If you play the Titleist Pro V1 golf balls, chances are you have had a friend try to tell you that the Kirkland Signature golf ball is the same thing. With the significant price difference and the hype that the Pro V1 gets, it certainly may have you thinking about trying the Kirkland golf balls to see how they are.
Here we review the Kirkland golf balls with data and by taking them out to the course to get a better idea as to how they spin, how they feel and whether or not a dozen golf balls from Kirkland Signature will hold up well over time.
Without spoiling too much of the surprise, I can tell you there are some really good things about Kirkland balls and some things that could be improved.
Kirkland Golf Balls
- Ball Flight: Medium- High
- Compression: medium/ high (~90)
- Number of Pieces: 3
- Colors available: White
- Spin: Low
- Feel: Medium
Kirkland golf balls are three-piece golf balls. However, this is not just a distance ball. When you add that third layer in, it becomes easier to gain some spin where it’s needed and control it where it’s not needed.
From the tee, I was impressed with the distance of the Kirkland Signature golf ball. In fact, I noticed that they fly a bit further than some others I’ve tested recently and certainly roll a few yards further.
When it came to iron distance, the results were not quite as good. Kirkland was a yard or two shorter than some of the other distance balls on the market, like the Srixon Soft Feel or the Titleist Velocity.
I didn’t, however, feel like the lack of distance in the irons was negative; it felt more like I could control the shots because of the little bit of spin you get with the Kirkland Signature golf balls.
Roll on the fairways was great, and overall ball speed seemed high coming off the face of the club.
One of the things I liked about these three-piece golf balls was the ability to control the trajectory a little more. The mid-compression rating combined with the three-piece technology allowed for a more penetrating flight when I wanted it. One problem better players have is finding an affordable golf ball that does not balloon and flies too high.
With the Kirkland golf balls, it’s easier to keep the ball down and in play.
Costco makes Kirkland golf balls, however, Qingdao SM Parker is the company that manufactures Kirkland golf balls. The product line from Costco is limited; it would be nice to see what would happen if they put a four-piece golf ball into play or created something for various play styles.
Most golfers want low spin from the tee and high spin around the greens. Sadly, this is tough to produce in real life (hence the cost of premium golf balls). You can see from the data vs the Pro V1s that the Kirkland balls do spin more than a Pro V1 off the tee (around a 10% increase), meaning a little loss in distance, but not a killer.
However, the real question of performance and whether or not these golf balls can compete with the premium balls is the spin performance around the greens.
My first test of this was with a short chip when I missed the green on the first hole. The spin was not great on this shorter shot. Greens were running fast that day, but the ball rolled out a good six to seven feet longer than I had expected.
On the second hole, I had another opportunity to test out greenside spin as my approach to the green was with a pitching wedge from 125 yards out. The ball stopped quickly on the green; overall spin was better than other value type distance golf balls on the market. Certainly better than I experienced with the Titleist Velocity.
Throughout the rest of the round, I noticed that the Kirkland Signature golf balls respond well when conditions are ideal for high spin and they really work well with full wedge shots. However, it’s not the highest-spinning golf ball I’ve played inside of 100 yards.
One word of caution here is that you are not a player that typically generates spin around the greens, or you are using golf equipment (specifically wedges) with lower spin rates, don’t expect the Kirkland golf balls to save the day.
Feel is one of the most essential characteristics of a golf ball and is generally something that is sacrificed when moving from a premium ball to a value ball. The feel on the Kirkland Signature golf balls is about a 6 out of 10 for me.
It feels a little harder than I had hoped, even though it is made with a Urethane cover. Kirkland says that their golf ball features a soft urethane cover, and it may be soft, but the feel is firmer than I had expected.
The only place that the feel of the ball bothered me was 100 yards and in. On the putting green, the Kirkland golf balls are fine. They don’t feel mushy or hard.
Off the tee, the Kirkland golf balls feel firm. Whereas, with iron shots into the green, they feel firm, almost a little dead.
Overall, the feel is not the same as a premium ball, but for this price range, we can’t be too picky.
The Kirkland golf balls have good longevity. In addition to selling golf balls, the decision was made that Costco sell golf clubs as well. The Costco wedges, putters, and now new irons are making quite an impression on value-conscious golfers.
When Costco makes products under its brand name, the goal is to have the equipment be just as good as the premium-priced products for a reduced price.
Longevity is a place where the Kirkland golf balls stood out. When you purchase these, you usually get two dozen golf balls at once. Each ball can easily make it through a few rounds of golf, even if you have a faster swing speed.
I noticed that even on the shots, I missed the center of the clubface a bit; I wasn’t dealing with issues related to longevity, scuffs, or scratches. Instead, the ball flew the same on the 18th hole as it did on the first, and I was able to keep it in play for several rounds.
Although it would take longer for me to continue to test these Kirkland golf balls, I think I experience more of an issue with scuffs and marks on the Pro V1 than I do on the Kirkland. Of course, the Pro V1 does also feel softer to me, so this is probably a trade-off.
The Kirkland golf balls are very low-priced, considering what you get. Most of the time, you get two boxes of three-piece golf balls for the price that most other golf ball manufacturers charge for a three-piece ball.
Kirkland Signature balls are what we can consider cheap at this point, especially for a three-piece golf ball. The sales tactic here is undoubtedly different than something you would see for Titleist golf balls.
Titleist wants to be the leader in the golf industry. Kirkland wants to be the backup for the golfers that are tired of paying the prices for the premium golf ball options on the market.
One thing worth mentioning here is that urethane golf balls are almost always higher in price, but Kirkland managed to keep the price down. Like everything else you get at Costco, the more golf balls you buy, the more money you save.
In terms of value, it is a big thumbs up for us – great work Costco.
Golf Insider Verdict
When I found out that the Kirkland was a urethane cover golf ball, it made me excited to try it. Taking these to the golf course has taught me a few things about this popular golf ball that you should know before you purchase.
Kirkland golf balls are good for distance, you’ll likely lose 2-3 yards off the tee on average compared to a Pro V1. Spin on full wedge shots is high, this trend continues on all iron shots resulting in great shot-stopping ability but some loss in carry distance.
Spin around the greens is average with the Kirkland Signature golf balls and here is where you will see the biggest drop from a premium golf ball. However, if you’re moving sideways from a budget golf ball, you might be impressed with how it performs.
The overall feel is a bit firm from the Kirkland ball, and I prefer other golf balls with a little less firmness. The positive here is that the durability was quite good.
In the end, I personally wouldn’t switch to a Kirkland Signature golf ball as I felt I had to give up too much around the greens and with the overall feel. However, we hope this data and analysis have given you the best information for you to make an informed choice of the trade-off between performance and value.
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