The best golf balls 2018: for putting, driving and owning the green

Improve your driving distance and ball control, and enjoy a better game overall, with the best golf balls from Titleist, TaylorMade and other leading brands

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As you may know, there are many factors to consider when it comes to improving your game. Those factors range from your posture and the golf clubs you're using, right down to the shoes on your feet. 

Arguably, finding the right golf ball can give your game an immediate positive boost. Find the best golf ball for your particular style and it could help you develop your feel faster, thereby amping your confidence during play.

At first glance, many of them look the same. However, the tech used to create some of the best golf balls is what really sets them apart in terms of performance, feel and control – and helps you improve on the green.

How to buy the best golf ball for you

Would you prefer your golf ball to have a firmer or softer composition? A firmer model allows for more distance up the course, while a softer orb is all about the control and additional spin, which comes into its own when trying to hit the green. 

Golf balls come in one to five layers. A 1-piece golf ball is for range practice only, while golf balls with two layers are a good starting point for amateurs. 

If you’re a beginner golfer, a low spin golf ball will help you practice your straight shots over distance. For amateurs up to pros, a mid spin ball provides that balance between distance and control, while a high spin ball requires strong technical ability to get the most out of it. 

There’s also the science of dimples, there to reduce drag to increase the distance and speed the ball covers. The more dimples, the less drag. So bear that in mind when you’re choosing your next set of golf balls. 

One final tip: Black Friday takes place on 23 November 2018, and if any of the golf balls in our list get discounted in the Black Friday deals the prices below will reflect those discounts so you can be sure you're getting the best price.

Ready to start? Then take a look at our pick of the best golf balls designed to improve control, driving distance, and help you enjoy the game...

These are the best golf balls you can buy

Titleist AVX best golf balls

1. Titleist AVX

The best golf ball with a high-tech performance

Specifications
Quantity: 12
Dimples: 352
Handicap: Everyone
Colour: White
Reasons to buy
+Consistent ball flight+Great soft feel on all shots 
Reasons to avoid
-Low trajectory might not suit your game

The new AVX ball from Titleist is a high-tech, high-performance golf ball. The reason it tops our best golf balls list is because it of the distance it provides, plus a soft feel through clever core, cover and aerodynamic tech. 

It’s a premium ball and price on a level with the Pro V1 and Pro V1x in all-round tee-to-green performance, but creates a lower spin and launch angle while still having the softest feel of the lot. 

The core is low in compression, allowing for high speeds and greater distances. Plus, the spherically-tiled 352 tetrahedral catenary designed dimples aim to create an optimal and consistent flight path.

TaylorMade S Project best golf balls

2. TaylorMade Project (S)

The best beginner-friendly budget golf ball

Specifications
Quantity: 12
Dimples: 342
Handicap: Beginner to intermediate
Colour: White, Yellow, Orange
Reasons to buy
+A driver’s ball+Reasonable feel+Great value
Reasons to avoid
-If your swing speed is above average

“Soft is slow without speed,” says TaylorMade, which is why they’ve produced the all-new Project (s) that aims to offers soft feel around the greens, but still with low driver spin and substantial driver distance. 

The dual-distance core in the Project (s) reduces  compression for softer feel while maintaining rebound and speed.  The outer core is a softer-resilient polymer that continues to improve feel and velocity. 

An aerodynamic ionomer cover, paired with TaylorMade’s high-lift 342LDP dimple pattern, decreases drag to increase distance. Overall, a great budget option for beginners likely to lose a few balls in the trees or lakes during their round.

Titleist Pro V1 12 best golf balls

3. Titleist Pro V1

The best golf ball for distance, but with short game control

Specifications
Quantity: 12
Dimples: 352
Handicap: Everyone
Colour: White
Reasons to buy
+Great all-round ball+No.1 choice for touring pros
Reasons to avoid
-Can be rather expensive

Titleist likes to remind us that that the Pro V1 is the No 1 ball used by professionals on worldwide golf tours, but that it's a great ball for non-superstars as well.

The ball is manufactured to perfectly balance short game control without sacrificing good yardage from the tee. Whether it achieves that might be subjective, but our testers sing the Pro V1’s praises as a great all-round golf ball with consistent results.

This model is one of the most expensive in our round-up of the best golf balls, but if you have at least some level of skill it's worth the investment. If you're a total newbie, consider one of the cheaper options here to hone your skills first.

Vice Pro Soft best golf balls

4. Vice Pro Soft

The best golf ball for increased visibility

Specifications
Quantity: 12
Dimples: 336
Handicap: Beginners to intermediate
Colour: White, Lime, Red
Reasons to buy
+Optimal flight trajectory+Great value for a pro golf ball
Reasons to avoid
-Only available online, not in pro shops

The Pro Soft has been optimised for distance for serious amateurs who have a medium-to-fast swing speed. This is one of a range of premium golf balls by Vice, available at a lower price compared to similar spec models. 

Vice says the Pro Soft is the the first matte-finished cast urethane golf ball in the world, thanks to silicate particles in the lacquer, which creates an anti-glare effect when you’re addressing the ball. 

Improved visibility in the sky and on the ground is another reason why the Pro Soft has made our round-up of the best golf balls you can buy. Also, S2TG tech in the cover has created a very thin skin, which some reviewers say creates nearly as much backspin on iron shots into greens as top tour balls.

Callaway Chrome Soft best golf balls

5. Callaway Chrome Soft 2018

The best golf ball for weekend warriors

Specifications
Quantity: 12
Dimples: 332
Handicap: Everyone
Colour: White
Reasons to buy
+Made from superhero material graphene +Hard as nails for longer distance
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks a little feel

For those golfers who are after more distance without paying a premium, there’s new 2018 four-piece Chrome Soft ball by respected brand Callaway. For 2018, it has a new Graphene Dual SoftFast Core. 

Graphene is the strongest and thinnest material on earth. Only one atom thick, it weighs a seventh of the weight of air, yet is still 200 times stronger than steel. 

This means the Chrome Soft golf ball has the thinnest possibly outer core, and a larger inner core, which enables Callaway to enhance the ball’s speed, while retaining soft feel for around and on the greens. 

Thanks to aerodynamically designed Hex dimples, the Chrome Soft also provides longer carry distance off the tee and long shots into greens.

TaylorMade TPX5 best golf balls

6. TaylorMade TP5x

The best celeb-endorsed golf ball, for pros and amateurs alike

Specifications
Quantity: 12
Dimples: 332
Handicap: Everyone
Colour: White
Reasons to buy
+Great for all styles of play+Good for green and tee
Reasons to avoid
-Quite a bit of spin 

Now famously used by former world No.1 golfer Rory McIlroy, who says: "I started hitting the TP5x ball and I was like 'Oh my, this is what I've been missing’."

Made with five layers, leading manufacturer TaylorMade intendS for these balls to be compatible with every club in your bag, on the tee or the green.

A favourite in our best golf balls round-up, the TP5x's core supplies progressive compression to transfer as much energy from your swing to the ball and a dual-spin cover that ensures accuracy when putting. 

Some reviewers say there’s a little too much spin on the ball, but others conclude that it’s a decent alternative to the Titleist Pro V1.