Best Golf Balls of 2020 (Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Ball For You)

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    Rather than just give you a list of premium golf balls, we want to actually help you choose the best option for you. So we broke down this guide into three sections…

    Best Overall

    Click below to read our reviews of the top premium golf balls.

    Mini-Guides

    Find the right ball for your game with our mini-guides.

    Comparisons

    For a tough decision, read our head to head comparisons.

    Our Top Picks Overall

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    Titleist Pro V1/V1x
    Srixon Z-Star/Z-Star X
    Chrome Soft/Soft X
    Taylor Made TP5/TP5x

    Finding the best golf balls is not nearly as simple as it used to be. Go to any golf store or sporting goods store that sells golf balls and there will likely be an entire aisle (or two) with dozens of different brands of golf balls.

    Golf ball technology has advanced so significantly in the past 10-15 years that there is no such thing as THE best golf ball. There is, however, a handful of balls that are right for you and fit your skill level, style of play, and personal preference.

    So any listing that assumes there are just a handful of the best balls out there has a really good chance of not matching up to your specific needs. So we’ve tried to create a library of “mini-guides” for the most common needs and types of players that might fit a particular style of golf ball. You can browse through them below.

    Golf Ball Mini-Guides

    These mini-guides are specific to your skill level, style of play or some other specific type of golf ball you might be looking for. 

    Maybe you plan on playing in the cold, or you are just getting started and want to know what ball to try out. 

    We’ll be adding new mini-guides on a regular basis, so make sure to bookmark this page or click the little red icon in the lower right corner to get notifications when new pages are published. 

    Best Golf Balls For Beginners

    This is the perfect golf ball buying guide for those of you just starting out. This guide will help you choose the right golf ball to accelerate your learning of the game without breaking the bank. 

    There are a number of things that players like you need to look for when choosing the best golf ball. First, you want to keep the cost down. Until you learn to control the ball a little better, you probably lose your fair share of ball to errant shots. Don’t sweat it, that’s how everyone starts. So you want to find cost-effective balls. 

    You also want to look for balls that are low spin and low compression. Even many otherwise athletic players are not necessarily generating the kind of swing speed that they need to compress a harder golf ball. So look for a ball with lower compression. 

    But also look for a ball with lower spin. Balls that spin less will tend to carry farther. A lot of new players tend to flip the club at the end of the swing, adding loft to the driver and adding backspin to the shot. Backspin can be a real distance killer for drives. So keep it in check with a low spin ball.

    Check out our mini-guide for more tips on choosing the right ball and our top picks in this category…


    Best Golf Balls For High Handicappers

    You love golf but you play for fun or don’t really have the time to work on lowering your scores. That’s cool, golf is for everyone. You should be out there having fun. But getting the best golf balls for your skill level can help you have just a little bit more fun when you play. 

    You probably don’t hit a lot of greens in regulation, so short game might be very important to you. If that’s the case then pick a golf ball that will give you more control around the green. Also, short game shots are something that are easy to practice in your backyard, so you can improve on that faster. 

    Also, make sure you get a ball with a compression that matches your swing speed. For a lot of you, that may be a lower compression ball. 

    Check out our mini-guide for more tips on choosing the right ball and our top picks in this category…


    Best Low Compression Golf Balls For Seniors

    For those of you playing the senior tees, we have the perfect golf ball mini buying guide for you. The truth is, if you listen to the advertisements on TV (or read a lot of other websites), they’ll tell you to go get the best of the best premium golf balls to shoot lower scores. They would be wrong!

    You need a golf ball that matches your swing. For many of you, the most important part of that equation is the compression rating of the golf ball. If you want to learn more, then check out our explanation, “What Is Golf Ball Compression?” That article breaks it down pretty well. 

    Another important thing you want to do is to focus on your strengths. You may not be hitting the ball 300 yards, but your experience has made you pretty good around the greens, so make sure to get a ball that can take advantage of those short game skills. 

    Check out our mini-guide for more tips on choosing the right ball and our top picks in this category…


    Best Golf Balls For Cold Weather

    Playing in cold weather can be tough. Don’t make it even more difficult by choosing a golf ball that doesn’t perform well in the cold.

    Your regular golf ball is going to perform very differently than it does in warm weather. Golf balls become more difficult to compress in the cold. You need a ball that is going to perform in the cold the way your regular ball performs in the warm weather.

    That usually means looking for low compression balls that are also able to handle short game shots well.

    We’ve got you covered, click below to check out our guide.

    Golf Ball Comparisons

    Sometimes you may find yourself trying to decide between two golf ball models that are similar or perhaps trying to figure out the difference between two models from the same company. 

    So to help you out, we are going to be creating comparison guides for the most common “either” “or” decisions we see. 

    If you are trying to decide between two golf ball models, leave a comment below and let us know. Your suggestion may be the next head to head test we do!

    Chrome Soft vs. Pro V1

    The Callaway Chrome Soft and the Titleist Pro V1 are two of the best golf balls out there today. Both are used by PGA Tour pros and have multiple major wins under their belt. In fact, they both made the cut for the best overall golf balls in our list below. 

    The Titleist Pro V1 is the king…old faithful…and the best selling golf ball out there. Go to any golf course and you are bound to find a handful of Pro V1 golf balls in the woods. 

    The Chrome Soft is the new kid on the block and challenging the Pro V1 for the crown. Callaway is using new technology and unconventional approaches to try and out perform the Titleist. 

    Check out this comparison to see which one you should try first…


    Srixon Z-Star vs. Pro V1

    The Srixon Z-Star and the Titleist Pro V1 are another set of top tier golf balls. Both are used frequently by Tour Pros and have tremendous performance from tee to green. 

    Srixon came seemingly out of nowhere to compete with the big names in the golf ball market with it announced the Z-Star years ago. Now it is a mainstay in the top ball choices among top golfers. 

    But which one is best for you?

    It depends on what specific performance factors you are looking for in a golf ball. This comparison will help you identify where to start…


    Taylormade TP5 vs. TP5x

    Taylormade has pushed the envelope in terms of golf ball technology in recent years. But it can be confusing as to which of their premium offerings is right for your game.

    Check out our detailed comparison to finally figure out which one to choose.

    Callaway Supersoft vs. Superhot

    This was an interesting comparison because these balls seem very different but they are both in the mid-range of Callaway’s lineup and actually have a lot of similarities.

    The Callaway Superhot favors distance over control and the Supersoft is more focused on control while also being a great low compression option for those players with lower swing speeds.

    However, both are excellent options for golfers that haven’t yet reached the level of play necessitating a premium golf ball

    Srixon Z-Star vs. Q-star Tour

    If you are a fan of the Srixon ball lineup, you may have been looking at both of these options and trying to decide if the added cost of the Z-Star is worth it.

    These balls are actually very similar and the recent versions of the Q-Star Tour have added some features usually reserved for more premium golf balls.

    This comparison will help you make the best decision for your game and you may even end up finding that the less expensive option gives you better results.

    Best Golf Balls Overall (Our Top Premium Ball Picks)

    The guides above are the best place to start if you really want to find a ball that is designed to fit your game. But, if you came here to find out what the overall best golf balls on the market are…here they are.

    Titleist Pro V1/V1x

    Rating 9/10

    Titleist Pro V1

    The Pro V1 is the biggest name in golf when it comes to golf balls with good reason. It has been the choice of the most pros for many years.

    The Good:

    It’s hard to go wrong with the Pro V1. Short game performance is second to none and it still gives you great distance off the tee. 

    The Bad:

    Not a lot of difference between the V1 and V1x in the 2019 model which means less choice to fine-tune your spin and distance. Still among the most expensive choices. 

    Bottom Line:

    For many years now the Pro V1 and V1x have been THE pro golf ball on the market. In the last few years the competition has caught up and while Titleist is still the king…the margin is a lot smaller now. 

    Srixon Z-Star/Z-Star X

    Rating 9/10

    Srixon Z-Star

    The Srixon Z-Star has been steadily gaining in popularity since it first showed up. With great driver distance and top nitch greenside control, it has earned it’s place as one of the best.

    The Good:

    Less expensive than other premium balls. Z-Star and Z-Star X give players of varying swing speeds a good choice. Great durability means having to buy less of them. 

    The Bad:

    Not quite the high spin around the greens as some of the others on this list. 

    Bottom Line:

    The Z-Star is probably the best ball for your money out there. Not the softest cover in this list but it gives you just about all the greenside spin you could ask for and outperforms more expensive balls in most other areas. 

    Callaway Chrome Soft/Soft X

    Rating 8/10

    Callaway Chrome Soft

    Callaway has incorporated a soft core into its premium golf ball for a unique result. Many golfers could benefit from this new approach.

    The Good:

    Really great feel and ball flight off long irons. The soft core seems to help get good ball compression on off-center hits. 

    The Bad:

    As far as feel goes it may be a little too soft a feel for players used to other models. Soft core may be too soft for faster swing speed players (though the X model should fix that). 

    Bottom Line:

    This is the ball the skilled amateurs have been waiting for. You don’t need a pro swing speed to get the most out of this ball and it still delivers every bit the control around the green as the ProV1.

    Taylor Made TP5/TP5x

    Rating 7.5/10

    Taylor Made TP5/TP5x

    The 5 layers of the Taylor Made TP5 makes it a ball that is worth trying for any golfer looking for something a little different.

    The Good:

    5 Layer construction means different cores are activated at different swing speeds. Improved cover durability from the previous model. 

    The Bad:

    Good performance all around but not really a stand out at any one particular thing. Slightly differently constructed alternative to the most popular premium balls that may be perfect for some swings. 

    Bottom Line:

    This ball should be included in any comparison test you do when choosing a ball this year. In our tests, it fell just slightly short of the ones above it, but as you can tell from the way we write reviews, everyone’s swing is different so grab a box and test them out. The design is unique and depending on your specific swing and launch characteristics, it may provide you with improved distance. 

    How To Choose The Best Golf Ball

    Choosing the right golf ball for your swing is more important than just choosing the “best” golf ball. That’s why we give you all kinds of options and different categories to check above rather than just a simple list of what the “experts” and magazines are calling the best.

    The bottom line is that everyone’s swing is different. Our goal here is to give you enough information to narrow it down to two or three options. From there, you can pick up a few different models of golf balls and then do a little of your own testing.

    Three of the most important factors that you should be looking at are compression, spin, and feel.

    Compression (Know Your Driver Swing Speed)

    Having the fastest swing speed isn’t the most important thing you need to be a good player, but knowing your swing speed (no matter what it is) is very important if you want to choose the right golf ball.

    Every golf ball has a compression rating. That is how manufacturers measure the softness or hardness of the ball.

    When you strike a ball with any club, you are compressing it against the clubface and then it rebounds off the club. Think of the way a kickball flattens out when you kick it hard and then flys off your foot. The same thing happens with a golf ball except your club is traveling a LOT faster than your foot and the compression happens way too fast to see.

    If a golf ball is too hard for your swing speed, then it will not compress enough and you lose the benefit of that rebound effect. It would be like hitting a rock (which you should definitely not try).

    If the ball is too soft for your swing speed, then you risk generating way too much spin which can hurt distance. However, some manufacturers (Callaway specifically) have been experimenting with much softer compression ratings like in the Chrome Soft above but use other technology to prevent excessive spin.

    Measure The Spin

    Spin is an important factor that determines how far your shots will travel.

    Less spin generally means more distance. But you can’t have a ball that doesn’t spin at all because then you’ll never get it to stop on the greens.

    Spin is also very much tied to the compression we talked about above. Lower compression usually results in more spin, but not always.

    Spin is also very important around the greens. Generally, the more expensive golf balls with a urethane cover will spin more on short game pitches and chips, giving you more control around the greens (especially on fast greens).

    This is due to the cover material more than the compression because on shorter shots, you aren’t swinging fast enough to compress the ball. As your skills improve, you’ll be more able to take advantage of the urethane cover balls around the green.

    Once you have the handful of balls you want to test. Find a golf shop or range than has a launch monitor (you may need to pay a fee to use it) and test them all out. See which ones give you the best combination of spin and distance.

    Feel

    Once you know which balls give you good spin and distance, choosing the one that feels good to you is really just a matter of personal preference.

    Try playing a round of golf with the ball. Use it for drives, iron shots, wedge shots, and even putting.

    Often I hear golfers being told to start on the green with the golf ball options and eliminate the ones that don’t feel right.

    This is terrible advice for two reasons.

    First, how a ball feels on the green to you is dictated almost entirely by the ball you currently play the most. So if a ball feels different on the greens, you’re likely to discard it. Simply playing with that ball for a while will easily get you accustomed to it and how it feels on the green. It’s possible after a number of rounds that you still don’t like it and if that’s the case then move on, but eliminating a ball right off the bat by taking a few putts with it is not helpful at all.

    Second, the biggest improvements in your game from a ball change will be off the tee and longer shots. You NEED to have a ball that works for your swing. You can get used to just about any ball on the green, but unless you are making significant changes to your full swing, you can’t change the physics of how your ball behaves off the driver.

    So it is much more important to find a handful of balls that give you good numbers off the driver BEFORE to start looking for what feels good on the greens.

    Author

    Pete | Editor-in-Chief

    Pete | Editor-in-Chief

    Pete is an avid golfer since he was 10 years old and currently plays to a 9 handicap. He started Under Par Goals to help other golfers all around the world improve their games and learn more about the game.

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