Better. Longer. Faster. The newest golf balls on the market boast accolades that might remind you of the old TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man.” But the hype is anchored in fact. Golf balls have evolved in huge leaps, and recent tweaks have made good balls even better.
The leader of the pack is the Titleist Pro V1, so dominant that every major championship in 2018 was won by a golfer playing this ball, or its (slightly) harder variation, the Pro V1x. The 2019 versions, which appeared in January, boast thinner urethane covers and thicker inner casing layers to increase ball speed. And the cores are stiffer, designed to boost driving distance and add forgiveness while maintaining the ball’s distinctive ability to stick to a green. Another new development: You can even get them in yellow. A dozen retails for $52.
TaylorMade, played by such standouts as Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, has enhanced its TP5 and TP5x balls ($44.99/dozen) to better convert compression into speed. The ball’s five layers become increasingly stiff from the core to the soft, urethane cover. Callaway’s new Chrome Soft X Triple Track ($44.99/dozen) went on sale April 19. With their increased speed, short-iron feel and what Callaway calls “exceptional mis-hit forgiveness,” the balls can be found in the pockets of Phil Mickelson and other stars. No need for a Sharpie with this new model—red-and-blue alignment lines are stamped on every ball. The new Wilson Staff Duo Professional ($34.99/dozen) is an enhanced version of the Wilson Staff Duo. The new ball came out in December, and is built to add more spin to your wedges, perfect for holding a tough green.
For those who are truly confident, how about playing golf with a ball that says TIGER on the side? For you, there is Bridgestone’s TOUR B XS Tiger Woods Edition, which Woods himself used to great effect to win The Masters in April. A portion of sales of the $44.99/dozen balls goes to Woods’ TGR Foundation. If you’re really daring, try playing with these while wearing red and black on a Sunday.