How on earth are you supposed to choose the best golf ball for your game?
We've asked the biggest golf ball brands to explain what each ball in their range is designed to do, and which kind of golfer it would suit best. Their responses help us answer the questions most asked by club golfers.
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Pro V1 & Pro V1x
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. On shorter shots you’re not impacting the core as much; you’re impacting the cover, so it has to give you optimal spin. Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the only balls in Titleist’s range that use urethane. Our testing shows urethane can give up to 1500rpm more spin on short shots than our surlyn-covered models. That makes a qualitative difference to how the ball stops on the green.
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. The dimple pattern helps to provide a consisten flight in all conditions.
NXT Tour S
The new NXT Tour S has deeper dimples which helps to lower trajectory for maximum distance. The ball's core is the softest ever created for NXT Tour S, providing noticeably softer feel and very low spin on your long game shots for great distance.
Whenever we test balls, there’s only between one and four yards difference between all our balls at any one swing speed. Velocity are just slightly longer, based on the dimple design they and the way their high-energy core work with the ball’s other elements. When we fit golfers for a golf ball we never start with distance off the tee. We focus on short game as it’s where golfers play the most shots. The distance difference between all our balls is so small it’s not worth selecting one based on power alone. Ultimately, we believe distance in a ball is how the elements work together. The core may be the engine of the golf ball, but all parts contribute to the ball’s performance.
At around £18 the entry-level DT Solo offers all-round performance; it’s powerful and very soft, with good short game control properties. For another £10, the versatile NXT Tour also offers great value.
The core and compression of the Z-Star is designed for the stronger hitter, uses Srixon's new Spinskin coating, which enhances the contact between cover and face, increasing the club’s grip on the ball and making the balls feel softer than the previous Spinskin.
Higher compression and will feel a little firmer than Z-Star. Uses Srixon's new Spinskin coating, which enhances the contact between cover and face, increasing the club’s grip on the ball and making the balls feel softer than the previous Spinskin.
Aimed more towards the typical club golfer swing speeds of 80-90mph. Soft feel golf ball with SpeedDimple technology that ensures less drag in flight and longer distance.
AD333 Tour is a three-piece ball with a urethane cover, designed with a core compression to suit the vast majority of golfers (80-90mph). It’s a performance golf ball that works year round, and you can find it for under £30 a dozen. The AD333 Tour uses Srixon's new Spinskin coating, which enhances the contact between cover and face, increasing the club’s grip on the ball and making the balls feel softer than the previous Spinskin.
Designed specifically for golfers with low to mid swing speeds. Low compression helps to deliver an incredibly soft feel whilst maintainging ball speed to generate a longer distance.
Tour Preferred is an excellent choice for better players who want help holding the greens with their irons. Soft feel that offers tour level greenside spin along with controlled flight with wedge shots.
Tour Preferred X
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. Also provides a penetrating ball flight.
Project (a) has the highest iron spin which is good for the average player who needs more spin. Good ball to help more moderate swing speeds create the control they need on approach shots from 150 yards in.
Designed to leave the club face fast, stay in the air longer and go further. 'Gravity defying' dimple pattern helps to increase hang-time, IOTHANE cover provides soft feel.
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. Chrome Soft is a urethane-covered ball giving maximum control around the green.
Supersoft blends distance and soft feel at a low price. It does though lack that urethane performance. A very low spin rate means straight ball flight, and and ultra low compression core means maximum ball speed and increased distance.
Superhot’s core and mantle are built for maximum distance, and the dimple pattern is designed to decrease drag and encourage optimim lift. You do make some sacrifices in performance here though.
With a softer grade of urethane on its cover, and a soft core, MP-S is a responsive ball that you see spinning and checking. Aimed at mid to high swing speeds with a dimple configuration that creates a highly efficient flight.
MP-X has a slightly firmer cover and core than our other premium urethane ball, the MP-S. 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.
The result of a study into ball flight, the JPX uses clusters of what we call micro-dimples to help retain flight at slower speeds. This model delivers distance and feel in one package.
FG Tour is our cast urethane-covered ball – and that cover is little more than 1mm thick. On short shots – 80 yards and in – this thin cover gets pinched between the clubface and the ball’s mantle, creating plenty of spin. If you are consistent enough off the tee, and need short-game help, then the urethane FG Tour is your best bet.
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.
The World’s Softest Multilayer ball, designed for the Control player who wants greenside workability and spin but still prefers soft feel and low driver spin for added forgiveness off the tee.