Best premium golf balls 2015 review

Soft or firm, backspin or distance, there are premium balls to suit everyone in 2015.

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 21 May 2015

Best premium golf balls 2015 review

Craving improved short-game feel and added distance off the tee? We have tested some of the hottest new balls on the market for the lower handicapper.

While you cannot improve without practice, patience and skill, teeing up with something that best matches what you want from a ball can speed up the process. 

Some manufacturers such as Titleist place a major focus on short-game performance, while others such as Bridgestone prefer to look at golf-ball compression, fitting each golfer with a ball best suited to their swing speed.

Whichever approach, each ball in this test brought something to the fore.

Any level of player can use the balls featured in this test, but the lower handicap player or those with faster swing speeds will likely get the most out of them. 

Here's our verdict:

Bridgestone Tour B330 S

Filled with water at its core, the Tour B330 S - for players with swing speeds over 105 mph - is well worth splashing the hefty £48 per dozen on. Not only does it provide consistently solid short-game feel and control, but it encompasses low levels of backspin off the tee for longer drives and good durability. It is a ball that very much whets our appetite.

Full Review: Bridgestone Tour B330 S

Callaway Chrome Soft

The new Chrome Soft is designed for players who want low spin off the tee and soft feel around the green. Whether or not this ball goes "straighter" off the tee as Callaway claims is debatable. The £30 price tag certainly makes this very appealing, as too the fact Phil Mickelson is currently using it. 

Full Review: Callaway Chrome Soft

Mizuno MP-S

Although the MP-S - for players with swing speeds over 85 mph - is very expensive at £50 per dozen it offers a distinctive balance of touch and control that will predominantly appeal to skilled players. Any golfer dealing with firm, fast conditions will appreciate this ball's ability to stick to the green. It is a ball that loves to dance around the pin. 

Full Review: Mizuno MP-S

Nike RZN Black

Who can criticise a ball favoured by world number one Rory McIlroy? While the RZN Black - for players who want Tour-performance distance and less spin - did not live up to the hype as much as we anticipated, it proved by far the longest ball in Nike's new RZN ball stable. While there were acceptable levels of short-game spin, it fell short against some of its rivals. 

Full Review: Nike RZN Black

Nike RZN Platinum

Arguably a softer-feeling ball from inside 100 yards than the RZN Black, it proved a little shorter off the tee despite launching lower. The RZN Platinum - for players after Tour-performance control and moderate spin - held its line nicely in the breeze, but felt harder than ideal on the greens. The £40 price tag looks a little steep. 

Full Review: Nike RZN Platinum

Srixon Z Star

Srixon has tweaked its new Z Star - for those with swing speeds between 90 and 105 mph - with 20 fewer dimples (344 to 324) to improve the ball's flight, especially in the wind. It excelled in the short game aided by a new coating that is 21% softer than before but it lacked distance off the tee and did not appear very durable after the test. You are taking a chance at £45.

Full Review: Srixon Z Star

TaylorMade Project (a)

The surprise package. While we all know TaylorMade's prominence, its golf balls have never really caught the eye. Project (a) - for players craving low driver spin - not only proved one of the longest off the tee, but felt superb from everywhere inside of 100 yards and rolled well on the greens. The best ball you are probably not considering, especially for around £35. 

Full Review: TaylorMade Project (a)

TaylorMade Tour Preferred

A great ball for that "one bounce, check, release" type of shot around the green. It felt soft enough with the wedges but proved difficult to get the spin down off the tee. Launch angle was typically higher on the mid-iron shots. It has great durability and holds its line nicely in the wind, too. Good value for money at £33 per dozen. 

Full Review: TaylorMade Tour Preferred

Titleist Pro V1

The new Pro V1 offers short game spin with a softer feel, but more of a penetrating trajectory off the tee. Not only did the new Pro V1 provide us with the strongest levels of backspin and control with the wedges, it was also one of the longest. It was by far the most durable in the test. Pricey at £51 but worth every penny.

Full Review: Titleist Pro V1

Titleist Pro V1x

The new Pro V1x is for players seeking even more short game spin and higher launch. We found it spun some 200 RPM more than the Pro V1 on the 100-yard shots. It felt firmer than the Pro V1 but much softer than the previous Pro V1x of 2013. Again, very durable and the sound off the face is as pure as it gets. Pricey at £51, but we cannot fault it. 

Full Review: Titleist Pro V1x

Vice Pro

The Vice Pro - for players seeking low driver spin and soft feel around the greens - offers decent value given each ball costs £1.79. It struggled to get anywhere near the spin we would like to see on 100-yard shots but small pitch shots grabbed nicely. It did perform well off the tee, however, with low levels off spin. 

Full Review: Vice Pro

Wilson Staff FG Tour 

The new FG Tour - for players who want low driver spin and soft feel around the greens - provided solid distance off the tee. While not in the league of a Pro V1 when it comes to spin, there was enough grip on pitch shots to smile about. At £35 per dozen, it represents what we consider one of the best-value premium golf balls on the market right now. 

Full Review: Wilson FG Tour

Our ball test was conducted using a Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor. We also tested the balls out at Hersham GC in Surrey. 

Do you agree with our awards? Which golf ball is currently in your bag and why? Share your thoughts in the forum below or on Twitter @GolfMagic