The 8 Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers [2024 Edition]
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on January 3, 2024

Certain types of golf balls are more suited to highly skilled players like those on the PGA Tour. Conversely, there are also balls that are made with the high handicapper in mind.

And that will be my focus for you in this article.

We break down what type of ball is best for high handicappers and which brands to try.

Why listen to us? Our team has tested and reviewed dozens and dozens of the top balls on the market (you can see those here). We keep detailed notes and findings about each one to come up with our list of recommendations for you.

 

1. Titleist Velocity

Top Pick
Titleist Velocity

This ball offers longer distance, extremely low long game spin, and high flight on all shots.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Low long-game spin
  • Elevated apex to boost carry distance
  • Prompts a soft landing on iron shots
  • Explosive ball speed
  • Affordable

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Restricted greenside spin
  • The higher flight may cost higher swing speeds yards

titleist velocity 1

When I first struck the latest Velocity, I noticed that my mishits weren’t as severe. What would ordinarily be a nasty slice was somewhat controlled. Although these shots ended in the rough, it was better than being out of bounds.

In addition, it promoted an effortless launch with a consistently elevated apex to keep my ball flying for longer. The NAZ+ cover and higher speed LSX Core combined to enhance compression, accelerate ball speed, and lower revolutions for higher ball flight.

 

2. Callaway SuperSoft

Runner Up
Callaway Supersoft

Supersoft has been one of the most popular golf balls for years. The new Hybrid Cover features a multi-material construction allows for an incredible combination of fast ball speeds from high launch and low spin, soft feel, and excellent greenside control.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Affordable
  • Generate accelerated ball zip
  • Low long-game spin
  • High launch
  • Soft feel

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Not suited to high swing speeds
  • Lower greenside spin

callaway supersoft vs chrome soft

The SuperSoft is an exceptional ball for high-handicap golfers, given its affordability, low compression, and impressive distance. I’ve played the Supersoft many times and appreciate its highly compressible nature.

Its enhanced compression gifted me exceptional ball speed and minimal long-game spin for an elevated launch. As a result, I produced consistent distance, which all amateurs will welcome. Unlike other distance balls, the SuperSoft delivered some greenside spin and control, thanks to the HyperElastic SoftFast Core.

 

3. Srixon Soft Feel

Srixon Soft Feel

One of the more affordable, quality balls on the market. With a soft center that gradually transitions to a firm outer edge, the FastLayer Core offers incredible softness and great distance off the tee. The dimple pattern reduces drag at launch and increases lift during descent.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Soft feel
  • Generates elevated launch and flight
  • Low long game spin
  • Increased greenside feel and control
  • Affordable

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Not geared towards high swing speed
  • Not the longest option out there

srixon soft feel 1

The Srixon Soft Feel is my go-to pick for distance balls because they are affordable, travel long, and produce an element of short-game control. In my experience, the FastLayer is responsible for most of the low spin and rampant ball velocity delivered on all shots.

Distance aside, I find that Soft Feels produce greater short-game consistency. I generate more spin on wedge shots to other distance balls and enjoy the soft feel as it leaves the putter face to line up your putts on the green.

 

4. TaylorMade Soft Response

TaylorMade Soft Response

Designed for golfers who want a soft feel with increased distance and accuracy. The low compression core and soft cover provide a responsive feel on all shots, while the aerodynamic design helps reduce drag for improved flight.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Low compression
  • Built for slow swing speed
  • Optimizes ball velocity for slow swing speeds
  • Lowers driver spin
  • Reduced drag

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Moderately more expensive than other distance balls
  • Reduced feedback around the green

taylormade soft response 1

The TaylorMade Soft Response is crafted for slower speeds, seeking enhanced compression and extended flight. My experience with the Soft Response is mainly positive as it prompted the accelerated ball zip desired and restricted long-game spin.

I found the low 30 compression core a breeze to compress, which sprung the ball off the face for towering ball flight. As a moderate swing speed, I appreciated the effortless towering launch, but this may prompt some golfers to sky shots.

 

5. Callaway ERC Triple Track

Callaway ERC Triple Track Golf Balls

High Energy Core is engineered to increase ball speed and distance through the bag. The core also works with the High Speed Mantle to boost resilience and speed.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • High energy core boosts energy transfer
  • Increases ball zip
  • Reduces long-game spin
  • Enhances friction for improved greenside spin
  • Durable construction

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Priced higher than other options for high handicappers
  • I prefer more spin around the greens

Next we turn to the ERC range, built for speed, low long-game spin, and durability. The Paraloid Hybrid Cover is a powerful addition as it maximizes distance off the tee and boosts feel and control around the green.

Credit is also due to the High Energy Core and High-Speed Mantle, which helped me bolster energy transfer at impact for elevated velocity. In addition, the rapid rebound off the clubface on long shots lowered my spin and elevated launch.

 

6. Wilson Staff Duo Soft+

WILSON Staff Duo Soft +

The Wilson Staff DUO Soft+ Golf Balls are designed for golfers who want a soft feel and maximum distance. They feature a low compression core and a high-performance ionomer cover for improved performance.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Maximizes energy transfer
  • Accelerates ball zip
  • Low driver spin
  • Affordable
  • High trajectory

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Rock hard
  • No short game spin

I have had good times with the Wilson Staff Duo Soft+ from a distance perspective because it increases velocity and minimizes revolutions per minute. It’s hard, and you feel and hear it off the clubface, but its VeloctiCOR steps in to maximize energy transfer, increase speed, and lower spin.

Despite its firm feel, the ionomer cover has proven itself a durable candidate. I have hit the ball into countless bunkers and struck cart paths and tree trunks, coming out relatively unscathed.

Although its distance gains are evident, it offers restricted spin. But, the higher launch it provides leads to a sharp descent and a soft landing.

 

7. Bridgestone e12

Bridgestone Golf e12 Contact

The unique Contact Force Dimple Pattern that creates 38% more surface contact on impact. Dimple pattern also makes your ball fly longer and straighter with every club in your bag.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Increased energy transfer
  • Promotes straighter flight
  • Optimal carry distance
  • Improved greenside friction
  • Lowers long game spin

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Moderately more expensive than other distance balls
  • Reduced feedback on short shots

The Bridgestone e12 produces low long-game spin, impressive ball speed, a superb feel, and exceptional aerodynamics. I welcomed the presence of the Contact Force Dimple pattern, which optimized energy transfer at impact and delivered sensational aerodynamics.

I also thrived with the Gradational Core and Active Acceleration Mantle combination. The core enabled increased compression at impact, resulting in rapid speed and low spin on long shots. In addition, the Active Acceleration Mantle further increased speed and lower spin for greater tee shot distance.

Finally, I relished the heightened friction on short shots, but the ball felt soft off the clubface, providing limited feedback.

 

8. Nitro Ultimate Distance

Nitro Ultimate Distance

The aerodynamic and symmetrical dimple design increases lift and decreases drag allowing for longer shots. Improved feel on & around the golfing greens.

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What I Like About This Ball:

  • Create maximum speed off the clubface
  • Limited driver spin
  • Available in 4 colors
  • Durable cover
  • Impressive distance
  • Comes in a 15-pack

What I Dislike About This Ball:

  • Virtually no short-game spin
  • It feels like a rock off the putter face

nitro ultimate distance

The Nitro Distance are durable, long, colorful, and cheap balls. These are ideal for golfers on a budget or players looking for an easy ball to follow in the sky and identify on the ground.

In my experience, the Nitro Distance has delivered impressive yardage off the tee but low to no wedge spin.

I produced superior energy transfer on high-impact shots with these owing to the reactive titanium core. If you aren’t prone to frequently losing balls, the Nitro will keep you going for a while, thanks to a durable DuPont Surlyn cover.

Lastly, Nitro produces these in Orange, Pink, Yellow, and White.

 

The Kind of Balls Best Suited for High Handicappers

Is your golf handicap on the high side? If so, this means that you routinely shoot rounds that are 20 strokes or more over par.

Having a high handicap is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since the average handicap is 14.4. Heck, many golfers don’t even know what their handicap is.

Many high handicappers mistakenly use premium options like the Titleist Pro V1 or the Bridgestone B XS. Choosing these can hurt your score and your wallet.

If you’re a high handicapper, here are a few key features to look for.

1. Find Something That’s Cost-Effective

If you’re a golfer with a high handicap, you’re going to lose lots of balls. Most high handicappers struggle with directional issues like massive slices or duck hooks. This leads to lots of shots being hit into the water and trees.

This is why it’s so crucial to find a ball that is cost-effective if you’re a high handicapper. Slicing a ball into the lake is always painful, but it’s even more devastating when you’re paying $5 per ball. That ends up hurting both your ego and your bank account!

There are many options on the market today in the $0.50 to $2 range. Find something in this price range that fits your game and is kinder to your wallet. This will give you the extra money needed to spend on golf lessons with a seasoned instructor if you want to see a rapid improvement in your game.

2. Pick a Ball with a High Amount of Forgiveness

If you’re a high handicapper, find something that provides a high level of forgiveness. Pay special attention to the compression rating. The ideal compression rating for a high handicapper is in the 35 to 60 range.

This will reduce the severity of your errant tee shots and give you a better chance of keeping the ball in play. Leave the higher compression ratings to the folks with faster swing speeds.

3. Look for a Ball That’s Super Soft

Most high handicappers have slower swing speeds and will benefit greatly from a ball with an ultra-soft feel. Soft balls will travel the maximum distance while also reducing the dreaded sidespin that causes inaccurate shots on the course.

This is a huge advantage for high handicappers because they’ll get to play more shots from the fairway instead of the tall rough.

Super soft balls also perform better both on and around the greens. This is another nice benefit that may help high handicappers shoot lower scores. The fastest way to improve your golf handicap is to improve your short game.

 

How to Select The Ball That’s Right for You

Finding the perfect ball can be an overwhelming process because of the plethora of options out there. Here are some of the factors to consider before deciding on what is right for you and your game.

1. Swing Speed

Golfers with a fast swing speed will benefit from a ball with a higher compression rating. This will allow them to take advantage of their fast swing speed and give them extra yardage. Golfers with medium to slow swing speeds will play better with balls that have a lower compression rating.

2. Feel

Feel is incredibly important when choosing a ball. This is especially true on the greens. You need to feel comfortable with how your ball reacts with your putter.

Most golfers prefer a ball with a soft feel because it makes chipping and putting a little bit easier. Harder options tend to react violently off the putter and can end up sliding way past the hole.

3. Forgiveness

This factor is especially important to high handicappers but can be a big factor for highly skilled golfers as well. How often do you mishit a shot? If it happens quite often, you want something with a large amount of forgiveness.

4. Ball Flight

How high do you like your shots to fly? Golfers who are long off the tee may not want a super high ball flight because it may cost them some distance. These folks may opt for a ball with a medium ball flight.

On the other hand, golfers who are rock stars with their short irons and wedges may prefer the highest ball flight possible. This helps them have more control over their approach shots so that they can fire right at the pin!

5. Durability

High handicappers are often hitting from tough lies on the golf course. This means that they need something that has a high level of durability. Balls that are durable not only last longer but are less likely to scuff.

6. Price

Let’s face it, we all have different budgets and financial situations. Make sure that you choose a ball that you can easily afford. There’s no reason for a broke college kid who’s just starting to learn the game to pay big money for balls.

Remember, if you are a high handicapper, you are going to lose a lot of them. Replacing a $1 ball is a whole lot easier than replacing a $5 ball.

On the other hand, if you are a highly skilled golfer with a handicap in the single digits, you’ll benefit greatly from the premium options. Even though they cost more, you’ll be able to get the kind of spin you want when trying to shape shots (hit cuts and draws).

 

Other FAQs for High Handicappers

Does it really matter what ball you use if you have a high handicap?

Yes – most high handicappers have a slower swing speed so they need a softer option to get the most bang for their buck as far as distance is concerned.

If a high handicapper chooses a harder ball (one with a high compression rating), their shots won’t travel as far. Also, high compression balls are made to increase spin, which can be problematic for high handicappers that struggle with direction. Most of the time, a harder ball will magnify a high handicapper’s weaknesses.

On the other hand, a softer ball will help to limit a high handicapper’s problems. They provide a large amount of forgiveness that all high handicappers need.

Do hard or soft balls go farther?

It all depends on the golfer’s swing speed. As a general rule, harder golf balls will go farther for golfers with faster swing speeds. However, soft balls are the better option for golfers with slow to medium swing speeds.

A common misconception that most high handicappers have is that they’ll lose a ton of distance by switching to something soft. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Oftentimes, the distance difference between hard and soft balls is minimal (within 5 yards or so).

Choose something that suits your swing speed and skill level. That’s the best way to ensure you’ll get the maximum distance and precise accuracy on your shots.

 

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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8