Best Golf Ball for High Handicappers for Distance, Direction and Feel

Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers 2024

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Matt Greene
*Read our review guidelines.

There's just nothing like the smell of a freshly opened sleeve of balls.

What do we need from a golf ball to drop your scores?

  • Squeeze as much distance as we can out of the ball with your swing
  • Durable cover so the ball doesn't get scratched
  • Good price so you can lose a few and not feel bad

I've tested hundreds of balls and the ones below fulfill all the criteria to pull you into the mid handicap zone. I don't believe you need to be highly skilled to use any ball you want, but the psychology of the golf ball is important. I want you to feel relaxed and have fun, never dreading an expensive lost ball.

To find the best golf balls for high handicappers I spent hours hitting hundreds of shots testing these balls on the course and in a Trackman studio with high handicapper friends and family.

The Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers in 2024

  1. Srixon Distance (*Editors choice for every high handicapper)
  2. Srixon Soft Feel (best for driver swing speed below 95 mph)
  3. Callaway Supersoft Max (best for hitting higher shots)
  4. Bridgestone E6 (best to reduce slices and hooks)
  5. Volvik Vivid (brightest golf ball almost impossible to lose)
  6. Kirkland Signature Urethane (best value for money urethane)
  7. Vice Drive (best if you want to try something totally different)
  8. Polara Ultimate Straight (best illegal self correcting golf ball)

Srixon Distance

Best for getting maximum distance from your existing swing speed

distance srixons for high handicap golfer

Srixon Distance golf balls are my top recommendation for all high handicappers because they go very far and the cover is so durable, I've seen friends play the ball for 4 rounds in a row before retiring the ball. The price is very budget friendly so you don't feel bad if you lose a few, which you will!

My experiences with the Srixon Distance:

  • My high handicapper friends hit the driver 10-15 yards longer with the Srixon Distance
  • Low spin means that the ball flies straighter with less sideways movement
  • They last a long time even if you hit them into trees and on cart paths
  • Very long roll out on tee shots as well as on the green so you must account for the lack of spin
  • Around the greens, my high handicap friends plan for a lot of roll out to the hole and they don't attempt flop shots
  • The feeling of the ball is actually not that hard and feels good on a putter with an insert

Naturally, because the Srixon Distance is a well-priced distance ball, the compromise is on the spin rate of the ball for chip shots and partial shots inside 75 yards. The ball does bounce and roll further so you can expect longer shots but less feel and spin around the green.

I recommend the Srixon Distance as your first new ball as a high handicap because you'll notice a distance improvement and you'll learn to judge roll out using them. You'll also begin losing less balls as you gain in confidence, and then you can move onto more premium options. 


  • Extra distance from the tee 
  • Durable gofl ball that lasts multiple rounds without scratching
  • Well-priced so you don't feel bad losing a few balls


  • Very low spin on chip shots so plan for rollout and you'll be fine

Srixon Soft Feel

high handicapper soft feels

Srixon Soft Feel are my recommendation for high handicappers who want to break 90 more often because they spin much more than distance focused golf balls. A premium is put on distance for high handicappers but eventually you want the ball to spin more for more chipping control.

My experience with the Srixon Soft Feel:

  • I played the Srixon Soft Feel from 17 handicap all the way down to 5 handicap
  • Soft Feels do feel soft when compared to most 2 piece or distance focused golf balls
  • As my swing speed increased, the spin rate also increased so you can use these balls up to 95 mph driver swing speed
  • 'Soft Feel' is stamped in a long side stamp on the side of the ball to align your ball easily on putts
  • The matte red, green and orange color cover actually feel softer and in my experience give more spin around the green
  • I notice a very soft feeling off a steel putter face and VERY soft off an insert putter

The Soft Feel is a 2-piece golf ball with a very thin cover and a compression of only 60 so it's specifically designed to feel soft with moderate spin. That maximizes your distance at moderate swing speeds but also gives you a spinny feeling on your wedge and chip shots.

Whenever someone between 10 and 30 handicap asks what ball to use, the Srixon Soft Feel is a go-to option. 


  • Durable cover but with a much softer feeling than others
  • Long distance with a low compression and moderate feel and spin around greens
  • Putting feels more intuitive with a softer ball like the Soft Feel


  • None

Callaway Supersoft Max

Launches the ball higher and longer with ease

callaway-supersoft-max golf balls

The Callaway Supersoft is a revolutionary ball and the original in the the high handicap game improvement golf ball. Callaway's Supersoft Max is the first ball to really focus on helping high handicappers with low ball flights to increase the height of their shots.

My experience with the Supersoft Max:

  • The ball is oversized which means the diameter is 1.73 inches which is 0.05 of an inch bigger than usual
  • The large size of the ball was barely noticeable but the performance was so forgiving
  • Balls launch high because of the elevated center of gravity compared to smaller balls
  • Slower swing friends noticed a significantly higher ball flight on all their shots with the MAX
  • Swing speeds below 80 mph notice an increase in distance
  • The SuperSoft Max is not purely about distance - it's about forgiveness to help you keep the ball in play

The only significant shortgame different with the Supersoft Max is that when you look intently at the ball on the putting green, you may notice the increase in size. After 3-4 rounds, you will be used to the size of the ball and don't worry - the ball still rolls into the hole the same way as a standard sized ball.

I would recommend the Supersoft Max to high handicappers who want to stay in play and hit higher, straighter shots. The ball works the way it's advertised. if you have a junior or senior golfing friend, these would make a great gift as it matches their swing speeds very well. 


  • Higher launch of the ball due to larger diameter and different center of gravity
  • Less slice and hook spin because of lower spin rates off the tee
  • Excellent alignment aid printed on the side of the ball
  • Soft and pleasant feel off the putter


  • Larger diameter of the golf ball means it won't fit in the on-course ball washers

Bridgestone E6

Double digit handicapper ball to remove big shape

e6 great for 18 handicapper

The Bridgestone e6 has been updated from prior versions and now has a standard dimple pattern. It's an excellent ball to hit straighter shots with less movement left and right. 

My experiences with the Bridgestone e6:

  • I have an 18 handicap friend who has brought his handicap down from 29 with the e6
  • His shot shape has reduced a lot thanks to lessons and switching to the e6
  • The main focus on the ball is forgiveness on longer shots so green side spin is more like a Srixon Soft Feel
  • Putting is easy with the alignment stamp on the side of the ball
  • Feel of the e6 on putts is just perfect - a lot of balls in this category feel very marshmallowy - not this one. 
  • The new e6 feels much softer on the club face throughout the bag than the prior model

If your driver swing speed is higher than 95 mph, I would not suggest the Bridgestone e6 because you will hit more shots sideways. For slower swing than 95 mph swing speed, I notice slices and draws are much smaller.

I recommend the e6 if you struggle with big slices and want to have a softer feeling golf ball. The e6 will reduce your big shot shape and improve your feel around the greens on chips and putts.


  • Specifically designed to significantly reduce slices and hooks
  • Longer distance from less side spin and more rollout
  • Straight shooting golf ball to hit more fairways and greens


  • I preferred the double dimple pattern

Volvik Vivid

Brightest golf ball which is easy to track and find in the long stuff

volvik vivid golf balls

Volvik Vivid are the best high visibility high handicap golf balls because they are so bright, you can track them in the air easily, and find them in the rough easier than any other ball on the market. Less lost balls is good.

My experience with Volvik Vivids:

  • I played the Volvik Vivid when I got back into golf after a long hiatus and they are fun to play
  • The Vivids seem to stay in the air a second longer than other golf balls despite a slightly lower flight
  • Luminous colors are so easy to see that you don't stress about where your ball is going
  • The cover of the ball is quite firm and a matte color, but also 'sticky' which makes the ball spin just a little more than normal
  • 75 compression golf ball which suits any golfer with a driver swing speed from 70 to 100 mph

The Volvik Vivids have a consistent roll when my high handicap friends chip the ball. You'll need to accoutn for a moderately higher initial spin as the ball hits the green but once the ball starts rolling, it's very consistent.

There are many colors to choose from - I recommend the luminous green, orange and yellow. Avoid the blue and red as they are impossible to see especially with remote color blindness. 

See my full reviews of all Volvik golf balls


  • Easy to track as the balls flies
  • Straight and long as if the ball stays airborne longer
  • Easy to find in the rough, shrubs and leaves
  • Matte finish makes scuffs hard to see
  • Multiple bright matte color options (but avoid blue)
  • Feels great off a insert face putter


  • The cover is a bit more easy to scuff even if you can't see it
  • Feels a bit firm and high pitched click sound on a steel putter

Kirkland Signature Urethane

Proper golf ball for entry level prices

kirkland-signature golf ball

Kirkland Signature golf balls are jokingly the premium high handicap golf ball. The fact that you can get such high quality golf balls at such a low price is astounding. These are the best urethane golf balls for high handicappers to try for the first time.

I was introduced to Signatures by a friend in the USA, Danny. My experience with Danny and Kirkland Signature:

  • Danny is a 19 handicapper and plays Kirkland Signatures because he doesn't mind losing them
  • The price is so good, that he stocks up on 10 dozen every year
  • Danny gets similar distance with the Kirkland as he does with any other golf ball
  • His chipping and pitching is much better with the Kirkland Signature because of the spin from a urethane cover
  • Pitches stop quickly instead of bouncing hard across the green
  • Bunker shots stop much softer on the greens

Urethane covers are much softer and spin much more than the general surlyn or ionomer cover you find on most of the high handicapper golf balls. Urethane is the material used on Tour quality premium golf balls and Kirkland outsource their balls to major factories who produce the top OEM golf balls.

Kirkland Signatures are 3 piece 'almost' Tour quality golf balls that anyone can afford. You won't mind losing a few in the round and you'll get significant performance improvement around the greens. Distance off the tee may suffer a little but when you want more feel and a urethane cover, you may need to sacrifice a few yards. 


  • The price for the quality you receive is just astoundingly good
  • Urethane cover for Tour-level feel and spin and longer irons that hold the greens easily
  • Very durable despite having a soft urethane cover


  • You may lose a few yards if your swing speed is below 85 mph

Vice Drive

Top quality direct to consumer high handicap golf ball

vice drive golf balls

I'm a fan of Vice balls. I've played most of their models but I'm seriously impressed with the Drive. It's their "budget" option but it outperforms most balls which are priced higher. Vice's direct to consumer model means you can get insane discounts when buying in bulk and they also offer really cool customization options to make the balls your own. 

In terms of performance, the two-piece construction of the Vice Drive features a high quality Surlyn cover and spring like core. This means you get high levels of durability and intense distance off the tee. I really like this ball when playing in the wind, as it is a naturally lower-spinning model. I used it when playing in 3 to 4 clubs winds in Scotland and the ball was penetrating through the air. 

Reasons to buy

  • Premium level finishing 
  • Top quality feel and exceptional greenside spin
  • Incredibly durable surlyn cover
  • Very competitive pricing

Difference between tour balls and high handicapper balls

You may wonder why there is a different ball for high handicappers. Why aren't we all just playing the same golf ball?

There are minor and major differences between golf balls. The 2 major differences you should know are:

  • Cover material
  • Compression
  • Number of layers

Cover materials

There are two types of cover material on a golf ball:

1. Surlyn / ionomer

This is a firm material that you find on most of the balls aimed at mid to high handicappers. It's more durable and doesn't scuff when it hits hard surfaces. The major difference in performance is that the ball spins significantly less with an ionomer cover than a urethane cover.

2. Urethane

Urethane covers are soft and are used on multi layer golf balls to increase spin and softness of the ball. The main target of these balls are golfers with more skill so they can utilize the nuanced properties of the ball. 

The downside to a urethane ball for you as a high handicapper is that the increased spin from urethane can INCREASE your slice or hook. That's why we prefer lower spin ionomer golf balls.


Compression refers to how easy it is to deform the ball when you hit it in order to create propulsion forward. The compression is expressed as a number from 25 to 110. The lower the number, the softer the ball. The higher the number, the hard the ball.

1. Low compression: for our purposes as high handicappers, focus on compression from 30 to 75

Low compression is used in most high handicap golf balls because the manufacturers assume your swing speed is slower and also that you want more control of the ball with less sidespin. The way that the manufacturers increase distance for you, is they wrap a hard ionomer cover around a soft core of the ball. 

That is the secret to low spin, longer shots, the combination of soft layer, surrounded by a hard lower.

2. High compression - 90+

High compression suits faster swings and with the multiply layers of compression inside a high end golf ball, it's a very complicated topic of combining compressions, urethane covers and creating more spin but not so much spin that the ball is unplayable.

Number of Layers

Two piece golf balls

Two-piece balls are usually a round core with a cover around it. It's a simple ball and usually aimed at the higher handicapper or beginner. The price is low and the materials are designed for casual and recreational golfers.

The characteristics of a two-piece ball are usually a harder feeling and a lot more roll on the fairways due to their low spin characteristics. 

A good two piece ball like a Srixon Soft Feel works perfectly.

Three or four or five piece golf balls

These balls have all many layers of materials in the core with a cover that is often made of high quality urethane.

Urethane is a very soft material and most often found on premium balls to increase spin, especially for faster swinging and more skilled players like pros.

These balls spin a lot and while you might get similar carry distance with your clubs to the harder balls, the rollout is much less.

When I play premium soft golf balls, sometimes my driver actually can go backwards by a foot or so after landing in the fairway!

The multi-piece balls are normally much more expensive but that's because the quality of the products is slightly higher for highly skilled golfers to use them. 

Are Kirkland golf balls good for high handicappers?

Kirkland Signature golf balls are excellent for high handicappers because they are the cheapest high quality, premium specification golf balls on the market. Because the price is so low, a high handicapper can swing freely and lose a few Kirklands but not feel upset about it.

Alternative golf balls for high handicappers

Used Golf Balls

Used balls are the best option for almost all golfers but especially as a beginner or high handicapper. You can get them cheap and you can bash them away to your hearts content. Finding them in the bushes and in water hazards is part of the fun of golf!

Lake balls

You can find these on the golf course or in second-hand shops everywhere. Honestly, these are the best balls for you to use if you are 20 handicap or above. 

Water is for fish not golf balls

Refurbished golf balls

While I think lake balls, balls from the woods and refurbished balls are great for beginners and high handicappers, you really should avoid refurbished golf balls. The truth is refurbished balls are just lake balls with a sand blasting on the outer cover to make them look really new.

The advertising photos always display the balls with some water on them to look nice and fresh. I would avoid refurbished balls entirely bceause often they are fakes, with a new coat of paint on them and a new company's logo printed on it!

How to play better with your golf ball

As a high handicapper the game can really be simplified down to a few shots that you need to succeed and have fun.

Matching your ball to your equipment so you can use both to their full effect is important. Once you do that, you can plan your golf shots easily.

With a firmer golf ball, you need to plan golf shots in these ways:

  • Tee shot - preferably with the driver or 5 wood so it will fly further and roll out a lot
  • Approach shot - you must plan to roll the ball onto the green where possible. The firm golf balls for high handicappers do not stop so easily on the greens so it's best to bounce the ball short of the green and let it bounce on.
  • Bump and run - When you chip with a firm ball, it will land on the green and roll out a long distance. You must calculate how far the ball will roll, and make sure to chip it toward the hole and account for that long roll out.
  • Putter with an insert - steel putters make the ball feel very very hard. You are best served playing a putter with an insert in the face. An example is the TaylorMade Spider and Odyssey White Hot. The insert makes the firmer ball feel softer and that is great for putting feel.

Take a look at my guide to breaking 90 and see how to think your way around the golf course better. Find a set of good irons for high handicappers to hit the new golf ball with maximum effect.

The Verdict

Srixon and Callaway really are the best golf balls for high handicappers because they provide forgiving, well-priced balls with excellent performance for your skill level. 

You can experiment with used golf balls to find the ones you play best with and then purchase the new version of your favorite. Once you find a ball that you like, it's best to stick with it for a while to get used to how it performs. 

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Matt Greene

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