Nearly every piece of golf equipment can be tested and optimized for your game, but the golf balls tend to be forgotten. Almost 40 percent of the balls purchased today are the cheapest options that focus on tee-shot performance only, according to Golf Datatech.
Our selection of the best golf balls showcases that, despite generally similar appearances on the outside, different brands’ designs and philosophies are perhaps growing further apart in the quest for optimum performance.
Each top brand’s latest line of premium golf balls has witnessed some drastic re-designs and innovative new technology. This guide will help steer you to the best golf balls for your game from these premium lines.
What’s your budget?
Let’s face it, golf is an expensive sport – and it can be even more expensive if you’re losing two sleeves of balls every time you play.
And it’s not like we’re all rolling in money – so finding a ball that fits your wallet, is just as important as finding one that fits your game.
And if you’re a scratch golfer, but also broke? Just head down to the OB at your local country club and stock up on all those ProV1s lost in the woods.
So with all of that said, what are the best golf balls on the market in 2020 and moving into 2021?
We’ve broken them down by category to try and help you decide once and for all what the best golf ball is for your game.
5 Best Golf Balls of 2021:
The latest Pro V1 has undergone significant design changes in the pursuit of greater ball speed for more distance compared to the previous version.
This has been achieved by a reformulated 2.0 ZG Process core and a mid casing layer that is now 14 per cent thicker. The latest Pro V1’s cast urethane cover, however, is 17 per cent thinner.
The overall result is higher ball speeds without compromising the Pro V1’s renowned soft feel and greenside controllability. It flies slightly lower than the Pro V1x with a penetrating trajectory.
- Greater longevity and tour-validation than any other premium golf ball
- Designed to offer total performance for all types of golfer
- Unwavering demand makes bargain prices harder to track down
While the TaylorMade Tour Response might not be the cheapest golf ball on this list, that’s with good reason. This is – as the name suggests – a ball designed to perform at the high end. The hi-spring and ultra-low compression core is housed under a triple layer with a urethane cover to ensure high spin while keeping this little beauty durable. The layer combination should offer great distance with minimal effort while that spring will make sure you get an ultra responsive result off your swing.
The wedge spin is rated as high for this ball making it great for your short game too. This is one of the faster balls out there but it will still offer great levels of consistency making it ideal for beginners and intermediates alike.
- Great backspin
- Flexible feel
- Enhance sheer resistance
- Not the cheapest
- Three not five layer
One of the biggest frustrations for mid-to-high-handicap golfers is hitting the ball straight. It doesn’t take long to ruin a solid score by slicing your drive on the 12th hole into the trees and taking five shots to work your way out.
Certainly, improving your swing is the best way to avoid unwanted slices and hooks that leave you in big trouble off the tee. The Bridgestone e6 Speed golf ball can help you stay straighter off the tee, too, while also delivering a nice level of distance.
These golf balls carry a really nice price point, closer to the value end of the market than the top end and it works well for amateur players who don’t have a high club speed and exit velocity rate for the ball.
Don’t expect to have a lot of spin control with these Bridgestone balls, though, as the design of the e6 Speed causes for a slower spin rate, which provides a straighter shot.
Bridgestone is betting on the fact that for most amateur golfers who are fighting their swings a bit, a straighter ball is more beneficial than a spin control ball. The company uses a three-layer construction with the e6 Speed, but its middle layer works to reduce spin, rather than enhance spin like many three-layer balls.
- Designed to reduce the spin of the golf ball for straighter shots
- When struck properly should give you a bit more distance
- Nice price point
- Less backspin means it can be tougher to hold the green
- Not really made for advanced players who want ball control
Not every player can lay a drive out 300 yards or more; however, those folks can get some legal distance help if they pick the right golf ball. New for 2020, the Mizuno RB 566V employs its titular 566 micro-dimples arranged all around its surface to reduce aerodynamic drag and optimize spin rate. That means this low-compression ball is designed to travel farther with better accuracy thanks to less atmospheric interference.
We’ve tested and reviewed the Mizuno RB 566V ball in more detail, here’s the bottom line: thanks to its unique design and immediate impact on your play, it’s our top pick among the best golf balls of 2021.
- Superb distance
- Excellent greenside control
- Some might want less spin
This is a one–of–kind when it comes to smart technology, thanks to its macromolecule Slide–Ring (SeRM). It sits in the cover of the ball and uses a moveable cross–link, which means the ball’s shape returns better than traditional balls.
It also means this golf ball can withstand more damage, is impact resistant and, crucially, absorbs vibrations better. All that gets you a ball that’s really helpful when it comes to the green thanks to lots of lovely spin. You can also enhance spin without losing distance off the tee.
Since they’re tougher, you’ll notice these balls last longer, looking like new too, presuming you don’t spin too much and send these beauties off into the rough.
- Super tough
- Low driver spin
- Too much spin for some
How to choose the golf balls?
Generally higher handicap and beginning golfers are going to want a two piece golf ball. This is going to have a larger core which will help maximize distance and reduce spin.
Reducing spin is key, because let’s say you’re like most high handicappers and tend to have a big slice or hook – well the more spin the ball has, the more movement it’s going to have laterally, making it more likely to send the ball out of bounds.
Better golfers are going to want a multi-layer ball which will help give you better feel, and the thinner exterior will help give you more spin – but also reduce durability in the process.
Low compression balls will add distance for slower swing speeds, while high compression balls will enhance feel and control for better golfers.
All golf balls are not the same
Have you ever been told that all golf balls go the same distance? A quick Google search returns over 19 million results on the topic. While the internet might be confused, we’re not. Golf balls do NOT go the same distance, and the actual differences from ball to ball might surprise you.
- Driver Distance (115 MPH): The average carry distance between the shortest and the longest ball in our test is 17.43 yards.
- Wedge Spin: There is an average of 1425 RPM difference from highest spinning to the lowest spinning ball in our test.
- Driver Distance (85 MPH): The average carry distance between the shortest and the longest ball in our test is 7.6 yards.
If that is not enough to convince you, consider this; at the fastest speed tested, the distance between the longest single ball and the shortest in the test was an astonishing 38.77 yards. For most golfers, that’s a 3+ clubs difference.
While there are many similarities between brands of golf balls, manufacturers still try to target their products to specific types of players. We broke this list down into whom would benefit from every type of construction. Find yourself in the mix and get it in the bottom of that cup.