Are Spalding Golf Balls Good? A Deep Dive into Performance and Value

Colin McCarthy

spalding golf balls

When it comes to choosing the right golf ball, players often gravitate towards the big names like Callaway, TaylorMade, and Titleist. However, there’s a lesser-known contender that might just surprise you Spalding golf balls.

Known for their affordability, Spalding’s SD Tour model, priced at less than $20 per dozen, offers an enticing option for golfers looking to cut costs without sacrificing performance.

The SD Tour stands out with its urethane cover and intriguing dimple pattern, which mirrors some of the more expensive balls on the market.

This combination promises not only durability but also a quality playing experience. So, are Spalding golf balls good? Let’s delve into the specifics to see if they can hold their own against the giants of the golfing world.

Features of Spalding Golf Balls

The Spalding golf balls have several features that enhance their performance on the course. 

Here are some of the key features:

Construction and Material

Spalding golf balls, particularly the SD Tour X model, are designed to meet high standards of golfing performance. The ball is a three-piece construction, which offers a combination of precision and control.

It features an all-new 344-dimple design, which is strategically engineered to enhance the ball’s aerodynamic properties.

These dimples are divided into two categories: 80% are large, shallow dimples aimed at lowering drag for penetrating ball flights, while the remaining 20% are microdimples that help with backspin control and flight stability.

This combination ensures that the ball maintains a stable and controlled flight trajectory.

Core Design

At the heart of the Spalding SD Tour X golf ball is its super soft, highly resilient core. This core is crafted to provide low spin and high speed, achieving longer shots off the tee.

The resilience of the core not only helps in maximizing distance but also contributes to a consistent performance across various club types.

Golfers will find that the ball launches with minimal spin, ideal for driving long and straight down the fairways.

The core’s design ensures that even with its softness, it does not compromise on durability and retains its performance characteristics through multiple rounds of play.

Cover Details

The cover of the Spalding SD Tour X is made from a tour-level extra-soft urethane material. This material is known for its high responsiveness, especially around the green, allowing golfers to achieve excellent control on short game shots.

The extra-soft nature of the urethane cover also provides a soft feel upon impact, which is highly preferred by many golfers.

Additionally, the cover enhances the ball’s overall durability, enabling sustained performance and appearance even after repeated use.

The combination of the urethane material and the specific dimple design ensures that Spalding golf balls can deliver consistent, accurate distance control and a reliable playing experience.


The performance of Spalding golf balls is characterized by several key features:

Distance and Control

The Spalding SD Tour X golf ball shines when it comes to distance and control. Its three-piece construction integrates advanced materials and designs to maximize these aspects.

The core of the ball is super soft and highly resilient which generates low spin while providing high speed. This combination is crucial for achieving longer distances.

Moreover, the 344-dimple design, which covers 80% of the ball’s surface with large shallow dimples, significantly lowers drag force.

This design ensures a penetrating ball flight that cuts through the air efficiently contributing to longer shots.

The microdimples on the remaining 20% of the ball’s surface aid in backspin control enhancing flight stability and providing consistent and accurate distance control. Such precision is beneficial for players striving for performance that matches premium brands.

Spin and Feel

Spin and feel are critical for any golfer seeking a balanced and responsive game. The Spalding SD Tour X does not disappoint in this regard.

The ball features a soft urethane cover that delivers exceptional responsiveness around the green. This tour-level cover ensures that the golfer can achieve the desired spin control on approach shots, offering substantial grip upon landing.

This characteristic is particularly advantageous when executing finesse shots or attempting to stop the ball quickly on the green.

Additionally, the soft feel of the ball during impact provides a satisfying tactile response, which is often preferred by players for its feedback and control.

The ball’s performance in terms of spin and feel makes it a competitive option for golfers at various skill levels, particularly those who value touch and precision.

Testing and Quality Assurance

The quality and consistency of Spalding golf balls are tested through various metrics to ensure their performance and reliability.

Here are some key points regarding the testing and quality assurance of Spalding golf balls:

Consistency in Construction

When it comes to quality assurance, the Spalding SD Tour X golf ball has undergone rigorous testing to ensure consistency in its construction.

The primary focus has been on maintaining uniformity across all the balls produced. Recent tests revealed that weight consistency falls within the average range, indicating that most balls have a similar feel and performance.

However, some slight variations were identified, particularly in diameter consistency, where a couple of balls in the sample failed the roundness test.

Despite this, the overall consistency of the Spalding SD Tour X is deemed acceptable compared to other models tested to date.

This attention to detail in manufacturing aims to provide golfers with a reliable experience on the course, further backed by the consistent performance metrics observed across various dimensions.

Durability Test

Durability is a key factor in any golf ball’s performance, and Spalding has taken strides to ensure that the SD Tour X model stands out in this regard.

The ball features a tour-level extra-soft urethane cover known for being highly resilient. In durability tests, the Spalding SD Tour X exhibited impressive longevity, with minimal wear and tear observed after extensive rounds of play.

This durability can be attributed to its materials and the advanced construction methods used, which ensure that the ball retains its properties even after prolonged use.

For golfers, this means fewer replacements and more consistent performance over time, making it a cost-effective choice without compromising on quality.

User Experience

The user experience with Spalding golf balls varies based on the specific product line:

Playability in Different Conditions

When evaluating the Spalding SD Tour X golf ball, user experiences highlight its versatility across various playing conditions.

This ball boasts a 344-dimple design that reduces drag and ensures a penetrating ball flight, making it a capable performer in windy conditions.

Golfers have noted that the ball maintains stable flight paths, even under less-than-ideal weather, such as light rain or strong crosswinds.

In warmer weather, the ball’s super soft, highly resilient core continues to deliver high-speed shots with minimal spin, resulting in longer drives.

Players have particularly praised the Spalding SD Tour X’s performance on softer, wetter courses where the ball’s low compression aids in achieving desired distances without excessive roll.

Conversely, on harder, drier courses, its backspin control, facilitated by the microdimples, provides excellent stopping power on approach shots.

Suitability for Different Skill Levels

The Spalding SD Tour X golf ball is praised for its broad suitability across different skill levels. For amateur players, the ball’s forgiving nature, thanks to its low spin and controlled flight, helps mitigate mishits and improves accuracy.

Beginners appreciate the consistent roundness and feel of the ball, which aids in developing better swing mechanics and confidence on shorter shots around the green.

Intermediate golfers benefit from the balance of distance and control, allowing them to manage their game more effectively. The ball’s responsiveness around the green is particularly beneficial for players looking to enhance their short game.

Advanced players can exploit the full range of the Spalding SD Tour X’s features, especially the tour-level extra-soft urethane cover, which provides the feel and control needed for precise shot shaping and greenside spin.

While some elite golfers might prefer the premium offerings from brands like Titleist for specific tour play, many find the SD Tour X a viable and cost-effective alternative for practice rounds and casual play.

Comparison With Other Brands

The comparison of Spalding golf balls with other brands highlights several key points:

Price And Value

When comparing Spalding golf balls to other brands, one of the standout aspects is the price and value they offer.

Spalding golf balls, particularly the SD Tour X model, are priced competitively, making them accessible to a broad range of golfers.

For instance, the affordability of the SD Tour X contrasts significantly with premium brands like Titleist or Callaway, which often come with a higher price tag.

Despite their lower cost, Spalding golf balls do not skimp on quality. The SD Tour X offers features typical of higher-end balls, such as a three-piece construction and urethane cover, which contribute to a superior feel and performance.

Users have frequently noted that these balls deliver excellent distance and control, comparable to some of the more expensive options available in the market.

This balanced blend of cost-effectiveness and quality makes Spalding golf balls a savvy choice for budget-conscious golfers who do not want to compromise on performance.

Performance Metrics

In terms of performance metrics, Spalding golf balls hold their own when pitted against competitors.

The SD Tour X, for example, features a 344-dimple design that enhances aerodynamics and provides a penetrating ball flight, which is comparable to what you’d find with brands like TaylorMade or Bridgestone.

The combination of large, shallow dimples for lower drag and micro-dimples for spin control ensures a stable and consistent flight path under various conditions.

Furthermore, the super-soft, highly resilient core of the SD Tour X contributes to lower spin and higher speed, enabling longer shots off the tee.

Players have reported that the ball’s tour-level extra-soft cover delivers excellent green-side control, rivaling that of higher-end balls like the Pro V1.

The Spalding golf balls’ performance metrics, such as distance, control, and durability, align well with industry standards, offering golfers a reliable option that meets competitive performance criteria.


The advantages of Spalding golf balls include:


One of the primary advantages of Spalding golf balls is their cost-effectiveness. Golfers often seek high-performance balls that do not break the bank and Spalding delivers just that.

The SD Tour X model offers advanced features such as a three-piece urethane construction and a 344-dimple pattern at a price that is significantly lower than competitors like Titleist and Callaway.

This makes Spalding an attractive option for both amateur and seasoned golfers who want quality without the hefty price tag.

Furthermore Spalding’s pricing strategy allows players to experiment with their products without a large financial commitment making it a smart choice for budget-conscious golfers.

Variety Available

Spalding also stands out due to the variety of golf balls they offer catering to various skill levels and playing styles.

Whether a golfer prefers a ball that emphasizes distance control backspin or a soft feel around the greens Spalding has a model to meet those needs.

The SD Tour X for instance excels in providing both distance and control due to its super soft core and highly responsive cover.

Additionally Spalding offers a range of other models focused on different aspects of the game ensuring that there is a suitable ball for every type of player.

This variety allows golfers to fine-tune their game with a ball that complements their technique and preferences.


The disadvantages of Spalding golf balls include:

Suitability for Professional Play

While the Spalding SD Tour X offers excellent features for casual and mid-level golfers, its suitability for professional play has been questioned.

Not currently listed on the USGA conforming balls list, this omission suggests that the ball may not meet the stringent standards required for professional tournaments.

Professional golfers often seek balls with specific performance metrics, including precise weight consistency and flawless aerodynamics.

The Spalding SD Tour X showed average consistency in both weight and diameter during testing, with two balls even failing the roundness test.

This inconsistency can affect performance at the highest level of play, making it less appealing for professional golfers seeking utmost reliability.

Durability Concerns

Although the Spalding SD Tour X is praised for its long-lasting durability, some minor issues have been identified. Recent tests revealed that while there were no notable cover defects, there was significant color variation in the covers.

This color inconsistency may indicate variability in the manufacturing process, potentially affecting durability over time.

For golfers who play frequently and depend on consistent quality, this variation might raise some concerns about the long-term wear and tear of these golf balls.

Color Variation and Aesthetics

Another downside is the color variation in the covers of the Spalding SD Tour X balls. Even though this may not affect the core performance of the ball, the lack of uniformity can be off-putting to players who prefer a consistent look.

Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, and having confidence in every aspect of your equipment, including its appearance, can play a significant role in overall performance.

Historical Brand Perception

Historically, Spalding was known as a major player in the golf equipment industry. However, the modern market is dominated by brands like Titleist, Callaway, and TaylorMade.

Players who have been loyal to these dominant brands may be hesitant to switch to Spalding due to its lower presence in the current market.

Additionally, the nostalgia associated with the brand might not be enough to convince players to switch, especially when renowned alternatives offer more consistently acclaimed performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Spalding SD Tour X golf ball suitable for professional play?

While the Spalding SD Tour X is excellent for casual and intermediate players, it faces limitations in professional play, mainly due to issues with weight consistency and aerodynamics, which do not meet USGA standards.

Are there any durability concerns with the Spalding SD Tour X golf ball?

Recent findings suggest that there might be durability concerns owing to color variation in the covers, which could impact the golf ball’s long-term performance.

Why might some players hesitate to switch to Spalding SD Tour X?

Some players may be deterred by the Spalding SD Tour X’s aesthetic inconsistencies, durability concerns, and Spalding’s lower market presence compared to more dominant brands like Titleist and Callaway.

Does Spalding have a strong presence in the golf equipment market?

While Spalding holds a historical reputation in the golf equipment industry, it currently has a lower market presence compared to leading brands such as Titleist and Callaway.


Spalding golf balls offer a blend of affordability and quality that appeals to a wide range of golfers. While they excel in versatility and cost-effectiveness, they fall short in meeting professional standards and durability.

The aesthetic inconsistency and lower market presence may also deter some players. However for those seeking a budget-friendly option with solid performance Spalding remains a viable choice.

Overall, Spalding golf balls are ideal for recreational players and beginners who prioritize value over top-tier performance. With continued technological advancements, they may soon offer more competitive features.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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