What are the best winter golf balls?
The cold and wet months aren’t the ideal time for club golfers to be playing a tour-level golf ball, but have you ever asked yourself ‘should I play a different golf ball in winter?”
The answer is yes. While a soft urethane-covered premium ball can give you greater short game spin during the season, which is useful when greens are hard baked and running fast, that argument is removed in winter when greens are often softer than a treacle sponge.
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Apart from continuity, there isn’t a whole lot to be gained from playing a premium Tour-level golf ball in the depths of a UK winter, especially as we’re likely to lose more under the leaves. Switching to a cheaper ‘club golfer’-optimised ball will save you a few quid without sacrificing too much performance.
If you’re in the market for winter golf gear then check out our guides to the best thermal golf jackets, waterproof golf jackets, waterproof golf trousers, mid layers, base layers, waterproof golf shoes, golf rain gloves, mitts, beanies and umbrellas.
But first, here’s our pick of the best winter golf balls…
RRP £39.99 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
There’s now a whole batch of softer, urethane-covered balls on sale that are optimised for average club golfers who swing between 85 and 100mph with a driver (93mph is the average). TaylorMade’s Tour Response is one of our favourites.
The softer 70 compression combines low driver spin with high wedge spin and great feel – our testing has shown it’s very comparable to the much more expensive Titleist Pro V1. It’s also available in high-vis yellow, making it easier to follow and find.
RRP £40 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
After watching the popularity of urethane-covered ‘club golfer’ balls grow rapidly, Titleist entered the market in September this year with the new Tour Speed.
We reckon the new ball is a decent winter alternative to the more expensive Pro V1 for golfers with average swing speeds.
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RRP £36.99 | VIEW OFFER
The ERC Soft comes as standard with Callaway’s Triple Track lines, which are great for improving alignment.
Callaway released a new model for 2021, replacing the 2019 model which we rated it as the best ball for amateurs in our robot balls test. The good news is that it’s even better.
The new high energy core helps make it the brand’s longest soft golf ball and there’s also a new ‘hybrid’ cover, made with a durable PARALOID Impact Modifier from Dow, which promotes high launch and low spin (the recipe for distance) with the long clubs.
Available in white or yellow. We prefer the latter for winter rounds.
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RRP £27 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
Our robot golf ball test showed just how the two-piece ionomer-covered AD333 is a great across-the-board option, whether it’s winter or not.
Now the tenth generation of popular ball flies longer and straighter than ever thanks to a new core also found in the premium Z-Star range.
The FastLayer Core has dropped compression from 77 to 72, which promotes deformation at impact, providing a longer and straighter flight for golfers with moderate swing speeds.
The core works in tandem with Srixon’s unique 338 Speed Dimple Pattern to reduce drag and promote a more penetrating flight.
Mizuno RB 566
RRP £25 | VIEW OFFER
Mizuno say two-piece ball tech has reached a point where the vast majority of golfers can’t feel the difference between them and a more premium alternative – especially in winter.
The two-piece, ionomer-covered RB 566 is more than capable of holding its own against non-urethane alternatives and is available in white, yellow and orange.
Wilson Duo Optix
RRP £19.99 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
Wilson are experts in soft feeling golf balls (the Duo has a 35 compression), which can be a real benefit in winter.
The Optix is available in five bright colours, so they make a great soft-feeling winter ball for average swing speed players at a brilliant price.
RRP £24.99 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
The E6 is specifically designed for golfers with a moderate swing speed and will offer these players the maximum distance on each shot. The inner core of the two-piece ball has been softened and increased in size which makes this ball easier to compress for the shorter hitters.
Available in white and yellow and impressively durable, making it ideal for winter conditions.
RRP £19.95 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
Cut’s DC and Blue balls performed brilliantly in terms of combining driver and iron distance with wedge spin earlier this year, but the Grey is aimed at more moderate swing speeds.
Thanks to a urethane cover and three-piece build, they’re a cost effective match for any ‘club golfer’ ball.
RRP £15.95 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
High-vis balls are great for winter golf; not only do they stand out more in the rough, they’re also more visible in a low winter sun, too. Honma’s A1 is a two-piece ball available as a multi-coloured dozen, so you get three white, three yellow, three orange and three red balls.
RRP £38.28 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
Tour-level technology and a urethane cover that’s rolled into a package optimised to perform at less than 95mph swing speeds. The Neon Lime or Red options are perfect for winter; buy five dozen at a time and prices drop to £29.88 per dozen.
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Seed SD-05 The Pro Soft
RRP £33 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
We tested Seed golf balls for the first time in 2020, and their urethane Tour-level balls posted some impressive numbers against the market leader. The SD-05 is a lower compression, softer feeling model that’s been designed for club golfer swing speeds. Buy in bulk for the best price.
RRP £29.99 per dozen | VIEW OFFER
Snell’s MTB-X came through our robot golf ball test with flying colours. Particularly good at higher swing speeds, it combines long driver distance with high wedge spin numbers. The ‘optic yellow’ is a great Titleist Pro V1x alternative, and it costs 42% less!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Simon Daddow is the Equipment Editor at todaysgolfer.co.uk
Simon has worked in the golf industry for 30 years. Starting out as trainee professional at Downes Crediton GC where he learned the art of golf club making, before going onto work for Clubhaus Plc and Tony Charles Ltd as a golf club maker, and running Product Development at Benross Golf.
Joining EMAP Active (now Bauer Media) in 2006 as Equipment Editor Simon has worked for Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines and the Today’s Golfer website.
Simon is 46 years old, he’s played golf for 40 years and plays to a handicap of 10. A lack of club speed means he’s short off the tee, but very handy from 125 yards and in.