Best Golf Balls of 2023: Expert Tested & Data-Backed
Golf Balls

Best Golf Balls of 2023: Expert Tested & Data-Backed

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Best Golf Balls of 2023: Expert Tested & Data-Backed

Every year, we spend countless hours hitting balls, analyzing results and breaking down data, all with the goal of finding the best golf balls. No matter your skill level, you’re going to want a quality golf ball. Instead of just leaving it to a personal “feeling” or random guess on which ball performs well, we’re looking at the data.

How We Tested

In true MyGolfSpy style, we went deep into testing. Our team spent more than 80 hours at two separate locations, testing 46 ball models in order to find the best golf balls. We tested at high, mid and low swing speeds with drivers and mid-irons. To better understand what is typically called “greenside performance,” we also included a 35-yard wedge test.

In addition to our dedicated 2023 Ball Test, we also have ongoing Ball Labs to test durability, consistency and true price.


Best Overall Golf BalLS

If you’re unsure of where to start your search, these are our top picks for the best golf balls overall.


Titleist Pro V1x

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Price

$54.99

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Compression

96 (Firm)

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Construction

4-Piece (Dual Core)

👍 Buy This If

You want distance and spin: The Pro V1x is long off the tee but still produces plenty of spin where you need it.

Quality is a priority: Balls produced at Titleist Ball Plant 3 are consistently among the highest rated in Ball Lab. The Pro V1x is no exception.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You hate firm feel: At 96 compression, the Pro V1x is a firmer-feeling ball. That’s the cost of speed.

✖︎ You’re looking for a bargain: With a retail price of $54.99, the Pro V1x is one of the more expensive balls on the market.


The Bottom Line

The Pro V1x is inarguably among the best golf balls on the market. While it has a well-deserved reputation as “Tour” ball, it fits a wider range of golfers than you might expect. Perhaps that’s why it’s the ball Titleist fits more golfers into than any other in its lineup.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Off the tee, you can expect the Titleist Pro V1x to produce mid-high flight, moderate spin and plenty of ball speed. It’s a combination that explains why the Pro V1x perennially is among the best golf balls for distance off the tee.

While it’s often misstated that slower swing speed players need lower-compression balls, many slower swing speed players can benefit from the flight and spin properties offered by the the Pro V1x.

Performance Off Irons

While Titleist was able to reduce spin off the driver with the current Pro V1x, spin rates on iron shots are still well above average. Faster players should see comparably higher trajectory off the irons while mid and slower swing speed players should expect mid-trajectory performance.

Performance Off Wedges

On full wedge swings, the Pro V1x produces a mid-low trajectory with spin rates within the average range. Greenside spin rates also fall within the average range. Generally speaking, the balls that differentiate themselves around the green tend to be excessively spinny in other facets of the game.

MyGolfSpy Ball Lab Quality Control

As with most of the Titleist lineup, the Titleist Pro V1x offers excellent quality and consistent. The current model scored 89 and claimed a Ball Lab Quality Award in our recent test.


Titleist Pro V1

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Price

$54.99

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Compression

87 (Med-Firm)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want balanced performance off your irons: The Pro V1 is the very definition of mid flight and mid spin on iron shots.

You want a “soft” Tour ball: It’s not a soft ball but the Pro V1 is on the softer side for a true “Tour” ball.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You need more height off the driver: Off the tee, the Pro V1 was among the lowest-flying balls we tested.

✖︎ Price is a consideration: Like the Pro V1x, the Titleist Pro V1 has hefty retail price of $54.99.


The Bottom Line

While not the best golf ball for every golfer, the Pro V1 should work well for golfers who find themselves benefitting from a mid-flight and mid-spin golf ball that doesn’t doesn’t give up much in the way of speed.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

While Titleist describes the Pro V1 as a mid-trajectory, mid spin ball, our test results suggest it’s a ball that flies lower than most off the driver. With low spin rates, the Pro V1 is a bit longer off the driver than its compression number suggest, though the low-ish flight won’t be ideal for some golfers.

Performance Off Irons

Off irons, the Titleist Pro V1 lives up to its billing as a mid-flight, mid-spin ball. Under most conditions we tested, you’ll find the Pro V1 near the middle of the table for both. The relatively neutral performance is at least part of the reason why it’s a popular choice of golfers of all ability levels.

Performance Off Wedges

While it doesn’t spin quite as much off wedges as the Pro V1x, the Pro V1 still offers plenty of spin and we suspect many will prefer the softer feel on those feel shots around the green.

MyGolfSpy Ball Lab Quality Control

Like other balls produced at Ball Plant 3 in New Bedford, Mass., our Ball Lab tests show the Titleist Pro V1 to be an above-average quality golf ball.


Callaway Chrome Soft X

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Price

$49.99

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Compression

95 (Firm)

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Construction

4-piece (dual mantle)

👍 Buy This If

You need more spin: The Chrome Soft X offers relatively high spin rates throughout the bag.

You like patterns on your golf ball: The Chrome Soft X is available in both Truvis and Triple Track patterns with limited edition offerings hitting the market from time to time.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You need to cut driver spin: The Chrome Soft X is one of the higher-spinning balls on the market.

✖︎ You want to hit the ball higher: Chrome Soft X isn’t the lowest flying ball but it won’t solve your height problems.


The Bottom Line

The most under-appreciated and arguably the best-performing golf ball in the Callaway lineup, the Chrome Soft X is an intriguing option for anyone looking for a golf ball that combines distance with higher spin rates.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Under some conditions, the Callaway Chrome Soft X can be among the longest golf balls on the market. While it’s not short for anyone, our data suggests driver spin rates are high enough that slow and mid swing players don’t get as much out of it as faster players.

Performance Off Irons

Off irons, the Callaway Chrome Soft X produces a mid-trajectory with a significant amount of green stopping spin. That holds true across swing speed ranges, suggesting the Chrome Soft X’s fitting reach may be wider than you think.

Performance Off Wedges

Differences won’t be massive but, among the best golf balls mentioned thus far, the Callaway Chrome Soft X should produce the highest spin rates on full and partial wedge shots with a slightly lower trajectory.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

Ball Lab has revealed consistency issues with Callaway balls in the past. That said, quality does appear to be improving with our most recent tests suggesting Chrome Soft X offers average quality.


BEST GOLF BALLS FOR DISTANCE

While distance is heavily player-dependent, under the conditions tested in our robot ball test, these are your best bets for maximizing distance off the tee.


Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash

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Price

$54.99

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Compression

102 (Firm)

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Construction

4-piece (Dual Core)

👍 Buy This If

You want every inch of distance: With its combination of high compression and low spin, most golfers will find the Left Dash among the very longest balls in golf.

► You need to cut spin: You’d be hard-pressed to find a lower spinning ball with Tour-level compression.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You don’t want to sacrifice greenside spin: For a firm ball with a urethane cover, greenside spin is on the low side.

✖︎ You like soft balls: Measured at 102, the Left Dash is among the firmest balls on the market.


The Bottom Line

For golfers placing a premium on driver distance, the Pro V1x Left Dash is the safest bet.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Given that we’re talking about distance, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that our best golf balls for distance shine off the tee. With its combination of high compression, mid flight and low spin, the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash finds itself at the top at nearly every driver distance table including slow to moderate swing speed golfers.

Performance Off Irons

Off the irons, the trajectory of the Pro V1x Left Dash is similar to the stock Pro V1x. The difference is that the Left Dash spins significantly less.

Performance Off Wedges

On full swings, wedge spin rates for the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash are just a bit below average. If there’s a liability, it’s around the green where the Left Dash doesn’t have the stopping power of other balls in the Pro V1 lineup.

Ball Lab and Quality Control:

Ball Lab tests of the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash found the quality to be excellent.


Titleist Pro V1x

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Price

$54.99

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Compression

96 (Firm)

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Construction

4-piece (Dual Core)

👍 Buy This If

Greenside spin matters: Despite low-ish driver spin, the Pro V1x still spins around the green.

► You like a firm ball: It’s not as firm as Left Dash but Pro V1x is still firmer than most.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You’re a high-spin player: If you already spin the ball plenty, the Pro V1x may push you beyond where you want to be.


The Bottom Line

With its mid-spin properties and high compression, driver distance for the Pro V1x is among the longest. There are longer balls but none that maintain spin through the bag as well as the Pro V1x.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

With its higher spin rates, the Pro V1x won’t be as long as Left Dash for most golfers. Trajectories should prove similar between the two balls.

Performance Off Irons

For those looking to increase green stopping power, the higher spin rates of the Titleist Pro V1x will be appreciated. At the risk of redundancy, it’s what separates the stock Pro V1x from Left Dash.

Performance Off Wedges

Off full wedges and around the green, the Pro V1x can be expected to produce spin rates within the average range which should be a bit more than Left Dash.

Ball Lab and Quality Control:

As noted previously, the Pro V1x is among the best golf balls tested in Ball Lab.


VICE Pro Plus

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Price

$38.99

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Compression

93 (Firm)

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Construction

4-piece (Dual Core)

👍 Buy This If

You want a deal on distance: The VICE Pro Plus is the longest ball under $40.

► You root for the little guy: The Pro Plus is the only direct-to-consumer ball on the “longest” list.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You hit your irons too high: The VICE Pro Plus is among the higher-flying balls off the irons.


The Bottom Line

The VICE Pro Plus is among the longest balls on the market and is also an excellent choice for golfers seeking higher flight and softer landing with their irons. Priced below offerings from the large OEMs, it also provides good value.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

With its mid-90s compression and mid-height trajectory, the VICE Pro Plus produces plenty of distance off the driver, finishing in the top-five at both slow and fast swing speeds.

Performance Off Irons

Off the irons, the VICE Pro Plus combines a mid spin rate with high ball flight. With that, you can expect steep descent angles which should translate to excellent stopping power on your approach shots.

Performance Off Wedges

On full wedge shots, the VICE Pro Plus provides average spin rates. On greenside shots, spin rates are also within the average range though it’s worth noting that the Pro Plus provides the highest spin rates of any VICE ball.

Ball Lab and Quality Control:

While Foremost (the factory that manufactures the VICE Pro series) has a generally good record for quality, there can be occasional inconsistencies. That was the case with our VICE Pro sample which received a below-average Ball Lab score of 66.


BEST MID-PRICED GOLF BALLS

A high-quality, high-performance golf ball doesn’t have to cost as much as a steak dinner. These are our top picks under $40.


Maxfli Tour S

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Price

$39.99

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Compression

82 (Mid)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

A soft-ish feel with some spin: Soft doesn’t spin but, with compression in the low 80s, the Tour S feels softer than most while still providing some stopping power.

► Consistency from ball to ball: The Maxfli Tour S is a Ball Lab Quality Award winner.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You want maximum distance off the tee: We wouldn’t call the Maxfli Tour S short but it’s not among the very longest.

✖︎ You need maximum stopping power: It’s not the lowest-spinning ball on the market but some golfers may need a bit more spin that the Tour S offers.


The Bottom Line

Frankly, we could comfortably place any of the Maxfli Tour series balls in this slot. The newest of the Tour series, the Maxfli Tour S, was an impressive performer in our ball test and we think it’s an excellent option for golfers seeking reasonably soft feel at a more affordable price.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

With low 80s compression, the Maxfli Tour S isn’t one of the longest balls but it does manage solidly average distance thanks to its mid-trajectory and mid-low spin rates.

Performance Off Irons

Off the irons, you can expect the Maxfli Tour S to produce a mid-high trajectory with mid-low spin rates. Descent angles aren’t overly steep so some golfers may find they need a bit more stopping power on approach shots.

Performance Off Wedges

Spin rates on full wedge shots fall within the low end of the average range. That shouldn’t be a surprise as spin rates often drop with compression. Around-the-green spin rates for the Maxfli Tour S are solidly average.

Ball Lab and Quality Control:

Ball Lab tests of the Maxfli Tour S found the quality to be excellent.


VICE Pro Soft

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Price

$38.99

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Compression

71 (Soft)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want a quality soft ball: We rate the VICE Pro Soft among the best soft golf balls on the market.

► You want as much speed as you can get with soft feel: VICE Pro Soft won’t touch the ball speeds of something like Left Dash but it’s about as fast as you’ll find from a 70-compression ball.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You have a high swing speed: With a compression of just 70, there’s a real risk of overly compressing the VICE Pro Soft.

✖︎ You need more spin on approach shots: Like other soft golf balls, the VICE Pro Soft doesn’t provide much spin on approach shots.


The Bottom Line

Like the Maxfli Tour S, the VICE Pro Soft may not spin enough for some golfers. That said, we think it’s among the better soft options on the market and, relative to the competitive set, may be the best ball in the VICE lineup.

Peformance Details

Performance Off the Driver

The VICE Pro Soft is a 70 compression golf ball. With that, faster and even mid swing speed players who produce low to average spin rates risk over-compressing the core and losing speed. Generally speaking, you should expect a mid trajectory with low spin off the driver.

Performance Off Irons

Like most “soft” golf balls, the VICE Pro Plus offers a high trajectory with relatively low spin rates off the irons. Descent angles are only average so golfers who need help stopping the ball may be better served elsewhere. Notably, because of its lower spin rates, the VICE Pro Soft is among the longest golf balls on iron shots.

Performance Off Wedges

On full wedge shots, the VICE Pro Soft produces slightly below-average spin rates. A bit of stopping power is retained via the slightly above-average flight and descent angles provided. As is often the case with soft golf balls, even those with urethane covers, spin rates for the VICE Pro Soft on greenside shots fall on the low end of average.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

Like other VICE Pro series golf balls, the Pro Soft is produced by Foremost in Taiwan. Balls produced there are generally of average or better quality. The VICE Pro Soft rates slightly above average.


Wilson Staff Triad

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Price

$39.99

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Compression

86 (Mid-Firm)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want balanced performance: Our test results suggest the Triad should hit the sweet spot for many golfers.

► You don’t want to pay Pro V1 prices: The Triad isn’t a 1-for-1 Pro V1 clone but most golfers should find it more similar than different.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You’re a fast player looking to cut driver spin: At high swing speeds, the Wilson Triad is one of the higher-spinning balls we tested.

✖︎ You want more distance off the tee: The Triad isn’t a short ball but golfers looking to maximize driver distance have better options.


The Bottom Line

Wilson’s urethane golf ball is often under-appreciated but with its middle of the bell curve performance for several key metrics, the Triad should appeal to golfers looking for balanced performance at a sub-$40 price point. It’s our favorite of the current Wilson offerings.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Off the driver, the Wilson Triad produces mid-flight and mid-spin under most conditions. The exception is for faster players where spin rates can creep up a bit. While not as fast as the firmer Wilson Staff Model, ball speeds range from average to slightly above average and our data suggests slower swingers will see the most distance benefit.

Performance Off Irons

Off the irons, the Wilson Staff Triad produces a mid-trajectory flight. For mid and fast swing speed golfers, the Triad should produce mid-to-high spin rates. For slower swing speed players, spin rates are the very definition of average.

Performance Off Wedges

On full wedge shots, the Triad produces above-average spin rates paired with a generally lower flight. That suggests a ball that could work well for golfers looking to flight their wedges down. On greenside shots, the Wilson Triad flies a bit lower than most while producing slightly above-average spin rates.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

The Triad is produced for Wilson by Foremost. Wilson says it has a higher quality standard and that’s reflected in the results of our tests where the Triad finished as a Ball Lab Quality Award winner.

BEST VALUE GOLF BALLS

For those seeking the ultimate value, these are our top picks under $30.


Kirkland Performance+ V3

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Price

$17.50

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Compression

92 (Firm)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want the cheapest urethane ball you can find: At $17.50 a dozen, you won’t find a less-expensive urethane ball.

► You want greenside control: The Performance+ V3 is one of the highest-spinning balls around the green.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You need to cut spin: Under every test condition, the Kirkland Performance+ V3 rates as one of the spinniest balls.

✖︎ You play in the wind: The dimple pattern on the Kirkland ball causes it to struggle in windy conditions.


The Bottom Line

While the Kirkland Performance+ V3 isn’t without its flaws, at less than $20 a dozen, there’s inarguably value that may offset the performance considerations, especially for beginning golfers and those on tighter budgets.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Regardless of your swing speed, you can expect the Kirkland Performance+ V3 to be among the highest-spinning on the market. For slower swing speed golfers, it produces a mid-low trajectory. Mid and faster swing speed players should see more of a true mid trajectory. Ball speeds are not among the fastest by any means. That, paired with the high spin rates, leads to well below-average distance off the tee.

Performance Off Irons

Off the irons, the Kirkland Performance+ V3 produces a low trajectory with high spin rates under every test condition. While that suggests plenty of stopping power on approach shots, the shallow descent angles may be ideal for some golfers. As with the driver, the high spin rates lead to below-average distance.

Performance Off Wedges

On full wedge swings, spin rates are on the high end of the average range. As with the irons, the Performance+ V3, flies low and produces a shallow descent angle. Greenside spin rates are among the highest we tested.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

The Performance+ V3 is currently undergoing Ball Lab testing. Tests on previous versions suggest below-average quality though, given the price, that shouldn’t be a surprise.


OnCore ELIXR

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Price

$29.99

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Compression

83 (Mid)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want an affordable ball that spins less than the Kirkland: The OnCore ELIXR offers mid-spin rates throughout the bag.

► You don’t know where to start: The ELIXR falls in the middle of the table for just about every meaningful metric.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You want to bomb it: The ELIXR isn’t short but it won’t keep up with the best balls for distance.

✖︎ You like a firmer ball: The ELIXR isn’t overly soft but it won’t be mistaken for a Pro V1x or Chrome Soft X.


The Bottom Line

While the ELIXR doesn’t offer quite the same value as the Kirkland, we think it’s the better option for most golfers. It’s a textbook example of balanced performance which isn’t a bad place to start when you’re not sure what ball is right for you.

Peformance Details

Performance Off the Driver

With a compression in the low 80s, the ELIXR isn’t going to compete with the fastest golf balls but it holds its own well enough, providing average distance off the tee. The trajectory falls somewhere between low and mid-low while spin rates are solidly in the mid range.

Performance Off Irons

As with the driver, spin rates for the OnCore ELIXR are solidly within the average range. The same can be said about the flight, where the ELIXR tests out as mid-trajectory offering. Greenside spin rates are slightly below average though that should be offset by the slightly higher ball flight.

Performance Off Wedges

Spin rates on wedge shots are also within the average range. The same is true for trajectory and descent angle. Greenside spin rates are among the highest we tested.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

When we ran the ELIXR through Ball Lab, we found a few balls from another model mixed in with the real ELIXR. OnCore has addressed the issue with the factory. Our expectation is average quality.

BEST GOLF BALLS FOR SOFT FEEL

Golfers love soft feel and, while that often means a performance trade-off, our top picks deliver the feel you want with the performance you need.


VICE Pro Soft

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Price

$38.99

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Compression

71 (Soft)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

Spin is your enemy: The VICE Pro Soft is among the lowest-spinning balls we’ve tested.

► You like saving money: The VICE Pro Soft is a quality soft ball that’s more affordable than most.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You want greenside spin: The soft feel of the VICE Pro Soft is going to cost you some spin around the green.

✖︎ You swing fast: With low 70s compression, the Pro Soft is going to cost most faster players distance off the tee.


The Bottom Line

With a strong showing in two consecutive robot tests, the VICE Pro Soft has become one of our favorites for golfers seeking soft feel and want way more performance than any two-piece ball can offer.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

We’ve already discussed the mid-trajectory and low-spin performance of the VICE Pro Soft off the driver. Of our choices for the best soft golf balls, it should prove to be the highest-flying and lowest-spinning, though not by a massive amount.

Performance Off Irons

Likewise, the VICE Pro Soft offers high flight and relatively low spin rates off the irons. Generally speaking, trajectory and spin rates are similar to the Bridgestone TOUR B RXS.

Performance Off Wedges

The VICE Pro Soft spins a bit less on full wedge shots than our other top choices but the difference isn’t significant enough to be the deciding factor. On greenside shots, the performance between the three balls on our list of best soft golf balls is nearly identical. Spin rates are a bit below average due in no small part to the low-compression design.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

The Pro Soft is produced by Foremost in Taiwan. Balls produced there are generally of average or better quality. The VICE Pro Soft rates as slightly above average.

Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls

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Price

$49.99

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Compression

72 (Soft)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You swing fast but want soft feel: The Callaway Chrome Soft is the longest of our best soft golf ball picks, especially for faster layers.

► You like lines and patterns: Chrome Soft is available in both Triple Track and Truvis with limited-edition offerings dropping throughout the year

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You want spin around the greens: The Chrome Soft is the highest spinning of our best soft golf ball picks.

✖︎ You need maximum stopping power: It’s not the lowest-spinning ball on the market but some golfers may need a bit more spin than this offers.


The Bottom Line

While faster players will likely be better served by the Chrome Soft X or X LS, slow to moderate swing speed players looking for a modestly higher-spinning option should give Chrome Soft a look.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Off the driver, the Callaway Chrome Soft produces a relatively low to mid trajectory with below-average spin rates. It’s a touch longer than similarly constructed balls, due in part to a design specification that flirts with the USGA’s minimum size requirement.

Performance Off Irons

On iron shots, the Chrome Soft produces a high trajectory with low to moderate spin rates. Distance rates are among the longest, especially for slow and mid swing speed players. Greenside spin rates are slightly below average.

Performance Off Wedges

As noted, there isn’t much separation in wedge spin among our best soft golf ball picks but, by the numbers, the Chrome Soft is the highest spinning among this group. Greenside spin rates are slightly below average.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

Callaway has a mixed record in Ball Lab but we have reason to believe quality is improving with each generation.

Bridgestone TOUR B RXS

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Price

$44.99

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Compression

65 (Soft)

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Construction

3-piece


👍 Buy This If

You want some greenside spin: Among our best soft golf ball choices, the TOUR B RXS provides the most greenside spin.

► You want the softest three-piece ball out there: The Bridgestone TOUR B RXS is the softest golf ball we think is worth considering.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You’re a fast swing speed player: Of our top picks for the best soft golf balls, the Bridgestone TOUR B RXS is the shortest off the tee for high-speed players.

✖︎ You need height to stop the ball: Under most conditions, the Bridgestone TOUR B RXS flies slightly lower than our other soft golf ball choices.


The Bottom Line

While there are performance limitations associated with soft golf balls, if you’re looking for the softest three-piece ball you can find, the Bridgestone TOUR B RXS is your best bet.

Peformance Details

Performance Off the Driver

The Bridgestone TOUR B RXS will produce below-average height and spin rates off the driver. That’s true for nearly every soft ball. The RXS isn’t going to win any distance awards but, for slower swing speed players, we’re only talking about a few yards compared to the longest golf balls.

Performance Off Irons

Bridgestone TOUR B RXS iron distances are among the longest. That’s driven, in part, by its low spin rates. The comparably low spin is at least partially offset by higher flight and steeper landing angles.

Performance Off Wedges

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Soft doesn’t spin and, with that, spin rates on full wedge shots are a bit below average though, again, higher flight with steep landing angles work to boost stopping power. As with the others on our list of best soft golf balls, greenside spin rates are slightly below average.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

While we’ve found exceptions in both directions, Bridgestone quality generally falls within our average and acceptable range.

BEST GOLF BALLS If YOU SLICE

The golf ball probably isn’t your best option for curing a slice but for golfers looking for all the help they can get, here are our top picks for lower spin and ultimately straighter flight.


TaylorMade Tour Response

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Price

$42.99

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Compression

71 (Soft)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want low spin through the bag: The TaylorMade Tour Response isn’t just low spin off the driver; it’s among the lowest-spinning, period.

► You struggle to align putts: Tour Response is available in a Stripe pattern which can help those who struggle to align their putts.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You need more iron spin: As noted, the TaylorMade Tour Response isn’t going to spin much off irons, either.

✖︎ You want to hit towering irons shots: Tour Response is among the lowest-flying soft golf balls.


The Bottom Line

While the Tour Response isn’t without limitations, it’s an excellent choice for golfers looking to reduce spin throughout the bag. The Stripe alignment option can provide additional help to golfers who struggle to align putts.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Offering a mid trajectory, the TaylorMade Tour Response is one of the lowest-spinning balls off the driver. The minimal spin rates should be most noticeable for slower swing speed players. For most golfers, it’s not going to be one of the longest balls but those who suffer from excessive spin can expect not only straighter shots but enhanced distance because of the spin reduction.

Performance Off Irons

The Tour Response is one of the longest balls off irons which should help offset any distance lost off the driver. Its low-spin properties carry threw off irons while the trajectory is a bit lower than you’ll find with other soft urethane balls.

Performance Off Wedges

Spin rates on full shots are about 500 rpm below average while greenside spin rates are also below average. This is typical for a three-piece ball with relatively low compression.

Ball Lab & Quality Control:

The Tour Response is a Ball Lab Quality Award winner and the best TaylorMade ball we’ve tested to date.

Titleist AVX Golf Balls

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Price

$54.99

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Compression

77 (Mid-Soft)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You hit your driver too high: The Titleist AVX is one of the lowest-flying balls off the driver.

► You want to hit higher iron shots Despite its low flight off the driver, the AVX flies reasonably high off the irons .

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You want maximum stopping power: As a low-spin ball, the AVX won’t hold greens as well as some others.

✖︎ You want to save money: The AVX is made like a Pro V1 and it’s priced like it, too.


The Bottom Line

Given that low spin is the point of this list, it should go without saying that AVX golf balls may not spin enough for some but, if you’re a Titleist fan who wants soft feel from a low spin ball, the AVX should be at the top of your list.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Off the driver, the Titleist AVX offers a low trajectory with modest spin rates. Distance off the tee will typical fall somewhere between average and slightly above with higher spin players seeing a few more yards still because of the lower spin rates.

Performance Off Irons

On iron shots, the AVX should be among the 10 or so longest performance golf balls. The distance is the result of a comparably high trajectory and low to mid-low spin rates.

Performance Off Wedges

As with most other low-spinning golf balls, spin rates on full wedge shots are not among the highest and the trajectory is more penetrating than towering. On shorter shots, AVX will spin appreciably less than the Pro V1 though it will feel softer.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

The Titleist AVX is produced at Titleist’s Ball Plant 3 alongside the Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Quality is on par with Titleist’s other premium offerings.

Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash

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Price

$54.99

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Compression

102 (Firm)

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Construction

4-piece (Dual-Core)

👍 Buy This If

You’re a faster player: The Pro V1x Left Dash is one of the few low-spin balls with the compression to hold up to faster swing speeds.

► You want your irons to spin: Left Dash spins more off the irons than the other balls on this list.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You want soft feel: Left Dash is a lot of things but soft isn’t one of them.

✖︎ You want a high-visibility ball: Unlike our other low-spin options, Left Dash is only available in white.


The Bottom Line

The Left Dash is unique among the low-spin crowd. It’s among the lowest-spinning off the driver as it not only holds up to the highest swing speeds but, because of its dual-core construction, it offers comparably higher spin rates on irons shots.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Left Dash is one of the longest balls on the market. That’s true for every swing speed and it’s the result of the low-spin, high-compression design. In addition to low spin, it offers a mid-flight trajectory, though it may fly a bit too low for some slower swingers.

Performance Off Irons

While by no means a high-spin ball off the irons, Left Dash spin rates are well within the average range which may make it a better option for golfers looking to fight a slice without giving up too much spin in the iron game. Iron trajectory can be described as mid and penetrating.

Performance Off Wedges

While spin rates on full wedges shots are perhaps a tick higher than our other two low-spin options, they’re still on the low side of the average range. The cover is a bit firmer than other balls in the Pro V1 lineup which helps to explain why greenside spin rates aren’t quite as high.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

Like AVX, the Pro V1x Left Dash is produced at Ball Plant 3 alongside Pro V1 and the stock Pro V1x. Quality control and the resulting Ball Lab score are excellent.

THE BEST GOLF BALLs WE DIDN’T MENTION

Not every golf ball fits nicely into one of other categories. Here are our picks for the best golf balls we haven’t mentioned until now.


Mizuno RB Tour X

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Price

$42.99

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Compression

95 (Firm)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want to hit your driver higher: In every condition we tested, the Mizuno RB Tour X was the highest-flying ball off the driver.

► You’re a Mizuno loyalist: For Mizuno fans, with the RB Tour X, the brand finally has a ball worthy of your affection.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ Firm feel is a non-starter: We love the performance of the RB Tour X but some won’t love the feel that comes with a 95-compression ball.

✖︎ You need low driver spin: While it’s not excessive, the RB Tour X spins more than most off the driver.


The Bottom Line

Maybe it’s not the first ball on the top of anybody’s list but we’re pleasantly surprised by the RB Tour X. The towering trajectory off the irons combined with a flatter Tour trajectory off the irons is something a lot of golfers are looking for.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

The Mizuno RB Tour X is a high-flying golf ball with plenty of speed (and distance). It’s ideal for golfers looking to elevate the height of their drives. While it spins a bit less than Chrome Soft X, the balls are similar in that they’re among the longest while still offering plenty of spin for those who need it.

Performance Off Irons

Off the irons, the Mizuno RB Tour X offers a mid to mid-low trajectory. Slower players should find spin rates to be in the average range while mid to higher swing speed players should see spin rates that are a bit higher, though not excessive. Distance off the irons is generally on the low end of the average range.

Performance Off Wedges

The Mizuno RB Tour X produces average spin rates on full wedge shots. The same is true around the green where the Tour X doesn’t bite as much as the highest-spinning balls but will spin as much as most.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

While the first generation of the RB Tour series suffered from quality issues, Mizuno revised the design, moving from four-piece to three-piece construction, and boosted its quality control efforts. In Ball Lab testing, the current RB Toru X narrowly missed winning a Ball Lab Quality Award.

Srixon Z-Star Diamond

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Price

$47.99

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Compression

91 (Firm)

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Construction

3-piece

👍 Buy This If

You want your irons to spin: The Z-Star Diamond is among the highest-spinning balls on iron shots.

► You want towering drives: Across the entire market, only a few balls fly higher off the driver than the Srixon Z-Star Diamond.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You already spin the ball too much: In nearly every scenario we tested, we’d classify the Z-Star Diamond as a high-spin ball.

✖︎ You want maximum iron distance: For slow to mid swing speed golfers, the Z-Star Diamond isn’t particularly long off the irons.


The Bottom Line

The Z-Star Diamond offers the most robust performance profile in the Srixon lineup. It deserves to be in the conversation with the likes of Chrome Soft X, TOUR B XS and other higher-spinning Tour balls.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Off the driver, the Z-Star Diamond offers plenty of spin. It’s paired with higher flight which gives it plenty of distance but golfers looking for a ball for shot-shape correction may want to look elsewhere.

Performance Off Irons

On iron shots, the Z-Star Diamond plays a bit like the Chrome Soft X. It pairs a mid trajectory with high spin rates for plenty of stopping power into greens. Like many higher-compression offerings, iron distance isn’t among the longest though it does hold up well for faster players.

Performance Off Wedges

On full wedge shots, the Z-Star Diamond is one of the highest-spinning balls we’ve tested. It should work well for golfers who want their ball to hop and stop. While there are balls that spin more on shorter greenside shots, the Z-Star Diamond produced above-average spin rates on our 35-yard test shots.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

We’ve found quality issues with some Srixon models. But in two generations of testing the Z-Star Diamond we’ve come away impressed.

Maxfli Tour

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Price

$39.99

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Compression

85 (Mid-Firm)

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Construction

4-piece (Dual-Core)

👍 Buy This If

You want safe, balanced performance: The Maxfli Tour offers mid flight and mid spin in every condition we tested.

► You’re looking for a deal: The Maxfli Tour retails for $39.99 and is frequently available for less.

👎 Don’t Buy This If

✖︎ You need more extreme performance: Golfers whose performance needs don’t fall in the middle of the bell curve will will need to look elsewhere.

✖︎ You live outside the U.S.A.: Maxfli balls are nearly impossible to find outside the U.S.


The Bottom Line

For golfers looking for balanced, mid-everything performance, reasonably soft-ish feel and high quality, all at a value price, the Maxfli Tour is difficult to beat.

Performance Details

Performance Off the Driver

Off the driver, the Maxfli Tour offers mid trajectory, mid spin and average distance. For every meaningful metric, you’ll find the Maxfli Tour somewhere between the Tour S and Tour X.

Performance Off Irons

Likewise, iron performance is safely middle of the table. The Maxfl Tour offers mid-trajectory and mid-spin rates. Distance is also within the average range. Greenside spin rates are a tick above average.

Performance Off Wedges

Keeping with our theme, on full wedge shots, trajectory and spin rates for the Maxlfi Tour are solidly middle of the table.

Ball Lab and Quality Control

Maxfli Tour balls are produced by Foremost in Taiwan. DICK’S Sporting Goods (which owns the Maxfli brand) says it pays extra for a higher quality standard and that comes through in Ball Lab testing over three generations of Maxfli Tour.

How We Tested Golf Balls

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.

Test Parameters

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.

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.

If you really love data, you’re going to want to dive into the 2023 Golf Ball Test results to view our entire process and important takeaways.

Which Golf Ball is Best for Me?

Many mistakenly believe finding the right ball starts with your swing speed, the idea being that you need to match the ball’s compression to how fast you swing. In reality, the most important factors to consider when choosing a golf ball are flight and spin.

Testing The Best Golfs of 2023
Sorting through the mountain of balls during our best golf ball test.

The search can be complicated by the fact that manufacturers’ descriptions of flight and spin properties are often relative to other balls in their lineup but not necessarily to the market as a whole. For example, a ball that a manufacturer describes as offering a “high trajectory” might be the highest flying in its lineup but, when compared to balls from other manufacturers, is really a mid-trajectory offering.

Long-Game Spin

It’s important to understand that, off the driver, there is a direct correlation between compression and ball speed. For all but the very slowest of swingers, firmer balls will be faster and softer balls will be slower.

Between lower spin rates and impact conditions created by higher-lofted clubs, softer balls tend to be a bit longer.

It’s also important to understand that soft feel invariably means lower spin rates. If you need more spin in your game, particularly on approach shots, a low-compression ball won’t be particularly well-suited to the task. Golfers looking for more spin should seek firmer options.

Straight Shots and Low Spin Balls

Conversely, if you’re looking to the golf ball to help produce straighter shots, low-spin balls will curve less. Keep in mind that you won’t hit every fairway with a low-spin ball and miss every fairway with a high-spin ball.

Finally, generally speaking, faster swing speed players should avoid low-compression balls. But high-speed players who suffer from excessive spin rates may actually see longer shots as a result of the lower spin rates.

Golf Ball Basics

Core

The core is the heart of the golf ball. It is responsible for the ball’s speed, velocity and overall distance when hit by your golf club. Some companies leverage what is known as graduated core design. A bit like a lava cake, the ball core is softest in the middle and gets firmer towards the perimeter. Graduated core designs, which are used by Bridgestone, Titleist, and others, are a means to create a more varied spin profile without adding additional layers.

the core of a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball
The core of a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.

Layers

Golf balls can have anywhere between one and five layers. The number of layers can impact the performance and feel. Spin results from hardness differences between layers (a soft layer over a firmer one creates more spin). The more layers a golf ball has, the greater the opportunity to tune spin profiles throughout the bag. The majority of balls on this list are of three-piece construction.

Compression

Compression is a measure of how much force is required to deform a golf ball. The higher the compression, the firmer the ball. Lower-compression golf balls typically provide softer feel while higher-compression balls offer more distance with higher spin rates. There isn’t a direct correlation between your swing speed and the compression of the ball you should play. Flight and spin are the most important golf ball fitting considerations.

Dimples

Dimples are the small indentations on the surface of a golf ball. Their primary purpose is to create lift and reduce air resistance as the ball flies through the air. The number and design can vary but most golf balls have between 300 and 500 dimples. There is no such thing as the right number of dimples or the best number of dimples. It’s not a case where more dimples means better performance.

Optimization comes from reducing drag and matching the aerodynamics with the other performance characteristics of the golf ball. All things being equal, a ball with shallow dimples will typically fly higher than a ball with deeper ones. To get the most out of a golf ball’s potential, dimple patterns need to work with the construction. To go deeper, check out this dimple-focused #AskMyGolfSpy.

Best Golf Ball: Materials and Construction

One of the most common materials used in golf ball manufacturing is ionomer (also known by the brand name Surlyn). This highly resilient ionomer polymer offers excellent durability. It is commonly used as the cover material in one-piece, two-piece and some three-piece golf balls. It is also used in the mantle layers of premium urethane-covered offerings.

Balls with ionomer covers are invariably among the lowest-spinning and, because of the firmer feel, there are few high-compression offerings. Generally speaking, they are less consistent when moisture is present. For these reasons, we don’t recommend ionomer-covered balls when performance is your objective.

Another material used in golf balls is urethane. Urethane covers offer improved spin control and a softer feel compared to ionomer. This material is typically found in premium multi-layered golf balls.

As for the core of a golf ball, polybutadiene, a synthetic rubber material, is the most commonly used main ingredient. Various grades of rubber can be used to influence the ball’s speed or spin characteristics.

In addition to the core and cover, some golf balls feature a mantle layer. The mantle is an intermediate layer between the core and cover, usually made from ionomer or other polymers. This layer helps to optimize the ball’s energy transfer and spin characteristics.

Flight, Spin, Distance and Accuracy

Now it’s time to consider spin, distance and accuracy. These three factors can play a crucial role in improving your overall game.

Flight

Flight and trajectory are driven primarily by the dimple pattern of the golf ball. The trajectory of a golf ball is comprised of launch angle, peak height, how far down-range the ball reaches that height and, ultimately, the descent angle of the ball.

Generally, low compression golf balls use high launch and steep descent angles to offset the lower spin while golf balls with a bit more spin will often produce a flatter, more penetrating flight.

Spin

Golf balls come in different spin rates and selecting the right one for your game is vital. Typically, there are three types of spin rates:

  • Low Spin: These balls will typically provide straighter flight. But the lack of spin can make holding greens on approach shots and short-game control more challenging.
  • Mid Spin: If you don’t know what spin properties you need, mid spin is the safe play. If you’re a middle-of-the-bell-curve player, mid spin is probably for you.
  • High Spin: Higher spin balls are generally considered more workable. When spin is excessive it can cause distance loss. But for many lower spin players (and that includes slow swing speed and senior players), higher spin rates can lead to more distance and better control around the green.

Distance

Achieving optimal distance is crucial in golf. And the right golf ball can make a significant difference but it’s rare that distance alone should be your focus. Ball speed is the greatest predictor of distance so for most golfers, a higher-compression ball is going to be good for longer distance. High trajectory and lower spin rates can also unlock distance though it’s difficult for mid and fast swing speed players to maximize distance with a low-compression golf ball.

The longest balls typically blend high compression with high ball flight and low to mid spin rates.

Accuracy

Ultimately, accuracy comes down to your ability to control the golf ball and the quality of the ball itself. To improve your accuracy, consider these factors:

  • Spin: A ball that spins less is going to curve less. If you struggle to hit the ball straight, a lower-spinning ball may help.
  • Dimples: Dimples on the golf ball impact its lift and stability. When the aerodynamics don’t match other design elements of the ball or don’t match your swing, the consistency of both distance and accuracy can suffer.
  • Quality Control: If quality control is sub-par, it can result in balls that are not round, layers that aren’t concentric and cores that aren’t centered. The result can be inconsistent spin, missed putts and balls that fly wildly offline. In robot testing, we’ve seen balls land nearly 40 yards offline. And two balls from the same box land 70 yards apart on perfectly struck shots.

Price and Performance

The big question remains: Does a premium golf ball equal a better score? While even the right ball won’t turn you into Tiger Woods, there is some correlation between price and performance. Urethane/multi-layer balls are more costly to produce than ionomer constructions but you do get a more complete golf ball. Cheap balls are typically designed for a single purpose. While high-quality golf balls are designed to provide performance throughout the bag.

There is also a strong correlation between price and quality. That’s not to say all premium balls are made to a tighter quality spec but our Ball Lab scores for ionomer offerings are typically lower than for urethane balls. 

FAQ: The Best Golf Balls

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Our mission is #ConsumerFirst. We are here to help educate and empower golfers. We want you to get the most out of your money, time and performance. That means providing you with equipment reviews you can trust, as well as honest reporting on the latest issues affecting the game today. #PowerToThePlayer

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      jjgolf

      4 months ago

      Way to go my golf spy… you’ve been plugging the maxflis and now they’ve jacked up their prices to $40. It was a great option at $30 (2 dozen for $60) but now it’s priced in the yard with other bigger name options. This is the “Lexi” tax.

      Reply

      Alex

      8 months ago

      Ballnamic suggested Chrome Soft X for me– which is sort of a surprise since I am a slower swinger. The ball is a good ball, but unfortunately for me, I have found it a lot easier to nick/put minor scuffs on the ball whereas the Pro V1 and V1X have much more durable covers.

      Reply

      Jerry

      8 months ago

      Thanks for this article. A lot of information to digest. To reiterate, curious as to why Snell was not mentioned. The president, Dean Snell, has an impressive background in golf ball manufacturing. I’ve played with Snell golf balls before and I was impressed.
      (I’m a 14 handicap)

      Reply

      BRY

      8 months ago

      No Snell?

      Reply

      Luis R

      9 months ago

      The Crome Soft “Don’t Buy This If” description should be wrong. Maybe is the LOWEST spinning…
      ✖︎ You want spin around the greens: The Chrome Soft is the highest spinning of our best soft golf ball picks.

      Reply

      George M

      9 months ago

      I think the staff was on the launch pad for a week off… I noted a number of errors including a notation that the Maxfli Tour is a 4 piece construction… Someone forgot to proof the copy prior to publication it seems….
      That said, what I’d really like to see is the exact protocol used for making the recommendations in each category both here and in the main Ball Test article… A couple of cases in point, why would the Vice Pro or the Bridgestone Tour B XS not get some mention as possibilities for slow swing speed players….. The data, at least from my analysis of it seems to dictate that both deserved some mention…. But again, without a detailed description of how the recommendations were formulated I can only wonder.

      Reply

      HikingMike

      8 months ago

      I saw this too. Please correct!

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      9 months ago

      Is this list different to the other test list? I don’t get what this list is about.
      If you’re supposed to be un-biased and independent, why did you talk to the manufacturers? Why wouldn’t you just run the test without any consultation or input from them? I don’t understand.

      Reply

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    First Look
    Jun 12, 2024
    Want a Personal Shopper? Try Short Par 4
    Drivers
    Jun 11, 2024
    Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
    Putters
    Jun 11, 2024
    Triple Black Evnroll 38 Tour Spec Putters