We can’t emphasize this enough: It doesn’t matter if you shoot 68 or 108; the golf ball is the only piece of equipment you use on every shot.
Does that make the golf ball the most important piece of equipment in the bag?
There’s certainly an argument to be made. It’s why we do robot testing every two years and why Ball Lab has become an integral part of what we do at MyGolfSpy.
Our 2023 test is our third foray into the world of ball testing. With each iteration, we’ve learned more about golf ball performance and have uncovered several surprise findings (both good and bad).
We learned “soft” is slow, performance differences are more significant than many golfers believe and a poorly made ball can fly significantly offline, even on a perfect swing.
While 2023’s test was the largest we’ve ever conducted, the goal remains unchanged: We want to help you find the best golf ball for your game.
Table of Contents
Below you’ll find we’ve broken this article down into distinct categories to help you find the best golf ball for your game. Feel free to skip ahead or scroll on to learn more about that test, methodology, and key findings.
- 2023 Ball Testing Methodology
- Key Findings
- High Swing Results
- Mid Swing Results
- Low Swing Results
- The Data
About the 2023 Golf Ball Test
MyGolfSpy’s 2023 golf ball test took place at two locations and involved more than 80 hours of testing time.
Forty-six golf ball models were tested at three speeds each with drivers and mid-irons. To better understand what is typically called “greenside performance,” we also included a 35-yard wedge test.
About the Golf Ball Models Tested
The balls tested include retail urethane offerings from major manufacturers and a mix of smaller direct-to-consumer (DTC) and house brands. We also tested a small number of popular two-piece ionomer offerings.
When possible, MyGolfSpy purchased the balls tested at retail and sourced from multiple shops. Exceptions include the Not Your Ball and Inesis Tour 900 Prototype.
Testing took place in mid-July in Arizona. Testing was split between the CoolClub test facility in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale National Golf Club in Scottsdale. Golf Labs robots were used in both locations.
Both parties were compensated for the use of the robots and the engineers to operate them.
Temperatures throughout the test averaged about 105 degrees. It should go without saying that distance numbers will increase as a result. That said, yardage values between balls should be largely relative. Key metrics such as ball speed, launch angle and spin rates will be minimally impacted.
Weather stations were used in both testing locations.
Winds were generally calm throughout the week (wind speed +/- 5 mph). On those occasions when wind speed exceeded 10 mph, testing was halted until the wind subsided.
For each of the three speeds for the driver and iron portions of the test, the robot was calibrated to achieve specific launch and spin targets.
The parameters for each portion were decided on after consulting with multiple ball manufacturers. The specific configuration for each test condition (including the clubs used) is detailed in the relevant sections below.
For each test condition, a calibration ball (Titleist Pro V1) was used to establish the baseline. This allowed us to split balls into smaller groups to help mitigate the impact of changing environmental conditions. Using a control ball also allows us to make meaningful comparisons across ball groups.
How Balls Were Grouped
The test pool was divided into five groups of nine balls, along with the control ball (10 models total per group).
Groups were divided primarily by price. However, adjustments were made to group similarly priced models from the same manufacturer.
The Test Process
For each golf ball model, we hit three to four shots before moving to the next model in the group. The rotation continued several times (maintaining the same order) until all shots were hit. We then moved to the next group.
As capturing the full flight of the golf ball is imperative in ball testing, data was collected using Trackman launch monitors. We also ran Foresight GCQuad in parallel to ensure the consistency of the setup throughout the test.
Before the final processing of the data, outliers were removed using the 1.5 IQR rule. For drivers and irons, outliers were filtered based on carry yards and the offline value. For the 35-yard wedge test, outliers were filtered based on launch angle and spin rates.
The calibration ball was used to establish a baseline for the data presented. Values for each metric are derived from the percentage difference for each ball model relative to the control ball in its group.
1. High Compression Golf Balls Can Work for Nearly Everyone
There is a pervasive belief that lower swing speed golfers need lower-compression golf balls. The results of our test again suggest that many lower swing speed golfers would benefit from higher-compression offerings.
Even in cases where the slower swing speeds all but eliminate the speed advantage of high-compression balls off the driver, the higher spin rates provide a greater ability to hold greens.
For higher swing speed golfers, the distance advantage of firmer compression offerings is clear. For all but the highest spin golfers, lower compression leads to reduced distance off the tee.
With all of that said, if soft feel is important to you, low compression is your only option.
2. Some Golf Ball Models Evolve … Some Don’t
The results of this test suggest that many models evolve over time. What was true two years ago may not be true now.
Some examples: The Pro V1x is lower-spinning off the driver than the previous model. The previously low-flying, high-spinning Mizuno RB Tour series is dramatically different (we were particularly impressed by the RB Tour X), and for lack of a more precise description, Bridgestone’s TOUR B series just performs better.
In other cases (the new Kirkland Performance+ V3, for example), the key performance characteristics, most notably its high spin rate, appear largely unchanged.
3. Performance Matters on All Shots
Performance differences can be significant, even on the shorter shots. While there are few standouts for golfers seeking quantifiable higher spin rates on greenside shots, from top to bottom there are significant differences in both launch angle and spin rates.
A good bit of that is attributable to the cover: ionomer balls launch higher and spin significantly less than urethane offerings. Among the urethane options, there were some surprising disappointments.
As you would expect, most of the balls in this test qualify as average when it comes to greenside spin.
4. Don’t Overlook DTC and House Brands
Golfers seeking value don’t necessarily need to sacrifice performance. Throughout the test, several DTC models stood out for one reason or another.
The Maxfli Tour Series continues to improve and we were particularly impressed by the Tour Soft. VICE Pro and Pro Soft stood out under some test conditions and, while spin rates are a bit on the high side, the PXG Xtreme was a surprisingly strong performer.
The LA Golf ball more than held its own, though it’s hard to find any value in the $70 per dozen price.
Also of note, the Seed SD-02 was one of the more unusual performers in the test. Under many test conditions, it flew notably lower.
5. There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Golf Ball
Taking manufacturing quality and consistency out of the equation for now, we’d argue there’s no such thing as a bad ball.
While a good bit of what’s on the market is designed to work for a wide portion of the bell curve, our test uncovered some niche offerings that, if nothing else, suggest there’s a ball out there for every golfer.
The challenge comes in finding the one that works for you.
6. The Need for Speed
You don’t need to sacrifice speed to get what you want from a golf ball. Unless what you want from the ball is an excessively soft feel, you don’t need to sacrifice speed to get the trajectory and spin you need.
In looking only at those balls that produced above-average ball speed in most conditions, we found balls that produced nearly every combination of flight and spin characteristics.
7. It’s Not Launch Angle, It’s Trajectory
We touched on this last time but it’s worth mentioning again: As golfers, we’ve been conditioned to think about golf club performance in terms of ball speed, launch angle, spin rate and often distance.
With the golf ball, launch angle on its own doesn’t tell you much.
In many cases, launch angle differences between balls are minimal but when you consider the whole of ball’s trajectory – launch angle, peak height, peak height distance (how far down-range the ball reached its apex) and descent angle – significant differences emerge.
Does it fly low and flat, high and flat or does it just kind go straight up and straight back down?
The bottom line is that the trajectory of the golf ball is complex. Simplification is always risky but we’d suggest relying more heavily on maximum height than launch angle.
Other Things to Know
This section contains a few notes to help you better understand the rest of what you’ll find in this report.
What is a “Soft” Golf Ball?
The performance section below references “soft” and “soft-ish” golf balls. As with many things in the golf equipment world, there is no universally accepted standard that defines what it means for a golf ball to be soft. You’ll find the phrase “soft feel” applied to balls that range from 35 compression all the way to 100.
For the purposes of our discussion, we’re classifying anything with mid-70s compression or lower as soft. Balls with compression values in the low 80s may be described as soft-ish.
The softest balls on the market (below 60 compression) tend to be two-piece ionomer offerings where really soft cores are used to offset feel lost to firmer ionomer covers.
The Robot Configuration Matters
Our test parameters were intended to align with the launch and spin numbers produced by the average golfer in each group. As distance is the product of speed, trajectory and spin, carry and total distance values will inevitably vary by some degree depending on the trajectory and spin produced by the individual golfer.
While the relationship between speed, launch and spin shouldn’t change much (balls that spin the most for me will likely spin the most for you), the results reflect what happened under the conditions tested.
About Our Top Picks
For each swing speed group, we’ve provided our top picks from the test. The balls are divided into high-spin, mid-spin and low-spin offerings. While not explicitly stated elsewhere, in most cases, each list contains a high-, mid- and low-trajectory ball (in that order).
As some balls that are high-spinning and high-flying off the driver can be mid-flying and mid-spinning off irons (or nearly any other permutation), balls may not fit neatly into one bucket.
The larger point is that we’ve done our best to provide a selection of performance options in each category.
We’ve also provided a “Great Buy” value option for each category.
For what it’s worth, we’ve limited our lists to our top three picks but, in many cases, we could comfortably add a few more.
Golf Ball Performance is Relative
Finally, remember that most manufacturers describe the performance of their products relative to their other products. Simply put, a ball a manufacturer describes as offering high ball flight and low spin may actually be mid-trajectory and mid-spin relative to the market as a whole.
Our descriptions of trajectory and spin are relative to the other balls in this test.
HIGH SWING SPEED RESULTS
Top Picks for High Swing Speed
To arrive at our picks, we considered key performance metrics like ball speed, trajectory, spin rate, and distance. The high speed recommendations below are based on a combination of driver and iron performance.
Low Spin – Maxlfi Tour S, Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, Titleist AVX
Mid Spin – Mizuno RB Tour X, Titleist Pro V1x, Titleist Pro V1
High Spin – Srixon Z-Star Diamond, Wilson Triad, Callaway Chrome Soft X
Great Buy – Vice Pro Plus
High Swing Speed Driver
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Driver Used: PXG 0311 GEN6 7.5°||Total Distance: 339.4*|
|Swing Speed: 115 mph||Ball Speed: 168.8|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: 10.5||Launch Angle: 10.4|
|Calibration Spin Target: 2,500 rpm||Spin: 2,597|
- Under the conditions tested, our top 10 is comprised exclusively of high-compression offerings. Assuming relatively typical launch conditions, faster players will see greater distance with high-compression offerings.
- The list of longest balls is led by the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, Titleist Pro V1x, Mizuno RB Tour X, and VICE Pro Plus.
- Low spin can be beneficial, but the results suggest it’s not a necessity.
- High-speed golfers looking for a high-trajectory option to maximize distance should consider the Mizuno RB Tour X or Srixon Z-Star Diamond.
- Golfers seeking lower flight should consider the LA Golf ball and Callaway Chrome Soft X. They flew a bit lower than other top performers in the distance category.
- Finally, higher-speed golfers who insist on a softer-feeling ball should consider the Titleist AVX, Srixon Z-Star, Maxfli Tour S or Callaway Chrome Soft (softest of this group).
- As expected, the list of top-10 fastest balls at 115 mph comprises mostly high-compression offerings, including the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, Maxfli Tour X, Srixon Z-Star Diamond, and the Titleist Pro V1x.
- Surprises include the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1 Yellow, which, while not soft, are sub-90 compression on our gauge.
- The list of fastest balls includes a mix of higher- and lower-spinning balls, which suggests high-speed players aren’t locked into a single spin profile.
- You should be able to find what you need with respect to spin and trajectory and still find a fast ball.
- Under the conditions tested, low-compression balls can’t match the speed of firmer balls.
When it comes to the driver, low spin can be your friend, as it will often result in straighter shots. It’s a good bit of the reason why low-compression balls are sometimes described as more forgiving.
- The highest spinning balls off the driver include the Kirkland Performance+ V3, PXG XTREME and Wilson Triad.
- Not surprisingly, the ionomer balls in the test – Not Your Ball, Wilson DUO Soft, and Callaway Supersoft – were the lowest-spinning
- Lower-compression “non-Tour urethane” offerings like the Srixon Q-Star Tour, Titleist AVX, Titleist Tour Speed, and TaylorMade Tour Response were also among the lowest-spinning.
- The surprise on the list is the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS which didn’t spin less than the standard Callaway Chrome Soft X under the conditions tested.
- Low compression is almost invariably low spin. Golfers seeking as much spin as they can get from a soft (or at least soft-ish ball) should consider the OnCore ELIXR (soft-ish) or the Bridgestone TOUR B RX.
High Swing Speed Irons
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Club Used: PXG 0317 CB (8-iron)||Total Distance: 181.7|
|Swing Speed: 87 mph||Ball Speed: 117.6|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: 18||Launch Angle: 18.3|
|Calibration Spin Target: 7,500 rpm||Spin: 7,332|
- Under the conditions tested, the list of longest balls off high-speed irons includes a mix of high- and, at least, mid-compression offerings.
- Firmer options that produced outstanding iron distance include the Bridgestone TOUR BX, Srixon Z-Star Diamond and the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash.
- Softer options among the top 10 include the Bridgestone TOUR B RX, Callaway Chrome Soft and Titleist AVX.
- The high-flying options on the list include the Callaway Chrome Soft, Titleist AVX, Left Dash and Pro V1 Yellow.
- All of the above produced similar descent angles.
- Without regard for distance, other high-trajectory options include Not Your Ball, LA Golf Ball and the VICE Pro and Pro Plus.
- Of that group, the LA Golf ball produced the shallowest descent angles.
- Low-flying options with strong distance showings include the Srixon Z-Star (the lowest of the bunch), the Bridgestone TOUR B X and the TaylorMade TP5, which offered the steepest descent angle.
- While their distance numbers fall outside the top 10, the Kirkland Performance+ V3, Srixon S-Star, Bridgestone TOUR B RX, Volvik Tour VS4 and Taylormade TP5x also offer what could be described as a penetrating trajectory.
- Under the conditions tested, the top 10 fall within .32 mph of each other.
- Again, the list of fastest balls includes a good mix of firm balls like the Maxfli Tour X, Callaway Chrome Soft X and Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash and mid-compression offerings (by the standards of this test) like the Titleist Pro V1 and TaylorMade TP5 to slightly softer offerings like the OnCore ELIXR and Titleist AVX.
- While the data suggest low-compression balls can’t match the speed of firmer balls, the Callaway Chrome Soft qualifies as a faster soft option under our test conditions.
- Faster soft options include the OnCore ELIXR (low 80s compression) and the Callaway Chrome Soft (mid 70s)
- The highest spinning balls under the conditions tested include the PXG Xtreme, Inesis Tour 900, Kirkland Performanc+ v3, and the Volvik Tour VS4.
- We’ve talked about the spin challenges inherent to low-compression golf balls. That bears out, as all of the balls in the top 10 are above 80 compression.
- The lowest spin group comprises “non-Tour” urethane offerings like the Bridgestone TOUR B RX, TOUR B RXS, and Srixon Q-Star.
- The Seed SD-02 is notable for being a firmer ball that produces low spin rates.
MID SWING SPEED RESULTS
Top Picks for Mid Swing Speed
To arrive at our picks, we considered key performance metrics like ball speed, trajectory, spin rate, and distance. The mid speed recommendations below are based on a combination of driver and iron performance.
Low Spin – VICE Pro Soft, Titleist Pro V1, Bridgestone TOUR B RX
Mid Spin – Titleist Pro V1x, LA Golf Ball, Callaway Chrome Soft X LS
High Spin – Srixon Z-Star Diamond, Callaway Chrome Soft X, Bridgestone Tour B XS
Great Buy – Wilson Triad
Mid Swing Speed Driver
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Club Used: Callaway Paradym 10.5°||Total Distance: 266.9|
|Swing Speed: 100 mph||Ball Speed: 145.5|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: 13||Launch Angle: 12.67|
|Calibration Spin Target: 2,600 rpm||Spin: 2,783|
- Higher compression offerings again produce the most driver distance under conditions tested.
- Titleist Pro V1x, Callaway Chrome Soft X LS and Titleist Left Dash topped the chart.
- It’s not until the ninth (Titleist Tour Speed) that we find anything that even loosely qualifies as soft.
- Seven of the top 10 fall in the lower half (most in the lower third) of the spin table.
- Of the top 10 longest balls under the conditions tested, the Mizuno RB Tour X and Srixon Z-Star Diamond produced the highest trajectory.
- The Mizuno RB Tour, Srixon Z-Star, and TP5 also flew comparably high.
- Lower-flying balls that produced top-10 distance were the Titleist Pro V1 (yellow), Titleist Tour Speed, and Callaway Chrome Soft X LS.
- For those seeking soft, the Bridgestone TOUR B RX, Titleist AVX, and Bridgestone TOUR B RXS were the longest of the soft crowd.
- The fastest balls are, again, high-compression offerings. They include the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, Maxfli Tour X, Srixon Z-Star Diamond, PXG Xtreme, and Wilson Staff Model.
- The fastest “soft” balls include the OnCore EXLIR, Titleist AVX, Bridgestone TOUR B XS, and Callaway Chrome Soft (the lowest-compression ball on this list).
- As we’ve come to expect, the highest-spinning offerings under the conditions tested were the PXG XTREME, Inesis Tour 900, Kirkland Performance+ v3, Volvik Tour VS4, and Srixon Z-Star.
- The first two on the list crossed the 3,000 rpm barrier.
- The higher-spinning balls fall mostly on the higher end of the compression scale. The Bridgestone TOUR B XS (low 80s compression) is a notable exception.
- The lowest-spinning models include the ionomer balls tested as well as the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash (really firm), Titleist Pro V1 (yellow), and several non-Tour urethane offerings.
- For those seeking more spin with soft feel: good luck. You’re not going to find anything really soft. Your best soft-ish options include the Bridgestone TOUR B XS, OnCore ELIXR, and Wilson Triad.
Mid Swing Speed Irons
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Club Used: PXG 0317 CB (8-iron)||Total Distance: 166.5|
|Swing Speed: 77 mph||Ball Speed: 106.6|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: 21||Launch Angle: 21.0|
|Calibration Spin Target: 7,000 rpm||Spin: 6,657|
- The pattern holds as the longest balls off irons include a mix of high-, low- and mid-compression offerings.
- The LA Golf ball was the longest under the conditions tested, followed by Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, Titleist AVX, and TaylorMade Tour Response.
- Only one in the top 10 for distance – the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS – produced above-average spin.
- The lowest-spinning options include the Bridgestone TOUR B RX and TaylorMade Tour Response.
- Among the top 10, the highest ball flight was offered by the Bridgestone TOUR B RX, Titleist AVX, and Maxfli Tour S.
- Lower-flying options that produced outstanding distance are the Titleist Pro V1 (yellow), Chrome Soft X LS and Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash
- Lower-flying options outside the top 10 are the Inesis Tour 900, Kirkland Performance+ V3 and the Snell MTB Prime X.
- The longest soft offering was the Bridgestone TOUR B RX.
- The top 10 provides a broad range of offerings, including three Bridgestone balls (TOUR B XS, TOUR B X, and TOUR B RXS). The TaylorMade TP5 and Titleist Pro V1 round out the top five.
- The fastest “soft” balls under the conditions tested were the Bridgestone TOUR B XS (kinda soft) and the TOUR B RXS, which is legitimately soft.
- The high-spin end of the chart should look familiar. The PXG XTREME, Inesis Tour 900, Srixon Z-Star Diamond, Callaway Chrome Soft X, and Kirkland Performance+ v3 all hit the board again.
- Notably, all are higher-compression offerings.
- For those looking for a soft-ish ball with some iron spin, the Bridgestone TOUR B XS qualifies. After that, you have to go all the way down to Supersoft which narrowly misses the list of top-10 lowest-spinning balls.
- The lowest-spinning balls under the conditions tested are largely non-Tour urethane offerings. The list includes the Srixon Q-Star Tour, Bridgestone TOUR B RX, Bridgestone TOUR B RXS, VICE Pro Soft and the TaylorMade Tour Response.
LOW SWING SPEED RESULTS
Top Picks for Low Swing Speed
To arrive at our picks, we considered key performance metrics like ball speed, trajectory, spin rate, and distance. The slow speed recommendations below are based on a combination of driver and iron performance.
Low Spin – VICE Pro Soft, Maxfli Tour S, Bridgestone TOUR B RXS
Mid Spin – LA Golf Ball, Maxlfi Tour X, Callaway Chrome Soft
High Spin – Srixon Z-Star Diamond, Titleist Pro V1x, PXG Xtreme
Great Buy – Maxfli Tour S
Low Swing Speed Driver
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Club Used: PING G430 MAX 12°||Total Distance: 219.8|
|Swing Speed: 85 mph||Ball Speed: 123.4|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: 15||Launch Angle: 14.3|
|Calibration Spin Target: 2,800 rpm||Spin: 2,943|
- Even at relatively slow speeds, higher-compression offerings produced the longest driver distances under the conditions tested.
- The top 10 includes the VICE Pro Plus, Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, Srixon Z-Star Diamond, Wilson Triad and Srixon Z-Star XV.
- We did see slightly soft offerings like the Wilson Triad, OnCore ELIXR and Titleist Tour Speed enter the distance conversation.
- Seven of the 10 longest balls produced above-average spin rates.
- Among the top 10, the Z-Star Diamond flew the highest followed by the Mizuno RB Tour and VICE Pro.
- The lowest-trajectory balls in the top 10 include the OnCore ELIXR, Titleist Tour Speed and Wilson Triad.
- For low-speed golfers prioritizing feel, the Callaway Supersoft was the longest of the balls we’d classify as soft.
- One last time: Firm is fast.
- The fastest soft ball was the VICE Pro Soft. It produced ball speeds within the average range.
- The highest-spinning balls off drivers hit at 85 mph were the Kirkland Performance+ V3, PXG Xtreme, Srixon Z-Star Diamond, Inesis Tour 900 and Callaway Chrome Soft X.
- Both the TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x were also higher-spinning.
- The list of lowest-spinning models includes a mix of ionomer and non-Tour urethane offerings like the Callaway Supersoft, TaylorMade Tour Response, Srixon Q-Star Tour, Wilson DUO Soft and Titleist AVX.
- Slower swing speed golfers seeking higher spin with soft feel don’t have many options. The Bridgestone TOUR BX is soft-ish (above 80 compression). The Bridgestone TOUR B RX and Callaway Chrome Soft are middle-of-the-table options.
Low Swing Speed Irons
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Club Used: PXG 0317 CB||Total Distance: 134.9|
|Swing Speed: 67||Ball Speed: 90.0|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: 24||Launch Angle: 23.6|
|Calibration Spin Target: 6,500 rpm||Spin: 6,029|
- With the reduced speed friction of the low-speed iron test (66 mph average), low-compression balls shine for distance.
- The top are all low-compression balls.
- Ionomer offerings (Callaway Supersoft, Wilson DUO Soft and Not Your Ball) top the chart while most of the rest are non-Tour urethane offerings including TaylorMade Tour Response, Bridgestone TOUR B RX, Callaway Chrome Soft, etc.).
- The notable exception is the VICE Pro which ranked eighth.
- All of the balls in the top 10 produced below-average spin rates.
- VICE Pro was the highest spinning but still fell just outside the top-10 lowest-spinning.
- The longest ball with average-plus spin rates is the LA Golf ball. The longest with high spin is the Wilson Staff.
- While there’s not a ton of separation under the conditions tested, the VICE Pro Soft, VICE Pro and Bridgestone TOUR B RXS flew the highest among the top 10.
- The highest-flying without regard for distance rank were the Seed SD-02 and SD-01 along with the VICE Pro Plus and LA Golf ball.
- The lowest-trajectory balls within the top 10 are the TaylorMade Tour Response and Not Your Ball.
- Without regard for distance, the lowest-flying balls include the Kirkland Performance+ V3, Inesis Tour 900 and Tour 900 Proto, the Snell MTB Prime and Volvik Tour VS4.
- There’s not much speed separation between balls (though 2 mph top to bottom isn’t nothing).
- Under the conditions tested, the Callaway Supersoft was the fastest followed by the OnCore ELIXR, Seed SD-01 and Bridgestone TOUR B RXS.
- Higher-compression balls near the top of the chart include the VICE Pro and LA Golf ball.
- Slower speed players will often benefit from more spin. With that in mind, the highest-spinning balls on low speed iron shots were the Callaway Chrome Soft X, Kirkland Performance+ V3, Inesis Tour 900 and Srixon Z-Star Diamond.
- The lowest-spinning balls were the Seed SD-02, Bridgestone TOUR B RX, TaylorMade Tour Response, VICE Pro Soft and Bridgestone TOUR B RXS.
The wedge portion of the test was designed to replicate a greenside shot of 35 yards. Rather than calibrate to specific launch and spin targets, we configured the robot to hit the calibration ball approximately 35 yards (total).
|Test Parameters||Test Averages (All Balls)|
|Club Used: PXG Sugar Daddy II 56°||Total Distance: 37.3|
|Swing Speed: 37 mph||Ball Speed: 39.6|
|Calibration Launch Angle Target: n/a||Launch Angle: 37.3|
|Calibration Spin Target: n/a||Spin: 5,489|
- The Inesis Tour 900, TaylorMade TP5 and Kirkland Performance+ V3 were the highest-spinning in our greenside test.
- While subtle differences matter to some degree, there’s not much separation at the top of the table beyond those few balls.
- We find more separation at the bottom where the ionomer offerings spin significantly less. Lower-spinning urethane offerings include the Volvik Tour VS4, Titleist Tour Speed and Snell MTB Prime X.
Launch angle may not be something you’ve considered on shorter greenside shots but we do see subtle differences.
- Painting with broad strokes, many of the lower-spinning balls on greenside shots produce higher launch angles.
- That can provide a means to offset lower spin but does limit options to manipulate trajectory around the green.
- Likewise, higher-spinning balls tend to produce lower launch angles.
- An exception is the TaylorMade TP5, which produced middle-of-the-pack launch with high spin. That may suggest enhanced stopping power.
2023 Golf Ball Test Data
In our previous Ball Tests, we’ve provided a scatter plot showing the relationship between Ball Speed and Compression. This time, we’ve enhanced the chart to allow you to plot any two of our provided metrics. What you do with it is entirely up to you.
We’ve also included the ability to filter balls by manufacturer or model.
If you experience issues with any of the charts loading, here are the direct links:
Dynamic Bar Charts
Our next two charts provide a more straightforward look at the data. The functionality is similar to the scatter plot. You choose the Metric you want to see, along with the club and speed conditions. You can also filter by OEM and all Model.
By default, the bar chart below will display the Top 10 for the given metric. You can increase or decrease the number of balls shown in the chart (it defaults to 10). You also have the ability to show the Top x, Bottom x or Middle x values.
The way the filters operate is somewhat counterintuitive. We recommend leaving the “Choose What?” set to Include Top x. If you want to see the bottom x, the sort function of the bottom of the chart will re-sort from the bottom up.
As a specific example, by default, the chart will show you the top 10 highest spinning balls. Sorting the chart without adjusting the Top x filter will repopulate the chart with the 10 lowest spinning balls.
Finally, we’ve added a crosstab for those who like to see everything in one place. Although we’ve done what we can, this one will be a struggle to view on your mobile device.
More to Come
This is the first of several posts to come from the MyGolfSpy 2023 Ball Test. In the near future, you can expect reports on Wet vs. Dry performance off wedges (yes, moisture makes a huge difference), as well as breakdowns of some of the more interesting models we tested.
MyGolfSpy 2023 Golf Ball Test FAQ
To see even more, check out our article on the Best Golf Balls of 2023.