One of the coolest “One more thing” type of Christmas presents is personalized golf balls.
Whether it’s the player’s goal (e.g: Golf balls with the number 36 or 79 on them, depending on their “Some day I want to shoot…” goal), their company, nickname or last name, customized golf balls are awesome for avid players.
Early March, Titleist and TaylorMade run promotional deals where if you buy 3 dozen golf balls you’ll receive the 4th dozen free, and it includes complimentary personalization.
Unfortunately, that is not happening over the Holidays, but if personalized golf balls are on your gift list you can still get it done. For example, via Amazon:
If you’re not an avid golfer yourself, chances are your head is spinning looking at those prices. Premium golf balls are not cheap, but as a present I feel like they’re the way to go.
Unless, of course, it’s an add-on stocking stuffer and the whole point is the logo / not the playability. If that’s the case, you should have no issues getting away with a less expensive ball option (and there are plenty of others):
Avid players who prefer Titleist (the most popular brand on the market) will prefer the ProV1, ProV1X or AVX – because of their price, finding them on the course is finding “White Gold.”
High-level, they are all fairly comparable golf balls around the same price point. I prefer the AVX, personally, but like them all.
Determining the right golf ball
The ProV1 is the most played ball on the PGA Tour, but chances are whoever you’re buying for isn’t a professional player! As I understand it, these are the key general differences between the three:
- Titleist ProV1: The best ball for straight hitters (soft feel with high spin for control around the green)
- Titleist ProV1X: Low spin with higher launch; slightly longer than the ProV1
- Titleist AVX: The best ball for lower swing speeds; long with great control
How do you know if the ProV1 or ProV1X is the right ball for somebody? It’s simple: The ProV1 has more spin, and therefore more control around the greens, but also spins more off the club face which for someone who is not as accurate off the tee can be a problem.
The ProV1X has less spin off the club face and is said to go a little farther. This means it is meant to be a more accurate golf ball off the tee, but will not spin as much on the green.
Clear as mud?
Let’s try this another way. If the person you’re buying for has accuracy issues off the tee (like me), then the AVX or ProV1X are the right ball for them. If they are always straight down the middle and are able to spin the ball with their irons and wedge shots, then the ProV1 is the right ball for them.
Typically, really low handicap players (eg: Tour players, scratch/competitive amateurs) will play the ProV1 while amateur golf enthusiasts play the ProV1X or AVX.
TaylorMade and other brands
TaylorMade also has a great golf ball that rivals the ProV1 and ProV1X called the TP5 and TP5X (TP stands for Tour Preferred). The X refers to the same spin/control properties as it does in the ProV1 vs. ProV1X situation, and they cost about the same or slightly less than the Titleist line of premium balls.
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Rock Bottom Golf and The Golf Warehouse both specialize in discontinued products and overruns, which lead to savings for the end user. The issue there, of course, is that this is typically stuff that’s not 100% perfect, is an old model version or just didn’t sell at its previous supplier. With apparel, for example, it can be hard to find the size you’re looking for. BUT, if you can find clothing you really like, and it’s in the size you need, you can get some great savings.
But, I digress. Back to custom golf balls…
Find out if the person you’re buying for has a favorite number, number of golf significance or a nickname they’d like on their golf balls.
Or, be funny with it! A friend of mine actually got his dad golf balls that read, “If found, please return to Paul Nelson, locker 110” (not the right locker number, I’m sure, but you get the point).
I always like #3 golf balls because it was my jersey number in high school, but you’ll see numbers like 36 or 72 (most popular course pars), 39, 49, 69, 79 or 89 depending on their skill level and scoring abilities. 69, for example, would be for an accomplished player trying to break 70 the first time, while 89 would be for more of a bogey golfer wanting to improve enough to finally break 90.
Either way, custom golf balls will never go unused – although some may get lost faster than others – and will always be appreciated, making them a terrific gift for the golf enthusiast you’re shopping for.