Best Winter Golf Ball 2023 - top models for the cold weather

There are a number of factors to ponder when choosing the best golf ball for cold weather. We explain what to consider and suggest some of the best options

Best Winter Golf Ball
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Winter Golf Ball

What is the best winter golf ball? This is an interesting, and not entirely straightforward, question. All balls, including the very best golf balls (opens in new tab) on the market, behave and perform differently at a variety of temperatures. You’ll often hear tour pros say the ball wasn’t flying so far this week in the cold or was going further in warmer temperatures.

Golf balls do lose a little distance in the cold because the air is denser, which increases lift and drag each shot. That means the ball will fly higher but drop a little shorter. If the golf ball itself gets very cold, this can affect the characteristics of its materials resulting in lower initial velocity off the clubface too. There are differing views as to the best winter golf ball, though. One school of thought is that balls with a softer compression might help you hit it a little further in the cold; the other is that a harder ball might carry further through the air and provide more distance overall when the fairways are soft - as they often are in the colder months.

In this guide, we’ve pooled together several balls from some of our other guides that we believe will be beneficial for playing in colder months of the year. Some of these balls are also listed on our guides to the best value balls (opens in new tab), the best distance balls (opens in new tab) and the best soft-feel balls (opens in new tab). We take into account a variety of factors, one of which being visibility. For example, some balls will be easier to track and find in gloomier weather or when there’s frost on the ground than others. Our guide to the best yellow golf balls (opens in new tab) will come in handy here, and don’t forget there’s also now a much wider choice when it comes to golf ball color than there used to be.

Then there’s the small matter of greenside performance. If you go for a firmer ball for more carry distance, you might be concerned about its effect on your short game. But don’t forget – conditions are often softer and wetter in the colder months, and it may actually help you get the ball to the hole more easily on chips and long-range putts. Only you can ultimately decide which way to go!  

Best Winter Golf Ball

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Best low-compression golf balls

Titleist Tour Speed 2022 Golf Ball Review

(Image credit: Future)
Excellent for year-round golf

Specifications

Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 2 (White, Yellow)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent all-round performer 
+
Sub-premium price point
+
Similar feel to tour-quality balls
+
Excellent distance from drivers and irons

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't provide as much spin as Tour quality models

Titleist’s second-generation Tour Speed golf ball is an impressive update to an already high-performing mid-priced golf ball. The Tour Speed delivers in all areas of the bag, but in the long game, it can really help improve performance for those looking to gain more distance. It costs around $10 to $15 less per dozen than Titleist’s Pro V1 golf ball (opens in new tab) and provides very similar levels of performance and feel to the Tour models. 

The Tour Speed features a high flex casing layer and reformulated core that gives high speed and low spin on longer shots. We gained an extra 2 mph of ball speed over the previous Tour Speed model, with the ball also launching a lot higher than its previous model. Well-struck shots were rewarded with strong ball flights that hung in the air and the ball didn’t feel too soft off the clubface in comparison to other mid-priced urethane golf balls. 

Overall, it is a high-performing golf ball that is a great year-round golf making it a great option for golfers looking to improve their performance without stretching to a more premium price. For that reason, the Titleist Tour Speed is one of the best value golf balls (opens in new tab) on the market.

callaway supersoft golf ball and putter

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Very low compression and a very soft feel

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 6 (White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Pink Red)

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal all-around ball for those with average swing speeds
+
New hybrid cover boosts distance and durability without sacrificing feel
+
Ball’s construction and cover are engineered for straighter shots

Reasons to avoid

-
The low-compression core won’t suit those with faster swing speeds

Callaway’s popular low-compression Supersoft ball is aimed at those with average swing speeds seeking a soft feel. The main enhancement was to the cover from its predecessor was a new hybrid design featuring what Callaway calls a Paraloid Impact Modifier. Without going into the full technical details of that, the promised benefits are improved distance and durability without compromising feel and short-game control. It also has a soft compression core to boost ball speed and create a high-launch, low-spin combination. 

In our testing, we definitely felt this was the case and we also saw some receptiveness with approach shots, especially longer irons and hybrids. On the green one of the big features, we liked was the black background on the Supersoft name which provided a great alignment tool. Additionally in the winter if you see yourself wanting to use a color other than white, the Supersoft comes in four other colors including yellow, matte orange, green, pink and red. This is perhaps one of the softest balls in the Callaway range (opens in new tab) and feels great when struck in cold temperatures.

Srixon ultisoft golf ball and putter

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Particularly good choice for slow to average swing speeds

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 1 (White)

Reasons to buy

+
Has a good feel off the face on and around the greens
+
Offers genuine long-game benefits at slow to average swing speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
High trajectory will help some golfers but won’t be right for all
-
Only one color

The Srixon UltiSoft is the brand's lowest-compression and softest golf ball ever (opens in new tab)courtesy of an innovative new core. This makes it an ideal choice for some golfers in the cold as that low compression can help to maximize energy transfer at impact for extra long-game distance. The 324 Speed Dimple pattern reduces in-flight drag for a penetrating trajectory which is something that will come in handy in the cold.

Although it’s designed primarily with low to mid-swing speed golfers in mind, during testing, we’ve found it to perform pretty well at faster swings speeds too. With the driver we noticed it delivered a good degree of distance as well as a tighter dispersion, whilst in the short game it was more than soft enough to inspire confidence. Additionally, having used the ball over a number of rounds, its durability was very good too, meaning value for money. The only negative here really is that it only comes in a white colorway.

TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 Golf Ball Review

(Image credit: Future)
A particularly strong performer in the wind

Specifications

Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 3 (white, yellow, red)

Reasons to buy

+
Performs particularly well in the wind with a stable ball flight
+
Carries a long way thanks to shallower U-shaped dimples

Reasons to avoid

-
Not quite as much spin control as the Tour Response

The Soft Response and the more expensive Tour Response model sit below the premium TP5 product in TaylorMade’s ball range. The price difference between the two is significant, and with Soft Response readily available for much less than its RRP, it’s a worthy addition to this best cheap golf balls guide given the all-round performance on offer, especially with the new 2022 version.

Thanks to the durable ionomer cover, we thought the feel off the putter face was sublimely soft and the performance with the wedges in the wind and rain was excellent as well. Admittedly those players with faster swing speeds may lose some distance but if your driver head speed is around the 90mph mark, you may well find the long game performance is good. Overall, given the performance on offer and lower price point, the Soft Response should definitely be a ball to consider from this guide. 

Wilson Staff Duo Optix ball

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Wilson Staff Duo Optix ball

For those who like a matte finish

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Color: 4 (matte yellow, red, green. orange)

Reasons to buy

+
Low compression makes it ideal for more moderate swing speeds
+
Decent feel around the greens for an inexpensive ball

Reasons to avoid

-
Matte finish and color in the yellow model make it hard to see the dimples in certain lights

Thanks to a smaller polybutadiene core, the latest Wilson Staff DUO Optix promises more distance and accuracy than ever along with an enhanced feel around the greens. In our testing, we found it more than held its own in most departments and had a noticeably softer feel than many balls at this price for greenside recovery work.

The matte finish certainly eliminates sun glare as promised, but our yellow test model did prove a little elusive in among the autumn leaves when we strayed from the fairway, so one of the brighter options might be wiser at that time of year. The finish and color also gave it a slightly disconcerting dimpleless appearance over the ball in duller light, but these are minor issues relative to the performance on offer at this price.

Bridgestone e12 Contact golf ball

(Image credit: Matthew Moore)
A fantastic option for those wanting less side-spin

Specifications

Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 4 (White, Yellow, Green, Red)

Reasons to buy

+
Dimple design encourages straighter flight and less sidespin
+
Contact Force dimples transfer more energy at impact
+
Gradational soft core promotes better spin around the greens

Reasons to avoid

-
Straighter ball flight doesn’t help golfers shape shots
-
Less workability than similarly priced balls

For 2021, Bridgestone replaced its e12 Soft (opens in new tab) and e12 Speed balls (opens in new tab) 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 center. 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 and distance, good things to have in the winter, whilst it also offers a little more grip and spin around the greens. Available in white, matte green, matte red, and matte yellow - it might not offer the top-level performance of the Bridgestone Tour B balls, but it's not far behind. To take a look at the full range, check out our guide on the best Bridgestone golf balls (opens in new tab)

Inesis Soft 500 golf ball

(Image credit: Decathlon)

Inesis Soft 500 golf ball

Great price and a wide range of color options

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 6 (White, Yellow, Orange, Matte Pink, Matte Green, Matte Red)

Reasons to buy

+
Low compression helps slower swinger generate more energy and ball speed
+
You get a lot of golf balls for your money

Reasons to avoid

-
Only claims to offer moderate grip around the greens

This Inesis Soft 500 two-piece ball from Decathlon has a low compression, which helps those with more moderate swing speeds to optimize their distances. Inesis are renowned as one of the best value golf product manufacturers on the market, delivering excellent products including some of the best budget rangefinders (opens in new tab), for a great price. Despite its name, in our testing we haven’t found it to rank among the very softest-feeling balls, but it remains eminently playable around the greens.

Perhaps the biggest attraction, though, is its price – not much more than your average lake ball dozen to play with new golf balls. The color palette here is impressive, and you’re sure to find something among the three standard and three matte options that will really stand out when there’s a hint of frost on the ground or visibility is poor.

Mizuno RB566 Golf Ball

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Engineered to maximise hang time for more distance

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 3 (White, Yellow, Orange)

Reasons to buy

+
Extra hang time keeps the ball in the air longer for added carry
+
A very good option at mid to low swing speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Although the cover is highly durable it’s not one of the softest

Our final low compression pick is the Mizuno RB566, a ball with excellent distance credentials because of its ability to prolong ball flight. A large, high-energy core coupled with a unique 566-dimple cover and a soft-compression design hold the keys to performance here. The core helps to generate a straighter, more stable ball flight while the 566 micro-dimple design, featuring clusters of tiny dimples around the bigger ones, helps to delay the rate of descent to squeeze out a few more yards.

On testing with a driver, we noticed a significant change in ball flight. The RB566 flew high and straight, with less right to left shape. It’s fair to say it straightened our tester's ball flight and gave him the confidence to swing more freely. Around the green it felt soft and produced a nice click, as well as quick grab on mid-range pitches and full wedge shots. We also thought durability was good and overall the extra flight and carry you get with this ball would make it an excellent option in Autumn and Winter when ground conditions are much softer. 

Firmer cover balls

TaylorMade Distance+ Golf Ball

(Image credit: Future)
One of the best on the market for out-and-out distance

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 2 (White, Yellow)

Reasons to buy

+
Highly durable scuff- and shear-resistant cover
+
New ‘plus’ alignment markings help you aim better on the greens and off the tee

Reasons to avoid

-
This is primarily a distance ball so feel and control are not its strongest suits

'Speed and distance' is the name of the game in TaylorMade’s Distance+ ball, making it undoubtedly a worthy inclusion in this list. It achieves these via its REACT Speed Core and an aerodynamic 342-dimple pattern that delivers low-drag, high-velocity performance through the air.

One of the best golf low spin golf balls for those looking for distance (opens in new tab), the soft ionomer cover provides a reasonable degree of greenside feel, but more importantly, it’s also highly durable with excellent scuff and shear-resistant properties making it great for those that want to make their golf balls last longer. The final piece of the jigsaw is one of the best alignment aids of any ball - a new cross-shaped design that helps you line up and aim properly on putts and also tee-shots.

Titleist Velocity 2022 Golf Ball

(Image credit: MHopley)
Added stopping power via a high-flying trajectory

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 4 (White, Green, Orange and Pink)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent for distance
+
Nice firm feel
+
Good value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Low spin design reduces control around green

The Titleist Velocity golf ball has always been renowned for the distance it can deliver off the tee and this continues with the latest design, thanks to a couple of tweaks and reformulations. Titleist has made the core of the ball a little firmer which is to help generate more speed on shots, whilst the NaZ+ ionomer cover has also had a makeover. It has a new formula for an enhanced feel and it also has a new octahedral pattern with 350 dimples for a high flight with a little more consistency.

The result? A golf ball that will give distance in any weather. Compared with the older Velocity, with the driver the ball did fly higher and carried 5 yards further whilst the performance with a seven-iron was very similar. The spin was very low which was great for distance but it must be said the feel is compromised here which might not be so bad when you can't feel your hands in the cold anyway! The ball is available in four vibrant colors as well. 

srixon distance ball and packaging

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Our top pick

Specifications

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

The Srixon Distance golf ball is one of the most popular options in the brands range of premium quality golf balls (opens in new tab). As each generation goes by Srixon implements little updates with this new model boasting a softer compression than the previous model. This is to help deliver optimum distance and a higher launch angle for a penetrating ball flight.

The dimple count is down significantly too (108 fewer), which Srixon says will reduce drag and increase lift for better performance in all wind conditions. Our tester did see a good increase in distance and penetration of the air in windy conditions so these claims seem to stack up. High handicap players will also enjoy the durable cover which is engineered for greater cut-proof durability making them a great value golf ball too.

Snell Get Sum Golf Ball in front of Snell packaging and boxes

(Image credit: Future)

Snell Get Sum Golf Ball

One of the best value golf balls around

Specifications

Construction: 2-piece
Colors : 1 (Yellow)

Reasons to buy

+
A fantastic golf ball for distance
+
Excellent value
+
Very easy to flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't offer the best control around the greens 

If you're looking for a golf ball that will maximize distance and consistency off the tee then this offering from Snell is a great option. Coming in at excellent value too, the Get Sum golf ball is perfect for individuals looking for a high-performance golf ball that won't cost them a bomb. 

Made from a soft Surlyn material, the Get Sum golf ball is designed to help players get the ball up in the air more easily. It also spins less than many other offerings on the market, to help you strike the ball straighter and further. It is a no-nonsense golf ball that might not offer a lot of control around the greens, but will certainly help beginner golfers improve their long game. Check out our guide on the best distance golf balls (opens in new tab) for more options that will help you tee it high and let it fly. 

This Wilson Velocity Distance Ball really does gain you yardage

(Image credit: Future)
More balls for your money with this 15-ball pack

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 1 (White)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value for those starting out
+
Dimple pattern enhances power
+
Great distance all-round
+
Very durable

Reasons to avoid

-
Cover may feel too hard on putts

Our penultimate pick in this guide on the best winter golf ball is the Velocity Distance from Wilson. This low-compression Wilson ball promises extreme distance through a hard ionomer cover material that optimises trajectory for maximum yardage and roll. And from our testing, we can vouch that this ball certainly delivers. The enhanced aerodynamic dimple pattern really does add to the power potential from the tee. These balls are very durable and won't mark up easily, even when it bounced off the cart path. Although the Wilson Velocity Distance is a low-compression ball overall, its mid-compression core introduces an element of greenside playability too.

The Velocity Distance is also up there as one of the best value golf balls (opens in new tab) on the market, thanks to the three extra golf balls you'll find in the box. While most other brands provide only 12, we were surprised to find 15 in the Wilson Velocity Distance package. Overall, it is the perfect golf ball that can help recreational golfers reach higher distances off the tee.

Honma TW-X golf ball with white background

(Image credit: Honma)
Represents excellent value for a good all-round performer

Specifications

Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 2 (white, yellow)

Reasons to buy

+
Great all-round performance on offer here for the money
+
Good greenside spin and control courtesy of a soft urethane cover

Reasons to avoid

-
Low penetrating flight means it won’t suit all

The high-velocity core in the Honma TW-X ball (opens in new tab) generates high ball speeds with good short-game control, with the mid-layer acting to keep driver spin low. The 326 dimples have been designed and positioned to promote a low penetrating ball flight so this ball is a good performer in the wind and colder conditions.

Overall, the TW-X feels more premium than the price suggests and is a great value ball for faster-swinging golfers looking for good greenside control too. Of the selection of balls Neil Tappin was able to test on Trackman, this was the lowest-spinning of all – 2,133rpm of driver spin at 112mph with a carry distance of 271.9 yards.

Pinnacle Rush golf ball and packet pictured

(Image credit: Future)
Best for all abilities

Specifications

Construction: Two-piece
Colors: 1 (white)

Reasons to buy

+
Great distance
+
Nice feel off the face
+
15-ball packs add to the value

Reasons to avoid

-
Greenside spin is almost non-existent
-
May be better options for cheaper

The Pinnacle name has long been associated with good-value distance golf balls and the brand's latest edition, the Rush, is no exception. Its high-energy core drives the performance of this golf ball, which generates faster ball speeds with every club. When testing, we found that this ball delivered high-quality distance straight away with both our drivers and our iron shots into the greens. It ball offers a nice high flight and doesn't feel clicky or loud as you might expect an out-and-out distance ball to feel. 

An icosahedral dimple design, comprising 332 dimples in a durable ionomer cover, promises a consistent, powerful ball flight with more than a hint of feel. It is quite firm on the clubface and won't dazzle on approach shots or around the greens, but that isn't this ball's MO. You know what to expect and it produces exactly that - in spades.

How we test golf balls

Here at Golf Monthly, our highly experienced team of testers play a lot of golf in different conditions throughout the year. While our Digital Editor Neil Tappin (opens in new tab) heads up golf ball reviews on our site, most of the Golf Monthly team have been working in the golf industry for more years than they care to remember, so have a wealth of experience to offer. Through our rigorous testing procedures (opens in new tab), our collective goal is to test every golf ball model on the market as soon as it becomes available to us, putting in the hours in all weathers out on the golf course, the practice ground, the short-game area, the practice bunker and the putting green. 

We want to get an idea of how each ball performs in all areas of the game so we can tell you what its strengths and weaknesses are, allowing you to make an informed choice about your next golf ball purchase. Whenever possible, we will also seek to acquire launch monitor data for a more detailed analysis of each ball model's performance. Specifically, when it comes to yellow golf balls, we put each ball through its paces on the range and out on the course. We try and assess the difference between these golf balls compared to other colored golf balls on the market, with a view to ensuring that these balls can provide great value and have as many performance enhancing features as other balls on the market. 

What to consider

Perhaps the most technical piece of equipment in golf is the golf ball. Brands are innovating all the time to see how they can make their golf balls carry further, spin more and help the modern-day golfer shoot lower cards. For that reason, there is an awful lot of technology crammed into the average ball, whether that's in terms of the ball's dimpled casing or its construction. That means there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing your next box of golf balls and that can sometimes be quite overwhelming for players who are relatively new to the game. To help you purchase the best winter golf ball, we've set out a few points below that you should bear in mind when you head down to your local golf shop.

1. Soft or firm?

The best premium golf balls (opens in new tab) come in alternative versions that spin slightly less for players who prefer a firmer feel or more control off the tee. We recommend you try both kinds of feel from various distances to find your preferred feel. Particularly when it comes to wet weather golf, you may want to consider how the feel of the golf ball might change in colder conditions. 

2. Cover material

Urethane-covered balls offer the best spin control and feel but do cost more. Experiment with each to see if you notice enough of a difference to justify the extra cost, or whether the best mid-price golf balls (opens in new tab) might be an option. Again, as the temperature can have an impact on the ball, it's best to test each type of ball that you want to use to see how that golf ball responds when you play it. 

3. Long game or short game? 

Which aspect of the game is most important to you? Are you looking for maximum distance or something that allows your short game to shine around the greens?

If you value the former then check out our guide to the best distance golf balls (opens in new tab); if you put a real premium on feel, perhaps our best soft feel golf balls (opens in new tab) guide might be a good next step.

4. Color/visuals

Are you very much a classic white ball player, or someone open to playing something a little different as the golf ball world evolves? There's more choice than ever in this regard and if you are reading this guide, chances are you want a slightly different color or look to your golf ball.

5. Budget

No buying guide would be complete without at least mentioning budget. Thankfully most brands make models at different price points and you can rest assured there is decent performance on offer across the price spectrum. It is also worth considering that personalized balls cost a little more money. 

Getting the right golf ball for your needs can sometimes be a tricky task, but don't fret. Here at Golf Monthly, we've done the leg work and are delighted to share with you our research and knowledge on the best golf ball deals (opens in new tab) on the market. Whether you're looking for the best soft feel golf balls (opens in new tab), the best golf balls for slow swing speeds (opens in new tab) or even the best glow in the dark golf balls (opens in new tab), we've got you covered with our extensive product guides. 

FAQ's

How does cold weather affects golf ball distance?

There has been a lot of research by many people and brands around this question. The main way cold weather affects distance is in the golf ball not traveling as far because the air is denser, and there is additional drag on the ball. According to Titleist research, a golfer will experience an approximately 1.5 percent drop in distance for every 20-degree drop in temperature. If you carry your driver 250 yards, that 1.5 percent drop equates to 3.75 yards.

According to Trackman, the difference is approximately one yard of carry for every 10-degree change in temperature. Additionally, it should be noted that the cold weather can also impact how far the ball goes because of how your body has reacted to the cold, and how wearing more layers can limit movement throughout the swing. This can also impact distance. 

Should you use a different golf ball in winter?

That depends on personal preference. If you feel like you need a little more distance in the cold weather due to the softer ground, then perhaps look for a slightly firmer, lower spinning ball to help you carry the ball further. 

How do I know what golf ball is best for me?

That is about trial and error. Testing a range of golf balls out on the course that are attributable to your skills as a golfer is the only way you will figure out which ball is best for you. Perhaps if you're a high-handicapper or a beginner then a game improvement ball may be best. But if you're looking to break into single figures then a performance golf ball may be the right option for you.

TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 Golf Ball Review

(Image credit: Future)
A particularly strong performer in the wind

Specifications

Construction: Three-piece
Colors: 3 (white, yellow, red)

Reasons to buy

+
Performs particularly well in the wind with a stable ball flight
+
Carries a long way thanks to shallower U-shaped dimples

Reasons to avoid

-
Not quite as much spin control as the Tour Response

The Soft Response and the more expensive Tour Response model sit below the premium TP5 product in TaylorMade’s ball range. The price difference between the two is significant, and with Soft Response readily available for much less than its RRP, it’s a worthy addition to this best cheap golf balls guide given the all-round performance on offer, especially with the new 2022 version.

Thanks to the durable ionomer cover, we thought the feel off the putter face was sublimely soft and the performance with the wedges was excellent as well. Admittedly those players with faster swing speeds may lose some distance but if your driver head speed is around the 90mph mark, you may well find the long game performance is good. Overall, given the performance on offer and lower price point, the Soft Response should definitely be a ball to consider from this guide. 

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

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.