Best Golf Ball For 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 golf ball for cold weather
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Best Golf Ball For Cold Weather

What is the best golf ball for cold weather? This is an interesting, and not entirely straightforward, question.

All balls, including the very best golf balls on the market, behave and perform differently at different 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 so the ball flies slightly higher and 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 appear to be differing views as to the best balls for cold weather, 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 will potentially carry further through the air, giving you more distance overall when the fairways are soft (as they often are in the colder months).

Here, we’ve pooled together balls in both camps from some of our other guides, including the best value balls, the best distance balls and the best soft-feel balls.

Other factors include visibility - which balls will be easiest to track and find in gloomier weather or when there’s frost on the ground. Our guide to the best yellow golf balls will come in handy here, and don’t forget there’s also now a much wider choice when it comes to golf ball colour than there used to be.

Then there’s the 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 hole more easily on chips and long-range putts.

Only you can ultimately decide which way to go!

One final thing. While you can’t artificially heat your ball as you play, there is nothing to stop you keeping it in your trouser pocket whenever possible to help it retain a little heat, or even switching balls on alternate holes so you can keep one warm.

 

Best options if you go down the low-compression route

For those looking for extra cold-weather yardage via a lower-compression ball, these are our recommendations...

callaway supersoft golf ball and putter

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Very low compression and a very soft feel

Specifications
RRP: £25.99/$24.99
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 5 (white, yellow, matte red, matte pink, matte green)
Reasons to buy
+An excellent all-round ball with a nice soft feel+The new hybrid cover boosts distance and durability without sacrificing feel
Reasons to avoid
-The low-compression core won’t suit those with faster swing speeds

Callaway’s popular low-compression Supersoft ball, aimed at those with average swing speeds seeking a soft feel, served up several improvements for 2021.

The main enhancement was to the cover – 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.

The HEX Aerodynamics cover works to reduce drag and increase lift to help you launch the ball better, while the Soft Compression Core boosts energy transfer, meaning more ball speed and that desirable combo of high-launch with low-spin in your longer clubs.

Srixon ultisoft golf ball and putter

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Particularly good choice for slow to average swing speeds

Specifications
RRP: £19.99/$19.99
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 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

The Srixon UltiSoft is the brand's lowest-compression and softest golf ball ever courtesy of an innovative new core.

This could make it an ideal choice for some golfers in the cold as that low compression can help to maximise energy transfer at impact for extra long-game distance.

The 324 Speed Dimple pattern also reduces drag in flight for a penetrating trajectory, again, something that will come in handy in the cold.

Although it’s designed primarily with low to mid swing speed golfers in mind, on test, we’ve found it to perform pretty well at faster swings speeds too.

Best golf ball for cold weather - Inesis Soft 500

(Image credit: Decathlon)

Inesis Soft 500 golf ball

Great price and a wide range of colour options

Specifications
RRP: £14.99/$N/A
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 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 optimise their distances.

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 colour 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.

Best golf ball for cold weather - Mizuno RB566

(Image credit: Mizuno)

Mizuno RB566 golf ball

Engineered to maximise hang time for more distance

Specifications
RRP: £25/$N/A
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 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

We’ve selected Mizuno's RB566 ball for its excellent distance credentials, specifically its capacity to prolong the ball flight for extra carry distance.

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 generates 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.

Best options if you go down the firmer cover/longer carry route

If you're looking for more distance via extra carry, we'd recommend these firmer-covered balls...

Best golf ball for cold weather - TaylorMade Distance+

(Image credit: TaylorMade)

TaylorMade Distance + Golf Ball

One of the best on the market for out-and-out distance

Specifications
RRP: £18.99
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 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.

It achieves these via its REACT Speed Core and an aerodynamic 342-dimple pattern that delivers low-drag, high-velocity performance through the air

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.

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.

Best golf ball for cold weather - Titleist Velocity

(Image credit: Titleist)

Titleist Velocity golf ball

Added stopping power via a high-flying trajectory

Specifications
RRP: £28/$27.99
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 3 (white, matte green, matte orange)
Reasons to buy
+The cover on the latest Velocity is designed to offer added feel+Matte green and orange versions offer enhanced visibility
Reasons to avoid
-High-flying trajectory won’t be ideal if you already hit the ball too high

The larger, higher-speed LSX core in the latest Titleist Velocity model helps to boost ball speed on all full shots while keeping spin down for optimum distance.

The Velocity has always been renowned for its distance attributes, but the reformulated cover in this latest model brings with it a greater element of feel for greenside work.

The aerodynamics have been improved, too, via a new dimple design that promotes a high-flying trajectory for greater stopping power into the greens with your irons.

Best golf ball for cold weather - Wilson Staff Tour Distance Tour Velocity

(Image credit: Wilson Staff)

Wilson Tour Velocity Tour Distance Golf Ball

More balls for your money with this 15-ball pack

Specifications
RRP: £19 (for 15 balls)
Construction: Two-piece
Colours: 1 (white)
Reasons to buy
+A great option for delivering extra yards+Dimple pattern helps to boost power on tee-shots
Reasons to avoid
-Cover may feel too hard to some on chips and putts

This low-compression Wilson ball promises extreme distance via a hard ionomer cover material that optimises trajectory for maximum distance and roll - and it delivers.

The enhanced aerodynamic dimple pattern really does add to the power potential from the tee.

Although a low-compression ball overall, its mid-compression core introduces an element of greenside playability too.

Best golf ball for cold weather - Volvik Crystal

(Image credit: Volvik)

Volvik Crystal golf ball

Huge colour choice + a slightly different semi-transparent finish

Specifications
RRP: £29.50/$32.99
Construction: Three-piece
Colours: 7 in USA, 5 in UK (yellow, orange, pink, red, green - USA only yellow, blue in addition)
Reasons to buy
+Great range of highly visible colours+Arrow on side is an ideal alignment aid
Reasons to avoid
-Finish might not be to all golfers’ tastes

The Volvik Crystal scores highly on both the performance and visibility fronts, with its impressive array of colour choices and semi-transparent finish guaranteeing that you're sure to find one that really does the job in the winter.

The cover is also highly durable.

Beyond the sparkling colour choice, this three-piece ball delivers in the distance stakes thanks to its soft power core that generates a stable and consistent ball flight.

A ball that not only performs but will also help you stand out a little.

How we test golf balls

Here at Golf Monthly, our highly experienced team of testers are fortunate to play a lot of golf in different conditions throughout the year. Most of them have been working in the golf industry for more years than they care to remember!

Some are more proficient at the long game and off the tee; others excel with deft touch and judgement on and around the greens.

Our goal is to test every 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 advise you about its strengths and weaknesses to steer you towards the best models for how you play the game.

Whenever possible, we will also seek to acquire launch monitor data for a more detailed analysis of each ball model's performance.

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?

If you value the former then check out our guide to the best distance golf balls; 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 price. Thankfully most brands make models at different price points and you can rest assured there is decent performance on offer across the price spectrum.

A dozen balls will probably top out at about £40-£45 a dozen, but there are some very good golf balls at £20-£25 a dozen too, so don't be put off too much by a significant drop in price.