What's the best golf ball for cold weather?

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By Emily B., Titleist Staff

  • 41 Replies
  1. Team Titleist Staff

    What's the best golf ball for cold weather? If you're one of the lucky ones that's able to get on the course during the winter months, our advice to you is pretty straightforward: You should play the same ball that you play all year long.

    We took a look back at an earlier blog post to bring you some expert advice and insight from our golf ball R&D team on how colder conditions affect your golf ball. Check it out below!  

    It's a common misconception that you should switch to a lower compression golf ball in colder conditions. This practice is meant to compensate for the increase in compression that occurs when a ball gets colder. If you play with balls that are at near room temperature as we suggest, this becomes a moot point. Furthermore, modern golf ball models are not sold in a choice of compressions like they were in the wound ball days, so changing compression would necessitate changing to a different model, which may have playing characteristics that are different from what you are used to.

    Now, when it comes to the impact cold weather might have, it's really two separate issues to consider with regards to temperature and golf ball performance: the temperature of the air and the temperature of the golf ball.

    Factor One: Cold Air

    When a golf ball flies through colder air, it loses distance because cold air is denser than warm air. Colder air increases both the lift and drag forces acting on the ball, which results in a slightly higher and shorter trajectory. There is nothing a golfer can do about the effect of air temperature, besides taking it into account when planning the next shot.

    Factor Two: Cold Golf Balls

    Distance loss can also result from playing with cold golf balls. If a ball gets too cold, its materials can lose some resiliency, resulting in a reduction of initial velocity off the club face. Keep in mind, excessive heat can also have an effect.

    To negate this effect, we recommend playing with room temperature golf balls, and storing your golf balls indoors at room temperature throughout the year. Avoid leaving your golf balls in extremely cold or hot conditions, i.e., in the trunk of your car during the winter or summer. If your golf balls are exposed to these conditions, as long as you let them return to a normal temperature gradually, they will perform the same.

    If you’re playing in extremely cold conditions, it’s also a good idea to rotate a couple of golf balls hole-by-hole, keeping the idle one in a warm pocket in your jacket or pants.

    Other Factors:

    The exact amount of distance loss due to cold temperatures is difficult to state due to a large number of variables. However, the other factors that typically accompany cold-weather golf (i.e. cold muscles, wearing more layers, frozen ground, wind, etc.) might have a bigger impact on a golfer’s overall performance. For the air temperature effect alone, figure on a distance loss of about 1.5% per 20°F reduction in temperature. For example, for a 50°day versus a 70°day, on a 200 yard shot you would lose about 3 yards.

    We hope you find this insight helpful and here’s to a mild winter!


  2. Dale V

    Dale V
    Surprise AZ

    I find the best one for me in cold weather is the one i use putting on the carpet. :) Seriously, always stick with my ProV1x and adjust to conditions like you advise above. Thanks for posting as this should help some folks wondering what they should do. I also suggest traveling south for the winter or relocating to San Diego like I did a few years ago. Stay warm and stay safe. Cheers.
  3. Fred L

    Fred L

    Great info and points. I will rotate ball every other hole or so and keep a couple in my pockets. I have switched on occasion to a softer ball but stick with my Pro v's or AVX.
  4. Play18

    Aurora, IL

    Fred L said:

    Great info and points. I will rotate ball every other hole or so and keep a couple in my pockets. I have switched on occasion to a softer ball but stick with my Pro v's or AVX.

    I play Prov1x whenever I golf and rotate balls from my pocket every hole, too.
  5. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill
    Decatur, IL

    Hand warmers in the same pocket with your ball(s)! Great info. Thanks!
  6. Michael S

    Michael S
    Apple Valley, Ca.

    Dan H said:

    Hand warmers in the same pocket with your ball(s)! Great info. Thanks!

    Yup that will do it you got to dance with the same partner you bring to the dance. That is what I do hand warmers in with the same ball played all year PRO V1....
  7. I play the Prov1x all year here in NC.
  8. Todd T

    Todd T
    San Diego, CA

    Im playing the same ball I normally play for several reasons:
    1- I have plenty of them.
    2- Simply club up or down.
    3- And I know what the ball will most likely do.
  9. Living in San Diego you probably don't know what cold weather golf is ! Lucky man. Still, your points are valid...if you play the same ball in all conditions you will know what it will/won't do when you encounter tougher weather. Someone else said to rotate balls from hole to hole which is a good idea, but keeping them in a pocket with a hand warmer is (I think) against the rules. Doesn't matter up here in the NE - we can't post scores in the winter anyway -
    but it might somewhere else.
  10. Paul T

    Paul T
    alpharetta, GA

    Interesting. Thanks for posting!
    I typically view cold weather golf as 'off season' where I work on a few areas of my swing...not worrying so much about distance or score.

    Dealing with the muddy, sloppy, cold conditions, I think, makes me better when conditions are ideal.

    Then try to peak during summer months.
  11. Mike r

    Mike r
    Amherst, OH

    Hmmm....Good read, thanks for sharing
  12. Fred L

    Fred L

    Good info - played today here on LI and temps at 30 with wind. Used my -PROV1X and didn't notice to much distance loss in cold. So will keep playing same ball in winter as summer.
  13. Barry M

    Barry M
    Reno, NV

    I have to disagree with you on the loss of distance. When it's cold enough, the ball will hit the frozen pond where I play and will roll all the way to the other end. I have experienced hitting that pond in all weather conditions and definitely get more distance when it's below freezing.
  14. Bomber3

    Lake St Louis, MO


    Barry M said:

    I have to disagree with you on the loss of distance. When it's cold enough, the ball will hit the frozen pond where I play and will roll all the way to the other end. I have experienced hitting that pond in all weather conditions and definitely get more distance when it's below freezing.

    Nice Barry!
    I've used a frozen pond/lake more than a few times to gain extra yardage, especially if the pond is at the corner on a dogleg...It's always fun to watch the ball bounce on the ice and up onto the fairway on the other side.
  15. larry m

    larry m
    columbiana, OH

    Wow, great reading. Love the golf ball stuff. Excellent job
  16. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    I can understand perhaps changing to a "less-expensive" ball in the fall if leaves are going to be problematic and the risk of losing a ball is of importance. I don't think changing your ball due to cold-weather will really make a big difference. Thanks for a great post Emily!
  17. Maxfli Tour is comparable to pro Vs. If looking to save money in winter could be a good option. Regardless of ball, Might want to keep a couple in your pocket while playing to keep cores warm
  18. Dale V

    Dale V
    Surprise AZ

    Well they are both round and white. :)
  19. calvin a

    calvin a
    Dumfries, VA

    To be honest winter kinda sucks. I play MAXFLI during this time of year because I don’t care if I lose the balls and am okay with hitting them wherever. Main reason for this is people like to rush and pressure groups ahead by riding so closely behind. Been hit into a few times already but I understand it’s a struggle to finish an afternoon game before sundown. Personally, I’m kind of lucky and have access to base courses that aren’t frequented too much so I may be able to take my time and actually use good balls (Vice) but really depends.

    Cheap balls!
  20. Scotty R

    Scotty R

    Great post Emily,

    I agree with Dale V, I use my current ProV1 I might switch between white and yellow depending on where I am playing. Thankfully a standard christmas gift is several dozen balls so I have plenty around. I am just happy to get out during the winter months here in Eastern VA, our biggest problem is wet/soggy courses.
  21. michael z

    michael z
    Farmington, CT

    I do not deviate from my Pro V1x's ever. In the colder weather, I'll just take more club and adjust to climate conditions. You can't beat the performance around the greens - ever.
  22. Gary E

    Gary E
    Edmond, OK

    I usually play Yellow ProV1 spring through end of summer with temps ranging from 50 to 90 F . I have had great experiences with the TruFeel balls in the fall and winter when the temps below 60 . I personally like a softer ball , and the feel of this ball is outstanding. The distance is not compromised either. Not the ProV, but for about $22 a dozen you cannot miss with ball.
    Post Image
  23. JAspinwall

    Groton CT

    I play ProV1s year round but what I do is in winter I play my used ProVs after one ore two rounds they go in my shag bag and get used in winter awesome balls.
  24. Dr. Tom L

    Dr. Tom L
    Tucson, AZ

    Keep a small valuables bag in the ball pocket with a couple of hand warmers activated in it and a couple of balls (Tour Speed) I exchange them each hole and use a freshly warmed ball on each hole--in spite of the data you have shown, I am sure I get an extra 5-7 yards off the tee and 3-5 with my irons. Also, teeing the warmed balls up helps keep hands warm !
  25. Agree with almost all, except...
    In North Texas I frequently play on courses that have dormant Bermuda greens from Dec-Feb. Some of these dormant greens run faster than Augusta on Sunday of the Master's. Quite by accident one day, I found that some of the matte-finish golf balls rollout 30-40% less distance on downhill dormant green putts. (Interestingly, there's nearly no difference in distance once the greens come back to life. I'd love to hear if anyone has any theories as to why this is). I've tested this numerous times on numerous dormant greens and the result is always the same... Considerably less downhill rollout with the matte-finished golf balls. Thus, while I have had some players poke fun at me for playing with what they call 'sticky-balls'... I rarely ever three-putt, while I watch them struggle to even keep some of their putts on the green. By March 1st however, I'll switch back to my Titleist AVX. Hope that helps someone out there.
  26. Wayne W

    Wayne W
    Westfield, IN

    My decision to play in the cold has 2 parameters; 45 degrees and less than 10mph wind. I have a bag that I put a hand warmer in and 3 balls. I rotate the balls every hole to get the most I can out of the average balls I use. It helps.
  27. Ralph C

    Ralph C
    South Bend, IN

    I always play the X, no matter what. Playing the same ball every round makes you more consistent. Adding variables, like different compression, or flight characteristics, only makes you less confident. I know exactly what my ball can and will do, instinctively. That wouldn't be the case if I switched balls.
    I trust Titleist advice here, they should know.
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