A new year of golf is upon us, does that mean it’s time for a new ball? We know that golfers regardless of level can benefit from playing a single type of ball every round, but what ball will be best? While there can’t be one ball that will be best for every golfer, we can at least use data to give a decent start. Through countless hours of testing and shots, the balls on this list deserve your consideration.
1. Titleist Pro V1
The Key Point: If you want quality, consistency, and performance ball after ball, the Pro V1 remains a no brainer.
This shouldn’t surprise anybody. For two decades, the conversation around the best premium ball to use has always begun with the Titleist Pro V1 and this list will be no different. Both in the Ball Lab and robot ball testing, the Pro V1 is the model of consistency and performance, taking top marks in both settings. The ball’s profile meets the widest variety of golfers of the Titleist lineup and rarely would ever be a bad choice. The Titleist Pro V1 comes at a price premium, but for many the value is still there for the level of trust it provides. It remains one of the best golf balls you can buy.
Flight: Mid-low – Feel: Medium – Spin: Mid
2. Titleist Pro V1x
The Key Point: If you prefer a firmer feel and higher spin, the Pro V1x could be the ball for you.
While the Titleist Pro V1 hits the golfers in the middle of the bell curve for feel and spin, the stablemate Pro V1x is designed for those leaning more towards the firm feel and higher spin end. With Titleist, golfers can trust that they are getting quality balls in each box and sleeve with consistency that still leads all manufacturers. The Pro V1/V1x relationship really set off the modern ball market as it is today and there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a classic. The Pro V1x remains among the best.
Flight: Mid – Feel: Firm – Spin: High
3. Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash
The Key Point: For maximum distance off the tee, the Pro V1x Left Dash takes the crown.
Everyone wants to be “in” on a secret. Knowing or having something that others don’t is a good feeling, even in golf. For a long time, some golfers had a secret from Titleist, a Pro V1x with a small dash mark on the left of the name. Beginning life as a Titleist CPO (custom performance option) for tour players, the Pro V1x Left Dash was built with the characteristics needed for epic distance off the tee. Now the ball is available to the masses and, at least for higher swing speed golfers, robot testing proved the Left Dash to be the longest of all tested. While it might not be a secret anymore, the Pro V1x Left Dash could be the best golf ball for you.
Flight: Mid-high – Feel: Firm – Spin: High
4. Titleist AVX
The Key Point: The Titleist AVX proves you don’t need to sacrifice performance for softer feel.
By now you should be sensing a theme. If you are looking for a premium ball in 2022, then Titleist has an offering that should match your preferences and characteristics. For golfers that prefer a softer feel or might have a slower swing speed, the AVX is that match. With the lowest compression number of any Titleist premium offering, the AVX offers a soft feel off every club. It also provides a similar level of consistency and quality as all Titleist ballstaffs have shown. The AVX is one of the best soft golf balls available.
Flight: Mid – Feel: Soft – Spin: Low
5. Maxfli Tour
The Key Point: The Maxfli Tour offers all-around performance at a very competitive price.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all ball testing and Ball Lab is the quality, consistency, and performance of the Maxfli Tour. It still has the best Ball Lab overall rating of any ball not from Titleist. The fact that this comes from a house brand of Dick’s Sporting Goods is stunning. The Maxfli Tour has a profile to meet a variety of golfers. Especially those who don’t want to pay $50 a dozen or more for their balls. They are price competitive to DTC ball manufacturers, but can be purchased in shops (as long as that shop is a Dick’s or Golf Galaxy). Shock aside, it belongs among the best golf balls you can buy today.
Flight: Mid – Feel: Medium – Spin: Mid
6. Vice Pro Soft
The Key Point: The Vice Pro Soft is a premium soft-feel ball that isn’t hard on the wallet.
There’s an argument that Vice really brought the direct-to-consumer golf market into the mainstream. They remain one of the top names in that space. You don’t maintain that without a decent product that golfers like and in recent years it’s become clear that golfers like soft-feel balls. With the Vice Pro Soft that soft feel is achieved without sacrificing much performance. It is also at a significant cost savings over OEM premium offerings. The Vice Pro Soft isn’t just the best DTC ball, but one of the best golf balls period.
Flight: High – Feel: Soft – Spin: Low
7. Kirkland Performance + V2
The Key Point: If you want (or at least don’t mind) a lot of spin, the Kirkland is the ultimate value urethane ball.
Losing a golf ball sucks. That’s true even if it’s a scruffy Top Flite, but especially the case if it’s a fresh premium ball right out of the sleeve. Lighting $4 on fire would have the same result and could be more enjoyable. If the ball only cost you a dollar, though, that makes things a bit easier. The Kirkland Performance + V2 isn’t the most consistent with quality and there will be legitimate performance compromises for a number of golfers as it had the highest spin of any tested. That said, it is a urethane cover ball. If you are going to commit to playing a single ball instead of whatever you find out on the course, the Kirkland has the lowest cost to entry. That makes it the best golf ball for some.
Flight: Mid-low – Feel: Firm – Spin: High
8. Wilson Staff Model
The Key Point: The Wilson Staff Model provides high launch and high spin across all types of swing speeds.
There was a time where pulling out a box of Wilsons meant you were gaming one of the most widely-used and respected brands in all of golf. While those heydays may have passed, that doesn’t mean Wilson no longer makes a quality product. For golfers looking for a firm feeling ball with higher launch and spin, the Staff model was a consistent performer in testing across different swing speeds. Quality-wise, the Staff Model didn’t reach Titleist levels of consistency in the Ball Lab, but was far from awful. The brand might not be what it once was, but at least the Staff Model ball is one of the best.
Flight: High – Feel: Firm – Spin: High
9. Vice Pro
The Key Point: The Vice Pro provides decent all-around performance at a value-based price.
Like the softer Vice model listed above, the Pro model is targeted at providing a premium performance ball at a less-than premium price. In short, testing shows this to be mission accomplished. It wasn’t the longest ball tested nor the shortest. The same applies to most all other attributes too, from spin to consistency. This gets us back into the middle of the curve where a ball can perform reasonably well for a large number of golfers. If price is a primary consideration, then the Vice Pro is a ball to check out. Besides Titleist, Vice is the only brand to get more than one ball on the “best” list. That says something.
Flight: High – Feel: Medium – Spin: Mid-low
10. Taylormade Tour Response
The Key Point: The Tour Response is one of the softest urethane cover balls on the market today.
How soft is too soft? That’s a question all golfers can decide for themselves. What is true is that soft (low compression) balls don’t spin. The Taylormade Tour Response won’t set any ball speed records. It can still help mid-speed golfers find more distance though, assuming the course allows for roll. Many golfers prefer a soft-feeling ball. Most of the time this means sacrificing the advantages of a urethane cover. Since the Tour Response provides both, so it’s earned a place on the list of best golf balls.
Flight: Low – Feel: Soft – Spin: Low
Frequently asked questions about golf balls:
Q. What type of golf ball should I use?
A. Finding the right ball is a process so start with a few you think might work. If you’ve got a launch monitor, use it to trim the list. If you don’t have access to a launch monitor, our data should help you narrow the field. Test on the course and side by side. For the best comparison, don’t test more than two balls at a time.
The conventional wisdom is to start around the green and work backward. The idea here is to see how the ball performs on relatively short shots (partial wedges). From there, move to your irons. That’s where the biggest differences are and where you’re most likely to notice them.
Q. What is the best golf ball for distance?
A.The Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash tested as our longest golf ball of 2022. Average distance with our robot driver at 115 mph swing speed was 329.76 yards.
Q. When do golf balls go on sale?
A. As a general rule when a new golf model is released keep an eye out for a price drop for the previous model. Also, brands typically pick a time in the year to run a promo of buy 2 get 1 free, so keep an eye out for that.
Q. What is the best value golf ball?
A. The Kirkland Performance + V2 is the cheapest golf ball that finished in our top 10.
Q. What is the best golf ball brand?
A. Titleist has the first 4 spots in our best golf balls test, with the Pro V1 coming in first.
Q. Should I always play one ball (model) per round?
A. Our recommendation is to play 100 percent of your shots with the same ball (model). Given the variation between models, it only makes sense to minimize every variable you possibly can.
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