The Worst Golf Balls Ever Made (11 Balls To Avoid)
The worst golf balls ever made is a pretty sensational headline. For one thing who was played with every possible golf ball? Plus of course, one golf ball might be perfect for one type of golfer but absolutely terrible for a different type of player. Like beauty, it all depends on the eye of the beholder!
Let’s run down some of the golf balls from the last 20 years or so that you might want to avoid if you are a mid or low-handicapper. Just because something is cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean it offers better value for money!
Top Flite XL (and the XL 2000 and XL 3000)
Known in some circles as the rock flite this is probably a ball you will want to avoid unless you are an absolute beginner or someone that loses loads of balls every round. They were a pretty cheap ball and if you didn’t know any better you might be fooled into thinking you were getting a bargain! Unashamedly designed as a distance ball you are going to struggle to spin this ball back on the green no matter how good your golf swing is.
Another one of the cheaper golf balls on the market. This is very much a budget offering from Callaway and is purely a distance golf ball. It has an ionomer cover like most of the balls in this list. If you are used to playing with a premium golf ball then you would certainly notice how much firmer this ball feels by comparison.
When I first started golf 30-odd years ago this was one of the balls that I played. I was surprised to learn that it was originally released in 1983 and is still going strong today. Another cheap option back in the day was the Wilson Staff Titanium. This was another cheap low-spin, two-piece golf ball.
Probably the most unfortunate choice of company name given this ball’s reputation for durability. The urethane cover on this line of premium golf balls does seem to get bashed about much easier than many of their competitors. It’s a shame as the ball actually plays quite nicely off the tee and around the greens.
Pretty sure these were a one-piece ball and as I recall they felt absolutely terrible! However, they were sufficiently cheap that I bought two dozen to stick in my practice bag when I started out. Their price was their only saving grace for a student with limited funds for golf.
This made me chuckle “Molitors existed to make Wilson Ultras feel soft.” GolfWRX
Yes, Molitors were a pretty hard golf ball and definitely deserving of a place on this list. If I found one on the golf course then it just got whacked straight back into the bushes where it belonged!
An early foray into golf ball manufacturing that didn’t fare too well for TaylorMade. The only balls I’ve ever purchased that were packaged in plastic sleeves.
Slazenger Raw Distance
The Slazenger name has a long history in sports equipment including golf but in modern times seems to be little more than a logo plastered on a product. I doubt you would see a serious golfer using a Slazenger raw distance ball. While they are probably right about the distance you can generate you get precious little control around the greens.
Bridgestone Precept Laddie
The budget end of the Bridgestone range so would probably suit a beginner but a more accomplished golfer probably want a little more performance from the ball.
Along with the Wilson Ultra, this was one of my go-to balls the first few years I was playing golf. It was a pretty firm ball back then and didn’t spin as much as a modern ball but then you wouldn’t expect it to. To me, it had two plus points. The price and durability.
Another budget ball that offers little in the way of feel but would probably be okay for most new golfers particularly those on a budget.
What To Look For In A Golf Ball
If you aren’t happy with your current choice of ball then the best thing to do is test out a few different models to see if they suit your game. Here are some of the things to consider when deciding on a golf ball.
The first question is do you have a budget in mind? If you can’t afford or don’t want to pay $40-$50 for a dozen balls then that’s going to rule out all the professional golf balls from the likes of Titleist, Callaway, Srixon, Bridgestone and TaylorMade.
These days, to be honest, as long as you avoid the very cheapest golf balls I think you’ll find the feel of most balls is acceptable. If you have a low swing speed then you might want to consider a low compression ball although there is evidence to suggest that even golfers that lack clubhead speed can still generate more distance with a firmer ball.
For some players getting the maximum spin is one of the most important criteria for picking a ball. For others choosing a ball that doesn’t spin as much could prove a better option. For example, someone who hooks or slices the ball a lot would probably benefit by choosing a low spin ball into this should straighten out their shots a little.
depending on your current trajectory you could adjust it by picking a different type of ball. If you struggle to get the ball airborne then a higher trajectory ball would suit you. On the other hand, if you already hit the ball very high then you might see an improvement by choosing a ball that tends to fly a little lower.
Don’t get hung up on dimple counts, size or shape. Try to match the ball flight you want with the specifications on the box.
Picking A Golf Ball For Your Golf Game
Using the ball selector tools on the manufacturer’s websites come up with a shortlist of three or four models which you can test out. Test them with your putter and wedges to see if they give you the sort of spin around the green that you want or expect. Do they perform with your irons and driver the way you like? Whichever ball suits you best should be the one you pick.
The Worst Golf Balls Ever Made (11 Balls To Avoid): Summary
So that’s my personal selection for some of the worst balls ever. As a low handicapper, I’m obviously slightly biased in favor of tour-quality golf balls. If you are a beginner or high handicapper then your opinion will probably be quite different.