Did you know that there are illegal golf balls on the market?
No, we don’t mean illegal as far as the law goes. Certain types of golf balls are banned from golf tournaments because they provide an unfair advantage on the course.
These golf balls aren’t allowed in tournament play, but they are tons of fun to use when you are playing a casual round of golf or hitting balls at the range with your buddies.
In this post, we’ll go into further detail about illegal golf balls. We’ll also go over the 10 best illegal golf balls of 2023.
Table of Contents
- Why Some Golf Balls are Illegal
- How Much Further Do Illegal Golf Balls Go?
- The 10 Best Illegal Golf Balls You Should Try
- 1. Volvik Magma Long Distance Non-Conforming Golf Balls
- 2. Polara Self-Correcting Golf Balls
- 3. MG Golf Balls Senior
- 4. Bandit SB (Small Ball Technology) Golf Balls
- 5. Bandit Maximum Distance Golf Balls
- 6. Kaede Max 2 Tone Colored Distance Golf Balls
- 7. SAINTNINE U-Pro Golf Balls
- 8. KAEDE PRO Golf Ball 3-Piece White Colored Golf Balls
- 9. Polara XDS Self-Correcting Golf Balls
- 10. Polara XD Self-Correcting Golf Balls
- Should You Use Illegal Golf Balls Regularly?
Why Some Golf Balls are Illegal
Golf balls are deemed illegal for official tournament play if they provide any kind of unfair advantage. The PGA Tour and USGA strive to keep a level playing field for all competitive golfers. This protects the integrity of the game of golf and gives all players a fair chance of winning.
For example, some golf balls are “self-correcting” or “anti-slice”. These types of golf balls would be a huge help to folks who struggle with accuracy off the tee.
Wouldn’t it be great if you never had to worry about losing another golf ball in the trees or water? Obviously, these types of golf balls are not legal during an official tournament.
Other illegal golf balls are designed to travel extra distances off the tee. These types of golf balls usually have extra dimples that help them cut through the air more efficiently. Extra-distance golf balls also tend to have a slightly larger core, which creates more ball speed upon impact.
Distance golf balls are illegal for tournament play because they give golfers an extra amount of yardage that they wouldn’t be able to achieve with a regulation golf ball.
How Much Further Do Illegal Golf Balls Go?
Illegal golf balls will travel further than regular golf balls. However, the difference probably isn’t as much as you might think. Most illegal golf balls will only go about 10-20 yards further than legal golf balls.
While that distance difference may sound small, it does provide a competitive advantage on the golf course. Driving the ball just a little further can help you shoot lower scores. It can also give you bragging rights amongst your friends.
The 10 Best Illegal Golf Balls You Should Try
Want to try out an illegal golf ball just for fun? We’ve compiled the 10 best options in the following list. Any of these will make the game of golf a little easier.
1. Volvik Magma Long Distance Non-Conforming Golf Balls
Volvik high energy dual-core delivers explosive distance, and reduced diameter minimizes aerodynamic drag.
It’s kind of funny that Volvik calls these non-conforming golf balls, which is a fancy way of saying they are illegal for official tournaments. This ball is considered illegal because of the dimple pattern, which is designed to increase aerodynamic lift. The smaller diameter also makes it illegal, since it specifically minimizes aerodynamic drag.
- Extra distance off the tee of up to 20 yards longer than regular golf balls, which is a huge advantage for all golfers
- Easier to get in the air than standard golf balls, which is great for golfers who struggle to achieve the ball flight that they desire
- Ionomer cover has a 64 hardness rating, which makes it highly durable
- Soft feel on the greens and plenty of spin, which is kind of rare for an extra distance golf ball
- 90 compression rating could be considered too high for golfers with slower swing speeds
- Some have said the ball is too hard and doesn’t provide much spin control around the greens or when putting
2. Polara Self-Correcting Golf Balls
For the golfer whose problem is significant and persistent hooking or slicing off the tee. From the tee, point the arrow on the ball directly at your target, or line it up with the center of the fairway. From the fairway, play the ball "as it lies" or re-adjust the ball orientation so the arrow again points at your target.
Polara has been around since the 1970s and is one of the top brands out there for what is called self-correcting golf balls. These balls have been proven to reduce hooks and slices, especially with the driver and fairway woods. Polara’s advanced technology helps take a 100-foot slice and turn it into only a 25-foot slice, which is an incredible advantage on the golf course.
- Golfers can hit more tee shots into fairways because of the anti-slice / anti-hook technology, which is a huge benefit to folks who tend to struggle with inaccurate tee shots
- Lower ball flight than other golf balls, which results in straighter shots and a nice advantage in windy weather
- Lose fewer golf balls during a round, which saves you money
- Makes the game of golf much more fun
- Lower ball flight makes some wedge shots more difficult
- Fairly expensive at $3.75 per golf ball
3. MG Golf Balls Senior
Attention all senior golfers! This could be the perfect golf ball for you to try during your next round, especially if you need a little extra distance off the tee. The MG seniors are specifically made for senior golfers with a slow swing speed. Some folks have noticed that they also hit their irons farther with these golf balls as well.
- Great choice for seniors who drive the ball less than 250 yards off the tee
- Really loud sound at impact is neat and may impress your playing partners
- Provides considerably more distance on every club in the bag
- Most golfers gain 15-20 yards extra off the tee with the MG Seniors
- Can help you shoot lower scores and have more fun on the golf course
- Decently priced for a distance golf ball at only $2.50 each
- Some golfers have said that these aren’t quite as forgiving as regular golf balls
4. Bandit SB (Small Ball Technology) Golf Balls
Besides having a cool name, the Bandit golf balls are incredibly long off the tee because of their small-ball technology. The aerodynamic dimple pattern and smaller than normal diameter give these babies even more distance off the tee. Bandit is a reputable company that has been around since the Spring of 2004.
- One of the best long-distance balls on the market so players will enjoy longer drives off the tee
- Has a smaller overall diameter (1.65”) than other golf balls, which helps it have less drag and more time in the air
- Smaller diameter also makes putting much easier
- High energy core results in more ball speed and max velocity
- Has a decent feel for a distance golf ball
- Some have complained that they are too hard and make a weird sound off the clubface
- Since these balls are a little bit lighter than normal golf balls, golfers may need to use less club on shorter iron shots
5. Bandit Maximum Distance Golf Balls
Bandit makes our list again with their maximum distance balls. Keep in mind though, that these golf balls don’t employ the small ball technology as the other Bandits. These may be a good choice for golfers with medium or fast swing speeds.
- Dupont Lithium Surlyn cover holds up incredibly well, even during bad weather and mishits
- Higher compression rating is great for golfers with moderate to fast swing speeds
- This golf ball was used to break 5 Guinness World Records for both velocity and overall distance
- Great blend of distance and spin control because of the aerodynamic dimple design
- Some golfers have gained up to 25 yards of distance off the tee
- Compression rating is over 110, which is way too high for golfers with slower swing speeds
6. Kaede Max 2 Tone Colored Distance Golf Balls
Kaede is a Japanese company that has created a unique golf ball with specialty dimples and a wool coating. This is a three-piece premium golf ball, so they are a bit pricey. However, several reviewers have stated that they got tons of extra distance with these golf balls.
- Streamline shaped dimples help this ball cut through the air with ease with less drag
- Unique wool coating gives this ball a great feel on all types of shots
- Two-tone colored, which means they have a sleek look and really stand out on the course
- Large core leads to a maximum energy transfer at impact
- Costly investment at $4.67 per golf ball
- Only 13 total ratings so far on Amazon
7. SAINTNINE U-Pro Golf Balls
Want a golf ball that provides lots of distance and has a cool-looking logo on it? If so, the SaintNine U-Pro golf balls may be your best bet! Each golf ball comes with a “mental mate” on it, which will help you stay relaxed and in a good mood on the course.
Saintnine has been in business for 10 years and they’ve already made their mark on the golfing industry. The company was formed by Nexen Tire, which is one of the best tire manufacturers on the planet. Nexen Tire’s engineers designed Saintnine golf balls with proprietary rubber materials, which is why they perform so well on the course.
- Made up of two-piece construction and a Nex-Gen core that gives extra distance
- Compression rating of 90, which is perfect for average swing speeds
- 322 aerodynamic dimples help provide a better ball flight
- Soft feel because of urethane cover, which is ideal for chips, pitches, and putts
- Very nice price of only a little more than $2 per golf ball
- Compression rating of 90 may be too high for some seniors, ladies, or younger golfers
8. KAEDE PRO Golf Ball 3-Piece White Colored Golf Balls
3-piece construction leads to more spin. Dimple shape helps promote a higher ball flight, which will come in handy on all approach shots into the green.
Here’s a cheaper option for folks who are wanting to try the Kaede brand of golf balls. These are almost half the cost of the Kaede Max two-tone balls but they still have the specialty dimple shape and patented wool coating that the company is known for.
- Wool coating gives this ball a great feel both off the clubface and on the greens
- 3-piece construction leads to more spin
- Dimple shape helps promote a higher ball flight, which will come in handy on all approach shots into the green
- Decently priced at only $2.50 per golf ball
- Some complaints have been made saying that this golf ball scuffs easily
- Some golfers say these don’t fly nearly as far as the Kaede Max
9. Polara XDS Self-Correcting Golf Balls
Since most amateur golfers struggle with inaccurate tee shots, it makes sense that the Polara brand would make our list several times. The XDS is another one of their self-correcting golf balls, but this one gives a little more distance and spin. Most golfers say that these balls reduce their slices and hooks by as much as 50%, which helps them hit more fairways and shoot lower scores.
- Golf ball will correct itself midflight, which is a huge help off the tee for recreational golfers who struggle with wayward shots
- Easy to use by simply pointing the arrow on the ball towards your desired target
- Designed to have more spin, which makes full wedge shots and all chip shots much easier
- 3-piece golf ball, which is preferred by lots of golfers when putting
- Some golfers have said that the cover isn’t very durable
10. Polara XD Self-Correcting Golf Balls
If you’re wanting to try out the Polara brand on the course but need a bit of a discount in price, the XD is the way to go. These are $3.33 each instead of $4.16 each like the XS. Even with the lower price, these will still reduce hooks and slices by around 50% or so.
- Ionomer core and Polybutadiene outer shell leads to extra distance
- Special dimple pattern turns sidespin into backspin, which leads to more accurate tee shots
- 20% cheaper than the Polara XS model, which is nicer on the wallet
- Perfect for recreational golfers who don’t play in official tournaments
- Not as much distance as the Polara XDS model
Should You Use Illegal Golf Balls Regularly?
While there is nothing wrong with having fun with illegal golf balls from time to time, we do not recommend playing with them regularly. This is especially true of the self-correcting golf balls since they mask swing flaws. All this does is further reinforce whatever bad habit is causing your inaccurate shots.
Though the self-correcting golf balls will help you find the fairway more often, they won’t help you improve your swing. These types of golf balls allow you to take a wrong swing but achieve the right result.
Instead of improving your wicked slice with a special golf ball, spend the time to figure out what is causing it and make the necessary swing changes. More practice time on the driving range is what will make you a better golfer for the long haul.