Best Golf Balls for High Handicappers: Get Confidence & Control

By Todd Mrowice

Ball on tee at driving range

You find yourself standing in the golf ball aisle at your favorite golf retailer. So many options, so many prices, so many promises. If you’re a golfer with a higher handicap (let’s say 20 and above), your needs aren’t the same as someone who plays to a single-digit handicap. You want the golf ball that fits your game, and likely, do not want to pay $50 per dozen. That’s why it’s important to know what the best golf balls are for high handicap players. Whether you’re looking for quality, quantity, or a little of both.

Let’s go over what golf balls are the best for your game with this list of the best golf balls for high handicap golfers.

Best Overall: Bridgestone e6

Bridgestone e6 golf balls

The e6 model from Bridgestone has had a few generations over the years, and it’s definitely worthy of “best overall.” There are other golf balls on this list that are longer and some that are straighter. The e6 combines the best of both worlds at a high level.

The cover of the e6 packaging doesn’t have a ton of verbiage, but sums it up pretty well. “Soft feel, long distance.” The newest version is actually easier to compress due to a larger, softer core. It’s intended for moderate swing speeds, but you don’t see huge disadvantages if you have a slower or faster swing speed. It also doesn’t cheat on feel around the greens as it is soft when putting and reacts well on higher lofted chip shots.

The Bridgestone e6 is also very durable, because as a high handicap player, your ball can go through a little more wear and tear than a “fairways and greens” type of player. This golf ball is a great option for any level of player, but specifically, high-handicap golfers will be hard-pressed to find a better overall option than the Bridgestone e6.

Best Value: Vice Drive

Higher handicap players, particularly those new to the game, go through a lot of golf balls. For that reason, investing in a premium golf ball that takes $50 out of your pocket isn’t the smartest use of your golf budget.

When Vice Golf started in 2013 with its direct-to-consumer model, the company began changing the golf ball buying game, mostly because no direct-to-consumer ball company had the quality to back up the price. That’s why the Vice Drive golf ball is the best value for high-handicap golfers.

If you’re just looking to test the goods, the Drive golf ball is $15.99 per dozen. However, if you’re diving in, five dozen or more will only run $12.99 each. Just because this golf ball is the best value doesn’t mean it’s made of rocks. Made with a 2-piece DuPont Surlyn cover, the Drive is a durable, low compression golf ball. A large 312 dimple pattern gives players great distance and a straight flight. Vice’s newly designed KIL line has sharp edges for optimal alignment on the green.

The Vice Drive offers incredible value, yes, but don’t be fooled into thinking a good value doesn’t perform.

Straightest Golf Ball: Bridgestone e12 CONTACT

For high-handicap players that have plenty of distance, but need a ball to keep them close to the fairway, the Bridgestone e12 CONTACT delivers. The science as to why these balls fly straighter is CONTACT Force dimples, which is a raised area in the center of the dimple and an outer portion that slows horizontal rotation in flight. A dimple pattern unique to Bridgestone.

The raised area allows for 38% more contact with the clubface, producing a faster ball speed and straighter distance. Even holding the e12 CONTACT next to any other golf ball you’ll notice a significant difference in structural design.

Now, it’s true that a golf ball is not going to overcome a wide-open clubface at impact and magically find the center of the fairway. The Bridgestone e12 CONTACT, however, does have the technology behind the design to improve less drastic swing flaws, and as all golfers know, any little bit helps.

Best Feel: TaylorMade Soft Response

TaylorMade Soft Response golf ball

Oftentimes having to play a golf ball to suit your handicap means that people who score in the high 90’s and above are teeing up hard distance golf balls that lack feel around the greens. TaylorMade offers a solution for golfers who want a ball to perform on full swings, but ultimately prefer the softest feeling ball money can buy.

The Soft Response model has a ZNO Flex Hi-Spring Core and a super-low 35 compression. This provides that incredibly soft feel and rebound at impact. Moderate swing speeds will see the most benefits from this golf ball from a performance standpoint, but all players will notice the feel on chips, bunker shots, and putting.

When you get into a very soft golf ball it’s likely that the ball isn’t going to last long, even without tree and cart path scuffs. The TaylorMade Soft Response, however, has a soft ionomer cover, which adds to the overall feel, but is actually very durable.

Best Distance: Titleist Velocity

Titleist Velocity golf ball

Titleist set the standard with the Pro V1 golf ball. So much so that even golfers that are new to the game know the name and wonder if that’s what they should play. While the Pro V1 isn’t for high-handicap players, a sibling golf ball from Titleist is; the Velocity.

While the Titleist Velocity is a great choice for any level of player, those seeking distance will find this model to be their best friend. In many independent lab testings, the Velocity golf ball scores at, or near the top, for overall distance.

Titleist developed the Velocity with a high-speed LSX Core and Fast NaZ+ cover to give a higher ball flight and maximum compression with all clubs in the bag. For slower to moderate swing speeds, the Velocity jumps off of the clubface and gives you every yard your swing allows.

Best for Colors: Wilson DUO Optix

Wilso Duo Optix red golf ball

The Wilson DUO Optix golf balls are a far stretch from the original Wilson Staff ball introduced by the company in 1954. Still today, though, the company produces golf balls for all levels of players as it always has done. High-handicap golfers are often searching for golf balls with optimum distance, feel, and value, but what about those looking for something a little more colorful?

The DUO Optix is actually built on the same platform as the Wilson DUO Soft+ model in that it’s a 35 compression golf ball with 2-piece construction under a surlyn cover. The ball is intended for distance and certainly checks all of the boxes for players looking for a reliable golf ball as they continue to improve their game.

The Optix side, however, is where the fun is at. Available in orange, yellow, green, pink, and red, these golf balls are easy to find for those that might need a little help in the woods. They’re also just an awesome splash of color.

About the Author

Todd Mrowice is a Staff Writer for GolfLink. He has been writing about golf for over 10 years including a long tenure at GOLFChicago Magazine. Todd has covered all aspects of the game including travel, products, business, and professional tours.