As a golfer, you want golf balls that have excellent performance, durability, and at the same time, reasonably priced. Countless brands produce golf balls, and even though you might not wish to go through them all before you settle for one, it is highly unlikely that you will not have used either one of Titleist golf balls or Kirkland golf balls.
Titleist is your best option if you want high-quality golf balls with improved durability, performance, and speed at a premium price. Kirkland golf balls are also of good quality and come at a lower and affordable price. However, there’s also some doubt about the durability of their golf balls.
This article will give you an in-depth comparison of these two brands in the golf sports industry, comprehensively covering their similarities, differences, and some of their popular golf balls.
Kirkland Golf Balls: A Brief Overview
Kirkland golf balls are excellent options as substitutes to premium golf balls.
Since their introduction into the market by Costco in 2016, they have grabbed golfers’ attention because of their affordability and quality.
There has been a level of shade over the manufacturers of the Kirkland golf balls. Costco isn’t a manufacturer of golf equipment; they are known for their wholesale, retail role in varying items, one of them being golf balls.
Costco’s Kirkland was manufactured by a South Korean company, Nassau Golf Co. Ltd. This Company made the first Kirkland Signature golf balls, called K-Sig. However, in 2018, new Kirkland Signature golf balls were released.
An American Subsidiary made these balls of a Korean company named SM Global LLC made these balls. They were different from the K-Sig, drawing adverse reactions from buyers.
Let’s look at some of the golf balls these companies have made for Costco, their performance, and how users reacted to them.
The original Kirkland signature golf ball, popularly called K-Sig, stormed the market in 2016.
With its ridiculously low price and outstanding performance, it gave the best golf balls in the market a run for their money, literally.
The K-Sig came with a four-piece construction that announced its suitability for great distance shots with the Driver, Wedge, and Iron. It also has good control.
K-Sig Tour Performance starts its awesomeness from its Urethane cover. The cover gives it a soft feel that doesn’t sacrifice distance. It also contributes to the ball’s excellent control, straight flight path, increased speed, and durability.
Its outer core is built to maximize energy transfer from your swing to the ball’s flight, speed, and distance. This feature makes it suitable for a wide range of golf players, from low swing to high swing players. With its large core, multi-layers, soft urethane cover with dimple pattern, its aerodynamics is exceptional.
Generally, it is expected that a good product doesn’t stay long on the shelf, which must be the reason behind its fast sell-out on Costco’s shelves every time it appears.
Considering the success of Costco’s first golf ball, it was only expected that there would be another golf ball that would out-do the earlier K-Sig Tour Performance.
However, a remarkable thing happened. Costco came with two different golf balls. One of those balls, released in 2018, was the three-piece performance plus ball.
This three-piece ball, or the Performance Plus golf ball, was a success when it was launched. It excelled in performance on so many grounds. Each piece of its three-piece did what it was made to do.
It has a soft, large, and highly elastic core, which maximizes distance by transferring energy from a player’s swing into the ball and flight, leading to longer travel distances. Its cover is made of double urethane to give it improved durability and a soft feel. This cover enhances its control and generates spin for more desired results on the green.
Its mantle, a link between the core and the cover, helps optimize the cover’s spin, especially for 7 Iron and Wedge. The dimple pattern on the cover aids in improving the ball’s aerodynamics during flight by keeping it straight in its flight path and producing a more accurate shot.
The Performance One golf ball was released in 2018 alongside the Performance Plus. This golf ball is a 4-Piece Urethane-cover golf ball meant to improve the original K-Sig Tour Performance ball.
However, it fell short of users’ expectations, not because of grossly poor performance, but for another reason, which you will discover soon.
With the success of the previous 4-Piece urethane-cover golf ball by Costco, the new 4-Piece golf ball, Performance One, didn’t last long on the shelves.
The new Kirkland 4-piece ball also comes with a urethane cover but differs from the Tour Performance’s overall construction. While the United States Golf Association (USGA) described the previous 4-piece golf ball as a Four-Piece, solid center, triple cover ball, it only described Performance One as a Four-Piece, triple cover. Apparently, the new golf ball didn’t have a solid center.
The only similarity between the two 4-Piece golf balls is the urethane cover. Performance One had a smaller inner core, but this surprisingly gave the ball more distance on testing and more spin, as well. However, the extra layer ensured more control on the greens and helped the ball travel longer distances as it kept the ball straight in its trajectory.
Considering the distance the ball can travel, it’s safe to say that it had better aerodynamics than the Tour Performance due to its 338-dimple pattern, similar to the Performance Plus dimple pattern.
The downside of Performance One is its poor spin in the greens. It also had poor durability as some players complained of gash appearing on the cover after just one hit.
These negatives led to the recall of the Performance One golf balls, and the buyers had a refund.
Pros of Kirkland Signature Golf Ball
- The core is made of elastic rubber, which increases its speed and distance.
- The cover is made of durable urethane.
- It has a soft feel and great control on the greenside.
- It’s 338 dimple pattern aids the ball flight.
- It comes at a very affordable price.
Cons of Kirkland Signature Golf Ball
- Kirkland Signature balls have a lower brand recognition compared to Titleist golf balls.
- Its high compression can be a problem for players with slow swing speeds.
- There is some doubt about the durability of Kirkland Signature golf balls.
Titleist Golf Balls: A Brief Overview
Titleist has been at the top of the list for some time now when it comes to premium golf equipment. Its reign was threatened in 2018 when Costco’s Kirkland Signature Performance One was introduced, leading to a legal battle between the two golf ball manufacturers.
However, with the vast array of golf balls the Titleist produces to cater to different golf players’ needs, it will not be easy to unseat them by a budget-friendly option. Therefore, it is no surprise that pro golfers choose golf balls from Titleist as they are reliable and are of high performance. The balls combine durability, distance, and spin in different ratios.
This golf ball is the top choice for pro golfers due to the accuracy and precision it gives on every shot.
It is designed to generate speed, travel long distances, and dive accurate results consistently.
Its cover is made of cast urethane, which provides a soft feel, generates high spin on short plays, and contributes to speed while retaining its spin and control. The thin urethane cover also allows the core to propel the ball into the distance faster and further.
Beneath the cover is the casing layer, enhancing the ball’s speed and spin by translating the core’s energy from your swing. Its 352 dimple pattern allows the ball to travel long-distances, drop from its flight and stop, and spin when required on the green.
This Titleist golf ball is similar to PRO V1. However, it is more suitable for players looking for a firmer feel on the clubhead and a little more spin than the PRO V1 gives.
The combination of its core, casing layer, and cover travels long distances with great accuracy and consistency.
It also has better control and lower flight than PRO V1.
If you think the only golf ball in the Titleist catalog that is speed-personified is the PRO V1x, you’re mistaken.
The New AVX is made for one thing only, speed. It has an incredibly soft feel, low long game spin, and enhanced spin on the greens to achieve this purpose.
Its core is made larger than other golf balls in the collection, making it faster and travel longer distances. Its casting layer is also redesigned with high flex to enhance speed and distance.
Its cover is thinner, though with cast urethane elastomer to make it faster and spin more. The catenary aerodynamic dimple pattern on the cover enhances its flight quality and performance.
It is also available in white and yellow, for improved optics.
These golf balls are the first Titleist that uses a thermoplastic urethane cover, which provides a whole new world of precision, speed, and distance.
The technological adaptation for this ball attains speed and control by employing a core that responds fast to the player’s swing speed.
The speed generated from the swing, accepted by the core, is enhanced by the casing layer made of ionomer to allow low and long game spin while in flight.
While in flight, the quadrilateral dipyramid dimple pattern on the cover gives it great aerodynamic properties. This feature allows the ball to penetrate the wind in flight and, consequently, helps it cover longer distances with very little dispersion.
The Tour Soft is another golf ball in the Titleist catalog, excellent for long-distance and short shot plays.
It has an improved soft feel that makes it travel longer distances, and its control on the greens exemplary.
This golf ball is an excellent choice when shooting off the tee as it responds well to drive shots. It will give you an excellent drive speed without sacrificing distance. Its flight, with the aid of its simple design, is penetrating and consistent.
It also gives you a soft feel and control for the short shots. You get to have more spin and control to give you the desired score. All of these performances are possible due to its large core (the largest in the Titleist golf balls), 342 cuboctahedron dimple design, and 4CE grafted cover.
Pros of Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball
- Titleist golf balls are preferred by some of the best professionals in the game, including Adam Scott and Justin Thomas.
- Its 352 tetrahedral dimple design ensures a better penetrating flight and shot accuracy.
- It offers a great greenside feel and control.
- The design of this ball reduces spin rates and maximizes distances.
- Titleist golf balls are known to be extremely durable.
Cons of Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball
- The premium price of Titleist golf balls may be a turn off for some.
- It has a compression of 90, which may still be a problem for slow swinging players.
Similarities Between Kirkland Golf Balls and Titleist Golf Balls
Despite the difference in manufacturers and target customers, there are some similarities between Kirkland Signature and Titleist balls. These similarities will mostly be found in their construction, performance, cover, or even their core.
- Construction: A golf ball’s construction is either 2-piece, 3-piece, or multi-layered. In essence, a 2-piece golf ball has a core, usually a large one, and then the cover. For 3-piece and multi-layered balls, the core is generally smaller, and there are two or more layers between the core and the cover. Both Kirkland and Titleist have multi-layered golf balls that have perfect green control and spin.
- Cover: A golf ball’s cover is the outer part of its layer. It is the part that bears the dimple pattern responsible for the aerodynamic efficiency of the ball while in flight. All Kirkland Signature golf balls are made of urethane cover. Titleist Pro V1 also has a thin urethane cover. This cover contributes to its speed and distance.
- Performance: Because of the similarities in materials and construction, Titleist golf balls and Kirkland signature golf balls also share some similarities in their performance.
- Distance: Titleist golf balls are designed to maximize speed and distance. They are fitted with soft feel covers such as urethane. The same applies to all Kirkland Signature golf balls. They also have urethane as their cover to help them travel long-distance.
- Speed: The best golf ball in the Titleist catalog, Titleist Pro V1, has been compared and tested with the Kirkland Signature Performance Plus golf ball, and they are on par in several areas, with one of them being speed. Both golf balls have great speed off the tee.
- Control: With the urethane material both brands use in making their golf balls, they have excellent control, especially on the green. Despite the spin they generate in short shots, they also have great control to help players get the desired result.
Differences Between Kirkland Golf Balls and Titleist Golf Balls
Each brand is different and unique in some ways from the other. Titleist golf balls are made for Pro golfers while Kirkland Signature golf balls are good for beginners and experienced golfers. Some of these differences are obvious, while others are not. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Price: This is probably the biggest difference between these two brands. Titleist Golf Balls are considered the best golf balls in the market based on their performance, and they come at a premium. While Kirkland Signature golf balls are ridiculously affordable, they are sold for half the price of Titleist golf balls, not for a dozen, but two. Their affordability is one of the main reasons why they don’t stay long on the shelf.
- Durability: Kirkland Signature golf balls are generally durable, except for the embarrassing case of the Performance One. The 4-Piece golf ball is the only urethane-covered golf ball in the Kirkland golf ball catalog with poor durability. On the other hand, Titleist golf balls are mostly known for their durability, and no mass complaint cases about poor durability have ever been reported.
- Distance: Titleist Pro V1 is the fastest Titleist golf ball, and it covers more distance than other golf balls. However, the Kirkland signature performance Plus covers more distance than it does. The 3-piece Kirkland golf ball performs well on the wedge and seven Iron but is horrible on the driver. However, the Titleist PRO V1 performs excellently on the driver, wedge, and seven Iron.
Kirkland and Titleist cater to golfers’ needs in general, even though their target golfers aren’t the same. While all golfers widely accept Costco’s Kirkland, professionals prefer Titleist’s golf balls. However, it is important to note that despite the similarities in Kirkland and Titleist golf balls’ performance, there are differences that are worthy of note, and they should be deemed important when choosing either of the brands.
A 4-Piece Kirkland performance One, for instance, is unsuitable in a competition, while a Titleist PRO V1 is more suitable in a competitive setting as it is more durable than the former.