The 11 Best Golf Balls of 2021

We've got the best golf balls for every type of golfer.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Overall: Titleist ProV1 Golf Balls at Amazon

"The Titleist ProV1 is the gold standard in golf balls and is played by more PGA Tour players than any other by a wide margin."

Best for Distance: TaylorMade TP5x Golf Balls at Amazon

"It’s a five piece ball with three different layers that promote distance and a core that helps reduce spin off the tee."

Best for Wedge Spin: Titleist ProV1x Golf Balls at Amazon

"Flies higher and spins more, so players can weaponize their scoring clubs."

Best for High-Handicappers (Beginners): Bridgestone e6 Golf Balls at Dick's Sporting Goods

"The optimized aerodynamic dimple pattern also offers extra forgiveness from slices or hooks."

Best for Women: Titleist ProV1 Golf Balls at Amazon

"A whopping 81% of players on the LPGA game play either the Titleist ProV1 or ProV1x."

Best For Mid-Handicappers: Bridgestone B RXS Golf Balls at Dick's Sporting Goods

"Employs a slightly softer cover to maximize green-side spin."

Best Colorful: Volvik Vivid Golf Balls at Amazon

"For those who like to play a ball in a myriad of colors."

Best Budget: Vice Drive Golf Balls at Amazon

"Extremely durable cover that resists damage from rocks and tree limbs one might encounter on shots hit off line."

Best Personalized: Golfballs.com at golfballs.com

"Allows players to add text, a monogram or even a picture to a number of brands and models."

Best Putter Alignment: Callaway Triple Track at Amazon

"That allows golfers to point the lines toward their target and drain more putts."

Best Foam Golf Balls: Maxfli Foam Practice Balls at at Dick's Sporting Goods

"Perfect for knocking around in a small space since they won’t go very far.” 

Not all golf balls are created equal, but that’s because every golfer is a little bit different. Some players naturally launch the ball high and create tons of spin with their irons. Others might hit it with a flatter trajectory that releases more once the ball hits the putting surface. 

According to Scott Wilson, director of golf at Florida’s Streamsong resort, the first thing to think about when choosing a ball is your short game. “The best way to choose the right golf ball is by starting in reverse order of the hole: putting, chipping-pitching, mid-irons, driver,” he says. During a round, 75 to 80 percent of your shots come from the inside 150 yards. “The performance of the driver is actually the least of a golfer’s concern as you may only hit it 12-14 times per round,” Wilson said.

Matt Wilson (no relation), director of instruction at New Jersey’s famed Baltusrol Golf Club, also thinks short game considerations are paramount when choosing a ball. “I encourage players to explore what golf ball they play based on their reported control around the greens, or if they find there is either excess or insufficient spin on approach shots,” he said. Experimentation is a good way to figure out what ball works for a player’s game. Buying a sleeve or two of a few models and hitting the short-game practice area at your course for some thorough testing can yield some good information. Players might also benefit from a ball fitting from their local club pro or retailers with a launch monitor to help dial in optimal angles and spin rates.

Also, don’t forget balls degrade during play. While it’s a nice feeling to play a single ball during a round without losing it, there is a performance drop off. “Personally, I switch balls every nine holes or so,” Matt Wilson said. “However, any abrasions resulting from hitting a cart path, rock, tree, etc., can affect the performance of the ball. If there is any damage, no matter how small, I would encourage players to swap out their ball for a new one.”

So if you’re loading up on balls before the season starts, here are our favorite models for players across the board.

Our Top Picks

01 of 11

Best Overall: Titleist ProV1

Titleist 2021 Pro V1 Golf Balls

Courtesy of Golf Galaxy

What We Like
  • Softer core

  • Flexible casting layers

  • 388 dimples for flight consistency

What We Don't Like
  • Tend to mark up easily

The Titleist ProV1 is the gold standard in golf balls and is played by more PGA Tour players than any other by a wide margin. The 2021 version has been updated “from cover to core” but still provides players with a middle launch, middle spin tour ball that works for the largest swath of players. This year’s version features a softer core, more flexible casing layers, and a new 388 dimple pattern to make ball flight more consistent. The softer cast urethane elastomer cover also provides golfers an excellent and predictable level of spin around the greens.

02 of 11

Best for Distance: TaylorMade TP5x

What We Like
  • Three layers to promote distance

  • Core reduces spin off the tee

  • Urethane cover helps grab the green

What We Don't Like
  • Firmness may take getting used to

For those that can go beast-mode, TaylorMade TP5X might be a good choice for upping yardage throughout the bag. It’s a five-piece ball with three different layers that promote distance and a core that helps reduce spin off the tee. The urethane cover helps balls grab the green on short shots.  The TP5X is a rather firm golf ball, so those who are used to a softer feel might take a bit to adjust to the sensation at impact.

03 of 11

Best for Wedge Spin: Titleist ProV1x

What We Like
  • 388-dimple design maximizes distance

  • Softer urethane cast cover

  • Solid core gives increased distance

  • Greater speeds and optimized spin

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

For players who want the ability to fire a wedge shot past the pin and rip it back, we recommend the Titleist ProV1x. Like its sibling, the ProV1, the ProV1x is new for 2021 with updates to all four layers (the ProV1 has three.) The dual-core construction and 348 dimple, soft-cast urethane elastomer cover enable the ProV1x to fly higher and spin more, so players can weaponize their scoring clubs and knock it stiff in green-light situations.

04 of 11

Best for High-Handicappers (Beginners): Bridgestone e6

Bridgestone 2021 e6 Golf Balls

Courtesy of Golf Galaxy

What We Like
  • Great for beginners

  • Affordable price point

  • Low spin for straighter shots

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for high speeds

For beginners who don’t haven’t quite honed a fast and consistent golf swing, Bridgestone’s affordably priced 2021 e6 model features a larger, softer core to help them get the ball farther out the fairway from the tee. The optimized aerodynamic dimple pattern also offers extra forgiveness from slices or hooks with the driver as well as on long-and mid-iron approach shots.

Note, Bridgestone provided the TripSavvy commerce team with a sample of the e6 balls for review.

Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11

Best for Women: Titleist ProV1

What We Like
  • Softer core

  • Flexible casting layers

  • 388 dimples for flight consistency

What We Don't Like
  • Tend to mark up easily

A whopping 81 percent of players on the LPGA game play either the Titleist ProV1 or ProV1x. That’s more than four of every five. That number jumped to 91 percent at the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where the players don’t have endorsement deals. Ladies can and should play the same balls as men if they like—but as with all golfers, they should choose a ball that fits their game.

06 of 11

Best For Mid-Handicappers: Bridgestone B RXS

Bridgestone 2020 TOUR B RXS Golf Balls

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

What We Like
  • REACTIV urethane cover for shock absorption

  • Maximizes green-side spin

  • Core increases ball speed

What We Don't Like
  • Below average compression consistency

Bridgestone makes four versions of their B series tour quality golf balls. The X and XS are for faster swingers, and the B RX and B RXS are for those with under 105 mph swing speeds, according to the brand. All four versions feature a gradational compression core, an active acceleration mantle, and an incredibly grippy REACTIV urethane cover that provides excellent control around the greens. But the stand out for decent players who want a tour ball for their level of play is the RXS. The model employs a slightly softer cover to maximize green-side spin, which is crucial for players who frequently miss the putting surface with their approach.

07 of 11

Best Colorful: Volvik Vivid

What We Like
  • Highly visible matte finish

  • Reduced glare promotes focus

  • Available in several colors

What We Don't Like
  • Best for lower speeds

For those who like to play a ball in a myriad of colors, the Volvik offers their new Vivid golf ball in a rainbow selection. Choose from purple, blue, green, orange, pink, red, yellow, or even white. The brand says a colorful golf ball makes it easier to see in flight, and a matte surface reduces glare and promotes focus. Of course, the color range also allows players to add a bit of personal flourish to their game.

08 of 11

Best Budget: Vice Drive

What We Like
  • Affordable price point

  • Great for slower speeds

  • Cover resists damage from the elements

What We Don't Like
  • Cover not as soft as some

If you’re a player who loses a large number of balls every round, you might want a lower priced model. With Vice’s Drive, players who buy direct from the brand can get five dozen for a little more than the price on one box of tour balls. The model features two-piece construction with a soft core to help players with slower speeds get a little more distance and an extremely durable cover that resists damage from rocks and tree limbs one might encounter on shots hit off line.

Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11

Best Personalized: Golfballs.com

Golfballs.com

Courtesy of Golfballs.com

What We Like
  • Add text or photos

  • Rush printing available

  • No setup charge

What We Don't Like
  • A dozen minimum order

Personalized balls are a way to add some fun to your game and get a few laughs from your friends on the tee. Golfballs.com allows players to add text, a monogram, or even a picture to a number of brands and models. So if you want to add a cheeky message, a smiley face, or even your own mug to your favorite balls, go for it. But please keep it classy.

10 of 11

Best Putter Alignment: Callaway Triple Track

What We Like
  • Triple track aid helps accuracy

  • Track aids available on four models

  • Great for a range of players

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

For players who need help lining up putts, Callaway Chrome Soft Triple Track offers three lines on the ball. That allows golfers to point the lines toward their target and drain more putts. The brand offers the triple track alignment aid on four models, including Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X, Chrome Soft X LS, and ERC Soft. So players who need higher flight on longer shots, more spin around the green, or more workability with their irons can choose the option that enhances their game.

11 of 11

Best Foam Golf Balls: Maxfli Foam Practice Balls

Maxfli Foam Practice Balls with Storage Basket

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

What We Like
  • Good for backyards and small areas

  • Includes 42 foam golf balls

  • Comes with metal bucket

What We Don't Like
  • Foam balls only last a few hits

For practicing in your yard, foam golf balls allow players to work on their ball striking without breaking windows or scaring the neighbors. Maxfli’s foam practice balls are perfect for knocking around in a small space since they won’t go very far. Plus, the 42 pack is copious enough for a good backyard chipping session and comes in its own metal bucket, which makes it easier to collect them all after you’re done.

Final Verdict

There are more than a few excellent golf balls on the market for every level of play. TaylorMade, Callaway, and Bridgestone all make great options, but because of their overall quality and consistency, the Titleist ProV1 is our first choice in golf balls (view at Amazon). While they are expensive, the ProV1 is a great all-around ball that offers performance benefits for a large number of golfers. 

 What to look for When Shopping for Golf Balls 

 Construction

Golf balls are made from at least two layers, a cover and a core. Manufacturers use layers and different materials to enhance their performance values. 

 Urethane cover

A soft urethane material allows the grooves on a golf club to interact with the ball's cover and create friction and backspin, which helps the ball check and stop in the green. 

 Price

Golf balls cost around $20-50 per dozen.

 FAQs

 Why do golf balls have dimples?

The dimples on the golf balls are aerodynamic and help the ball fly farther and straighter.

 What are golf balls made of?

Golf balls are made of plastics and polymers. 

 How long do golf balls last?

The performance of a golf ball diminishes as you play it, thanks to deformation caused by compression. A player should swap out a ball if they notice any cuts or damage to the cover as scrapes and gashes can affect the aerodynamic qualities.

 Why Trust TripSavvy?

Nicholas McClelland is a passionate golfer who has written about the game and its gear for Men’s Journal, Fatherly, and InsideHook. He takes his clubs with him almost everywhere he goes and when he’s not playing, he’s likely planning his next round.

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