We’ve tested many balls in this alternative category, including the Kirkland balls from Costco, Vice Golf and those from Pearl Golf and we can say with some confidence that the Decathlon Inesis Tour 900 is the best of the bunch. For £19.99 a dozen, it offers excellent value.
Excellent spin control around the greens and performance on irons shots. Feels soft, solid and well-made with good durability.
Spins a little too much off the tee, which might hurt some players in terms of distance, especially into the wind.
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Joel Tadman tests the Inesis Tour 900, a urethane-covered ball on sale in Decathlon for just £19.99 a dozen
Decathlon Inesis Tour 900 Ball Review
Sport retail outlets are another avenue golfers can go down when seeking low cost golf balls. One in particular that peaked our interest was the Decathlon Inesis Tour 900 (opens in new tab), mostly because it has a urethane cover and promises excellent all round performance at a very low price.
We bought a dozen for £19.99 and tested them on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor before taking them out on the course to assess how they compared with the Titleist Pro V1 (opens in new tab).
The box is bereft of any technological info, other than being a three-piece construction and claiming to deliver the best of everything in terms of performance versus other models in the Inesis range thanks to a urethane cover.
RELATED: Costco Kirkland Signature Ball Review (opens in new tab)
Off the tee
The Inesis Tour 900 produced some good numbers with the driver. The average ball speed was only just shy of the Titleist Pro V1 although the spin was over 300 rpm higher. This combined with a much lower launch meant the Inesis Tour 900 struggled to get up in the air and stay there, resulting in carries that were around 10 yards shorter on average than the Pro V1.
The lower launch, higher spin theme continued with full iron shots, although it didn’t appear to affect the carry distance this time. The Inesis Tour 900 and the Pro V1 ball both averaged 164 yards, with the extra spin helping with stopping power versus the higher flight of the Pro V1. I will say the ball speed numbers with the Inesis Tour 900 weren't quite as consistent as the Pro V1 with driver or 7-iron.
RELATED: Cheap Vs Expensive Ball Test
The cover on the Inesis Tour 900 is clearly effective at being gripped by the grooves to generate spin. This is backed up by the lower launch and higher short game spin by over 4000 rpm versus the Pro V1 on a 50-yard pitch shot.
When putting this ball in play out on the course, we were suitably impressed. Into the wind, it struggled a little due to the higher spin, but some drives down wind finished close to where we normally ended up with a Pro V1.
The spin control around the greens was excellent, the bite on the second bounce provides the confidence you need to fully commit to your chip shots, knowing the ball won’t run out too far after landing.
The Inesis Tour 900 has a dull white finish out of the box that is slightly darker than the Pro V1, no visible seam on the cover and a useful thick black line as a sidestamp to assist with alignment both off the tee and on the greens.
It feels softer than Pro V1, a little more like the feel you get from low compression golf balls, which can also feel jumpy off the putter face. But overall, it looks and feels solid, well-made and didn’t scuff all that much during the course of a round.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.3.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-7 iron, TaylorMade P7MC 8-PW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
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