I started hitting Noodle golf balls in 2002 because they were one of the few alternatives to the entry-level Top Flite XL stocked at my local pro shop. Today, I deliver the findings of my review of the Noodle Long and Soft Golf balls to see if the latest model is any good and who they suit.
After reading the review, you’ll know if the affordable, 2-piece, low-spinning, high-launching golf ball fits your swing.
Why listen to us? Our team has tested dozens and dozens of the top balls on the market (you can read in-depth review of each here). We keep detailed notes and findings about each one to come up with our recommendations for you.
Table of Contents
- Overall Rating and Thoughts
- What I Like About The Noodle Long and Soft
- What I Dislike About The Noodle Long and Soft
Overall Rating and Thoughts
This review will review that you get what you pay for. These entry-level distance balls spin low, accelerate off the clubface, and launch high. However, they produce limited greenside spin and control, which would aggravate skilled golfers.
After testing the latest edition of the Noodle golf balls, I feel they’re still better suited to slow-swinging beginners and seniors. They launch effortlessly and deliver consistent distance for a fraction of the cost of premium tour golf balls.
Overall Score: 8.2/10
The Long and Soft range is a 2-piece design that contains an Ultra Soft Compression Core and a sturdy ionomer cover. The 34 compression core was a breeze to strike and I found it enhanced energy transfer of high-impact shots helping the ball rebound rapidly off the clubface.
As I’m accustomed to 2-piece distance balls, the Noodle provided minimal greenside spin, making it challenging to control. However, this feature shouldn’t impact the average golfer struggling for precision from tee to green.
Ultra Soft Compression Core
I felt the Ultra Soft Compression Core stole the show, producing the best qualities of the Noodle Long and Soft. Thanks to its softness, I could boost compression on all shots, resulting in consistent ball velocity and low spin.
The restricted revolutions and accelerated speed combination helped me elevate my launch and consistently get the ball airborne. Slower swinging senior golfers will particularly enjoy the hassle-free lift-off to encourage constant carry distance off the tee and on approach.
I wasn’t surprised to find an iothane cover on the Long and Soft due to the material’s popularity among distance golf ball manufacturers. The cover produced its typical durable results, lasting 18 holes without significant scuffs.
Its firm nature added further value off the clubface, limiting spin and ball speed drop-off for optimal launch and carry length. However, the ionomer cover offers few favors on short game or approach shots, sticking with its low spinning theme.
This made it challenging to induce any meaningful control over the golf ball on greenside shots, which is a pain for lower handicappers. That said, it won’t make the world of difference for beginners or weekend warriors seeking affordability, forgiveness, and distance.
342 Aerodynamic Dimples
I developed a love-hate relationship with the 342 aerodynamic dimples because they enhanced my launch but struggled mid-flight. It appears its weight distribution was inconsistent on some balls, causing certain shots to veer off-path without warning.
They also struggled to deliver any meaningful results in windy conditions. However, despite the inconsistencies, the ball obliterated drag on take-off and propelled my ball high for a hassle-free launch.
One of the downsides of the Noodle Long and Soft golf is the lack of alternative colors. Dick’s Sporting Goods only craft this model in an original white color, which is no hassle for me. However, it is not ideal for golfers with visual challenges who find it easier to track a yellow ball or matte pink, orange, or green.
Like all golf balls, Dick’s Sporting Goods added an alignment line to the Long and Soft, which made it easier to determine if my clubface was square to the target. However, the thickness and visibility of the line were lackluster compared to the boldness of the TaylorMade Distance + alignment aid.
I was satisfied with the cost of a dozen Noodle Long and Soft golf balls, which were less than half the price of a box of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.
The entry-level price tag is attractive to bargain hunters and high handicappers prone to losing multiple balls every round. Chunking a Noodle into the water or slicing it out of bounds is far less devastating to your wallet and your mood than losing a brand-new premium Tour golf ball.
Despite their affordability compared to premium balls, they are marginally more expensive per unit than the Callaway Warbird. Since both balls produce exceptional distance and minimal spin, I would opt for the more affordable Callaway design.
As I expected, the Noodle distance ball was hard off the face and on my teeth when I did the classic bite test. It was also hard off the clubface, one of my least favorite aspects of the Long and Soft.
The sensation off the tee box was solid and not in a good way, but this did assist with lowering spin and accelerating ball speed. The rock-hard feel continued until I pulled out my putter. The feel was slightly muted compared to longer shots, although still a way off the TaylorMade TP5.
Given the rock-hard feel, I was surprised by the compressibility of the golf ball, which enhanced energy transfer, accelerated speed, and lowered spin.
Another field where the Long and Soft underperformed was acoustics, producing a clicky sound off the face, which I do not enjoy. Naturally, some golfers appreciate clicky acoustics, if you’re one of them, the Noodle Long and Soft may appeal to you.
Given the price and the simple 2-piece construction, I wasn’t expecting much more, to be fair, but I still wanted to be proven wrong. The acoustics won’t hinder the performance of the ball. However, lower handicappers would likely prefer the “thud” sound produced by more premium golf balls.
I delivered consistent ball speed on long and short game shots with the stiff iothane cover and the Ultra Soft 34 Compression combination. Its effectiveness was evidenced by my ball speed which was faster than my Titleist Velocity results.
The most significant difference was highlighted in my 5-iron test, where I picked up 2.5 mph ball pace over the Velocity. It’s not the fastest ball I have ever struck, but I feel slower swing speeds will benefit from the low spin and rapid speed assistance. It’ll help you get the ball airborne and produce consistent carry yardage.
The Noodles thrived in the driver spin department, delivering a marginally lower 2400 rpm for my moderate swing speed. My average is 2500 rpm, and the reduced spin combined with rapid ball speed helped me produce a consistently elevated launch for impressive carry distance results.
Spin remained in short supply when I started swinging my irons and wedges, given the high rebound core and stiff iothane cover. I generated below 4900 rpm with my 5-iron and only 9500 rpm with my pitching wedge.
The lack of spin made it challenging to control chip shots. However, the elevated ball flight helped the ball land relatively quickly on approach shots.
The Noodle wasn’t the longest golf ball I’ve ever hit, producing an average distance of 268 yards, 5 short of my standard length. However, its easy launching design and towering ball flight helped me achieve consistent carry distance, which slower swing speed golfers may welcome.
I produced suitable distance with my long and mid-iron shots, but again, the Noodle Long and Soft are not the longest golf balls I have tested. Personally, I feel I left yards on the table due to the higher ball flight and soft landing.
Although it disadvantaged my distance ambitions, a slower swinging beginner or high handicap will benefit from the consistent launch.
Launch and Flight
The low compression core and sturdy iothane cover helped me maximize compression and ball speed while lowering spin. These components elevated my launch and ball flight, which was not ideal for my preferences.
However, it suits slower swing speeds struggling to get the ball airborne and traveling on every shot. Once the ball hit the air, the 342 aerodynamic dimples took over and promoted straighter ball flight. Unfortunately, I experienced inconsistencies in this department, depending on which ball I hit.
From previous experience, the in-flight instability is caused by inefficient weight distribution. Again, this is not a train smash for the average mid or high-handicapper who struggles with inconsistency. It is more of a factor for lower handicappers who demand pinpoint accuracy on every shot.
What I Like About The Noodle Long and Soft
The effortless launch produced by the Noodle Long and Soft is a winning feature, which will specifically benefit slower swing speeds. The only downside of the enhanced launch is the risk of ballooning shots, which I experienced several times during testing.
It’s not the longest golf ball I’ve struck, but it is consistent off the tee and on approach. These traits benefit slower-swinging golfers looking for a ball that frequently launches high and long. Its easily compressible structure maximizes energy transfer and accelerates ball zip for a powerful strike.
I paid $25 for a dozen Noodle Long and Soft golf balls, just over $2 per ball. There are cheaper distance models around, like the Callaway Warbird. However, it is still a suitable price tag for bargain hunters and beginners notorious for losing balls.
Low Driver Spin
I relished the reduced spin on long game shots owing to the compressibility of the Ultra Soft core and stiff iothane cover. The combination helped me effortlessly launch my ball high and long to optimize carry distance.
What I Dislike About The Noodle Long and Soft
Low Greenside Spin
The biggest negative of the Noodle was the reduced greenside spin, which made it challenging to control chip and pitch shots. Lower handicappers would despise the lack of backspin produced with the wedge, but it’s not a hassle for the average inaccurate golfer.
High handicappers struggle for precision as it stands, and a low-spinning ball will not be detrimental to your performance.
I wasn’t a fan of the clicky sound delivered on wood and iron shots, but I know some players are content with the audio. I prefer the thud that a tour ball produces, but it doesn’t enhance or degrade your performance. Acoustics boil down to your personal preference.
Lack of Colors
The Noodle Long and Soft are only sold in plain white, which suits traditionalists. However, the TaylorMade-designed golf balls do not cater to golfers with visual impairments seeking an easy ball to trace in the air and spot on the turf.
Higher Ball Flight
I wasn’t a fan of the consistently elevated ball flight produced by the Noodles because it cost me a few yards. I prefer a medium launch, which is more controlled and delivers extra roll upon landing. Despite my views, the higher ball flight is a gift to slow-swing speed golfers who struggle to get the ball airborne and produce suitable carry distance.