Our best golf balls under £25 test has been taking place over the past few months on various courses in the UK – and one in Holland.
We have already completed a season-long balls test involving five members of the team at NCG.
That focused more on the premium golf balls with models such as the Titleist Pro V1, Srixon Z-Star, TaylorMade TP5 and Callaway Chrome Soft taking centre stage.
But, particularly in winter, some golfers may choose to arm themselves with non-premium balls and many prefer not to spend top price for their golf balls.
So if you’re price conscious or just want a model for use in the winter, read on…
Best golf balls under £25 – The methodology
We wanted to test balls that came in at under £25 for a dozen. If that bit wasn’t obvious already.
So the models selected were Titleist DT TruSoft, Srixon AD333, Callaway Supersoft and Mizuno JPX.
Each ball was played with for at least 18 holes.
Areas to look at were – performance of the tee, performance on iron shots, short game, putting and durability.
Best golf balls under £25 – The balls
Titleist DT TruSoft
Titleist say: The softest-feeling Titleist. Provides superior distance through low spin on long shots and increased short game spin for stopping power on the green. Available in white and high-optic yellow.
SRP: £23 per dozen
For more information visit the Titleist website.
Srixon say: The best-selling two-piece golf in the UK for the past 10 years which delivers an exceptional balance of distance, soft feel and greenside control.
SRP:£19.99 per dozen
For more information visit the Srixon website.
Callaway say: Faster ball speed and increased accuracy from an ultra-low compression core, longer carry and distance from low-drag aerodynamics, increased greenside control from a new softer cover
For more information visit the Callaway website.
Mizuno say: Mizuno’s softest compression two piece golf ball. A large low compression core makes it quick off the clubface. Mizuno’s unique micro-dimple cover maintains the ball’s aerodynamics during descent for long stable tee shots.
SRP: £19.99 per dozen
For more information visit the Mizuno website.
Best golf balls under £25 – The results
Titleist DT TruSoft
First impressions: This is true of most balls in this test but the box has a really premium feel and design. You get that same feeling as you do when you open a box of Pro V1s. Well, nearly.
The box is shiny and has gold on it so the consumer experience is still really positive and in no way to you feel from the outset like you’ve purchased a non-premium product.
These balls have a soft feel to them in your hands before you even hit them so it gives you a sense of how they are going to play on the course.
Off the tee: A nice sound and feel off the driver face. No noticeable drop or change in distance from that of a premium ball.
To my eye the flight wasn’t as stable as with a Pro V1 for example. But despite this, the ball still stayed online to it’s intended target.
Iron play: You really start to get the soft feel now. Spin and stopping power on the greens with mid-irons seemed very impressive.
— James Savage (@JamesSavageNCG) October 12, 2017
Around the greens: Now you are really feeling and hearing the softness. Possibly the softest feeling ball for chipping that I have used and I really enjoy using it for this reason.
Putting: My first few putts with this ball raced past the hole. The ball really seems to jump off the putter face. It really caught me out switching from a firmer premium ball. It’s not a huge issue, it will just take some getting used to.
Durability: A few scuff marks after nine holes but wet bunkers are one of the biggest culprits for this in my opinion – a regular occurrence in the winter.
First impressions: I really like the ‘pure white’ colour of this ball it seems noticeably brighter than some of the others we tested.. It is available in yellow too which is also a great option for winter golf.
Off the tee: A nice stable ball-flight which seemed a touch lower than others we tested. This is ideal for me as I fear the high spinny shot with the driver.
Iron play: Hit the numbers I wanted but maybe a touch less grab than premium balls I have tested this year. Feels a touch firmer than others in this test.
Around the greens: Noticeably firmer and a touch ‘clickier’ than some. Results were absolutely fine though so it is just a feel preference more than anything else.
Putting: More like what I am used to and of the ones used in this test it is the one I found I could still give the putter a decent whack without it running well past the hole.
Durability: Impressive. Can handle 18 holes relatively unscathed but it depends how many bunkers, trees, and concrete paths you hit!
First impressions: This is very much a ball that aims to do what is says on the tin. Many people crave a ‘soft-feeling’ ball so this has a description of it’s performance in it’s name.
Off the tee: Distance seems solid. No noticeable drop from a premium ball. Ball flight seems less stable in the wind than a premium ball.
Iron play: Feels superb on a well struck iron shot – buttery soft and enjoyable to hit.
Around the greens: Extremely soft feel so it feel like the ball is effortlessly bouncing up off your wedge shots. I did feel like the control wasn’t as good as a firmer premium ball and I was a little scared about being aggressive when faced with a 20-30 yard pitch shot.
Putting: Again, the soft feel takes some getting used to as the ball seems to come off the putter face very quickly.
Durability: Very impressive. A standout feature of this ball. If you don’t lose many a dozen of these will last you a decent amount of time.
First impressions: Another really premium feeling, shiny blue box which will be gratefully received if ever purchased as a gift. I like the fact that there’s visible technology on this ball with the micro dimples. Although I did find that the micro-dimples filled up with mud a little and weren’t that easy to wipe completely clean.
Off the tee: Solid ball flight but a slightly different sound to some of the other balls here. A touch duller for some reason.
Iron play: Maybe flew a touch higher than some of the other balls but seems to perform well in the wind and had good stopping power on the greens.
Around the greens: Not as soft-feeling as I expected, seemed a bit firmer than the Titleist and Callaway offerings.
Putting: No problems at all, felt like I didn’t have to adjust my stroke from using a premium ball. Again, not as soft-feeling as some here.
Durability: It did get scuffed fairly quickly into the round but fresh wedge grooves and wet bunkers can scuff up any ball it seems.
Best golf balls under £25 – NCG verdict
From the outset, I’ll say I’d be more than happy playing with all four of these balls – I don’t think my scores would suffer much if at all.
The main sacrifices you are making are often stability in the wind and durability. If money was no object I’d still play a premium ball all day long as they seem to offer the best of both worlds.
Off the tee I would say the performance of all these balls was as good as each other in that respect. Not one seemed noticeably longer than the other.
If I was hard pushed, I’d say the ball flight of the AD333 was giving me the most confidence.
For iron play I did seem to get more enjoyment out of hitting the DT TruSoft and Supersoft and the spin also seemed good.
Around the greens the DT TruSoft was a real joy to hit and I think this is the area where this ball really excels.
For putting I’d be leaning towards the slightly firmer feeling AD333 and JPX because I like to be able to give my putts a decent hit.
So when making your choice, I’d base it on the performance characteristic which is most important to you.
If soft feel on iron shots and around the greens is everything DT TruSoft and Supersoft are the ones for you.
The AD333 is a great all-rounder and it’s no surprise to see why it has been the most successful two-piece ball out there for some time.