Unless you’re completely oblivious to your golf game, you should care about your golf ball, at least a little bit. Average golfers shouldn’t be as worried about “control” or “spin” as advertised by their favorite pros — you know as well as I do you don’t know exactly how to take advantage of that anyways. But even if you’re shooting in 100s, it’s easy to recognize the feel, response, flight, and other qualities of the ball when it hits the sweet spot.
Technology is the name of the game when it comes to golf balls, much like everything else, and we’ve come a long way from the round rocks or whatever the game’s forefathers used. Of course, your Pro V-1s and Callaway Chrome Softs speak for themselves. You’ve played them before, so we won’t waste your time. But if you’re looking to go beyond $8 balls and those Top Flites you found in the bush, here are the brands to keep in mind.
We average golfers lose (and find) balls on a pretty regular basis, so expect this list to continue to grow as the scorecards come in.
OnCore states it bluntly on its website, “We’ve changed the game of golf.” Though it’s a common phrase, OnCore may be on to something there, given that they’re touting a hollow metal core golf ball. The Caliber, one of three OnCore offerings ($20.00 and up), is a 3-piece surlyn ball, the metal core designed to keep the ball on a straighter trajectory while in flight. If your swing speed is sub-100mph and you have a penchant for accuracy, you may have found a new favorite.
OnCore ups the ante again with the Elixr, with a polybutadiene rubber core, metal-infused ionomer mantle (read: metallic flecks inside) and a cast urethane cover. Really, who cares what’s inside as long as it’s durable, flies straight, and sticks to greens — check, check, and check. The Elixr cuts through headwinds with ease, seems to release on-command, and offers a soft touch on and around the greens.
Also known as “the rarest specimen in golf,” to say Costco’s first foray into the golf game was a success is an under statement. The Kirkland Signature, a 4-piece urethane coated ball, made its brief debut in 2016 before promptly selling out, twice. Word is the ball will be back, according to the company’s CEO, but when that’ll happen is anyone’s guess. Keep an eye on the shelves for what can only be described as Costco’s cheaper version of the Pro V-1 — so much so that the two companies are in the midst of a patent lawsuit — at only $30 for two dozen. (If you’re hoarding a stock and fielding offers, name your price.)
Landing on Golf Digest‘s 2015 Hot List, Vice Golf’s offerings come exactly as advertised. From the Drive and Tour lines to the Pro and the Pro+, Vice has the perfect fit for all types of swings and golfers — neon and flamingo pink finishes available, too ($10.95 and up before shipping). Our choice pick goes to the Pro+. The 4-piece urethane, dual cased ball boasts tremendous distance from the tee, soft feel on the club face, smooth, consistent ball flight, and “S2TG” (Stick to the green) technology for confidence around the dance floor. Snag a sample pack or try Vice’s ball recommender to find your next go-to.
Cut Golf Co.
Damn near brand new to the game, Cut Golf Co.’s goal is as much about the product as it is about the service — that being at-home delivery and bottom dollar prices. It’s simple, really, you pick the best ball for your game, choose your shipping frequency, and start spraying them from the tee. Cut Golf has four lines of balls to choose from ($14.95 and up): Red, White, and Blue; two-piece, three-piece and four-piece respectively. Weekend hackers will appreciate the distance and feel of Cut Red, while lower handicaps will benefit from the soft feel and ample response of the urethane Cut Blue line.
Those dimples though. Volvik is pretty proud of its technological advancements but the short of it is this: it owns a lot of patents and is definitely not afraid to do things differently. Designed specifically to address wind resistance, drag, elasticity and control, it’s no wonder the company is on a tear lately. With nine models to choose from, in a variety of, um, energetic colors ($22.99 and up), you’re not likely to get your ball mixed up with someone else’s. Though we haven’t put wood to each line, we have tried our hand at the Vivid — now a default safe-play ball in a couple CGB bags with its matte finish and tremendous consistency with a slower swing speed.
What are you playing? We’re bound to lose all of these sometime soon, so shout out your favorite bands and give ’em a go.