To help you choose, let’s look at the leading models and see what each has to offer.
Srixon Z Star
The Srixon Z-Star’s three-layer construction is optimised for golfers with driver swing speeds of between 90 and 100mph. If you’re lucky enough to have more speed than that, the Srixon Z Star XV might be a better fit for you thanks to its firmer compression.
If your game revolves around pinpoint accuracy on approach play, and hitting lots of finesse shots around the green where maximum spin is needed to get shots to stop, then the Z-Star is an excellent choice as it offers the most greenside spin of any Srixon ball.
Titleist Pro V1
The three-layer Pro V1 has been the benchmark for tour-level balls since its introduction in 2000 and is used by some of the world’s top players, such as Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau and Adam Scott.
Titleist rarely talk numbers around their golf balls, but they do say the current cover is the softest ever used on a Pro V1, which means an increase in greenside spin over the previous generations.
If you want more long game spin and/or a higher ball flight than the Pro V1, the Titleist Pro V1x is the perfect alternative.
Callaway Chrome Soft X
The four-layer Chrome Soft X is optimised for swing speeds over 105mph, as the standard Chrome Soft works best for players at 100mph and below (there’s some crossover from 100-105mph).
The Chrome Soft X is Callaway’s most workable premium ball, and it’s the ball of choice for Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Phil Mickelson.
There’s also a Chrome Soft X LS (low spin) version which is likely to give fast swingers an extra yard or two off the tee.
TaylorMade’s five-layer approach to tour balls gives more dials and knobs to tailor each ball to its target player.
TaylorMade say the choice between the TP5 and TP5x comes down to feel; golfers wanting a softer feel should play the TP5, and those who do can expect a little more spin around the green than the firmer-feeling TP5x.
Bridgestone Tour B XS
The ball of choice for Tiger Woods, who played a key part in the design process, Bridgestone’s Tour B XS is designed to fit golfers with driver swing speeds of over 105mph (there’s a Tour B RXS version for speeds below that).
The Bridgestone Tour B XS offers a very soft feel and plenty of spin. If you prefer a firmer feel and/or slightly lower spin, the Bridgestone Tour B X is great for 105mph+ swing speeds and the Tour B RX ideal for slower swings.
PXG Xtreme Golf Balls
A newcomer to the golf ball market, the PXG golf ball is a good match for any of the best premium balls out there, at a marginally lower price. The alignment aid is really nice, too.
But… should you even be using a premium golf ball?
Almost all premium golf balls are aimed at very good players with fast swing speeds. If you have a relatively slow swing, you may struggle to compress and get the most from a premium ball. Most brands have alternative options targeted squarely at club golfers with moderate swing speeds. Choose one with a urethane cover and you’ll get optimum long game performance for your swing speed, combined with the greenside control and nice feel of a urethane cover.