Do you want a ball that flies and spins?
The ideal golf ball is both powerful off the tee and soft, spinny and controllable around the green. So which balls come closest to delivering the best of both worlds?
Titleist Pro V1, Pro V1x, NXT Tour
With their urethane covers and construction, Pro V1 and Pro V1x offer control and distance to all levels of golfer. The difference between the two is only really seen in the long game, and is down to construction. Pro V1x has a dual core that gives a firmer feel, plus a higher launch with lower spin. Around the green, their performance is very similar. The NXT Tour’s Fusablend cover, a softer surlyn blend, gives better short game feel and control than surlyn, but can’t quite match the performance of urethane.
Srixon Z-Star, AD333 Tour
These are both urethane-covered three-piece balls. They offer the combination of tee launch and spin and greenside performance that makes them our most versatile balls. Selecting between the two really comes down to swing speed; the core and compression of the Z-Star is designed for the stronger hitter and AD333 Tour is built more for the average golfer.
TaylorMade Tour Preferred, Tour Preferred X, Project (a)
All TaylorMade’s balls are long, but this trio will give you tour calibre greenside control as well. Where they are different is with the irons. Project (a) has the highest iron spin which is good for the average player who needs more spin. Tour Preferred X has the lowest iron spin, which is great for players who generate too much spin and want to minimise ballooning and be more consistent into the wind. Tour Preferred is an excellent choice for better players who want help holding the greens with their irons.
Nike RZN Black, RZN Platinum
The ideal ball offers low spin off the tee and plenty round the green. It’s tough to achieve, but our RZN balls get us closer to that. Black and Platinum have four layers, which we can manipulate to perform for different clubs in the bag. As club loft increases, the core is impacted less and the other layers play more of a role. By dialling those in, we can improve distance in the irons, which is why Rory McIlroy – who uses the Black – reported a 6-iron increase from 190-200yds. Tie that in to the short game performance given by the urethane and these balls are our most versatile.
Callaway Chrome Soft
Chrome Soft delivers strong distance through its SoftFast core, which boosts ball speed while reducing long game spin. It's tour-level urethane cover gives short-game spin and performance. Despite the relatively low compression of 65, our testing has shown clearly that even fast swing speeds can really benefit from this ball.
This is Bridgestone’s most versatile ball. Its urethane cover delivers tour level check, spin and feel, while its core is created for the average amateur with an achievable swing speed.
Wilson Staff DX3 Spin
This ball spins a lot less than the FG Tour off the tee, giving it the edge on forgiveness. There’s not a great difference in tee spin between DX3 and 2, but between these two DX3 has the edge on short-game performance.
MP-X is a lower-spinning ball that will typically offer a little more distance than the MP-S, though it still offers high levels of spin and feel in the short game through its urethane cover.