We take a look at the different golf balls put into play by the world's best male players.
What Golf Balls Do Pros Use?
There is an argument to be made that the most important part of a Tour professionals setup is the golf ball.
Not only do the best golf balls (opens in new tab) have to perform when it comes to ensuring distance, as well as the very highest levels of all-round performance in the key areas of spin and control, but they must also deliver on what a Tour player wants to feel from the golf ball.
Therefore most professionals put in extensive work when it comes to testing golf balls so they make sure that they have the model that delivers for them specifically.
Brands know this, and as such many of them make varying models to cater to different types of player.
So the question remains, what golf balls do the top male players use? We have taken a look at the top-20 below.
What Golf Balls Do Pros Use?
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Callaway Chrome Soft X
Used by - Jon Rahm (opens in new tab)
World number one Jon Rahm uses the Callaway Chrome Soft X golf ball having signed with the brand in 2021.
The X model’s design differs from the Chrome Soft in several ways. 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, and we found the X version to be more workable than the normal version.
Given Rahm's ability to move the golf ball both ways, this explains his affinity for the X model, and he has them stamped with number 10.
TaylorMade 2021 TP5x
Both Johnson and McIlroy use the new TP5x golf ball which had several design upgrades from the previous model.
Chief among which is the new Tour Flight Dimple Pattern for reduced drag and better aerodynamics, whilst the five-piece design also uses the High-Flex Material (HFM) as part of a ‘Speed-Layer System’ designed to deliver added ball speed.
It is not surprising then that both DJ and Rory are two of the longest hitter on Tour then.
The X is noticeably firmer than the TP5 model below which makes it faster and longer in the hands of these two. But another 2021 design feature is the new cover which helps create spin which is vital for all the different wedge shots Tour players have to be good at.
TaylorMade 2021 TP5
Used by - Collin Morikawa (opens in new tab)
Interestingly two-time Major winner Morikawa opts for the TP5 model.
It also has the dimple pattern and flex material we mentioned above but in our testing it was clearly softer with most clubs in the bag when compared to the TP5x.
As such we felt complete control and precision when around the greens and the ball allowed us to be more aggressive with landing spots.
We also noticed how easy it was to flight the golf ball which may explain why Morikawa uses it instead of the X version. His iron play is the strongest part of his game so it makes sense that he wants to be able to control the flight and work the golf ball more which we found to be easier with the TP5.
TaylorMade TP5 Ball Review (opens in new tab)
Callaway Chrome Soft X LS
Used by - Xander Schauffele (opens in new tab) (prototype version)
Callaway extended its Chrome Soft range for 2021 with the addition of an LS version of the X model that delivers lower spin, and American Olympic Gold medalist Xander Schauffele was quick to put it into play.
The technology here is based around distance thanks to the Dual Mantle System which helps generate fast ball speeds.
However the same soft, thin urethane cover that helps promote low spin off the driver is also able to generate higher spin when you’re swinging it slower closer to the green.
Given its lower spin characteristics, it is also harder to work than the Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X balls.
Titleist 2021 Pro V1x
Used by - Justin Thomas (opens in new tab), Brooks Koepka (opens in new tab), Patrick Cantlay (opens in new tab), Abraham Ancer (opens in new tab), Jordan Spieth (opens in new tab), Tyrrell Hatton (opens in new tab)
Featuring several players in the top-20 in the world, the Pro V1x got an update in 2021.
It features a reformulated 2.0 ZG Process Core and a softer cover, both of which are designed to combine and provide more distance without any sacrifice in feel or control.
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.
Given some of the players above that put it into play, clearly the performance is excellent and it was particularly evident when we tested it on a windy day back in February.
The strength of the ball flight that we noticed during the launch monitor testing translated into superb performance. It was clear how much distance we were able to retain when hitting into and in cross winds.
Titleist Pro V1x Ball Review (opens in new tab)
Bridgestone Tour B X Ball
Used by - Bryson DeChambeau (opens in new tab)
Bryson is not one to take any aspect of his golf gear lightly, so his use of the Bridgestone Tour B X is illuminating.
This ball is targeted at golfers who swing it very fast largely thanks to the Reactiv cover which reacts differently depending on the force of the impact.
It provides shock-absorbing properties for improved wedge spin and control, while being highly resilient on high-impact drives for more power and distance.
Titleist 2021 Pro V1
Used by - Louis Oosthuizen (opens in new tab), Harris English (opens in new tab), Viktor Hovland (opens in new tab), Daniel Berger (opens in new tab), Patrick Reed (opens in new tab), Webb Simpson (opens in new tab), Scottie Scheffler
The Pro V1 requires little explanation really and it comes as no surprise that so many top players put it into play.
Like the Pro V1x above it has the new core and higher dimple count for distance and flight consistency.
The new cover is all about greenside spin and short-game control, whilst the Pro V1 is noticeably softer compared to the Pro V1x so the feel here is as good as it gets.
From tee-to-green, it offers superb, but distinct, all round performance. We were seriously impressed with the strength and consistency of the flight, particularly in the wind.
Titleist Pro V1 Ball Review (opens in new tab)
Srixon 2021 Z-Star XV
Used by - Hideki Matsuyama (opens in new tab)
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is a Srixon staff player and as a result puts the XV into play.
The 7th generation design has a new four-piece construction and resilient inner core for ball speed and feel. It also has a new Speed Dimple pattern with deeper dimples to help in the wind and create a lower ball-flight. Our testing seemed to agree with this.
Around the greens we felt performance was good too as the coating of the ball really dug into our wedge grooves to create more spin, especially on well struck pitch shots.
Srixon Z-Star XV Ball Review (opens in new tab)
If you enjoyed this post, why not take a look at our guide on what golf shoes do pros wear (opens in new tab) as well?
A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes.
He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!
As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.
Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
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