MyGolfSpy Ball Lab is where we quantify the quality and consistency of the golf balls on the market to help you find the best ball for your money. Today, we’re taking a look at Costco’s Kirkland Signature Performance+. An overview of the equipment we use can be found here. To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
Costco made a huge splash in the golf ball market in 2016 when it launched its Signature four-piece golf ball. Supply never quite matched demand. A subsequent four-piece offering was pulled due to significant quality issues.
Recently, the giant warehouser has expanded its reach deeper into the golf equipment world. Demand for Kirkland Signature putters and bargain-priced wedge sets is high. Throughout all of it, Costco’s urethane-covered three-piece Performance+ has been a mainstay on Costco store shelves.
In this report, we take a closer look at the Costco Kirkland Performance+ Three-Piece Golf ball and let you know how it stacks up against other golf balls on the market. Finally, we’ll give you the True Price – how much it costs to get a dozen “good” golf balls.
About the Costco Kirkland Performance+
Data collected during our 2019 golf ball test shows the Kirkland Performance+ to be a low-launch, high-spin ball. It’s a three-piece ball with a 338-dimple, injected urethane cover.
The Performance+ is manufactured by Qingdao SM Parker in China. The factory, which was previously operated under the Fantom name, also makes ball for Cut. It also produced the Snell MTB Red.
Costco sells the Performance+ in two- dozen packs for $24.99 which almost certainly qualifies it as the cheapest urethane ball on the market today.
Kirkland Performance+ – Compression
On our gauge, the average compression of the Kirkland Performance+ is 90, effectively the same as the Titleist Pro V1. While that puts it squarely in the “firm feel” range, we should note that, because of its significantly thicker cover, it may feel firmer than other urethane balls with similar compression.
Full-swing launch and spin properties (low and high, respectively) are most similar to Mizuno’s RB Tour and RB Tour X and the Volvik S4. From a fitting perspective, it’s reasonable to describe the Performance+ as a niche offering.
Kirkland Performance+ – Weight and Diameter
- All of the balls in our Kirkland Performance+ sample met our standard for roundness.
- None of the balls tested exceeded the USGA weight limit of 1.620 ounces.
With an average diameter of nearly 1.685, the Performance+ runs large for a urethane ball. All things being equal, a smaller ball is a longer ball (especially at higher speed), so the comparatively larger average size should reasonably be viewed as a negative.
Kirkland Performance+ – Inspection
Centeredness and Concentricity
The Kirkland Performance+ is a three-piece, larger-core golf ball. With these types of designs, core centeredness issues are not easily identifiable. The majority of problems will manifest as inconsistent thickness in the mantle and cover layers.
In total, we flagged 22 percent of the balls in our Costco Kirkland Performance+ sample as bad. The majority were for significant variation in the mantle layer which, in some cases, was nearly twice as thick on one side of the ball as the other. Several balls displayed what we describe as layer incursion issues. This occurs when a layer is applied before the underlying layer is fully cooled and results in an area of the outer layer intruding into the inner layer.
Finally, we observed minor defects (typically less severe layer concentricity issues) in another 54 percent of the sample.
Core color consistency was generally excellent throughout the sample. We did note a single ball with small bits of what appeared to be unmixed material in the core.
While we found no significant cover defects, several balls in the sample were noted for slightly raised dimples with sharp edges. These likely resulted from the balls not exiting the molds cleanly.
Unlike the other Tour balls we’ve tested to date, the Performance+’s injected urethane cover is thick and not particularly soft. Typically, it’s a design that would result in reduced greenside spin.
In this section, we detail the consistency of the Kirkland Performace+. It’s a measure of how similar the balls in our sample were to one another, relative to all of the models we’ve tested to date.
- Consistency (of weight) across the Kirkland Performance+ sample set is poor. In fact, it’s the worst of any ball measured to date.
- We flagged a ball as bad because its weight was more than three standard deviations from the mean.
- On a positive note, none of the balls tested exceeded the USGA weight limit.
- Diameter consistency relative to the other balls in our database is fair (below average).
- As noted, the Performance+ runs large for a urethane-covered ball.
- Somewhat surprisingly given the issues with weight and diameter consistency, compression consistency for the Performance+ is in the high-average range.
- When we look at the consistency across the three points measured on each ball, the Kirkland Performance+ is also within the average range.
True Price is how we quantify the quality of a golf ball. It's a projection of what you'd have to spend to ensure you get 12 good balls.
The True Price will always be equal to or greater than the retail price. The greater the difference between the retail price and the True Price, the more you should be concerned about the quality of the ball.
Kirkland Performance+ Summary Report
To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
While the consistency of compression for the Kirkland Performance+ can be viewed as a highlight, issues with diameter and weight consistency are cause for concern. The same is true for the construction (notably the thick cover) which doesn’t match the standard for the urethane category.
With 25 percent of the balls in the sample flagged as bad, it’s reasonable to wonder how much actual value there is in a golf ball that shows this many inconsistency and quality issues.
The True Price of Costco Kirkland Performance+ is $16.65 a dozen. While that may sound like a bargain, it represents a 33-percent upcharge over the retail price, making it one of the lowest-quality balls we’ve measured.
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