Best Golf Balls for High Handicap 2023
We have been independently reviewing golf balls for over 10 years and have tried nearly every golf ball you can name.
In our opinion, the best golf balls for high handicappers are the Vice Tours.
As someone that plays with a lot of high handicap golfers, I notice that none of them play with the same golf ball consistently.
For too long, there’s been a stigma behind purchasing golf balls that cater to a golfer’s specific strengths. This type of “special equipment preparation” for playing a round was considered something only elite-level golfers could do or should even consider.
OUR TOP PICK
Bridgestone e12 Contact
Playing a different golf ball every hole not only makes carry yardages more unpredictable but it makes it harder for high handicap golfers to develop consistency in their game that will enable them to shoot lower scores in the long run.
Our breakdown today details golf balls for every type of high handicap golfer, including balls catered towards distance, a soft feel, choices for fast and slower swing speeds, as well as budget-friendly picks.
The 9 Best Golf Balls For High Handicap Players for 2023
- Vice Tour (Best Overall Ball for High Handicap Golfers)
- Titleist Velocity (Best Distance Golf Balls for High Handicappers)
- Bridgestone e12 Contact (Easy to Hit the Ball Straight)
- TaylorMade Distance+ (Distance Improving Budget Golf Balls)
- Srixon Q-Star Divide (Twist on Beloved Srixon Ball)
- TaylorMade Tour Response Stripe (Tech-Heavy Golf Balls for High Handicapper)
- Noodle (TaylorMade) Long and Soft (Most Affordable Mid-Swing Speed Golf Ball)
- Callaway Supersoft MAX (Forgiving Distance for Slow Swingers)
- Volvik VIVID (Shocking Updated Performance)
We believe that golf is too hard of a game, regardless of your skill level, not to take every opportunity to make it easier on yourself, and you can start by finding a golf ball you like!
After our detailed breakdown, make sure to check out our favorite features of golf balls for high handicappers and our bonus guide to testing golf balls yourself!
1. Vice Tour (Best Golf Ball for High Handicap Golfers)
Described by Vice Golf as their “updated all-rounder ball,” the Vice Tour is a premium 3-Piece golf ball designed for players of different skill levels, all at an extremely competitive price.
The revamped Vice Tour ball has a few key features that make it the best golf ball for high handicappers in 2023:
A reconstructed “DuPont Surlyn Cover” is extra tough and cut-resistant (meaning your purchase will last for multiple rounds) while also naturally reducing driver spin for more distance.
The new Vice Tour has 312 large dimples to reduce air resistance and increase stability in flight. (Resulting in 9 more yards than previous models and the Titleist Tour Speed).
The improved “Keep In Line” (KIL) alignment line is extra-long and highly visible (developed in collaboration with amateurs and teaching professionals) to help golfers putt with more accuracy and confidence.
A final stand-out attribute of the Vice Tour balls we had to mention is the fact that Vice encourages golfers to purchase in bulk by lowering the price per dozen from their already incredibly affordable premium golf ball price.
If you’d like to check out our hands-on review of the Vice Tours, click here.
Construction Type: 3-Piece
2. Titleist Velocity (Best Distance Golf Balls for High Handicappers)
The newly reconstructed Titleist Velocity golf balls are designed to bring more distance and more fun (thanks to new vibrant color variations) to all high handicappers’ golf games.
The features of the Titleist Velocity that stand out:
The revamped “350 Octahedral dimple design” promotes a high ball flight.
A high-speed “LSX Core” was designed for faster ball speed and more distance on full shots.
The “NAZ+ Outer Cover” enhances full swing speed and greenside spin.
Lastly, we know many high handicappers HATE losing a ball, especially one they could find if they could only see the ball. Titleist might’ve made this a thing of the past by offering the updated Titleist Velocity balls in a standard White, Matte Orange, Matte Green, or brand new Matte Blue.
Construction Type: Two Piece Ball
Colors: White, Matte Orange, Matte Green, Matte Blue
3. Bridgestone e12 Contact (Easy to Hit the Ball Straight)
The Bridgestone e12 Contact is a perfect ball for golfers struggling to control spin and searching for a solution to hitting straighter shots without having to change their swing.
Bridgestone wanted to create a combination of their “e12 Soft” and “e12 Speed” that could provide “straight distance” to its users.
Taking design elements from both balls, Bridgestone’s e12 Contact features a wide, hexagonal dimple pattern that features inset circular dimples as well as a revolutionary “FLEXATIV Cover” that lowers side spin and provides a soft and responsive feel around greens.
This new “Contact Force” dimple pattern and “FLEXATIV Cover” combine to create 46% more surface contact, which results in more efficient energy transfers to the ball for straighter, distance-packed drives.
If you’re a high handicapper struggling with side spin on drives and irons, the Bridgestone e12 Contact could be your ticket to lower scores.
Construction Type: 3-Piece
Colors: White, Matte Red, Matte Green, Matte Yellow
4. TaylorMade Distance+ (Distance Improving Budget Golf Balls)
TaylorMade designed the Distance+ golf balls to provide high-performing distance and feel for moderate to slow swing speeds, all at an incredibly affordable price.
The TaylorMade Distance+ ball, released on the same day as the ultra-premium five-piece TP5 and TP5x, went a little under the “major ball release radar,” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile investment for many high handicappers games.
A “softREACT Core” was developed for easy compression at non-fast swing speeds and effortless distance off the tee.
A soft ionomer cover increases greenside spin and simultaneously improves resistance to scuffing and overall durability.
The all-new, easy-to-use “+ Style” alignment aid is built directly into the side stamp of the golf ball. TaylorMade found this alignment aid helps players line up putts and receive instant feedback on how they roll the golf ball on the greens.
Construction Type: Two Piece Ball
Colors: White, Yellow
5. Srixon Q-Star Tour Divide (Twist on Beloved Srixon Ball)
Srixon’s fourth generation of their incredibly popular Q-Star Tour does much of the same as previous models. It’s a premium, lower-compression golf ball with a “Tour-level urethane cover, but is priced to give golfers added value.”
Moderate swing speeds will love the Q-Star Tour Divide because it does everything they need and then some.
A lower compression (72) core produces low driver spin for impressive distance and accuracy off the tee.
Updated “SpinSkin Coating Cover” enhances greenside spin control over previous generations.
“324 Speed Dimple Pattern” reduces aerodynamic drag for longer distances on all shots with greater control.
50/50 matte urethane cover makes for easy tracking throughout flight, enhanced feedback on spin direction and amount, and easier confident alignment and feedback on the greens.
Construction Type: Three Piece Construction
Colors: Red/Yellow, Orange/Yellow, Blue/Yellow
6. TaylorMade Tour Response Stripe (Great Ball for Struggling)
Described by TaylorMade as “A Tour-Quality golf ball designed for high performance at a lower price.” the Tour Response Stripe ball helps you learn more about your game right out of the box.
As you likely noticed with the photo above, the Tour Response Stripe features a “360° ClearPath Alignment” line that TaylorMade says helps golfers aim putts better, faster, and more consistently, all while providing immediate feedback on the quality of your putting stroke.
The Tour Response Stripe also features the same “Tour Flight Dimple Pattern” as the TP5 and TP5x to unlock “next-level aerodynamics” and maximum carry distance.
A 100% urethane cover helps wedges grip the ball better for added greenside spin and a better feel versus most ionomer balls. This ball’s 3-piece construction surrounding a low compression core helps the Tour Response Stripe produce fast ball speeds with a soft feel at the same time.
Construction Type: 3-Piece
Colors: White w/ 360° ClearPath Alignment Line
7. Noodle (TaylorMade) Long and Soft (Most Affordable Mid-Swing Speed Golf Ball)
One of the most recognizable golf balls in the world, the Noodle name is now owned by TaylorMade but still remains one of the best-priced bargains in the golf ball market.
Besides being priced at or below a single dollar per ball, the Noodle Long and Soft are ideal for moderate to high handicappers because it’s very easy to compress.
Fast-swing speed players might lose distance by swinging through this ball, but slower swingers will love the effortless distance a center strike will produce.
A 342 Aerodynamic Dimple Pattern keeps the Noodles floating down the fairway and enhances their feel for controllable short game shots.
Construction Type: Two Piece Golf Ball
8. Callaway Supersoft MAX (Forgiveness and Distance for Slow Swingers)
Callaways longest golf ball for slower-swing speed golfers, has a few new and unique features that made it a must-include on our list of the best golf balls for high handicappers.
The Supersoft MAX golf ball is slightly larger than the standard golf ball size. Callaway says this unique offering creates faster ball speeds with high launch and low spin for slower swingers of the golf club.
While conforming to the rules of golf, Callaway says the oversized design is proven to increase consistency and launch angles for players, resulting in higher, longer, and straighter shots.
On top of the other exciting features of the Supersoft MAX, each ball includes an oversized sharp black alignment line for easier and more confident alignment on the putting surface.
Construction Type: Two Piece Golf Ball
9. Volvik VIVID (Shocking Updated Performance)
Volvik developed a reputation for making bright and colorful golf balls, but a lot of the general public doesn’t associate them with high performance. We are curious if that’s because they don’t do many commercials anymore or because they sponsored Bubba Watson, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Regardless, the Volvik VIVID shocked us in testing.
Besides its extremely visible, almost glowing colors, the Volvik VIVID produced low driver spin, high launch on all shots, and incredible distance.
Volvik recommends this golf ball for all players with swing speeds between 70 and 100 miles per hour.
A new feature of the updated Volvik VIVID is the “Volvik Alignment System” (V-A-S). Volvik says the three lines (similar to a Callaway Triple Track but all Black colored) help players speed up their alignment time on greens and give themselves a visual cue on tee boxes and before they make their putting stroke, increasing confidence for lower scores.
Construction Type: Three Piece Construction
Colors: Assorted Box w/ Green, Orange, Red, Yellow, *others* Purple, Pink, White
Essential Features to Look For When Buying Golf Balls for High Handicappers
Unsure what unique golf ball features could be vital to your golf game or just shopping for the high handicap golfer in your life?
This section will point you in the right direction…
You wouldn’t be a high handicap golfer if you never lost a golf ball. This makes affordability when choosing a long-term golf ball important for most players in this category.
We made sure to include many highly affordable options on our list, the cheapest being the Noodle Long and Softs. Keep in mind that Vice offers incentives to purchase in bulk, so if you enjoy our No. 1 selection (Vice Tours), you could buy a season’s worth at a discounted price.
Durability vs. Spin/Feel
While most golfers aren’t aware that scuffed or chipped golf balls severely hinder their performance, it’s nice to know your golf ball was constructed with highly durable materials.
Urethane-covered golf balls are generally softer and provide more spin around the greens.
Polymer/Ionomer balls are made with Surlyn, a material that’s difficult to scratch and lasts for a long time but doesn’t spin as much.
You’ll have to weigh these factors and determine what’s important to you when testing. If you’re unsure of the difference in feeling, imagine the feel of a premium ball like a ProV1 versus a hard range ball, or purchase balls in both material categories and test them for yourself!
Enhanced alignment lines are a feature that’s making its way onto every newer and recent golf ball offering.
Where previously a manufacturer logo and number were all that marked a fresh pack, now many companies are enhancing their alignment lines/aids with the promise of helping golfers aim putts faster, more confidently, or both!
If you or the high handicapper in your life complains or struggles with aiming putts properly, options like the Vice Tour, TaylorMade Distance+, TaylorMade Tour Response Stripe, or the Srixon Q-Star Tour Divide are all fantastic options.
Golf balls with a lower compression rating are easier for slower swingers to compress and get the maximum energy transfer and distance.
If the high handicapper in your life struggles with distance off the tee or lacks speed with their swing, make sure the golf ball you’re buying is in the “Low Compression” category.
GUIDE: How to Test a Golf Ball Yourself!
The best way to test a golf ball is to know precisely what you’re looking for (hopefully, our list above of our favorite features of the best high handicap golf balls helped you there).
We begin testing a new golf ball by taking it to the place where the most strokes are going to happen with any ball, the putting green.
While some golfers don’t care about how the ball sounds off the putter, almost everybody cares about how the ball feels.
Hit 30+ putts of varying lengths before you pull out a wedge and hit some chips and pitches to gauge the overall “short-game feel” of the golf ball in question.
If the ball performs well in these categories, it’s ready for actual “golf course testing.”
Hit the ball off the tee, maybe after hitting a good shot with your current “daily-driver golf ball,” to directly compare the trajectory, amount of spin, and overall distance.
Hit some long approach shots, short iron shots, and wedge shots into greens to see how the ball reacts to the putting surface from your “game-time swings.”
If the ball you’re testing shows signs that it could help you perform better, play a full round with it and decide if it should go in your bag long-term!
Types of Ultra-Affordable Golf Balls for High Handicappers
Used - Lost & Found Golf Balls
If you’re balling on a budget and want to stretch your dollar the furthest when purchasing golf balls, there are a few resources out there that can help.
Companies like “LostGolfBalls” and “FoundGolfBalls” use teams of people that dive into lakes and scour the out-of-bounds areas of golf courses to clean and repackage them for consumers.
I’ve used these services over the years with a tremendous amount of success, but you have to be very cautious and sift through their “golf ball rating structure” carefully. Only the highest-rated golf balls (AAAAA, for example) will be “like new quality.”
Vice Golf actually did some testing and determined that lake balls should be avoided if at all possible. Their data showed after just 12 hours in the water, the ball allows water inside its outermost layer.
After just one week in water, a lake ball will lose between 5 and 10 yards in driving distance, and after 3 months, the distance loss widens to 20 to 30 yards.
Refurbished Golf Balls (DO NOT RECOMMEND)
A mistake many high handicap golfers make is purchasing “refurbished golf balls.”
While refurbished might mean “like new” with other purchases, with golf balls, all it means is someone found the ball in a crappy condition and gave it to someone else for a facelift before selling it to you.
This “facelift” usually includes a sandblasting treatment which changes the dimple structure of the ball and overall aerodynamics and flight stability.
While the balls might be shiny white and “new-looking,” they will perform like crap and should be avoided altogether!
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About The Author
Writers of Independent Golf Reviews
Independent Golf Reviews has tested and reviewed 1000+ golf products over the past 10 years. We use our experience and expertise to give golfers an unbiased insight on the market.