05 March 2009 Last Updated: 25 November 2013

By TG Equipment Editor

How we did it

We invited four golfers with different swing speeds to test the balls: Malcolm Mackenzie, a former European Tour player, and three golfers from Hertfordshire - Mark Self, Edward Jones and David Edwards.

we divided the balls into three categories: Tour Calibre - balls that suit players with faster swing speeds (100mph+); Performance - balls that suit medium swing speeds (85-100mph); and Distance - balls that suit slower swing speeds (under 85mph).

In each category, two of our golfers tested the batch of balls with a wedge and a driver.

- Malcolm is a pro and Mark plays off 11. Both have swing speeds around the 100mph mark and tested the Tour Calibre balls.

- Edward plays off 14 and has a swing speed around 85-90mph. He and Mark tested the Performace balls.

- David's swing speed is around 80mph and he plays off 19. He tested Distance balls, along with Edward.

Spin and distance statistics were recorded for each ball, as well as comments from the testers and manufacturers. Our testers' comments were recorded before they viewed the statistics, so their remarks are based on how they felt the ball performed for them.

Finally, its worth pointing out there was a one-to-three club headwind and it was a fairly cold day when we tested.

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TOUR CALIBRE GOLF BALLS

Designed for better players with high swing speeds looking for a ball with loads of feel...

NIKE ONE TOUR

£45 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE ONE TOUR GOLF BALL

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NIKE ONE TOUR D

£45 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE ONE TOUR D GOLF BALL

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BRIDGESTONE TOUR B33O

£44.06 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE TOUR B33O GOLF BALL

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BRIDGESTONE TOUR B33O-S

£44.06 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE TOUR B33O-S GOLF BALL

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BRIDGESTONE TOUR B33O-RX

£44.06 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE TOUR B33O-RX GOLF BALL

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TITLEIST PRO V1

£44 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114 www.titleist.co.uk

TITLEIST PRO V1 GOLF BALL

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TITLEIST PRO V1 X

£44 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114. www.titleist.co.uk

TITLEIST PRO V1 X GOLF BALL

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CALLAWAY TOUR i

£40 (12 BALLS)

Details: 020 8391 0100, www.callawaygolf.com

CALLAWAY TOUR i GOLF BALL

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TAYLORMADE TP BLACK

£40 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 389 4292, www.taylormadegolf.com

TAYLORMADE TP BLACK GOLF BALL

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CALLAWAY TOUR iX

£40 (12 BALLS)

Details: 020 8391 0100, www.callawaygolf.com

CALLAWAY TOUR iX GOLF BALL

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TAYLORMADE TP RED

£40 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 389 4292, www.taylormadegolf.com

TAYLORMADE TP RED GOLF BALL

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SRIXON Z-STAR

£39.99 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01420 541 709, www.srixon.co.uk

SRIXON Z-STAR GOLF BALL

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SRIXON Z-STAR X

£39.99 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01420 541 709, www.srixon.co.uk

SRIXON Z-STAR X GOLF BALL

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WILSON TX4 PRO

£31.96 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01276 404 800, www.wilsonstaff.com

WILSON TX4 PRO GOLF BALL

 Read review

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Our verdict on the Tour Calibre balls

Loads of spin and feel with decent distance – great for strong players

Many of us assume if we pay upwards of £40 for a dozen balls, you’re going to get a product that not only finds the fairway with Garcia-like accuracy but also offers ultimate forgiveness around the greens. If you’re a handy player, this is probaby true. The majority of pros use Titleists and their balls are obviously excellent ammunition for strong amateur golfers.

But it doesn’t mean these balls are best for the normal club player who, on a good day, can get it round in the low 80s. So if you have a bad shot shape that you can’t control, these softer, higherspinning balls may well accentuate the problem.

These balls may suit if you’re a ‘Steady Eddie’, and you don’t mind losing a little distance off the tee because you gain ‘feel’ around the green. But it’s important to find a ball that you can control. Get on a flight monitor and you won’t believe what a difference using the right ball for you can make.

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* Key for graphs: MS (Mark Self) MM (Malcolm Mackenzie)

* The ideal spin rate for a driver is 2000-4000RPM. With a wedge, it’s between 7000 and 8000RPM

 

Performace Golf Balls |

 Distance Golf Balls

PERFORMANCE GOLF BALLS

Aimed at medium swing speeds, they offer greater distance but without losing too much feel...

NIKE ONE VAPOR

£30 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE ONE VAPOR GOLF BALL

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TITLEIST NXT TOUR

£29 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114, www.titleist.co.uk

TITLEIST NXT TOUR GOLF BALL

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SRIXON TRISPEED

£29 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01420 541 709, www.srixon.co.uk

SRIXON TRISPEED GOLF BALL

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BRIDGESTONE e5+

£27.76 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE e5+ GOLF BALL

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BRIDGESTONE e6+

£27.76 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE e6+ GOLF BALL

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BRIDGESTONE e7+

£27.76 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE e7+ GOLF BALL

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CALLAWAY HX HOT BITE

£25 (12 BALLS)

Details: 020 8391 0100, www.callawaygolf.com

CALLAWAY HX HOT BITE GOLF BALL

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CALLAWAY HX HOT PLUS

£25 (12 BALLS)

Details: 020 8391 0100, www.callawaygolf.com

CALLAWAY HX HOT PLUS GOLF BALL

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SRIXON AD333

£24.99 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01420 541 709, www.srixon.co.uk

SRIXON AD333 GOLF BALL

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SRIXON SOFT FEEL

£24.99 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01420 541 709, www.srixon.co.uk

SRIXON SOFT FEEL GOLF BALL

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TAYLORMADE BURNER TP

£24 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 389 4292, www.taylormadegolf.com

WILSON PX3 SOFT SPIN GOLF BALL

 Read review

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WILSON PX3 SOFT SPIN

£23.96 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01276 404 800, www.wilsonstaff.com

WILSON PX3 SOFT SPIN GOLF BALL

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NIKE KARMA

£22 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE KARMA GOLF BALL

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TAYLORMADE BURNER

£20 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 389 4292, www.taylormadegolf.com

TAYLORMADE BURNER GOLF BALL

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CALLAWAY BIG BERTHA DIABLO

£20 (12 BALLS)

Details: 020 8391 0100, www.callawaygolf.com

CALLAWAY BIG BERTHA DIABLO GOLF BALL

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NIKE POWER DISTANCE SOFT

£18 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE POWER DISTANCE SOFT GOLF BALL

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NIKE POWER DISTANCE HIGH

£18 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE POWER DISTANCE HIGH GOLF BALL

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PRECEPT LADDIE X

£13 (12 BALLS, £26 FOR 24 BALLS)

Details: 01926 315 072 www.preceptgolf.com

PRECEPT LADDIE X GOLF BALL

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Our verdict on the Performance balls

Distance v Feel: which one is more important to you?

There were a lot of balls that we could have put into this category, especially by elevating some from the Distance Balls category. Because the fact is, our guys didn’t feel a massive difference between some of the Distance offerings and the Performance balls.

There is an enormous choice at this price point with a lot of balls at around the £25-for-a-dozen mark.

And for 12 decent-quality threepiece balls there are some good deals.

The key to getting the right one for you is simply to try them, even though it is hard to ‘test’ balls as you would drivers at a driving range.

Our test hopefully narrows down your search somewhat because our testers clearly rated some balls better for distance and some for feel. Decide which is most important to you?

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* Key for graphs: MS (Mark Self) EJ (Edward Jones)

* The ideal spin rate for a driver is 2000-4000RPM. With a wedge, it’s between 7000 and 8000RPM

  

Calibre Golf Balls |

 Distance Golf Balls

DISTANCE GOLF BALLS

If you’re looking for a few extra yards, this is the category for you. Some offer a bit of feel too!

TITLEIST NXT EXTREME

£22 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114, www.titleist.co.uk

TITLEIST NXT EXTREME GOLF BALL

 Read review

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TITLEIST PTS CARRY

£22 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114, www.titleist.co.uk

TITLEIST PTS CARRY GOLF BALL

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NIKE JUICE PLUS

£22 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE JUICE PLUS GOLF BALL

 Read review

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WILSON DX2 SOFT

£22 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01276 404 800, www.wilsonstaff.com

WILSON DX2 SOFT GOLF BALL

 Read review

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BRIDGESTONE TREOSOFT

£18.51 (12 BALLS)

Details: www.bridgestonegolf.com

BRIDGESTONE TREOSOFT GOLF BALL

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NIKE POWER DISTANCE LONG

£18 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 056 1640, www.nikegolfeurope.com

NIKE POWER DISTANCE LONG GOLF BALL

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CALLAWAY WARBIRD PLUS

£15 (12 BALLS)

Details: 020 8391 0100, www.callawaygolf.com

CALLAWAY WARBIRD PLUS GOLF BALL

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SRIXON DISTANCE

£15 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01420 541709, www.srixon.co.uk

SRIXON DISTANCE GOLF BALL

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PINNACLE PLATINUM FEEL

£15 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114, www.pinnaclegolf.com

PINNACLE PLATINUM FEEL GOLF BALL

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PINNACLE PLATINUM DISTANCE

£15 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301 114, www.pinnaclegolf.com

PINNACLE PLATINUM DISTANCE GOLF BALL

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PRECEPT EC FUEL

£13.22 (12 BALLS)

Details: 01926 315 072, www.preceptgolf.com

PRECEPT EC FUEL GOLF BALL

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TOP-FLITE FREAK

£12.99 (12 BALLS)

Details: 0800 731 1480, www.topflite.com

TOP-FLITE FREAK GOLF BALL

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MAXFLI NOODLE NS2D

£12 (15 BALLS)

Details: www.maxfli.com

MAXFLI NOODLE NS2D GOLF BALL

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PINNACLE GOLD FX LONG

£11 (15 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301114, www.pinnaclegolf.com

PINNACLE GOLD FX LONG GOLF BALL

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PINNACLE GOLD FX SOFT

£11 (15 BALLS)

Details: 01480 301114, www.pinnaclegolf.com

PINNACLE GOLD FX SOFT GOLF BALL

 Read review

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Our verdict on the distance balls

They used to have the feel of a brick, but now there are some long-but-soft options

Back in the day, distance balls were rock-hard bricks that not only offered sod all in the feel stakes, they also made your hands hurt at impact. There's nothing more off-putting for your confidence on a cold February morning than a thuddling vibration ripping through your hands as you cuff your opening drive into the cabbage. But here's some good news! During our test we found many of the 'distance balls' were pretty impressive in terms of softness and feel.

For example, the Wilson Dx2 Soft and a few others that could comfortably have been placed in the Performance Balls category in terms of how the guys found it in terms of responsiveness.

Yes, you can still get harder balls that will run further than a Duracell bunny, but there are some in the cheaper echelons of the golf ball world that now not only achieve great distance but also offer decent feel.

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* Key for graphs: EJ (Edward Jones) DE (David Edwards)

* The ideal spin rate for a driver is 2000-4000RPM. With a wedge, it’s between 7000 and 8000RPM

  

Calibre Golf Balls |

 Performance Golf Balls

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