The cold and wet months aren't the ideal time for club golfers to be playing a tour-level golf ball, so here are the best winter golf balls for amateurs.
Lots of club golfers play a premium soft urethane-covered Tour ball during the season, because they believe it gives greater short game spin. That extra control is thought to be useful when greens are hard baked and running fast.
But that argument is removed in winter when greens are often softer than a treacle sponge. 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, so here’s our pick of the best for winter golf...
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Titleist Tour Speed
£40 per dozen | titleist.co.uk
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.
TaylorMade Tour Response
£39.99 per dozen | taylormadegolf.eu
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.
Vice Pro Soft
£38.28 per dozen | vicegolf.com
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.
Callaway ERC Soft
£34.99 | eu.callawaygolf.com
The ERC Soft comes as standard with Callaway’s Triple Track lines, which are great for improving alignment.
The ball is two years old in January 2021 too, so it’s likely you’ll be able to bag yourself a bargain price on a dozen before Christmas. The yellow option is ideal for winter.
Seed SD-05 The Pro Soft
£33 per dozen | seedgolf.com
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.
Snell MTB-X Optic Yellow
£29.99 per dozen | snellgolf.uk
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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Mizuno RB 566
£25 | mizunogolf.com
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.
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£24 per dozen | srixon.co.uk
Our robot golf ball test last year showed just how the two-piece ionomer-covered AD333 is a great across-the-board option, whether it’s winter or not.
Our data has the AD333 down as spinning just 228rpm less than a Pro V1 with a wedge, which is nothing. All for a great price, too.
BUY IT NOW: Get Srixon AD333 golf balls from Scottsdale Golf
Wilson Duo Optix
£19.99 per dozen | wilson.com
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.
£19.95 per dozen | cutgolf.co.uk
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.
£15.95 per dozen | honmagolf.com
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.