Top 12 Golf Balls for 2023: An In-Depth Review and Buying Guide
Choosing the right golf ball is crucial for success in golf as it is the only piece of equipment used on every shot. Golfers of different skill levels and swing speeds can find a ball that suits their style and needs, with options ranging from soft balls with low compression to firmer balls with high compression. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best ball. This article provides a review and comparison of different golf ball brands and budgets, based on personal testing and consumer feedback.
The golf balls that we recommend as the best choices:
Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball
The Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball is rated as the #1 ball due to its all-around performance, popularity, and suitability for all golfers. It has a soft feel with medium compression and is designed to perform well from tee to green. It has a three-piece construction, with a new SoftFast Core and a soft urethane cover.
The ball employs Callaway’s Precision Technology and a HEX Tour Aero dimple design for better overall performance. Golfers find the latest generation to be an improvement over previous versions, delivering better greenside control, feel, and distance.
Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball
The Titleist Pro V1 has been regarded as the top ball in golf for decades and is used by many of the world’s best players. It has a high compression rating of around 90, suitable for driver swing speeds of 90 mph and above. The Pro V1 has a three-piece construction that delivers big distance, low long-game spin, a penetrating trajectory, and unmatched greenside spin control.
The latest version features a spherically tiled 388 tetrahedral dimple design for increased distance and a consistent ball flight. The Pro V1 has a soft feel with excellent durability and is available in white, yellow, and custom personalization. However, it is recommended for skilled golfers and may not be suitable for beginners or high handicappers.
TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball
The TaylorMade TP5 is a successful Tour ball used by professional golfers like Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa. It has a high compression rating of around 85, making it ideal for mid to high swing speeds. The TP5 has a focus on feel, control, and greenside spin, while also providing excellent performance from tee-to-green, including fast ball speeds off the driver, a mid-high launch, medium iron spin, and high spin with wedges.
Its five-piece construction includes a Tri-Fast Core with four increasingly stiff layers and a dual-spin, ultra-soft cast urethane cover. Other features include High-Flex Material and a new Tour Flight 322 Dimple Pattern. The TP5 is available in white, yellow, and with custom personalization. It delivers Tour-level performance but with slightly less speed and distance off the tee compared to the TP5x.
Callaway Supersoft Golf Ball
The Callaway Supersoft golf ball is an excellent choice for golfers with slower swing speeds due to its low compression rating of 38, which allows for easy compression and generates significant distance. Despite its name, it is also fast, durable, and provides high launch, low long-game spin, and excellent spin control around the greens.
The Supersoft has a two-piece construction with a HyperElastic SoftFast Core and a refined Hybrid Cover that maximizes clubhead contact for improved wedge control. HEX Aerodynamics reduce drag and increase lift for more carry, distance, and stopping power. It is highly rated and popular among golfers, with an affordable price compared to other balls. The Supersoft MAX is also available, which has a larger diameter for easier hitting.
Srixon Z-STAR Golf Ball
The Srixon Z-STAR golf ball is a popular choice among golfers with high ratings and has been on the Golf Digest Hot List. It is designed for maximum distance off the tee with a penetrating flight and mid launch, progressively softer feel as you move to the short irons, and a great deal of spin, control, and accuracy around the greens. The ball has a high compression rating of 90, recommended for a swing speed of at least 90 mph.
Its three-piece construction includes a reformulated FastLayer DG Core, a thin thermoplastic urethane cover, and a new Spin Skin+ coating. The Z-STAR has a 338 Speed Dimple pattern that promotes a penetrating launch and increases lift for maximum carry distance. It is a premium ball comparable to the Titleist Pro V1 in terms of distance and short game precision, and it has excellent durability.
Vice Pro Plus Golf Ball
Vice Golf is a relatively new company founded in Germany in 2012 that produces high-quality golf balls. Their Pro Plus ball is one of their most successful, earning a gold medal on the Golf Digest Hot List and being featured in the golf.com performance golf ball recommendation list. The Pro Plus is designed for golfers with high swing speeds (110+ mph) and has a four-piece construction with a larger High Energy Speed Core, a thin Surlyn inner mantle, a thicker HPF outer mantle, and a thin cast urethane cover.
Other features include a durable 336 dimple design, stick-to-the-green (S2TG) technology, and a KIL alignment aid. The Pro Plus surpasses the more expensive Titleist Pro V1x in ball speed, carry, and total distance and produces less driver spin. It is durable and provides tremendous distance and Tour-level spin around the greens for golfers with fast swing speeds.
Bridgestone TOUR B RX Golf Ball
The Bridgestone TOUR B RX is a three-piece golf ball with a medium compression rating of around 75, designed to offer Tour-level performance and stopping power into greens for golfers with slower swing speeds. It features a proprietary REACTIV iQ SMART cover that reacts to the force of impact for optimal performance and a gradational compression core to generate higher initial ball speed and reduce side spin for more forgiveness.
The Dual Dimple pattern minimizes drag and promotes an efficient ball flight, and the Seamless Cover Technology allows for maximum dimple coverage. The ball is played in competition by LPGA pro Lexi Thompson and offers both distance and control around the greens.
TaylorMade Distance+ Golf Ball
The TaylorMade Distance+ is a two-piece golf ball that prioritizes speed and distance. It has a soft REACT Speed Core that is designed for easy compression, making it suitable for golfers with slower swing speeds. The ball has a moderate compression rating of 77 and a soft ionomer cover that reduces spin and enhances durability.
Other features include a 342 aerodynamic dimple pattern and a built-in alignment aid. Despite its focus on distance, the Distance+ still provides a good amount of spin and control around the greens. It’s an affordable option that delivers comparable performance to high-end golf balls.
Titleist Velocity Golf Ball
The Titleist Velocity golf ball is designed for maximum speed and distance with a mid-range compression rating of 65. Its two-piece construction includes a high-speed LSX core and NaX+ cover for reduced spin and greenside playability.
The ball has a 350 octahedral dimple design for a high and consistent trajectory. Golfers love the Velocity’s massive distance and firm feel, but the low spin and firmness make it challenging to control around the greens.
Wilson Zip Golf Ball
The Wilson Zip is an affordable, two-piece golf ball with a low compression rating of 50. It features a patented Zero Compression Core for a soft feel and a Surlyn cover that increases spin with irons and wedges.
The ball’s unique 302 PhD aerodynamics dimple pattern reduces drag and creates a stable flight. Despite being a value ball, it performs well both off the tee and around the greens, and it retains its soft feel in colder temperatures.
Srixon Soft Feel Golf Ball
The Srixon Soft Feel is a two-piece ball that provides softness, distance off the tee, and spin control around the greens. It has a 60 compression rating suitable for low to moderate swing speeds. The latest iteration has a FastLayer Core and a thin ionomer cover.
The ball has Srixon’s 338 Speed Dimple pattern that reduces drag and increases launch. It is available in different colours and also in a Lady variant. The Soft Feel is Srixon’s most affordable ball, and its overall performance is praised, making it very popular among budget-minded golfers.
Volvik New VIVID Golf Ball
The New VIVID from Volvik is a golf ball known for its bright, matte finish colors that make it easy to spot on the course. This two-piece ball has a compression rating of 75, making it ideal for those with a swing speed between 70-100 mph.
The resilient Nano Bi Core maximizes distance off the tee, while the matte ionomer cover with a 322 dimple pattern ensures a consistent and stable flight. The New VIVID is available in a range of colours, including red, orange, blue, green, pink, yellow, and purple, and custom options are available for those who want to personalize their golf balls. Golfers appreciate the New VIVID’s visibility and solid performance on the course.
Golf ball compression:
Compression rating is the ability of a golf ball to compress and ranges from 30 to 120. Lower compression balls require less club head speed to achieve optimal distance. Swing speed should be as close as possible to the compression rating, but it’s not always accurate. Heat makes a ball more compressible, while cold makes it less so. It’s better to have a higher swing speed than a lower compression rating, as too low of a compression can result in a loss of distance and erratic ball flight. Low compression balls are better for seniors, high handicappers, and women, while skilled golfers tend to benefit from high compression balls.
Golf ball cover material:
Two main types of golf ball covers are ionomer and urethane. Ionomer covers are durable, fly further and cost less. Urethane covers have a softer feel, spin more and provide greater control with shorter irons. Recent technology has improved urethane covers to gain the benefits of ionomer covers, but they remain pricier and may not provide as much distance for slower swingers. Golfers with slower swing speeds or less skill tend to prefer ionomer covers, while those with higher swing speeds and more skill prefer urethane covers.
Golf ball colours:
Coloured golf balls are an often-overlooked option for golfers. High-visibility golf balls have the same composition as standard white balls but come in various colours and matte finishes, which can reduce glare from sunlight. The purpose of coloured golf balls is to make it easier to see and locate the ball on the course. Orange balls are ideal for sunny conditions, yellow balls for low-light conditions, and green balls for overcast conditions. Choosing a coloured ball can be beneficial if you have vision problems or tend to lose sight of the ball, as it can make it easier to follow and improve your confidence in hitting it.
Golf ball dimples:
Golf ball dimples reduce drag and increase lift, resulting in more distance, and are essential for the aerodynamic performance of modern golf balls. Most golf balls have between 300 and 400 dimples, which can have different shapes and arrangements. Some brands employ aggressive “dimple-in-dimple” designs. However, it can be difficult for the average golfer to predict the ultimate effect of a specific dimple configuration, so it is best to look at the manufacturer’s information about the dimples and ensure that they meet your needs and goals.
Golf ball pricing:
Price is important when shopping for golf balls. Although some people may not want to spend £40 or more on a dozen balls, there are affordable options with similar performance to top brands. Cheaper golf balls may have simpler constructions, less feel, sub-optimal energy transfer, or inferior performance, but this can vary. The guide includes quality golf balls across different budgets. Buying recycled balls on eBay can also save money, but it’s recommended to only look at balls with AAA or above condition ratings.
When looking for a golf ball, it’s important to consider your skill level and swing speed. Slower swing speeds should use low-compression balls like Callaway Supersoft or Srixon Soft Feel, while higher swing speeds should use medium or high-compression balls like Srixon Z-STAR or Titleist Pro V1. Experimentation is key to finding the right ball, and customer reviews can also provide helpful insights.