By Dan Parker
As the best in the men's game descend on Augusta National, we take a look at the most popular golf balls at the Masters
The Most Popular Golf Balls At The Masters
While a lot of amateur golfers like to play with whatever ball they may have found in a bush that week, the Tour professionals at this week's Masters making choosing their ball a science.
Of course many are contracted to use such balls, but it is still interesting to see which variants, colours and numbers are being used out at the Masters this week.
Most of these balls are new for 2021 and if you're looking to add a bit of consistency to your game, picking one ball and sticking it can really help with distance control and ball flight.
Let's take a look at what's on show at the Masters this week.
Titleist 2021 Pro V1 golf balls
The self-titled #1 ball in golf is called that for a reason and a whole host of players at this year's Masters has been using
It really is all change for the Pro V1 in its latest biennial upgrade too. An all-new design promises more greenside spin, a softer feel and a higher, more consistent flight via changes to every layer.
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.
Callaway Chrome Soft X golf ball
Used by Callaway staffers John Rahm and Xander Schaufelle to name a few, the Chrome Soft X golf balls are also a very popular choice on Tour.
The X model’s design differs from the standard 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.
The Chrome Soft X is also available with Callaway's Triple Track alignment tool on the ball. You may have spotted Phil Mickelson using this at the Masters this week to help with his putting alignment.
TaylorMade 2021 TP5 golf ball
Used by the likes of Collin Morikawa, 2020 Masters winner Dustin Johnson and occasionally by Rory McIlroy too (he has been seen using the TP5x before), the TaylorMade TP5 is a popular ball with TaylorMade staffers and some non TaylorMade players like Rickie Fowler.
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.
This new model has a large, more reactive core for more ball speed, while remaining softer than the TP5x for increased greenside spin and lower launch. It is also the more workable of the two models.
Srixon 2021 Z-Star XV golf balls
These golf balls have been most notably used by Shane Lowry at the 2021 Masters with his distinctive clover pattern stamped onto the ball.
The latest Srixon Z Star XV 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.
Titleist 2021 Pro V1x golf balls
The other #1 ball in golf, alongside its sister ball the ProV1, the ProV1x is used by the likes of Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson to use a ball that is slightly harder than the ProV1.
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.
TaylorMade TP5 Pix golf balls
Used by Matt Wolff, who was disqualified from the 202 Masters after the second round, these are the same as the TP5 golf ball but with some useful added visual aids.
The system is called ClearPath alignment, which comprises 12 pixellated, triangle-shaped graphics that are strategically placed to provide immediate feedback as to how the ball is rolling.
It does this by the inside of the triangles being dark orange, framing the TaylorMade logo and sidestamp. Get the ball rolling perfectly and they should form two straight lines once in motion tracking towards the hole. The use of two contrasting colours on the graphics supposedly makes them more visible in different light conditions.
Rickie Fowler also uses these golf balls.
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