Best Cheap Golf Balls: Our Course Experiment on 10 Balls


Golf is an expensive game – we all know this. So when you lose three or four balls a round you can start to really feel it in your back pocket. That is why I have been out on the course and tested some of the best cheap golf balls on the market. 

 

Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality. Each of the balls I tested had great features and some of them really surprised me with how well rounded they were. Don’t be put off by the price. Just because you are paying basement prices doesn’t mean you are getting a basement ball. 

Best Cheap Golf Ball: Quick Buy

Best cheap golf ball – Wilson Fifty Elite – click here to quick buy on Amazon. 

2nd best cheap golf ball – Srixon Soft Feel – click here to quick buy on Amazon.

Best Cheap Golf Balls: In Detail

4.8/5
5/5
5/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 50

Spin rate: low

Who is it for?: Beginner/Intermediate

Pros

Cons

Summary

These are one of the best cheap golf balls which will give you every chance to improve your game whilst being reasonably priced. I found this ball had good stopping power on the green whilst offering fair reward for good shots off the tee. Better players will find that these balls will not shape in the air and, as such, may find them unsuitable. If you have a low swing speed then these balls will give you spin performance of a mid-range ball whilst being durable for use round after round. Definitely, a top pick for the best cheap golf balls.

4.2/5
4.7/5
4.6/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 30

Spin rate: low

Who is it for?: Beginner

Pros

Cons

Summary

This ball was soft to hit and definitely assisted my slow swing speed through the low compression technology. This ball struggles to find grip and spin on the green so if that is an essential part of your game this ball will probably not suit you.

Personally, I think there are better budget balls out there but this with a compression of 30 this ball is not designed for people with even average swing speeds. It is designed for those with a slow swing making it ideal for seniors and beginners.

4.4/5
5/5
4.6/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 35

Spin rate: low

Who is it for?: Beginner

Pros

Cons

Summary

This ball performed consistently from tee to green. It was soft and felt nice, off the club. This is a no-thrills ball which is great for those looking to fine tune their game without it costing a fortune. The low compression was really noticeable when you used a driver and it will definitely give every ounce of yardage for players with a low swing.

Given its all-round ability this ball is one of the best cheap golf balls on the market.

4.5/5
5/5
4.7/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 60

Spin rate: Medium

Who is it for?: Beginner/Intermediate

Pros

Cons

Summary

The first thing you will notice with this ball is that you get a ‘spongy’ feel because of the softness of the ball. This might sound obvious given the name of the ball but even among other balls in this category this one will feel like one of the softest. This is definitely a beginners ball. It was great to hit, you felt in control and it was forgiving. If you are a mid-handicapper, you will probably find that this ball doesn’t offer enough grip on the green and after a few approach shots you will feel like you are not being rewarded for good shots. That being said, if you are looking for a ball based on a soft feel – this one might be for you.

4.1/5
5/5
4.3/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: Low

Spin rate: Low

Who is it for?: Beginner

Pros

Cons

Summary

If you are a beginner and are looking for the best cheap golf balls then this could be a really good option for you. The ball performs well off the tee giving plenty of height and distance, whilst they performed admirable when hitting irons. What really surprised me with these balls was how well the performed on the greens. For a 2-piece ball they gripped well. Now, these balls are great for casual play and practice rounds but if you are after a competition ball I would go with at least a three-piece. Overall, a very good ball for the price.

4.1/5
5/5
4.3/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 70

Spin rate: Medium

Who is it for?: Intermediate

Pros

Cons

Summary

The hard cover on these golf balls is optimal for maximum distance and roll. You should see a marked improvement when hitting mid-iron shots with this ball as the core is designed specifically to give added accuracy with these clubs. When I tested these balls I really enjoyed any shot within 150 yards. The control and consistently which they offered are unrivalled with golf balls at this price. The only thing stopping this ball from being one of the best cheap golf balls is that it is lacklustre off the tee. You don’t get that great feeling, which other balls give you, when you hit one out of the middle of the club.

If you are looking to improve your short game, this ball will give you the tools to just do that.

4.1/5
5/5
4.3/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 75

Spin rate: Medium

Who is it for?: Intermediate

Pros

Cons

Summary

These balls are designed for the recreational player who are looking for a low compression ball which they can launch from the tee. This ball is designed for players with slower swing speeds who need to get every ounce of energy from the ball. When I tested this ball, I was pleasantly surprised with how forgiving they were off the tee. Now, don’t get me wrong – if you slice it, you will end up slicing it – but this ball was great for giving me some leeway when I cut the ball (this is my tell that I am not playing my best). This is a good cheap golf ball for high handicappers who want a ball to play around with.

If you are a mid to low handicapper then this ball will not give you all the tools you need around the course.

3.8/5
5/5
3.9/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 90

Spin rate: Low

Who is it for?: Advanced 

Pros

Cons

Summary

The first thing you will notice about this ball is that it feels rock hard. This is because it is a high compression golf ball and is designed for people with a quick swing speed (100mph+). I don’t have a swing speed quick enough to properly test this ball so I handed it over to my brother Ned (swing speed 115mph) to have a hit. Ned certainly found plenty of distance off the tee and was averaging 5 yards further with each of his irons. He was able to draw and fade this ball, furthermore he could use his full shot repertoire with this ball. Ned did report that the ball struggled to grip on the greens but for a cheap golf ball this is to be expected. For the price these are definitely one of the best cheap golf balls for high swing speed golfers on the market.

3.5/5
5/5
3.7/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 70

Spin rate: Low

Who is it for?: Intermediate

Pros

Cons

Summary

These are a good cheap golf ball. They were solid off the tee-box and were fun to hit with the irons. They definitely didn’t stop well on the green which surprised me because it is one of the main selling points Volvik point to. I think this is because the dimples on the ball feel really shallow which prevents them gripping to the green. If you are looking for a practice ball these will be a great choice.

They come in a range of colors so are ideal for fall/winter golf.

3.6/5
5/5
4/5

Ball layers: 2-piece

Compression rate: 70

Spin rate: Low

Who is it for?: Intermediate

Pros

Cons

Summary

This golf ball is a lot of fun to hit off the tee. You will get good height and launch trajectory. Volvik claim these balls can generate good spin on the green but after playing 18 holes with them this is not something I agree with. What I did like about these balls were the assistance they gave when hitting the long clubs. You also got a nice soft feel at contact. You really can’t complain about the quality of this ball for the price.

What is the best coating for a golf ball?

The top-end golf balls are made from a Urethane polymer cover. If you go pick up a Pro V1 you will be able to feel this lacker on the golf ball – this is Urethane. The main benefit of this cover is that it helps the groves on your clubs (wedges in particular) grip the golf ball more effectively. 

 

The best cheap golf balls are made from a material called Ionomer. Now, Ionomer is not necessarily a bad material for a golf ball – in fact, it has some distinct features which golfers love such as giving the golf ball a soft feel. An ionomer cover is less durable than a Urethane one which is one of the reasons golf balls with this coating is cheaper than Urethane. 

 

If you are a beginner, Ionomer balls are probably going to suit you better than Urethane. This is because Ionomer cover will produce less side spin which will help you hit long, straighter shots as a beginner with slow swing speed. If you are a beginner, check out our best golf balls for beginners here

What is the difference between layers of a golf ball?

Golf balls are constructed using an inner core material which is surrounded by other layers. These layers directly affect the durability, trajectory, distance and spin each ball will offer you. Most professionals will use 3, 4 and even 5 piece golf balls. Amateurs and beginners will get away with playing with a 1 or 2 piece golf ball. 

1-piece golf ball

These golf balls are rarely used or seen on the golf course. They are made of Surlyn which is completely solid so durability is no problem. To find a 1-piece ball to test I had to go down to my local miniature golf course and (politely) ask to borrow one to take to the driving range. 

 

A 1-piece ball has extremely low compression which made is really difficult to hit long distances with the driver. Furthermore, the sound and feel were just, horrible! 

 

If you are considering, or already play with, a 1-piece golf ball then just stop. The jump from 1-piece to 2-piece is huge and you will get an infinitely better ball for the money.

2-piece golf ball

These balls have a core and a cover which is made from Urethane or Ionomer. These balls are really well made these days and you can pick up a cheap golf ball which is 2-piece which is still excellent to use around the course. 

 

This type of ball will give you plenty of support off the tee but you may struggle to get loads of spin when hitting approach shots to the green. For the average golfer, this is the ball which will help improve your all-round game. Once you find yourself hitting consistent scores with this type of ball construction it may be worth moving on to a 3-piece golf ball. 

3-piece golf ball

3-piece golf balls have a core, mantle and outer layer. The main benefit of this ball is that they offer great control to the player. You will be able to extract plenty of spin when hitting shots into the green. This extra spin is a result of the extra layer. 

 

The ball will give you a soft feel and will give you some degree of forgiveness. 

 

This ball is a great entry into playing with extra spin so it is ideal for players who are moving on from being a beginner but are not yet playing with the consistency or accuracy of experienced players. 

4-piece golf ball

A 4-piece golf ball is designed with a dual-core design and is generally used by pro-players. These balls are designed for players who put a premium on spin, control and accuracy. 

 

The construction of this ball is meant for top players who have fast swing speeds. If you are swinging the club at under 100mph you will not get the most out of this ball.

Do cheap golf balls make a difference?

This depends on what measure you are looking at. Off the tee-box the difference between a premium ball and a cheap golf ball is very little. Both types of ball consistently went a similar yardage. Equally, in terms of forgiveness I made good shots with both balls (and bad ones too) so they performed well in this respect too. 

Cheap golf balls do feel different off the club face, this is down to the Ionomer cover and the 2-layers as opposed to the premium ball which usually is made of Urethane and has 3/4 covers. Again, though this difference is more about personal preference than anything else. 

The major difference is the spin rate you get when attacking the green. A premium ball does outperform a even the best cheap golf balls when it comes to this area. You will find that the premium ball grips and offers you a higher degree of control than the cheap golf ball. However, as a beginner or a weekend golfer, you are unlikely to be able to control and spin the ball at will so the main difference between a premium ball and the best cheap golf balls is going to be negligible so why not save yourself the money. 

Conclusion: best cheap golf balls

Cheap does not mean bad. Period. We have tested 10 of the best cheap golf balls and all of them had features which added to my game, and the enjoyment of my round. It was nice playing and being able to attempt outrageous shots without the fear of losing a $5 ball. 

 

My best cheap golf ball was the Wilson Fifty Elite. I liked the fact that I could get the ball to stop on the green which can be challenging when using a 2-piece ball. I also liked the fact that it offered me plenty of assistance off the tee. If you are looking for the best cheap golf balls then I would highly recommend giving the Fifty Elite a go next time you are out on the course. 

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