10 Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers of 2022

By Todd Mrowice

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high handicap golf ball badges

If everybody who plays even just a few rounds of golf per year kept an official handicap, it's safe to say most amateur golfers would fall into the high-handicapper category, let's call it a handicap of 20 or above. It's important for high-handicap players player to put the right type of golf ball in play. Not only can using the right golf balls help your golf game, they also offer good value for your money by giving quality and performance that fits your game. Here are 10 of the best golf balls for high handicap players.

Finding a Ball for High-Handicap Golfers

High handicap players may find themselves always looking for quantity over quality, which is natural based on how you might feel about your golf game. For example, if you lose a lot of golf balls or you hit a lot of cart paths and trees, why spend more money for fewer golf balls? It’s a fair argument, but buying the bargain bin doesn’t necessarily fit your game if you’re consistently breaking 100.

Playing a golf ball suited to a higher handicap, but not a beginner, can play a big role in lowering your handicap. Here are some common traits of golf balls that fit many high handicap players to keep an eye out for when shopping.

Driver Spin

Higher handicap golfers should typically look for a ball on the higher end of the spin spectrum, especially in the long game. While lower spin golf balls fit a small percentage of high-handicap players, for the vast majority, a higher spinning ball equates to more forgiveness on drives and iron shots.

Greenside Spin

Golf balls for beginners don’t have as much concentration on greenside spin, but since you’re playing to (around) a 20 handicap, you should expect a little more out of your golf ball. Using a ball with the right greenside spin will dictate how well you execute chips, sand shots, bump and runs, and more. You might think backspin is only for the pros, but you should care about backspin on shots inside of 100 yards as well.

Dispersion

Your golf ball dispersion is the measure of how far off of the intended line it travels left or right. The best golf balls for high-handicap players should have a tighter dispersion and be more forgiving, because you still need some of the additional help that goes along with increased distance.

The Best Golf Balls for High-Handicap Golfers

Here are 10 of the best golf balls for high-handicap golfers. The recommendations that we’ve made vary in price and the skill level of the intended user, because we understand that “high handicap” is a broad term. Every ball on this list, however, is suited to players who have graduated from beginner status and are looking to continue improving their scores.

Ball Cost/Dozen Player Profile Standout Feature
Bridgestone e6 $25 Moderate swing speeds looking for consistency off the tee Highly durable cover
Vice Drive $16 Players looking for distance above all else The more you buy, the better the price
Bridgestone e12 Contact $30 Mid-High handicap with moderate swing speed Serious dispersion help and can be played by 75% of golfers
TaylorMade Soft Response $25 Player looking for soft feel and greenside touch 35 compression means increased distance for slower swings
Titleist Velocity $30 Player seeking optimal performance with higher budget High trajectory and low long-game spin
Wilson Staff DUO Optix $24 Looking for a low compression ball with high visibility Performs just like DUO Soft+
Titleist TruFeel $25 Good balance of distance and control All-around consistent ball
Piper Blue $25 80s and low 90s shooters with faster swing speeds One of the best alignment aides in golf
Srixon Q-Star $28 Players improving and trending toward a mid-handicap golf ball Low compression with good greenside control
Callaway ERC Soft Triple Track $35 Low compression but can also fit mid-handicap players Triple Track alignment aid

Best Overall: Bridgestone e6

Bridgestone e6 golf ball badges
Bridgestone Golf
Cost/Dozen $25 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 2-piece
Cover Surlyn
Dimples 330
Flight High flight that’s easily manipulated
Player Profile Moderate swing speeds looking for consistency off the tee

Soft feel, long-distance, and no massive marketing budget backing it. That’s what the Bridgestone e6 has been since hitting retail in 2005, and a big reason it's Bridgestone’s top seller. The e6 fits a wide spectrum of skill levels because of its consistency and performance. For high-handicap players in particular, the e6 is the perfect golf ball to start gaming after you’ve outplayed the beginner-level balls. And you can continue to play the e6 as you improve.

Unrivaled performance gives the Bridgestone e6 our nod for best overall in the high-handicap category. The current e6 has a larger and softer core than previous generations. Players with moderate swing speeds, up to the mid-90s, will slide right into this 50 compression ball and see impressive gains off of the tee. That doesn’t leave slower swing speeds in the rearview, however. Even players who are looking to make up a little bit of yardage can see distance gains with the Bridgestone e6.

Durability is one of the best qualities of all Bridgestone golf balls. From the e6 all the way to the Tiger Woods Tour B XS model, you won’t find a more durable cover than those Bridgestone offers. You also won’t find another seamless golf ball, which is a point of pride for the rubber manufacturer. That’s why whether you’re closer to a 100 shooter, or you've begun breaking 90 consistently, the Bridgestone e6 should be on your radar.

Pros:

  • Good value
  • High quality
  • Soft feel
  • Ball speed for moderate swing speeds

Cons:

  • Some iron and wedge shots may balloon

Vice Drive

Vice Drive golf ball with badges
Cost/Dozen $16 [Buy at Amazon]
Construction 2-piece
Cover Surlyn
Dimples 312
Flight High
Player Profile Players looking for distance above all else

Vice Golf began disrupting the golf ball industry when it launched in 2013. The direct-to-consumer company was built on the concept that golfers shouldn’t pay outlandish prices for quality golf balls. With Vice, the more you buy, the less you pay per dozen. Based on all of that, Vice has created quite a following and has expanded into other areas of golf such as apparel and golf gloves.

The Vice Drive is a great ball for high-handicap golfers and is one of the best values in all of golf, let alone golf balls. At $16 per dozen, the Drive is a true distance ball with high-launch and gives players acceptable feel around the green. After you give your first dozen a go, you can always order more for just $13 per dozen when you order five dozen or more.

The Drive has a 2-piece construction, which classifies it as a distance ball. However, amateurs will find the Drive to be a sneaky good ball for stability and dispersion, especially on windy days on the course. Another great aspect is that once you begin to outplay the Drive, Vice has several other balls for you to continue your forward progress with.

Pros:

  • Value
  • Distance
  • Easy to launch

Cons:

  • Tips more towards highest handicaps

Bridgestone e12 CONTACT

Bridgestone e12 CONTACT golf ball badge
PGA Tour Superstore
Cost/Dozen $30 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 3-piece
Cover Ionomer
Dimples 326
Flight Mid-High
Player Profile Mid-High handicap with moderate swing speed

The Bridgestone e12 Contact has some similarities to this list’s “best overall” mode, the e6, but there are also some differences that make the e12 Contact a great ball for high handicaps in its own right. For starters, it is a top option for golfers looking for straight flight golf balls. The e12 Contact is every bit of what Bridgestone’s marketing speak says it is.

CONTACT Force dimples make the e12 Contact flies higher and straighter. The dimples have a raised center area that slows horizontal rotation, a trait that any high-handicap player will notice, especially on tee shots. This golf ball isn’t a miracle worker, but it certainly has a place in any golf bag of a moderate to slow swinging amateur golfer.

A great aspect of the e12 Contact is that once Bridgestone saw the following this ball had, it began offering it in matte green, red, and yellow. For players who like a splash of color, the e12 Contact became a must-have. Seniors looking for a ball that will help add few extra yards will find this the e12 Contact particularly rewarding, especially if you’re paying attention to ball speed numbers.

Pros:

  • Ability to fit many players
  • Unique dimples for assistance you can see
  • Soft feel
  • Great distance

Cons:

  • Lack of backspin on pitch shots

Best Feel: TaylorMade Soft Response

TaylorMade Soft Response golf ball badges
TaylorMade Golf
Cost/Dozen $25 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 3-piece
Cover Ionomer
Dimples 322
Flight High
Player Profile Player looking for soft feel and greenside touch

TaylorMade has done quite well at producing premier golf balls, highlighted by its TP5 family. TaylorMade’s R&D team has created several other great balls, one such ball being the TaylorMade Soft Response. The stepping stone to the Tour Response, the Soft Response has a low compression rating of 35, but comes with some unique characteristics. Most low compression, high flight golf balls don’t have as low of a long game spin rate as the Soft Response. That means even slower swing speeds don’t hit the Soft Response as far offline.

The TaylorMade Soft Response is a great option for high-handicap golfers because its ZNO Flex Hi-Spring Core gives it a great feel at impact. You instantly know when you catch this ball on the screws. In addition, the feel around the greens and on shorter touch shots might be the best of the models on this list, which is why we also selected the Soft Response to our list of the best soft golf balls

TaylorMade is known for making highly durable golf balls and the Soft Response is no exception. Even with its low compression and soft cover, the Soft Response takes a punch on the course. Any high-handicap player with a slow to moderate swing speed can game this ball and be happy with it.

Pros:

  • Soft feel
  • Greenside response
  • Low spin

Cons:

  • Alignment aid isn’t the best

Best Distance: Titleist Velocity

Titleist Velocity golf ball with badges
Titleist
Cost/Dozen $30 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 2-piece
Cover NaZ+
Dimples 350
Flight High
Player Profile Player seeking optimal performance with higher budget

If we’re drawing a line and anointing the single longest ball in golf, the Titleist Velocity is going to get a lot of votes. In fact, the Velocity got our vote as the best overall for distance. So, naturally it's a great ball for high-handicap players looking for big yardage. Don’t sleep on the fact that this ball is made by perhaps the most prestigious golf ball maker in history, Titleist.

With a 65 compression, the Velocity produces huge ball speed numbers for moderate and even some faster swing speeds. If you’re looking to out-drive your buddies or want the most distance for your group in a golf outing, you won’t find many balls that outperform the Velocity.

Titleist’s LSX Core and Fast NaZ+ cover are two of the big components for distance, but the Velocity doesn’t feel like a rock. It’s actually quite soft when putting. If you’re expecting backspin numbers that look similar to a Pro V1, you’ll be disappointed. That’s just not the nature of the Velocity. However, high-handicap players can get a lot out of this ball in distance, durability and overall performance.

Pros:

  • Superior greenside control for a 2-piece ball
  • Optimized distance for moderate swing speeds
  • High ball flight

Cons:

  • More expensive than other balls in this category

Best for Colors: Wilson DUO Optix

Wilson DUO Optix golf ball badge
Wilson Sporting Goods
Cost/Dozen $23 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 2-piece
Cover Surlyn
Dimples 302
Launch High
Player Profile Players looking for a low compression ball with high visibility

Wilson Staff began making golf balls in 1954, and it’s safe to say that back then nobody would have predicted we would see golf balls as bright as the Wilson DUO Optix. This 2-piece ball is the epitome of high visibility, semi-translucent finishes that you can see no matter where you launch them.

The Optix actually performs similarly to another popular golf ball in the Wilson Staff lineup, the DUO+ Soft. Both are intended for a soft feel and good results for higher-handicap players, but there’s no substitute for the bright colors that the Optix offers. Available in matte finishes of orange, yellow, green, pink, and red, the Optix can be seen even in the brightest conditions. In addition, Wilson Staff also offers the Optix with the logo of your favorite NFL team.

From a performance standpoint, the Optix is ideal for slower sing speeds due to its 40 compression rating. A redeveloped core provides a good amount of pop on tee shots, but even high-handicap players will notice it’s not the ideal golf ball for greenside control and precision. Nonetheless, the Optix has a target audience, and for those who like bright colored golf balls, they are near the top of the list.

Pros:

  • Bright colors
  • Soft feel
  • Good distance

Cons:

  • Not the best performance around the green

Titleist TruFeel

Titleist TruFeel golf ball badges
Titleist

Cost/Dozen

$25 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 2-piece
Cover Titleist TruFlex
Dimples 376
Flight Low to Mid
Player Profile Good balance of distance and control

Earlier on this list you learned about the Titleist Velocity, which as we detailed, is a true distance golf ball geared toward the higher of high-handicap players. For the opposite end of the spectrum, here is the Titleist TruFeel. If you’re knocking on the door of breaking 90, this golf ball just might get you there.

The 2022 TruFeel has a thinner cover, which not only makes it softer, but also makes it exceptionally responsive around the green. The TruFeel performs on bunker shots, chips, and any shot from inside of 100 yards. It doesn't spin like some other balls on this list, but it won’t run to the back of the green. Being an incredibly soft golf ball, the Titleist TruFeel has a surprisingly low launch. If you’re taking those steps to becoming a mid-handicap player, a ball with a more penetrating ball flight such as this could be a great way to pick up some yardage along the way.

Titleist went an interesting route with its alignment aid on the TruFeel, with single lines on either side of the TruFeel wording and what looks like equals signs on either side of it. This ball definitely is not a Pro V1, but it’s also not a Velocity. The TruFeel has its place for Titleist fans and those that are higher handicaps will enjoy the feel of this ball in play.

Pros:

  • Soft feel
  • Low spin
  • Low launch

Cons:

  • Lacks in distance for moderate to fast swing speeds

Piper Blue

Piper Blue golf ball with badges
Piper Golf
Cost/Dozen $25 [Buy on Amazon]
Construction 3-piece
Cover Surlyn
Dimples 332
Flight Stable with lower spin
Player Profile 80s and low 90s shooters with faster swing speeds

Piper Golf, much like Vice, has earned its loyal following by giving the golfing public more affordable golf balls. While people may initially go to Piper for value or just plain curiosity, they often realize that Piper actually make some of the best golf balls in the game.

The Piper Blue is transcendent across many handicap levels and many types of players. It may be the most versatile golf ball on the market today. Players with moderate swing speeds and a 20 handicap can enjoy the benefits of the Piper Blue in a different way than a 105 MPH swinging 9 handicap player. This 3-piece ball gets a ton of distance off the tee with what Piper says is a perfectly symmetrical 332 dimple pattern. 

"Piper Blue was designed to reduce spin, resulting in straighter shots," Piper Golf founder Mike Gottfried told GolfLink. "The 3-piece construction offers great feel, giving you the chance to stay in play and step up to the next level."

To go along with distance, the Piper Blue also helps fight left and right dispersion, which is why it’s also on our list for the straightest golf balls you can buy. If you have the skill set to spin the golf ball to your liking on approach shots, you can work with the Piper Blue. However, if you are a higher-handicap golfer who is just worried about hitting any part of the green, its spin rate will hold a lot more flat surfaces. At $25 per dozen, you really can’t go wrong putting the Piper Blue in play.

Pros:

  • Friendly price
  • Great overall performance
  • Penetrating flight

Cons:

  • Slower swing speed players may struggle with trajectory

Srixon Q-Star

Srixon Q Star golf ball badges
Dick's Sporting Goods/Golf Galaxy
Cost/Dozen $28 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 2-piece
Ionomer Ionomer
Dimples 338
Flight High ball flight with high spin
Player Profile Almost ready to jump to a mid-handicap golf ball

The Srixon Q-Star is another great example of your last golf ball before crossing over into a mid-handicap golf ball. Once you get there, Srixon also has you covered with the Q-Star Tour. The standard Q-Star is a high-trajectory golf ball that works well for those who need the assistance, or for those who like to take more aggressive approach shots to pins. For the higher-handicap player, it means that the ball flies high with little effort.

The Q-Star is definitely not the Srixon Soft Feel, which is a perfect ball for seniors. The Q-Star adapts with your game and always provides good distance with above average feel and performance around the green. In addition, the Q-Star is durable, like all Srixon balls.

The one downside to the Q-Star is on shots hit higher or lower on the clubface. Compared to other balls, there is a drop-off in distance on mis-hits with the Q-Star, something high-handicap players will need to consider. Misses left and right on the clubface actually perform quite well, and the Q-Star is always one of the straightest golf balls you can buy.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • High trajectory
  • Feel on greenside shots

Cons:

  • Lack of distance when missing high or low on clubface

Callaway ERC Soft Triple-Track

Callaway ERC Soft Triple-Track ball badges
Callaway Golf
Cost/Dozen $35 [Buy at PGA Tour Superstore]
Construction 3-piece
Cover Hybrid Paraloid
Dimples 322
Launch High
Player Profile Low compression but can also fit mid-handicap players

Callaway came out with the ERC Soft golf ball with a target audience in mind. Players who want a soft golf ball that launches extremely high without sacrificing an inch of distance. Mission accomplishes, so it seems. The ERC Soft’s High Energy Core shows significant increases in ball speed for players with moderate swing speeds. Its High Speed Mantle, however, allows for an even transition of that energy so you get a nice balance of distance and spin.

Callaway smartly applied its famous Triple Track alignment to the ERC Soft, giving it one of the easiest alignment aids in golf. The red and blue trio of lines makes lining up putts a lot easier, and it’s also highly visible if you choose to use it on tee shots. The technology can even be paired with Odyssey’s line of Triple Track putters for added alignment help.

One aspect that higher-handicaps will notice is how incredibly high the ERC Soft launches. Faster swing speeds will not find the ERC Soft to be their golf ball of choice, even if they do fall into the high-handicap category. Luckily, Callaway also produces its Chrome Soft line with Triple Track to satisfy all swing speeds and skill sets.

Pros:

  • Triple Track alignment
  • Soft feel
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Very high launch can lower some distances

Conclusion

Playing to a high handicap in golf is all a part of the journey. Either you find yourself in this category early in your golf life, or later, and sometimes both. In all cases, playing the best golf ball for your game is critical. Thankfully, numerous golf ball manufacturers make balls to suit the players who need the technology to assist forgiveness, distance, and feel. Happy hunting and hopefully you find one of these balls your key to success on the course.

About the Author

Todd Mrowice is a Staff Writer for GolfLink. His experience spans over 15 years and he has covered all aspects of the game including travel, products, business, and professional tours. Todd has also put his deep knowledge of golf equipment to work as a club fitter and in several marketing roles in the golf industry. He has a hole-in-one on his playing resume and appropriately gave his son the middle name “Ace.”