Kirkland golf balls are starting to be considered to be a cheaper alternative to the Pro V1. We have heard one too many players state that they were going to switch to the Kirkland golf balls because the Titleist Pro V1 is too expensive.
Before we were ready to make this change, we had to put the Kirkland head-to-head with the Pro V1. Equipped with a few sunny days on a golf course and an indoor testing center with a Trackman launch monitor, we compiled some data that you will likely find interesting.
In this article, we compare distance, spin, feel, longevity and value to help you decide which is the best option for you and your golf game.
Kirkland Golf Balls vs Titleist Pro V1 design
Kirkland Golf Balls
- Layers: 3
- Cover Material: Urethane
- Feel: Medium Soft
- Compression: Around 90
- Spin: Low from the tee, mid around the greens
Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
- Layers: 3
- Cover Material: Urethane
- Feel: Soft
- Compression: Around 90
- Spin: Mid from the tee, high around the greens
Kirkland Golf Balls vs Titleist Pro V1 Distance
Both the Titleist Pro V1 and the Kirkland golf balls are stated to have a good distance from the tee box. With how the golf industry is set up, most golfers have come to expect distance off the tee box. We used a driver at a 105mph swing speed for our distance testing.
Carry distance from the Kirkland golf balls was strong at 243 yards. However, the Pro V1 was ahead with 246 yards of carry. It’s just three yards here, but still worth considering for many players thinking about switching to Kirkland balls.
When it comes to total distance, the Pro V1 was, on average, about 5 yards longer than the Kirkland golf balls. Will five yards make or break you on the golf course? Maybe not, and we did expect this when comparing these Costco golf balls to the Titleist golf balls.
One of the key features here that we discovered was the spin rates and the differences between these two golf balls. The Kirkland offers a higher spin off the tee by about 200 rpm. This is probably why we saw a few yards less carry through the air (increased drag) and roll with the Kirkland golf balls.
In the end, the distance from the tee is probably not going to hurt you much if you go for the lower-priced Kirkland Signature golf balls. But do remember this is the average over many drives, so you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to give that up.
I did notice when playing on the course that the total distance of the Kirkland ball was a few yards less on most of my iron shots as well. It’s just a few yards here and there, but the spin rates are something to watch out for if you are a golfer known to generate a ton of spin with your current golf equipment.
The next area in which we compared the Kirkland Signature performance with the Titleist Pro V1 is the spin. When testing spin, we selected a pitching wedge shot with a golfer swinging the wedge at 80mph club head speed (resulting in a ~120-yard carry).
The results were again calculated using the Trackman launch monitor, and in addition to spin, we looked at the descent angle as well. A combination of the proper spin rate and descent angle can give golfers a better idea as to how the ball will react when it hits the green.
When testing the Kirkland golf balls, there was a lot of spin, and we mean a lot! On average the Kirkland produced 8764 rpm of spin, compared to the Pro V1s 7245 rpm. This is great if you want zip on the greens, but the additional spin did result in a few yards of total distance lost, approximately two to three on most golf shots.
If you remember, I mentioned that the Kirkland golf balls were coming up a few yards short on my approach shots to the green, and this high spin rate likely has something to do with that.
The Titleist Pro V1 had impressive spin results at 7245 rpm with the wedge shot, but it was certainly considerably lower than the Kirkland.
When it comes to the descent angle, we calculated an average angle of 50º with the Kirkland and 51º with the Pro V1. This is about the same and probably won’t have too much of an impact on overall performance. The Kirkland has a slightly more penetrating ball flight.
Spin on the driver and approach shot is one thing, but spin around the greens needs to be considered as well.
A tool like Trackman is great for measuring these higher swing speed full shots to the green, but it can be a little tricky when looking to get the spin rates and on-course performance for those shorter greenside shots.
To me, this is one of the most important features when choosing the right golf ball.
I was excited about the Kirkland Signature golf ball when it came to the shorter shots around the green. I thought with this higher spin on the shots to the green that, the shorter shots would stop on a dime.
In the end, I feel like the Pro V1 is actually more responsive from a range of lies inside 50 yards.
It could be a mix of the feel in the Titleist balls being slightly better combined with the technology invested into the different layers of the ball. I could get the Kirkland golf ball to stop on the greens on shorter shots, especially when the conditions were ideal, but the Pro V1 is more consistent with how it flies and reacts on landing.
With all of the testing, I did between the Kirkland golf balls and the Titleist golf balls on the course, this greenside spin makes Kirkland golf balls just a little less valuable than the premium Titleist Pro V1.
Most of the time, when you compare one urethane golf ball to another, you will notice that the cover of the ball is relatively similar. I did find that the Kirkland golf balls held up quite well after a few rounds. This is partly why the Kirkland Signature has become a popular golf ball.
Not only is it about half the price but it holds up almost as well as the Pro V1.
The key takeaway from this section is even with the soft urethane covers in place, you should not have trouble with the longevity with either choice.
The Kirkland golf balls are good for players on a budget. Like everything else sold at Costco, where you get more than you probably need for a reduced price, the balls are sold in a two-dozen pack.
In fact, this is one of the things that could go against the Costco Kirkland golf balls at first. Do you really want two dozen golf balls of something that you are not sure will even work for your game?
For the price the Kirkland are offered, you could use these as practice balls in the yard if you found out they weren’t a fit for your game. The investment into the product is quite low considering some of the positives that we noticed with distance and spin.
Titleist Pro V1 golf balls are expensive. We won’t try to tell you this is a value golf ball by any means, but if you have played golf for a long time, you likely understand there are things that are worth paying for.
In my opinion, greenside performance is well worth paying for.
The most popular golf ball on the market got its position in the game because of what it offers golfers around the green, quality balls come at a cost, but they do live up to the hype.
The Kirkland Signature and the Titleist Pro V1 golf products both claim to have a soft feel. Everyone from low handicappers to high handicappers believes a soft feel is a positive for their game. Within reason, a softer feel can certainly help with more control around the greens.
Although this is a subjective opinion, I find the feel of the Kirkland balls to be harder than Titleist Pro V1s. The Pro V1 has a softer and more responsive feel for chipping as well as putting. The Kirkland Signature was not hard, but it felt a little less premium, especially on centered strikes.
Of course, I was looking at the ball, so I knew which one was which. However, I have done a lot of these tests with Vice Golf balls, the Callaway Chrome Soft, and Bridgestone balls as well. I try to be fair about the testing and not give preference to the premium ball.
I just really find the Titleist Pro V1 balls have a better feel.
I imagine a good portion of the PGA and LPGA Tour players would probably agree with me on this one.
Golf Insider Verdict
Based on this testing the Kirkland golf ball can really hold its own against the Pro V1. Would I tell everyone that this is the golf ball to switch to right now, and you won’t notice any difference? No.
However, for beginners and mid-level golfers that don’t want to invest in the Titleist Pro V1 but still want a good golf ball, the Kirkland Signature is a really strong option. You’ll just have to accept a few yards less off the tee and good, not great feel and control around the green.
For those currently playing the Pro V1 and thinking of making a switch to save money, I would try a different approach. Work on hitting your golf ball straighter, so you can use the Pro V1 for more than just one round of golf (Editorial comment from Will – brutal Britt, but I can’t fault your advice!).
The bottom line here is that the Pro V1 is a great ball, and that’s why the pricing is set where it is. Would I purchase the Kirkland over the Titleist Velocity? Absolutely! However, to call the Kirkland Signature the same as the Pro V1 is a bit of a stretch as it stands.
Titliest Pro V1 golf balls
Kirkland Signature golf balls
Click on this link for a review of how the Kirkland Signature golf balls compare to Vice golf balls.
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