Written by: MyGolfSpy
A premium golf ball can cost up to $4 to $5 a piece and sometimes only last a golfer a single hole.
A report in the New York Times estimated 300,000,000 golf balls are lost each year by Americans alone. It's also estimated that US golfers spend over $650 Million per year on those same golf balls.
As consumers, we all want to save money and make more informed decisions. However, we don't necessarily want to give up performance just to save a couple dollars.
So, is it possible to find a high-quality, tour-level golf ball at a fraction of the cost?
That is the purpose of the latest test at MyGolfSpy. We want to help you find the perfect ball at the perfect price.
So, we went shopping at Costco Wholesale. Yes, the same place better known for 5-gallon jugs of mayonnaise. Costco has entered the golf ball market and their initial entry is called the Kirkland Signature. Some of you may or may not be familiar with the Kirkland Signature line. For those not familiar, it is a private label line of products that offers consumers a unique value in their everyday purchases.
"The working rule followed by Costco buyers is that all Kirkland Signature products must be equal to or better than the national brands, and must offer a savings to our members," says Costco.
So, is it possible for a ball that costs $15/dozen to compete with the #1 Ball in Golf?
Let's find out.
HOW WE TEST
At MyGolfSpy, we do data-based product testing and research. We always put consumers' needs first.
- GolfBallTest.org bench testing showed the 2015 Titleist Pro V1 was closest to the Kirkland based on compression and cover hardness.
- Titleist Pro V1 is currently #1 Selling Ball at retail.
- Testing was done using Kirkland Signature Tour Performance and Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.
- Testers all used the same Mizuno MP-T10 56* sand wedge, Taylormade PSI Forged 6-iron, and Taylormade M1 460 Driver (10.5* Stiff).
- 6 golfers with handicaps ranging from 0-15 and driver swing speeds between 90 and 110 mph participated in this test.
- Each tester hit 10-12 shots with each club (rotating between clubs).
- Any gross mishits coming to rest more than 50 yards from center line were eliminated and not included in the shot counts.
- Remaining outliers are identified using Median Absolute Deviation (both distance and offline), and dropped prior to the averages being calculated.
- Ball Data was recorded using Trackman 4 golf radar.
- Testing was done at Kiskiack Golf Club with supervision from Ed Teer Golf Academy
Club and ball were randomized for each tester. Three (3) shots were hit with each ball, switching balls until 10-12 good shots were hit. Participants then switched to a different club and continued the process. First we'll take a look at the sand wedge data for both balls.
- Launch data for both balls were extremely similar.
- The Titleist Pro V1 only launched marginally faster and further.
- On average, the Kirkland Signature golf ball spun just over 200 rpm faster than the Pro-V1.
- It is interesting to note that the Kirkland Signature also flew three feet lower on average.
- Although the Kirkland ball flew lower, the average distance difference is about a quarter of a yard shorter.
- The table above shows 6 iron Trackman data for the Kirkland and Titleist golf balls.
- Again, very similar launch conditions between the two golf balls.
- For the test group, Titleist Pro V1 flew just marginally faster and further with the 6 iron.
- On average Kirkland Signature did launch and fly higher than the Pro V1.
- Yes, we did double check the numbers on the identical descent angle.
- The above data table shows driver Trackman data for the Kirkland Signature and Titleist Pro V1 golf balls; where the largest differences are noticed.
- The Kirkland Signature golf ball few almost a full 1.5 mph faster than the Pro V1; it also went almost 10 yards further.
- When hitting a driver, generally, less spin is better - and the Kirkland Signature achieves over 300 rpm less than the Pro V1 on average.
- A flatter descent angle and less spin is a recipe for success in seeking to increase distance with the driver.
- The Kirkland Tour Performance actually out-plays the Titleist Pro V1 in every aspect on this data table.
- The Kirkland Signature Tour Performance golf ball stood its own against the "#1 Ball in Golf."
- Although tester subjective feedback revealed the Kirkland ball felt "firmer" the data shows it performed better than the Pro V1 in many aspects.
- The largest and most noticeable differences are found within the driver - the Kirkland ball flies almost a full 10 yards further.
- The Tour Performance lives up to the Kirkland name - to perform just as good, if not better than the leading brand.
- 10/10 highly recommend