What Golf Balls The Pros Use: A Complete Breakdown


Professional golfers need high end balls in order to hit high quality shots. You’ve probably wondered which ball your favorite player uses, so in this post, we’ll talk about which golf balls the pros use, why they might use them, and what makes high end balls better than value balls.

The most common golf balls you’ll see on tour are made by Titleist. Close to 40% of golfers use the Titleist Pro V1, 27% use the Titleist Pro V1x, and the remaining golfers use a ball from Srixon, Callaway, Taylormade, and Bridgestone.

There are a few reasons why the majority of pros use Titleist balls, which we’ll talk about in the rest of this article. That being said, just because the pros use these balls doesn’t mean that you should. If you’re curious, you should read our guide on the best golf balls for average golfers or the best golf balls for mid handicappers.

What Golf Ball Each Professional Golfer Uses

GolferGolf Ball
Scottie SchefflerTitleist Pro V1
Rory McIlroyTaylormade TP5x
Cameron SmithTitleist Pro V1x
Patrick CantlayTitleist Pro V1x
Xander SchauffeleCallaway Chrome Soft X LS
Jon RahmCallaway Chrome Soft X
Justin ThomasTitleist Pro V1x
Will ZalatorisTitleist Pro V1
Collin MorikawaTaylormade TP5
Viktor HovlandTitleist Pro V1
Matt FitzpatrickTitleist Pro V1x
Sam BurnsCallaway Chrome Soft X
Jordan SpiethTitleist Pro V1x
Tony FinauTitleist Pro V1 Left Dot
Billy HorschelTitleist Pro V1
Hideki MatsuyamaSrixon Z-Star XV
Cameron YoungTitleist Pro V1
Sungjae ImTitleist Pro V1x
Shane LowrySrixon Z-Star XV
Joaquin NiemannTitleist Pro V1x
Joohyung KimTitleist Pro V1x
Max HomaTitleist Pro V1
Dustin JohnsonTaylormade TP5x
Abraham AncerTitleist Pro V1x
Corey ConnersTitleist Pro V1
Kevin KisnerTitleist Pro V1x
Brooks KoepkaSrixon Z-Star Diamond
Tyrrell HattonTitleist Pro V1x
Tommy FleetwoodTaylormade TP5x
Adam ScottTitleist Pro V1
Kevin NaTitleist Pro V1x
Daniel BergerTitleist Pro V1 Left Dot
Louis OosthuizenTitleist Pro V1
Paul CaseyTitleist Pro V1
Talor GoochTitleist Pro V1
Brian HarmanTitleist Pro V1
Aaron WiseTitleist Pro V1
Thomas PietersTitleist Pro V1
Sepp StrakaSrixon Z-Star Diamond
Seamus PowerTitleist Pro V1
Kyoung-Hoon LeeTitleist Pro V1x
Jason KokrakTitleist Pro V1
Bryson DeChambeauBridgestone Tour B X
Harold VarnerTitleist Pro V1x
Tom HogeTitleist Pro V1
Harris EnglishTitleist Pro V1
Keegan BradleySrixon Z-Star XV
Ryan FoxSrixon Z-Star XV
Guillermo Mito PereiraTitleist Pro V1
Patrick ReedTitleist Pro V1
Tiger WoodsBridgestone Tour B XS
*Top 50 golfers at the time of writing this*

To sum things up:

  1. Titleist Pro V1: 20
  2. Titleist Pro V1x: 14
  3. Srixon Z-Star XV: 4
  4. Taylormade TP5x: 3
  5. Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot: 2
  6. Callaway Chrome Soft X: 2
  7. Srixon Z-Star Diamond: 2
  8. Callaway Chrome Soft X LS: 1
  9. Taylormade TP5: 1
  10. Bridgestone Tour B X: 1
  11. Bridgestone Tour B XS: 1

Why Pros Use Titleist Golf Balls

The reason professional golfers use Titleist balls is that they’re the most consistent off the tee and around the green. Compared to any other ball, the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x produce the most reliable spin rates and distance.

Of the top 50 golfers out there 70% of them use a Titleist ball, which is pretty crazy when you think about it. Some people may think it’s because they’re sponsored and paid to use them (could partially be true), but the main reason comes down to performance.

From the tests I’ve seen and done myself, Titleist generally seem to be the most well built and consistent balls out there. I don’t think you’d notice much of a difference as an average hacker, but it’s obvious that professionals can.

I’ve seen a number of tests that looked at the compression ratings and shape of each ball (100+ of each model). Certain balls actually fluctuate slightly when it comes to compression and some of them aren’t perfectly round.

The compression rating and shape of the Titleist balls were the most consistent.

Other than shape and quality, it’s also important that you have a ball that performs consistently on the course. Knowing exactly how far the ball will fly and how much spin it’ll have is super important.

Again, from what I’ve seen, the Pro V1 and Pro V1x have very close spin rates across a bunch of shots and travel a consistent distance for each club.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the Pro V1 and Pro V1x is essentially the spin rate and launch height. The Pro V1x will spin more off the tee and around the green and will also fly higher.

Clearly, most people prefer the standard Pro V1. Even though you probably shouldn’t use either of them yourself (unless you shoot in the low 70s), the standard Pro V1 would be the better choice if you had to pick.

What Compression Golf Balls Do The Pros Use

Professional golfers generally use high compression golf balls, but the compression range tends to vary between 65-100. Fred Couples plays a 65 compression ball (Tour B RXS) while a lot of longer hitters play a 100 compression ball (Pro V1x).

RELATED: Golf Ball Compression Chart

The reason you’d need a higher compression ball is that your swing speed is faster. Pairing a fast swing speed with a low compression ball could be fine, but you’ll probably overcompress the ball, which will balloon shots up in the air and not fly as far.

The opposite would be true if you paired a slow swing speed with a high compression ball. We actually did a high vs low compression golf ball test to see if it really made a difference when it comes to distance.

Compression isn’t as important as it used to be but it still is something you should look at. Before, all you had to do was match your swing speed to the right compression rating. Now, there are more important things to look at.

We’ll touch on those things in the next section. Here’s a general rule that’s not always true, but it’s a good starting point:

What Type Of Balls The Pros Use

Even though the compression rating is something you should look at it’s not the end all be all. We’ll touch on the other things you need to consider and what professionals look for in their ball.

Layers

2 vs 3 vs 4 piece golf ball

The first thing you need to look at is how many layers the ball has. You can find balls that have between 2 and 5 layers. Professionals will mostly use 3 or 4 piece golf balls, but a few of them use 5 piece golf balls.

As a general rule, more layers equals more spin. 2 piece balls don’t spin a whole lot and is why the pros don’t use them. They’re designed for average hackers like you and me who don’t want to spend a fortune on balls.

3 piece balls like the Pro V1 normally have a softer feel to them, have good spin around the greens, and produce less spin off the tee.

4 piece balls like the Pro V1x normally feel firmer when you hit them, but the main difference is that they spin more around the green and off the tee.

5 piece balls don’t really spin more around the green or off the tee. The main difference seems to be that they produce more spin with your longer irons to get the ball in the air.

I read an article where Jim Furyk was testing balls but had a tough time getting a 4 piece ball in the air with his long irons. Adding an extra layer (5 total) helped him hit the ball higher.

Spin

We just talked about spin and how professionals need a ball that produces more. Just in case you don’t know why, we’ll quickly cover why spin is important for them (and possibly bad for you).

I’m sure you’ve seen a shot on TV where the ball landed on the green past the pin and it rolled backwards to within a few feet. That’s because the ball had spin on it.

Being able to quickly stop the ball on the green is super important if you want to improve your short game. Most of us can’t do that which is why we don’t need a ball that spins that much.

I’m sure you’ve also seen the guy at your local course who hits the huge banana slices. The reason that happens is because the ball has way too much sidespin.

If you already hit hook or slices then a high spin ball will make it worse. That being said, it makes it easier to draw or fade the ball around, which is why the pros need a higher spinning ball.

We did a full article on how backspin and sidespin affect a golf ball if you’re curious to learn more about it. If not, just know that you only need a high spinning ball when you can shoot 80 or less.

Cover

Another difference you’ll find between balls is the cover material. There are pros and cons of each type of cover, but the pros will want something that has a urethane cover.

Urethane covers come on premium balls and are more expensive. The benefit of them is that they’re softer and they produce more spin. The downside is that they aren’t as durable.

On cheaper 2 or 3 piece golf balls, the cover material will be ionomer or Surlyn. The benefit of these are that they’re more durable and are cheaper. The downside is that they don’t have as much short game spin.

RELATED: Urethane vs Ionomer vs Surlyn Covers

Do Pros Use Soft Or Hard Golf Balls

When it comes to soft or firm balls, you can look at the overall feel of the ball or the compression rating. Some people consider soft and low compression balls the same thing. They also consider firm and high compression balls the same.

If that’s the case then all pros would use hard golf balls, which I wouldn’t say is true. You can find lower compression balls that have a firm feel to them and you can find high compression balls that have a softer feel.

The Titleist Velocity is an example of a mid compression ball that has a firm feel to it. The Pro V1 is a higher compression ball but has a softer feel.

Generally speaking, balls that say “X” are usually firmer than the model without the “X.” Examples of softer balls would be the Pro V1, Chrome Soft, and TP5. Then you’d have the Pro V1x, Chrome Soft X, and TP5x that are a bit firmer.

That being said, even balls that have an “X” can still be considered softer. In saying that, somewhere around 55% of professionals use a ball that’s considered to be “soft.”

RELATED: Soft vs Hard Golf Balls: The Key Differences

Why Pros Don’t Use Colored Golf Balls

Professional golfers tend to use white balls because they’re one of the easier balls to see in the air and on the fairway. That being said, there are a few pro golfers who sometimes use colored balls such as Bubba Watson.

As you probably know, pros don’t spend a whole lot of time in the deep rough or forrest beside the course. If you’re mostly hitting your second shot from the fairway or first cut of rough then a white ball is actually really easy to see.

I wouldn’t say colored balls are a gimmick, but certain colors just aren’t that visible at all. Certain colors such as red or orange are easier to see on a cloudy day or when you hit into longer grass.

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Jon Webber

Just an average golfer trying to take my game to the next level. Was shooting around 100 not that long ago but have now been in the 80s consistently. Best round to date was 12 over. Best 9 holes were 4 over.

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