From Tee to Green: Analyzing What Golf Balls Champions Tour Pros Use (2024)

Miguel Angel Jiménez catching a golf ball

We’ve previously checked out what golf balls the top pros on both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour are using but are the best senior pros on the Champions Tour doing anything different to their colleagues?

It is the only piece of golf kit that every golfer, from the lowliest beginner to the best player in the world, uses without fail for every shot so it is at least worth a glance at what golf balls the top senior pros choose to put in play.

Titleist golf balls are by far the most popular among Champions Tour pros with 84% of the top 100 using a Pro V1, Pro V1x or Pro V1 Left Dash based on available data. Callaway balls are the next most used with 9% picking them. Srixon balls are chosen by 5% but only 1% of top senior pros use TaylorMade or Bridgestone balls.

Our analysis didn’t stop there though and we continued to take an in-depth look at the data on the specific balls the best Champions Tour pros were using, checked out what compression of ball they play while also comparing whether the senior pros’ preferences were any different to their main PGA Tour colleagues!

And just for interest we finally took a look at who was sponsored by which ball making company to try and get an idea of how much the senior pros ball choice was potentially influenced by manufacturer backing.

Breakdown of golf ball brands being used by the top Champions Tour pros

Titleist Golf Balls Are By Far the Most Used By Senior Tour Pros

Titleist has claimed the title of the #1 ball in golf since the 1949 US Open at Medinah Country Club so it should be of little surprise that the vast majority of Champions Tour pros put a Titleist ball in play.

67 out of 80 of the top hundred Champions Tour pros for which there is data use a Titleist golf ball. While 38 of this group choose a Pro V1x, including Steve Stricker and Bernhard Langer, 27 join Padraig Harrington in preferring a Pro V1. The other two opt for a Pro V1x Left Dash but no player uses a Pro V1 Left Dot.

Rob Labritz’s occasional preference for the yellow version of the Pro V1 was one of the few anomalies we found but what was perhaps more interesting was the flip between the Champions Tour and main PGA Tour when it came to the Pro V1 versus Pro V1x choice.

If we also include the ‘custom performance option’ golf balls that are the Pro V1x Left Dash and Pro V1 Left Dot 50% of the best senior pros choose a Pro V1x model Titleist ball while just under 34% opt for a Pro V1.

When we did our in-depth analysis of the balls being used by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour however we found that the split flipped around with 42% of that elite group using a Pro V1 (38% Pro V1 + 4% Pro V1 Left Dot) with only 29% choosing a Pro V1x ball.

[Editor’s note – Custom Performance Option golf balls are models which are only generally available to you if you play on one of the pro tours or if you are one of a very select few elite amateur golfers. You can find out more about them and whether pros use different or special golf balls here.]

A box of dozen Titleist Pro V1x golf balls
Titleist’s Pro V1x is the most used ball among the top Champions Tour pros. Check the latest price on Amazon

Golfers, and especially the top pros, choose their golf ball for various reasons (including sponsorship deals!) so it’s difficult to draw definitive overall conclusions as to why exactly the senior pros on the whole prefer the higher launching and spinning Pro V1x compared to the mid-flight, mid-spin Pro V1.

While the Pro V1x balls are all 4-piece in their construction versus the 3-piece design of the Pro V1 both models have a urethane cover.

What is perhaps most relevant for regular golfers though is that, according to GolfWRX Titleist fits more amateur golfers into a Pro V1x ball than any other of its golf balls, including the lower-compression AVX.

And given the Pro V1x’s extra firm compression rating in the high 90s (the Pro V1 rates in the high 80s) and an average driver swing speed on the Champions Tour of over 106 mph this once again helps bust the common myth that high-compression golf balls are only a good option for fast swinging golfers.

As we have already touched on however, in the pro ranks sponsorship of course plays a part in a pros choice of golf ball and golf equipment in general.

And of the 84% of the top Champions Tour pros we found to be using Titleist golf balls we discovered only 3 golfers not listed on the Titleist website as one of their golf ball users.

It is impossible to know of course how many of these players are directly sponsored to play Titleist balls and may be listed on the website simply as users rather than ‘paid users’ of those models of ball.

Titleist has however been reported as investing $100 million in the golf ball business recently and although much of that will unquestionably go into research and development and manufacturing it would be naive to think that some of that won’t be allocated to sponsorship of PGA Champions Tour pros.

Saying that however Titleist’s place at the top of the golf ball charts seems assured at the moment when it comes to the best senior pros and some of that must clearly be due to the quality of the golf balls they produce.

GOLF BALL%. OF PGA CHAMPIONS TOUR PROS USING BALLSELECTED PLAYERS
Titleist
Pro V1x
47.5%Steve Stricker, Bernhard Langer, David Toms, Jerry Kelly, Alex Cejka, Brett Quigley, Y.E. Yang, Dicky Pride, Robert Karlsson, Billy Andrade, Jeff Maggert, Bob Estes, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Jeff Sluman, Corey Pavin, Duffy Waldorf, John Daly, Tom Lehman
Titleist
Pro V1
34%Steven Alker, Stephen Ames, Padraig Harrington, Richard Green, Harrison Frazar, Paul Broadhurst, Mark Hensby, Ken Duke, Colin Montgomerie, Mike Weir, Scott McCarron, Shane Bertsch, Chris DiMarco, Davis Love III
Titleist
Pro V1x Left Dash
2.5%Tim Herron, Cameron Beckman
[Note – Available data of 80 of the top 100 PGA Champions Tour pros on the money list at the end of the 2023 season.]
Breakdown of percentage of Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls being used by the top Champions Tour pros compared to PGA Tour pros

What Other Golf Balls Do Champions Tour Pros Use?

While Titleist is very clearly the ball of choice of a huge majority of the best pros on the Champions Tour not everyone uses them and opt instead for other models of golf balls.

Just as on the main PGA Tour Callaway is the second most used ball on the Champions Tour with close to 9% choosing the Chrome Soft X ball, including former major champions Retief Goosen, Lee Janzen, and David Duval.

Stuart Appleby and Rocco Medicate use the Triple Track version of the Chrome Soft X to assist with alignment on the greens.

Callaway will also be hoping that their recent $50 million investment to upgrade their ball manufacturing, ensuring tolerances of up to 1/1000th of an inch as reported by Plugged In Golf, will enable the improved consistency of their new suite of Chrome Soft balls to deliver more results in terms of market share.

5% of the Champions Tour pros we analysed meanwhile use Srixon balls with Ernie Els, KJ CHoi and Joe Durant picking the Z Star XV and Miguel Angel Jiménez opting for the slightly softer Z-Star Diamond ball.

“I don’t play the same ball as Tiger, but I found a better ball for me. For me the softer [Bridgestone Tour B] RXS is a perfect fit … For my swing, these balls allow me to boom it off the tee and also give me more spin and feel greenside.”

Fred Couples, former Masters and 2-time Senior major champion

Vijay Singh and Fred Couples were finally the only players our research uncovered to be playing TaylorMade’s TP5x and Bridgestone’s Tour B RXS balls respectively leaving those brands very much at the bottom of the Champions Tour ball choice pile.

While it leaves him in a minority of one on the senior Tour Couples’ choice of a Bridgestone branded ball (alongside his great friend Tiger Woods who uses the Tour B X ball) is notable however for a couple of reasons.

Firstly with a much lower compression than the other balls being used by the top senior pros – it is significantly softer than the Pro V1 for example – the Tour B RXS is listed by GolfWRX as the softest urethane ball on the market offering relatively high flight with low spin.

Secondly, Couples uses the yellow version of the Tour B RXS to help him see the ball better given his failing eyesight.

And he does this despite his legendary friend giving him “grief all the time about using a yellow ball … because I always thought yellow balls were for hacks.”

Recent tests by Golf.com have also confirmed there’s no performance benefit or drop-off using different colour options of a premium golf ball so it seems Couples only has friendly taunts to worry about by going with a yellow ball!

Once again though we must acknowledge the part sponsorship likely plays in the choices of the senior pros choosing anything other than a Titliest golf ball.

Our research for example, found only a couple of the 16% of Champions Tour pros we analysed playing either Callaway, Srixon, TaylorMade or Bridgestone golf balls not being listed on the websites of the respective manufacturer model of balls they are using.

Sponsorship obviously plays a part in the choice of ball of the best Champions Tour pros but unfortunately it is very difficult to know how much without asking each and every one of them directly.

Top half section of a yellow Bridgestone Tour B RXS golf ball
Fred Couples plays the yellow version of Bridgestone’s Tour B RXS ball despite the mocking of his good friend Tiger Woods! Check the latest price on Amazon

Before you go …

Nine-time major champion Gary Player is on record as saying that “No one golf ball goes further than the other. I’ve tried them all.”

Marketing materials from all the golf ball makers often claim however that this or that ball is ‘the longest golf ball in the world’ so who is right?

Read our next article to check out our analysis of the available stats to help you find out whether different brands of golf balls, whatever their cost, really make a difference when it comes to distance.

Do Certain Golf Balls Go Further? Brand and Cost Considerations

Products mentioned in this article:

  1. Bridgestone TOUR B RXS – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  2. Bridgestone Tour B X – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  3. Callaway Chrome Soft X – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  4. Callaway Chrome Soft X Triple Track – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  5. Srixon Z-Star – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  6. Srixon Z-Star Diamond – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  7. TaylorMade TP5x – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  8. Titleist Pro V1 – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  9. Titleist Pro V1x – Check the latest price on Amazon here
  10. Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash – Check the latest price on Amazon here

[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]

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Graeme Hay

Graeme Hay is the owner of GolfingFocus.com. Graeme started playing golf when he was only 4 years old and has loved the game ever since. A single figure golfer all of his adult life and a member of Royal Troon Golf Club he lives in London and still enjoys playing whenever he can with friends and family.

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