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Vice vs. Kirkland Signature Golf Balls [Data Study]

For those that are trying to save some money on golf balls, two of the best options for your budget are the Vice and Kirkland golf balls. Something that people always look for is alternatives to Pro V1 golf balls, the Vice golf balls and Kirkland are often the two most widely talked about.

We recently tested the Vice and the Kirkland golf balls with Trackman and on the golf course to provide some data to help you make the best pick for your golf game. We looked at distance, spin, feel, longevity and value to check out the best deal.

Distance

The stats that most golfers can’t get enough of are carry and total distance. Regardless of swing speeds, players want distance off the tee. Since we were comparing the entire lineup of Vice vs. just one Kirkland, it was no surprise that the Kirkland fit right into the middle of the Vice range of golf balls.

Below we summarise the key points for you to take away.

Carry & Total Distance Vice vs. Kirkland golf balls

Vice golf balls vs Kirkland golf ball data with driver speed matched to 105mph club head speed. All miss hits and errant shots (±5 yards lateral error) were removed.
Vice golf balls vs Kirkland golf ball data with driver speed matched to 105mph club head speed. All miss hits and errant shots (±5 yards lateral error) were removed.
  • The longest of all the golf balls was the Vice Pro Plus; it has the most carry and the total distance. This is one of the more premium golf balls in the Vice lineup.
  • If you are looking for a pure distance golf ball, the Kirkland Signature golf balls and the Vice Pro Soft are not great options. The total carry of the Vice Signature was 271 compared to 280 in the Vice Pro Plus. I think 9 yards of carry is a lot to give up when switching between golf equipment.
  • The Kirkland Signature had the same carry distance as the Vice Drive, but the Vice Drive rolled out about six yards further.

As we’ll see in the spin section, the Kirkland golf ball really does spin a lot! The challenge is making a golf ball spin less off the tee and more with wedge shots.

The final aspect we’ll cover here are the launch characteristics, feel free to skip this if it is too geeky. However, this will help you better fit a golf ball to your needs – do you need a higher or lower launch on your drives? Do you need more or less spin?

No magic fixes for your slice, but changing your golf ball can make your ‘average’ spin rate and launch change a surprising amount.

Launch Characteristics

We usually find that the softer, lower compression golf balls have higher flight, but they also tend to have higher spin. We saw this right away with the Vice Pro Soft in this comparison.

Here are a few other things you should know about the launch characteristics of the Vice golf balls vs. the Kirkland Signature.

  • The highest spinning ball with the driver was the Kirkland Signature. The high spin from a driver results in more drag through the air and less roll when the ball hits the ground. The peak height with the Kirkland Signature was an average of 25 yards.
  • The lowest-spinning golf balls are the Vice Tour and the Vice Drive. For golfers with high-spinning drives, these may be a good option.
  • Vice Pro is fairly high-flying and high spinning. The Vice Pro Plus and the Vice Pro are very similar to the Kirkland Signature in launch characteristics.

Spin

Next, we looked at spin. We break this down into two areas – full wedge shots from ~120-125 yards and greenside spin inside 50 yards.

Wedge spin performance Vice golf balls vs. Kirkland golf balls

For wedge spin rates we looked at both the descent angle and the back spin. A higher descent angle means that a golf ball will fall at a steeper angle and stop quicker on the green, backspin should be pretty clear to most golfers, more backspin at launch means more left when landing on the green.

Vice golf balls & Kirkland golf ball data with Pitching wedge speed matched to 80mph club head speed. All miss hits and errant shots (±5 yards lateral error) were removed.
Vice golf balls & Kirkland golf ball data with Pitching wedge speed matched to 80mph club head speed. All miss hits and errant shots (±5 yards lateral error) were removed.

After the driving performance, we had a pretty good idea that the Kirkland Performance golf balls were going to be the highest spinning with a wedge and we were right. This has almost as much spin as a Titleist golf ball in previous tests we have done.

The lowest spinning ball was the Vice Pro Soft. However, this is one of the softer feel golf balls and it has a very high descent angle, both of which make up for a little of the spin it loses.

Generally, all of the Vice and Kirkland golf balls offer a good level of spin on a full wedge and are not dissimilar to a Pro V1.

Greenside spin

Here is where we start to see a difference between the Vice, Kirkland golf balls and the Pro V1s. It is tricky to get accurate launch monitor data, and lies can differ, so we’ll use our observations are lots of chipping and pitching reps with each ball.

  • The Vice Drive is firm rock, don’t expect much grab around the green. However, it doesn’t claim to offer much.
  • The Vice Tour is softer, but doesn’t spin much more than the Vice Drive from a variety of lies.
  • The Vice Pro range and Kirkland golf balls are very similar around the green. We’d give the Vice Pro range the slight edge for better performance but it is close.
  • All of the above do not match up to the control and spin offered by the Pro V1 and Pro V1x. They are not far off, but as pros, we’ll stick to the Titleist Pro v1 range if we were serious about our performance.

Feel

I love data from a launch monitor to create our findings. However, whether we are testing Titleist golf balls, Callaway golf balls, or doing the Vice vs. Kirkland golf ball test, the equipment needs to be tested on the golf course.

The feel is quite different between the Kirkland golf balls and the Vice golf balls.

The Vice Pro Soft is one of the softest-feeling golf balls out there. In addition, this Vice golf ball has an almost sticky outer cover that is supposed to help slower swing speeds gain a bit more traction around the green.

The Kirkland Performance has a similar feel to the Vice Pro Plus. There is a bit of firmness in the golf ball, but not enough to call it hard. The Kirkland golf balls overall are medium-firm; around the greens, they will appeal even to players that are particular about feel.

Longevity

The only Vice golf ball that did not hold up all that well after a few rounds were the Vice Pro Soft. I think if you have a faster swing speed, this is a golf ball to stay away from. Costco makes Kirkland golf balls, and they are particular about ensuring the products last for some time. Kirkland balls have good longevity.

Value

The great thing about buying golf balls from the Costco brand Kirkland or Vice is that they both keep your budget in mind. Kirkland golf balls tend to be a little cheaper, but we don’t have much variety here.

The thing about Kirkland golf balls is they either work for you, or they don’t. With Vice, you can choose from something that has a higher ball flight or a more penetrating ball flight. Something that has a higher spin or lower spin. Essentially the fact that you have golf ball choices helps Vice pull ahead in the value category.

Golf Insider Verdict

After testing a lot of Kirkland golf balls and Vice golf balls on the Trackman, and then taking them out on the course, both are great options for the price, but we prefer what the Vice golf ball range has to offer. There are more options, giving players different options for ball speed, feel longevity, and even the look of the ball.

When testing distance and spin rates, we found that the Vice Pro Plus was the golf ball that most closely compared to Kirkland golf balls. All of the golf balls in this review are good picks, we would note that none of them fully compete with the Pro V1 performance, however some are getting close:

Here are some recommendations to help you pick:

  • Kirkland golf balls spin lots on full shots, but as a result, lose some yardage off the tee. They offer good, but not great spin inside 50-yards.
  • Vice Pro Plus is the best golf ball if you want all around performance. This is very closely followed by the Vice Pro.
  • The Vice Drive and Vice Pro Tour golf balls are great value options if you want distance and don’t mind about spin.

Vice Golf Balls

Kirkland Signature Golf Balls

We hope this has been helpful.

Happy golfing.

If you are curious how Vice compares to the Pro V1, check out our Vice vs. Titleist results.

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Britt Olizarowicz is a former teaching and Class A PGA professional with more than 25 years spent with a golf club in her hand. Britt is a small business owner, author, and freelance golf expert that knows this game inside and out. She lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children.

1 thought on “Vice vs. Kirkland Signature Golf Balls [Data Study]”

  1. I always enjoy Britt’s analysis of equipment. They are detailed and un biased.
    Thanks for all your time and effort.

    Reply

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