In its essence, golf is a very simple game. The point is to propel a little white ball across an expanse of grass until that pellet sits at the bottom of a cup 4.25 inches wide and 4 inches deep. Then again, the ball a player chooses to smack around all of that turf can make a significant difference in how successful and enjoyable a round of golf proves. As experienced players know, the best golf balls are essential to play at your best.
Depending on the expert you ask, the equipment boost of a quality golf ball can cut any number strokes off a golf score. To that end, some balls are designed to travel farther. Others are built to spin more or stop more accurately on a green. Taking all of that into consideration, we put together a collection of golf ball options aimed at multiple categories of players.
Find yourself in the mix and get it in the bottom of that cup.
1. Best Golf Balls – Mizuno RB 566V
BEST FOR THE DISTANCE SEEKER
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.
2. Srixon Q-Star Tour 3
BEST FOR THE POOR PUTTER
If a hacker isn’t the best with the blade out on the greens, it’s best to stop the ball closer to the hole. It’s easier to avoid three putts if the ball lands nearer to the cup or rotates back toward the pin. The Srixon Q-Star Tour 3 wraps itself in a new “Spin Skin” with SeRM (Srixon’s new urethane coating with flexible molecular bonds). That wrap allows the grooves on the face of short clubs to dig deep into the ball for maximum spin in the air and greater stopping power on the green.
3. Titleist Pro V1
BEST FOR THE LOW HANDICAPPER
It’s a hard reality that professional players on the PGA Tour play golf balls that the average recreational enthusiast cannot acquire. The top combatants on the temporarily suspended tournament circuit receive bespoke balls made to their specifications delivered to them by their sponsors. In terms of design, build quality and materials, the closest an amateur can get to playing a pro’s style of golf ball is the Titleist Pro V1. It’s the best choice for the low handicapper looking to shoot in the 70s.
4. Callaway Chrome Soft
BEST FOR THE HIGH HANDICAPPER
When reviewing the best golf balls for 2020, there were a lot of high quality Callaway balls to consider. We ultimately selected the new Callaway Chrome Soft for the incredible distance it provides. All good golf balls work due to compression. Put simply, the golf club strikes the ball for about 1/300th of a second. For that briefest of moments, the ball compresses on impact and then expands as it begins its flight. If a ball is constructed with a soft core, it aids the compression and expansion — enabling the ball to travel higher and faster. New for 2020, the latest Callaway Chrome Soft employs a Graphene-infused Dual SoftFast Core to give the high handicapper an excellent, all-purpose pellet. On top of that, with minimal drag, you’ll be amazed at how far this ball flies off the tee.
5. Vice Drive Personalized
BEST FOR THE INDIVIDUALIST PLAYER
While its varieties of golf balls are well respected for their construction and affordability, Vice Golf made a lot of noise when it came on the scene for its personalization program. Golf balls with logos and text emblazoned upon them are nothing new, but they usually come via corporate sponsorships. Vice will put your name on your golf ball starting from just $2.95 per dozen.
6. TaylorMade Tour Response
BEST FOR THE TOUCH PLAYER
Amongst amateurs, there are power players, and there are touch players. The power types are of the “drive for show” club who bang the golf ball like a gorilla, but add strokes with ham-fisted shots from 100 yards or closer. The touch player can shape shots and deftly judge both distance and terrain. The 2020 version of this ball also features improved elasticity. The best golf balls complement your particular style of play, which makes the TaylorMade Tour Response the perfect surgical tool for those touch play gurus.
7. Slazenger V100 Distance
BEST FOR HISTORICAL PLAYER
Also well known for making tennis balls, Slazenger remains one of the classic legacy brands. Their golf balls are still made in the United Kingdom, where this game evolved. Made with similar build quality to any number of American golf ball brands, a Slazenger balls comes with all of the history you’d expect from a company founded in 1881. It was the transformation of a Slazenger 1 into a Slazenger 7 that allowed James Bond to beat Goldfinger, and there’s a touch of class about playing these balls on any course.
8. Bridgestone 2020 Tour B X
BEST FOR THE BEGINNER
Even veteran golfers always have an element of the game that needs work. You’ll find courses and driving ranges across the country full of players working on everything from driving to chipping to putting, chasing the dragon and looking to perfect whatever element is out of whack. The rookie golfer faces the different problem of needing to work on all aspects of the game. The Bridgestone 2020 Tour B X offers a Reactiv Urethane cover allowing the ball to react to the face of each club and shot — offering the best overall performance and flexibility to the player learning the game.
9. 2020 Volvik Vivid
BEST FOR THE INACCURATE GOLFER
If a player can’t control his or her shots, it means plenty of golf balls in the woods, the long grass, the mud, the bunker, etc. If such miss-hit balls can’t be located, it’s not only a stroke and distance penalty — it’s expensive. Buying the best golf balls can get expensive if you keep losing them. Aggressive optics go a long way toward avoiding lost balls, and Volvik’s products are synonymous with the sort of bright, neon colorations that are impossible to miss (unless you shank one into the water).
10. Honma TW-G1
BEST FOR THE ASPIRATIONAL PLAYER
Honma makes some of the finest and most expensive golf clubs in the world. Their world-famous Beres series includes precious metals with prices that run into the five-figure range per set (this 11 iron set will cost you $26,000). The player who can’t yet afford sticks that expensive can still play the Honma TW-G1 golf ball and dream.