Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers

Our guide to the best balls for high handicappers covers a range of options. Read more here.

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Our guide to the best balls for high handicappers covers a wide range of options whether distance, accuracy, feel or price are the main requirements

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers

The general assumption is that high handicappers don’t swing it as fast or hit it as far as lower handicappers.

Often that is true, but we will all have played with high handicappers who hit it miles, with their power perhaps betrayed by wayward hitting or poorer greenside skills.

This makes coming up with a list of the best golf balls for higher handicappers a slightly trickier task than it perhaps appears at first glance. It means, for example, that any such list can’t consist exclusively of balls primarily designed to go further.

But for many high handicappers, that is, indeed, one of the most pressing requirements, so our list does feature a number of the best distance golf balls, along with others offering greater playability closer to the greens.

There are also balls on the market that seek to neutralise the damaging effects of sidespin to a degree by spinning less. The slice is the most common high handicapper’s affliction, so anything that might stop the ball heading quite so far right would be great for many.

It could see them in play a little more often and slightly further up the hole too, as slice spin is the avowed enemy of distance!

Inconsistency is another hallmark of many higher handicappers’ games. That brings us to our final, and perhaps most important, consideration for many. Price!

If you’re still losing a lot of balls, you’ll be wanting to keep the cost down, much though you may hanker after the best premium golf balls.

For this reason, our guide to the best golf balls for high handicappers features models that reside some distance from the very pinnacle of the golf ball price spectrum.

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications
RRP: £23/$22.99
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 3 (white, yellow, red)
Reasons to buy
+The least expensive option from golf’s premier ball brand+Performs particularly well on full iron shots
Reasons to avoid
-Not the spiniest ball around the greens

The latest TruFeel incarnation promises improved driver distance compared to its predecessor.

Titleist has achieved this by reformulating the core to include more of the speed-generating materials within. As a result, driver ball speeds are up, while also keeping spin low to maximise distance.

The cover’s aerodynamic properties have also been improved to further assist with long-game distance. Beginners eager to play golf’s premier ball brand now have an improved Titleist all-rounder at their disposal at an affordable price.

Available in white, optic yellow and matte red.

Specifications
RRP: £34.99/$34.99
Constrution: Three-piece
Colors: 2 (white, yellow, also available with Triple Track)
Reasons to buy
+The longest soft-feeling golf ball in Callaway’s current range+More efficient energy transfer promotes added ball speed and wedge spin
Reasons to avoid
-Alignment markings won’t suit those who prefer a less fussy look

The latest version of Callaway’s ERC Soft is packed with new technology and features designed to make it Callaway’s longest soft-feeling ball.

Its multi-material construction creates a more efficient energy transfer between layers for extra ball speed as well as more wedge spin around the green. The High Speed Mantle layer then works with both core and cover to further enhance both.

It shares the same hybrid cover featuring a Paraloid Impact Modifier as Callaway’s Supersoft model.

The distinctive Triple Track red and blue markings remain as a proven alignment aid, especially for those also armed with one of Odyssey’s Triple Track putters.

Available in white or yellow.

Bridgestone e12 Contact golf ball

Specifications
RRP: £24.99/$29.99
Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 3 (white, yellow, red)
Reasons to buy
+New Contact dimples allow more contact at impact for better energy transfer+Slightly lower spin than previous e12 models helps reduce sidespin
Reasons to avoid
-It’s all about straightness so won’t be as workable as some balls

For 2021, Bridgestone has replaced its e12 Soft and e12 Speed balls with one new model – the Bridgestone e12 Contact.

The key to performance is a new and distinctive Contact Force dimple, which features a visible raised area in the centre.

This raised area allows for 38% more contact between clubface and ball at impact than traditional dimples, improving core activation for more efficient energy transfer.

The end result is improved ball speed, distance and accuracy with every club, plus a little more grip and spin around the green thanks to the increased levels of contact.

Available in white, matte green, matte red, and matte yellow.

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers

Titleist Velocity golf ball

Specifications
RRP: £28/$27.99
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 4 (white, green, orange, pink)
Reasons to buy
+The cover on the latest Velocity model promises improved feel+There are colour options to suit all tastes
Reasons to avoid
-A little more expensive than many distance golf balls

The latest Titleist Velocity model features a larger, higher-speed LSX core. This boosts ball speed on all full shots while keeping spin down for optimum distance.

The new cover has been designed to ensure that nothing is sacrificed on the distance front, while introducing a greater element of feel for improved greenside playability.

The aerodynamics of the Velocity’s dimple design promote a high-flying iron trajectory for greater stopping power.

Available in white or matte pink, green and orange.

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications
RRP: £26.99/$24.99
Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 3 (white, yellow, red)
Reasons to buy
+A very good performer in the wind+Shallower U-shaped dimples decrease drag and increase lift for longer carries
Reasons to avoid
-Not quite as much spin control as the sister Tour Response model

The Soft Response, along with the Tour Response model, is one of two TaylorMade balls sitting beneath the premium TP5 product.

Soft Response is significantly less expensive than Tour Response - it is included in our best value golf balls guide - and has been designed with moderate swing speeds in mind. It offers all-round performance with a softer feel, courtesy of a soft but durable ionomer cover.

The ball’s Extended Flight Dimple pattern encourages decreased drag and increased lift to keep the ball up in the air longer at lower spin rates.

Specifications
RRP: £26.99/$N/A
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 2 (white, yellow)
Reasons to buy
+One of the best low to mid-price balls for many years now+The low-spin core makes it particularly effective in the wind
Reasons to avoid
-Not the softest-feeling cover, especially off the putter face

Srixon’s AD333 was first launched in 2003 and is now into its tenth generation. It has long been a great option for those who want as much all-round performance as a lower budget allows.

Given how long it has been around, it is unquestionably one of the best Srixon golf balls and the new generation continues that.

A new FastLayer Core maximises speed and keeps spin low by being softer in the centre and then progressively firmer towards its edges.

Closer to the green, Srixon’s Spin Skin technology and Slide Ring Material (SeRM) increase friction at impact to maximise short-game spin. Available in white and optic yellow.

With the combination of performance and value, we also think the AD333 is one of the best golf balls for beginners too.

Specifications
RRP: £14.99/$N/A
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 4 (white, yellow, orange, red)
Reasons to buy
+A very attractively priced option from a premium golf brand+The A1’s super-soft core is designed to reduce sidespin and therefore slice spin
Reasons to avoid
-The ball may feel a little too soft off the clubface for some

Japanese brand, Honma, sits at the super-premium end of the club market. But its new A1 is one of the best golf balls for high handicappers because it is a low-cost option.

The ball has been designed to reduce sidespin to potentially neutralise the severity of slices a little. It achieves this via a super-soft core that is lighter and around 20% softer than in Honma’s D1 ball.

Available in white, yellow or orange plus a multicolour pack option including pink.

Specifications
RRP: £14.99/$N/A
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 1 (white)
Reasons to buy
+Delivers on the promise of extra speed and distance+Offers impressive durability
Reasons to avoid
-Lack of control around the greens will take some adjustment.

As we mentioned above, the best golf balls for high handicappers have to often help with distance without costing an arm and a leg. The Rife RX5 Distance ball certainly offers this, while also providing very good value for money.

It has a two-piece construction - an ionomer cover and high-energy core which combine to offer a firm feel off the face which was definitely noticeable when compared to premium models, but a strong ball flight with plenty of roll was also very evident.

We also enjoyed the durability as despite several visits to the trees during testing, there weren't any significant scuffs or scratches that we could see.

Of course the focus on distance does mean short-game feel is slightly compromised which is to be expected with a two-piece ball. However it is still did produce some check on the greens once we got used to it.

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers

Volvik Vivid golf ball

Specifications
RRP: £29.99/$32.99
Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 8 (white, blue, red, green, purple, orange, yellow, pink)
Reasons to buy
+Promotes a high-launch, low-spin driver flight which will help many high handicappers+Some may find that the vibrant colour options enhance visibility
Reasons to avoid
-The matte finish may not be to all tastes

The Volvik Vivid promises more distance off the tee at low to mid swing speeds. Its Nano Bi high-energy, resilient core generates a low-spin, high-launch combo.

Volvik says that the glare-resistant matte finish can minimise distractions and therefore improve concentration.

Choosing wisely from the vivid colour options could help you follow the ball better through the air and lead to fewer lost balls.

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Mizuno RB 566 golf ball

Specifications
RRP: £25/$35
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 3 (white, yellow, orange)
Reasons to buy
+Extra hang time helps keep the ball airborne for longer+RB566 is particularly effective at mid to low swing speeds in warm conditions
Reasons to avoid
-The highly durable cover is not one of the very softest

The large, high-energy core, unique 566-dimple cover and soft-compression design hold the keys to the Mizuno RB 566’s excellent distance credentials and prolonged ball flight.

The core generates a straighter, more stable ball flight. The 566 micro-dimple design then delays the rate of the ball’s descent to help you eke out more yards

Available in white, yellow or orange.

Srixon Distance Golf Ball, srixon golf ball in red packaging, srixon distance packaging

Srixon Distance Golf Ball

Specifications
RRP: £17.99/$N/A
Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 1 (white)
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for 80+mph swing speeds+High penetrating ball flight
Reasons to avoid
-Durable cover is very hard

Another Srixon model to make this guide is the new Distance golf ball.

A model that seems to sell very well everywhere, the ball has a number of design features to help players hit it further. First it has a softer compression compared to the previous iteration, which helps deliver distance through more velocity and higher launch.

Srixon also reduced the dimple count with 108 fewer, which is to reduce drag and improve aerodynamics, especially in windy conditions.

The durable cover is engineered for greater cut-proof durability as well.

How we test golf balls

Our testing procedure for golf balls, as well as all other golf gear, revolves around several key commitments;

  • If we say we’ve reviewed a product, that means we’ve used it out on the golf course and hit it on a launch monitor where applicable.
  • Manufacturers can’t pay for a good review – we tell it how we see it.
  • We will always endeavour to use the latest and best equipment to assess performance.

In terms of specifics for golf balls, we use several members of the Golf Monthly team, who play at a variety of levels, to put golf balls to the test out on the golf course.

The entire team are regular golfers and therefore balls are used over a number of rounds because that is how you can test for things like distance, feel, durability, spin and so on.

We then seek to be as honest and insightful as possible in reviews and guides to help you be more informed.

What to consider when buying golf balls for high handicap players

If you are a high handicap player and want to find the best golf ball for you, what are some of the things you need to consider? Well this section is here to help...

Distance or feel? - The area of the game that higher handicap players usually need the most help is in getting the ball in the air and in terms of distance. Therefore many models above have simple constructions which are designed to create a high launch, stay in the air longer, and feel a bit harder at impact. Models like the Srixon Distance, and Volvik Vivid for example.

However there are also players who struggle in terms of feel so we have also included some models above in this regard too, such as the Titleist Velocity or Callaway ERC Soft.

Whichever part of the game you most struggle with, there is a ball to help.

Spin - Linking with the above point many models above are going to spin less too which will help destructive shots become less so. For example the Bridgestone E12 Contact helps reduce sidespin which means it won't curve as much after a slice strike. That could mean fewer lost balls, and you are further down the golf hole.

Durability - Golf balls also have to be durable too especially for higher handicap players. They tend to get into more trouble in terms of sand, bushes, trees and so on, and therefore a good golf ball will be resistant to cuts and scrapes here. Many of the models above have firmer covers to help in this regard.

Color - No longer do you have to plump for a white golf ball because now you can go for greens, reds, yellows, or if you want the Volvik Vivid, just about any color you can think of. If you struggle to see the white golf ball in the air or when it lands, why not try a different color?

Budget - Finally be aware of how much you can or want to spend on golf balls. If you want the cheapest dozen possible with a degree of performance then a couple of models will suit you above, whereas if you want to spend a little more then we have got you covered there too.

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