Playing the ideal golf ball for your game can make a big difference. Here we highlight the best golf balls on the market to help you make your selection
Best Golf Balls
A golf ball is just a golf ball, right?
Wrong! In fact, that’s probably less true now than ever as all the main ball brands seek to cram as much all-round performance as possible into every model.
All the key brands have been launching new versions of their premium models for the new season, along with a number of other newcomers and next-generation models.
Features To Look Out For
At the top end of the market it’s all about getting the ball’s multiple layers to work in even better harmony to generate the flight characteristics you want in the long game without compromising feel and control.
At the other end of the market, it’s increasingly about adding as much feel and control as possible into balls primarily designed to help those with more moderate swing speeds enjoy as much distance as possible.
So what are some of the best golf balls out there? Below we have taken a look.
We’ve recently tested the leading golf balls currently available, and these are our picks of the best. All the balls here have been reviewed by our team, which means testing over multiple rounds out on the course, and this guide is updated on a regular basis to make sure it includes the latest releases.
Additionally we have lots of other golf ball guides so be sure to check those out on the Golf Monthly website.
Best Golf Balls
Titleist 2021 Pro V1 golf balls
Best On Test
+ Greater longevity and tour-validation than any other premium golf ball
+ Reformulated core and new 388 dimple count enhance distance and consistency
– Hard to track down bargain prices for golf’s No.1 premium ball model
It really is all change for the Pro V1 in its latest biennial upgrade. An all-new design promises more greenside spin, a softer feel and a higher, more consistent flight via changes to every layer.
The 2.0 ZG Process Core has been reformulated with greater distance in mind but the most eye-catching change is to the cover.
The dimple count has increased from 352 to 388 following extensive trials and testing to maximise distance and flight consistency.
A new softer, cast urethane elastomer cover promises added greenside spin and short-game control. The Pro V1 maintains a penetrating trajectory and a softer feel than the sister Pro V1x.
Available in white and high optic yellow.
Srixon 2021 Z-Star golf balls
Best For Faster Swingers
+ New slightly thicker cover brings enhanced spin, control and feel
+ Cover combines with FastLayer core for more ball speed and distance
– Only fast-speed players will reap maximum benefit from the FastLayer core
The new seventh generation Z-Star features a number of improvements on the previous model.
The 0.6mm cover is actually now slightly thicker, promising enhanced spin, feel, and control around the greens. The greenside spin on offer is fantastic and even with well-used wedges we noticed plenty of grab and stop on the second bounce.
It retains the macromolecule Slide-Ring (SeRM) material in that cover. This helps the ball to restore its shape more proficiently post-impact, absorbs impact vibrations and makes it less susceptible to damage.
The new cover teams up with a FastLayer Core that’s soft in the centre and firmer around the edges to boost ball speed and distance while keeping spin low.
The mid-flight characteristics mean the ball never balloons on you and flies very well through the wind, just as you would hope from a premium golf ball.
The ball is available in white or yellow.
Callaway Chrome Soft golf ball
Best For Short Game Control
+ Premium level performance at an affordable price
+ New softer cover for better short-game control
– Less durable than models with firmer covers
Any list of the best golf balls cannot go without the Chrome Soft from Callaway.
The latest model features a Graphene Dual SoftFast core. A larger inner core delivers the ideal high launch/low spin combination for longer drives, while the thinner, firmer outer core promotes greater durability and wedge spin.
An updated urethane cover delivers increased ball speed on full shots while providing an even softer feel around the greens for maximum control.
In our testing the performance was undeniable. Off the tee the Chrome Soft was stable in terms of ball flight, even in crosswinds so we did not lose out on distance.
When it came to approach shots any well-struck shot stopped nicely which we felt allowed us to be more aggressive with approach lines into greens.
As the name would suggest it feels soft and muted when chipping and putting, and yet we found there still to be control too. It did not jump off the face uncontrollably.
TaylorMade 2021 TP5 golf ball
Best For Distance Chasers
+ New Tour Flight Dimple Pattern improves aerodynamics and carry distance
+ Larger, more reactive core boosts ball speed without compromising softness
– Lower-launching iron flight will not be right for some golfers
The updated TaylorMade TP5 now boasts a new Tour Flight Dimple Pattern. This has been engineered for improved aerodynamics and carry distance for golfers across the ability spectrum.
This new dimple design features a unique ‘dual-radius shape’ that optimises airflow around the ball to reduce drag and therefore promote greater distance.
The five-piece design features four increasingly stiff layers wrapped in a cast urethane cover, with the High-Flex Material (HFM) introduced in the previous generation still helping to optimally convert compression into ball speed.
This new model has a large, more reactive core for more ball speed, while remaining the softer of the two models for increased greenside spin and lower launch. It is also the more workable of the two models.
Available in white and yellow.
Titleist 2021 Pro V1x golf balls
Best Tour Favourite Ball
+ New softer urethane cover for more short-game spin and control
+ Flies higher than the previous generation Pro V1x model
– Slightly firmer feel compared to Pro V1 may not be right for some golfers
The new Pro V1x features the same reformulated 2.0 ZG Process Core and softer cover as the Pro V1 for enhanced distance plus improved feel and control.
In the four-layer Pro V1x, the dual core is now surrounded by a faster, low-spinning casing layer previously used in the Pro V1x Left Dash option. This helps to add speed while lowering long-game spin.
The Pro V1x dimple count has increased from 328 to 348 for a more consistent flight that will also be higher than in the previous Pro V1x model
If you’re a real Titleist fan, check out our guide to the best Titleist golf balls too.
Available in white and high optic yellow.
TaylorMade 2021 TP5x golf ball
Used By Rory McIlroy
+ New softer cover promotes increased wedge spin and lower launch
+ ‘Speed-Layer System’ boosts ball speed via improved energy conversion
– Only faster swing speeds will get the most out of the TP5x model
The latest TaylorMade TP5x also features the new Tour Flight Dimple Pattern for improved aerodynamics, with the new ‘dual-radius shape’ dimples optimising airflow around the ball to reduce drag and therefore promote greater distance.
The five-piece TP5x also uses the High-Flex Material (HFM) as part of a ‘Speed-Layer System’ designed to deliver added ball speed via optimal energy conversion.
TP5x remains the firmer of the two models, and is faster, longer and higher-launching in the right hands. But a new, slightly softer, cast urethane cover helps it grip wedge grooves better for increased spin and a lower launch around the greens.
Available in white and yellow.
Callaway Chrome Soft X golf ball
Best For Workability
+ X model is more workable than the Chrome Soft
+ Ideal for faster swingers seeking maximum distance
– Added workability makes it less stable than the Chrome Soft model
The X model’s design differs from the Chrome Soft. Rather than having a dual core, it features two mantle layers between the core and cover.
The softer inner mantle layer combines with a firmer outer mantle to increase ball speed off the face for those with faster swing speeds, and therefore total distance.
Although it still promises high levels of greenside spin and control, it doesn’t feel quite as soft as the Chrome Soft.
Both Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X are available with or without Callaway’s Triple Track alignment system (photo below).
Callaway make so many outstanding models that we created a comprehensive best Callaway golf balls guide to help you understand the current range.
Srixon 2021 Z-Star XV golf balls
Best For Power Players
+ Four-piece construction for complete tour performance from tee to green
+ Reformulated inner core boosts speed and distance without sacrificing feel
– Only fast-speed players will reap maximum benefit from the FastLayer core
The latest Srixon Z Star XV also features that thicker 0.6mm cover for enhanced spin, feel, and control around the greens.
Spin Skin Technology, with its urethane-compound Slide-Ring Material (SeRM) coating, helps the ball dig deep into iron and wedge grooves for more friction and better control.
The Z-Star XV’s four-piece design now features a reformulated and more resilient inner core to improve ball speed and distance without compromising feel.
There’s now a 338 Speed Dimple Pattern on the Z Star models too, which improves aerodynamics and flight performance with all clubs, even in windy conditions.
Available in white or yellow.
Bridgestone Tour B XS – TW Edition golf ball
+ Reduced driver sidespin for longer, straighter drives
+ REACTIV urethane cover for extra wedge spin and control
– Maximum performance benefits only for 105+mph swing speeds
REACTIV is a smart Urethane cover that provides shock-absorbing properties for improved wedge spin and control, while being highly resilient on high-impact drives shots for more power and distance. The cover reacts differently depending on the force of the impact.
Bridgestone’s Gradational Compression core boosts both distance and forgiveness via higher initial ball speeds and reduced sidespin, particularly with the driver.
A special Tour B XS – TW Edition has been created in Tiger’s honour. It delivers the precise specifications and requirements that Woods demands, and comes with ‘Tiger’ imprinted on the ball.
A proportion of the profits from each ball sold goes to the TGR Foundation.
Wilson Staff Model Golf Balls
Best For Lower Ball Flight
+ V-COR core composition helps generate maximum velocity off the clubface
+ The R version’s unpainted finish means extra ‘grab’ on wedge shots
– Ball flight may be too low for some tastes and swing types
A new addition to this list of the best golf balls, the Wilson Staff Model is an all-new tour-calibre four-piece ball available in white and a unique, raw, unpainted finish – the R version.
At its heart lies an advanced V-COR core composition, which magnifies energy for optimum velocity and greater distance. The urethane cover’s seamless 362-dimple pattern is designed to smooth airflow around the ball for a lower flight trajectory which is ideal in the wind.
The four layers combine to promote easy shot-shaping and workability, plus a stable and reliable ball flight and excellent greenside control.
Devoid of even the tiniest of paint blemishes, the raw R model leaves nothing to chance on the aerodynamic front. The unpainted cover also means extra ‘grab’ on wedge shots for enhanced greenside spin.
Titleist AVX golf ball
Best Soft Feeling Premium Ball
+ Softer feel than the Pro V1 will appeal to some
+ Scores highly in the durability stakes
– Lower launch and spin on full shots won’t suit all
The Titleist AVX is an alternative premium ball offering to the ever-popular Pro V1 models. Its high-performance ‘distance with soft feel’ credentials stem from proprietary core, cover and aerodynamic technologies.
Where it differs from Pro V1 is that it offers a lower spin and launch as well as a softer feel. This makes it the ideal premium Titleist ball for those who launch it too high or spin their irons and wedges too much.
The AVX’s unique catenary aerodynamic design (the dimples do look very different) delivers a piercing, low trajectory and a consistent flight on all shots.
We tested this ball on a few rather windy days and the performance was still excellent.
The flight was reassuringly stable, and it cut through the wind nicely without losing much yardage into the draft. It also felt like you maintained the control and spin into the greens.
We should also mention the durability was good too.
Honma Future XX golf ball
Best For Wide Range Of Golfers
+ Six-piece construction optimises all-round performance
+ Inner layers are cleverly engineered to assist golfers of varying swing speeds
– The promised towering ball flight may not suit all golfers
Honma’s flagship Future XX ball boasts an incredible six-piece design engineered to provide more distance and short-game spin than any previous Honma ball.
The first three layers incorporate a highly resilient core – suitable for varying swing speeds – a soft second layer and a slightly firmer third layer. This combo encourages high levels of energy that translate into faster ball speeds and more distance.
The fourth and fifth layers become gradually firmer for consistent spin. The soft urethane cover then completes the package by offering high levels of short-game spin and improved feel.
Mizuno RB Tour golf ball
Best For Windy Conditions
+ Superior performance in the wind courtesy of the C-Dimple
+ Ultra-soft cover for greenside feel and control
– Relative lack of tour presence for a premium-priced ball
The Mizuno RB Tour golf ball features the brand’s new drag-reducing Cone Profile Dimple (C-Dimple). These cone-shaped dimples help keep fast-flowing air close to the ball’s surface for improved performance.
This is particularly noticeable on iron shots where reduced drag generates a more penetrating flight and extra carry distance. A high-traction urethane cover then comes in handy around the greens.
The RB Tour model pictured here offers low driver spin and will suit more downward attack angles.
An RB Tour X version is also available, offering mid/low driver spin for those with flat-to-upward attack angles.
Honma TW-X golf ball
Best Priced Premium Ball
+ Attractive price for a good all-round performer
+ Soft urethane cover means good greenside spin and control
– Low penetrating flight may not suit all
The high-velocity core in the three-piece Honma TW-X ball promises a blend of high ball speeds with good short-game control. A high-repulsion mid-layer creates low driver spin, while its soft urethane cover helps deliver more greenside spin.
The 326 dimples have been engineered and arranged for a low penetrating ball flight. This makes the TW-X particularly good in windy conditions.
It also produced good distance in the long game thanks to the way the first and second layers – a new combination core and a high repulsion ionomer – work together.
Overall the TW-X feels more premium than the price suggests and is a great value ball for the golfer with a faster swing looking for good greenside control.
Volvik S4 golf ball
Best For Durability
+ Dimple design promotes consistent stable ball flight
+ Highly durable VU-X urethane cover
– Lacks the same level of tour presence as other premium balls
Volvik may be less well-known than other premium ball brands, but the company has been making golf balls for 38 years.
The latest Volvik S4 features a VU-X urethane cover for excellent durability and spin control. It is engineered to generate low driver spin, yet high wedge spin for maximum all-round performance.
The S4, available in white or green, is a 95-compression four-piece ball targeting tour-level swing speeds of 95-120mph.
There is also a three-piece S3 model – an 85-compression ball suitable for swings speeds of 85-105mph in white or orange.
Vice Pro Plus golf ball
Best Value Premium Ball
+ Very good value premium ball option
+ Extra-thin urethane cover for feel and short-game spin
– Very fast swing speeds may not reap maximum benefits (Pro Plus model will be better)
The new Vice Pro ball’s High Energy Speed Core (HESC) is engineered for higher ball speeds and more driver distance.
It has a three-piece construction with 318 large dimples for a stable trajectory. It’s most suitable for moderate-to-high swing speeds.
There is also four-piece Pro Plus model, which launches lower than the Pro to give faster swingers a more penetrating flight.
Vice’s ‘stick to the green’ (S2TG) technology promises excellent levels of control in both models. Both are available in white, lime or red.
Vice are not as well known as some other golf ball brands so to get fully informed on the current range have a read of our best Vice golf balls guide. Additionally if you want more top quality golf balls without the premium price, take a look at our guide on the best value golf balls too, because you can get previous generation models of many of the balls we selected above.
Factors to consider when buying golf balls
Soft or firm? – The best premium golf balls come in alternative versions that spin slightly less for players who prefer a firmer feel or more control off the tee. Try both from various distances to find your preference.
Cover material – Urethane-covered balls offer the best spin control and feel but do cost more. Experiment to see if you notice enough of a difference to justify the extra cost, or whether the best mid-price golf balls might be an option.
Long game or short game? – Which aspect of the game is most important to you? Do you want to get as much distance as possible out of your golf ball or would you prefer a model that allows your short game to flourish thanks to improved feel?
Well we have created guides for both. If you value the former then check out our guide on the best distance golf balls.
Or, if you put a real premium on feel, perhaps our best soft feel golf balls guide might be a good next step.
Price – No buying guide would be complete without at least mentioning the price factor. Thankfully most brands make models at different price points so you can rest assured there will be a top-performing model for you, however much you want to spend.
A dozen balls will probably top out at about £40-£45 a dozen, but there are some very good golf balls that come in between £20-£25 a dozen too so don’t be put off too much by a significant drop in price.
Additionally another tip we have when it comes to golf balls is to practice with the same golf ball you play in competition because it will improve feel for a more reliable short game.
If you enjoyed this guide on the best golf balls, browse the Golf Monthly website for all our latest equipment news and video reviews.