The 8 Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers [2023 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

Did you know that not all golf balls are created equal?

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

There are tons of golf balls out there, but if you shoot a high handicap, which ones are best for you? We break down what type of ball is best for high handicappers and which brands to try.


What Kind of Golf Ball is 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 golf balls like the Titleist Pro V1 or the Bridgestone B XS. Choosing these types of golf balls can hurt your score and your wallet.

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

1. Find a Ball That’s Cost-Effective

If you’re a golfer with a high handicap, you’re going to lose lots of golf 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 golf 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 golf ball. That ends up hurting both your ego and your bank account!

There are many golf balls 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 a golf ball 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 golf ball with an ultra-soft feel. Soft golf 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 golf 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.


8 Best Golf Balls for Players with a High Handicap

1. Titleist Velocity Golf Balls

Top Pick
Titleist Velocity

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

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


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

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 Golf Balls

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


  • Not suited to high swing speeds
  • Lower greenside spin

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 Golf Balls

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


  • Not geared towards high swing speed
  • Not the longest golf ball out there

The Srixon Soft Feel is my go-to pick for distance golf 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 Feel golf balls 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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  • Low compression
  • Built for slow swing speed
  • Optimizes ball velocity for slow swing speeds
  • Lowers driver spin
  • Reduced drag


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

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 golf 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 Golf Balls

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


  • Priced higher than other golf balls 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+ Golf Balls

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


  • 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 a hard golf ball, 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 Golf Balls

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


  • Moderately more expensive than other distance golf 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 Golf Balls


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


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

The Nitro Distance are durable, long, colorful, and cheap golf 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 golf balls owing to the reactive titanium core. If you aren’t prone to frequently losing golf balls, the Nitro will keep you going for a while, thanks to a durable DuPont Surlyn cover.

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


How to Select The Right Golf Ball for You

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

1. Swing Speed

Golfers with a fast swing speed will benefit from a golf 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 golf balls with a lower compression rating.

2. Feel

Feel is incredibly important when choosing a golf ball. This is especially true on the greens. You need to feel comfortable with how your golf 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 golf balls 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 a golf ball 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 golf 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 a golf ball that has a high level of durability. Golf 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 golf ball that you can easily afford. There’s no reason for a broke college kid who is just starting to learn the game to pay big money for golf balls.

Remember, if you are a high handicapper, you are going to lose a lot of golf balls. 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 golf balls. 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 Golf Ball FAQs for High Handicappers

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

YES, the type of ball a high handicap golfer chooses can have a huge impact on their score. Most high handicappers have a slower swing speed so they need a softer golf ball to get the most bang for their buck as far as distance is concerned.

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

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

Do hard or soft golf balls go farther?

This answer is a complex one because 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 golf 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 a soft golf ball. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Oftentimes, the distance difference between hard and soft golf balls is minimal (within 5 yards or so).

Choose a golf ball 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.


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