its diameter, at least, must reach 42.67 millimeters.
  • It must be able to reach a maximum speed of 76 meters per second.
  • The golf ball must be asymmetrical.

In the event that the sport is enjoyed as leisure or instead of an amateur, it is not necessary to comply with the established rules, although it is recommended that they comply with the following characteristics:

  • Its weight must not exceed 60 grams.
  • Its diameter should be between 35 and 45 millimeters.
  • It must reach a maximum speed of 80 meters per second.
Official featuresRecommended Features
Weight less than 45.93 gramsWeight less than 60 grams
Diameter should measure 42.67 millimetersDiameter should measure between 35 and 45 millimeters
Maximum speed of 76 meters per secondMaximum speed of 80 meters per second
It must be asymmetric

How many parts does a golf ball have?

Golf balls have two main parts, the core and the cover. Some golf balls, the so-called multilayers, add under the cover a thin layer that surrounds the core called the mantle. These are its most important characteristics:

  • Core: It is the center of the ball. This heart is usually solid rubber, although it can also be liquid-filled plastic.
  • Cover: It is the outermost part of the ball. It is characterized by its dimples or alveoli, which play a fundamental role in the flight of the ball.
  • Mantle: It is a thin layer that is located between the core and the cover. Its purpose is that the blow does not generate a deformation and cause an unwanted turn in its flight. It is usually made of ceramic, metal, glass or carbon, among others.

What are the types of golf ball covers?

Manufacturers use different materials and levels of firmness depending on the type of golf ball. According to an academic project, modern covers for this product are usually made of surlyn, urethane, or elastomer  .

Surlyn is made up of a group of thermoplastic resins. Its popularity is due to the fact that it is characterized as a hard and synthetic material, it is the most economical and durable of the three. Generally found in two-piece golf ball covers. Its disadvantage is that it reduces the effect of flight.

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Urethane is a soft and strong synthetic material with higher spin characteristics because the clubface can “grip” the ball a little longer. Urethane covers are mainly used on multi-layer balls. This material is usually the softest of the three mentioned.

Elastomer is the softest cover option. This less durable and more expensive material covers many of the premium high performance balls. It is usually found in both two-piece and multilayer golf balls.

CoverMain featureDisadvantage
SurlynDurabilityReduces the flying effect
UrethaneEnduranceIt is the softest
ElastomerSmoothnessIt is the most expensive

What do the numbers on the golf balls mean?

Up to three types of numbers can be distinguished on golf balls. Those single-digit numbers are used to identify the ball, and are usually found under the brand of the product.

If you find a number with two digits, they refer to the compression of the golf ball. It is not very common to find these figures on the balls, but they do on their packaging.

Finally, the three-digit numbers, the least common to find, refer to the number of dimples that golf balls have. The dimples help the flight of the ball, and this information is very useful for athletes.

Some professional golfers personalize their golf balls with their lucky number.

How to properly clean golf balls?

Golf balls get very dirty while traveling around the playing field. For this reason, it is necessary to clean them after each game. Improper cleaning of the golf ball can influence our game. To avoid reducing your performance and not damaging the ball, it is advisable to follow these three simple steps:

  1. The first thing to do is wash the ball in hot water with mild soap, this prevents dirt from adhering to the polyurethane.
  2. With the help of a soft bristle brush, we rub the surface to remove any remaining dirt.
  3. Finally, and very importantly, we must dry the ball, thus removing both dirt and soap residues.

If there is not much dirt, it is enough just to rub a damp cloth on the ball. You know, any imperfection in a golf ball is going to destabilize your shots and can affect your performance.

What to take into account when buying a golf ball according to my skills?

If you are just starting out in the world of golf, it is very likely that you use many balls per round. In contrast, more experienced and professional players use fewer golf balls. Therefore, before making any decision, you must take into account your level as a golfer.

If you are an amateur or are taking your first steps in golf, it is recommended that you invest in the quality of your game and use recovered or cheaper golf balls. On the other hand, if you are already a professional on the field, the ideal is that you use good quality balls and that you periodically change them so as not to waste them.

Purchase criteria

When choosing a golf ball, you must consider your level as a player and the characteristics of your game. Below, we have included the most important aspects that you should take into account before buying a golf ball so that you can choose the product that best suits your needs. They are as follows:

  • Layers
  • Components (edit)
  • Dimples
  • Level of understanding

Layers

The main aspect of golf balls is the number of layers they have. This determines which ones can best be adapted to our characteristics as a player. It is recommended that the higher the level of the golfer, the more layers the ball should have. Four options can be distinguished:

  • A layer: They are simple balls that are often used in practice.
  • Two layers: They are recommended for beginner level players or amateurs. They allow to reach a considerably wide distance and are harder.
  • Three layers: These are balls for players with an almost professional level. They are characterized by offering a better feeling to the golfer.
  • Multilayer: They are used by the most experienced and professional players. It combines an ideal balance between distance reached, sensitivity to the hit and durability of the flight.

Components

Golf balls are usually classified by two types of components, soft component balls and hard component balls. This classification is a combination of the number of layers that the balls have and the materials that form them. These factors affect, positively or negatively, the performance of each player.

Soft balls allow you to travel longer paths, thus increasing your distance.

However, this type is more difficult to control. They are those balls with one or two layers, and their use is more frequent among amateurs and beginners.

The hard balls enable greater control of the players’ strokes, this influences the speed of the flight. They are those balls with three layers, or the so-called multilayers. Its use is common among the most experienced players and professional golfers.

In addition to these two classifications, there are mixed models in which different technologies are combined to offer balls with greater control and power, although their use is relative according to the purpose of the golfer.

Advantage providedNumber of layersRecommended use for
Soft Ballslonger trajectoriesone or two layersamateurs and beginners
Hard Ballsgreater control in the blowsthree layers and multilayersexperienced and professional players
Mixed Ballsmore control and powervaries by modelrelative according to the player

Dimples

The cavities in the golf ball cover help control your golf course, making it more precise.

The so-called dimples or alveoli play a fundamental role in the game. Its mission is to provide stability to the ball in its flight. The aerodynamic force of the golf ball makes it the fastest sports ball with the longest travel distance  .

However, not all balls have the same number of dimples. These vary by manufacturer, brand, weight, and size. It is advisable that the amount ranges between 250 and 500. The function of the alveoli is to reduce the impact of the ball that collides with the air and increase its travel. Air slides through the dimples, helping it continue its flight and reach a greater distance.

Level of understanding

This characteristic is essential in multilayer balls. There are various levels of compression in golf balls. You will notice its effect in the sensation that the blow produces when making the flight of the ball. The stiffness of the ball core is a factor to take into account, its compression determines the tolerance to impacts.

We are going to refer to three levels of compression: low (80 or less), medium (90) and high (100 or greater). The level of compression increases as the level of the golfer and the force with which he hits the ball increases. If you have a low level of compression and the blow is very strong, the impact could damage the golf ball.

Professionals and heavy hitters, looking for maximum precision, choose high compression values. They know that the harder they hit the ball, the more it will compress and distort on impact. The rest of the players (medium and high) usually choose a compression ball 90.

Resume

Ultimately, the golf ball market offers an enormous amount of options. Each model is designed for different types of golfers, amateurs and professionals, according to their levels and characteristics as players.

We have seen throughout this article different criteria for choosing golf balls, from the composition of their parts, to the level of understanding of each type. When choosing a model, it is essential that you choose the one that makes you enjoy this sport and allows you to feel comfortable when playing. Do you already know which golf ball you prefer?

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