5 Best Golf Balls for Beginners: Affordable and High Quality

A two-piece low-compression distance ball like the Srixon Soft Feel is great for beginners because you get a few extra yards and plenty of forgiveness. I started using this ball years ago and have continued even though now I’m a mid-handicapper.

5 Best Golf Balls For Beginners:

  1. Srixon Soft Feel – Best Overall
  2. Wilson Zip – Best Budget Pick
  3. Callaway Warbird – Best for Distance
  4. Callaway Supersoft – Most Traceable
  5. TaylorMade Noodle Long And Soft – Straightest

However, many new golfers waste time on poor-quality balls, and their game suffers. Others buy premium balls that cost as much as $50 a pack, only to lose half of them in a pond.

You don’t need to read reviews of 50 balls because I’ve tested and reviewed the best 5 golf balls that will work for 99% of beginners. Read on and select the right one for your game.

How We Tested These Balls

best golf balls for beginners featured

I purchased and played all these balls to review the best golf balls for newer golfers. Then, I put the balls through two tests:

  1. The first was on the range at Driving Norte in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I examined my data on long, mid, and short shots.
  2. The second was on the course, where I played 9 holes at my local club, Campo Municipal de Golf Juan Bautista Segura. Despite being a municipal course, it was designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie, the architect of Augusta National. My on-course test determined how each unit to see how it launched, flew, landed, and spun.

Another golfer on our team, PGA Professional Brendon Elliott, also tested these at Wekiva Golf Club in Longwood, Florida, on December 18, 2024. The conditions were 68 degrees, and the turf conditions were firm.

Finally, I considered these criteria: cost, distance, accuracy, spin, feel, and forgiveness.

Check out the compression rating of the most popular balls in this golf ball compression chart.

1. Srixon Soft Feel – Best Overall

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to launch
  • Spins more than other beginner golf balls

Cons

  • The durability proved questionable in the bunkers.

The 13th iteration of the Soft Feel is compressible, easy to launch, and controllable for beginners like previous generations.

It is one of the few 2-piece distance golf balls that combine long-game distance and short-game spin. I also find it softer than other entry-level golf balls, a feeling hard to come by.

I have played the Srixon Soft Feel since my days as a high handicapper, and they are still my go-to ball as a mid-handicap golfer. They are affordable, fly high, and spin around the green for a complete performance.

Our Experience Testing Srixon Soft Feel

best golf balls for beginners srixon soft feel tested by matt callcott stevens and brendon elliott

I hit shots on the wedge range and around our short game practice area. Then, I played a few holes to get a feel for various shots with different clubs. The Srixon Soft Feel falls into the same category as the Callaway Supersoft and any other ball with “Soft” in the name.

Here are the things about Srixon and why I like them so much as a company: Quality control and innovation. On the surface, the Srixon Soft Feel is no different than any other two-piece, cheaper ball. It’s soft and good for the driver in reducing sidespin but isn’t the best for distance. The difference is that Srixon routinely makes the thinnest covers in golf. These spin a little more around the greens than other balls in the category.

This ball is for middle to higher handicappers looking for forgiveness and a soft-feeling golf ball. I give the Srixon Soft Feel an 8.5 on a 10 scale.

-Brendon Elliott

Read More: Best Golf Balls For The Average Golfer

2. Wilson Zip – Best Budget Pick

Pros

  • Entry level price
  • Produces a high launch
  • Stops dead on short approach shots

Cons

  • Not as much greenside feel and spin as the Soft Feel

A pack of 2 dozen Wilson Zip golf balls is the optimal bulk buy for beginners prone to losing numerous balls every round.

Despite its price tag, the ball performs consistently off the tee and from the fairways, promoting an effortless launch and high flight. It does not spin as much as the Soft Feel around the green, but its sharp descent caused the ball to stop rapidly on pitch strikes and full wedge shots.

During testing, I hit the Zip with a pitching wedge on a 120-yard par 3. The ball soared to the heavens before descending and stopping dead. Not bad for a ball with minimal spin.

Our Experience Testing Wilson Zip

best golf balls for beginners matt callcott stevens

In reviewing the Wilson Staff Zip, I hit shots on the wedge range and around our short game practice area. Then, I played a few holes to get a feel for various shots with different clubs. Honestly, I didn’t know much about this ball going into the review. As with many cheaper balls, the price point sells them typically.

Initially, I wasn’t expecting much from this, but I was presently surprised in testing. This ball is very soft, really good off the driver in reducing sidespin, and was not too bad in terms of distance. The Zip was no Srixon Z-Star XV or Titleist Pro V1X, but the spin around the greens was not too bad for a super inexpensive ball. I have to say, in that budget-conscious golf call category, this may be the best of the best. I give the Wilson Staff Zip a 9 on a 10 scale.

-Brendon Elliott

3. Callaway Warbird – Best For Distance

Pros

  • Fast ball speed
  • Low spin
  • Optimal distance

Cons

  • Limited wedge spin
  • Rock hard feel

The Callaway Warbird has always focused on low spin and explosive ball speed to maximize long game distance for beginners.

It carries a higher compression than your average 2-piece distance ball, but I have always found it a pleasure to launch. The High-Energy Core helps the ball rebound rapidly off the face on high-impact strikes to restrict spin, accelerate velocity, and optimize distance.

In the 20 years of using the Warbird, it has always delivered superb roll after landing. This translates into extra long game yards. It loses steam a bit on short game shots, as its thin, harder cover struggles to generate spin, and it feels like a rock off the putter face.

4. Callaway Supersoft – Best Traceable Balls

Pros

  • Available in 6 colors
  • Enhanced rebound on long shots
  • Impressive greenside control

Cons

  • They scuff relatively easily
  • Not as forgiving as the Supersoft Max

The colorful Callaway Supersoft golf balls have helped beginners trace their golf ball in-flight for almost a decade.

Six colors are available to help you keep track of your ball and prevent unnecessary losses. I find the yellow ball is easiest to follow and spot in the rough, but you also have the choice of orange, green, pink, and red.

It is not just a pretty face, as my launch and distance consistency showed. I also found it more playable around the green than the Warbird, making it a well-balanced, affordable option for beginners who consistently lose sight of their balls during a round.

Our Experience Testing Callaway Supersoft

best golf balls for beginners callaway supersoft testing brendan elliott

I hit shots on our wedge range to get a feel from 120 yards and in. I also hit shots on and around our short game practice area. Lastly, I played a few holes to get a feel for a variety of shots and with different clubs. The Callaway Supersoft is definitely not a premium ball, but, at the same time, it is not as bad as some other two-piece balls.

The cover is more like a premium ball, but it does not react nearly the same as one around the greens, and certainly not off the tee. It is fairly good off the driver in reducing any sidespin, but it just doesn’t have any pop in the distance arena. The Callaway Supersoft is a good ball for higher handicappers who need some forgiveness and like a soft-feeling golf ball. I give the Callaway Supersoft a 7.5 on a 10 scale. 

-Brendon Elliott

5. Noodle Long And Soft – Straightest

Pros

  • Aerodynamic dimpled pattern promote straighter flight
  • Dirt cheap
  • Generates fast ball speed

Cons

  • The ball curved erratically on occasion due to weight imbalance
  • Only available in white

The advanced aerodynamics propels the Noodle Long And Soft balls straighter than other distance designs with 2 layers.

Its direct flight, entry-level price, and impact propulsion core are made for high-handicap golfers. The Propulsion core causes the ball to rebound off the clubface on long shots, maximizing ball speed, lowering spring, and promoting straighter flight.

Despite being called Long And Soft, the Noodle is a firmer feeling ball. It is ideal for restricting spin and boosting distance, which is why I have tinkered with the ball on and off for decades. If you desire a straight, easy-launching distance ball, start hitting the Noodle Long And Soft.

Our Experience Testing Noodle Long and Soft

best golf balls for beginners noodle long and soft testing photos

In reviewing the Noodle, I hit shots on the wedge range and around our short game practice area. Then, I played a few holes to get a feel for a variety of shots with different clubs. The TaylorMade Noodle Long and Soft is in the same category as the Callaway Supersoft and any other soft and inexpensive ball on the market.

As with many cheaper balls, the price point sells them, and the name tries to get you to think it will help your game. This ball is soft(ish) and good off the driver in reducing sidespin, but it isn’t a distance ball at all. I lost noticeable distance with this ball. Generally, the differences in golf balls in terms of distance are slight, but not in this case. The Noodle may be somewhat soft but it is certainly not long. The spin around the greens was not the best either, unfortunately. This ball is basically good for the golfer focused on price and who don’t need much performance. I give the TaylorMade Noodle Long and Soft a 5.5 on a 10 scale.

-Brendon Elliott

Read more: Noodle Golf Ball Reviews

Things To Consider When Buying Beginner Golf Balls

best golf ball for seniors

A two-piece golf ball with low compression and distance is best for beginners thanks to its affordability, forgiveness, easy launch, and distance.

Here is what to look for:

  1. Price: Golf expenses can quickly escalate when playing premium golf balls. Affordable, low-compression golf balls suit beginners who regularly lose golf balls.
  2. Compression: A golf ball with a lower compression rating scores under 60 and helps slower swing speed beginners generate increased speed and low spin for maximum distance.
  3. Distance: Low spin, fast ball speed, and high launch help beginners achieve consistent long-game distance.
  4. Feel: The feel of a golf ball impacts feedback, acoustics, and spin. Low compression golf balls are easy for slow swing speeds to hit, but they typically have a hard ionomer cover that feels like a rock and provides minimal long-game spin for beginners.
  5. High Launch: The high launch of low compression makes it easy for beginners to get the ball into the air. It also delivers a sharp descent angle to stop the ball quickly on approach.
  6. Spin: Spin impacts your ball speed, flight, and landing. A low spin golf ball, like a low-compression construction, increases ball speed to boost long game distance. However, getting these balls to spin around the green is difficult, reducing your short-game control.

Read More: Best Golf Ball For High Handicap

FAQ

What Would Happen If An Advanced Golfer Played With A Golf Ball For Beginners?

An advanced golfer would produce less short game spin and control with a golf ball for beginners. The firm ionomer cover on a beginner golf ball will not grip into the wedge grooves, and neither will a urethane cover used on advanced golf balls.

How Many Golf Balls Does A Beginner Need?

Beginners need at least 12 golf balls per round, ensuring you do not run out on the golf course. I followed this formula as a beginner and always completed a round without needing to borrow balls from my playing partner.

Do Golf Balls Matter For Beginners?

Yes, golf balls for beginners are specifically low compression, low spinning, fast, and affordable units. The components are designed to make beginner golfers launch high and produce consistent distance and accuracy without breaking the bank.

Are Soft Golf Balls Good For Beginners?

Yes, soft golf balls are good for beginners because they have a low compression core stiff cover and are affordable. The low compression core makes launching and generating consistent ball speed easier, and the cover minimizes spin. Together, they produce ample distance.

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Matt has played golf since he was 4 years old and has written over 150 articles at GolfSpan since 2021. Matt specializes in product reviews using his postgraduate degree in Sports Marketing from Johan Cruyff Institute. Matt has a handicap index of 10.8 and currently plays weekly at Pilar Golf Course near his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also loves his Callaway Odyssey Exo Rossie putter and likes a pepper steak pie with curry gravy at the turn. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

  • Best score: 70
  • Favorite club: Callaway Odyssey Exo Rossie
  • Favorite ball: Srixon Q-Star Tour
  • Favorite food at the turn: Pepper steak pie with curry gravy

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