The best golf balls fly straight, never slice, and hit the green with nary a bounce. That’s true for some golfers, but others prefer a workable ball with the right amount of spin that feels squishy soft on impact with the club. Everyone is different, as is their game. It’s a good thing, then, that there is a wide variety of golf balls to choose from, each with its own beneficial attributes. What’s your preferred style?
After reviewing dozens of golf balls we have identified the best for your long game, your short game, and everything in between. While comparing these golf balls, we considered factors such as compression, aerodynamics, and spin potential to choose our top picks, and then we detailed the rest of our favorite options below for your browsing pleasure.
We have chosen the Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls as our overall top pick. If you know your golf balls, then it comes as no surprise that we’ve chosen the Pro V1 as our top pick. They are a touring-level ball with all of the qualities a professional golfer could ever desire, but are they right for you? Read on to find out.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Golf Balls
|Best Golf Balls Overall||Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls||4.9|
|Best Soft Golf Balls||Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls||4.8|
|Best Budget Golf Balls||Wilson Staff 50 Elite Golf Balls||4.7|
|Best Distance Golf Balls||Srixon Z Star VX 6 Golf Balls||4.7|
|Best Performance Golf Balls||Callaway Chrome Golf Balls||4.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Golf Balls Overall: Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
To many, the Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls are the best a golf ball can get. Pro V1 balls have consistently high ratings from established golf institutions all around the world, and they’ve been chart-topping bestsellers for the last several years. That’s because they’re excellent touring balls that combine a wonderfully soft feel with penetrating distance.
Speed is a defining characteristic of the Pro V1 Golf Balls. The latest edition features a larger casing layer and thinner cover than previous generations all in the name of increasing the ball’s speed. The urethane elastomer cover is designed to reduce drag and spin over long-distance shots, providing a near frictionless glide through the air while retaining high spin potential for those short game shots where finely-tuned control really matters.
Thanks to its moderately high 90 compression, this golf ball flies far and feels fairly soft on the club. There is a Pro V1X version of this golf ball with a slightly higher compression that flies higher, feels firmer, and spins more than the standard Pro V1, and you can find our breakdown of that golf ball further down below. As it stands, the standard Titleist Pro V1 is our recommendation for those who want the very best, but your individual preferences may be better suited to one of our other top picks.
Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls Key Features:
- Drop-and-Stop short game control
- Large casing layer
- 90 compression
- Soft feel
Best Soft Golf Balls: Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls
The ultra-low compression core of the Callaways Supersoft Golf Balls is ideal for those with low-speed swings. This golf ball was designed for people who have a difficult time putting power into their golf club motions. The incredibly soft core easily compresses when struck and provides incredible rebound that then results in a long-distance shot where little strength is required.
This two-layer construction is comprised of a rubber core that is covered by a thin ionomer shell with a Hex Aerodynamics dimple design that cuts through the air like a hot knife through butter. The thinness of the shell contributes to its unbelievably soft feel, but it also makes the ball less durable. Though it will be fine on the fairways, this ball will scar and scrape if it happens to land on the pavement.
Multiple bright color options are available. Amateurs and aging golfers will likely find this to be a better option than our top overall pick because the low compression will benefit their compromised abilities.
Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls Key Features:
- Ultra-low compression core
- Ionomer shell
- Multiple color options
- Two-layer construction
Best Budget Golf Balls: Wilson Staff 50 Elite Golf Balls
The soft feel, low compression, and thin shell of the Wilson Staff 50 Elite Golf Balls make them a great choice for beginners and those who need reliable, yet inexpensive golf balls. They are comparable in style and feel to the Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls. These Wilson balls are much more affordable, though, and they’re our favorite choice for practice rounds.
Designed to fly far with minimal hangtime spin, yet chip well with high greenside spin, most people would hardly be able to tell the difference between these budget-friendly golf balls and their top-tier competition. That’s why most golfers should choose golf balls for their value rather than their capability. People only need premium golf balls if they’re nearing professional-level play where subtle differences matter, or if they simply need to impress their buddies with a set of expensive balls.
You’re going to feel much better about your value purchase if you lose one of these in a water hazard and your friend loses her Pro v1 golf ball. That’s what makes the Wilson Staff 50 Elite Golf Balls the right choice for casual players.
Wilson Staff 50 Elite Golf Balls Key Features:
- Low 50 compression
- Soft feel
- Multiple color options
- High greenside spin
Best Distance Golf Balls: Srixon Z Star XV 6 Golf Balls
The Srixon Z Star XV 6 Golf Balls were engineered to provide maximum lift and distance with each strike of a driver or iron. A four-layer construction is capped off with a 338 dimple shell that is comprised of flexible molecular bonds which fill wedge and iron grooves for enhanced spin control and lift.
That stellar lift is met with a smooth, aerodynamic design that catches the air just right for a smooth, high-flying journey over the course. But that flight has to begin with propulsion force, and that’s where the inner layers come into play. These golf balls have been constructed with firm outer layers that gradually give way to a soft core, providing a strong initial impact rebound that is complemented by the spongy center to give a soft feel off of the driver.
High-speed players will achieve maximum distances with this golf ball. Those with low swing speed should look for a softer option for their long-distance aspirations. Users praise the height and distance they achieve with these Srixon golf balls, and they also applaud how well they hold the green.
Srixon Z Star XV 6 Golf Balls Key Features:
- Four-layer construction
- Firm edges and soft core
- Flexible molecular bonded shell
- 338 dimple pattern
Best Performance Golf Balls: Callaway Chrome Golf Balls
You may be wondering how the best performance golf balls are different from the top overall golf ball, and we’re here to tell you that the Callaway Chrome Golf Balls are the best performing golf ball for the average golfer. That said, our overall top pick the Titelist Pro V1 is an outstanding golf ball, but it is geared more toward the low handicap, semi-professional to professional crowd. These Callaway Chromes are the best overall golf ball for the rest of us.
The dense core of these balls enables them to fly far and true, and the gradually softening layers that expand outward from the core provide an incredibly soft feel with a strong rebound force that’s ideal for amateur to advanced golfers. The ball flies straight, and it has an amazing sense of forgiveness that can make anyone feel like a pro.
This is a touring-style ball meant for a long 18-hole day. You won’t have to work hard to send these balls far down the fairway, and absolute precision isn’t necessary for a great shot. Your distance shots won’t spin and slice into the woods, and your short shots can be spun hard for a dead stop when it’s necessary. Putting will feel heavenly against this golf ball’s supple structure.
Callaway Chrome Golf Balls Key Features:
- Hex Aerodynamic shell design
- Dense core
- Soft mid-layers
- Soft urethane cover
Who Should Buy Golf Balls
To state the obvious— if you golf you should buy some golf balls. You will need to supply your own golf balls, and they can be quite expensive to buy at the course, so it’s better to purchase them ahead of your weekend getaway to the links. Once you’ve discovered what your favorite style of golf ball is, we recommend choosing a value alternative with the same attributes for your practice rounds. That way you can save money but still use your favorites for more competitive outings.
Golf balls are a fantastic gift idea as well. Choosing the right golf balls to match someone’s play style can be difficult without asking leading questions, but most golfers will be happy to receive any type of quality golf ball. It’s always nice to experiment with a new brand, and that’s not something golfers will too often spend their own money on doing.
If you’re in the market for club storage, you’ll want to check out The Best Golf Bags.
Important Features to Consider
There are a few important considerations to think through before purchasing golf balls.
- Compression. A golf ball’s compression determines how hard your golf club needs to impact it for an ideal drive. A high-compression golf ball requires little speed and power in order for it to fly far down the course, whereas a low-compression golf ball requires a fast swing to unleash its true potential. Amateur, senior, and casual golfers often find a better fit with high-compression balls. Dedicated golfers usually move toward low-compression balls as their game improves. Your individual preferences may vary.
- Feel. Feel is all about personal preference. Some golf balls feel soft on impact with the club, while others feel dense and hard. The feel of a golf ball is a result of its overall construction, and with multi-layered golf balls, the feel is more linked to the layers closest to the surface of the ball. You’ll sometimes find low-compression balls that have a soft feel because they combine a soft outer layer with a dense core.
- Spin. There are good and bad spins, long shot and short shot spins. Golf balls have different dimple layouts that can affect how much it will spin while flying at different speeds. Balls with denser cores will spin less than those weighted more toward their perimeters.
- Value. Unless you are truly dedicated to competition and improving your game, most any golf ball will suit your needs. Leave the expensive balls and their highly-tuned attributes to the pros. Budget-friendly alternatives are nearly as good, and you won’t feel as bad when you lose them in the woods or water hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the type of golf ball make a difference?
Absolutely. One of the most notable differences is the contrast between soft and hard golf balls, which are also generally referred to as high and low compression golf balls. Dimple patterns can make a difference in aerodynamics and durability, as does shell material.
What are soft golf balls?
Soft golf balls have highly compressible interiors that are better for golfers with low-speed swings. Because soft golf balls compress more easily, they will rebound significantly during low-speed swings. They enable amateurs and those unable to output professional-level power to drive golf balls over long distances. Think of throwing a soft tennis ball against a wall versus a hard baseball— the soft tennis ball has much more bounce at much lower speeds.
Do harder golf balls go farther?
Hard golf balls require high-speed swings in order to travel long distances. They also provide more desirable and reliable spins and flight patterns that low-handicap players desire. Theoretically, a hard golf ball will travel farther than a soft golf ball if hit hard enough, but governing bodies around the world impose limits on golf balls to keep a standard amount of challenge in the game. As a result, all golf balls have roughly the same distance potential.
Is golf ball fitting worth it?
Golf ball fitting is worth it if you are dedicated to improving your game. While most golf balls will work well for casual users, there are certain types that will better fit each person’s individual golfing style. If you’re committed to lowering your handicap, having a professional guide you toward a more beneficial golf ball can certainly help you improve.
Other Golf Balls We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other golf balls. Even though they didn’t make our five best golf ball list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for a day at the links. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Distance Golf Balls
Not only is the Bridgestone B XS Tiger Woods Edition a high-performance golf ball, but sales of this product benefit the TGR Foundation. This ball flies far and is unforgiving when hit incorrectly, but it provides a soft feel and flies true when hit with precision. It’s got great spin and greenside control.
- Profits benefit TGR Foundation
- Gradation core construction
- 330 Dual Dimple design
The Callaway Superhot Bold golf balls are available in several bright colors. They have a matte finish that sticks well to greens and hit well off the driver. The aerodynamic HEX design gives these balls plenty of lift to fly high and far for those long-distance shots down the course.
- HEX Aerodynamic dimples
- Bright BOLD colors
- Matte finish
TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls have five layers that get increasingly more stiff for a high-compression ratio that results in a far-flung golf ball. The Tri-fast core is rock solid for a low-compression final impact that results in greater distance and an improved launch angle.
- Five-layer construction
- Comprised of High Flex Material
- Distinctive graphics
Achieve great distance and low ball flight with the Titleist AVX Golf Balls. These balls have been engineered to achieve the lowest spin and lowest flight possible while remaining a choice option for long-distance consistency. An aerodynamic tetrahedral dimple design reduces drag and maintains stability during flight.
- Proprietary thermoset urethane cover
- High-flex casing layer
- Low ball flight
The Titleist Pro V1X Golf Balls are the brother to our top overall pick. This “X” variant has a slightly different design that feels harder and flies higher than the non-X variant, and it has more iron and short game spin for those who like to put a little mustard on their shot. This is a low-handicap ball that’ll be best used by experienced golfers.
- Large casing layer
- High-spin thin cover
- Drop-and-stop short game control
The Volvik Vivid Golf Balls are a fantastic choice for golfers with medium to slow swings who would benefit from a moderate amount of compression to complement their driving style. The matte finish helps with short game control and the bright neon color options will make sure you can always spot your ball.
- Wide polycarbonate anti-fog lenses
- 80 compression
- Matte finish outer layer
Wilson Smart Core Golf Balls react to how hard you strike. The Smart Core Technology adapts to your swing speed to provide the perfect feel and rebound for any given situation. These balls will have low spin during long shorts and will spin appropriately during short shots for better control.
- Smart Core Technology
- Durable ionomer cover
- Low spin long shots
Soft Golf Balls
The Callaway Hex Soft Golf Balls combine an incredibly soft feel with long-distance capability. These balls provide low spin during long shots off of woods and irons, but have a soft feel for controlled shots around the green.
- Soft trionomer cover
- HEX Aerodynamic design
- Straight flight
Ideal for those with slow driving speed, the Oncore Avant golf balls have a super soft 55 compression and an oversized inner core for a supple feel that will provide plenty of rebound for an easy long-distance shot. Its low compression also works well in cold conditions and will launch high for wedge shots.
- Oversized inner core
- Low to mid-range driver speed
- Super soft low 55 compression
A bit less soft than its Avant sister, but featuring a nice strike feel, the Oncore ELIXR is a great mid-grade option for golfers who are looking to take their game up a level where a little more swing power can translate into better distance, spin, and control.
- Perimeter weighted
- Moderate 85 compression
- Polybutadiene rubber core
The Snell MTB Black balls have a soft feel with a dense inner core providing the perfect one-two-punch on the course. This ball doesn’t slice easily, but it has a workable flight where you can adjust the fade and draw as necessary.
- Cast urethane cover
- Workable flight control
- Three-layer design
Srixon Q Star Tour Golf Balls are designed for moderate swings and long days at the links. The low compression core and urethane cover strike a balance that promotes long-distance without the need for excessive striking force.
- For moderate swing speeds
- Urethane cover
- Low compression core
Tried and true by average golfers everywhere, TaylorMade Noodle Golf Balls enable great distance with reliable accuracy for low swing speeds and high-handicap golfers. For a casual day at the links with your buddies, there is little reason to choose any other golf ball.
- Durable and soft Iothane cover
- Ultra-soft 34 compression core
- Patented 342 dimple design
The Titleist TruSoft Golf Balls are the softest Titleist golf balls on the market. They feature the same TruFlex cover and TruFlight aerodynamics that you’ll find on their competition-level offerings, but here they are paired with an oversized low compression core for easy drives.
- Large low compression core
- High spin TruFlex cover
- Softest Titleist available
Soft, but not excessively so, the Volvik Crystal Golf Balls are a good choice for those with moderate swing speeds. The three-piece design features a Power Core, Bismuth Control Layer, and a Zirconium Z-I Outer Cover.
- For moderate swing speeds
- Spectrum of available colors
- Three-piece design
The Wilson Staff Duo proudly claims that it is the world’s softest golf ball, and with a plush 29 compression core, it’s hard to disagree. This ball is comprised entirely of rubber with a thin ionomer outer layer. It’ll fly far with little effort, and it likes to bounce when it lands on the green.
- Ultra-soft 29 compression rubber core
- Two-layer design
- Ionomer cover
Budget Golf Balls
Get yourself the Callaway experience at a bargain price with the Callaway Warbird golf balls. They fall right in the middle between hard professional balls and soft casual balls, so they’ve got a great feel and compression that’ll appeal to the masses. They’re highly forgiving and fly straight, all thanks to the Hex Aerodynamics outer design.
- HEX Aerodynamics
- Extra-large high-compression core
- Ionomer cover
The Precept Laddie Extreme golf balls are a good budget-friendly option to the exceptional Titleist V1 line. Though they’re not quite as polished as our top overall pick, casual golfers will find these to feel soft and fly straight. They don’t have a superb spin on the green, but enough for a reliable wedge chip.
- Enhanced velocity muscle fiber core
- 372 dimple ionomer shell
- Soft feel
As the name implies, the Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls are supremely soft and can be a great choice for those with low swing speeds. This ball also features a “hit straight” alignment arrow to promote better targeting and putting accuracy.
- Energetic Gradient Growth Core
- For low swing speeds
- 344 dimple ionomer cover
The Wilson Ultra 500 golf balls are advertised as the original long-distance golf ball. Users claim that these are excellent long-distance balls that work well on the green and are priced at an incredible value. They can make for a fun casual day at the links, whether it be for practice or a friendly round, and they’d serve as a great gift.
- Two-layer high energy design
- 15 balls per box
- Guaranteed cut-proof