People on the outside of the world of golf, who don’t understand its nuances and intricacies, its heartbreaks and triumphs, generally assume that the secret to winning a round must only lie in the skill of the golfer, and the power and precision of the clubs.
Bless their sweet and clueless hearts.
They’re wrong of course, because they’re leaving out possibly the most crucial element in the equation.
You’ll never be a successful golfer without the right balls.
Balls – and ball design – are crucial because there’s not a golf ball on the planet which, when you whack it down the fairway, and it lands, stays dead still. Balls bounce. Balls roll.
Balls, while we’re about it, react differently to being hit with sticks (forgive us this day our technical jargon), depending on how they’re made, and of what. Some balls fly faster and further, some balls bounce yards down the fairway, some balls trickle like a mountain stream and seem content never to stop, whatever physics has to say about it.
If you’re working on your distance play – and for a large part of your career in the game, you probably will be – you need to know your balls. Tensile strength, ball layering, and construction, you need to take the course in how to build the best golf balls if you’re going to find – and be able to identify – the balls that will take you further than the rest.
You even need to learn about things like dimple count, patterning, and distribution as affecting factors of aerodynamic drag reduction before you really know how to pick the best longest balls for distance out of any ball store.
Or you could just skip all that and believe what we tell you.
We’ve felt the pain of not knowing one great ball from another. We’ve put them to the test. We know our balls.
We’ve lined up the five best longest balls for distance. All you need to do now is read, choose the ones that appeal to you most, click a couple of buttons, and bingo! You’ll be hitting the best balls yards down the fairway before you can say “Look at the bounce on that one!”
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
OUR TOP PICK
There are some concepts that only really come alive when they’re simplified. Like turning an amplifier ‘up to 11’ when it clearly only goes up to 10. Like giving 110% of your energy to a task, despite the universe’s strict laws against that kind of silliness.
That’s the basis on which TaylorMade named our favorite balls. There’s distance, they say. But then, just when you thought distance was good, there’s distance plus.
We’d never normally reward such thinking, but here and now we have very little option because the Distance Plus is a phenomenal golf ball.
We’ll get to the physics in a moment, but let’s break the ball down for you first.
Firstly, it’s a two-piece ball with a React Speed core – the simplified effect of which is that if you hit it, it will fly more like a missile than a bird. Covered in an ionomer skin and with a 77 compression, it will give you a soft feel, and in terms of wedge spin, you’re looking in the mid-high region.
We know what you’re thinking: what about the dimple count, right?
342 dimples, since you asked, arranged in an aerodynamic, almost honeycomb pattern that helps the ball reduce drag as it flies. Reduced drag equals more distance, so all hail the dimple pattern!
When you whack it off the tee, all this means you get a tighter shot dispersion than many other balls will give you, and a low spin factor. What the heck does that mean? It means the mall’s not wasting energy on its spin, it’s translating the energy of the shot straight into distance travelled. Together, these elements make it a very forgiving golf ball, which mean it’s the high-handicapper’s friend.
All of this makes for a golf ball that seems to want to fly away from you at the first opportunity. Don’t take it personally, take it in yard-advantage. And, on top of all that, it tops our list because it gives you aerodynamic flight, a soft ball with a forgiving construction – at the bottom end of TaylorMade’s price range.
Great balls for beginners and high-handicappers, with scorching distance at a price which matches their likely investment? That’ll do very nicely.
- The dimple count and pattern reduces drag in flight, meaning the ball travels further
- Low spin off the tee means a more forgiving ball for high-handicappers
- The price per dozen is on the low side of TaylorMade’s range
- It’s not as rugged a golf ball as some more expensive versions
The Nitro Ultimate Distance is the ball for those who are thirsty for distance above all. With a titanium core and a skin of practically cut-proof Lithium Surlyn (so no imperfections are likely to mar the aerodynamics, no matter how hard you hit it, or against what), it’s another big friend to the high-handicap golfer, so long as they have a fairly high swing speed.
The titanium core means when you hit it, it has a firmness to it, rather than the softness of the TaylorMade. With a compression rating of 90, physics is your friend on this – the firmness means little of the energy of your shot is absorbed, and most of it propels the ball screaming away from the point of impact.
As the Nitro Ultimate Distance is also aimed at the high-handicap end of the golfing market, it’s priced to please, too, so it goes a very long way for very few dollars, and gives the TaylorMade Distance Plus a real titanium run for its money.
- The titanium core means it transfers the force of your swing into extreme distance
- The cover, made of Lithium Surlyn is virtually immune to cuts, so it will last a long time
- The Nitro is priced for newcomers to the game
- Not suitable for golfers with slower swing speeds
The Callaway Superhot is on some levels at the other end of the spectrum from the Nitro – it has a compression rating of 55, so it gives you a medium-soft feel, compared to the Nitro’s firmness. But it does have what’s called a high-energy core, which means it burns away from your golf club and covers the yards like the proverbial bat out of hell. In fact, if anything, the Callaway Superhot loves to travel so much it can actually become an issue when you’re trying for precision shots down the fairway and onto the green.
Callaway has used what it calls hex aerodynamics to fit 332 dimples onto the Superhot, meaning it wastes very little energy overcoming drag and simply burns its way to where you want it to go. And then, just possibly, a little further.
In terms of pure distance, the Superhot is right up there, with minimal spin off the tee box to confuse the physics of hitting the ball a very long way away, and having it go there fast. And as a 3-layer ball, the cover is made of a trionomer – a combination of an ionomer and a polymer – which helps with the balls’s flight stability.
Not that this is necessarily relevant to distance, but the Superhot also comes in a range of bright colors, so even though it runs away from you at a rate of knots, you shouldn’t lose track of it in a hurry.
- The high-energy core gives you stunning speed and distance when you hit the ball
- Hex aerodynamics and 332 dimples per ball give you minimal drag
- You get a very long carry with the Superhot
- Can sometimes over-run when you’re aiming for precision drops
- The trionomer cover can chip quickly
The Titleist AVX had a revamp for the 2020 season (such as it turned out to be), and golfers will reap the benefits of that upgrade for a while to come. The core was enlarged, and the coating made thinner, though being made of urethane, it helps combat a new softness in the ball.
In a list that has a few balls aimed at the high-handicapper, the AVX is a touch of something different – it specializes in delivering distance while cutting down the loft, so you get more precise control over your placement of shots.
The urethane is tough, meaning it brings a durability that will please those with lower handicaps. And with a radically different dimple design to most on the market, the ball’s flight is remarkably stable – another plus for those who know more precisely where they’re aiming their shots.
The AVX is a highly attractive golf ball that delivers the distance, but adds a different set of benefits to those on high-handicap balls. Durability, longevity, and spin control are also paramount in giving the AVX golfer the relatively precision distance they need.
- The larger core and thinner coating help increase your distance
- The urethane coating is extremely durable
- Delivers shot-stopping, so you can place your shots accurately
- If you already launch your ball low and with limited spin might not find the benefits of this ball worth their while
It’s a strange and perverse world in which the Titleist Velocity comes at the bottom end of a list of longest balls, because it gives you a very impressive distance – on its day, it can probably outrun most everything in its class. What are we talking about? Around the 280 yard mark.
Matching an immediate kick of speed on contact with some decent control down the fairway, the Velocity uses LSX core technology to give you a rapid core, wrapped in a NA72 cover.
We know, we know! Dimples – there are 332 per ball here, in an icosahedral style to lower the drag and also cut down spin off the tee.
If you pick up the Velocity golf balls looking for exceptional distance on a high-handicap budget, you won’t be disappointed on the course.
- They deliver exceptional distance – beating all comers in their class
- A rapid core gives you impressive ball speed off the clubface
- 332 icosahedral dimples mean reduced drag and spin
- There’s not a lot of distance in it, and some balls beat them for control
Best Longest Golf Balls For Distance Buying Guide
When buying golf balls for distance, remember one thing
Distance is hugely important in cutting down the number of shots you take per hole. But go for the balls that give you decent distance and something else, like control or suppressed spin.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do hard or soft golf balls go further distances?
Usually, harder balls go further distances, because they absorb less of the impact of the golf swing, so more of the force is preserved as forward motion. On the other hand, that also makes hard balls more difficult to control in terms of their eventual destination, like controlling the landing point of a bullet, as opposed to the landing point of a football.
2. Why does it matter what the cover of a golf ball is made out of?
Imagine playing golf with a hard-boiled egg. Yes, in reality, the egg would be pulverized with one whack, but imagine the shell survived the impact but was badly cracked. When you took your second shot, the smoothness of the shell would not be intact, so it would fly differently, and very soon the egg would be unplayable.
The same is true of the covers of golf balls. You want a cover that will stand up to as much play as possible, because if it doesn’t, you’re going to need a new golf ball much too soon to be economical.