Playing in the cold is for die hard golfers. I’m a fair weather player, but there is something appealing about a round on a cold, crisp winter day when the sun is shining. So I asked Joe, a subscriber to help me with this article. He is from England and he is mad. Joe is also able to give a real insight into the best golf balls for cold weather.
Wearing warm clothing and the right shoes is essential, but have you considered your golf ball? Playing the best cold weather golf balls is an important factor when trying to play cold weather golf.
What to look for in a cold weather golf ball
Cold weather means that the golf course will be playing differently. In some parts of the world, temporary tees and greens can be in use and bunkers out of action. The turf is likely to be soggy and the air heavy with moisture. There can be leaves on the ground, obscuring your golf ball in the rough. All of these things will act to make golf a different game in these weather conditions.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when looking for the best golf balls for cold weather.
Here is a quick rundown of what we should be looking for.
Cold, wintery conditions are tough on balls and they are more likely to scuff. We need to choose a golf ball which can withstand the cold weather elements and perform round after round.
Speed (best distance golf ball)
Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on the golf ball. For every 10 degrees drop in temperature, the ball loses two yards of distance. We must choose a winter golf ball which maximises every MPH of club head speed in cold temperatures.
Visibility (best colour golf balls for winter)
Light can be low in cold, wintry conditions and balls can get plugged or obscured by leaves in the rough. Choosing a brightly coloured winter golf ball can be the difference between losing a ball in the semi or finding it.
A premium ball with a soft cover isn’t going to add much to your game in the winter. Save your money for the summer season and choose a more economical golf ball for your low temperature rounds.
Best Golf Balls For Cold Weather
Consistent performer from the #1 ball OEM in golf
What makes this such an attractive winter option is the use of the fastest material Titleist can create in the ball’s construction. This golf ball flies really high in the colder air and I found that it wasn’t overly affected by the windy conditions.
As you would expect from a Titleist ball, there were no issues with durability, even when playing out of wet bunkers and soggy lies. Around the greens this ball performed really despite being harder than other balls in the range. It doesn't feel like a two piece ball, and has the softer feeling you'd associate with a more expensive golf ball.
The yellow ball is my preferred color option and I was able to pick it up really well on a misty February morning. The side stamp decal was really useful for lining up putts. It's not a Pro V1, but would you notice the difference in cold damp conditions?
Premium urethane option which ticks all of the boxes
If you crave the soft feel of urethane but don’t want to risk scuffing or losing a super premium golf ball, this might just be the golf ball for you. I found this ball to feel very similar to the TP5 and performed really well even though my swing speed was slower than normal due to the amount of winter clothing I was wearing.
The ball was stopping dead on the softer greens and gave me the confidence I needed to fire at the pin. On short wedge shots the ball skidded in the dew once before checking up near to the hole. Off the putter, the ball has a good feel, soft but with enough resistance to give good levels of feedback.
Available in yellow or white, this would’ve taken the top spot if it were slightly cheaper.
Point and shoot option for higher handicappers
I’ve used and reviewed the Bridgestone e6 before so I was interested to see how they would perform in cold conditions. I have come to expect a golf ball that goes long and straight but isn’t super soft.
It turns out this combination is PERFECT for cold weather and wintery conditions. The two piece construction and low compression allows this ball to fly in the dense air and the unique Dual Dimple pattern reduces sidespin making the ball super stable in the wind.
The 2021 e6 Speed is an improvement on older models and the yellow version is particularly striking and easy to follow.
Check these out. You won’t be disappointed.
Surprising results from a super budget option
Ok I’ll level with you. When I pulled these out of the sleeve, I wasn’t expecting much. The matte finish reminded me of my go-to Volvik Vivid, but something wasn’t sitting right. Was it the colour? Anyway, long story short is that these are EPIC. Ignore the fantastical claims on the box and let the golf ball do the talking because these things produce BOMBS!
This could be the stealth contender for one of the best golf balls for cold weather. They come in a silly low price, they are available in lots of colours and they are consistent in the cold, dense air. This is everything we’re looking for from a cold weather ball.
This is a 3 piece ball so they did spin well around the green and felt very soft which was a surprise considering how far they flew. The ionomer cover meant they were super durable. I will definitely be keeping some of these in my bag.
Great ball for slower swing speeds
I love Volvik balls. I regularly game the Volvik Vivid so I wanted to try out the ViMax as I’d heard they offered similar performance at a slightly lower price point.
Volvik ViMAX Soft balls have a 2 piece construction, 75 compression and high launch with soft greenside spin. This ball felt slightly harder than the Vivid, but the matte finish and high visibility color made it feel very familiar.
This ball felt hot and long off the driver with a medium ball flight. With my long irons this ball went so high, I was glad that I had selected the red finish as I might’ve lost it! Spin on and around the greens wasn’t the most I’ve experienced, but I was playing on pretty moist surfaces. In the summer these would probably suit a player who prefers to roll up their chips and pitches.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most common questions about cold weather golf balls.
Does Cold Weather Affect Golf Balls?
Yes, it does. The temperature of the weather affects your golf balls a lot. The material of a ball has a thermal reaction. It can expand and shrink due to the high and low of the weather.
Do Golf Balls Go Shorter in Cold Weather?
Yes, they do. Cold weather can make the golf balls go shorter. Cool air can drag the ball more and make it launch higher and can’t fly far.
Why Do Golf Balls Go Farther in Warm Weather?
Golf balls go farther in warm weather for some reason. First, the warm air is less dense than the cool air. It does not add any extra drag to the ball. Second, both your ball and clubs are colder, so your energy transferring process is slower and inefficient.
How Much Distance Do You Lose in Cold Weather Golf?
According to Trackman Golf, you can lose one yard in every 10-degree lowering in temperature. It means you can lose about four yards if you play on a 50-degree day compared with playing on a 90-degree one.
Is It Legal To Warm Golf Balls?
No, it isn’t. According to USGA rules, warming a golf ball artificially is illegal (rule 14-3 or 13.5). However, you can put a ball in your vest pocket to warm it trickly and legally before using it in a round.
What is the longest golf ball in cold weather?
The longest golf ball for cold weather is the Bridgestone E6. BUT this ball is better suited to average to below average swing speeds. Higher swing speeds will get more distance from the Titleist TruFeel or TaylorMade Tour response.
In cold weather conditions we want a golf ball with a compression level which will allow us to get the most out of our swing. As a rule, the slower your swing, the lower the compression of the ball needs to be. We must not confuse compression with golf ball hardness, the can go side by side but are different things. Compression refers to the inner core whereas cover hardness refers to how hard the golf ball cover actually is. For example you can have a low compression ball with a very hard cover (common in some cheaper balls) and high compression balls with very soft covers (Pro V1 X for example.)
Cold weather golf is a brave mans sport. You need to be super keen and have a stock of hand warmers for your pockets. You want to have durable and high visibility golf balls that will still go a decent distance. Remember, playing the best golf balls for cold weather is an important factor when trying to tackle difficult conditions.
The threat of losing balls, not finding them for no apparent reason and also the lack of distance will render most golf balls the same. Go cheaper, go colorful, and good luck!